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Indie Your favorite hidden-gem indies from this generation?

DunDunDunpachi

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The phrase "hidden-gem indie" would've been redundant 10 years ago, but since indies now win Game of the Year awards at conferences and across many gaming publications (Dead Cells, Celeste, Stardew Valley) it seems like the meaning has changed.

So, please exclude indies that have received a bunch of awards and accolades.

Two of my picks would be Flywrench and Race the Sun. Simple games that I still boot up to this day.


(Flywrench)


(Race the Sun)
 

Pietanic

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Jun 3, 2013
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What became of Edith Finch. Probably not so much a hidden gem, but in case someone can see this and give it a shot it’s well worth it. A deep experience in some parts
the baby in bath part is particularly upsetting
.

Well worth the couple of quid it costs, think it was free on psplus a while ago.
 

ROMhack

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Hard to define gens anymore so I'll just throw a few out there from 2010 onwards.


Device 6 - an iOS only(?) text adventure that plays a lot like a modern version of The Prisoner.





Super Hexagon - a crushingly difficult but so-much-fun puzzle game with great music.





Quadrilateral Cowboy - a funky, eccentric hacking game with a story a lot like a Wes Anderson movie.





Dr. Langeskov, The Tiger, and The Terribly Cursed Emerald: A Whirlwind Heist - A 15 minute heist game by Crows Crows Crows & Directed by William Pugh (The Stanley Parable).





The Sexy Brutale - this is honestly one of my favourite games this entire generation. It's a macabre puzzle game about rewinding time.


The Sexy Brutale isn’t a game I’d heard much about before I bought it by chance last week. This is generally the fate of many indies game which don't have tens of millions of dollars to throw the marketing budget so I guess it's not too surprising when you think about it. However, I feel like doing Tequila Games a favour here — their game is awesome and you should absolutely, completely, definitely play it!

To describe The Sexy Brutale briefly, I'd say it's like a cross between Cluedo and Groundhog Day. To describe it in longer detail, I'd say it's puzzle game where you use time travel mechanics to save people from gruesome deaths and that it's set in a swanky casino which you're invited to attend by a mysterious host who may or may not have a hidden agenda and that it's up to you to use the power of your trusty pocket watch to reverse time so that the others guests don't succumb to the inevitably of their mortal fate (aka death).

And breathe.

Like most puzzle games there's a problem and it's namely this — you can’t be seen by any of the guests that you're supposed to save. They wear masks that contain hidden powers, you see. Powers that attack you should you be seen by any of them. It means can't simply yell 'Watch out!' or anything smart like that. Instead you have to find ingenious solutions such as hiding in wardrobes, peeking through key holes, and spying through CCTV. All in the name of figuring out their patterns so that you can save them.

It's complicated by the fact you only have twelve hours of time to save each guest, roughly about 15 minutes in game-time. When the clock strikes midnight, the hotel goes kaboom, and if the puzzle isn't solved you have to rewind time to the beginning of the day. It means that it's imperative to play through each day multiple times. You build up knowledge of solutions piece by piece - a lot like some Day of the Dead-inspired detective novel.

While there was at least one occasion when I found myself solving a puzzle completely by accident, I found The Sexy Brutale to be a delightful experience overall. It has a fairly heartfelt story underpinned by themes like tragedy and remorse. Most of the deaths are bone-ticklingly gruesome. The art-style is also really, really cool. Sort of like a combination of gothic aesthetics and film noir.

My verdict: play it!
 
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Hudo

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Maybe not really a "hidden-gem" but Hyper Light Drifter is probably one of my favourite indie games this gen.

I also want to plug the Yomawari games by Nippon Ichi Software, maybe not strictly "indie" but they surprised me as well!

EDIT: I also wanted to take this chance to mention that probably the most hyped-up indie game this gen, Undertale, did nothing for me. Even though I like some "Metaphysical bullshit" in my games from time to time. Doki Doki Literature Club is one of the games to play, IMHO! I just played it recently (It's free!) and was blown away. Monika is truly the best girl. Just Monika.
 
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Yumi

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Race the sun is great. Especially when you get a route down giving you powerups, then learning how to use those.

