What Indie hidden gems do you recommend?

Ive been trying some indie developed games this past year, more than ever and I'm in awe what lone devs or small teams can accomplish.

So, what are some games that you think don't have the recognition they deserve, need a bigger audience or you would like the community to try.

I myself for example have played Monster Sanctuary, which at this point I think is not that hidden anymore and played a rougelike game called Elona, haven't played RimWorld or Dwarf Fortress but I might in the future.

Sorry if a similar post already exists haven't checked.

kender242,
@kender242@lemmy.world avatar

Does Tunic count?

Best to jump in without spoilers, but it's way more than a Zelda/Souls like. So. Many. Layers.

_sideffect,

That game is incredible

rekkar,

I played the hell out of Slipways

Their slogan "Build vast trade empires, still be done in time for lunch" is on point here. You connect planets with different resources and different industries to an interconnected network in a (turnbased) race against the clock. Easy to learn and always great fun to cram into a 30min slot in your day.

Homeschooled316,

Seconding slipways. It is peerless.

ReCursing,
ReCursing avatar

Sounds like fun, added to my wishlist, partly waiting for a sale, partly waiting for time to play it

LordlyCalibur,

This looks really good, great recommendation. I would love to see this on a handheld device.

mabd,
mabd avatar

I came here to recommend this one. Fantastic game, very unique.

Fauxreigner,

A bunch of my favorites have already been listed, so I'll just mention the one that wasn't: Antichamber, a first person puzzle game that's probably somewhat like Portal in terms of how it requires you to rethink your assumptions about how space works, but it's a very different game, both mechanically and in tone. I don't want to give away too much, but it's a mix of weirdly unsettling elements (although it is by no means a horror game), a design that's actively trolling you in ways that will make you laugh, and mechanics revelations that will have you scream "Wait, I could have done that this whole time?!" It's one of those games that I wish I could delete from my memory and play for the first time again.

slartibartfast42,

The Westport Independent is a censorship simulator, in which you play as the editor of a newspaper, choosing which stories to run and how to edit them in order to avoid angering both the authoritarian government and political radicals who want to take them down, while also appeasing your journalists, who may get angry and quit if you censor their stories too much.

ag_roberston_author,
@ag_roberston_author@beehaw.org avatar

Super Kiwi 64

Retro 3D platformer in the vein of Banjo Kazooie.-

spriteblood,

Oh man this was one of my first thoughts, too. Cheap, fun, and short enough that you could beat it in one sitting. I find myself enjoying cheaper bite-sized stuff like that lately.

fouc,
@fouc@lemm.ee avatar

Don't sure if it's exactly hidden but for me Dungeons III (and 2) has been unexpectedly fun. It takes everything that made Dungeon Keeper and it takes a level higher. Pretty fun game.

lutesolo,

You've already got a bunch of great suggestions, but I'll throw my two cents in too. I think of these as indies or games that have a niche audience, but some of them probably have bigger teams involved.

