Best indie games on the Wii U eShop (recommendation thread)

Oct 14, 2014
3,812
0
0
#1
The Wii U eShop contains many great indie games by now, and more are arriving. A problem with the eShop however, is that it's impossible to filter the good titles from the shovelware.

So here's a shovelware-free zone (except Shovel Knight, obviously), with some recommendations on games worth playing. Feel free to add your own suggestions to the thread!

****************************


14 essential games (in alpabetical order)


Affordable Space Adventures
One of the most unique games on the Wii U, and a game that truly shows what the Gamepad can be used for in an innovating way. For 1 to 3 players. The game contains 3 roles: pilot, engineer and science officer. In single player, all roles are played by one person. In multiplayer, the roles are separated through true co-op. Although the puzzles are the same regardless of the number of players, the gaming experience will change depending on the number of players (and which players you play co-op with). Since the initial release (which most reviews are based on), an update has become available with 5 additional very hard levels, in an extra chapter called "Origin Story".


File size: 1085 MB installed
(NA/EU/JP) Called "U-Explore Space Adventures" on JP eShop.

NeoGAF OT


BIT.TRIP Presents: RUNNER2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien
Rhythm-based game with loads of content, in a silly/funny game style. With Charles Martinet as the voice actor.


File size: 871 MB DL / 1608.9 MB inst.
(NA/EU/JP)


FAST Racing NEO
The already-famous 60 fps futuristic racing game by Shin'en, played at insane speeds. Up to 4 player locally or 8 players online. 16 tracks, 3 speed classes and a Hero Mode.


File size: 590.3 MB DL / 1221.9 MB inst.
(NA/EU/JP)

NeoGAF OT


Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition
Metroidvania-style action platformer for 1 or 2 players. Many Nintendo references throught the game.


File size: 802.7 MB DL / 1289.3 MB DL inst.
(NA/EU)

NeoGAF OT


Minecraft: Wii U Edition
The most famous and best-selling indie game of all time. Up to 4 players locally (additional players uses Pro Controllers) through split screen, or 8 players online. Off-TV mode for single player. Additional themes and costumes are available as DLC. Since its release, the main game has recieved a number of substantional updates.


File size: 1093.9 MB inst.
(NA/EU/JP)


Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty
A complete remake of the classic platformer with a cinematic feel. Although the Wii U version struggles with some occasional frame rate issues, this is still a premium game.


(NA/EU)


Runbow
Fun and content-packed party game based on jumping, smashing and switching colors. Supports up to 9 local players, as well as online play. The game contains a substantial single player campaign as well.


File size: 1425 MB inst.
(NA/EU/JP)

NeoGAF OT


Scram Kitty and his Buddy on Rails
A really unique "on-rails" shooter, and one of the first Wii U indies where the TV and Gamepad showed different streams to the player.


File size: 103.6 MB DL / 195 MB inst.
(NA/EU)

NeoGAF OT


Shovel Knight
NES-inspired platformer, with a modern game design. 2-player mode requires a Shovel Knight amiibo. Awesome retro sound track by Virt.


File size: 185.5 MB DL / 349.7 MB inst.
(NA/EU)

NeoGAF OT


Stealth Inc 2: A Games of Clones
Brilliantly designed puzzle/platformer with some stealth components. Even the hub world is a level in it self. Includes a very unique 2-player mode where the second player uses the Gamepad. Stage editor (and online level sharing) is also included.


File size: 303 MB inst.
(NA/EU)

NeoGAF OT


SteamWorld Dig
Image & Form's game about mining robots. In HD and with perfect Gamepad implementation. (Note that the screenshot doesn't reflect how the game looks when played with TV+Gamepad.)


File size: 114.6 MB DL / 220.4 MB inst.
(NA/EU/JP)

NeoGAF OT (mainly about the 3DS version)


Swords & Soldiers II
Side-scrolling strategy game for 1 or 2 players. Better than the first game in virtually every way. The 2-player mode uses Gamepad vs. TV.