I'll second Super Hexagon as well. Its amazing how good you can get at that game from where you start.
 
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Airola

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Jun 25, 2015
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The Sexy Brutale - this is honestly one of my favourite games this entire generation. It's a macabre puzzle game about rewinding time.

I loved this game!
While I was a bit disappointed to learn the missions are bound to only certain parts of the mansion and the mansion not being free to explore all the time it still managed to be amazingly fun to play. Slowly unlocking the map of the movements of characters was so damn satisfying.

If it ever gets a sequel I'll be getting it day 1.
 

spandexmonkey

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My biggest surprise was Battle Brothers. Picked it up during a sale because I really wanted a warband style game like Mordheim. Was exactly what I wanted, difficult, unforgiving and cruel, but immensely rewarding. Start off as just 3 stragglers, struggling to survive. Eventually put together a ragtag warband that gets brutally decimated by giants. Restart, new warband, make a bit more progress, avoid giants, get devoured by dead eating demons. Restart, learn from past mistakes, it's great!

The other surprise game was Fight n Rage. Saw it during a GoG sale, I'm shallow, saw the titties and got reeled in. What I found was an awesome side scrolling brawler. Loads of unlockables, alternate routes, deep combat system, I sunk so many hours into it. Was a breath of fresh air with it's unabashed titillation and violence. I remember saving the girl from the first boss, playing through the new route that gives you and being blind sided by what happens, left me pumped to kick ass.
 

molasar

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released - Door Kickers: Action Squad


upcoming one - Xeno Crisis

 
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DunDunDunpachi

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Wreckfest, I'm in love with this game





Only an average of 1k players (thanks god it's still enough for the multiplayer)
This looks like my dream game and I've heard nothing but positive impressions of it so far. :pie_smiling_hearts:

I played a ton of Demolition Racer: No Exit on the Dreamcast in my teen years. A ton of hours...
Burnout kinda-sorta picked up the torch, but it didn't replicate the arena demolition mode that I loved so much.
 
Feb 18, 2019
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The phrase "hidden-gem indie" would've been redundant 10 years ago, but since indies now win Game of the Year awards at conferences and across many gaming publications (Dead Cells, Celeste, Stardew Valley) it seems like the meaning has changed.

So, please exclude indies that have received a bunch of awards and accolades.

Two of my picks would be Flywrench and Race the Sun. Simple games that I still boot up to this day.


(Flywrench)


(Race the Sun)
I'm pretty sure more than half of GaF didn't hear about Earth Wars
Buy it, it's incredible for how cheap it is
 
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Vandole

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I thought The Fall was one of the most interesting stories I've come across in a video game in years. Controls weren't great and it was unfortunately a little buggy, but it was a generally thought provoking game.
 
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DrJohnGalt

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Wow I might need to pop in Sexy Brutale sometime soon. I picked it up at a Gamestop sale a few months back but haven't looked at it since.
 

KàIRóS

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Jul 15, 2019
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That's got to be Natural Doctrine.


It's a TRPG that was apparently way too hard for reviewers to finish and everyone gave the game scores of 4/10 5/10 and 6/10 at best.

As for me, I fell in love with the complex game mechanics of constantly teaming up characters to power up attacks, the story is ok and the music is also good, it even had Multiplayer modes, you could Co-Op with other player to take on bosses or fight against other players, it was awesome.
 

zenspider

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Despite being a pretty big indie advocate, my tastes are pretty pedestrian: Inside, Hollow Knight, Into The Breach, The Messenger, Katana Zero, Dead Cells, etc.: nothing you haven't heard of if your on GAF.

Two great game that come to mind that haven't gotten a lot of attention are:

Hell Is Other Demons

Perfect feel single-screen platform shooter. It's got a campaign with all the rogue-lite hooks and unique challenges, but for me this is just foreplay for the Arcade Mode. One shot at leaderboard glory.
Downwell (the mobile GOAT) is a big inspiration here and anyone familiar should have an idea of the feel and the loop.

