Ive been trying some indie developed games this past year, more than ever and I’m in awe what lone devs or small teams can accomplish.

So, what are some games that you think don’t have the recognition they deserve, need a bigger audience or you would like the community to try.

I myself for example have played Monster Sanctuary, which at this point I think is not that hidden anymore and played a rougelike game called Elona, haven’t played RimWorld or Dwarf Fortress but I might in the future.

Sorry if a similar post already exists haven’t checked.

  • @lutesolo@midwest.social
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    118 months ago

    You’ve already got a bunch of great suggestions, but I’ll throw my two cents in too. I think of these as indies or games that have a niche audience, but some of them probably have bigger teams involved.

    • Outer Wilds. It’s a quiet, contemplative game about space exploration and seems unremarkable until you really start exploring and learning about the solar system you’re in. If you play it, go in blind. IMO it’s a perfect game.
    • Pentiment. You play as a young artist visiting a Renaissance-era hamlet to work on your masterpiece. The game is gorgeous and thoughtful about the decisions the player has to make when spending time and influencing the narrative. Stayed with me long after I finished.
    • Slay the Spire. Tightly-balanced deck builder rougelike. I’ve put untold hours into this one on maybe 3 different platforms?
    • Wildermyth. Hard to describe this one–it’s like an interactive fantasy tale with characters that grow and evolve in ways you won’t expect, and dynamically told so no two stories are quite the same. Pretty solid combat mechanics, too.
    • Undertale. Does Undertale count as relatively unknown? If so, Undertale.
    • Case of the Golden Idol. Very good mystery game with a cool, novel mechanic for solving each mystery. Don’t let the aesthetic put you off.
    • Return of the Obra Dinn. Another incredible mystery game where you are determining what happened to the crew of a ship that sailed into port with no one aboard.
    • Papers Please. Simple mechanics that really make you FEEL like you’re -Spider-Man- an oppressed civilian in a fascist/totalitarian government.
    • Disco Elysium. Another great mystery game, wherein part of the mystery is: what kind of person were you, and who are you now?
    • Tunic. It’s like old-school Zelda but with more depth and some serious twists.
    • Stanley Parable. It’s funny and fun.
    • Tchia. It’s like Breath of the Wild if Hyrule was a real place and the game devs wanted you to love it as much as they do. Fun and charming in a big way.
    • Season. Hard to describe and I haven’t finished it yet, but the opening stuck with me. It’s about what we remember and what we choose to forget.
    • Hollow Knight. Does Dark Souls arguably better than Dark Souls. I was put off by the Dark Soulsness and the aesthetic, but once I got a few hours in I was fully hooked. Another perfect game.
    • Deep Rock Galactic. Great fun mining valuables and fighting alien bugs with friends.
    • 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim. A time-traveling anime story game with mecha combat.
    • The Forgotten City. A time loop game where you are sent back to ancient Roman time.
    • Nonary Games / Danganronpa. Both series are anime-inspired mystery games. If you want something that tries to be more cerebral and serious, Nonary is your ticket. If you want tongue-in-cheek violence, Danganronpa is the way to go.
    • The Witness. A masterpiece puzzle game built on an incredibly simple core design. One of my favorite all time “a ha” moments came from this game.
    • Citizen Sleeper. You are a synthetic being trying to survive on a space station and evade the megacorp that “owns” you. Your body is breaking down and you don’t know anyone, so you have to take it one day at a time and do what you can to survive. Clever mechanics and a really well told narrative.

    That ended up being a lot more than I intended to share, but if this convinces anyone to give any of these games a shot, I think they’re in for a treat.

    • @ABoxOfNeurons
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      38 months ago

      You have excellent taste (in games and youtubers)! A ton of my favorites of all time are on this list (especially Citizen Sleeper, which hit me in ways that I didn’t expect at all). As someone similar:

      Exo One: A chill game about rolling an alien space ship through insanely pretty worlds.

      Dr. Langeskov, The Tiger, and The Terribly Cursed Emerald: A Whirlwind Heist: A free game a lot like The Stanley Parable, by the same developer.

      Cultist Simulator: Completely defies description. A masterfully-written Lovecraftian survival exploration game, but it’s made of cards.

      Torment: Tides of Numenaria: A great top-down RPG with a unique sci-fantasy universe and de-emphasized combat.

      Forager: The methadone to Factorio’s heroin.

      Black Book: Like Slay the Spire, but story-driven and based on Russian Folklore and history in the transition to industrialization.

      Scorn: If H. R. Giger had been the art director on Amnesia, it would have looked like this.

