Underrated Indie Titles Every Gamer Should Play
These days, there are tons of great AAA titles released every year from big publishers and well-known developers. This gives gamers tons of choices for big budget entertainment. That said, the growing indie scene offers gamers a wealth of titles to choose from, some of which manage to outperform even the most successful studios.
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The indie scene is now massive, thanks to a slew of launchers and programs that allow budding game designers to produce content on a semi-level playing field with pre-established developers. Useful programs like Steam Greenlight allow gamers to produce promising titles which they can then release to the general public. But with so many indie games released each year, gamers can miss out on some truly fantastic titles amid the sea of game choices. Here’s a look at some of the best “underrated” or “underrated” indie games.
Teleglitch is proof that a game doesn’t have to look like a meticulously crafted visual spectacle to be an amazing adventure. Those looking for something really challenging that will test their top-down, arcade-style shooter skills will definitely want to give this indie gem a try.
The gritty game world is stark and pixelated, but exudes a distinct flair that will have players hooked as they navigate the hallways of each level, using whatever weapons they find to survive an onslaught of enemies. Teleglitch is an absolute pleasure to play and players will come back for more thanks to its random runs.
Tiny Barbarian DX
Those looking for something with a 90s feel should turn their attention to Tiny Barbarian DX. Developer StarQuail has gone to great lengths to create a pixelated, side-scrolling adventure that looks and feels like the retro releases it draws inspiration from. The end result is a beautifully crafted platformer action game that feels like a mix between Mega Man and Castlevania.
All of this action (and challenge) is underscored by an incredibly hyped soundtrack that beautifully modernizes traditional SNES-era sounds with great chiptune-style songs. The title is also filled with satisfying bosses and should be a lot of fun for platformers.
Some of the best RPG and strategy releases that have popped up in recent years have come from the indie market. A good example is UnderRail, a retro pixelated version that exudes a style similar to game franchises like Fallout and Metro. The post-apocalyptic survival story is set in a world where humans have been forced to live underground, using a mass transit system to get from place to place.
RPG fans will appreciate the deep character leveling, and strategy fans will love the turn-based combat.
There are plenty of wacky golf-inspired games that attempt to mix up the traditional formula and present players with a truly thrilling golfing experience. Many of these releases focus on weird mechanics and weird physics, but Golf Story takes things in a different direction by infusing true adventure into its gameplay.
Players who enjoy wild and wacky storylines, mini-golf-like gameplay, and an interesting story should be instantly drawn into the world of Golf Story. The gameplay is fun on its own, but what really shines is the overarching story which sees players traveling from place to place, solving problems, mysteries and a wide range of other quests based on the story.
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Ever since the release of Dark Souls, some players have struggled to get the most punishment out of their games. All joking aside, there’s something incredibly enjoyable about diving into a difficult build and using general skills and knowledge about the game to conquer whatever evils therein.
Those who want a real challenge can load up Rain World, a seemingly innocent game that quickly turns into one of the most difficult puzzle-solving and platforming adventures ever made. The cute protagonist will lull players into a false sense of security as they find themselves fleeing deadly storms, trying to outsmart powerful predators and doing everything in their power to survive the harsh world around them.
Large companies need to be careful with the content they produce, as they have large amounts of overhead that must be considered when creating their games. This means that they usually have to stick to some type of formula or “play it safe” to avoid losing tons of money on a less than stellar release.
Indie games don’t usually suffer from the same problem, allowing players to try out some truly unique mechanics. Wandersong is a great example of this, as players will lay down their weapons and instead use their singing voice through a note-based music system to clear glitches, defeat bosses, and solve puzzles. It’s incredibly different from most other games on the market and it’s a must-watch for that reason alone.
Those who want a bit of horror infused into their indie release should check out Pony Island. Although the name doesn’t scream “scary game”, players will soon find themselves fighting for their lives against a sinister arcade machine that isn’t afraid to break through the fourth wall to give its players a good scare.
While not as scary as many of the more terrifying indie games, Pony Island is a truly engaging experience that will keep players on the edge of their seat as they try to survive a rather chaotic adventure filled with horror, humor and entertaining game sequences.