Chronicles of Teddy: Harmony of Exidus

This came out when I was playing Dark Souls 3 so I didn't get as into it as it deserved, but this is a great Zelda II/Wonder Boy style "cartography platformer" (nor gunna use the M-word) with gorgeous art and an interesting music as language hook. You communicate with NPCs and solves puzzles with notes. Figuring out what notes mean what words was really fun and engaging. The story is reminiscent of a less "meta" Undertale.

This should have a gotten a bigger following. I blame the name.
 

SlicedBread3

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Outside a few YouTube videos when it released, I don't think I ever see anyone talk about Pool Panic. Unique concept that seems to throw a fun and amusing twist at you in every level.

 

Chacranajxy

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Chronicles of Teddy: Harmony of Exidus

This came out when I was playing Dark Souls 3 so I didn't get as into it as it deserved, but this is a great Zelda II/Wonder Boy style "cartography platformer" (nor gunna use the M-word) with gorgeous art and an interesting music as language hook. You communicate with NPCs and solves puzzles with notes. Figuring out what notes mean what words was really fun and engaging. The story is reminiscent of a less "meta" Undertale.

This should have a gotten a bigger following. I blame the name.
Yeah, I never got around to playing this one, but it always looked interesting. That title is beyond awful, though. Wow. Maybe I should get over that and actually play the damn thing.
 

stranno

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Data Wing is a great "clone" of Halfbrick's Rocket Racing for Playstation Portable, more focused on puzzles than racing. Unfortunately it is a mobile exclusive, even being an Unity game.

 
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Fbh

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Don't know if it qualifies as "hidden", given that it was on Ps+ and definitely seems to have more Steam reviews than most games on this thread

But I freaking love Furi and rarely see people talking about it



The boss rush concept works well and it still does a good job at introducing an interesting world. And I think they did a fantastic job at making every boss feel unique, mixing a variety of styles whiles always keeping the tight gameplay.
It was one of those "might was well check it out" games I intended to try out for a couple of minutes only to find myself still playing it 3 hours later.
 

anthraticus

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Sep 11, 2018
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Both could be described as 'one of the best rpgs made in the last 10 years', but for very different reasons.
and....


Stuff like Pillars and Original Sin got all the media attention in regards to the so called .'cRPG renaissance', but the real renascence was a silent one, and it revovles around a few titles that never got the accolades they deserve.
 
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GHG

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If you're into the genre then these two won't classify as "hidden gems" but they are two of the best survival sim games around.

Also:


Which is more of a zombie themed strategy game.
 
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Yoshi

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Mine is Ittle Dew 2+, which is a Zelda-style game that marries challenging puzzles with maximum freedom. The Switch version is particularly incredible for its extra dungeons which are among the most creative and challenging brain teasers I have seen in video games.
 
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Kagey K

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I agree with the people above that said Sexy Brutale and Ziggurat.

I you want a short fun side scrolling adventure I’d say The Gardens Between.

For an old school point and click adventure I’d say The Little Acre.
 

Katsura

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Alienation by Housmarque. Fuck Sony for not letting them do more of it

Monster Slayers. Heavily inspired by Dream Quest but with more polish

Legend of the Dark Witch 1/2/3

Pocket Jockey by Game Freak. Insanely addictive horse racing card game

Tennis Champs returns. Remake of the amazing Amiga game by the original dev. One of the best tennis games ever made
 
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ROMhack

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I thought The Fall was one of the most interesting stories I've come across in a video game in years. Controls weren't great and it was unfortunately a little buggy, but it was a generally thought provoking game.
I beat that, interesting game. Felt a bit like a prequel to something bigger... and they did indeed release the sequel this year I believe (haven't played it yet).

Similar to that is The Swapper, a neat puzzle game written but Tom Jubert (FTL and The Talos Principle).

 
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Feb 18, 2019
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Also add Beat Cop
Didn't have so much fun since a long time, this game is brilliant, strong Lucas Arts like humour and simple yet funny gameplay, and a very good story
 
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Zephir

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Currently playing Shiness...it's rough but has nice aestetic and lovely tunes, like a charming PS2 game...not GOTY, but pretty enough for a good play without regrets...but apparently it's an indie so "hidden" that the makers already went bankrupt 1-2 years ago
 
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