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 games!

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

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The Amazing American Circus is an upcoming deck-building game that blends elements of resource management, tycoon, role-playing, and exploration-based games.

In it, you play as the inexperienced owner of a run-down circus company looking to turn things around and go head to head with the biggest names in the industry.

To achieve this, you’ll have to hire talented artists and performers who can keep the crowd entertained using card-based actions with unique effects.

The game also includes a management component that revolves around looking after the various attractions and stations that make up your circus.

Coming from indie developer Amplitude Studios, Humankind is a 4X strategy game that sees you rewriting history by establishing unique civilizations based on 60 historical periods starting with the Bronze Age up until modern times.

Players will be able to influence societies by making tough moral decisions, reacting to historical events, and spearheading scientific breakthroughs.

The game shares some obvious similarities with the Civilization series, but we can’t exactly blame it.

The Sid Meier games have dominated the 4x turn-based strategy subgenre for almost 30 years, so you could say fans are overdue a worthy alternative.

Indie developer Picogram has partnered with Rose City Games to publish Garden Story, a hybrid social sim/adventure RPG with farming sim mechanics. 

The game sees you controlling an adorable-looking grape named Concord who’s just been crowned village guardian.

With help from his friends and neighbors, he’ll travel to new regions, solve puzzles, and cure the forest.

Throughout the story, you’ll get to know the many creatures that call Grove island home by completing favors and adding memories to Concord’s scrapbook.

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.

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.

Originally planned to release in 2018 and then later 2019, 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, have 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.

Described as an “interactive thriller about a man trapped in a time loop,” 12 Minutes sees you taking on the role of a husband whose wife is accused of murder.

While trying to prevent her from getting arrested by the police, your character is ultimately killed.

Things take a dramatically strange turn upon death, as your character is immediately brought back to the very beginning of the game.

Your task then becomes to replay the events over and over, investigating every possible angle to figure out the truth and break the 12-minute time loop.

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.

Upcoming samurai indie game Naraka: Bladepoint sees you taking on the role of a deadly warrior who won’t hesitate to slay anyone who dares to cross their path.

Bladepoint presents a robust combat system consisting of numerous parry, blocking, and attack mechanics that will no doubt require hundreds of hours to master.

This is further complemented by free-flowing character movement along with access to a grappling hook that can be attached to just about any surface.

Solar Ash is the next project to come from developer Heart Machine, best known for the 2D action RPG Hyper Light Drifter.

While the game’s color palette and overall tone feel reminiscent of HM’s most recent game, Solar Ash takes place in 3D environments with the player character able to glide across surfaces.

Little is known regarding gameplay details, however, you can see the main character in the trailer jumping to attack a towering, one-eyed monster.

This leads us to believe the game will focus on combat and exploration, similar to HLD.

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.

Sable is an upcoming adventure title currently in production by UK studio Shedworks.

Described as a “coming-of-age tale of discovery,” the game sees you controlling the titular protagonist as they embark on a personal journey across an alien planet learning about its history and place in the world.

The first thing that caught our eye was the fact that you can ride a hoverbike while exploring Sable‘s unique world.

It’s not often that we see desert environments depicted as vibrantly and engrossing as Sable’s appears to be, so we’re hoping there are plenty of possibilities to stop and explore its many destinations.

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 their 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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