Indie Game of the Year Awards 2021 thumbnail

Indie Game of the Year Awards 2021

Celebrate independent excellence

A.J. Maciejewski

Written by for GOTY Awards on 🏆

There were many awe-inspiring indie games in 2021 and we've collected the very best indies within 11 unique categories. Enjoy! 😄

│ Nothing causes more disappointment than hype so at Video Chums, we avoid hyping games prior to playing them for ourselves. 🤩

Blaster Master Zero 3 Metroidvania of the Year

The Blaster Master Zero series has been going strong ever since its 2017 debut with a remake of the classic NES game. Who knew that it would grow into a phenomenal franchise of its very own? Well, this latest and final entry in the trilogy ties everything together beautifully with the challenging and tight gameplay fully intact to create one unforgettable journey that's set in a mind-blowing intricate world. v1d30chumz 100-24-118-144

Blaster Master Zero 3 Review Award image →
Blaster Master Zero 3 screenshot
I hope Jason has room in his tank for his GOTY award

Kaze and the Wild Masks 2D Platformer of the Year

Kaze and the Wild Masks is a throwback to 16-bit platformers yet it forges its own identity with absolutely stunning graphics and challenging platforming action that's jam-packed with variety and clever scenarios. Mastering its stages is super-fun on its own but re-playing them in order to complete time trials and collect secrets adds a ton of value to the equation. It's a must-have indie for sure.

Kaze and the Wild Masks Review Award image →
Kaze and the Wild Masks screenshot
No flaming carrot can stop Kaze

Aeon Drive 2D Action Game of the Year

I love 2D action games, especially when they go above and beyond to provide rewarding mechanics that come together in a unique experience. Aeon Drive is one such game that will have you blazing through its many tricky levels on your quest to complete them as quickly as possible. Running and jumping around while dealing with enemies and hazards is a thrill and on top of that, throwing a dagger then warping to where it lands is just awesome. I don't usually enjoy time trial games but this one definitely got its hooks in me.

Aeon Drive Review Award image →
Aeon Drive screenshot
No time to plan ahead, Jackelyne!

Dreamscaper Roguelike of the Year

When it comes to roguelikes, it seems like it's all been done yet Dreamscaper offers a distinct premise of working through a dream world which is brilliant. Uncovering story tidbits as well as upgrades, weapons, and nifty gadgets as you traverse its room-based dungeons is exciting stuff. When you factor in the perfectly presented world with an immersive atmosphere, the hours simply melt away as you play.

Dreamscaper Review Award image →
Dreamscaper screenshot
Dreamscaper is as mesmerizing as it is fun

Sherlock Holmes Chapter One Adventure Game of the Year

Frogwares' Sherlock Holmes series has been delighting detective game fans for decades and Chapter One is by far the best in the franchise so far. Seeing the origins of the legendary detective as he solves cases, pieces together his past, and meets a new friend makes for a captivating tale and the open-world approach to its gameplay is a welcome change of pace that's handled exceptionally well.

Sherlock Holmes Chapter One Review Award image →
Sherlock Holmes Chapter One screenshot
This isn't the sort of atelier that I'm used to

The Forgotten City Story of the Year

Without a doubt, The Forgotten City tells the most fascinating story out of any game released in 2021. You play as someone who's trying to understand the citizens of an ancient city in order to prevent an apocalyptic decision from being made. Meanwhile, time loops when you reach a certain point which makes piecing everything together a thrilling formula that you'll want to see through to the end.

The Forgotten City Review Award image →
The Forgotten City screenshot
The Forgotten City makes it exciting to simply figure out what people are talking about

Spacebase Startopia Simulation Game of the Year

There aren't many sim games released for console but the best one that I played in 2021 is Spacebase Startopia. Creating and managing your very own space station is enjoyable on its own but when you throw in the delightful sense of humour and in-depth customization elements that you can spend hours tinkering with, you're left with a fun-filled sim that everyone in the galaxy can enjoy.

Spacebase Startopia Review Award image →
Spacebase Startopia screenshot
No billionaires are allowed in my space station

KeyWe Co-op Game of the Year

If you're like me then you love playing co-op games with your gaming chums and KeyWe offered us one unique experience that is now our go-to game whenever we want a quick co-op fix. Who knew that playing as a couple of kiwi birds as you complete tasks in a remote post office could be so much fun? Well, there's certainly a lot to do with a wide variety of levels to master so get to work!

KeyWe Review Award image →
KeyWe screenshot
There's nothing quite like working together with your favourite kiwi

OMNO Casual Game of the Year

Very few games captivated me as much as OMNO did with its entrancing game world that's filled with magical creatures both big and small. You play as a little fellow as you explore each area at your leisure while collecting data, solving puzzles, and taking part in light platforming. When you factor in its open-ended approach, it all adds up to a rewarding yet pressure-free campaign.

OMNO Review Award image →
OMNO screenshot
Seeing what a switch will do is always an exciting moment

Lost in Random Genre-blender of the Year

Lost in Random is by far the most unique indie game that I played in 2021 and that's saying a lot considering how many unconventional indies released this year. Its combination of action RPG combat where dice dictate what you can do, exploration with adventure game mechanics, and mini-games that play with the core gameplay beautifully make it a multi-genre game that comes together brilliantly.

Lost in Random Review Award image →
Lost in Random screenshot
Lost in Random not only blends genres well, it also has striking visuals

Kena: Bridge of Spirits Indie Game of the Year

Finally, the best indie game of 2021 is Kena: Bridge of Spirits. Before playing it, I incorrectly assumed that it would be an easy-breezy 3D platformer due to its adorable visuals. Thankfully, I was wrong because its unexpectedly challenging combat completely blew me away. As I watched the end credits roll, I reflected on all of the incredible scenarios that I overcame along the journey and couldn't comprehend how all of them were packed into the same game. From larger-than-life puzzles to gorgeous scenery, Kena: Bridge of Spirits has it all.

Kena: Bridge of Spirits Review Award image →
Kena: Bridge of Spirits screenshot
Fun fact: Kena also won our award for archery
Gameplay video playlist for Indie Game of the Year Awards 2021 thumbnail
Gameplay video playlist for Indie Game of the Year Awards 2021
Sega Genesis Games Trivia

Comments for Indie Game of the Year Awards 2021

© Video Chums 2014-2022. All rights reserved. Latest article published . Privacy Policy - Video Index - Category Index - Rapid Fire Review Index