File size: 1038.9 MB inst.
(NA/EU/JP)

NeoGAF OT


Teslagrad
Metroidvania-style puzzle platformer built around electromagnetism, with a nice atmosphere. The story is told without the use of text. A few hidden Nintendo-related easter eggs in the artwork.


File size: 1046.3 MB DL / 1588.2 MB inst.
(NA/EU/JP)

NeoGAF OT


Toki Tori 2+
A metroidvania puzzle platformer, about a bird that can't fly. The gameplay is purely without text instructions. This game has an extremely low price compared to the content it contains, since the world map is huge. The Tokidex camera feature allows you to scan the area around Toki Tori for creatures and objects by using the Wii U Gamepad as a virtual camera with a viewfinder. The Gamepad is also used as an inventory/map when playing on the TV.


File size: 529.1 MB DL / 1134.2 MB inst.
(NA/EU/JP)

NeoGAF OT

****************************


Other great games (in alphabetical order)


Adventures of Pip
An action-platformer in a retro 32-bit pixel world, where you start to play as the 1-pixel hero Pip that can absorb pixels of defeated enemies. After a while, Pip will get 8-bit and 32-bit versions the abilities of the character. Switching beween the 3 versions are required to finish the game and save the kingdom. Includes an epic music score by Virt. During TV play, the Gamepad shows the inventory during gameplay, and the full world map during level select.


(NA/EU)

NeoGAF OT


Armillo
3D Sonic meets Mario Galaxy, with some 2D gaming as well. Although the graphics might look a bit dated, it contains one of the best sound designs of any game, and solid gameplay.


(NA/EU/JP)

NeoGAF OT



Art of Balance
Reworked version of Shinen's balance game in HD graphics, with more levels and more improved physics. Can be played both as single player or multiplayer. Using Wii remotes is more challenging but feels more rewarding, compared to using Gamepad or Pro Controller.


(NA/EU/JP)


BADLAND: Game of the Year Edition
An award-winning mobile game that resulted in a much better console version. There's still only one button to press, but using the control stick to control the speed and direction makes the gameplay much better and more satisfying. All the content that's available as micro transactions on the mobile versions are included. Multiplayer can be played as co-op or competetive.


(NA/EU)


The Bridge
A mind-bending 2D puzzle game with puzzles in more than one perspecive, M. C. Escher style.


(NA/EU)


Castlestorm
The ancient art of defending and attacking a fortress. For single player, 2 players locally or online play. When playing 2 player locally, both players see the same view. When using the Gamepad, the aiming point of the ballista can be clicked directly on the touchpad.


(NA/EU)


The Cave
Puzzle adventure in the style of Money Island and similar games. The game takes place in a talking cave (the voice of the cave is done by Stephen Stanton), where a party of 3 characters (selectable at the start from a total a 7) enter. The game does not support off-TV play. The Gamepad touch screen can be used to switch between the 3 characters in the cave.


(NA/EU/JP)


Chariot

Control a chariot with 2 ropes through platform mazes. It supports both single player and 2-player, although the game is more fun as 2-player co-op.


File size: 491 MB DL / 1015.4 MB inst.
(NA/EU/JP)


Citizens of Earth
RPG in the style of Earthbound, where you take the role as the Vice President of Earth.


(NA/EU)


Don't Starve: Giant Edition
A survival game in a randomly generated world. You never know what you'll gonna get. When you die, you start all over again.


(NA/EU)


EDGE
3D platformer (for a very low price) where the player controls a cube that can only roll accross surfaces.


(NA/EU/JP)


Electronic Super Joy
Hard and challenging platformer, but with great controls. Check points are frequent on the levels. The title of the game probably refers to the electronic sound track.


(NA/EU)


Elliot Quest
A side-scrolling action/adventure with RPG elements, in 8-bit-style. The game is inspired by games such as Zelda II: The Adventure of Link.


(NA/EU)


Extreme Exorcism
Retro-style platformer, where the movements made in a level returns in the next run as a ghost to haunt the player. Contains many diffent game modes and challenges. Supports up to 4 players locally.


