We’re huge fans of indie games here at Den of Geek, and for very good reason! Many of today’s independent game developers are responsible for some of the most creative experiences in the entire industry, and that’s all without the staff or funding of the bigger blockbuster companies. In fact, we love indie games so much that we decided to make a gigantic list about all of the ones we’re excited to see in 2014 and beyond. 101 of them, to be exact.
And trust us: there are a whole lot of them out there. So we wanted to compile the most comprehensive list of new and upcoming indie games that we possibly could, spanning all kinds of genres, stories, and art styles. Because of this, you’ll be seeing games from the bigger indie studios like Telltale Games and Double Fine, but also your fair share of smaller studios, some with only a single team member to their name.
While the vast majority of games on our list are still coming up on the horizon, or hovering in the far-off distant future of “TBA,” a handful of them have already been released while we were writing this list and are available to play right now! What’s more, the next year is going to be especially exciting too, since we will see the long-awaited follow-ups to some of the indie world’s most iconic and defining games, like Limbo, Braid, and Super Meat Boy.
So these are our handpicked 101 new and upcoming indie games that we’re super excited about playing (listed alphabetically, for your convenience and for our sanity). Do you share in our excitement about these picks? Are there any other awesome looking indie games out there that we need to know about? Hit the replies and share in our love of all things indie! And who knows, you might just find your next favorite game in the process.
1. A Bird Story
Developer: Freebird Games | Release Date: TBA | Platforms: PC
If you’re in the market for sad and emotionally draining gaming experiences, then nothing will empty that tissue box faster than To the Moon from Freebird Games. Now the developer is gearing up to release their next project, and everything about A Bird Story makes it sound like it’s going to be just as magical as its predecessor. The surreal story follows “a boy and a bird with a broken wing,” and is actually set within the same universe as the tear-jerking To the Moon, with the events of A Bird Story taking place sometime beforehand.
2. A Hat in Time
Developer: Gears for Breakfast | Release Date: TBA 2014 | Platforms: PC, Mac
At its heart, A Hat in Time is a tribute to the open-world platformers of old, like Banjo-Kazooie and Super Mario 64. Players take control of an interstellar time traveler named Hat Kid in a race to collect hidden time pieces and stop the evil Mustache Girl (sounds pretty evil to me!). It’s also one of the most refreshingly colorful games we’ve seen in quite some time, and its environments call to mind such greats as Super Mario Sunshine.
3. A Story About My Uncle
Developer: Gone North Games | Release Date: May 28, 2014 | Platforms: PC
Everyone always seems to have that one crazy uncle who tells all the wild stories during family get-togethers, right? Described as a “non-violent” first-person platforming adventure game, A Story About My Uncle focuses on the atmospheric journey of a boy who is searching to the ends of distant worlds for his uncle. But what makes A Story About My Uncle unique is the game’s fast-paced grappling hook mechanic, which allows your character to swing across chasms in a number of fantastical and breathtaking environments. That’s going to make for one crazy story during Thanksgiving this year!
4. Aban Hawkins and the 1001 Spikes
Developer: Nicalis, Inc. | Release Date: June 3, 2014 | Platforms: PS4, PS Vita, Xbox One, Wii U, 3DS, PC, Mac
For the die-hard fan of blistering NES platformers, you’ll need look no further than Aban Hawkins and the 1001 Spikes. This dungeon-themed platformer game features a furious difficulty, with an emphasis on surprise and brutal deaths (they don’t let you start out with 1001 lives for nothing, after all!). But better yet, you’ll even be able to embark on the death-defying adventure with up to three friends, as you unlock new costumes for Aban that let him resemble some of gaming’s greatest heroes, from Mario to Commander Video.
There’s really no better way to describe Abzu right now than to call it an underwater version of Journey. But I know that this game is going to be so much more than that comparison. Coming from two Journey devs themselves, Abzu is ethereal in every sense of the word, with sprawling underwater scenes that positively glisten as your character swims through them. The title is a combination of two ancient words which mean “ocean” and “to know,” even though the game is still very early in development and we REALLY want to know more!
6. Affordable Space Adventures
Aren’t you sick of all those super expensive space adventures out there? I know I am. That’s why I’m so excited about Affordable Space Adventures, because as the name implies, you’ll get to experience the vast throes of space without spending millions upon millions of dollars! This Wii U exclusive game puts players in control of a tiny spacecraft that moves on a sidescrolling plane, and you’ll need to fly and explore the darkest corners of the universe and unveil all sorts of unexpected adventures that might be lying in wait.
7. Always Sometimes Monsters
Developer: Vagabond Dog | Release Date: May 21, 2014 | Platforms: PC
Always Sometimes Monsters might be one of the most refreshing RPGs that you’ll play this year. And that’s precisely because the premise of the story is heavily founded in realism, and focuses on the proverbial “monsters” that can always be present during life’s many hardships. For instance, your character has a lot of devastating demons that might sound all too familiar: “Your landlord’s taken the key back, you can’t finish your manuscript, and your beloved is marrying someone else.” I’ll take the literal, teeth-gnashing monsters over that any day!
8. Among The Sleep
Developer: Krillbite Studio | Release Date: May 29, 2014 (PC) | Platform: PS4, PC, Mac
You know what all of the best horror movies have in common these days? The use of absolutely terrifying little kids! Well now it looks like someone has tapped into that winning formula and superimposed it into the video game world. Among the Sleep is a first-person horror adventure in which the player controls a two-year-old child, wandering around in the middle of the night and undoubtedly walking into a horrific happening or two.
Developers: Pencil Test Studios | Release Date: Q4 2014 | Platforms: PC, Mac, Wii U
From the creators of Earthworm Jim comes Armikrog, a brand new adventure game that’s made entirely out of clay. Yup, you read that right, and the game’s smooth claymation presentation looks even cooler than you can possibly imagine. In fact, the game looks so cool and holds so much promise that it managed to raise just under $1 million on Kickstarter. A point-and-click adventure game at its heart, Armikrog follows the tale of a space explorer named Tommynaut, who crash lands on a foreign planet and ends up getting imprisoned alongside his faithful (and blind) dog, Beak-Beak.
Developer: Artizens, Inc. | Release Date: TBA | Platforms: PC, Mac
If we told you that Artizens was like a sidescrolling version of Shadow of the Colossus with four-player co-op capabilities, would you believe us? Well, you’d better believe it, because that’s exactly what this highly creative take on the open-world adventure genre looks like. The game also puts a big emphasis on crafting and customization, and players will even have the opportunity to use their favorite drawing programs to draw their very own weapons and equipment right into the game!
Developer: Senscape | Release Date: TBA 2014 | Platforms: PC, Mac, iOS
No matter how many horror games you’ve played in your life, there’s nothing quite like the basics of exploring a totally spooked-out building. And that’s exactly what Asylum from Senscape has in store. Featuring over 100 chilling rooms to explore throughout the titular asylum, this game promises a “mature and disturbing horror storyline that will haunt you for years to come.” And looking at the first released screenshots of Asylum in action, I’d say that’s a very real (and absolutely terrifying) possibility.
