Best 10 Indie games in 2021:
Welcome to the Top 10 Series, Today we are going to look at best 10 indie games in 2021. Did your favourite game of the year so far make the cut? Well, let’s find out.
At the number one slot and so far this year the game we’ve enjoyed playing the most is, well it’s Qomp which as you can see is very much designed and based on Pong – yes Pong with this really, really being something we didn’t know we wanted to have in our lives. This delivers right from the get go – it is so very simple and can be controlled with a single but as you go about navigating the pong like ball across what are essentially a maze of rooms with traps, enemies and even bosses for you to beat. Like a few others in this rundown it’s not an overlong game – it can be beaten in 3 or 4 hours although it does have plenty of replay ability particularly for speed runners looking to chase down those completion times. It’s also in places, pretty tough and the designers have recognised this with plenty accessibility options which range from you being able to go all invincible to even being able to see where the ball is headed come its next bounce.
Qomp is a super rewarding game and while it looks a touch on the simple and well, casual side of things, it really is a wonderful game, and at around a fiver in your local currency or the equivalent is ceap as ships. This really will take some beating in terms of the enjoyment it offers to be beaten come our end of year Game of the Year rundown. Qomp is currently available via Steam with it Screaming out for a port onto the Switch.
2. Loop Hero
At the runners up position for indie games out so far in 2021, Loop Hero is another example of a game we didn’t think we would like and yet like Curse of the Dead Gods from Earlier, it’s also one of those games that eats time. It seems to be one of those games where there’s no way we can play it for just half an hour. Loop Hero consumes whole evenings and weekends where we’ve played it well into the early hours.
Best 10 Indie games in 2021: It’s supremely addictive and extremely creative within the gameplay that sees you controlling the environment in which your hero finds themselves. Whether or not they are going to succeed comes down to how well you set about the various builds and how well you are able to farm materials and how well you’re able to understand the what and the when for equipment usage. In places and at times it can feel a tad grindy and yet it keeps on grabbing us by the lapels for just another go, just one more loop with it available on PC via Steam and the Epic Game Store.
3. Genesis Noir
At number three, Genesis Noir is a story about the beginning of the World as told within a detective story that’s inspired by the work of Saul Bass. It’s a point, click and swipe game where you play as the detective looking to piece together a murder mystery.
There’s nothing quite like this and as I’ve seen it called elsewhere Genesis Noir is fully aware of it being every bit the powerful piece of arthouse film where the jazzy soundtrack of wind, brass and percussion winds its way between the visuals and onwards into you the player – now as should be apparent, we adored this and it would be super easy to spoil with a too in depth overview although needless to say, this is a rare piece of game cum art cum interactive cinema with it available on PC and Xbox One.
4. Curse of the Dead Gods
At number four, Curse of the Dead Gods came out of Early Access. While towards the end of last year we suspected this might topple Dead Cells and perhaps Hades from our best of the best lists for these kind of games. That wasn’t quite the case although it remains an astonishing achievement. All great games like these have that little bit of a kernel that calls and almost demands you have another go, just one more play through before bed or getting started into the daily routine.
Best 10 Indie games in 2021: It’s also pretty large with it taking us around 40 hours to play through and see away the final boss. It’s use of curses and corruption meter gives it something that’s just that little bit different alongside the combat that’s reasonably simple although multi layered and in places, jaw to the floor droppingly fast. The games recent tie in with Dead Cells was also a neat little surprise which added additional iconic Dead Cell Weaponry and Vault Rooms inspired by the Cursed Chest in Dead Cells. Curse of the Dead Gods is yours to pick up on PC via Steam and Epic, with it also available on the Switch, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
5. The Longest Road on Earth
At number five, The Longest Road to Earth is similar in some respects to Adios from earlier. It’s another story driven game with a paired back monochrome style where the focus is on you the player to construct the narrative around your own thoughts and perceptions. Comprising of 4 vignettes, all you need do is move the left or right key and occasionally press or hold the space button.
Best 10 Indie games in 2021: There’s no text or dialogue and we’re thinking to get the most out of this, you need to go into with with an open mind and a mindset that’s able to tune into the subtilties as the audio and visuals dance together to suggest what’s all going on. In doing so, you may well find this game, or perhaps let’s call it a game with interactive drama elements, as being full of warmth, gentleness and full of empathy. Sure it’s super niche and yet for what it’s looking to do with its slice of life within instantly recognisable scenes, it does so very well.