  • Outer Wilds. It's a quiet, contemplative game about space exploration and seems unremarkable until you really start exploring and learning about the solar system you're in. If you play it, go in blind. IMO it's a perfect game.
  • Pentiment. You play as a young artist visiting a Renaissance-era hamlet to work on your masterpiece. The game is gorgeous and thoughtful about the decisions the player has to make when spending time and influencing the narrative. Stayed with me long after I finished.
  • Slay the Spire. Tightly-balanced deck builder rougelike. I've put untold hours into this one on maybe 3 different platforms?
  • Wildermyth. Hard to describe this one--it's like an interactive fantasy tale with characters that grow and evolve in ways you won't expect, and dynamically told so no two stories are quite the same. Pretty solid combat mechanics, too.
  • Undertale. Does Undertale count as relatively unknown? If so, Undertale.
  • Case of the Golden Idol. Very good mystery game with a cool, novel mechanic for solving each mystery. Don't let the aesthetic put you off.
  • Return of the Obra Dinn. Another incredible mystery game where you are determining what happened to the crew of a ship that sailed into port with no one aboard.
  • Papers Please. Simple mechanics that really make you FEEL like you're -Spider-Man- an oppressed civilian in a fascist/totalitarian government.
  • Disco Elysium. Another great mystery game, wherein part of the mystery is: what kind of person were you, and who are you now?
  • Tunic. It's like old-school Zelda but with more depth and some serious twists.
  • Stanley Parable. It's funny and fun.
  • Tchia. It's like Breath of the Wild if Hyrule was a real place and the game devs wanted you to love it as much as they do. Fun and charming in a big way.
  • Season. Hard to describe and I haven't finished it yet, but the opening stuck with me. It's about what we remember and what we choose to forget.
  • Hollow Knight. Does Dark Souls arguably better than Dark Souls. I was put off by the Dark Soulsness and the aesthetic, but once I got a few hours in I was fully hooked. Another perfect game.
  • Deep Rock Galactic. Great fun mining valuables and fighting alien bugs with friends.
  • 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim. A time-traveling anime story game with mecha combat.
  • The Forgotten City. A time loop game where you are sent back to ancient Roman time.
  • Nonary Games / Danganronpa. Both series are anime-inspired mystery games. If you want something that tries to be more cerebral and serious, Nonary is your ticket. If you want tongue-in-cheek violence, Danganronpa is the way to go.
  • The Witness. A masterpiece puzzle game built on an incredibly simple core design. One of my favorite all time "a ha" moments came from this game.
  • Citizen Sleeper. You are a synthetic being trying to survive on a space station and evade the megacorp that "owns" you. Your body is breaking down and you don't know anyone, so you have to take it one day at a time and do what you can to survive. Clever mechanics and a really well told narrative.

That ended up being a lot more than I intended to share, but if this convinces anyone to give any of these games a shot, I think they're in for a treat.

ABoxOfNeurons,

You have excellent taste (in games and youtubers)! A ton of my favorites of all time are on this list (especially Citizen Sleeper, which hit me in ways that I didn't expect at all). As someone similar:

Exo One: A chill game about rolling an alien space ship through insanely pretty worlds.

Dr. Langeskov, The Tiger, and The Terribly Cursed Emerald: A Whirlwind Heist: A free game a lot like The Stanley Parable, by the same developer.

Cultist Simulator: Completely defies description. A masterfully-written Lovecraftian survival exploration game, but it's made of cards.

Torment: Tides of Numenaria: A great top-down RPG with a unique sci-fantasy universe and de-emphasized combat.

Forager: The methadone to Factorio's heroin.

Black Book: Like Slay the Spire, but story-driven and based on Russian Folklore and history in the transition to industrialization.

Scorn: If H. R. Giger had been the art director on Amnesia, it would have looked like this.

Inscryption: Another incredible horror game with cards as the core mechanic. More great exploration and plenty of "what the fuck" to go around.

Uplink: On the older side, but holds up. A great light hacking game with solid mechanics and not too much excess complexity.

Jazzpunk: Probably the hardest I've laughed from a game since Portal 2.

The Last Door: A 2D point and click adventure with excellent music and atmosphere.

Primordia: A dark point and click about a world populated by robots. Has stuck with me for a long time, mostly because of the jaw-dropping pixel art and voice acting.

Darkside Detective: A point-and-click about investigating the supernatural. Absolutely hilarious.

The Old City: A dark and surreal walking simulator that stands on an incredible soundtrack.

Evergarden: A Chill match-3 puzzle in a soothing garden.

Astroneer: No Man's Sky-esque, but focused on base building and engineering in a finite solar system.

Slime Rancher: The Chao garden, but a full game. A large world to explore with a diverse array of cute slimes to ranch.

Into the Breach: Not sure if this is too mainstream, but it's a really awesome take on a tactics game. Fight aliens, but think more chess than Xcom.

Ascension: Made by a former MTG pro player who was frustrated that the original was pay-to-win. Imagine MTG's complexity with Dominion's mechanics. The digital version is amazing. The physical version is a bit clunky because the mechanics can get pretty complex.