12. Avalanche 2: Super Avalanche
Developer: Beast Games | Release Date: TBA | Platforms: PC
At first glance, Avalanche 2: Super Avalanche is a simple game. Players take control of a fluffy white marshmallow and must continuously jump towards the top of the screen by utilizing a number of falling blocks before the hot lava at your heels finally catches up with you. Because everyone knows that marshmallows hate hot lava. But then you start seeing the boss fights, the power-ups, the co-op modes, and the addictive high scores that will quickly make this one of the most quintessential platformers that you’ll play in ages.
13. The Beard in the Mirror
Developer: Oh, a Rock! Studios | Release Date: Q4 2014 | Platforms: PC
The Beard in the Mirror is an incredibly retro point-and-click adventure game, and also the debut title from the developing duo known as Oh, a Rock! Studios. The story of the game follows a 22-year-old boy who “doesn’t know who he is, where he’s going, or how he fits into the world.” Now that’s a description that really hits home! But soon enough, the boy will meet a girl who lets him see outside himself, and beyond the boundaries of his own universe, which he once thought was all he’d ever know.
Developer: Bill Lowe and Pal Trefall | Release Date: TBA | Platforms: PC, Mac
In the pre-historic game Before, survival is everything. Whether it’s in scrounging for food and other resources, or defending yourself from nature’s most wild inhabitants, you’ll need to do whatever it takes to keep your tribe safe. We don’t know much else about Before just yet (other than what we’ve seen from ancient cave drawings), but the blocky visual art style is sure to be matched by an equally stylish form of survival gameplay.
Developer: Capybara Games | Release Date: TBA | Platforms: Xbox One, PC
If there’s one indie game that absolutely stole the show at this year’s PAX East, than that game was without question Below from Capybara Games. It’s somewhat difficult even now to come up with the words to describe why Below is such an enthralling game and perfect example of high art in the industry, with a quiet but dangerous world full of careful dungeon crawling and permadeath consequences.
16. Bigfoot Hunter
Developer: The Tap Lab | Release Date: April 14, 2014 | Platforms: iOS
When we stumbled upon the Bigfoot Hunter booth at this year’s PAX East, The Tap Lab described their new game to us as “Pokemon Snap, but with Bigfoot.” Naturally, we were instantly sold. The game uses your mobile device’s gyroscopic features to function just like a camera, as you move it around and try to locate the Bigfoot that’s hiding in a number of fun and cartoony outdoor environments. And true to Pokemon Snap fashion, you’ll even have a variety of bait types at your disposal to help draw the big guy out in the open.
17. The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth
Developer: Nicalis| Release Date: TBA 2014 | Platforms: PS4, PS Vita, PC, Mac
In the interest of full disclosure, Edmund McMillian’s The Binding of Isaac is one of our all-time favorite indie games. You play as a little baby crawling around in a basement and fending off monsters with his tears in the vein of the original Legend of Zelda. What’s not to love? Well now The Binding of Isaac is getting the remake, or perhaps more appropriately, the “de-make” treatment courtesy of Nicalis, with shiny new 16-bit visuals, grotesque new monsters, twisted items, and even a highly anticipated co-op mode.
Developer: Free Lives | Release Date: March 2014 | Platforms: PS4, PS Vita, PC, Mac
As its title would imply, Broforce is all about being a bro, and doing explosive bro things in the name of America. This blistering cooperative sidescrolling platformer (or “patriot simulator,” as the developer calls it) is all about destructive environments, devastating weapons, and a cycling roster of playable action heroes, that includes all of the classic 80s and 90s character archetypes that you can think of, from Sylvester Stallone and Chuck Norris, all the way to Mr. T.
Developer: Teku Studios | Release Date: Q4 2014 | Platforms: PS4, Wii U, PC, Mac
Candle is an incredibly whimsical (and hand-painted!) point-and-click adventure game that borrows some light elements from the sidescrolling platforming genre as well. As you might have guessed, the main gameplay component of Candle is, well, a candle, which your character holds throughout the adventure and can use to solve various puzzles along the way. The story of Candle centers around a shaman named Teku, who embarks on a journey to a rival tribe’s camp with a flame in hand.
20. Cornerstone: The Song of Tyrim
Developer: Ascension Games | Release Date: Q4 2014 | Platforms: PC, Mac
Described on its Kickstarter page as “Wind Waker meets Dark Souls,” Cornerstone: The Song of Tryim is certainly a looker, with beautiful cartoony graphics and a sunny island setting that’s just begging to be explored. A 3D open-world platformer, Cornerstone is built on the foundation of Viking folklore, and developer Ascension Games have been focused on using environmental physics and player choices to make the gameplay match the shiny visuals of that idyllic island.
21. Costume Quest 2
Developer: Double Fine | Release Date: Halloween 2014 | Platforms: PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Wii U, PC, Mac
We were huge fans of the first Costume Quest, because really, what’s not to love? You play as little kids trick-or-treating on Halloween, and the different costumes you can wear actually translate into powerful forms during the turn-based battle rounds. The concept itself was genius, and certainly didn’t hurt that the graphics were top-notch and bursting with personality. The upcoming Costume Quest 2 picks up right where the first game’s story (and DLC) left off, promising to push the envelope even further with more costumes, and of course, more candy. It’s also more surprisingly Double Fine’s very first sequel!
22. Crypt of the NecroDancer
Developer: Brace Yourself Games | Release Date: 2014 | Platforms: PC, Mac
Crypt of the NecroDancer is a “hardcore dungeon crawling (roguelike) rhythm” game, with a huge emphasis on the rhythm aspect. And that’s because you’ll be traversing each dungeon and slaying every monster while keeping time with the game’s sprightly soundtrack. Even more exciting is the fact that you can upload your own music to the game and get to fighting alongside your personal custom soundtrack. We don’t know about you, but we’ve always wanted to slay monsters in a dungeon to Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On.”
Developer: StudioMDHR | Release Date: TBA 2015 | Platforms: Xbox One, PC
If you’ve never heard of Cuphead before, one look at the quirky game in action will make you fall in love immediately. That’s because the visuals of Cuphead look exactly like a classic Saturday morning cartoon, bouncing animations and all. And I mean EXACTLY. We’ve heard about retro-inspired games before, but I don’t think we’ve ever seen anything on this same kind of level. It’s basically going to feel like playing a classic cartoon as an action-sidescroller, and I really can’t think of anything that’s more awesome than that.
24. Deck War
Developer: KlickTock | Release Date: TBA 2014 | Platforms: TBA
We have spent countless hours playing the adorable hidden object game Little Things Forever from developer KlickTock, so when we heard that the same team was working on a collectable card battling game called Deck War, we were immediately sold. The game features the same beautiful and cartoony art style that you might recognize from Little Things Forever, with several different themes based on the handful of unique environmental battlegrounds. Players will place their different cards on the board, and then watch their corresponding monsters come to life and fight in the name of the powerful Deckromancer!
