Hidden indie gems

Dec 9, 2019
47
54
120
It's time to highlight some overlooked indie games. I'll start with a few recent ones:

-Little Misfortune: Short narrative adventure by the makers of Fran Bow full of dark humour.
-Eastshade: RPG/adventure with focus on exploration with fantastic painting mechanics and non-violent problem solving.
-Lorelai: Grim but gripping adventure.
 

Lauren Morton

Staff member
Dec 9, 2019
57
137
220
A Short Hike is one of my favorite small gems of the year. Most folks finish it in 2ish hours, maybe 4 if you're a completionist like me. Very cute adventure game where you hike up and fly down a mountain while solving little quests for the other animals on the island in the style of an old adventure game.

 
Dec 9, 2019
47
54
120
A Short Hike is one of my favorite small gems of the year. Most folks finish it in 2ish hours, maybe 4 if you're a completionist like me. Very cute adventure game where you hike up and fly down a mountain while solving little quests for the other animals on the island in the style of an old adventure game.

I keep that on my "to play" list for when I'm in need for a pleasant and short game.
 
  • Like
Reactions: PCG AndyC

PCG AndyC

News Lead
Staff member
Dec 9, 2019
29
50
120
I'm generally not into platformers, but The King's Bird is quite lovely. Kind of an artsy thing at first glance, but the actual gameplay is fairly fast and challenging too - sliding into jumps, double-jumping up walls, that sort of thing. For people who'd prefer to enjoy the sights and sounds without breaking controllers, there are a range of accessibility options to help ensure that everyone can play.

 

Mknott

Staff member
Nov 25, 2019
75
181
220
Stygian: Reign of the Old Ones is a Lovecraftian RPG with turn-based combat set in a 1920s city that's been swallowed by the Abyss. The citizens have all been transported with it, and are trying to adapt to life in a horrifying underworld. I've only played the start but so far it's giving me the Cthulhu vibe I was hoping to get from The Sinking City.
This is exactly my bag. Going to pick it up to counterbalance the twee effects of Christmas. I've been trying to smash my face against Cultist Simulator and my brain is just too small to make a dent.

I've just finished Children of Morta, it was cool and I really enjoyed the story. Ran across the age old issue of the difficulty cratering as the game went on, which was a real shame because it was challenging enough to be fun and kept me going back.
 
  • Like
Reactions: PCG Jody

SWard

Supergirl
Staff member
Nov 25, 2019
350
568
1,270
A Short Hike is one of my favorite small gems of the year. Most folks finish it in 2ish hours, maybe 4 if you're a completionist like me. Very cute adventure game where you hike up and fly down a mountain while solving little quests for the other animals on the island in the style of an old adventure game.

This looks beautiful!
 
  • Like
Reactions: cuda_wilds

Julez

Moderator
Dec 18, 2019
30
40
70
A Short Hikes is really special, I loved it. Some of my favourites I played last year were:

Lost in Vivo for some horror flair
Broken Reality for some trippy first person vaporwave puzzle solving
Knights and Bikes is an incredible co-op game from Double Fine, most charming game of 2019 to me.
Wandersong doesn't qualify as hidden gem I don't think, but I finally played it and maaaan it's incredible.
 
  • Like
Reactions: cuda_wilds
Jan 13, 2020
3
5
15
Neighborhorde is a fun 4 player horde mode twin stick. Visuals are a little undercooked but the gameplay is solid. NHorde.gif
 
Last edited:
Jan 13, 2020
17
10
15
Cranks and Goggles is the game with the least reviews in my "good" category in my Steam library. It's very niche being a top-down 1920's racing game. But I liked it. Took some effort to get a controller working right but it had real fun physics and style.

Divide By Sheep is another game with a low amount of reviews that I have in my "good" category. Puzzle game, so again hard to recommend with a wide brushstroke. But it constantly adds new wrinkles while more or less being math problems underneath the hood. I imagine it was initially a mobile/tablet game.

JumpJet Rex is in my "very good" category. I know I had a ton of fun with it and I know I binged/marathon'd it in one or two days... But I don't remember a ton of details and didn't write a review so shrug.

And finally;

Road to Ballhalla. Best ball rolling game bar none.

Edit: Surprised to see Yoku's Island Express still has so few reviews after being in a Humble Monthly. But perfect example of why I still subscribe. Great game with a perfectly executed concept of dung-beetle-pinball-platformer.
 
