The dawn of a new decade has got all of us a little excited at what we can look forward to over the coming years, in particular, the games that are releasing throughout 2020. With so many indie titles due for release this year we decided to grab our top picks and share them with you, so below you will find 20 upcoming indie releases that we reckon you should know more about.
1. Ooblets (Glumberland) - Ooblets is the first game that this fledgeling indie studio will be releasing to the public. Ooblets is an upcoming farming and creature collection game that oozes charm and personality. The team behind the game explains how it will feel similar to the likes of Pokémon, Harvest Moon and Animal Crossing. Players will be tasked with farming, training their ooblets, exploring the landscape and partaking in dance battles against other trainers and wild ooblets. From the content shown so far, the bright colourful art style seems to stand out and it makes for a family-friendly experience where we can live in unison with these adorable creatures. It looks like we'll go about living kind of like a pokémon trainer would, just with farming and intense dance battles thrown in for good measure.
2. The Pathless (Giant Squid) - From the creators of ABZÛ comes an all-new adventure, The Pathless. Take control of a master archer on a mission to rid her world of a devastating curse, and team up with your charming companion as you venture through the vast forest landscape. Solve puzzles and test your abilities in a variety of challenging battles against foes known and those more supernatural. Following on from the success of ABZÛ, The Pathless is expected to deliver another stunning adventure that will be full of challenge, intrigue and tons of fun, unlike the peaceful nature of its predecessor, however, The Pathless looks to be a much more intense experience with a real threat. As the fate of the world is on the line, you will have to hone in on all of your abilities to bring down the evil that has plagued your world.
3. Moving Out (SMG Studio) - This one is set to be a whimsical physics-based simulator that "brings a whole new meaning to the term couch co-op", and given the similarities to the likes of Overcooked, we reckon that this new experience will be just as wacky and entertaining as those that came before. In this new chaotic journey, players will take up the role of a Furniture Arrangement & Relocation Technician (F.A.R.T) as they learn what it takes to move boxes and whatnot across all sorts of different terrains. F.A.R.T employees will have to put their bodies on the line for the good of the job, so don't be late on the delivery.
4. Sable (Shedworks) - This stylish new open-world exploration game being developed by Shedworks is said to be a coming-of-age tale of discovery set on an alien planet. Sable will partake in a rite of passage to find her place in the world, yet the game as a whole is not tied down by one overall story; as you progress through the world you discover a variety of smaller stories, each teaching you something else about the world, those who live there, and their history. Players will explore the world on a trusty hoverbike, climb enormous mountains, and even scout fallen spaceships. Each new area you discover will unearth something new in the game and can be discovered in any order.
5. 12 Minutes (Luis Antonio) - 12 Minutes is a top-down adventure game with a unique twist; after 12 minutes the game will reset to its original starting point and you will be forced to repeat or adapt your actions to change the outcome of what occurs. With each reset, the man is the only character who retains his knowledge of the events that past and using this information you will be tasked with figuring out why a police officer has stormed into your house, accused your wife of murder and then beaten you to death. The game plays out similar to a point and click adventure where you will have to interact with different objects and characters to work through the mystery.
6. Cloudpunk (ION Lands) - The latest entry in the growing collection of cyberpunk-themed games is Cloudpunk, an upcoming walking/talking/driving simulator which sees the player become a delivery driver for a dodgy company known as Cloudpunk Inc. From the highest skyscrapers to the Underdark, travelling through this world will introduce you to a whole variety of characters, super-advanced AI, and enhanced androids. At its core, the game is about someone trying to make it in the world and the struggle that comes with it.
7. Minute of Islands (Studio Fizbin) - Here's a game that will take players into a strange and beautiful archipelago. Therein, a young mechanic Mo may not have what it takes to save a world on the brink of collapsing, but with the powerful 'Omni Switch' at your disposal, you have no choice but to give it your all. The hand-drawn comic visuals only add to the emotional story that unfolds as you adventure through these haunted islands. Throughout this journey, you'll not only learn about the island and those who live there but you'll also learn more about Mo, what drives her, and the realisation that her ambitions aren't what she once thought they where.
8. Spiritfarer (Thunder Lotus) - Spiritfarer definitely has a unique tag line, but one that intrigues us, ' a cosy management game about dying'. The game revolves around you being a ferry master, taking to the open water to explore the world, upgrade your boat and eventually guide these spirits into the afterlife, this unique game looks to be a lot of fun for those who are looking for a laid back gaming experience. The gentle art style and calming music look to make this game an adventure that you can enjoy in some downtime and not get too worked up over. In this journey, you will be able to spend quality time with the passengers, create memories that will stick with you and in the end learn a lot about saying goodbye to cherished friends. This is a game that seems dark but in a positive and peaceful way, it is definitely one we are keeping our eyes on.
9. Super Meat Boy Forever (Team Meat) - Following on from the massively successful Super Meat Boy, this new adventure from Team Meat looks to be filled with even more infuriating fun. On an adventure to save your daughter, Nugget, from the evil Dr Fetus, you will have to run, jump and slide your way through over 7,000 different levels. Stepping things up from its predecessor, Super Meat Boy Forever will have bigger bosses that are set to blow you away, brand new art with an increased resolution size so you can enjoy this adventure on bigger screens, and so much more. Also, Meat Boy will be keeping with things loved from the first game, for one example, the ridiculous difficulty level; the game remains a challenge, but that's all part of the fun.
