These indie games are a great alternative to the blockbusters

The year 2024 is already awash with major releases such as Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, Tekken 8, Mario vs Donkey Kong HTML0, and Dragon’s Dogma 2. However, it has also seen a wealth overlooked gems in the thriving independent game scene.

There’s plenty more to explore beyond mainstream indie hits like Baldur’s Gate 3 and Palworld. This assortment highlights the best that the indie gaming world has to offer over the past 12 months. It gives players the opportunity to discover new, exciting worlds, which might become their next favorite virtual adventure.

Another Crab’s Treasure puts players in the shell of Kril the hermit crab as they explore the ocean depths and battle enemies while collecting microplastics, which are the main currency in-universe. — Aggro Crab

Another Crab’s Treasure

Platform: Nintendo Switch (Xbox Series X, S, Xbox One), PlayStation 5, Steam and PC Game Pass

The Little Mermaid has a similar feel to it, with its undersea creatures.

The game puts players in the shell (or shoes) of Kril the hermit crab. They battle enemies, explore the deep sea, and collect ocean-borne plastics to use as currency in-universe.

Aggro Crab, the developer, turned the hermit crabs’ habit of changing shells into an element of gameplay. Kril can now swap between different pieces of trash to use as shells. Each piece of trash has a unique, special ability.

There are 69 items to find, including a plastic bottle, a glass broken, and an empty can. Aggro crab uses the system to create an accessibility mode, which is great for people who don’t like how difficult a souls-like game can be.

The accessibility feature allows the option “Give Kril A Gun”, which equips Kril with an enormous pistol that can kill every enemy in one shot.

V Rising is a game where players take on the role of vampires and must avoid the sun to gain stat bonuses, ability modifiers, and blood. — Stunlock Studios

V. Rising

Platform: steam

After launching in Steam Early Access, V rising is an open-world survival title from Stunlock Studios. It was released as a full version this year.

In V Rising players take on the role of vampires and must avoid the sun’s constant threat. The sun inflicts harm, so they need to find blood, which is used for food, stat bonuses, and ability modifiers.

Players can cooperate in boss battles and form clans like in other survival multiplayer games. They can also build castles and defend their loot.

Speaking of Dracula V Rising received a cross-collaboration with Konami’s Castlevania series, which added new character cosmetics and music. Simon Belmont, a protagonist from earlier Castlevania, was also included as a new enemy to battle.

The game will have a combination of a side-scrolling platformer, a first person puzzler, and cinematic set pieces. It also has a compelling story and some clever writing. Out of The Blue Games

American Arcadia

Platform: steam

Fans of puzzle games can try American Arcadia. It is set in an Americana stuck in the 1970s, and has a lot in common with The Truman Show.

American Arcadia is a dystopian story that tells the tale of Trevor Hills’ escape form a reality television show.

The players will be able to switch between a side-scrolling platformer, and a first person puzzler, as they uncover the conspiracy behind American Arcadia. This game features cinematic set pieces and an engaging narrative.

Buckshot Roulette takes place in a nightclub, pitting players against a sinister Dealer. The gritty graphics are reminiscent of the consoles of the early 3D gaming era. A multiplayer mode is also in development. CRITICAL RELX

Buckshot Roulette

Platform: steam

Gamers who want a quick-play game can try Buckshot roulette. It’s a Russian Roulette on steroids with a 12-gauge gun, minor rules changes, and powerups.

The game takes place in a nightclub, pitting players against the evil Dealer. It has gritty graphics that are reminiscent of the consoles of the early 3D gaming era. A multiplayer mode is also in development.

Brightrock Games, the developer of Galacticraft, decided to add a new twist by allowing players to operate a space hospital. Brightrock Games

Galacticare

Platform Xbox Series X, S and PlayStation 5, Steam PC Game Pass

Galacticare is a spiritual successor to Theme Hospital, which was originally available on the PlayStation.

Brightrock Games decided to add some spice to the classic hospital-management formula by having players run a space hospital.

They’ll be dealing with patients from different alien worlds who have their own set of medical conditions.

Even giant space travelers like Baz can be treated and then become a traveling merchant who sells upgrades wherever he goes.

Baladins is a choose-your-own-adventure video game where even the less ideal outcomes can still lead to progression in the story. Seed by Seed

Baladins

Platform: steam

Baladins is heavily influenced by tabletop roleplaying based on Dungeons & Dragons. Character stat points and dice rolls can make the difference between a quest being successful or not.

But there’s no harm in failure in Baladins, since it’s a choose-your-own-adventure video game where even the less ideal outcomes can still lead to progression in the story.

Players can create co-op groups of up to four players and select from five different classes while exploring a fantasy realm of knights, dragons and magic.

Manor Lords

Platform: PC Game Pass, Steam

Manor Lords is a strategy game that focuses on city building. Players are required to build a settlement in the medieval age while learning and mastering the in-depth mechanics of the game.

The game also features real-time tactical battles in a similar style to the Total War series, which requires players to adapt to different battlefield conditions while they build their village into a large city.

The story of Little Kitty Big City follows a cat exploring the city. It gets into trouble and hangs around with other animals. Double Dagger Studio

Little Kitty, Big City

Platform: Nintendo Switch and Xbox Series X, S, Steam, PC Game Pass

Big City is another entry in the “cute animals traverse cityscapes” genre. As the title suggests, the adventure features a cat that explores the city and causes trouble. Furry protagonists can be outfitted with silly collectible hats while they hop about.

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