Jan 13, 2020
9
10
15
Alone - it's as indie as they come but shows what can be done with basic art and some well chosen stock sound effects to create a feeling of Isolation.
header (2).jpg
(Image added so people know which one as there are multiple games called Alone on steam)

Slayaway Camp - One of the best puzzle games I've ever played that adds mechanics as you go but never feels like it becomes stupidly impossible to work out. Also it has a slasher film style theme to it so if you like 80s style slasher films you'll likely enjoy the references and jokes.

A Robot Named Fight - A Roguelite Meteroidvania game. I don't think I should need to say much else.

Noir Syndrome - A Roguelite Detective game which sees you hunt down a serial killer, each time you play the clues and killer identity is procedurally generated as such.

Unrest - by an Indian indie studio it can best be described as a multiple choice adventure game where you follow multiple characters whose story all becomes part of the larger story of what is happening to the fantasy kingdom where the game is set.

Detective Grimoire - A point and click game from SFB games (you may have heard of their more popular title Snipper Clips). It's got great art style and a an enjoyable sense of humour. It felt like a far superior title than say Broken Age did and was made on a fraction of the budget. I will say the puzzles are a little on the easy side though.

Survivalist - A sort of Strategy sort of partially top down third person shooter game about surviving after the Zombie apocalypse. I'd say it should be up there as one of the best Zombie games around with a lot of freedom to tackle things how you like.
 
Jan 13, 2020
15
4
15
I'd add DemonCrawl:



Also available on mobile, it's a mix of minesweeper with roguelike. It can be infuriating at higher levels of difficulty, but I love how some item combinations can straight up break the game. Reminds me a lot what I liked about in games like Binding of Isaac and Risk of Rain.
 

Frindis

Moderator
Jan 14, 2020
1,116
1,096
2,570
One of the most "hidden" gems out there: Tales of Maj’Eyal. A Roguelike RPG that will blow your mind if you give it a chance. I also want to add No Man Sky. Many think No Man Sky was made by this huge AAA studio with deep pockets, but in reality, the game was first released with just a couple of guys working very hard on it. So, it is kind of a hidden indie game.
 

Zloth

Community Contributor
Jan 13, 2020
639
894
1,270
The X series from Egosoft, especially x3:Terran Conflict. They basically took all the things we've learned about making popular games over the years and turned them all on their head. It's not simple and easy to learn. It's not in any way short (more like 500 hours if you don't cheat). It's not showing up on consoles (I don't think they have the CPU to track all those moving ships). It does require reading the manual.

The attention to detail is impressive, too. Check this ship out:
Cargo Drone.jpg

What? Seen better, have you? Even 12 years back when this game came out? Well, I kinda fibbed - that's not a ship. That's just a little cargo drone. They're practically dots that haul cargo from larger ships to stations and back. Any other game would stick a couple of cylinders on the back of a box and call it a day. After all, you're supposed to be looking at the cool ships and space stations, not the tiny little drones. But Egosoft modeled this! It blew my mind when I zoomed in on one.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Pifanjr

PCG Phil

UK Editor In Chief
Staff member
Dec 10, 2019
11
29
50
Dicey Dungeons is a Slay The Spire-style dungeon crawler with turn-based dice roll battles. It's neat: full of cool character concepts that change how you play, and an ability-building system with plenty of depth.

PonQep.gif
 
  • Like
Reactions: Frindis and Chriz86
Dec 9, 2019
47
54
120
Dicey Dungeons is a Slay The Spire-style dungeon crawler with turn-based dice roll battles. It's neat: full of cool character concepts that change how you play, and an ability-building system with plenty of depth.
Great pick. I lost over 40h to this game last year.
 
Jan 16, 2020
255
305
770
There are a fair few indie games that i like but probably one of the more obsecure walking simulators that i consider one of the best is valley:



Its a walking simulator with an exoskeleton that grants the user the powers of the flash, the hulk, jesus and god all in one. Brilliant soundtrack, great voice acting, pacing, locations and probably the most entertaining walking simulator i've played.
 

Zloth

Community Contributor
Jan 13, 2020
639
894
1,270
Walking simulator? There sure is a lot of running, jumping, and even shooting in that walking simulator!
 
Jan 16, 2020
255
305
770
Walking simulator? There sure is a lot of running, jumping, and even shooting in that walking simulator!
ultimately you go from point A to B collecting audio logs to uncover the story that transpires. Think the vanishing of ethan carter with more octane travel. Oh and some basic combat thrown in just in case the jumping, running on water and swigging wasn't enough.
 
May 5, 2020
43
27
70
Roguelands
May look like this ugly giant pixelated game but it has surprisingly good and fun mechanics

 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS

Latest posts