10. Hollow Knight: Silksong (Team Cherry) - The sequel to Hollow Knight is upon us. Silksong is a brand new adventure taking you to a whole new kingdom, with more to explore, more tools to master, new enemies to kill and be killed by, and a brand new post-game experience called 'Silk Soul' which is said to "spin the game into a unique, challenging experience". Playing as Hornet, princess-protector of Hallownest, on this adventure you will have a whole new move-set to master and unleash on an array of new foes. Returning to the sequel is award-winning composer, Christopher Larkin, who will bring even more of those magical melodies that only add to the greatness and intensity of these adventures and battles.
11. Atomic Heart (Mundfish) - Set in an alternate reality that revolves around the events that could have happened with the USSR but didn't, Atomic Heart looks triple-A despite its indie origins. In the game, the world has already advanced past anything we currently know, with fully functioning robots, holograms and more. The story sees you, a KGB officer, sent to Facility 3826. The game appears to be made up of different regions and has multiple biomes. Therein, players will face a variety of combat vehicles that were made at 'The Factory' - originally these robots were created to help but they all had a subprogram that encourages combat in the case of war...
12. Carrion (Phobia Game Studio) - Taking the horror genre and shifting it into reverse, Carrion is set to be a game in which you play as the terrifying creature and where you are free to unleash chaos. After breaking free from your imprisonment, it's time to spread mass fear and panic throughout the facility that held you captive as you consume those who seek to harm you. Grow and evolve as you tear the place apart, and along the way you will unlock new abilities that will help on the road to freedom. Created with Metroidvania mechanics, players will learn as they play and discover the best way to destroy this facility from the inside.
13. Spelunky 2 (Mossmouth) - An all-new wacky adventure awaits. Spelunky 2 is set to be bigger, better and more intense than its predecessor, with so much more being added to the game, it should keep new and returning fans occupied with many hours of fun and rage. Being a roguelike adventure you can be sure to die time and time again as you learn enemy moves, what tools will be of the most help, and how to avoid certain traps. One particularly scary-looking danger are the lava pools that can fall from the ceiling above. Whether you played the first game or experiencing it for the first time, Spelunky 2 is looking like it's going to be another resounding success.
14. The Red Lantern (Timberline Studio) - Lost in the wilderness, with little resources available, you must try and find your way home, only accompanied by your pack of five dogs. The Red Lantern is an adventure that changes as you play; there are hundreds of different scenarios that could occur during your journey. One minute you might be trying to withstand the effects of frostbite and the next you're fighting off a deadly bear. Not only do you have to watch out for Mother Nature trying to stop you in your tracks, but you will also have to carefully manage your resources if you are to ever make it home because, she says in the trailer, "things tend to go to plan, right up until they don't.''
15. Phantom Brigade (Brace Yourself Games) - Take control of giant mech fighters in a desperate battle to take back your homeland after the invasion. This hybrid turn-based & real-time tactics RPG will see the player fight in phases to try and take down the opposition. During the planning phase, the player will be able to plan out their attack, plot their course, prepare attacks, and see the predicted movements of enemies. During the execution phase, all the plans will take place and run their course, however not everything will always work as planned; physics can play a part in ruining your plan, throwing you off course and forcing you to rethink your strategy in the next round.
16. Axiom Verge 2 (Thomas Happ Games) - Some described Axiom Verge as a benchmark for indie Metroidvania adventures and most of us would have to agree. It's good news, then, that we're soon to be graced by a sequel, this time with an all-new adventure, new characters, powers, enemies and even a brand new world. Alongside all these new and exciting introductions we have been teased that there is something else, some huge secret. Consider us intrigued.
17. The Riftbreaker (EXOR Studios) - This upcoming survival experience brings together elements from a number of other genres. For example, you will be tasked with building a base, collecting and researching samples from around the world, and hacking and slashing your way through countless enemies to upgrade yourself. With an end goal of creating a two-way rift back to earth, the base you create will need to be self-sustaining while you're out on missions, not only this, but it will also have to be able to defend itself from the wildlife that is trying to fight back at the disruptions that your operation is causing.
18. Sports Story (Sidebar Games) - Gone are the days where we only play golf, now comes the time to branch out into a whole host of new sporting and non-sporting activities, like playing baseball with a toaster or returning a golf shot with a bat into a football goal whilst on a tennis court, because why not, right? It's not only about sports as you will also be able to explore dungeons, play mini-games, and even meet the queen; all necessary progression to becoming a sporting icon. Sports Story looks to add a lot to its predecessor and that alone has got our attention.
19. Griftlands (Klei Entertainment) - This upcoming deck-building roguelite will see you dying over and over again as you unlock different ways to get what you want. With each death comes a new strategy or situation to attempt, be that fighting, stealing, negotiating or any other method you can come up with to complete your task. Along the way, you'll collect new cards, make friends, and take on whatever jobs you deem appropriate. In Griftlands every decision is important, but if you fail on your first attempt, compose yourself and try again; death is not the end and sometimes your first plan will need to be adjusted if you're to progress.
20. Wave Break (Funktronic Labs) - Showboating animals take to the open waters in Wave Break, a modern-day Tony Hawk's inspired game with boats, explosions and murder. Jam-packed with customisation for your boat, character and the wacky tricks you can pull off, this modern arcade-like experience will see you racking up the most points possible in Trick Attack, or trying to gun down friends and strangers in Deathmatch. One thing seems sure: these furry little animals are not as cute and innocent as they look. Wave Break will have local co-op and online multiplayer, so no matter where you are or who you are with, you will always be able to pull off a rad boat flip with your friends.
What do you think about our list? Have we missed a potential indie masterpiece? Do any of the games mentioned above catch your eye? Let us know down below.