25. Dreamfall Chapters: The Longest Journey
Developer: Red Thread Games | Release Date: Fall 2014 | Platforms: PC, Mac, Wii U
Adventure game aficionados should be ecstatic about this one! Dreamfall Chapters: The Longest Journey is the long-awaited sequel to iconic point-and-click adventure games The Longest Journey and Dreamfall, released in 2000 and 2006, respectively. The story of Chapters picks up a year after the conclusion of Dreamfall, and follows main protagonist Zoe Castillo in a sprawling narrative that spans two different parallel universes. The project is also being headed by the writer and director of the previous two games, so rest assured that Chapters will still be The Longest Journey done right.
Let’s continue our list of 101 New & Upcoming Indie Games We’re Excited About with #26-50.
26. Dropsy: A Surreal Exploration
Developer: Jay Tholen | Release Date: October 2014 | Platforms: PC, Mac
Oh Dropsy, you sad and grotesque clown, you. This peculiar adventure game actually started over five years ago as a collaborative effort between forum members on the comedy website Something Awful, with developer Jay Tholen taking it upon himself to combine everyone’s ideas for the game and actually make it a reality. Well now Tholen is hard at work on creating a full-fledged Dropsy adventure, and it’s guaranteed to be just as weird and bizarre as you could possibly imagine a game about a sad clown would be.
Developer: Owlchemy Labs | Release Date: February 2015 | Platforms: PC, Mac
In the upcoming Dyscourse from Owlchemy Labs, players will follow the trials and tribulations of a group of plane crash survivors, as they try and live off the land and learn to coexist with one another until their (hopeful) eventual rescue. The developers of the game liken its choice-based mechanics to Telltale’s The Walking Dead, but with the kind of setting and scenarios that one might find in The Oregon Trail. Let’s just hope that no one dies of dysentery by the end of this thing!
Developer: Pixelopus | Release Date: June 9, 2014 | Platforms: PS4, PS3, PS Vita
Entwined was a big and exciting surprise at this year’s E3, when the game was not only announced during the Sony press briefing, but also released on the very same day! At its core, Entwined is a beautiful and minimalist runner game of sorts, with players controlling two different travelling souls who are endlessly in love: a fish and a bird, each one presented in either stunning blue or orange colors. And while the graphics are probably the most striking thing about Entwined at first glance, the underlying story of love and longing is just as mesmerizing.
29. The Escapists
Developer: Mouldy Toof Studios | Release Date: Q3 2014 | Platforms: PC
The Escapists is the game you wish you had for your Super Nintendo back in the day. After all, the premise is every kid’s Saturday morning daydream: you’ll have to orchestrate and then execute the perfect prison escape with your ragtag band of inmates, all in the glorious sheen of top-down SNES graphics. Better yet, The Escapists is coming from the same minds that brought us 2013’s Spud’s Quest, an addictive homage to The Fantastic Adventures of Dizzy, so we can already tell that it’s going to be a prison break to remember.
30. Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture
Developer: The Chinese Room | Release Date: TBA 2015 | Platforms: PS4
If the actual Rapture has come and gone already, then you obviously haven’t been chosen because you’re still sitting here on earth reading this list. But in the upcoming first-person adventure Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, things might have ended a whole lot differently for you. Billed as a spiritual successor to the atmospheric Dear Esther, the developer plans to build on their past game’s foundations with a larger emphasis on interactive environments. Now, is it too much to ask for Harold Camping to be an unlockable character in the game?
31. Fenix Rage
Developer: Green Lava Studios | Release Date: Q3 2014 | Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Fenix Rage is an “aggravatingly addictive” 2D platformer in the vein of Super Meat Boy, with the same bright colors and the same bang-your-head-against-the-wall difficulty. The game also has a great sense of humor to go along with it, as your primary goal in each level is to reach a tantalizing chocolate chip cookie, because chocolate chip cookies are delicious, after all. Just get ready to die a lot for your treat, as Fenix Rage has some of the most frantic looking bullet-hell levels we’ve ever seen in a platformer today.
Developer: Loveshack Entertainment | Release Date: TBA 2014 | Platforms: iOS, PC, Mac
Games like Framed only come around every so often, and they absolutely change the way we think about an entire art medium: in this case, the art of the comic strip. As the name would suggest, the main gameplay mechanic of Framed actually involves moving and rearranging the literal frames of each narrative comic strip in order to properly line up the events so they make sense or solve a number of creative puzzles. It also certainly doesn’t hurt that the game’s visuals are absolutely stunning as well.
33. The Franz Kafka Videogame
Developer: mif2000 | Release Date: TBA 2014 | Platforms: PC, Mac, iOS, Android
It’s about time that someone made a video game about Franz Kafka, don’t you think? Well, the aptly named The Franz Kafka Videogame is a brand new point-and-click adventure that’s based on several famous Kafka novels and stories, such as “The Metamorphosis”, and the whole thing sounds about as weird as it looks downright fun. And don’t worry, because you can expect to find lots of gorgeous surrealism and logic puzzles throughout. Trust us: this one is shaping up to be very Kafkaesque already.
34. “Game 4”
Developer: The Behemoth | Release Date: TBA | Platforms: Xbox One
Amidst all the excitement of PAX East this year, The Behemoth quietly made an announcement that they were working on a fourth game for Microsoft’s Xbox One. Referred to only as the mysterious “Game 4,” we don’t know anything about what this anticipated indie title might entail, other than a single (and decidedly strange) piece of concept art. But when it’s coming from the guys who brought us Castle Crashers and BattleBlock Theater, then you know it’s going to be something totally awesome.
35. Game of Thrones
Developer: Telltale Games | Release Date: TBA 2014 | Platforms: TBA
What happens when you take one of the most renowned adventure game developers of our time, and have them work with the most acclaimed and prevalent TV and book franchise in recent years? You get something more miraculous than The Wall and dragons put together, that’s what! While we don’t know much about Telltale’s take on Game of Thrones just yet, it’s hard not to be excited about what the studio will be able to achieve with such a powerful and beloved narrative as George R. R. Martin’s epic fantasy.
Developer: Arrowhead Game Studios | Release Date: September 3, 2014 | Platforms: PC
We put many quarters into the old Gauntlet arcade games when we were kids, so we couldn’t have been more excited when Arrowhead Game Studios announced that they were “proudly” bringing the classic hack n’ slash franchise back for the modern gaming generation. Though the game is completely being remade from scratch with stunning new visuals, the upcoming Gauntlet reboot will still retain many of the core features that made the original so great: including an emphasis on looting treasure, the four iconic character classes of Warrior, Valkyrie, Elf, and Wizard, and an option for online or local four-player co-op.
