Best Upcoming Indie Games 2021 (And Beyond)

There are a lot of hidden indie game gems out there! Here is a list of all the best upcoming indie games that we are looking forward to.

The best upcoming indie games of 2021 and beyond are looking bigger and bolder than any of the previous years.

Additionally, PC gaming continues to be the preferred method for discovering hidden gems before they explode in popularity.

In this list, we’ll highlight the most highly-anticipated indie releases along with some lesser-known titles that may not be on your radar just yet.

We’ll be updating this list in the future with new titles, so make sure to check back and let us know if we missed any of your favorite upcoming indie games!

Related:Best Upcoming Games 2021 (And Beyond)Best Indie Nintendo Switch Games 2021Best Games for Low Spec PCs

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Len’s Island is an upcoming indie survival game that sees you carving out a new life for yourself on a beautiful island teeming with wonder.

Explore the island’s mysteries by dungeon crawling through caves, hiking through forests, and constructing homes and farms.

The game uses a streamlined, modular building system that will make even the most novice designers feel like seasoned builders.

When you’re not tending to crops or adding expansions to your humble abode, you’ll set out to meet different characters and battle enemies that may cross your path.

Icarus is an upcoming survival crafting game from indie developer RocketWerkz, who has plenty of experience with the genre after releasing their first survival game, Stationeers, in 2017.

Designed to be played solo or by up to 8-players, the game has you exploring a harsh alien wilderness in limited time sessions due to the planet’s harsh conditions.

While on the surface, you’ll go around completing faction missions, gathering valuable exotic materials, and defending yourself from wild animals.

At the end of the session, you’ll return to your ship with any collected materials and have an opportunity to craft new gear and conduct research for future upgrades.

Fans of the cult frisbee-meets-tennis sports phenomenon will get to experience intense disc-throwing bouts when Windjammers 2 releases later this year.

The sequel will introduce new features along with updated visuals inspired by the original arcade cabinet art.

The benefits of this new look become obvious once you see the game in motion, with characters performing flashy animations that see them launching into the air, charging up powerful throws, and celebrating between sets.

Windjammers 2 is being produced by French developer DotEmu, who also worked on the 2017 port of the original game for current-gen consoles.

Shiro Games, the studio behind Northgard, Evoland, and Darksburg, have revealed their next upcoming project, a medieval turn-based RPG titled Wartales.

In it, you lead a group of mercenaries across a plague-stricken land in search of wealth while battling wild animals, fearless bandits, and other enemies.

Along the way, you’ll recruit new companions with unique skills, accept contracts from NPCs, and collect bounties for petty thieves and crooked conmen.

The game also features a crafting system for making new weapons and tools as well as upgrades for developing your party’s campsite to boost morale and efficiency.

Tchia is an upcoming open-world adventure game in which you play as a young girl exploring a physics-driven sandbox.

The game offers tropical locations to discover, characters to get to know, and hidden surprises around every corner.

Additionally, Tchia has a special ability that lets her magically transform into 30+ different animals as well as 100+ objects.

This is reflected in both the story and gameplay, with Tchia using her powers to help her friends, explore the island, and escape danger.

Ready or Not is an upcoming first-person shooter that emphasizes realism and a tactical approach to gameplay.

You play as Judge, the commander of an elite SWAT unit responsible for de-escalating intense situations by any means necessary. 

Scenarios are highly detailed and require you to carefully examine location layouts, mission briefing details, and coordinate with additional teams and negotiators to determine the best plan of action.

Developer Void Interactive has consulted with police teams across the globe to come up with an accurate set of engagement rules based on the real-world challenges encountered out in the field.

Indie game studio Monomi Park is currently working on a sequel to the bright and bubbly farming sim Slime Rancher.

Continuing with the adventures of Beatrix LeBeau, Slime Rancher 2 sees you venturing to Rainbow Island, a new world brimming with ancient mysteries and exotic wildlife.

Armed with an arsenal of slime-wrangling tools, you’ll collect and breed an assortment of unique slime creatures with distinct traits and personalities.

Once you get a hang of the game’s plort-based economy, you’ll be able to to flip resources for newbucks and spend them on ranch upgrades and new gadgets.

Part heist game part brawler, Rubber Bandits has a group of thieves working together to pull off their biggest score until things go haywire and it’s everyone for themselves.

It plays similar to games like Gang Beasts, with players donning special disguises and smashing their way through destructible levels until their getaway car arrives.