      Inscryption: Another incredible horror game with cards as the core mechanic. More great exploration and plenty of “what the fuck” to go around.

      Uplink: On the older side, but holds up. A great light hacking game with solid mechanics and not too much excess complexity.

      Jazzpunk: Probably the hardest I’ve laughed from a game since Portal 2.

      The Last Door: A 2D point and click adventure with excellent music and atmosphere.

      Primordia: A dark point and click about a world populated by robots. Has stuck with me for a long time, mostly because of the jaw-dropping pixel art and voice acting.

      Darkside Detective: A point-and-click about investigating the supernatural. Absolutely hilarious.

      The Old City: A dark and surreal walking simulator that stands on an incredible soundtrack.

      Evergarden: A Chill match-3 puzzle in a soothing garden.

      Astroneer: No Man’s Sky-esque, but focused on base building and engineering in a finite solar system.

      Slime Rancher: The Chao garden, but a full game. A large world to explore with a diverse array of cute slimes to ranch.

      Into the Breach: Not sure if this is too mainstream, but it’s a really awesome take on a tactics game. Fight aliens, but think more chess than Xcom.

      Ascension: Made by a former MTG pro player who was frustrated that the original was pay-to-win. Imagine MTG’s complexity with Dominion’s mechanics. The digital version is amazing. The physical version is a bit clunky because the mechanics can get pretty complex.

      That got longer than I expected too lol. Thanks for these. I’ll definitely check out the ones I don’t kno.

      • @lutesolo@midwest.social
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        28 months ago

        I’ll have to stick these on the old to-do list! Already played and love Cultist Simulator, Forager, Inscryption, Into the Breach, and Ascension. Thanks for the recommendations!

      • @axus@lemm.ee
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        28 months ago

        I’ve recently gotten cultist fever, would not have tried Cultist Simulator without the recommendation from Lemmy

  • mycus
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    8 months ago

    Cataclysm: Dark Days Ahead isn’t really indie, it is straight up Open Source and a freaking good roguelike. The DDA variant focus heavily on the realism aspect of survival, but there are forks that try to gamefy it more.

    There is also Rain World, which I am addicted for 3+ months now. It is also on sale, but before you buy it, know that you are going to die A LOT, but it really isn’t a big issue; it’s actually funny most times lol. Great lore too.

    And one that I’ve rooted for a long time and I think flopped hard in its release is Below, but I very much still love it.

    Also, one that I played for a bit last week and the soundtrack slaps hard is APE OUT.


    How did I forget about Noita? This one is a masterpiece. Crafting a wand just to fucking obliterate yourself out of existence .3 seconds later is just chef’s kiss. Also hämis.

  • missingno
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    98 months ago
    • CrossCode - Phenomenal action RPG. Combat is fast and explosive, dungeons are very obviously Zelda inspired but with way more puzzles. Packed with tons and tons and tons of sidequests, many of which put unique twists on the combat system to keep you on your toes. Make sure to grab the epilogue DLC.

    • FOOTSIES - Minimalist one-button fighting game, with rollback.

    • OneShot - Fairly reminiscent of Undertale, if you liked that you’ll probably enjoy this too. And like Undertale I don’t want to say too much, take my word for it and let it surprise you.

    • Petal Crash - Absolutely fantastic versus puzzler, and a perfect entry point into the genre. I wrote a very long review of how in love with this game I am, so I’m just going to link that.

    • Them’s Fightin’ Herds - Another great fighting game, been waiting a long time for this port to bring us up to a grand total of two good fighting games on Linux. Has a lot of really cool features like a big story mode with overworld exploration, a cute lobby system with cosmetics to collect and treasure chests to fight for, a dynamic music system that reacts to the fight, and even a semi-cooperative dungeon crawler mode. Has crossplay with consoles as well. Full review.

    • Ultimate Chicken Horse - Start on a nearly empty platformer map, each round everyone adds one object somewhere on the map then you all try to finish the level. Whoever finishes gets a point, plus bonus points for whoever finished first or collected coins that have been placed. Then you add another set of objects and repeat. Quickly becomes hilariously chaotic as you try to figure out how to balance screwing everyone else over while still making sure you can win, only to realize that after a few rounds you have all built a horrifying monstrosity. Has full crossplay with console versions.

    • Anything by Zachtronics - A bunch of different engineering puzzle games where you have to write code or build a machine to solve problems. Once you’ve solved the puzzle, you can see a histogram comparing your solution to everyone else’s on a few different metrics, encouraging you to go back and try to optimize it further. I recommend Opus Magnum as the best entry point.