At number 6 and something a little bit more upbeat. Dorfromantik popped out in Early Access towards the middle of March. It’s comes from the city building and planning genre although with it’s hexagonal tiles it looks every bit like something you might find within the world of table top gaming. While it looks supremely calming, and in someway it is, there is a delicate puzzler and strategy
game going on here.
You place the tiles on the board in certain patterns which in turn helps build up the world and in so doing, the game offers additional tiles with which you’re able to play. It’s all procedurally generated and has you building groups of houses, forests, canals, and much more. We aluded to this earlier and yet delicate feels the perfect word to describe this. While you do need to engage the brain to play it, it’s calming to do so and something we’ve played alone or together in a made up couch co-op with plenty back seat gaming. It’s a delight and should be out of early access towards the end of the year with additional tiles, a creative mode, more environments and additional complexity.
At number 7, Adios is a 60 to 75 minute piece of interactive fiction about a pig farmer who has decided enough is enough and that it’s time to stop helping the mob dispose of their victims. Told within a series of scenes around different parts of the farm, the farmer and the hitman who has been delivering the dead bodies for disposal potter around the farm undertaking chores while the hitman tries to convince the farmer to keep going, business as usual as, and in so doing, the hitman can avoid having to kill him.
Best 10 Indie games in 2021: So yes, this is interactive theatre, a mini film as it were with the a linear story and you know what’s going to happen come to the end. Where it shines is in the story overall and the voice acting which are both astonishing. As is the dialogue with the conversations and power dynamics between the two characters going back and forth. Again, come the end and this isn’t a spoiler as it’s perfectly sign posted, things end out as expected and while not something we’re likely to play through again, it still lingers with us three or so months later. Adios came out mid March on PC via Steam.
8. Cyber Shadow
At number 8 and having come out towards the end of January, we have Cyber Shadow, which again, let’s be honest, is very much a modern-day tribute to the NES firm favourite that is Ninja Gaiden. While Cyber Shadow arguably doesn’t do anything overly new or dramatic, it does however, fully deliver what it sets out to do. For us, it’s by far and away the most enjoyable action shooter platformer to have come out all year. Aside from the gameplay, which delivers hit after hit and simile after smile, we’re hugely impressed with how the developers have added accessibility options that can take the edge off a game that, in places, is a brutal as anything that you might have played back in
on the NES, Genesis or down in the Arcades.
These come from the wonderfully places checkpoint system and also from being able to spend in-game currency to unlock special abilities that can help you overcome certain difficulties. Cyber Shadow is available on the Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and Gamepass with it also playable on PC and the Playstation 4.
9. Rain on Your Parade
Up next and at number 9, having come out towards the middle of April, Rain on Your Parade is one of those kinds of games with a concept we can’t quite believe hasn’t happened until now. You play as a cute and yet delinquent cloud whose sole role seems geared around causing havoc while upsetting and winding up as many people as possible, be they newlyweds, school children, a farmer or two and many more.
Best 10 Indie games in 2021: You make all this mischief by, well naturally enough, by using your special cloud-like powers to rain on, freeze, blow about the place or via the odd lightning bolt. Rain on your parade isn’t a terribly demanding game to play. What puzzles there are generally unfold themselves without too much trouble, and its 50 levels are finely paced, with the game taking around 4 to 5 hours from beginning to end. As for the humour, well, it hits more than it misses with Rain on your Parade is available on PC via Steam, The Nintendo Switch and Xbox, with it also available via both Console and
Xbox Game Pass.
10. Wildfire Swap
At number 10, it’s one of the most refreshing and enjoyable puzzle games we’ve played in the past few years. It’s a simple concept. You move tiles around a grid to prevent the wildfires from spreading to buildings.
While it starts rather gently, the difficulty quickly ramps upwards it offering a stern head-scratcher of a challenge to work out how best to solve its puzzles. Wildfire Swap feels like a low key and yet charming way to start this rundown – here’s hoping more people get to play it.
That’s all enough for today, I hope you guys enjoy this Top series and Support for us. Let’s give a comment your favourite game in the list.