37. Gods Will Be Watching
Developer: Deconstructeam | Release Date: July 24, 2014 | Platforms: PC, Mac, iOS, Android
It’s almost become the norm these days for a point-and-click adventure game to feature moral-based decisions that force the player to really think about their actions. But there are very few of these games that offer the excruciatingly uncomfortable and truly thought-provoking scenarios like Gods Will Be Watching, which the development team describes as “a big game about despair, commitment, and self-justified sacrifices.” The only question that remains is this: what kind of person will you become under the watchful eyes of the gods?
38. Grim Fandango HD
Developer: Double Fine | Release Date: TBA | Platforms: PS4, PS Vita, PC, Mac
Tim Schafer’s beloved 1998 point-and-click adventure game Grim Fandango is one of the best adventure games ever made. Luckily for us, an HD remastering of Grim Fandango was announced at the Sony press conference during this year’s E3, bringing the iconic Manny Calavera to an entirely new generation of adventurers.
39. Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition
Developer: Drinkbox Studios | Release Date: July 2, 2014 | Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Wii U
2013’s Guacamelee! was an incredible game, and not just for its quirky style and graphics, but even more so for its wonderful use of the Metroidvania formula. Now Drinkbox Studios is proving that you can never have too much of a good thing, as the studio is gearing up to rerelease this modern indie classic on current generation consoles with brand new levels and boss fights, as well as all of the previously released DLC already included.
Developer: Honeyslug | Release Date: August 12, 2014 | Platforms: PS4, PS3, PS Vita
Hohokum is a strange beast of a game, but a really beautiful one at that. It’s hard to say what exactly we’ll be doing in this game by the time it rolls out on PlayStation consoles later this summer, other than experience the rich and colorful cartoon worlds and the wacky inhabitants that make up each one. Boasting very few actual objectives other than just enjoying the experience, thanks to designated visual and auditory cues, unique probably isn’t a strong enough word to attach to Hohokum.
41. Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number
Developer: Dennaton Games | Release Date: Q3 2014 | Platforms: PS4, PS3, PS Vita, PC, Mac
Not only was the first Hotline Miami one of the most bloody indie games that we’ve ever had the pleasure of enjoying, but it was also one of the most fun. So it should come as no surprise that this year’s sequel, Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number, promises more of the same frantic top-down action mayhem. But this time around, Dennaton Games has also added a devilish Hard Mode into the mix, just in case you found the act of slaughtering everyone in your path a little too tame.
Developer: Playdead | Release Date: Q1 2015 | Platforms: Xbox One (timed exclusive), Xbox 360
Playdead finally unveiled their next game at E3 this year! Officially titled Inside, the upcoming sidescroller looks like an upgrade from Limbo in almost every sense of the word. It has more colors, more things going on in the background, and more variety to the puzzle-platforming gameplay, such as swimming! Even though Playdead hasn’t revealed the actual plot of Inside just yet, everything about the debut trailer indicates that it will be just as dark and nightmarishly creepy as Limbo was.
43. Invisible, Inc.
Developer: Klei Entertainment | Release Date: TBA 2014 | Platforms: PC
From the minds that brought us the modern cult phenomenon Don’t Starve comes a new game in a different genre: tactical espionage. Invisible, Inc. plays out like XCOM or Omerta: City of Gangsters, but with the emphasis on shady characters and high-tech spy equipment. The developer invites players to help unravel the conspiracy, and the game’s environments look just as devious as they are sure to be complex. Just make sure you don’t accidentally trip any of those laser traps!
44. Kentucky Route Zero – Acts 4 & 5
Developer: Cardboard Computer | Release Date: TBA | Platforms: PC, Mac
We’re not even sure how to put into words what a magical game Kentucky Route Zero is, but it’s certainly one adventure game that you’ll want to experience for yourself. The atmospheric and realist storyline is being played out across a planned five acts, the third of which just debuted a few weeks ago, while the concluding two are still on track to be released in “the next year or so.” There has already been so much groundbreaking material in this game series that it’s hard to imagine what other brilliant happenings will inevitably turn up later on down that long and mysterious road.
Developer: Playables LLC | Release Date: TBA | Platforms: PC, Mac
We’ve been seeing more and more procedurally generated games these days, but a procedurally generated RACING game? Now that’s certainly something new. Krautscape from Playables LLC is a mesmerizing multiplayer racing game where the winding tracks materialize right in front of your vehicle. You’ll careen off the road, only to sport wings and continue on your way by soaring through the gorgeously painted skies. It’s clear that Krautscape is the quintessential racing game for the growing indie generation.
46. Lifeless Planet
Developer: Stage 2 Studios | Release Date: June 6, 2014 (PC) | Platforms: PC, Xbox One
From the very first second we saw Lifeless Planet in action, we instantly wanted to play it. You take on the role of a lone astronaut who must explore the surface of a distant planet in a third-person platforming manner. But as your exploration takes you deeper and deeper beyond the dusty rocks and canyons, you’ll begin to find mysterious structures, and even full-fledged houses just like you would find back on Earth! Lifeless Planet is truly one of the most memorable and captivating indie game experiences that we’ve had in quite some time. Here is our official review.
47. Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime
Developer: Asteroid Base | Release Date: TBA | Platforms: Xbox One, PC, Mac
Ah, love is in the air! Or we guess we should say the far throes of space, as you and your partner find yourself trapped inside a floating Death Star with many alien threats outside trying to destroy you. Luckily, your home base is equipped with all kinds of defenses and little tunnels that help you move from one station to the next with incredible ease. You can work together with your real-life lover in the game’s excellent co-op mode, or if you’re going at it alone then you’ll still have the help of an AI-controlled space pet to keep those intergalactic baddies away from your Death Star.
48. Massive Chalice
Developer: Double Fine | Release Date: September 28, 2014 | Platforms: Xbox One, PC, Mac
Fresh on the heels of a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign, Massive Chalice is an epic tactics game from the creators of Psychonauts and Brutal Legend. With a sweeping narrative that spans several generations of characters and their lore, a permadeath mechanic will really make you grow attached to your warriors as they battle in many bloody confrontations for their kingdom. Massive Chalice will feature two main components: strategy segments and tactics segments, and the game sounds a lot like Stoic’s wonderful Banner Saga, which is only a good thing.
Developer: Team Meat | Release Date: TBA 2014 | Platforms: PC, iOS, Android
We’ve been itching to get our hands on Mew-Genics ever since the lovingly bizarre black and white game was announced, because the self-described “Cat Lady Sim” from Edmund McMillan and Tommy Refenes of Team Meat truly sounds like nothing we’ll have ever experienced before. Basically, the game seems to let you do anything you want with your cluster of kittens, from raising them, to making them battle with each other a la Pokemon games, to even entering them in high-stakes cat pageants.
50. Mighty No. 9
Developer: Comcept | Release Date: April 2015 | Platforms: PS4, PS3, PS Vita, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Wii U, 3DS, PC, Mac
For all intents and purposes, Mighty No. 9 can be seen as a spiritual successor to Mega Man, coming from one of the Blue Bomber’s creators, Keiji Inafune. Reinventing many of the elements made famous in the classic platformers, Mighty No. 9 stars an android protagonist named Beck, who must battle an army of robots called the Mighty Number. The game also surpassed its Kickstarter goal in the span of two days, so there are certainly a lot of old-school gamers out there who are more than a little excited about this one.
