When it comes to PC gaming, the real gems lie in the treasure chest of thousands of indie games made by all sorts of talented developers across the world. Thanks to platforms like Steam and GOG, indie games have really taken off in recent years. And so to that end, in this piece we list 10 of the best indie games that we think you absolutely need to try. Almost certainly many titles will be left out, and we aim to cover most in time. Lastly, please note when we say indie, games like the Witcher 3 are technically also indie but considering that it has a development cycle of nearly 4-5 years and a decent budget, we’ll leave popular ones like that out of the list.
10 Best Indie Games
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, Macintosh operating systems, Linux.
Firewatch by Campo Santo is perhaps one of the best indie games out there. A story rich walking simulator at heart, it follows a guy undergoing a mid-life crisis. Instead of facing the problem head on, he decides to take a break and applies for a job as a forest lookout. After getting it, he and his (rather charismatic) supervisor run into all sorts of unexpected happenings in the forest, from drunk teens to dead bodies. Along the way, two get closer and amid harmless flirting they share their own burdens with each other in hopes of strengthening their individual resolves in the process. At first glance, Firewatch may seem a bit dull, but thanks to truly charming characters and a strong narrative, it’s one game that stays on your mind for quite a while.
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
Platforms: Microsoft Windows.
You don’t see a lot of good resource building, management simulators these days other than the already popular Civ and a few other staple franchises. Frostpunk seeks to address that. Following the apocalypse and the widely used end of the world theme, Frostpunk is set in a frozen unforgiving environment where the player character is the mayor of his community. Your job is to keep the community fed and warm amid the tundra climate, building settlements, medical posts, food posts, all the while managing important resources like coal, wood and food. Some unexpected challenges also rise along the way such as paranoia and panic, common during tough times. This makes for a difficult, yet immersive simulator, every fan of the genre absolutely needs to try.
Kingdom Come Deliverance
Divinity Original Sin II
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows.
Echo is a unique stealth based sci-fi game. The enemies in this indie are your own reflections, or echos that take after your play style. Set in a castle spread across a whole planet, your primary objective is to revive a friend, “who shouldn’t have died”. Rest assured that proves to be a most challenging task. Navigating through mazes and fighting your own clones with an approach identical to yours is how you’ll spend most time in Echo. The AI in this game is a first of it’s kind and takes a while to get used to. Brute force is something that simply doesn’t work here, as the enemies adapt to your actions, so careful thinking goes a long way.
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, Linux, Macintosh operating systems.
Valley is another unique indie game. The player character sets out in search of something similar to the Apple of Eden that grants eternal life. However, when you reach the designated island, you are graced by remnants of a civilization long gone. With the help of a LEAF suit your goal is to find the source of the power that makes the island full of awe and wonder. Valley is a calming walking simulator, with a bit of fast paced parkour and pretty visuals. You get the ability to take or give life to the flora and fauna, and you gain and loose energy accordingly. However, whenever you die, the Valley around you does too and to avoid the game from getting over you have to make sure the entire Valley doesn’t fade away. This can be done by, “giving back the life you once took”. Sounds rather poetic doesn’t it? Well, everything aside, Valley is a really calming experience.
Hate walking simulators… And First-Person “can’t-fight-back” horror walking simulators… They are not games, even, they are just… walking simulators, man, come on…