Welcome to the hub page for our weekly indie spotlight! Here, you can find a list of all the games we’ve covered for our column dedicated to all things indie. We started this project as a way to make sure we’re still covering those hidden gems that we all love to play.
The Crackpet Show
We kick things off with The Crackpet Show, a wild game about mutated animals fighting to the death on a twisted televised show after some apocalypse wiped out all the humans. It’s like Enter The Gungeon and Happy Tree Friends conceived a baby during some chemsex and then smoked and drank absinthe throughout the pregnancy.
Available to buy on Steam – currently in early access and coming to Nintendo Switch, PlayStation, and Xbox soon.
Since being written about for the Indie Spotlight, Vampire Survivors has also been mentioned on TheGamer’s podcast. It seems to be the year of the vampire, with Vampire the Masquerade: Swansong and V Rising also making waves in 2022. It’s a bullet hell roguelite that’ll keep you coming back for more.
Vampire Survivors is available on Steam and mobile, both iOS and Android.
Not For Broadcast
The next game in our spotlight is Not For Broadcast, an FMV game about a British television controller coming to terms with the slow, poisonous decay of modern media. It’s a poignant story for those of us living on this tiny, cold island nation, but anyone can enjoy the humour and excellent gameplay on offer.
Not For Broadcast is available on Steam.
Next up is Starsand, a gorgeous and deadly survival sim set in an alien desert. It’s got all the trappings of The Forest when it first launched into early access years ago. Only instead of a dense forest, there’s an endless desert with scattered oases and ruins for you to explore.
Starsand is available on Steam – currently in early access.
The Fermi Paradox
Column number four is all about The Fermi Paradox, a Spore-like game on a galactic scale. You take control of a powerful Galactic Gardener who gently guides several emergent species through the stages of their evolution. You can choose what priorities they’ll have, what gods they worship, what wars they’ll wage, and if they’ll make contact with an alien race.
The Fermi Paradox is available on Steam – currently in early access.
If you love bees – and who doesn’t? They’re fuzzy, clumsy, and help keep the planet alive by spreading flowers everywhere – then APICO is the game for you. It’s a farming simulator in the same vein as Stardew Valley but dedicated entirely to bees.
APICO is available on Steam.
Tinyfolks is proof that good things often come in small packages. Short and sweet, this cheap indie game offers a banging soundtrack, Darkest Dungeon-esque rock-paper-scissors mechanics, and a pixelated artstyle. It’s also beatable in just under two hours, perfect for the gamer on a tight schedule.
Tinyfolks is available on Steam.
Unrailed! is a frantic couch co-op game perfect for those of you who enjoy Overcooked. It’s also weirdly innuendo filled. You’ve got to get a train from A to B. Sounds simple enough, right? Wrong. You’ve got to chop wood and mine ore to build the tracks, and you need to keep bandits and yetis away. Oh, and the train speeds up the further in you get.
Unrailed is available on Switch, PS4, Xbox One, and PC.
Do you like fascism and totalitarian rule? How about bleak futuristic dystopias? How about pure, utter hopelessness? If you answered no to all of the above, chances are you’ll love Industria. Even though it’s a game about all of those things, it doesn’t like them either.
Industria is available on Steam, PS5, and Xbox Series X|S.
Gibbon: Beyond The Trees
Everything is political, whether you like it or not. Them’s the breaks. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson used that phrase in his resignation speech, so even that’s political. Anyway, this Indie Spotlight shines on Gibbon: Beyond the Trees. We spoke to the CEO of the developer studio to discuss how the cute nature game got its political edge.
Gibbon: Beyond the Trees is available on Switch and Steam.
What’s Your Favourite Indie Game Of All Time?
There was a bit of a lull in indie releases, so we decided to ask TheGamer staff what their favourite indie games of all time were. Starting at T, we have Terraria and Transistor – excellent picks. Next up, someone other than George Foster picked Psychonauts, truly a momentous occasion. We also have ugly duckling No Man’s Sky, mobile puzzle game Woody, and the classic Garry’s Mod. Butterfly Soup, Spelunkey, and Crypt of the Necrodancer finished off the list.
C’mon, we were obviously going to write about the cat game. We’ve been waiting for it all year and it did not disappoint. Lead specialist writer Harry Alston gave it a full five stars in his review, and for the Indie Spotlight he wrote about how Stray’s 1990s retrofuturism reminds him of his childhood – an era that’s now firmly in the past.
Dinkum is a slow-living game in the same vein as Stardew Valley and Animal Crossing, but as Harry Alston writes, it “beats them both over the head.” It speaks to a wider trend that’s emerged this year of quiet, slow-paced titles.
You can get Dinkum on Steam.
The Best Indie Games In 2022 For Under $5
There are so many great indie games out there, but we don’t all have the money to play every single new hit. So, we’ve compiled a list of fantastic indie gems that cost under $5 each. Some have been in the Indie Spotlight before, like Vampire Survivors and TIny Folk, but others are their debut, like Just King and Retrowave.
Untitled Goose Game
Here’s a game that absolutely deserves a spot on this list, but not for a reason you’d ever guess. The big boss, editor-in-chief Stacey Henley decided to write about an indie near and dear to her heart, Untitled Goose Game. The honktacular game apparently takes place in an alternative universe where a goose (maybe the very one you play as) chased that human husk out of office. Turns out, you’re pissing off Thatcher supporters, making this wonderful game even better.
Journey To The Centre Of Hawkthorne
You know all those games from films and TV shows that look awesome but aren’t actually real? Yeah, well this isn’t anything like that, because Journey to the Centre of Hawkthorne is as real as they come. A fan-made game that delivers beautifully on the concept introduced in the show, it reminds me just how funny the series is.
You can download Journey to the Center of Hawkthorne here for free.