Five great indie games releasing in 2020


Everyone loves a good indie game. They’re cheap, unique and made with love. Here are five that I’ve picked out that are on my radar at the moment. I can’t wait to see more from these studios.

Spiritfarer

I felt a grand sense of adventure when I played Spiritfarer. It carries all the potential to be a singleplayer Sea of Thieves experience. You are the captain of a boat sailing the ocean with your wholesome friends. On your travels you’ll trade at ports, get caught in a huge storms and maybe even find some precious treasure if you’re lucky. Being able to build and customise the different rooms on the ship adds some deep versatility to the game, but the real charm comes in the interactions with other characters which are wholesome and dastardly. Even the movement is slick as hell, with every run, jump and slide being fluid and smooth that it feels really satisfying to dash across the boat in times of chaos. I love a good adventure, and it looks like Spiritfarer will perfectly fit the bill.


Ring of Fire

Don your investigator caps in Ring of Fire from Far Few Giants, a futuristic detective game that has you investigating a murder. You navigate a 3D space of the victim’s flat, collecting evidence, interviewing suspects while consulting with your own observations on the case. There’s a gorgeous red/orange colour palette that helps to reinforce the fiery motifs of the story, while the text conversations feature dialogue that is sincere yet funny at the best times. The demo opens with an advisory note to keep a pen and paper close by to take notes, as certain key information won’t be repeated and may be easy to miss. It’s an extra degree of challenge to have you work outside of the screen, but nonetheless remains an accessible, fun caper.


Röki

Tove is a young girl journeying into a long-forgotten world of lost folklore to save her family. Röki uses a simplified point-and-click design for players as they control Tove and take her through this land imbued with children’s fairy tales and Scandinavian mythology. It aims to recreate the feeling of setting foot in these types of legends as you may have done in bedtime stories as a child. Along the way Tove encounters all sorts of different creatures – friendly and hostile – as well as solving puzzles and exploring the environment to progress further into the heart of the tale. The challenges aren’t too difficult to solve, making it accessible to younger gamers who may be inspired to try it from the art and narrative.


Acid Knife

I can’t say I’ve ever been on acid, but this is how I envision is to be like. The visual style of Acid Knife is extremely distinguishable, having a large dose of psychedelic carnage that makes the action sequences feel chaotic. The combat is slow with a big emphasis on positioning. It’s the antithesis of Dark Souls, with enemy patterns being less predictable and improvisation remaining a core foundation of the action. It’s certainly one of the more unique-looking games of 2020.


The Longing

The ruler of an underground kingdom has fallen into sleep for 400 days, and it is your job alone to await his return. The countdown begins as you start the game and doesn’t stop ticking down when you close it. It’s entirely up to you what in that time; explore, collect, solve puzzles or encounter strange creatures. It gives you the power to do what you want, and there’s no real rush to do it all quickly. With over a year to complete the game, it looks to be something more you log into every few days or weeks to sink a bit of time into. This could either be really fun or very dull, but I absolutely love the idea and can’t wait to try it out for myself.

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