The indie gaming scene has exploded in recent years due the embrace of release platforms such as Steam, Xbox Live Arcade, Playstation Network and even the Nintendo Network. As a result of this more smaller developers than ever before are getting to express their ideas and creativity, by releasing their work onto the big stage for all to see. Platforms such as Indiegogo and Kickstarter are providing crowd-funding opportunities to developers who may not have had the clout of more renowned developers allowing them to get mass exposure and making their projects a reality. As sheer coincidence this nearly all of this list is made up of games that have made their debuts via the crowd-funding pathway. It is by no means the only path but those titles listed have made a significant impact on the gamers and received significant support. We can’t wait for these titles to finally release but for now, enjoy our list of Ten Indie titles you should be anticipating.
Mighty No. 9 (PC, PS3, PS4, PS Vita, Xbox360, Xbox One, 3DS and Wii U)
Certainly the least “indie” of all the games on this list because it is in actual fact the work of Keiji Inafune, the man behind the ‘Megaman’ series, but The ‘Mighty No. 9’ sees Inafune having left Capcom embarking on his own independent development journey. There are some striking similarities between The ‘Mighty No. 9’ and Inafune’s work on the ‘Megaman’ series, but do not be mistaken, the over $4million pledged towards this project on Kickstarter will be well worth it to play another one of Inafune’s 2D platforming spectaculars. The game has a projected release date of April 2015, so it’s a long wait ahead but for more info see the video below.
Ghost of a Tale (PC)
The only game on this list stemming from the Indiegogo platform is ‘Ghost of a Tale’. The lead man behind the project is Lionel Gallat, a man with decades of experience working for Dreamworks on films such as Shark Tale, Sinbad and Spirit but is now trying his hand in the art of game development. Even in its early Alpha phase the game looks pretty but it also evokes elements of both ‘The Legend of Zelda’ series as well as the ‘Souls’ series. The game has a projected release date of June 2014 and to see a little of what the game is about check out the video below.
Below (Xbox One)
Capybara Games have had some experience in the industry but most definitely encapsulate what it means to be an indie developer with games such as ‘Sword & Sorcery EP’ and ‘Super Time Force’. Now their latest project ‘Below’ is on the way to next gen systems and Microsoft has swooped making it an Xbox One exclusive. In this top down world the player character is a “tiny warrior exploring the depths of a remote island”. The game is about exploration, though that goal is contingent upon the character’s survival. For more info see this trailer below (snigger) and await its release in 2014.
Two Brothers (PC, Xbox360, PS3, Wii U)
Not to be confused with the recently released ‘Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons’ comes this next indie darling ‘Two Brothers’. The action/adventure/RPG in the vein of Secret of Mana has been developed with an old school Gameboy visual design as the games heroes quest for colour. The game comes out October 15th for PC owners while Xbox 360 fans (and apparently PS3 fans too) you will have to wait a bit longer. No real secrets here so check out the video below and grab it on October 15 PC owners.
Hyper Light Drifter (PC, PS Vita, PS4)
‘Hyper Light Drifter’ is an Action RPG inspired by 8 and 16 bit classics. The game looks slick, stylish and incredibly immersive and we cannot get enough of it. Drifters are collectors of forgotten knowledge, lost technology and broken histories but the Drifter you will be playing as has been struck down by disease and your journey revolves around travelling through time to find the cure. Support for the game has been phenomenal and you can expect to get your hands on it at the projected release date of June 2014.
Project Phoenix (PC, PS Vita, PS4)
Similar to ‘Mighty No. 9’ ‘Project Phoenix’ has some all-star talent behind it. Names such as Hiroaki Yura, Australia’s Vaughn Smith, and the world renowned Nobuo Uematsu lead an incredible development team on this squad based RTS with heavy JRPG and Western developer influences. Very little about the project is known so far but with a team behind it of this calibre then only great things can be expected. To get a little more insight into the project check out this video here ahead of its projected (but likely delayed) March 2015 release.
Soul Saga (PC, PS Vita, PS4, Wii U)
While ‘Project Phoenix’ is being developed by a number of champions of the JRPG genre, ‘Soul Saga’ is being developed by a team inspired the games those developers have created in the past. It unashamedly takes influence from titles such as ‘Final Fantasy’, ‘Suikoden’ and’Breath of Fire’ as the team at DisasterCake aim to create. The developers aim to fashion ‘Soul Saga’ into a game that encapsulates the best elements of these franchises and become a popular JRPG franchise in its own right. For more details ahead of the projected July 2014 release date take a look at the trailer below.
Shovel Knight (PC, 3DS, Wii U)
For starters – ‘Shovel Knight’ is running a bit late due to the extras packed in as a result of all the Kickstarter support and stretch goals added as a result of this, but the game is coming along swimmingly and appears to be channeling some of the best elements of classic action games with a retro 8 bit aesthetic. The game harnesses fundamentals from ‘Megaman’, ‘Castlevania’ and ‘Dark Souls’ as you (Shovel Knight) journey to bring down the Enchantress and rescue your beloved. There is a lot to like from the impressive gameplay, gorgeous 8 bit visuals and catchy tunes to be sure to check out this trailer ahead of its upcoming release (whenever that now is).
Next up is ‘Rime’ and we unfortunately do not know a great deal about the game yet due to Sony and developer Tequila Works keeping things tightly under wraps, but from what the one trailer we’ve seen indicates is that the PS4 is getting an absolutely gorgeous game here if nothing else. What we do take from the trailer is that it appears to be filling a void currently left by Team ICO and their lack of recent work with a world packed with life and emotion despite little to know dialogue. An impressive looking title that we can’t wait to learn more about, check out ‘Rime’ in the link below.
A Hat in Time (PC, Wii U)
Honestly, ‘A Hat in Time’ is our personal favourite of the list here at AMH and its simply due to the influences they’re taking inspiration from. ‘Banjo-Kazooie’ and ‘Super Mario 64’ almost immediately spring to mind as you watch the gameplay, while the artistic style of ‘The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker’ shines through every pore of the game. You will play adorable female protagonist Hat Kid, a time traveller wanting to save the universe from Mustache Girl who wants to use her time travel abilities for evil. The game has a projected release date of February 2014 so get excited 3D platformer fans!
Do not fret if the indie game you’re loving has not appeared, the indie market has exploded in recent years making the selection of even ten titles an extremely hard one, but here these titles we believe require your attention perhaps more than many others and we cannot wait to see more of them.
If there is a game you feel we’ve neglected then we would love to hear about it, feel free to post in the comments below and if you’re an indie developer looking for a bit of exposure, we would love to see what you’re working on!