(NA/EU)


The Fall

Adventure platformer, where you play as the intelligence unit (A.R.I.D.) of a space combat suit, where the human pilot is unconscious. First part of what will eventually become a 3-part story.


(NA/EU)


Freedom Planet
A game that feels like an old-school 16bit Sonic game, with great gameplay and a soundtrack to match the style. The levels are looong.


(NA/EU)


Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams
A collectathlon platformer, where the twist is that each level contains an alternate version that can be switched to at any time. Very beautiful visuals and smooth transformation effects. A very challenging platformer, even on the easiest setting. No additional functionality for the Gamepad, except to duplicate the TV display.


(NA/EU/JP)


Gunman Clive HD Collection
Masterly crafted (but short) shooter, at a low price. Contains both Gunman Clive 1 and 2.


File size: 114 MB inst.
(NA/EU/JP)


Human Resource Machine
One of my personal favorites. It actually manages to teach the mechanics of assembly language programming through a fun game. If you're a programmer or just like logic puzzles, you'll love this one. Some of the bonus challenges are really hard!


File size: 79 MB installed
(NA/EU)


Ittle Dew
Very funny and entertaining 2D Zelda-inspired game that never takes itself seriously. If you is a Zelda fan, this game is for you.


(NA/EU/JP)


Knytt Underground

Control a small character (called Mi) and visit huge worlds of underground mazes to find the 6 bells of fate. The adventure divided into 3 separate chapters. Gamepad handles the Inventory and the Map.


(NA/EU/JP)


Little Inferno
A quite unique game about burning things.


File size: 94 MB inst.
(NA/EU/JP)


Lone Survivor: The Director's Cut
Horror game, in the shape of a survival adventure. The wrong choices might lead to madness. The game has different sides of the story and multiple endings.


File size: 184 MB inst.
(NA/EU)


Mighty Switch Force! Hyper Drive Edition
A puzzle platformer in HD based on block switching with a great soundtrack by Virt. The Gamepad shows a radar with the location of the girls to find, but this is displayed on screen as well (the only difference is that the radar can show more than one location).


(NA/EU/JP)


Mighty Switch Force! 2

A puzzle platformer that works very similar to Mighty Switch Force! Hyper Drive Edition. The main difference is that this game has a different shooting mechanic (water instead of a gun), different soundtrack, and the gameplay is retro/pixel art instead of HD.


(NA/EU)


Nano Assault Neo
Twin-stick shooter from Shin'en, in a microscope universe. In single player, the overview 3D map is displayed on the Gamepad during gameplay. In 2-player mode, one player plays on the TV and the other on the Gamepad. A pretty short game.


(NA/EU/JP)


Nihilumbra
One of the games that feels like it's designed for the Wii U Gamepad. Paint the ground with the touch screen to affect the gameplay, and use the controls to move the character. The one issue I had with this game was that it wasn't possible to turn off the voice reading.


(NA/EU/JP)


Nova-111
A game that mix turn-based puzzles with quick actions. New kinds of enemies appears on almost every level. Excellent level design.


File size: 370 MB installed
(NA/EU)


OlliOlli
The first skateboard game from Roll7. Perhaps not the best looking game on the eShop, but it controls like a dream, and it's both challenging and rewarding. The objective is to make as many combos as possible. Great hand-picked soundtrack, including tracks by The Qemists, Dorian Concept and Flako. The purchase also includes a 3DS version.


File size: 448 MB installed
(NA/EU)


Pumped BMX +
A BMX game with really great controls and a large selection of tricks and courses. The game graphics might look like a mobile game, but it definitely controls with the accuracy of a console game. The objective of the game is to perform some challenges (such as "Score 7,500 points" or "Do a Backflip") connected to a specific course and skill level. When all challenges are achieved, the skill level increases for that course.


(NA/EU)


Pure Chess
Chess game supporting asynchronous online multiplayer with players on other Pure Chess platforms (such as iOS, Android, 3DS). Please note that the online requires a (free) Pure Chess account. Also includes local play, basic chess course, chess challenges, and many visual options. Additional chess boards are available as DLC from the eShop. Makes good use of both screens.


