The AAA gaming cycle can’t be ignored. From huge reveal trailers to multimillion dollar advertising budgets that get the game plastered on every website and television channel, players are constantly reminded of what blockbuster release is coming out soon. That simply isn’t the case with independent releases, as these quality games are often released into the wild with little fanfare attached. Some of these look too good to get lost in the shuffle and here are the 10 indie games to watch in 2019.
2019 Indie Games – Killer Queen Black
If you’ve been to a modern arcade then there is a good chance that you’ve experienced Killer Queen. This incredibly fun title supports up to 10 players and gives players three separate ways to win: killing their opponents’ queen a set number of times, collecting enough nectar, or by riding a snail to their side of the screen. The console port supports two fewer players, but it’s just as fun to play and is set to be one of the Nintendo Switch’s best multiplayer games.
2019 Indie Games – Wattam
Considering how much weird heart and charm is packed into it, it shouldn’t be surprising that Wattam is designed by Katamari Damacy creator Keita Takahashi. The two games share an undeniable eccentricity that make it a joy to simply explore the game world and experience each moment as it happens. The gameplay revolves around friendship, as players can make the inhabitants work together by holding hands. There are even walking, smiling pieces of poop that are just happy to be alive. It’s surely going to be one of 2019’s weirdest experiences, and I don’t even truly know what to expect from it despite playing it several times over the past couple years.
2019 Indie Games – YIIK: A Postmodern RPG
Set to release on January 17, YIIK will be one of the first major indie releases of next year. The colorful role-playing game takes inspiration from Japanese RPGs from the ’90s, and revolves around eight message board friends that investigate a viral video star that goes missing. It’s filled to the brim with character, and hopefully will fulfill its potential as an odd, subversive RPG.
2019 Indie Games – ToeJam and Earl: Back in the Groove
Back in the Groove was successfully Kickstarted in 2015, and it looks to be everything that fans wanted from the classic series by going back to its roots. HumaNature Studios have already proven its ability to create charming games with great artwork with 2013’s criminally overlooked Doki-Doki Universe, and this sequel looks to be something really special.
2019 Indie Games – The Pathless
Giant Squid Studios has some incredible talent and their debut, Abzû, proved that the studio could put together a genuinely compelling experience. And The Pathless looks to be a natural continuation of that beautiful underwater title. While we only have one short trailer to go off of, the adventure game looks absolutely gorgeous and director Matt Nava’s résumé more than speaks for itself.
2019 Indie Games – Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night
Koji Igarashi became a gaming icon thanks to his fantastic work on the Castlevania series and helping the series transition from more straightforward action games to deep action RPGs that reward exploration. Bloodstained continues that legacy, and preview builds have been extremely promising. The development team has taken time to polish the title to a high degree, and it looks like it might be another classic from the Japanese producer.
2019 Indie Games – Hades
Developer Supergiant Games has a history of greatness. All three of their previous titles (Bastion, Transistor, and Pyre) have been received well, and the early access build of Hades suggests that their fourth title will be of a similar quality. The action RPG has all of the potential in the world, and an excellent premise in trying to escape your dad in the Underworld.
2019 Indie Games – Sayonara Wild Hearts
The latest game from Simogo is absolutely oozing style. Sayonara Wild Heart debuted at The Game Awards and is set to release for Nintendo Switch later this year. It has a wonderful cel-shaded art style, and is described as a “rhythm action” game. Not much is known right now, but it certainly looks promising.
2019 Indie Games – The Last Campfire
Hello Games is releasing some experimental smaller titles, and The Last Campfire will kickoff their efforts. The puzzle game is absolutely gorgeous and I can’t wait to get lost in its strange world later this year. It’s being developed by the creators of LostWinds, which was an underrated title in its own right.
2019 Indie Games – Kentucky Route Zero: TV Edition
Cardboard Computer’s narrative adventure has been critically acclaimed on PC, and now it’s finally coming to consoles. The five act point and click title follows a truck driver and the unique people he meets while driving across the titular road. So far, only the first four acts have been released so the 2019 will be able to welcome in the title’s last chapter.