Indie Game of the Month Awards January 2021

Indie Game of the Month Awards January 2021

Discover S.U.M. great indies

A.J. Maciejewski

Written by for Indie GOTM Awards on

January's usually a slow month for gaming but I've played some genuinely great titles last month so here are the best in 12 categories.

Dadish 2 2D Platformer of the Month

When the first Dadish released for Switch a short while ago, I was blown away by its adorable visuals, tight gameplay, and spot-on sense of humour. To my surprise, a sequel released shortly after that manages to be even more enjoyable so it's a must-play 2D platformer.

Dadish 2 Review Award image →
Dadish 2 screenshot
Looks like it's donut day at the office

Bonkies Co-op Game of the Month

I love co-op games and they are especially welcome during recent times as they're one of the few things that keep me and my constant chum sane while constantly staying inside. We also love a good challenge and Bonkies is definitely a tricky game despite its wacky presentation and silly premise. Controlling a couple of space monkeys to carry things to their designated spots sounds simple but figuring out the correct way to position the pieces while factoring in balance, the optimal places to grip things, and a constantly-running timer can be brutal yet it's ultimately rewarding. Because of all this, Bonkies certainly deserves best co-op game from January.

Bonkies Review Award image →
Bonkies screenshot
This new Sam and Max game isn't what I was expecting...

Down in Bermuda Casual Game of the Month

I love casual adventure games where you slowly piece together puzzles and complete objectives and Down in Bermuda strikes a perfect balance between tricky puzzles and hidden object fun within its super-charming and endearing game world. Great job, Yak & Co!

Down in Bermuda Review Award image →
Down in Bermuda screenshot
How could you not enjoy such serene scenery?

Iris.Fall Adventure Game of the Month

Another fantastic adventure game that I played in January was Iris.Fall. Its consistent mysterious atmosphere makes progressing through the many tricky scenarios add up to quite a memorable adventure while each individual setting really stands out as unique.

Iris.Fall Review Award image →
Iris.Fall screenshot
I sure hope Iris doesn't Fall!

Blacksmith of the Sand Kingdom RPG of the Month

As a huge fan of Atelier, I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Blacksmith of the Sand Kingdom and its familiar albeit retro 2D take on Gust's established JRPG formula. Filling out your catalogue of craftable items between dungeon excursions is incredibly rewarding stuff.

Blacksmith of the Sand Kingdom Review Award image →
Blacksmith of the Sand Kingdom screenshot
Volker's always killing things when he shouldn't be

S.U.M. - Slay Uncool Monsters Genre-blender of the Month

Seeing indie devs blend genres in clever ways is always intriguing and S.U.M. - Slay Uncool Monsters combines RPG combat with math problems in a smart fashion that actually makes formulating math equations exciting. What other game has accomplished that?

S.U.M. - Slay Uncool Monsters Review Award image →
S.U.M. - Slay Uncool Monsters screenshot
Time to crush this nasty spider with the power of math

Tadpole Treble Encore Rhythm Game of the Month

From its great soundtrack to its gorgeous visuals, Tadpole Treble Encore has everything a rhythm game fan could want while appealing to casual gamers at the same time. Either way, you'll find reaching higher scores and unlocking cool things to be a real treat.

Tadpole Treble Encore Review Award image →
Tadpole Treble Encore screenshot
That turtle sure seems happy for an enemy

Unspottable Multiplayer Game of the Month

Controlling a hidden character while trying to outsmart your friends has been a great time ever since Hidden in Plain Sight debuted. Unspottable takes this gameplay and adapts it to a bunch of cool-looking stages with their own mechanics to make one fun indie.

Unspottable Review Award image →
Unspottable screenshot
Which of these aliens are robots?

Rhythm Fighter Roguelike of the Month

Traversing linear dungeons with branching paths as you defeat monsters with perfectly-timed attacks that go to the beat sounds like a ton of fun and Rhythm Fighter definitely is with its tight gameplay, wacky sense of humour, and rewarding sense of challenge.

Rhythm Fighter Review Award image →
Rhythm Fighter screenshot
Preparing minced carrots is trickier than it looks

Project Starship X Shoot 'em Up of the Month

The original Project Starship was a simple vertical shmup yet Project Starship X took things to new heights with added mechanics, flashy visuals, and oodles of gaming references. In fact, it's probably my favourite shoot 'em up that I played in quite some time.

Project Starship X Review Award image →
Project Starship X screenshot
Why bother shooting at skulls? They're already dead...

Ghost Grab 3000 Retro-Inspired Game of the Month

Ghost Grab 3000 may have released a while ago but I only got around to playing it recently and it's one of my favourite interpretations of classic arcade games ever made. It's so much fun that I'd love to see a sequel with a story campaign, etc. I simply can't get enough!

Ghost Grab 3000 Review Award image →
Ghost Grab 3000 screenshot
Bustin' ghosts makes me feel good

Cyber Shadow Indie Game of the Month

Cyber Shadow is one of those titles that does an admirable job of reviving a classic genre while offering authentic graphics and sound. If it released on NES back in the day, it would be considered a timeless classic so if you enjoy retro games, you have to play Cyber Shadow.

Cyber Shadow Review Award image →
Cyber Shadow screenshot
Sounds like another undertaking for this capable ninja
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