Indie games have come a long way since the early shareware days of the ’90s. The rise of digital distribution, social media, and interest in gaming overall have all contributed to the current indie boom we’re witnessing in the gaming industry.

Gamers today are more likely to share what they’ve been playing and recommend smaller titles that may not get the spotlight they deserve. In 2018, stand-outs like Celeste, Return of the Obra Dinn, and Into the Breach managed to capture the hearts and minds of many.

Now in 2019, an even larger-selection of diverse and highly-anticipated titles are slated to release, many of which started out as small-scale passion projects. Here we’ll be highlighting some of the best upcoming indie games for 2019 and beyond. Make sure to check back as we’ll be adding entries and providing updates as new games are announced. 

Ooblets

Release Date: TBA 2019

Platform: Xbox One / PC

Ooblets is an upcoming life sim inspired by games like Stardew Valley, Animal Crossing and Pokémon. You play as a customizable human character that’s in charge of maintaining a farm. Aside from tending to crops, you frequently spend your days collecting and interacting with Ooblets, adorable small creatures that come in all shapes and sizes.

Together, you and your Ooblets will go on new adventures where you’ll battle other trainers, have dance parties, and explore different islands. The game was previously set to be published under the Double Fine Presents label but is now being self-published by developer duo Glumberland with help from Popagenda.

Mineko’s Night Market

Release Date: TBA 2019

Platform: Switch / PC

Mineko’s Night Market is an adorable adventure/simulation game inspired by games like Animal Crossing that features vibrant environments and more cats than you’ve ever dreamed of. You play as a curious girl still getting accustomed to her new home on a Japanese-inspired island at the base of Mount Fugu.

With an emphasis on story and exploration, the game sees you trying to uncover the island’s many secrets, including the mythological Sun Cat, Abe, who’s rumored to be real. In addition, you’re tasked with managing daily activities such as crafting items, running a shop, and breeding cats. 

The Pathless

Release Date: TBA 2019

Platform: PS4 / PC 

The Pathless is an upcoming adventure game created by developer Giant Squid, the studio behind Abzu. The game appears to be just as exploration-heavy and is set on a mystical island with a massive forest where both familiar and exotic creatures roam-freely.

You play as the Hunter, a master of archery tasked with dispelling an ancient curse that threatens to destroy the world. However, in order to fulfill your quest, you’ll have to build and maintain a close bond with your eagle companion. If we had to guess, The Pathless will pick up where Abzu left off and continue to explore the relationship between mankind and animals in a new setting. 

The Last Campfire

Release Date: TBA 2019

Platform: PC

The Last Campfire is a new property currently being developed by Hello Games, the studio responsible for No Man’s Sky. Described as an adventure-puzzle title, the game sees you guiding an adorably small traveler through a series of dense environments, each packed with interesting creatures and secrets to uncover.

The goal of the game is to make it back home in order to light the last campfire. However, don’t expect it to be a walk in the park as there will be countless obstacles that attempt to stand in your way. 

Atomic Heart

Release Date: TBA 2019

Platform: PS4 / Xbox One / PC

Atomic Heart is a first-person shooter produced and self-published by Russian developer Mundfish. The game takes place in an alternate reality where the Soviet Union’s research has led to a technical revolution. You assume control of a Soviet KGB officer who’s been tasked with infiltrating a secret facility that’s gone radio silent.

The game features an expansive open-world that consists of several regions with different biomes and multi-layered structures to explore. Combat is primarily focused on melee weapons, with firearms and ammo encounters being very limited.

Carrion

Release Date: TBA 2020

Platform: PC

Carrion is a reverse horror game that puts the player in control of a deadly amorphous creature that appears to have broken free inside of a military bunker. It appears to follow a Metroidvania format, with the creature being able to reach new areas as it consumes more humans and grows more powerful.

While we’ve seen other games like Evolve and Dead by Daylight swap roles and put a player in control of an evil monster, Carrion seems to be offering a much more immersive horror fantasy. The game is being produced by Phobia Game Studio and published by Devolver Digital.

Moving Out

Release Date: TBA 2020

Platform: PS4 / Xbox One / Switch / PC

Moving Out is an action sim with an emphasis on cooperative play; the game is self-published by developer SMG Studio, who’s past work includes Death Squared, another co-op focused game with puzzle mechanics.

As a Furniture Arrangement Relocation Technician (F.A.R.T.), it’s up to you and your friends to expertly transport furniture across hazardous environments and safely load them onto a moving truck. The game gives off serious Overcooked vibes and we’re hoping it’s just as chaotic and fun to play.

Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout

Release Date: TBA 2020

Platform: PS4 / PC

Fall Guys adds a unique twist to the Battle Royale formula by dropping up to 100 players in challenging game-show style obstacle courses designed to test players’ platforming abilities. The game comes from Mediatonic, whose credits include Hatoful Boyfriend, and is published by Devolver Digital.

You control adorable little guys who can be customized with different accessories to make yourself stand out from the competition. As matches progress and the number of remaining contestants gets lower and lower, you’ll notice that challenges start to ramp up, introducing more obstacles designed to throw you off.

Sable

Release Date: TBA 2020

Platform: PC

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 their own 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 opportunities to stop and explore its many destinations. 

Spelunky 2 

Release Date: TBA

Platform: PS4 / PC

Spelunky 2 is an upcoming 2D-platformer with some rogue-like elements, being co-developed by self-published Mossmouth and Blitworks. The sequel carries over many of the mechanics from the first while sporting improved visuals and a host of new characters, enemies, obstacles, and treasures.

Players assume control of a spelunker and begin exploring a series of procedurally-generated caves while collecting treasure, battling enemies, and avoiding traps. One of the best parts of the original was how unique each run felt, so it came as a pleasant surprise when Mossmouth announced they would be sticking to the formula for Spelunky 2.

Hollow Knight: Silksong

Release Date: TBA 

Platform: Switch / PC

Silksong was initially conceived as DLC for Hollow Knight but proved to be too ambitious, prompting developer Team Cherry to keep expanding on the project and release it as a standalone title. While the game plans on retaining many of the Metroidvania elements from the original, expect to see them introduced and used in slightly different ways.

You play as Hornet, a bug-like creature who first appeared in Hollow Knight and uses a needle as her main weapon. At the start of the game, Hornet is captured and taken to a haunted kingdom where in order to escape, she’ll have to travel upwards, an inversion of the first game. Team Cherry has reportedly designed 150 new creatures for Silksong and has already shown off some of the new abilities Hornet can use.

Rawmen

Release Date: TBA 

Platform: PC

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

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