(NA/EU)


Race the Sun
A space racer similar to polygon-style racers from the past, but with more modern visuals.


File size: 127 MB installed
(NA/EU)


REPLAY: VHS is not dead
A truly mind-bending puzzle game, where the player has to record movement sequences for each character in a movie scene, to complete the scene. The twist is that each character in the scene interact with each other, but the player can only control one of the recordings at a time. The puzzles are very well designed, and this is a game for anyone who looks for a game that really twists the mind.


(NA/EU)


The Rivers of Alice: Extended Version
A point-and-click adventure in a surreal setting. The Gamepad is used for the action input, while the TV screen shows the game without instructions to the player.


(NA/EU)


RUSH
Puzzle game (with a very low price) where auto-moving boxes should reach their. The game controls only on the Gamepad screen, and it contains no action moments.


(NA/EU)


Shantae And the Pirate's Curse
A good platformer, once you have adjusted to the mix of retro pixel graphics and HD graphics.


(NA/EU)


Spin the Bottle
Party game for 2-8 players. Requires both Wiimotes and the Gamepad, but it does NOT use the TV. Since the initial release (which most reviews are based on), an big update with 6 more mini mages was released. The current version of the game is 2.0.0.


(NA/EU/JP)


Sportsball
Fun local multiplayer game that combines soccer, jousting, and flying birds. Up to 5 players, where one of the players can even be commentator on the Gamepad. (Currently only available on the NoA eShop.)


(NA)


Spy Chameleon
Clear the level without being seen, using color switching mechanics. One of the games that feels the most "ported" from another console, but it's a solid game nevertheless.


(NA/EU)


Squids Odyssey
An underwater turn-based RPG mixed with some Angry Birds-like mechanics. Created in France by some former Ubisoft employees. In Europe, the 3DS version includes a free Wii U version as cross-buy (but not the other way around).


(NA/EU)


Star Ghost
Polished and addictive schmup game by a former developer at Rare and Retro Studios, with a sound track by David Wise. Game mechanics is very easy to learn (the A button for height control, and left stick for aiming or traction beam), but the game design has quite a depth, awarding both skill and good tactics. The game currently only support the Gamepad controller.


(NA/EU)

NeoGAF OT


Star Wars Pinball
Zen Studio's pinball game for the Star Wars franchise. Demos of the tables are available, and tables are unlocked through the eShop. Local multiplayer can be played as 2 players side-by-side, or 2-4 players taking turns. Game also includes online leaderboards.


(NA/EU)


STARWHAL
The battle between neon narwhals in space. The controls actually feels a bit like a 2D version of Rocket League. A great party game. Supports up to 4 players locally, or playing against AI players.


(NA/EU)


Stick it to the Man!
A crazy game in a paper universe, using mind reading as a mechanics. The Wii U version scans other people's thoughts by tilting the Gamepad vertically, which is pretty fun. Make sure to have the Gamepad's speaker sound turned on!


(NA/EU/JP)


The Swapper
Puzzle platformer based on teleporting. The game graphics is actually based on real models.


File size: 362 MB inst.
(NA/EU/JP)

NeoGAF OT


The Swindle
Game with procedurally-generated levels that mixes stealth, platforming and action. Break in, steal the money and get out without getting caught.


File size: 1195 MB installed
(NA/EU)

NeoGAF OT


Swords & Soldiers HD
HD-enhanced version (with full Gamepad support) of the Wiiware side-scrolling strategy game, in the epic struggle for barbecue sauce.


(NA/EU/JP)


Tengami
A beatiful game that is more of an art experience than a traditional game. Made by some ex-developers from Rare. David Wise made the soundtrack. The user interface is touchpad only, but the experience should be displayed on the TV screen with good speakers.


File size: 338 MB installed
(NA/EU/JP)


Tetrobot and Co.
Block puzzle game with very tight and well-designed block puzzles. The difficulty curve is also very well designed, and each new puzzle requires the player to think in a different way. Includes both a touchpad user interface and a joystick-style interface using the left stick.


