“Picking five favorite books is like picking the five body parts you’d most like not to lose.” – Neil Gaiman
After another strange and turbulent year, we are grateful to have had such a wonderful array of fresh indie games to keep us entertained and lift our spirits. Here are some of our ten top picks from all the new games we reviewed in 2021.
Rachael’s Top Picks 2021
Shindig – Full review here.
Shindig is a wholesome new point-and-click adventure about travelling to a new island and helping to throw a party for the residents. Players must explore the locale, complete quests and chat with a range of fun characters in this upbeat and positive game.
Keyword: A Spider’s Thread – Full review here.
Keyword: A Spider’s Thread is a narrative-focused detective thriller in which players take on the role of Private Investigator Guo Chen. His daughter is missing and a nationwide curfew means he cannot leave his apartment. Players will have to use keen observation skills and solve challenging puzzles in order to find her.
One Hand Clapping – Full review here.
One Hand Clapping is a 2D puzzle-platformer with a unique twist. Players must change the world around them using their voice, singing in order to progress through a variety of environmental challenges!
Buddy Simulator 1984 – Full review here.
Buddy Simulator 1984 is a digital chum. This ‘next-generation AI’ made in the fictional Anekom OS will simulate the experience of having a best friend, learning about the player, adapting to interests and personality traits and creating a range of games to play together! But how friendly is too friendly?
A Sketchbook About Her Sun – Full review here.
A Sketchbook About Her Sun is a new, experimental interactive fiction divided into 11 segments, each one corresponding to a song from Red Ribbon’s new album, Planet X. Players take on the role of Lucia, confused about her feelings for someone and fleeing her home city on a journey of self-discovery!
David’s Top Picks 2021
Sunblaze – Full review here.
Sunblaze is a platformer game by Games From Earth and published by Bonus Stage Publishing, revolving around the training and journey of an aspiring superhero apprentice! Josie’s superhero dad promises to train her in a surprisingly realistic training simulation and get her fit for superhero duties. But the father and daughter pair quickly realize that something is seriously amiss with the program’s latest update…
Serania: Path of the Scion – Full review here.
Serania – Path of the Scion is a roleplaying and a choose-your-own-adventure text-based game set in a Nordic medieval fantasy world by Danish solo developer Peter Ravnholt. Players awake to their home village getting burned by the Blackblades because they are being sought by King Juri’s military corps and the most feared in all the land. Fleeing the scene, players go on a journey to figure out why they are being hunted.
Delta Rune Chapter 2 – Full review here.
On the 18th September 2021, after nearly three years since its first instalment, Undertale successor Deltarune receives its second chapter out of the currently teased seven. The new release expands on the escapades of the unlikely duo, the human child Kris and bully dragon Susie, as they trek through the magical and whimsical Dark World.
Rainbow Laser Disco Dungeon – Full review here.
Rainbow Laser Disco Dungeon is a twin-stick shooter and roguelike game with rhythm elements, by the developer of Byte Driver. Taking place in the year 2084, Earth has been turned into a dystopia by extradimensional evil robots who quickly outlaw dancing and music!
Their Eyes – Full review here.
Their Eyes is a short, pixelated, top-down adventure game taking place in the unsettling town of Lockwood and the surrounding countryside. With only so much time before night falls and the bell chimes for the third and final time, you have two choices: hurry up and find a way out of this place or be entranced by the red glow of their eyes.
There were so many great games released during 2021 that picking just ten was a tough challenge and our honourable mentions include Svoboda 1945: Liberation, Luna’s Fishing Garden, Metavaxx and Moncage. We can’t wait to see what all these indie developers have in store for us next and we’re excited about all the games 2022 promises to bring!
We’d also like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to our readers and wish you all a happy and healthy new year!
Enjoyed reading this? Take a look at some of our other game lists!
Top Picks 2020 – Seven Truly Moving Games about Love (NOT Sex!) – Five Free Short Games on itch.io for Busy Bees! – 10 Uplifting Games for Self Care and Mental Wellbeing