    • RiikkaTheIcePrincess
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      48 months ago

      Aw, yeah! CrossCode is very <3 Also, several Zachtronics games are quite nice. Sad to see the end of them :-\

    • @owl@beehaw.org
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      28 months ago

      I love Zachtronic’s games too. TIS-100 is one of my favourite games of all time

  • Diskolikewhoa
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    88 months ago

    noita PC - a rougelike witch Sim full of secrets.

    Dead Cells everything - Flawless metriodvania rougelite

    The Forgotten City PC, PS, XB - A short time loop game that is just fantastic. I think it started as a skyrim mod

  • @Yoru_Sulfur@lemmy.davidbuckley.ca
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    8 months ago
    • Ring of Pain is a great roguelike.
    • Paradise Killer - Not actually sure how to describe Paradise Killer, but it’s one of my favourite games.
    • The Red Strings Club - Interesting, short and sweet
    • Stephen’s Sausage Roll - If you love puzzle games and can’t find any that are hard enough for you, it might be the best game ever made. Or the most infuriating.

    And then a few that maybe aren’t that obscure by now, but I can’t not mention them

    • A Short Hike - I think possibly the greatest small indie game of all time? Certainly one of my favourites.
    • Baba Is You - (slightly) less extreme puzzle game, but it’s also great.
    • Inscryption - Just a great game, can’t say much about it without spoiling the experience
    • @owl@beehaw.org
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      18 months ago

      did you finish Ring of Pain? Because I’ve come to believe it’s impossible… You have to be realistic abolt these things

      • Yeah, I did both endings on all the difficulties, at least with the default starting item.

        Also it’s surprisingly rare that someone actually recognizes my username, this is the first time in a while (Assuming your choice of words was not just coincidence)

        • @owl@beehaw.org
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          28 months ago

          As far as I could tell, the only way to succeed was by getting a specific set of items, which gave you a chance at freezing enemies… A crown, a smoke something and I don’t remember the last one. Feel free to give me a hint if you care to, I liked that game a lot and I would love to complete it

          And yes, I recognize your user name! The owl ate the lamb after all ;)

          • @Yoru_Sulfur@lemmy.davidbuckley.ca
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            8 months ago

            I was terrible at the game before I accepted how important defense was. Previously I focused hard of attack power and speed, but then you’re too fragile for unexpected situations. That and much slower more considered pathing are very helpful. Look around at the rest of the level before you move or act because you might be backing yourself into a corner.

            Your username is much more subtle

            Edit: I decided to download the game again and do a run to see if I remembered how to play, and yeah I think my advice there is good. Carefully consider your moves before you make them, defense is very important. One thing that could help is to look up info about what to expect in a given path before going in to know if you can handle the type of stuff that you’ll find in there. Eventually (if you play enough), you’ll memorize them, but for example it can be very helpful to know that you’ll be against a bunch of exploding enemies if you go to the “Volatile” path.

            • @owl@beehaw.org
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              18 months ago

              Thank you (I’m starting the game right now armed with your advice). It seems I found a way to exploit the mechanics in such a way that I never really needed the defense (until the final stages, where I died every time), and so managed to ruin the game for myself. Well well, I’m serial cheeser, what can I say? I’ll stick to the narrow path from here on.

              I love the sound design of this game. I don’t remember what they are called, but you know, the horrible bastards that give off some sort of squeaky balloon sound? Genius.

  • @Gravelsack
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    78 months ago

    Noita. It’s just so good. Easily in my top 5 games of all time.

  • @trebond@beehaw.org
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    78 months ago

    Cassette Beasts! It’s a monster collecting game. It adds a lot to the genre (definitely not a clone) and the music is awesome. It got amazing reviews so I’m not sure how hidden it actually is, but I really enjoyed it!

  • ATGM 🚀
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    68 months ago

    I really enjoyed Songs of Syx. It’s a city builder and economy game, but with a lot of extra detail that you don’t often see.

  • @FantasticFox@lemmy.world
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    68 months ago

    The Return of the Obra Dinn is one of my favourite games. It’s an indie game but quite well known so I’m not sure if it counts as a hidden gem.

    I really liked The Case of the Golden Idol too, and its DLC.

    You can see I like detective games haha…

    • bermuda
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      28 months ago

      Return of the Obra Dinn was such a crazy experience. I remember my first playthrough I got super stumped and resorted to walkthrough’ing my way through. But when I replayed it I promised myself not to use the walkthrough and ended up getting it almost completely perfect, although it did take ages to do.

    • @lutesolo@midwest.social
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      18 months ago

      Case of the Golden Idol is so good! DLC coming soon, too, I think! Can’t wait to revisit that game.