We continue on our journey of 101 New and & Upcoming Indie Games We’re Excited About with #51-75.
Developer: Nowhere Studios | Release Date: May 28, 2014 | Platforms: PC, Mac
Monochroma is a self-described cross between Limbo and Ico, and it really doesn’t get any more straightforward than that. The gloomy and shadowy atmosphere of the sidescrolling puzzle-platformer bears a striking resemblance to Playdead’s debut indie hit, while the central gameplay mechanic that has your character carrying his little brother throughout their adventure calls to mind the co-dependent relationship between Ico and Yorda. Throw in some mysterious environments, a minimalist story, and some thrilling chase sequences, and you’ve got one voracious release that would do its inspirations proud.
Developer: Crunching Koalas | Release Date: July 8, 2014 | Platforms: PS4, PS3, PS Vita, PC, Mac
The developers of MouseCraft describe their latest creation as a cross between Tetris and Lemmings, and for all intents and purposes, that’s exactly what it is. Taking place in a sinister scientist cat’s laboratory, players are tasked with strategically dropping a number of Tetromino blocks to ensure the safe travel of their little mice to the fabulous cheese goal. And did we mention that there’s cheese in the game? Because there’s a lot of it. Yum.
53. Murasaki Baby
Developer: Ovosonico | Release Date: September 2014 | Platforms: PS Vita
The PS Vita exclusive Murasaki Baby is one of the darkest and twisted indie games that we’ve come across so far. And we would expect nothing less from the mind of Massimo Guarini, whose past accolades include work on Killer7, No More Heroes, and Shadow of the Damned. In the game, players control a little girl named Baby, who is searching for her mother in a strange and frightening world that is filled with all of the fantasies and fears of children. The spooky art style looks like something straight out of a Jhonen Vasquez comic, as you journey with Baby through all sorts of horrors, forever holding onto a creepy purple balloon.
54. Mushroom 11
Developer: Untame | Release Date: Q4 2014 | Platforms: PC, Mac, iOS
Mushroom 11 is an incredibly original puzzle-platformer that’s set in a post-apocalyptic world, and stars a shape-shifting green blob, or “amorphic organism.” You’ll need to manipulate this organism in various ways in order to solve the game’s many clever environmental puzzles. Mushroom 11 is alreay an award-winning indie title since way back in 2012, winning countless prizes from many different conferences and gaming outlets, so we’re more than a little excited to get our hands on this one when the game is finally released by the end of this year.
Developer: Metanet Software | Release Date: TBA 2014 | Platforms: PS4
N++ is the sequel to the minimalist platforming game N+, which was released for Nintendo DS, PSP, and Xbox Live back in 2008. As evidenced by that second plus sign in its name, N++ will have twice as much exhilarating content as its predecessor, including hundreds of new levels, thrilling multiplayer modes like Race and Deathmatch (in addition to co-op), and a custom level-editor with an option for online level sharing. Platforming doesn’t get more basic than it does here in N++, but the game is setting out to prove that basic can still be a very good (and very infuriating) thing.
56. Never Alone
Developer: Upper One Games | Release Date: Q3 2014 | Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
One of the newer entries on our list, Never Alone is the debut game from Upper One Games. Building on a large foundation of Inupiaq history and folklore, the sidescrolling puzzle-platformer follows the journey of a young Inupiaq girl who must stop a devastating blizzard from wiping out her entire tribe. The game looks like a wintry version of Playdead’s Limbo, but no less hazardous with all of the dangers that wait underneath the snow.
57. No Man’s Sky
Developer: Hello Games | Release Date: TBA | Platforms: PS4, PC, TBD
No Man’s Sky is an upcoming exploration simulation game from the makers of Joe Danger, and it also just so happens to be procedurally generated. Now a lot of times, these first-person exploration games can be kind of hit-or-miss. So it’s a good thing that the visuals in No Man’s Sky are absolutely breathtaking, both colorful and mysterious, with so many enticing areas that are just waiting to be explored. And with an underlying science-fiction theme, we expect a lot of strange happenings will be uncovered before long.
58. Not a Hero
Developer: Roll7 | Release Date: TBA | Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Coming from the creative minds behind acclaimed indie skateboarding hit OlliOlli, Not a Hero is a retro-inspired action game about stopping crime in a bustling city. We had a chance to play this game at PAX East 2014, and even though we couldn’t get very far in the demo stage (there were enemies waiting around every bend to pump us full of pixelated bullets), the devs practically had to tear us away from the controller because the gameplay is just that addicting. Difficult, stylish, and above all else fun, Not a Hero more than delivers on the game design heroics.
59. Nuclear Throne
Developer: Vlambeer | Release Date: TBA | Platform: PC, Mac, PS4, PS3, PS Vita, Xbox One
From the makers of the incredibly well received mobile game Ridiculous Fishing comes a frantic roguelike shooter called Nuclear Throne, with just as much retro-infused style as bullet-hell action gameplay. Your character upgrades in the game will actually come in the form of different mutations to your warriors, such as the devastating shotgun fingers. Featuring destructive environments, dozens of deadly enemies to battle, and slick co-op capabilities, Nuclear Throne could easily become the high-adrenaline Gauntlet of the indie generation.
Developer: Connor Ullmann | Release Date: Late 2014 | Platforms: PC, Mac
Adult Swim Games has been doing a really good job lately of pouncing on the hottest new indie games and publishing them for the masses. Their latest find is Oblitus from developer Connor Ullmann, which reinforces the fact that Adult Swim is becoming a serious contender in the indie game world. And that’s because Oblitus plays as if Dark Souls had been a cartoony 2D sidescroller, and we don’t think we really need to say anything more for you to realize what an awesome combination that makes.
61. Oddworld: New ‘N’ Tasty!
Developer: Just Add Water | Release Date: July 22, 2014 (PSN) | Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, Wii U, PC, Mac
HD remakes are all the rage this season, and while certain remakes of 2012 and 2013 releases are already starting to get a little excessive, we’re glad there’s still a market for shiny new versions of games from the 90s, like 1997’s Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee. While the core sidescrolling and platforming elements of the original game will remain intact, New ‘N’ Tasty reimagines the classic and offbeat adventure for a new 2.5D visual plane.
62. Oliver & Spike: Dimension Jumpers
Developer: Rock Pocket Games | Release Date: TBA | Platforms: PC
We’ll admit, we’d never heard of Oliver & Spike: Dimension Jumpers before we started researching for this list, but now we’re determined to never let it escape us again! And that’s because this colorful third-person open-world platformer game looks exactly like something we would have loved as kids, back in the days of Banjo-Kazooie and Super Mario 64. It’s a good thing we still love those kinds of games even today, because Oliver & Spike could very well be the breath of fresh air that the fading platformer genre so desperately needs.
