Indie Games: 16 Hidden Gems Every Gamer Should Play

Over the years, we have been blessed with many fantastic video games created by independent developers. Some of them are absolute hidden gems and deserve to be in the spotlight. Whether it’s the graphics, the gameplay, or the sound design, these indie games need to be played at least once.

There’s something for everyone in the indie game sphere since there’s so much range and variety across all genres.

1. Hades (2018)

Image Credit: Supergiant Games.

Hades is a stunning game developed by Supergiant Games. If you’re into roguelikes or even a Greek mythology fan, Hades is a great game. It’s intense, and you gain more knowledge by dying.

Hades is at the top of the list of indie games that deserve to be played. The soundtrack compliments the intensity of boss fights, and there’s a wide range of weapons for you to choose from.

2. Tunic (2022)

Image Credit: Finji.

Tunic is a souls-like game with an adorable protagonist and a unique collection system. As they did it in the good old days, you have to work through the world collecting pages to complete the instruction manual, similar to those you’d get with your games.

You play a little fox who plans to go on a vast adventure full of puzzles and challenging enemies. The art style compliments the game as you explore an isometric world filled with different, vibrant environments.

3. Undertale (2015)

Image Credit: tobyfox.

Undertale feels like a nostalgic RPG, which helps make it such a beautiful experience. Whether you play it as a good guy or a villain, the game will forever affect you.

With a magical soundtrack created by Toby Fox, it has some of the best and most unique battles seen across RPGs. It also contains some shocking twists. Undertale is a great hidden gem that has to be played at least once.

4. To the Moon (2011)

Image Credit: Freebird Games.

To The Moon is a magical game that will break your heart into a million pieces. That being said, it is also touching and heartwarming. Once you’ve played it, you won’t forget the experience.

If you’re susceptible to a love story about an old couple, this game may be the one for you. It’s a walking simulator that meets RPG and features painful cutscenes. However, the game will leave you with a sense of peace and completion once you finish playing it.

5. Bear & Breakfast (2022)

Image Credit: Armor Games Studios.

If you’re looking for a relaxing game, Bear & Breakfast is the hidden gem you’ve been missing. Your character is an adorable, goofy bear named Hank, and you have to work to create bed-and-breakfast venues to accommodate humans and try to bring them back to the area.

It’s straightforward to play. There are some fantastic characters in the game that will provide you with many laughs. If you’re looking for a low-energy game, Bear & Breakfast is it.

6. Detention (2017)

Image Credit: RedCandleGames.

Detention is a unique horror game developed by Red Candle Games. It takes place in a 1960s Taiwan under martial law. You must explore a school experiencing the effects of that law. From banned reading material to executions, the game can be pretty brutal.

It blends Taiwanese folklore with real issues in the country and makes you wonder what is real and fake. This game not only has many scares, but it also offers information along with the horror.

7. Thumper (2016)

Image Credit: Drool.

Thumper is one of the best rhythm games out there. If you’re a fan of high-intensity rhythm games, Thumper is the hidden gem for you. Playing as a space beetle, you must dodge, fly, and glide through space in time to the music.

You battle space monsters at the end of the levels using your rhythm skills. It’s challenging, and there are a lot of skills to learn, but it is also a lot of fun.

8. Unpacking (2021)

Image Credit: Humble Games.

Even if you don’t like organization and unpacking in real life, there’s something mind-meltingly relaxing about it in a video game. Unpacking is a no-stress game with minimal limitations.

As you unpack boxes and put your life back into your house, you learn someone’s story through seeing multiple parts of their life. Whether it’s them as a child or a break-up, you get to know more about a person through their belongings.

9. Paper Trail (2024)

Paper Trail
Image Credit: Newfangled Games.

Paper Trail is one of the most recent video games on this list to be released and one of the most gorgeous puzzle games you’ll find. It’s set in a top-down paper world, and you play a girl who wants to go to university and sets out to explore the world.

To traverse the map, you must use origami and paper folding to create new paths and solve puzzles to continue walking on. It’s a stunning game but can be challenging, even with the hints available.

10. Crow Country (2024)

Crow Country
Image Credit: SFB Games.

If you’re a fan of the PS1 survival horror games, you’ll love Crow Country. It has the same old-style effects and grungy aesthetic as Silent Hill. There is plenty of exploration to do and puzzles to solve.

Enemies lurk everywhere, and you’ll always be on high alert. Crow Country is great if you’re looking for nostalgia as you play horror games but still want a game that can frighten you.

11. In Stars and Time (2023)

In Stars And Time
Image Credit: Armor Games Studios.

In Stars and Time is another RPG game on this list that has a classic feel. Despite being completely black and white, it’s still gratifying and feels much like the games you may have played as a kid.

In typical RPG fashion, you set out to save the world with your nearest and dearest friends. The battle system is unique and doesn’t use the typical ability names. It introduces new types of abilities and provides a great variety to the game.

12. Slay the Princess (2023)

Image Credit: Black Tabby Games.

Slay the Princess is not a typical horror game. However, if you’re a fan of visual novels and also want a horror element to accompany it, Slay the Princess is the perfect hidden gem for you.

Every interaction you have in this game matters, and the story slowly starts to warp and shift the more you play the game. There are many endings to collect, giving the game a lot of replayability and value.

13. Dave the Diver (2022)

Image Credit: Mintrocket.

If you like games similar to Subnautica but find they’re too scary, Dave the Diver is the perfect in-between game. Not only do you get to do some deep-sea diving to catch fish, but you also help run a sushi restaurant.

The characters are incredibly lovable, and the art style in this game is gorgeous. If you’re looking for a casual exploration game with minimal punishment, then Dave the Diver is for you.

14. Risk of Rain 2 (2019)

Image Credit: Gearbox Publishing.

Risk of Rain 2 is a visually stunning, challenging game. Exploring a vast, open area while fighting off enemies and hoping your cooldowns come up in time can get intense. You can play this game alone or with friends; the more people involved, the more the chaos increases.

This game has so much replayability and value because there are many things to unlock and collect. Whether you’re trying to unlock all the characters or you want to get all of the items, there’s plenty to do in Risk of Rain 2.

15. A Short Hike (2019)

Image Credit: adamgryu.

A Short Hike is indeed a short game, but it’s perfect in every way. You hike and climb to the top of mountains like a little bird and soar off them to see beautiful vistas below you. The art style is adorable and adds to the game’s peaceful vibe.

This game is a hidden gem, and it’d be a shame to miss it. It’s a relatively short game, but there’s still much to love.

16. A Little to the Left (2022)

Image Credit: Secret Mode.

If you’re a fan of puzzles and organizational elements in games, A Little To The Left is the perfect game for you. It’s great relaxation and is one of the most incredible indie gems in the puzzle sector. There are hundreds of levels to play and daily challenges to master.

The puzzles are kind but challenging and rewarding. If you find yourself getting too stuck, don’t panic. There are hints to help you, so you don’t have to suffer through the game not knowing what to do.

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