Where Rubber Bandits switches things up is by giving you the choice to either rob the joint or just wait until your rivals do and beat the money out of them.

The game includes an assortment of levels and 20 weapons to bash enemies, ranging from baguettes to rocket launchers and everything in between.

If you’re a fan of fast-paced action games like we are, then you should definitely consider wishlisting Shady Knight ahead of its release.

The hack n’ slash first-person platformer sees you climbing massive, enemy-filled towers as you clear out each floor using an arsenal of medieval weapons.

Your character can build momentum by sliding and wall-running as well as tear apart enemies with slam attacks, powerful kicks, and a good old sword throw to the enemy’s head.

Shady Knight’s emphasis on verticality and open-ended combat looks like the perfect recipe for engaging and varied gameplay.

Although spiders are already pretty freaky as is, SpiderHeck ups the ante by giving them laser swords and locking them in deathtrap platforming levels together.

The end result is an action-packed physics-based brawler where four players battle to be the last arachnid standing while dodging attacks and environmental hazards.

Of course, since this is spiders we’re talking about, players can also web-swing around each level in order to gain the upper hand or avoid falling to their death.

It’s an exciting blend of sword combat and parkour movement that’s sure to produce plenty of laughter and ridiculous moments among friends.

Blood Bowl has never shied away from doing its own thing, blending turn-based strategy, Warhammer lore, and American football into a neat little package.

While among the more niche titles coming to Xbox, Blood Bowl 3 includes a number of improvements and new features that fans of the series will appreciate.

For one, gameplay adheres to the official rules of the latest edition of the board game, complete with new skills and redesigned passing mechanics.

There’s also a new competitive PVP mode that offers new league management tools and a solo campaign open to all 12 included races, with room for customization.

Solo indie developer Jacob Dzwinel and Humble Games have partnered to release Midnight Fight Express, a blend of old-school brawlers and fast-paced modern fighters.

The game boasts a challenging combat system inspired by Dark Souls that relies on using fists, feet, knives, guns, and more to mow through waves of enemies.

Players can mix light and heavy melee attacks in addition to blocking, countering, throwing, dodging, and triggering powerful finishing moves and environmental kills.

Most impressive is Midnight Fight’s sleek character animations, which use motion-captured data for an added sense of realism.

Jack Move is a pixel art JRPG that draws inspiration from the classic Mega Man Battle Network games while telling an original cyberpunk story.

In it, you take on the role of Noa, a rogue hacker who finds herself thrust into a world of murder, kidnapping, and twisted research after her father mysteriously disappears.

Combat is turn-based and provides countless opportunities to devise unique strategies by customizing Noa’s Cyber Deck mid-battle.

This allows her to switch roles and adjust her mix of offense, defense, and buffs in combination with hardware upgrades that increase stats and unlock new abilities.

A follow-up to 2016’s grim and gritty strategy RPG Darkest Dungeon is confirmed to be in development at Red Hook Studios.

The sequel looks to maintain the dark and atmospheric tone of the first game while introducing new improvements to the original’s turn-based combat system.

It appears that the developer has been exploring some new ideas in hopes of shaking up the metagame in Darkest Dungeon II.

Judging by the teaser, players can expect to tread new grounds as the original six characters can be seen standing before a series of snow-capped mountains.

Initially announced as a 2018 release, Atomic Heart has had one of the more interesting development stories, with rumors suggesting it may not even be the same game anymore.

Categorized as a “first-person shooter with RPG elements,” the game is well into the process of development at studio Mundfish, a Russian-based indie game studio.  

Evoking memories of sci-fi staples like BioShock and Fallout, Atomic Heart takes place in an alternate reality where the Soviet Union’s research has led to a technical revolution.

Players assume control of a Soviet KGB officer tasked with infiltrating a secret facility that’s gone radio silent.

Empyrean, the studio behind House Flipper, has revealed their next simulation game will focus less on redecorating homes while upping the blood factor.

Body of Evidence sees you becoming a “cleaner” for the mob, a specialist in the field of promptly getting rid of dead bodies using all tools at your disposal.

This includes using a lockpick to access locations, hiding corpses in lockers and closets, and cleaning surfaces until all traces of blood have been removed.

With the growing number of weird simulation games out there, it was only a matter of time until we would reach this point.

Mineko’s Night Market is an adorable adventure game inspired by Animal Crossing that features vibrant environments and more cats than one could ever dream of.

