There have been quite a few top-notch indie games releasing lately so here are 6 that may feel right at home in your gaming library.
Unruly Heroes Review PlayStation 4 ★★★★☆
The classic Chinese novel Journey to the West has seen many video game adaptations yet few are as action-packed as Unruly Heroes.
Unruly Heroes has you control 4 distinct characters while facing plenty of platforming and combat challenges. You can swap between them at any time and if you perish, you can keep playing as long as all 4 heroes don't bite the dust. To make things easier, you have the ability to revive lost party members by popping their spirit bubble before an enemy does. Anyway, the gameplay balances combat with platforming beautifully and there are a good amount of somewhat challenging puzzles, too. The stages themselves are elaborate and lengthy so your journey to defeat each boss will be long and grueling. When you finally reach a boss, you'll be surprised by how tough it is to defeat. Factor in rewarding collectibles and a fantastic presentation and you're looking at one great 2D platformer.
It may look like just another 2D platformer yet Unruly Heroes provides challenging and unique gameplay that'll keep you hooked.Unruly Heroes gameplay video → Let's Play Unruly Heroes video →
Outer Wilds Review Xbox One ★★★☆☆
If you're looking for a space exploration game that features a unique story then Outer Wilds is definitely worth checking out.
Outer Wilds basically has you play as an alien as you talk to a bunch of fellow aliens on your home planet then you're soon granted access to a space ship. From then on, you travel to a handful of very different planets and slowly unravel the mysteries contained within them. Your ultimate goal is to figure out how to break your solar system out of an endless time loop and the plot that follows is intriguing to say the least. As you explore the planets, there's a time limit put in place so the gameplay loop essentially involves you trying to uncover as much as you can before things reset. You can think of it as if each planet is its own intricate Rubik's Cube to solve. Although all of this sounds great, I reached points where I was desperately struggling to figure out how to advance. Therefore, if you're not willing to follow a guide or discuss solutions online then you'll likely find Outer Wilds to be a very frustrating and unsatisfying experience.
Enjoying Outer Wilds depends on your willingness to read guides and discuss the game online. Otherwise, you'll probably feel like you're regularly hitting your head on a brick wall as you try to make just an inch of progress.Outer Wilds gameplay video →
Skelly Selest Review PlayStation 4 ★★★☆☆
Overhead arena combat games are nothing new but Skelly Selest's satisfying mechanics make the genre feel somewhat fresh.
Skelly Selest has you control a skeleton dude who has the ability to attack with a melee weapon, shoot, and dash in order to avoid enemy attacks. This core gameplay is handled very well, especially when you consider the fact that bullets are limited and valuable yet replenishable via melee attacks. After each wave of enemies, you can choose a handy power-up that'll give you a boost for the coming challenges. You'll also discover many wearable hats, items, and fill out a bestiary as you play. One cool addition is a side-game called Clashful Cards which is an impressively enjoyable card game. Anyway, my main complaint about Skelly Selest is how its visuals are very low resolution and ambiguous which makes getting hit by enemies almost always feel unfair because more likely than not, you'll have no idea what hit you. If they made the visuals clearer and more deliberate then it would be a much more enjoyable game.
Slaughtering encroaching hellish demons sounds great on paper but Skelly Selest ends up being only enjoyable in short bursts.Skelly Selest gameplay video →
Hellmut: The Badass from Hell Review Xbox One ★★★★☆
Here's another overhead action game where you take out all sorts of monsters yet Hellmut goes above and beyond in many ways.
Hellmut: The Badass from Hell has you play as some sort of floating demon thing that can possess various monsters which generally makes you far more powerful as well as provides you with an array of distinct abilities. On top of this, you can equip armour, additional weapons, and power-ups to make you even more powerful. The core gameplay is like any other twin-stick shooter although the wide variety of monsters and weapons makes it stand out as a unique experience. As if working through the grueling dungeons and fighting the hulking and super-tough bosses wasn't enough, you can also enjoy a fun mini-game known as Hell Invaders that plays exactly like Space Invaders in order to earn additional coins so you can purchase cool stuff from the shop. It all comes together to make one rewarding shooter.
If you enjoy overhead twin-stick shooters and want to play a unique take on the genre then you'll absolutely love what Hellmut: The Badass from Hell has to offer. The bonus Space Invaders style arcade game is just the icing on the cake.Hellmut: The Badass from Hell gameplay video →
Super Cane Magic Zero Review PlayStation 4 ★★★★☆
Silly cooperative games certainly fulfill a niche in the market yet Super Cane Magic Zero has enough charm to appeal to the masses.
Super Cane Magic Zero allows up to 4 local players to go on a goofy adventure together complete with ridiculous scenarios, hilarious dialogue, and charming graphics. Its gameplay has you pick up and throw objects, passed out enemies, and even each other. You also have a melee and special attack which helps take out enemies faster. As you play, you'll discover countless items and equipment pieces so experimenting with what each is capable of is great fun. For example, you may find that eating a certain food item will give you a substantial boost while another will explode and cause serious damage to a horde of enemies. The dungeons are delightfully complex with plenty of puzzles and the odd boss fight so working through the campaign makes for a fruitful and varied journey.
Goofy indie games usually get overlooked but do yourself a favour and play Super Cane Magic Zero so you can experience its charming and satisfying gameplay for yourself. Oh, and invite a few friends over while you're at it.Super Cane Magic Zero gameplay video →
Molecats Review Xbox One ★★★★☆
Puzzle games usually make for the most unique indie experiences and thankfully, Molecats brings the goods and it's very cute, too.
Molecats has characters automatically move while you alter their environment so they can succeed in their adventure to retrieve mushrooms and help each other out. These Molecats have the ability to walk on walls and ceilings and they'll only turn around if they run into an obstacle and later, you'll gain a command that allows you to manually turn them around. As they march onward, you rotate coloured sections of the stage so they can acquire more goodies then once you're satisfied; you simply guide them to the exit. The visuals and sound are super-silly and will make you smile as you play. In fact, the music sounds like Kid Koala made it with its quirky rhythms. Anyway, as you progress, you'll discover tons of new mechanics so the campaign never becomes boring.
Puzzle game fans owe it to themselves to play Molecats. It's surely one of the best and most underrated indies of the year so far.Molecats gameplay video →