That got longer than I expected too lol. Thanks for these. I'll definitely check out the ones I don't kno.

lutesolo,

I'll have to stick these on the old to-do list! Already played and love Cultist Simulator, Forager, Inscryption, Into the Breach, and Ascension. Thanks for the recommendations!

axus,

I've recently gotten cultist fever, would not have tried Cultist Simulator without the recommendation from Lemmy

ambiguator,

Everything - a zen game about everything, very chill

The Sexy Brutale - weird name, actually a fantastic time travelling LucasArts adventure style game

Neo Scavenger - ignore the graphics, this is a really in-depth turn based post-apocalyptic mini rpg where you will come to love plastic bottles

reactormonk,

Slice & Dice - dice-based roguelite. Runs on mobile as well.

ascagnel, (edited )

Spelunky HD

A roguelike platformer. While it lacks any meta-progression (like the similar Rogue Legacy games), the core platforming keeps me coming back again and again. The systems-based nature of the game keeps things fresh through many play-throughs.

Umurangi Generation

A photography game that's more cyberpunk than the game titled Cyberpunk. It gradually introduces you into its neon-soaked, Neon Genesis Evangelion-inspired world where humanity fights the good fight against kaiju.

::: spoiler spoiler Except the kaiju, born from global warming, have already won, humanity is doomed, and you're there to document the end of everything. The game takes a clear political position, inspired by the Australian bushfires and protests following George Floyd's murder in 2020, that neoliberalism can't solve society-level issues, and will instead use the power of the state to sell non-solutions to delay or hide problems while violently stifling any real dissent. :::

Florence

A story of love, loss, and moving on.

GolGolarion,

Fear and hunger is the most intense RPG-style horror game I have ever played. It's vile. It's fucked up. And it's honestly enthralling. Pay attention to the content warnings on the steam/itch page if you look it up, they're serious. It's like a game in the Berserk universe, but you're NOT Guts.

FanfictionConsort,
FanfictionConsort avatar

Hyper Light Drifter is a really pretty game with tight controls, fair difficulty, excellent music, and some of the best atmosphere of any game I've played.

jason123santa,

Firewatch - recommend you wait for a sale but its a great story game that is on steam and gog and even native Linux

tabletop simulator - tons of card and board games that you can play with your friends if it exists it might be ported has native Linux

golf with your friends - great mini golf game to play with your friends similar to tower unite golf but better has native port

american/europe truck simulator - trucking game that real truckers say is the most realistic trucking game and they try to help with all issues and is even native Linux

https://store.steampowered.com/app/1641020/my_brother_lives_in_a_canyon - my brother lives in a canyon - great story game that is made by one person and it does not take long

Bloons tower defence 6 - tower defence game where you pop the bloons to defend your base

BenVimes, (edited )

Symphony of War: The Nephilim Saga

I'll say up front that it's a niche game and isn't for everyone. This is especially true because most of its aspects outside of the gameplay are pretty unremarkable. But if this is your thing, it's really your thing.

What makes it so special is that its core gameplay loop is a very satisfying meld of Fire Emblem and Ogre Battle - essentially a turn-based strategy RPG where you control semi-autonomous squads instead of individual characters. And if that description made you perk up just by reading it, you need to go buy this game ASAP.

Now, if that description didn't immediately pique your interest, I'd check out some gameplay videos instead. Because it fills such an obscure niche, it's actually hard to know if you'll like this game just from a brief description. There's a good chance you've never played anything like this, and it will scratch an itch you never knew you had.

trebond,

Cassette Beasts! It's a monster collecting game. It adds a lot to the genre (definitely not a clone) and the music is awesome. It got amazing reviews so I'm not sure how hidden it actually is, but I really enjoyed it!

soulsource,
@soulsource@discuss.tchncs.de avatar

Even if the game's genre doesn't interest you, I'd recommend to check out the soundtrack. A few tracks are on the composer's youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/@joelbaylismusic9379

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