You play as a curious girl getting used to her new home on a Japanese-inspired island at the base of Mount Fugu.

With an emphasis on the story and exploration, the game sees you trying to unravel the island’s many mysteries, including a mythological Sun Cat God named “Abe.”

Gameplay revolves around completing daily tasks such as crafting items, breeding cats, and maintaining a shop.

Fans of relaxing adventure games have a lot to look forward to in 2021, with narrative-driven experiences like Dordogne from French indie developer Un Je Ne Sais Quoi.

In it, you play as a 32-year-old woman named Mimi who starts reliving her childhood memories while visiting her grandmother’s old home in southwest France.

Swapping back and forth between the present and the past, Mimi will explore the rooms of her grandmother’s home while also guiding her 10-year-old self through puzzles that affect the present.

Along the way, players will have the chance to collect unique photos, sounds, objects, and words to fill up Mimi’s journal and document her fondest memories from summers in Dordogne.

Tunche is an upcoming indie beat’ em up that combines hack and slash combat with roguelike mechanics.

In it, 1-3 players control either Rumi or one of her friends as they try to restore peace in the Amazon after a powerful deity unleashes an army of evil creatures on the jungle.

You’ll travel through four worlds filled with unique enemies, bosses, challenges, and stories to explore while uncovering the forest’s many mysteries.

Each of Rumi’s allies has a distinct playstyle with special skills and ultimate abilities that can be enhanced and mastered across multiple playthroughs.

While Silksong will retain many of Hollow Knight’s core Metroidvania elements, it will be using them in slightly different ways.

For one, players will be controlling Hornet, a curious bug-like creature who uses a needle to fight.

At the start of the game, Hornet gets captured and taken to an unknown, haunted kingdom.

Players will have to escape the kingdom by making their way upwards instead of downwards like in the first game, encountering over 150 new creatures along the way.

Solar Ash is Heart Machine’s follow-up to Hyper Light Drifter and looks to be a fresh take on the modern 3D platformer with elements of adventure.

It sees you journeying through a highly stylized surreal world brimming with mystery, fast and fluid traversal, and a host of larger-than-life enemies.

You take control of Ash as she tries to save her world from the “Ultravoid,” a dark energy that feeds off of worlds and spawns massive beasts.

While we can confirm Solar Ash is set in the same universe as HLD, Heart Machine has stated it is not a direct sequel.

The critically-acclaimed space-flight simulator Kerbal Space Program will be receiving a sequel at some point in 2022.

This is after having development shifted from studio Star Theory to a new in-house team at Private Division, an indie publisher under Take-Two Interactive.

KSP2 looks to introduce a wealth of content and requested features, including more spacecraft parts, colony building, graphical improvements, online multiplayer, and upgraded modding tools.

If you’re one of the many players who found the original interesting but was ultimately intimidated by its steep learning curve, perhaps give it another shot.

Rawmen looks to answer the question, “What if Splatoon replaced inklings with naked men who love cooking?”

The game is still very early in development; however, developer ANIMAL appears to have an interesting concept on its hands.

Matches see you controlling a customizable chef and battling against other players using kitchen equipment such as pots, pans, ladles, etc.

You’ll also have control over what dishes your character uses in battle and can even run around slapping enemies with a fish.

Bear and Breakfast is being touted as a laidback management game that tasks you with running a bed and breakfast for tourists.

However, the twist is you’re actually a bear…because why not? Your duties include furnishing rooms, providing entertainment, and keeping your guests’ bellies full.

Each guest has a unique personality that affects their wants and needs and meeting their demands will earn you cash as well as attract new customers.

When you’re not tending to the business, you’re free to explore the Wilderness and its many mysteries.

Sidebar Games’ Golf Story was one of the best indie sleeper hits of 2017, telling an uplifting story of a down-on-his-luck golfer who manages to turn his life around by going back to his childhood love of golf.

The studio is back with a sequel, this time expanding its efforts to include a wider variety of sports-based activities and mini-games.

Scheduled to release later this year, Sports Story maintains the 2D presentation of its predecessor while introducing new characters and locations.

This includes a renowned tennis academy where your character will train and a prestigious castle where you’ll get to meet the queen.

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Justin Fernandez
Justin Fernandez

As a fan of both indie and triple-A games, Justin finds joy in discovering and sharing hidden gems with other passionate gamers. In addition to reporting on the latest and greatest titles, he manages GamingScan’s social media channels.

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