There are some games out there that everyone should play. At least once. Not surprisingly, there is a high percentage of quality games coming from indie devs, where playability is a massive part of the appeal.
I, like millions of other gamers, love indie game development. The incredible games indie devs create are often completed by one person or a very small team. The level of dedication it takes blows my mind, and it is not difficult to see why fans & followers of indie devs are so passionate. They are part of the journey, development and success of these titles.
The problem is, if you are a programmer, game designer, or game artist working hard on your game, that leaves very little time for marketing. Most indie developers confess to having very little marketing experience, and admit that the prospect of getting their game in front of an audience can be a daunting and time zapping endeavour. That said, without this critical ingredient, the game might not see the light of day. It really helps that you don’t need a super powerful gaming PC to play a lot of these games, either.
In this first part of our rundown of games you should absolutely seek out and play, we are covering everything from anthropomorphic trees to sci-fi car racing, so hopefully there’s a little something for everyone!
The Success Formula For Indie Devs
This section hopes to shed some light on the many ingredients of success for devs.
Head over to Twitter or Reddit and you will see indies grinding for attention for their creation. Wandering through subreddits like r/IndieGames or r/IndieDev, you’ll see what I mean:
The above is one of the top voted posts of all time in r/IndieGames, by developer ShedWorks, and instantly struck a chord with Redditors, and hit YouTube with a great deal of velocity as being named as one of the must play games of the year.
The game is Sable, and thanks to the support of the Reddit community, Twitter and Steam, launched in September 2021 to a superb response. In the last 30 days, Sable has had an average of 60 players, and peaked at 755 concurrent players at launch. SteamDB estimates over 40,000 people own Sable, and has 85.69% positive reviews.
Getting their game noticed early in development is part of the success formula, it seems. Fans can wishlist and follow along on Steam, ready to jump on any releases, and share the heck out of content on socials.
Games You Should Play In 2022 (Part 1)
So, for the developers that make it through the highly critical gauntlet of Reddit, answering questions and taking on board critique & feedback, there are some incredible games that you might have missed. Although the uplift of a fanbase helps these games along in their success, they are still very easy to miss!
In this section, we’ve listed some of the games we love to recommend in 2022. There may be more, and if you find them, be sure to tell us on Facebook, Twitter or right here in the comments!
Paper Cut Mansion (Coming Soon)
Game aesthetics are one of the paramount features that can make or break a game. Whilst the story is important, or at least the progression is, poor choice in visuals can stunt the growth of any title. At first glance, this game looks like real world footage, and immediately catches the eye. Another game that everyone should play, if only to feel the immersion of the style – Paper Cut Mansion is a Roguelite Horror set in a cardboard universe, hand drawn and rigged using Blender.
You play as a paper man trapped in a paper mansion, trying to solve a series of puzzles and riddles in an “escape-room” style of play, trying your best to get out of the mansion.
Space Lizard Studio Ltd have created an aesthetic that draws you in for closer inspection, and this has to be one of the games biggest selling points, alongside the unique, quirky roguelite horror storyline that has you from the first moment.
Neodash (Coming Soon)
I’m a sucker for neon and sci-fi, just so we’re clear. That said, it is hard not to appreciate the beautiful presentation of Neodash, from developer Axan Gray. Neodash thrusts you into a delightfully Tron-esque sci-fi atmosphere, brought to life by music. The environment around you reacts to the beat, for an immersive audio-visual experience you would expect from a rhythm game.
In a previous life, I was an indie game blog owner, and had the pleasure of working with Grapple Hoops developer, Andreas Georgiou (GameDevAndrew). A former colleague described this game as NBA Jam crossed with Superhot VR – and I cannot agree more.
Back in December 2020, the first iterations of Grapple Hoops surfaced on Reddit, and the response was huge. Redditors began to advise the dev on what they would like to see, and these suggestions were to become the collaboration most indies dream about. Fans were helping create the best version of the game.
After nearly a year in development, the game began to truly shine. Moving on in leaps and bounds (pardon the pun) from early demos, and clearing bugs with the help of fans. Reviewers were left speechless at the smart crossover between grappling, dunking and beating enemies.
The game is addictive in nature, unique in both gameplay and presentation, and right on the money with playability, Grapple Hoops launched in October 2021, and now has around 1000 players. Highly recommended as a pick up and play funtacular experience.
Rootlash (Coming Soon)
Rootlash takes you on an adventure playing as an anthropomorphic tree. Or an Ent, if you will. Everyone should play games and experience being a lumbering, living tree, I feel. Pardon the
As your home is threatened by the ever destructive expansion of humans, you find that loggers and miners are destroying what you once called home.
As a result, the battle is on to fight off the humans and reclaim your home forest!
Having this game explained to you by a friend is a fun experience in itself. However, it wasn’t until I saw actual game footage that I truly appreciated the uniqueness of the premise. The game looks nice, and will only improve over time, and the response on Reddit has been great, so far.
This game popped up on my list of games that have begun to break their previous records for concurrent players on Steam. I’m glad it did.
With many top tier reviewers and creators picking up Dread Hunger, the game is garnering a lot of attention. This immediately followed its release in January 2022. Although having mixed reviews recently, the game is still being met with praise and positivity.
A quick summary of this game would be Among Us in the Arctic circle. However, it would be a very superficial overview of what amounts to a true battle of wits, self-doubt, and all-consuming nerve-jangling gameplay you just can’t get from deduction games such as Among Us, and would be better described as closer to the game Deceit.
Above all, Dread Hunger is a PvP game of survival, but also a quick lesson in betrayal. As one of eight explorers, you forge a path for your ship against the cruel and unforgiving Arctic. Two traitors among you call on dark powers to sabotage the journey, and you will require all of your skill in social deduction to figure out who you can trust – or betray.
Too Long… Didn’t Read
Part 1 of this article series covers these awesome games you probably never heard of: –
- Paper Cut Mansion (Coming Soon)
- Neodash (Coming Soon)
- Grapple Hoops
- Rootlash (Coming Soon)
- Dread Hunger
Part 2: PC Games Everyone Should Play
Did you enjoy this article? Let us know in the comments if we missed any, and we’ll probably include them in a future article!