By Jazzmin “BunnieBlue” Windom | @HunnieBunz | 12:45 PM EST, Fri. July 19, 2019
With the hype from E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) still lingering in the minds of many gamers, all the big name AAA titles seemed to be taking all of the spotlight back in June. Little do some know that every now and then, less-known games pop up and catch the eyes of many through the independent, also known as Indie, genre. Below are my top 10 Indie games post E3:
10. Sea of Solitude (Developer: Jo-Mei Games)
Release Date: July 5, 2019 to Microsoft Windows, Playstation 4, and Xbox One
Jumping right into the mix at number 10 is Sea of Solitude. Developer Jo-Mei Games takes you on a journey through self discovery and literally brings you to the fight against depression and isolation in this adventure. You play as “Kay,” a lonely traveller coming across people who have been turned to literal monsters in the wake of these very real problems. Development and snippets of this journey started as far back as 2015 sporting “Shadow of the Colossus” vibes, fighting hulking beast throughout the simple, yet, appeasing environment.
From what the trailers show is that you find people in every stage of this transformation from shadow child to full-blown kaiju level. While sporting the beginning changes yourself, you and Kay find a way to follow the games challenge and to “face her fears.” In March 2019, The New York Times highlighted the game as part of the growing trend in the video game industry towards tackling mental health issues.
9. Creature In The Well (Developer: Flight School Studio)
Release Date: Summer 2019 to Nintendo Switch, Xbox and PC
This game can be summed up as a 16-bit, 3-D pinball game modeled as dungeon crawl…and it looks pretty fun (this is coming from someone who doesn’t even like pinball) coming in at number nine. The look and feel of creature in the well uses its art style masterfully to take you on a quest through a deserted building filled with puzzles, monsters and supervillain-stylized booby traps. With all this and more its gonna be a replayable game for sure. Crawl the dungeon, unlock hidden rooms, upgrade weapons and defeat the all knowing creatures in the well.
8. The Sojourn (Developer: Shifting Tides)
Release Date: 2019 to PC, Playstation 4, and Xbox One
The world around you is not what it seems in The Sojourn, a thought provoking first-person puzzle game. This puzzler comes with a dose of thought provoking curiosity and plays on the themes of light and shadow. While guided by lights through a beautifully crafted world, you play as a main character who is getting hit hard on the way the world works and how to find your own path through. Already sporting multiple awards, you play through four chapters that hit on: Life, the effects of looking for your own way and the duality of reality.
7. Sayonara Wild Hearts (Developer: Simogo Games)
Release Date: 2019 to Nintendo Switch
At number seven and flashing on the screen in a blaze of neon nights and pop music this game claims the title of “A Pop Album Video Game.” With fast-paced music, an urban-themed environment, character crews doused in magical girl flair and street gang looks, this game is essentially a “runner” ride down the lanes, while avoid crashing, getting hearts and kicking ass.
6. Spiritfarer (Developer: Thunder Lotus Games)
Release Date: 2020 to Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PC, Linux, macOS, and Xbox One
In the serene, yet, airy feel of The Spiritfarer, you play the ferryman to the dead. You build your boat, gather supplies, farm and care for spirits as you lead them across the rough seas of the dead and finally release them into the afterlife. The overwhelming cuteness of this management style game catches you off-guard at first, being that it’s a game about death, but the fact that it shows caring for other spirits in order to help them move on makes this a title to look out for next year.
5. Bleeding Edge (Developer: Ninja Theory)
Release Date: 2019 to Xbox One and PC (Alpha Test Occurred June 2019)
A 4vs4 team fighter isn’t necessarily anything new, but Bleeding Edge shows its individuality by having a diverse cast of characters and a fast-paced, yet strategic, combat system that puts a value on teamwork, while still allowing players to have fun. Individuality is put on the spot with combat mods building a suit for your personal play style, as well as earning them. Coming out soon from the creators of Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice are ready to stand up to the big name titles and make a name for itself.
4. Ori and the Will of the Wisps (Developer: Moon Studios)
Release Date: February 11, 2020 to Xbox One and PC
This beautiful sequel to Ori and the Blind Forest takes us back to the adventures of Ori, a playful and vigilant forest Spirit, who goes up against beautifully, dangerous creatures while flying on the back of a baby owl named Ku. Returning to the labyrinthine platformer and world expanding gameplay is a treat for fans of the first installment to the series and new players alike.
3. Afterparty (Developer: Night School Studio)
Release Date: 2019 to Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, Linux, macOS, Macintosh operating systems
From the creators of supernatural mystery graphic adventure game, Oxenfree, the term “best friends forever” takes a whole new meaning when you play Afterparty. Join Milo and Lola, recently deceased best friends, who find themselves in Hell trying to escape. There’s only one way out, however: To outdrink Satan. These characters go in the Demonic Bar Crawl to take part into play mini games, have dance offs and chugging competitions with their liquid courage, just to name a few. The trailer shows Milo and Lola descending down into the depths and walking into a bar talking about their plans. The game has one piece of advice at the end ,which can be translated to advice for all the excited, binge players (like myself): Pace yourself.
2. Felix the Reaper (Developer: Kong Orange)
Release Date: 2019 to Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, Macintosh operating systems, and Xbox One
Felix the Reaper, coming in at number two on this list, has danced their way to the heart of players and their wish lists. According to their website, the game is a romantic comedy about the life of Death, as players will play as Felix, a worker for the Ministry of Death who is in love. Having the tagline of “a romantic comedy about the life of death,” with each level in this 3-D shadow manipulation puzzle game (say that five times fast) players will unlock more ways to manipulate the “shadows” to move around and follow the necessary “shadow paths” to get around and make sure people die in order to win the heart of Betty who just happens to work for the Ministry of Life. If able to achieve the tasks, Felix may have a chance to meet Betty in the human world. Look out for its release later this year.
1. 12 Minutes (Developer: Luis Antonio)
Release Date: 2020 to PC and Xbox One
At number one, 12 Minutes is an interactive thriller about a man trapped in a time loop. The trailer begins with a man and his wife and their apartment…and for the next 12 minutes you live your life. You go around the rooms, call in the kitchen, among other normal things with a surprising and happy twist that your wife is pregnant. Soon after the announcement, the scene takes a dark turn during the celebration. You hear a knock on the door and a policeman comes in and accuses your wife of murder, tries to arrest her, and consequently, kills her and your unborn child. Suddenly, time resets as you walk through your door and the day happens all over again. This trailer is the premise for 12 minutes, a game brought to us by veteran Luis Antonio (formerly of Rockstar Games and Ubisoft) where noticing the little things and learning the world can come in handy in saving your wife. This game rewrites time loops in a new way and asking the player “what did you miss?,” 12 Minutes is a psychological thriller to definitely look forward to.
This year in 2019 has been an exciting time for progress and story-telling games! Prepare your wallet and heart strings.
Bunnie is a TTRPG, video game and all around pop culture enthusiast with a passion for storytelling in all forms of media, and an adventure seeking energy to showcase POC and Queer voices like theirs. With a little help from animal companions Ziggy and Ursula, find her on Twitter @Hunniebunz and find her streaming at twitch.tv/Battlescarbunnie.