5 Beautiful New Indie Games To Cling To Emotionally

The indie game scene is choc-a-bloc with real beauties, the kind of things that make you feel good about games made today.

I love playing video games that somehow make me feel something. It could be happy, sad, shocked or just at peace. It’s pretty amazing to get an emotional response from a video game. I mean, it’s not unheard of in the industry, as we’ve learned from the many of us who bawled like babies over the video games we love.

This list showcases, in my eyes, some of the really great indie games available right now, all of which have been released within the last year. Not only are they all beautiful in different ways, but they’re all very different games from each other, so if one doesn’t tickle your fancy, maybe another might.

Please, my lovely reader, take a look.


capricious strand

Image: Ghost Pattern

capricious strand is a slow-burning investigative game from Australian developers Ghost Pattern, and follows the journey of an aspiring teenage journalist who must spend a few days on a decommissioned luxury airship turned into a floating hospital. During your stay, you will tour the airship talking to the various elderly people who live there and learning about their past and present lives, while helping your mother who is a nurse in the hospital.

I sincerely believe that capricious strand is one of those unique games. Luke’s review of the game really says it all: not only capricious strand a truly beautiful experience that features a semi-mature tale alongside the realities of aging, but it’s also so deeply Australian. From voice acting and stylistic choices, to landscapes and its setting in 1970s Australia, capricious strand is a truly beautiful local tale. You will cry.

Pins Tags

lighthouse pines
Image: Travel Companion

Pins Tags is a choose-your-own adventure game developed by American studio Hiding Spot, and puts you in the role of both yourself, the reader of a storybook, and Luka, the protagonist of said book of tales. As the reader and Luka, you’ll travel through the story of a beautiful little town riddled with mystery, collecting charms and causing trouble to progress through story branches and ultimately topple this classic Disney-esque world. .

Visually, Pins Tags is spectacular. Game character and environmental artist, Ilse Harting, absolutely knocked it out of the park here. When I played this game I found myself constantly sitting back and just saying “Wow!” The story itself also throws you into a loop and becomes surprisingly dark unlike the childlike wonder you get from just watching the game at a basic level. All around, Pins Tags is an absolutely wonderful experience for many different reasons. If you want to know even more before you jump in, John’s review highlights how fantastic it is Pins Tags is.

Wild flowers

beautiful flower wylde games
Picture: Studio Drydock

Wild flowers is a story-based living/farming simulation by Aussie devs Studio Drydock that follows Tara Wylde, a young woman who returns to the rural island of Fairhaven to live with her grandmother, tend to her farm, and… learn witchcraft?

I think call this your average farming game or animal crossing clone would really harm what does Wild flowers so special. Sure, it’s a great farming/life sim that follows some of the familiar notions from the games before it, but it’s a deep, fruitful story game to its core that also features some really clean cute visuals. The character models may seem a little mobile at first, but any disgust you may have will quickly fade away. I mean, look at these farm animals. This cow? A perfect cow.

A dreamer

a dreamer
Image: F2House

A dreamer is a point-and-click game coding adventure game created by Australian solo developer Gareth Ffoulkes that follows the trials and tribulations of a burnt-out indie game developer who jumps hurdle after hurdle to finally release his dream game.

I’ll be honest, I cried in the first hour of play A dreamer. That being said, I cry quite easily. NEVERTHELESS! A dreamer is an amazing experience that pulls you into the world of a struggling indie developer, both real and virtual, and doesn’t let go. The lighting and blooming on normally fairly ordinary pixel art visually adds a whole new layer to the game, and the voice acting, narration, and soundtrack are simply phenomenal. Chef’s kiss. Bellissime.

Dorfromantik

beautiful indie dorfromantik
Image: Toukana Interactive

Dorfromantik is a hex-based strategy and puzzle game developed by German studio Toukana Interactive, where you place procedurally generated tiles to create idyllic village landscapes. You could say it’s a city-builder, but the looks, feel, and gameplay mechanics would put it more in line with a comfortable version of Settlers of Catan without anyone trying to ruin your longest drive.

While the early access version of Dorfromantik has been out since last year, the full version only came out in April (and the Switch version comes out on September 29) and offers a lot more than the EA version. Dorfromantik is one of those games that is not only satisfying to watch, but also satisfying to play. To quote Luke here, “You should definitely play it.”


Have you played any recent indie releases that you consider really great games? Let us know!

About Douglas Torres

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