63. Ori and the Blind Forest
Developer: Moon Studios | Release Date: TBA 2014 | Platforms: Xbox One, PC
One of the newer games on our list, Ori and the Blind Forest was announced during the Microsoft press conference at E3 2014 to a blindingly positive reception. In development for four years now, the game casts players in the role of Ori, a tiny white rabbit, as they jump and solve puzzles across a number of gorgeously painted environments. The gameplay is also said to add elements from Zelda and Metroid into its puzzle repertoire, making it easy to see how this was one of the prettiest surprises on this year’s showroom floor.
Developer: D-Pad Studio | Release Date: TBA | Platforms: PC
We went back and forth a few times about including Owlboy on this list, because it essentially has become the proverbial White Whale of indie games, much in the same way that The Last Guardian has become the White Whale of AAA console games. People have been talking about the release of Owlboy for years now, but it’s been a while since we’ve heard anything substantial, and developer D-Pad has seemingly moved on to other games. But the reason why everyone is so attached to this magical vertical platformer is that Owlboy just looks like pure video game bliss, and so we’re more than willing to keep on waiting for our adventure in the sky.
Developer: Dissident Logic | Release Date: Fall 2014 | Platforms: PS4, PC
Proudly described by its creators as “Super Smash Bros. on crack,” we had a chance to check out the frantic Paperbound at this year’s PAX East and found it to be exactly that. Players will face off against their friends in a number of fast-paced environments contained throughout the pages of a storybook, with your tiny but deadly warriors manipulating gravity to gain the upper edge over their adversaries. This is going to be one indie game that will, quite literally, go down in the history books.
Developer: VisionTrick Media | Release Date: TBA 2014 | Platforms: PS4, PS Vita
Pavilion is extremely unique. And we know you probably hear that about a lot of indie games these days, but this one is so unique that we’re not sure how to even describe it. The developers call the game a “fourth person exploratory experience about guidance, influence, and subliminal control,” and it kind of looks like one of those paintings where all of the staircases lead to everywhere and nowhere all at once. It’s unlikely you’ll be able to forget it after seeing Pavilion in action.
67. Pixel Noir
Developer: SWDTech Games | Release Date: TBA | Platforms: TBA
Pixel Noir is an upcoming JRPG with a 16-bit noir-style presentation, which plays out in the same vein as such classic titles as Earthbound and Chrono Trigger. The story of Pixel Noir involves the player-character, a former detective, revisiting the events of one fateful night in a hospital, which ultimately cost him his career, his sanity, and even his ex-partner’s life. The battling system is also said to feature a “timed hit” mechanic, which JRPG aficionados should recognize very well.
68. Project Totem
Developer: Press Play | Release Date: Q3 2014 | Platforms: Xbox One, Xbox 360
From the same team that brought us the wonderful Max: The Curse of Brotherhood comes Project Totem, a brand new breed of puzzle platformers. In the game, players will control two separate totem pole characters which travel along a colorful sidescrolling plane, but are separated by a horizontal divide across the center of your screen. The challenge comes from managing your characters as both individual pieces and a singular entity at the drop of a hat, and something tells us that the puzzles in this one are going to get truly brain-busting the farther that we go along.
69. Rain World
Developer: Project Rain World | Release Date: Q4 2014 | Platforms: PC, Mac
We’ll just come right out and say it: Rain World is pretty bizarre. But it’s always the most bizarre games that end up being the most fun, so we’re well on board with all of the weirdness that this survival platformer is going to offer. Players will control a “slugcat” character who must run, jump, and climb through a dark industrial world amidst a constantly raining environment. The game looks like something straight out of the mind of Edmund McMillian. We can see the eventual slugcat plush toys now.
Developer: Laura Shigihara | Release Date: TBA 2014 | Platforms: PC
Get some tissues handy, because something tells me that this is going to be another sad one. Rakuen follows the story of a young boy who lives inside of a hospital, and constantly dreams of escaping into his own richly imagined fantasy world. Along his adventure, he begins to meet and interact with the other hospital patients and learn about their own life stories and experiences. The gameplay itself is said to be along the lines of To the Moon or Maniac Mansion, and it comes from Laura Shigihara, who composed the phenomenal Plants vs. Zombies soundtrack.
71. Ray’s the Dead
Developer: Ragtag Studio | Release Date: TBA 2014 | Platforms: PS4, PC, Mac
Ray’s the Dead is an 80’s-inspired zombie game with gorgeous cartoony graphics. You play as Ray, a newly-risen zombie, as you guide him through an action-packed journey that contains both stealth and puzzle elements. But the really interesting thing about Ray’s the Dead is that you’ll even get to experience Ray’s life before becoming a zombie, via playable flashback segments. Loosely described by its creators as “Pikmin meets Stubbs the Zombie,” Ray’s the Dead certainly isn’t your typical zombie game!
72. Return of the Obra Dinn
Developer: Lucas Pope | Release Date: TBA | Platforms: TBA
Lucas Pope’s Papers, Please is a simple, yet emotional game about working as an immigration inspector, which went on to win more indie game awards than we can possibly remember. Needless to say, the announcement of Pope’s next game early this year, Return of the Obra Dinn, was very welcomed in the indie game community. We don’t know all that much about the actual game just yet though, other than the fact that it’s a first-person 3D mystery about exploring an old ship. The graphics are also said to be inspired by those great Mac adventure games of old.
Developer: Tequila Works | Release Date: TBA | Platforms: PS4
There’s not a whole lot that we know about the upcoming PS4 exclusive Rime at this point, other than the fact that the game looks absolutely stunning. Set in a lonely island world where nature is just as much a character as the young man that players control, this third-person adventure looks like a cross between Ico and The Wind Waker, with each sunny and perilous vista even more breathtaking than the last.
Developer: Riot | Release Date: Late 2014 | Platforms: PC, Mac, iOS, Android, OUYA
There have been a lot of different games that strive to simulate very specific things over the years, from pet simulation games, to airplane simulation games, to full-fledged life simulation games. But what about a game that simulates political discontent in the form of civilian riots? Well that’s exactly what the upcoming Riot sets out to achieve. The game is described by its creator as a “playable documentary” that lets you play as both sides of a nationwide struggle using some light real-time strategy elements.
75. Road Not Taken
Developer: Spry Fox | Release Date: August 5, 2014 | Platforms: PS4, PS Vita, PC, Mac
Spry Fox have really been building a reputation for themselves by creating hopelessly addictive video game experiences, and after playing Road Not Taken at PAX East this year, we’d say the team definitely has another magical winner on their hands. Taking the best parts of their perfect puzzler Triple Town and refining the gameplay, the visuals, and the overall story progression to soaring new heights, there’s not a thing about this puzzle game that won’t absolutely captivate you with its wintry charm.
And finally, we complete our list of 101 New & Upcoming Indie Games We’re Excited About with #76-101.