(NA/EU/JP)


Thomas was Alone
A game that proves that good graphics isn't necessarily needed for a game to be good. This game actually don't contain much graphics to speak of, just simple shapes. Which just works very well.


File size: 580 MB installed
(NA/EU)


Toto Temple Deluxe
Get the goat! A really fun party game, but this game only supports local multiplayer (no single player or online). The game controls are very easy to learn. My personal favorite mode is the one with the exploding goats.


(NA/EU)


Trine 2: Director's Cut
Beautifully-looking puzzle platformer where 3 characters are controlled by 1 to 3 players.


File size: 2046 MB installed
(NA/EU/JP)


Ultratron
Old-school twin-stick shooter for 1 or 2 players.


(NA/EU)


Unepic
A platformer/RPG in castlevania style. When playing on the TV, everything needed in the game is easy accessible on the Gamepad. When playing off-TV, 12 items can be assigned to button combos.


(NA/EU)


XType Plus
Shmup consisting only of procedurally generated boss fights. Each boss becomes gradually harder. Includes both a Standard mode and a Plus mode, as well as online leaderboards.


(NA/EU/JP)


Year Walk
A story with a great atmosphere based on old Swedish folk lore and mythology. This port contains one of the most well-implemented uses of the Wii U Gamepad (using TV+Gamepad). The Gamepad user interface feels so extremely well designed and intuitive, which make me more involved in the story. A fairly short but very rewarding game.


(NA/EU/JP)


Zen Pinball 2
Pinball game from Zen Studios with a large selection of tables. Demo tables available, and tables are unlocked through the eShop. The "Plants vs. Zombies" and "South Park" are some of the gems among the tables. Local multiplayer can be played as 2 players side-by-side, or 2-4 players taking turns. Game also includes online leaderboards.


(NA/EU)


****************************

TOOLS

www.indie-eshop.com - Fansite for browsing the eShop indie titles.
(This site also have an Android app!)
 
Oct 6, 2007
23,358
0
0
30
#3
Was Typoman any good? I notice it's not on your list. I thought it seemed cute and clever based on the demo, but I never got around to buying it, and I haven't really heard anything about it.
 
Sep 15, 2013
34,165
1
715
www.neogaf.com
#15
You listed most everything and killed your own thread. I've always wanted to try Ballpoint Universe. I really like the aesthetic of that game.
I've played some of it. I even hosted a giveaway for them...don't remember if it was here or on NintendoEverything. It's a fun game, but it didn't grab me. It was kind of confusing to find my way around.
 
May 27, 2014
12,699
0
0
Southampton
#16
I was looking into the 3DS version with the 3D Graphics.
Cave Story 3D was my first exposure to Cave Story and what a game it was. It's phenomenal and the 3D backgrounds just look stunning, character models are a bit rough. Sadly I lost my cartridge so I just have an empty box glaring at me! It's become pretty rare in the UK too so that really sucks. You can get the 2D version on the 3DS eshop too which has a 3D effect.
 
Nov 3, 2009
11,792
0
0
#17
I've played some of it. I even hosted a giveaway for them...don't remember if it was here or on NintendoEverything. It's a fun game, but it didn't grab me. It was kind of confusing to find my way around.
You did several of those giveaways but I don't remember that one being one of them. I was trying to soak up as much info as I could find for this game because I thought it looked like the coolest Indy game on that indie reel when it was announced, but there wasn't hardly any media on it. I should just take the plunge because for 5 bucks it's gotta be worth it.

I think I will when I get home.
 
Jul 2, 2007
7,810
0
0
29
Chesapeake, Ohio
#18
I think he's talking about the Nicalis Cave Story on the eShop? Not the retail version that came near launch. (Which was completely fine anyway. Not as good as the original spritework, but it looked OK when playing.)

I'd recommend Factotum. Most of the action takes place on the TV, but the gamepad makes it easier to switch between the two robots as you make them work together to solve puzzles.