      Obra Dinn is one that I full on wish I could invoke selective amnesia so I could experience it again with fresh eyes.

      If you haven’t tried it already, some other good detective games are Pentiment and Disco Elysium. My fiancee and I love playing detective games cooperatively, always on the hunt for a new one.

  • @SpaceCowboy639@beehaw.org
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    58 months ago

    If you like space, you should play Homeworld and its sequels. Incredible game.

    If you like chill strategy, try Terra Nil, Islanders, and Terrascape – they’re all really fun and Terrascape has turn-based multiplayer!

    If you like puzzle games like Myst, Cyan has Obduction and the slightly controversial Firmament, which I thought was a lot of fun. Quern - Undying Thoughts is in the same vein and feels a lot like Myst or Riven.

    If you like Halo’s multiplayer with an added Portal gun, try Splitgate. The developer isn’t going to be adding more content as they are shifting focus to a new game, but it’s still really fun.

    If you like boomer shooters, try Amid Evil it feels like Quake, Unreal, and Hexen/Heretic. It’ll get your heart racing for sure.

    • SeytouxOP
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      38 months ago

      Thanks for the super complete answer, gonna be checking a lot of the listed games

    • bermuda
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      28 months ago

      Also “DUSK” is really great and very similar to Amid Evil. I believe it’s from the same publisher.

    • slowd0wn
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      28 months ago

      I enjoyed my time in Splitgate, but after playing games like Insurgency and CSGO I have a really hard time with shooters having long TTK (fell off of Halo Infinite really quick for the same reason). I grew up playing Quake 2 so the idea of having to drop a full magazine to kill someone is frustrating to me

      • @SpaceCowboy639@beehaw.org
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        08 months ago

        Back before Gearbox, Homeworld was pretty indie and niche. I dunno if it’s considered that any more, but I wanted to include it just on quality alone.

        • @dwindling7373@feddit.it
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          18 months ago

          It’s not indie by any means but I agree, if he’s never played I guess old often feels like a modern indie title.

  • @faustianflakes@beehaw.org
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    58 months ago

    Dredge is pretty recent but it definitely impressed me with how it conveyed fear/paranoia in an eldritch horror setting. The fishing was also pretty fun!

  • @mateoinc@lemmy.blahaj.zone
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    8 months ago

    The Messenger. Easily my favorite 2D platformer. It starts as a more modern and polished take on the original Ninja Gaiden games for NES, but it becomes so much more.

    Inscryption. A rogue-like deckbuilder. You’d think that would make it similar to Slay the Spyre. But again, it becomes so much more.

    I recommend both games any chance I have. They are very different, but both are better expecienced blind.

  • @TheyKeepOnRising@lemmy.world
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    8 months ago

    I don’t know what’s considered a “hidden gem” so I’m just going to shout out all the indie games that I think are at least 8/10 and recommend:

    Rimworld

    Dead Cells

    Dredge

    Inscryption

    7 Days to Die

    Mount and Blade: Warband

    Factorio

    Mordhau

    FTL: Faster than Light

    Raft

    Gunfire Reborn

    Into the Breach

    Hollow Knight

    Dome Keeper

    DUSK

    Golden Light

    Vampire Survivors

    Void Bastards

  • Bri Guy
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    58 months ago

    Brotato is a fun, mindless game if you like bullet hell games. Omori is a funny, wacky rpg with some horror elements. Good story to boot as well!

    • SeytouxOP
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      28 months ago

      It really feels whacky, but I’m gonna check some videos about it. The art seems really interesting

      • Bri Guy
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        18 months ago

        You’re talking about Omori? Without getting into it too much there is a good mix of art styles. The soundtrack is neat as well!

  • Babalas
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    48 months ago

    Kenshi - a brutal, and sometimes janky squad free roaming game. I have far too many hours in that.
    Pulsar - Lost Colony - Fun game if you have a few friends around. Pretend to be Captain Kirk - except chaos.
    Rimworld – Dwarf Fortress lite
    Dwarf Fortress - Grand daddy inspiration for most other games
    Torchlight - Diablo
    Project Zomboid - All your top down zombie hunting dreams come true
    Carrier Command - Drone carrier warfare
    Nebulous Fleet Command - The Expanse.

    Does X4 count as Indie?

    • Thatoneguyyoulove
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      28 months ago

      Wow you named nearly every game I was gonna recommend! My only addition would be Shadow Empire. It’s a 4x game set on a post apocalyptic planet that is procedural generated. The game has terrible graphics and a brutal learning curve but it’s a blast and has wonderful role-playing elements as well as good strategy.