Every year, among all the big-budget games from well-recognized studios, there are always a few hidden Indie gems that slip through the cracks and leave a lasting impression on us which very few better, more prominent gaming companies manage to do.
Indie games may not come across as very graphically striking to most gamers, but that is not the primary reason why most gamers play indie games in the first place anyway.
What indie games lack in terms of visual quality as compared to AAA games, they make up for it by being more versatile, having more features and functionalities, and adding more soul into their games as well, which connect with their audiences much better.
Indie games are almost always comparatively cheaper than their popular, established gaming counterparts, too, and more importantly, one also does not need a super high-end gaming setup to play them.
So if you’re either a seasoned indie games player looking for something new to try or someone just looking to enter the indie gaming scene for the first time, here’s a list of the best Indie games to play which you’ll surely find informative.
Best Indie Games To Play
1. Terra Nil
|Platform||Android, iOS, Linux, PC, and Mac Operating Systems|
|Genre||Strategy, Puzzle, City builder, Casual.|
|Release Date||28th March 2023|
Starting with the first game on our list, it is a hybrid between a city builder and a strategy game. Technically it comes under the city-builder genre, but in reality, it is actually much more diverse than that.
In Terra Nil, instead of building skyscrapers high into the sky and constructing roads as far as the eye can see as we see usually done in games like Cities: Skylines, Anno 1800, etc., players are tasked with transforming procedurally generated barren, lifeless pieces of wasteland and oceans into clean, lush, green & vibrant landscapes with the help of powerful machines and advanced eco-technologies to aid both the land and marine ecosystem to return to its former glory and thrive, and then disappear without leaving a trace as if they were never there.
Check out the game’s official website to know more about it.
2. Dave The Diver
|Platform||Mac OS, PC, and Mac Operating Systems|
|Genre||Adventure, RPG, Simulation, Fishing.|
|Release Date||28th June 2023|
The second indie game on our list is a unique hybrid pixel-art game, which is a mix between a scuba diving fishing game and a full-fledged restaurant simulator. The early access version of the game was released on 27th October 2022.
In this single-player, 3-D game players take control of a retired scuba diver named Dave, who is enticed to come out of retirement by his close associate Cobra to not only return to scuba diving but also to run and manage a full-fledged restaurant business, to be more precise, a sushi bar alongside an arrogant yet skillful chef called Bancho, who also happens to be the owner of the Sushi bar itself.
The gameplay loop of the game is relatively straightforward but extremely addictive. Players will have to dive deep into a procedurally generated blue hole during the daytime and catch diverse varieties of seafood like trout, jellyfish, starfish, sharks, etc., and harvest coastal plants like agar and kelp.
Apart from fish and plants, players will also be tasked to retrieve unknown lost treasures from the bottom of the ocean like monuments belonging to an ancient underwater civilization, do interesting quests for numerous NPCs, and much more.
But that is not all; during the evenings however, players will be given the opportunity to manage a full-fledged sushi bar to make money, which will thereby enable the players to invest in better gear moving forwards, to help in diving deeper into the blue hole for rarer varieties of goodies.
Check out MINTROCKET’S official website to know more about the game.
Like games like these? Check out our list of some other top pixel-art games of all time to play in 2023.
|Developer||Black Salt Games|
|Platform||Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S & Xbox One|
|Genre||Adventure, Open World, RPG, Fishing, Psychological Horror.|
|Release Date||30th March 2023|
Moving on to the next game on our list is another uniquely designed work. It is a stylized single-player fishing with a psychological horror backdrop smartly integrated into it. It has received overwhelmingly positive reviews on popular platforms like Steam since its release this year.
In Dredge, players are given the responsibility to take control of and manage a fishing trawler while traversing through a rich and diverse archipelago called the ‘The Marrows’ in the hope of not only catching fresh fish to sell, by which players will be able to upgrade their trawler in many unique ways.
Additionally, players will also meet and interact with numerous unique inhabitants while visiting various smaller isles situated around the game’s world, to complete quests to unlock strange new abilities and to unearth a variety of hidden treasures from the sea as well, with each of the hidden treasures and secrets coming with their own psychological twists along with all the riches they bring.
For a successful trip through the archipelago though, players will have to be mindful of the fact that exploring the seas during the nighttime comes with its very own unique challenges and dangers which the players might have to encounter if they are unlucky enough to be found stranded in the middle of the sea in pitch black darkness, surrounded by thick, dense fog.