76. Rollers of the Realm
Developer: Phantom Compass | Release Date: Holiday 2014 | Platforms: PS4, PS Vita, PC
Do you like a little pinball gameplay in your RPGs? Then Rollers of the Realm from Phantom Compass is definitely the game for you! Building off the core mechanics of a pinball machine, this unique meshing of genres packs on the fun with a sweeping narrative, upgradable characters, collectable loot, and a story-driven quest line with over 30 levels to complete. When all is said and done, there’s one thing that’s for sure: this isn’t your grandfather’s pinball game!
Developer: Drinkbox Studios | Release Date: TBA 2015 | Platforms: iOS, Android
Severed is the next original game from Drinkbox Studios (of Guacamelee! fame), and it happens to be made for mobile devices with an emphasis on the touchscreen controls. In the game, you play as a mighty warrior, slicing through legions of bad guys and stealing their special powers as your own. But here’s the super cool part about this one: you’ll actually get these enemy powers by severing their limbs and attaching them to your own body. Imagine if those old Mega Man games had been as dark and disturbing as that!
78. Shelter 2
Developer: Might and Delight | Release Date: Q3 2014 | Platforms: PC
2013’s Shelter both surprised and devastated us last year, as the casual life simulation game let us assume the role of a mother badger who is tasked with protecting her young from the dangers of nature. The surprise part came from how moving the game actually was, while the devastation occurred when we happened to lose all of our children to hungry predators in the night. The upcoming Shelter 2 promises to bring more of the same heartfelt gameplay and gorgeous papery graphics, but this time with a mother lynx.
79. Shovel Knight
Developer: Yacht Club Games | Release Date: June 26, 2014 | Platforms: Wii U, 3DS, PC, Mac,
Shovel Knight from Yacht Club Games is a love letter to every kid who grew up playing Mega Man. But while the graphics and soundtrack are very reminiscent of the classic platformer series, there are a lot of new features that make Shovel Knight its own unique beast. Primarily, your hero’s titular shovel, which allows him to execute high-bouncing jumps, as well as dig up hidden secrets in the depths of the earth.
80. Silent Enemy
Developer: Minority | Release Date: TBA 2014 | Platforms: TBA
In Silent Enemy, winter is not only coming, but it’s already been here for a very, very long time: the game takes place in an area known as Permanent Winter, after all. As a result, players will be tasked with traversing the frozen tundra and unravelling a plot with underlying themes of bullying. Anyone who’s played Minority’s previous effort, Papo & Yo, will already know that this studio has a knack for intertwining rich and engrossing gameplay with an absolutely moving narrative that’s full of layered themes.
81. Sir, You Are Being Hunted
Developer: Big Robot Ltd. | Release Date: May 2, 2014 | Platforms: PC, Mac
Sir, You Are Being Hunted is a zany procedural survival game in which players must avoid being hunted in the wild by savvy British hunter robots for sport. Filled with just as much humor as edge-of-your-seat gameplay, you’ll likely never have to survive in such adverse conditions as this. We also don’t think we’ve ever seen a game with such key features as “Relentless Britishness” or “Tea and biscuits,” but we guess there’s always a first time for everything.
82. Snow Siege
Developer: Milkbag Games | Release Date: TBA | Platforms: iOS
Snowball fights just got real. The upcoming Snow Siege from Milkbag Games takes several different gameplay mechanics and fuses them all together to make for one pretty unique snow fort: you’ll find the essence of tower defense, card collecting, and even Tetris among your snowy arsenal here. Players will use the cards they collect to build a sprawling snow fort of blocks in a twisted Tetris fashion, before it’s time to defend the whole thing from the next deadly wave of incoming baddies.
Developer: Frictional Games | Release Date: TBA 2015 | Platforms: PS4, PC, Mac
Who said the horror genre is dead? Survival horror started making its terrifying comeback with a little 2010 indie PC game called Amnesia: The Dark Descent. Now the creators of this fear-filled franchise are bringing the scares below the surface with SOMA, an atmospheric and underwater horror game slated for release in 2015. And if this one ends up being anywhere near as scary as the original Amnesia was, then we don’t think we’ll be going near the water anytime soon.
Developer: Fenix Fire | Release Date: Q3 2015 | Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
We use the word “atmospheric” a lot around here at Den of Geek, but very few games seem to truly capture the pure essence of that word as Source from Fenix Fire. This Metroidvania action adventure game is absolutely stunning to look at, with mesmerizing colors and an ethereal sense of exploration and interacting with friendly and enemy characters. The game’s story is constantly teetering back and forth between the World of Light and the World of Darkness, in order for you to pinpoint where exactly the game world’s source of evil has originated from.
85. Space Pirates and Zombies 2
Developer: MinMax Games | Release Date: Q4 2014 | Platforms: PC, Mac
The original Space Pirates and Zombies (or S.P.A.Z. for short) was probably one of the greatest indie games you’ve never heard of. The high-tech space adventure managed to combine such diverse elements as real-time strategy, RPG, and top-down shooting to create a game that was truly like no other. Now, with the upcoming sequel, players can expect to find new time-sensitive mission scenarios, randomly generated parts for your ships, and expansive multiplayer and cooperative modes.
86. Spoiler Alert
Developer: Megafuzz | Release Date: June 30, 2014 | Platforms: PC, iOS, Android
It seems these days you can hardly discuss anything anymore on the internet without someone yelling about being accidentally spoiled. Well in that regard, Spoiler Alert employs one of the cleverest concepts we can think of: a 2D sidescrolling platformer that starts with its ending, and then literally moves backwards until you reach the adventure’s beginning. It’s certainly going to be a fun, and potentially frustrating challenge to play an entire platformer while having to do everything in reverse. We just better get no comments about spoiling anything when the time comes to write our review!
Developer: The Brotherhood | Release Date: Q4 2014 | Platforms: PC, Mac
While there’s no question that the horror genre has been making a triumphant comeback over the last few years, most of the new horror games on the market are played from a first-person perspective. Stasis is an upcoming horror game that takes on a 2D isometric point of view, and proves that point-and-click adventures can pack on the terrifying scares, too. With an unnerving sci-fi storyline and atmosphere about horrific experiments and research gone wrong, you’ll never think about desolate spacecrafts the same way again.
88. Super Meat Boy Mobile
Developer: Team Meat | Release Date: TBA | Platforms: iOS
There are two things we know about Super Meat Boy on mobile devices right now: that the game is actually happening, but that it’s also been put on the backburner for the indefinite future until Team Meat finishes their work on Mew-Genics. But when Meat Boy and friends do eventually blast their way onto the mobile screen, it will be interesting to see how the notorious platformer translates to touchscreen controls, and what kind of tongue-in-cheek commentary creators Edmund McMillan and Tommy Refenes will offer on the topic of mobile microtransactions.
89. Super Roman Conquest
Developer: Seacliff Interactive | Release Date: Fall 2014 | Platforms: PC, Mac
When playing a game about Rome, do as the tiny pixelated Romans do. Super Roman Conquest is an action-packed strategy game that’s placed on a sidescrolling plane with multiple different layers. Players will command their tiny units to do battle across a number of vibrant landscapes, where both weather and seasons will play a huge impact on how you plan and execute your tactics. The units themselves are all based on historical warrior classes as well, like centurions, archers, cavalry, and engineers.
