Best Indie Games You May Have Missed in 2020
2020 was an odd year to say the least. We had some decent video games come out and we had some real stinkers come out too. With everyone being home and video games being played more than ever there are some real hidden gems out there that seemed to have been missed by a majority of gamers. So, let me get on my best Watch mojo voice and let’s talk about some of these neat Indie games that you may have missed in 2020.
- Going Under: With the rise of rouge-likes in the indie market. There has been a ridiculous amount of them flooding the shelves and online libraries. It’s nice to see a game with an interesting take on the genre. Going Under is a dungeon crawling rouge-like where you play as an unpaid intern at a start up company that was recently acquired by a large corporation. Your job is to traverse the endless dungeons below your building and complete a multitude of tasks given to you by the higher ups while you defend yourself from increasingly difficult monsters with literally anything you can find as weapons. The game is filled to the brim with increasingly relevant satire aimed at corporations and capitalism as a whole. A simple gameplay loop but an effective one.
- The Pathless: With all the launch titles that were debuted for the PS5 showcase. The Pathless was one of the games that really caught my eye, and it was sad that wasn’t really picked up as much as it should have been. With a minimalistic story and beautifully cell shaded art style. The game seems to draw you in right from the start. You play as a hunter on the journey to release ancient gods from the grip of “The Godslayer” a seemingly unstoppable Lovecraftian styled enemy. The game might not be as challenging as some of the games as of late, but it is just as enthralling, if not more so, with its amazingly gorgeous landscape and infinitely rewarding feeling of exploration. This game goes from quiet and breathtaking to heart-pounding and fast paced in an instant and I highly recommend the experience.
- Sakuna Of Rice and Ruin: Now this game has a remarkably interesting gameplay loop. As it combines the fast-paced mechanics of a 2D action platformer with beat ‘em up combos to a methodical, EXTREMELY in-depth farming simulator. You play as Sakuna a disgraced Demi-god on the path to redeeming herself as she rids the Isle of Demons of it’s not-so-friendly inhabitants. The story is well voiced and has an amazing array of music to listen to as you calmly tend to your rice crops or are mowing down waves of demon enemies. Both of the styles of gameplay are intertwined, whereas you explore more of the map the enemies get stronger so you must make more and more healthier crops to make yourself stronger. The different kinds of food that you gather throughout the map determine the different passive buffs you receive as you prepare them for dinner at the end of the day. I wasn’t expecting as much in-depth work for tending my crops as there is, but as you progress in the story, they seem to add more and more mechanics as to how to better prepare and grow your crops to produce a more bountiful harvest to allow you to face even tougher enemies as you delve deeper into the mysteries of the Isle of Demons. If you enjoy the serenity of farming sims but also want some fun but challenging combat, I highly recommend Sakuna, as you will not be disappointed.
- Spiritfarer: Now this game has captured me in ways that most video games of recent years couldn’t do. Emotionally. In this game you play as Stella the newly appointed Spiritfarer and her task as such is to take these wandering spirits and finish their final tasks on their journey to the afterlife. The gameplay is similar to Stardew Valley and Animal Crossing but on a boat. You travel this revealed-over-time map to complete a multitude of fetch quests for these delightfully animated spirits that come in the form of different animals. The gameplay is simple but what is really gripping about it is the story of your new crewmates and Stella herself. As you continue to explore island after island and create materials to make their houses more desirable for each individual on your boat, the story pulls on your heart strings as you learn the innerworkings of each character and their fears and desires. I haven’t felt myself this emotionally attached to a story in a long time. I even found myself sheading tears during the goodbye ceremonies of the characters as you complete their final tasks and send them off to the afterlife. I highly recommend this game to anyone that needs a relaxing vacation from all the violence and gore that inhabits a large portion of the gaming zeitgeist. The art is adorable, and you will find yourself humming along to the soothing tunes of the game as you play through Stella’s adventures into the unknown. This game is one of my favorite games of 2020 and I cannot recommend it more.
- Griftlands: Though this game isn’t technically out in 2020 as it is in early access, with the amount of time I have sunk into this game I have to put it on this list. It is a rouge-like deck building game with an emphasis on story. You can play through 3 branching narratives as you add more passive buffs and new mechanics to each deck. There are two decks per character, a negotiation deck, and a battle deck. Each character has unique mechanics attributed to their individual story. The coolest thing is that these mechanics are designed to fit each narrative instead of just being put in the game. You have choices that can deeply affect the story and how easy or how difficult the gameplay can be. Even after you finish the multiple stories, there are different game modes to be played and unlock new cards to make the game even more interesting. It takes a second to understand all the different races and religions that are involved in the story, but I think that’s the reason they make the game so replayable, so you can better understand your characters motives and how they fit into the narrative of the game.
- Hades: Now this game is a little more popular than most of the other games in this list, but it is still and indie game and with all the work that went into this game, it deserves its accomplishments to be praised time and time again. It is another rouge-like action game, but this game has been so fully polished and so well written and designed that you can’t get tired of this game. You play as Zagreus the son of Hades as he attempts to escape the underworld and find his long-lost mother and find out the mystery behind his birth. There are many recognizable characters as the game is set in ancient Greece and anyone familiar with those stories will see their favorite gods and goddesses as well as heroes and villains from all the stories of the Greek pantheon. The game is beautifully hand drawn and animated and all the characters are well voiced and unique. This game has a level of polish that isn’t even seen in triple A games as of late. There is a multitude of weapons to change up your playstyle as well as a bountiful number of buffs bestowed upon you by the gods themselves. There’s a lot to unlock in the game and to fully get the final ending you actually have to beat the game over 10 times to get the final ending. I have over 50 hours into that game and I have yet to run into one repeated line of dialogue at all. It’s just an overall great game and I couldn’t recommend it more.
That’s all the games I have played that I really think deserve more credit than they got. I was going to add the Samurai Jack Battle Through Time game to this list but sadly I ordered the collector’s edition from Limited Run and the shipping date got delayed and I still haven’t received it yet. Thanks for watching guys! I hope you enjoyed this video and if you played any neat games that I didn’t mention please let me know in the comments! Have a great day guys! Peace!