Are you into horror games? Take a look at our list of top horror games, which will keep you up all night.
|Developer||Unknown Worlds Entertainment|
|Platform||PC, macOS, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, |
|Release Date||23 January 2018|
The next game on our list is an action-adventure game in which players control a ‘non-essential system maintenance chief’ called Ryley Robinson a.k.a ‘The Janitor’, who crash-lands on a water-based planet aboard a spaceship known as the ‘Aurora’, and must now devise a plan to escape this aquaplanet.
In this game, players will explore the vast and diverse oceanic ecosystem of this new aquatic world, survive the various local water-based flora and fauna, and harvest basic and rare resources to craft better gear, equipment, and structures, to ultimately aid them in their quest to escape this alien planet alive.
The game offers players 4 different difficulty modes to choose from when starting a new game, like the survival mode, the freedom mode, a hardcore mode, and lastly, a creative mode, to let them decide for themselves what kind of experience they are looking from this game.
For example, in the first mode, the Survival mode, players must deal with real-life elements like health, hunger, oxygen, and thirst. On dying, players will respawn at the closet savepoint but they will lose certain items from their inventories. On the other hand, in the freedom mode, players have complete freedom to approach the game in any way they see fit, but without the added pressure of painting hunger and thirst.
5. Lies Of P
|Platform||Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S & Xbox One.|
|Genre||Action, Adventure, Souls-like, Dark Fantasy, RPG.|
|Release Date||19th September 2023|
The next game on our list is by a well-known developer looking to try something different by giving the story of a central character in a classic Italian children’s novel a unique soul-like genre twist.
Set in the Belle Epoque Era, Life of P is a third-person action game in which players will take control of a puppet named Pinocchio, who has to hack and slash his way through a wide variety of imposing enemies like industrial-era-themed humanoids and automatons, as he makes his way through the once beautiful city of Krat, which had now been corrupted by lies, deceit, and blood lust.
For players familiar with souls-like games, the game follows a similar trend to popular games like dark souls and Elden Ring, where players encounter numerous varieties of enemies, each with their own strengths and weaknesses.
Players will look to dominate and destroy the various enemy types with incredible mastery by utilizing not only the relatively large variety of abilities they will acquire over the course of the game but also with the help of brutal weapon combinations that suit their playstyles the best.
If you are interested in knowing more about the game and are also looking to pre-order it, here is the game’s official website.
6. Mineko’s Night Market
|Platform||Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 5 & Mac Operating Systems|
|Genre||Adventure, Casual, Indie, Simulation.|
|Release Date||26th September 2023.|
The next game on our list is a very relaxing and cute-looking 3-D indie game that celebrates Japanese culture by telling a story about friendship and tradition, all while allowing the players to pet an unusually large number of cats, too!
Players will play as Mineko, a curious little girl who has just moved into her new home situated at the foothills of Mt. Fugu and it is through her that a struggling Japanese village, which is also located on the same island, will return to its glory days once again.
Players can participate in many activities such as selling things in the weekly night market, crafting items with materials found across the island, solving various puzzles, evading not-so-friendly agents, bartering with local townsfolk, etc.
The game also has a four-season cycle engine in place for players to freely explore and experience the various spots on the islands during different seasons.
Speaking about the weekly night market, it is not only for selling things, as players can also play and compete in various events like cat racing, themed parades, and stage performances.
Interested in this game? Check out their official website to know more.
Looking to play more games like this? Check out our list of other top relaxing games to play.
7. Forever Skies
|Developer||Far From Home|
|Platform||Linux, PC, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X and Series S|
|Genre||Survival, Base-building, Adventure, Sci-fi, Action.|
|Release Date||22nd June 2023|
Moving on to the next game on our list is a post-apocalyptic, first-person, action-survival game in which players will control a futuristic scavenger who has come back to Earth hundreds of years after humans abandoned it due to the planet being ravaged by a global ecological disaster, covering the earth’s surface with an extremely dense and harmful blanket of toxic dust.
Players will have an advanced airship at their disposal, which they must maintain and enhance for the best chance of survival.
Players will also have to utilize futuristic scientific knowledge which humans have developed and perfected over the years to build and craft various weapons, tools, and machines to help them survive longer in this toxic world.