 
Sep 22, 2015
5,497
2
290
#21
I absolutely love Tengami, but man I'd love that game to get an update to support the Wiimote. Having to use the Gamepad to click where you want to go but watching it on the TV is a bit odd.
 
Sep 4, 2014
3,847
0
0
#25
Sportsball is missing. List is invalid.

In seriousness, it's a good list.

It's owned by Microsoft now...so not quite?
I know that, and my post was semi-sarcastic, but it almost seems wrong to exclude the poster-child for indie games just because it's now owned by a mega-corp.

I obviously understand the reasoning, and it's a good list.
 
Jul 26, 2013
2,005
0
0
#26
Props for listing Lone Survivor and Scram Kitty, OP. The first is like the awesome SNES prequel that Silent Hill never had, and the second is just an awesomely novel shoot-em up with a truly unique mechanic at its core.

I need to get on Affordable Space Adventures already.

Edit: I second Sportsball! Just wish it had online.
 
Jun 7, 2011
9,665
0
0
#29
Spin the Bottle, plebs! Wii U-exclusive game by the Affordable Space Adventures devs that does lots of neat things with the gamepad.

Also worth noting: Squids Odyssey is (was?) cross-buy with 3DS.
 
May 30, 2010
2,829
0
575
#36
Subbed.

I always wonder when eshop games go on sale if any of them are any good. Ended up buying a few multiplats during the end of last year using Steam scores as a reference.
 
Jan 28, 2015
213
0
0
www.indie-eshop.com
#40
Great post!

Agree with all of them, but there are missing many:

1001 Spikes
Adventure of Pip
Beatbuddy: Tale of the Guardians
Costume Quest 2
Dot Arcade
Elliot Quest
Edge
Extreme Exorcism
Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams
Knytt Underground
Mutant Mudds Deluxe
Mighty Switch Force! Hyper Drive Edition
Mighty Switch Force 2
Never Alone
Octodad: Dadliest Catch
Rush
Spin the Bottle
Sportsball
Temple of Yog
The Cave
The Fall
Toki Tori
Typoman
Unepic
Underground

I created a year ago a site for indie games on the eshop, where the people can find each week sales and launches, and keep track of it. I even updated with a section "My List" to save your collection and a wish list. The Top Games is based on Metacritics, and when is missing, in NintendoLife score.
Indie-eShop.com

And yesterday, for anyone with android, I just publish an android app of the site, where I send notifications with the launches and sales for EU and US (3DS and WiiU)
Indie eShop App on Google Play store

ps: about Minecraft, it started and was done as a indie... so I consider it as indie, but Citizens of Earth I think wound not exists without Atlus... is that a indie game then?

The Wii U eShop contains many great indie games by now, and more are arriving. A problem with the eShop however, is that it's impossible to filter the good titles from the shovelware. ...
I could help with this post if you want, creating from my DB of the site, the picture that you are using (automatic with php), let me check...
 

KingSnake

The Birthday Skeleton
Jan 9, 2013
26,118
0
0
#44
Affordable Space Adventures and FAST Racing Neo are games that should not be missed. Both created specifically for Wii U and taking full advantage of it,

ASA has maybe the best use for the Gamepad which makes a great single player experience and the perfect co-op game.

FAST Racing Neo pushes the Wii U to fantastic speeds, a great game in a very under-represented genre in the past years.
 
Feb 5, 2009
9,008
63
715
#46
Affordable Space Adventures and FAST Racing Neo are games that should not be missed. Both created specifically for Wii U and taking full advantage of it,

ASA has maybe the best use for the Gamepad which makes a great single player experience and the perfect co-op game.

FAST Racing Neo pushes the Wii U to fantastic speeds, a great game in a very under-represented genre in the past years.
Very useful thread, i approved. There's a suggestion here.

Could the people that has experience with the games been listed be more specific when the software makes some special use of the Gamepad. "Great use" is a bit too non descriptive and Wii U indi games tend to have scarce coverage, so every little piece of information helps.

This is a sincere request, because there are various games mentioned in the thread that awoke my curiosity. So thank you.