5 More Amazing Indie Games To Get Hooked On
I love Indie games. While big-budget studios may have better graphics sometimes, most modern AAA projects lack the creativity and soul that indie devs put into their games. So today, I’m providing you with 5 more Indie titles to enjoy.
1. Rain World.
The first of the indie games we’ll be looking at is a gem of a survival game, Boston-based studio VIDEOCULT’s cult classic Rain World. In Rain World, you play one of several nomadic and adorable little creatures known as slugcats, and must survive within the dangerous ruins of a civilization that died out long ago. The game doesn’t hold your hand very much, but the controls are quite intuitive, and the presentation is incredible. Honestly, the presentation, fluid animations, and art direction are the game’s strong points. The difficulty can be pretty brutal at times, and if the rain comes before you get to a new save point, well too bad. There is a deep and well-considered story to be found within Rain World, one that was recently expanded with the release of the Downpour DLC. Should you choose to meddle in the affairs of passing gods, you might discover the truth yourself. I recommend the PC version, as it is the only one with the DLC at time of writing.
2. Library of Ruina.
In my previous list of indie games, I covered Project Moon’s debut game Lobotomy Corporation. This entry will cover the game’s sequel, Library of Ruina. Library of Ruina reveals what happened after the events of Lobotomy Corporation’s true ending. In addition to many familiar characters, Ruina introduces a new protagonist, Roland, a down-on-his-luck mercenary with more than a few secrets. In terms of gameplay, Ruina is a card-battling/deck-building game with RPG elements, similar to Slay the Spire. Project moon pulled out all the stops with this game, with an in-depth combat system, full voice acting (albeit in Korean), and incredible art. It’s also significantly more approachable and less brutally punishing than Lobotomy Corporation making it a great gateway into Project Moon’s dystopian setting. The story follows the previously mentioned Roland, who finds himself transported into the titular library, and becomes a servant to its Librarian, an AI known as Angela. As Angela’s servant, he must fight those who are summoned to the Library, turning the defeated into books to expand the Library’s collection. It makes sense in context, I swear. It’s a great game by a great team, and if I had to give one piece of advice to new players, it would be this: read the passive skills.
For entry number three on our list of indie games, we’re diving into the survival horror genre. Created by rose-engine, a duo of German indie devs, SIGNALIS follows the confusing and psychologically unsettling journey of a robot named LSTR-512, or “Elster” through a setting that can roughly be described as “Post WWII East Germany in space.” Elster is driven to find her partner and fulfill a promise, no matter what stands in her way. The game uses a graphical style similar to the original PlayStation, and the gameplay is top-down survival-shooter. The story and themes of SIGNALIS draw on everything from the brutal totalitarianism of East Germany to the cosmic horror of H. P. Lovecraft. At times I found myself wondering how much of what I encountered was real, and how much was simply Elster slowly losing their mind. SIGNALIS calls back to the early days of survival horror, where every encounter is potentially lethal, and players must make hard choices when managing inventory. The cramped corridors and flickering lights build a consistent and gnawing sense of dread. It’s an experience, and you should play it yourself.
4. Dwarf Fortress (the Steam version).
The fourth entry on our list of indie games is a cult classic, but its also not for everyone. Dwarf Fortress has technically been around for about 20 years, but in December of 2022 it was released on Steam with a massive graphical overhaul. Minecraft, the best-selling game of all time, was influenced by the ideas of Dwarf Fortress to an extent. But where the block game is easy and intuitive, Dwarf Fortress can be brutally difficult and obtuse. This is kind of a selling point, with the game’s unofficial tagline being “losing is fun!” And now, after 20 long years, the game is finally available on Steam. If anything, you should give this game a try, just for its significance to the medium and community as a whole. I think it helps to approach the game with the mindset that you win by surviving for as long as possible. With a little creativity, you can do incredible and nonsensical things. It’s a roguelike colony-building sim, with all the creative insanity that entails. Honestly, it’s worth checking out just to experience the chaos for yourself.
The last of our indie games, Blasphemous, is one of the greatest games of the last decade. Developed by Seville-based studio The Game Kitchen, Blasphemous is a masterpiece of a Metroidvania built around the haunting and visceral aesthetics of Catholic and Andalusian Christian iconography. In this game, you play as the Penitent One, a silent, masked warrior on a holy mission. He must make a pilgrimage across the lands of Cvstodia, perform the three humiliations, and ultimately claim a holy relic known as the Cradle of Affliction. The lands of Cvstodia are afflicted with a holy power known as the Miracle, which transformed many people into vicious monsters. The Penitent One must, with nothing but his sword of guilt and undying faith, fight his way to the heart of Cvstodia and make things right. This game has a story of biblical proportions, and the pixel art is some of the most detailed I’ve ever seen. The music is also absolutely incredible, and really sets the mood of the game. It can be pretty difficult, but like the Souls series, it rewards mastery. Get this game and all the DLC asap if you’re interested, because a sequel is due sometime this year.