Analyse and reverse engineer technology to find newer ways to enhance your chances of survival like learning to grow food and craft even more advanced tools.
Players will also have to face off against evolved fauna and flora when going down below the toxic dust to the earth’s surface, all while hunting for viral pathogens to cure a mysterious sickness threatening the character’s family.
Although the game does not have an official website of its own, you can instead check out and follow its official Twitter Page for more details regarding the game.
If you enjoy games like this one, check out our other top survival games to play.
|Developer||Un Je Ne Sais Quoi, Umanimation, Focus Entertainment|
|Platform||PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S|
|Release Date||13 June 2023|
The next game on our list is a puzzle-based adventure game in which players will take on the role of a woman called Mimi, as she travels to the city of Dordogne, sometime in 2002, after her grandmother Nora’s demise. On revisiting the place, all her childhood memories spent with her grandmother come flooding back to her, one fragment at a time.
In this game, players will play as Mimi and take part in puzzles and mini-games to help her recollect all the loving memories she spent with her grandmother Nora in her pre-teen years in the 1980s.
Apart from the heartfelt story and entertaining mini-games and puzzles, the most impressive aspect of this game was most definitely its jaw-dropping art style. What made this fact even more impressive was that all of it was completely hand-drawn using vibrant watercolors.
Moreover, on completing the various puzzles and doing other in-game activities, players will also inevitably collect some of Mimi’s childhood moments, which she can use to update her very own scrapbook to keep track of all her collected memories.
|Developer||Sad Owl Studios|
|Platform||18th July 2023|
|Genre||Puzzle, Adventure, Exploration.|
|Release Date||18th July, 2023|
The next game on our list is a very uniquely stylized, single-player, first-person 3-D platformer in which players will use photographs, sketches, paintings, postcards, and more to bring the world around them alive and make previously seemingly inaccessible places and locations found while exploring, accessible again.
This game does not have a designated story or plot to it, so the experiences and stories that players face will be totally player driven.
If a player wishes only to explore or solve puzzles, they are free to do so for as long as they like, granting them complete creative freedom because as mentioned earlier, the game’s narrative is completely player driven.
The game looks interesting? Check out Sad Owl Studio’s official website to learn more about it.
10. Manor Lords
|Genre||Strategy, City-builder, Simulation.|
The next game on our list is a strategy cum city-builder in which players take control of a medieval lord and will have to oversee the growth and eventual rise of their kingdom.
In this game, like most popular city-builder games came which before, players will have to manage key aspects like utilizing an in-depth city-builder to construct their preferred settlement, take part and control soldiers in real-time large-scale tactical battles or use the game’s robust diplomacy system to avoid battles altogether.
Players will also have to farm crops to boost the complex economy of their kingdom, carefully manage various kinds of social simulations, etc., to ultimately erect a bustling, thriving city from a small settlement and leave behind a legacy that will stand the test of time and will outlast all other rival lords you share the world with.
As for the graphics, the world of Manor Lords is completely handcrafted by skilled and passionate professionals, and experiencing the diverse and expansive in different seasons is a sight to behold for even the most seasoned players.
Here is the game’s official website to learn more about the game, its release date, and pre-order details.
Like the look of this game? Check out our list of some other top strategy games to play.
|Platform||PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S|
|Release Date||28 March 2023|
Moving on to the next best indie game on our list, Sifu is a third-person, hand-to-hand combat game belonging to the ‘beat ’em up’ genre of video games in which players will play as the son of a martial arts school master or Sifu who goes on a revenge mission against the 5 disgraced former students after they murdered his father.
In this game, players will engage in realistic and brutal kung fu fights against challenging foes and must make use of whatever they can get their hands on to move forward in their path toward their ultimate revenge. Players will have to strike, dodge, parry, and use combos to master the art of Kung Fu and dominate the equally brutal and relentless foes they face.
One cool mechanic of this game is that players are in possession of a mysterious amulet that revives them whenever they get defeated in any fight, with the only caveat being, they age a few years by coming back to life. This skill has its perks and consequences which directly affect the player’s gameplay experience immensely.
As the player dies and comes back, they gain experience and inflict more damage with their attacks. On the flip side, however, due to being slightly aged, the player’s reflexes will be much slower and their health bar will be smaller as compared to their younger selves.
