The best indie games in 2020 are hot! Let’s take a look!
There has been an unending stream of indie games coming out since 2008’s Indie Boom. Heck, we’ve come to expect quality indie titles year after year that you might have no clue where to start. As we step into the new year, let’s take a look at a few of the indie game titles 2020 has in store for us.
Phobia Game Studio, the team behind Carrion, are labelling the game as a “reverse horror game.” In Carrion, you’re not the victim but the monster. The player takes control of a shapeless beast, a science experiment longing to be free.
You make your way through the vents and hallways of a research lab, seeking victims so you can grow stronger. It’s an intriguing concept made fascinating by the beautiful animations. There’s something about the way the Creature moves and squirms that’s grossly satisfying.
This frightening pixel art piece is coming out for PC and consoles in 2020.
The Red Lantern
The Red Lantern is a first-person adventure where you race the Iditarod. Combining the micromanagement of FTL with the thrill and danger of dog-sledging, it tells a unique tale about a woman determined to complete the most dangerous race on Earth.
Watching the trailer for The Red Lantern gave us real Firewatch vibes. It has the same careful blend of constant, crawling tension with gorgeous environments.
The Iditarod is a marathon, not a sprint. You’ll have to keep your dogs healthy and strong on the long road to the finish line. With more than 100 potential events that can take place, no two runs are ever the same.
The Red Lantern is set to release sometime in 2020.
Kentucky Route Zero Act 5
It’s been a long seven years since Cardboard Computer first introduced us to this unique point-and-click adventure game. At last, it comes to an end.
If you haven’t been following the story, you won’t get much from Act 5. It’s a fantastic series, working within the limits of a forgotten genre to create a beautiful work of art. If you’ve got a few days off, you won’t regret spending it playing Acts 1 to 4.
Kentucky Route Zero is about a secret network of caves that cover the state of Kentucky. You control a crew of lost travellers, brought together by chance (or fate?). It’s a disorienting, mind-blowing thrill of a ride and well worth your time and money.
The final act of Kentucky Route Zero will be available from January 28th, 2020.
No list of indie games would be complete if it didn’t get a little weird. SkateBIRD is exactly what its title sounds like: a bird that skateboards.
Back in June 2019, this quirky sports game launched its Kickstarter campaign. By the next day, it was completely funded and had well exceeded its goal of $20,000.
You take control of a colorful bird, kicking and flipping through tiny skate parks made up of household items. From what Glass Bottom Games has said, the full release will have mixtapes, clothing, and quest-giving NPCs.
So, basically, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater but with birds. We can’t wait.
SkateBIRD is releasing this year on the Switch and PC.
Released as freeware way back in 2008, Spelunky was one of the indie game titles that kicked off the Indie Boom. Combining rogue-like permadeath, randomly-generated stages, and fast-paced platforming, Spelunky was an instant hit. It saw multiple re-releases and high-definition makeovers over the years, but is just now getting the sequel treatment.
First announced in 2017, Spelunky 2 was set to begin consuming all our waking hours in 2019. But in a Twitter post back in August, Derek Yu announced that its release would be delayed. We can’t blame him; expectations are high. When the original is an undeniable indie game classic, you want to take as much time as possible with its sequel.
We don’t know much other than it’s way bigger, way more dense, and way more detailed than the first game.
Spelunky 2 could see release in 2020.
Minute of Islands
Minute of Islands is a narrative-based adventure game with a look and feel like no other. Developed by the Studio Fizbin, it takes the player on a strange adventure across a fantasy land.
This archipelago of gorgeous locales and stunning vistas has become poisoned. Deadly spores pollute its green fields and picturesque, rural towns. For centuries, the only thing keeping the Archipelago safe from the pollen are the massive antennas. These protective structures were built by an ancient race of giants, towering beasts and friends to humans. Now the antennas are beginning to falter and fail. Mo must head out of the safety of her village to find a way to save her people before the spores wipe them out.
Minute of Islands is a visually-striking piece of art. There’s immense detail in the buildings and environments and the animations are impressive. The thin outlines and fluid movements remind us of the cartoon boom of the mid- to late-2000’s.
This stylish and striking puzzle adventure game is coming to Switch and PC.
It’s hard to believe we got this far into a list of indie games and are only now mentioning anthropomorphic animals. Backbone is selling itself as a dystopian noir adventure set in the streets of Vancouver. There are no humans in sight here; all the people have been replaced with bipedal versions of your favourite furry critters.
The player controls Howard Lotor, a private investigator and racoon who scours the streets of Vancouver for clues. Don’t let the cute animals fool you, Backbone is a gritty exploration of a world of crime. It’s brought to vivid life by some truly eye-opening pixel art and clever parallax effects.
Backbone is coming to all major platforms in 2020. You can play its free demo right now on Steam.
That’s a pretty comprehensive list of awesome indie games, but it’s only the tip of the iceberg! There are hundreds more that we couldn’t fit on this list. What upcoming indie games do you think deserve a shout out?