90. Super Time Force
Developer: Capybara Games | Release Date: May 14, 2014 | Platforms: Xbox One, Xbox 360
In many ways, Super Time Force is the game you wish you had back when you were a kid. A blistering sidescroller shooter that could give Metal Slug and Contra a run for their money, the game is wonderfully retro in both its visuals and design. You’ll play as a slew of bite-sized action heroes who go back in time to try and prevent the dinosaurs from being extinct, among other zany missions. But the real fun comes from your ability to manipulate time as you play, by either slowing things down or rewinding them entirely after an untimely demise.
91. Swords & Soldiers II
Developer: Ronimo Games | Release Date: TBA | Platforms: Wii U
Another pleasant surprise we came across at this year’s PAX East was the sequel to Ronimo Games’ Swords & Soldiers, debuting exclusively on the Wii U. At its core, Swords & Soldiers II is a real-time strategy game, but all of the action plays out on a sidescrolling plane. There is also a wonderful sense of humor instilled throughout the experience, from the funny character designs themselves to how your units function and attack. This is definitely one you’ll want to add to your Nintendo library soon.
92. Tales from the Borderlands
Developer: Telltale Games | Release Date: TBA 2014 | Platforms: Xbox One, PS4, Xbox 360, PS3, PS Vita, PC, Mac
The masterminds behind The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us managed to turn a few heads recently, after it was announced that Telltale Games would be bringing their stylistic blend of point-and-click adventure gameplay to the zany world of Gearbox’s Borderlands series. While it might seem like a strange pairing at first glance, everything we’ve seen of the upcoming Tales from the Borderlands so far looks all kinds of awesome, as Telltale has not only captured the unique cel-shaded visuals of the action-packed series, but the ridiculous and over-the-top humor as well.
93. The Talos Principle
Developer: Croteam | Release Date: Fall 2014 | Platforms: PS4, PC, Mac
The Talos Principle from developer Croteam bears a strong resemblance to games like Portal and The Witness, as a first-person adventure game with an emphasis on puzzles. In fact, there are a lot of puzzles: laser puzzles, to be exact. Players will journey through a rich and wonderful world, solving countless lasers puzzles by maneuvering different blocks to some extent. But if my instincts are correct, then there’s going to be a larger mystery that will begin to unfold in this spellbinding world the more puzzles that we solve.
94. That Dragon, Cancer
Developer: Ryan and Amy Green | Release Date: TBA | Platforms: PC, OUYA
That Dragon, Cancer will likely be one of the most painfully emotional adventure games you’ll ever play. More of an experience rather than a game in the traditional sense, the upcoming indie title is based on the life of creator Ryan Green and his wife Amy, who lost their 4-year-old son Joel to cancer during the actual development of the project. Juggling topics like hope and despair, That Dragon, Cancer offers a glimpse into the life of a parent who is faced with caring for his/her dying child, and all the other feelings that inevitably crop up in between.
95. Titan Souls
Developer: ClawMark | Release Date: Q1 2015 | Platforms: PS4, PS Vita
Titan Souls is a top-down combination of Dark Souls and Shadow of the Colossus, which are incidentally probably two of our favorite games of all time. In this game, you’ll place as a small archer who has to face terrifying boss monsters and take them all down, one at a time. Much like its inspirations, Titan Souls requires the utmost precision and caution in order to actually slay your foes through trial, error, and of course, death, and the open game world invites just as much mystery and hidden lore as any Team Ico game.
Developer: Supergiant Games | Release Date: May 20, 2014 | Platforms: PS4, PC
Transistor is the second release from Supergiant Games, who brought us the surprise hit Bastion in 2011, and proceeded to scoop up countless game of the year accolades. Now with Transistor, the developer has fine-tuned their stylized roguelike gameplay even further, as they weave a complex narrative about a character named Red who falls into the possession of an all-powerful weapon. Games like Transistor show the true force of indie games in today’s rapidly evolving industry, with its jazzy presentation and snappy gameplay to match.
97. Vertiginous Golf
Developer: Surprise Attack Games | Release Date: TBA | Platforms: PC
If the phrase “BioShock meets mini-golf” comes as a surprise to you, then you’re not the only one. But that’s exactly what Vertiginous Golf from Surprise Attack Games looks like (“vertiginous” means “inducing vertigo due to extreme heights”). The steam punk golfing adventure is incredibly creative, and very mechanical in its gameplay design. What other golfing game out there features a mechanical hummingbird sidekick that helps you plot out each course before you even swing your putter?
98. Wayward Manor
Developer: The Odd Gentlemen | Release Date: July 15, 2014 | Platforms: PC, Mac
Fans of The Sandman should start getting pretty stoked about this one, because it is acclaimed author Neil Gaiman’s very first foray into the world of video games. Gaiman himself has penned the eccentric ghost story narrative, and enlisted the help of The Odd Gentlemen to handle the development. Players are tasked with solving numerous puzzles inside of a spooky mansion, which is filled with a peculiar cast of characters that one would only expect to come from the mind of a fantasy master.
99. White Night
Developer: OSome Studio | Release Date: TBA 2014 | Platforms: PC, Mac
Inspired by the first Alone in the Dark game, as well as the cinematic overtures from an Alfred Hitchcock film, White Night is a haunting first-person survival horror game that’s told in sharp black and white visuals. Exploring such themes as physiological horror and melancholy, the game is an amalgam of many storytelling devices that you would find in literature or film. The visual style is certainly striking, and it only reinforces the fact that those old black and white horror movies will always be scarier than ones in color.
100. Whoa Dave!
Developer: Gaijin Games | Release Date: TBA | Platforms: iOS, Android, OUYA
This is another game we were able to go hands-on with at this year’s PAX East. If we had to make a comparison, we’d say that the quirky Whoa Dave! from Gaijin Games is roughly like Bubble Bobble on crack. The game is wonderfully addictive, sports some gorgeous retro graphics, and like any of its old-school inspirations, features an excruciating difficultly that makes it impossible to pull yourself away from this little action gem.
101. The Witness
Developer: Thekla, Inc. | Release Date: TBA 2014 | Platforms: PS4, PC, iOS
There are very few other indie games on this list that are as highly anticipated as The Witness, the next game from Braid mastermind Jonathan Blow. In this incredibly mysterious first-person puzzle adventure, players will travel around a gorgeous island solving hundreds of door puzzles and trying to unravel just exactly what is going on in the ethereal game world. The game’s visuals already look stunning in their own right, and knowing Blow’s intricate methods of storytelling in Braid, there are sure to be countless layers of depth and mysteries to uncover when all is said and done.
Are you excited about one or more games on this list? Did we miss one? The list of indie games is constantly growing, and we would love to hear more about the games you love in the comments section!