12. OXENFREE II: Lost Signals
|Developer||Night School Studio|
|Platform||Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, PC, Android, iOS, Mac Operating Systems|
|Genre||Adventure, Thriller, Visual Novel, Point-and-Click.|
|Release Date||July 12th 2023|
Moving on to the next game on our list is a sequel to 2016’s critically-acclaimed, narrative, point-and-click adventure game, OXENFREE.
In this game, players reprise the role of the main protagonist Riley, as she decides to return to her hometown Camena, to investigate the mysterious radio signals she has started receiving five years after the first game’s events.
Players will have complete freedom to approach and play the game however they choose. You can either choose to play the game’s story as a standalone version or delve deeper into the mystery by playing the first part once again to set up the story to your liking, the choice is totally yours.
Additionally, since players will have absolute freedom to approach the game to their liking, they must also be mindful of the fact that each decision they make or don’t make, conversations they have or don’t have with various NPCs they encounter, and choices they make or not, will not only affect the way in which the story will play out, but it will also have consequences in regards to Riley’s character and even the lives of the numerous people she crosses paths with, in their ultimate quest to stop parentage, a new cult-like group who are up to some supernatural mischief.
Check out the game’s official website to know more about the game.
13. Bomb Rush Cyberfunk
|Platform||Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PC, Linux, Mac OS, Xbox One.|
|Genre||Action, Adventure, 3-D Platformer, Cyberpunk.|
|Release Date||18th August 2023.|
The next game on our list of the top 10 best indie games to watch out for in 2023 comes in the form of a stylized, action 3-D platformer called Bomb Rush Cyberfunk from Team Reptile, which acts as a spiritual successor to the popular indie game Jet Set Radio, also developed by the same team.
In this game, players will play as Red, a man who lost his original head and now has an AI head in its place. Red teams up with fellow freestylers Tryce and Bel to not only dominate the various circuits and go All City, but together, they will also discover who cut off his head in the first place and how his human body is linked with the freestyling graffiti world.
Players will have to explore five main boroughs of main Amsterdam, do high-octane tricks, and paint the town in their signature graffiti to gain a reputation to move up in stature, which will eventually be needed when challenging rival crews to crew battles.
As their level of vandalism grows in the city, players will also have to try and evade dynamic military cops who will stop at nothing to end their journey.
Check out Team Reptile’s official website to learn more about the game.
Like games set in a dystopian world? Check out our list of top cyberpunk-themed games to play.
14. Planet of Lana
|Platform||PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S|
|Genre||Action, Adventure, Indie|
|Release Date||23 May 2023|
Moving on to the next game on our list, Planet of Lana is a puzzle-platforming, side-scrolling game in which players will take on the role of a young girl called Lana, who along with her black cat-like creature Mui, must traverse through a vibrant planet infested with mechanical aliens, to rescue her sister.
In this game, both Lana and her cat-like black creature Mui must work together if they hope to travel through the hostile world unscathed or solve the various puzzles the game has to offer.
In terms of its features, players can direct mui to open access to previously inaccessible areas or pathways, and since both of them can’t survive a direct confrontation with the invading alien machine species, players will have to utilize their wit, various stealth techniques, and also their surrounding environment, to help them make their way through the treacherous lands safely.
15. Disco Elysium
|Platform||PC, macOS, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Stadia, |
|Release Date||15 October 2019|
The next game on our list is a top-down, dialogue-heavy, non-traditional RPG in which players take control of a detective and have complete freedom in how they choose to approach the various interactive elements in the game. Players can decide to either solve murder cases, interrogate suspicious individuals, or sit back and take bribes, anything is possible in the city of Rivachol.
This game does not involve any frantic combat like most other games of this genre do, so instead, in this game, players have to rely on the various skills at their disposal and make use of them through clever use of in-depth skill checks and intricate dialogue trees, to get themselves out of compromising situations.
As mentioned before, since the game does not feature any traditional combat, players must make use of the 24 skills they possess to progress in the game. Players have 4 primary skills – Psyche, Intellect, Physique, and Motorics.
Additionally, each of these 4 primary skills has 6 other unique secondary skills under them which further helps the players in fine-tuning the type of personality they want their in-game character to have.
So there you have it. These are some of the best Indie games to play in 2023 so far that gamers can binge on to have a memorable experience. The best part about this list is that it contains both new and old games, so gamers of all ages can find something exciting to try out.
Rest assured that if we do find more games like these, we’ll surely update this list with newer titles for you guys to look forward to.