There are way too many video games being released. Big releases backed by notable publishers take up most of the news cycle, and that means that plenty of great indie games get ignored by the mass public. There are a few notable ones that wind up escaping obscurity and into the mainstream like Disco Elysium, Untitled Goose Game, and Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, but many don’t. To help spotlight some of the best 2019 indie games worth playing, we’ve put together a list of 10 titles that may have gone under your radar. Check out 10 of the best 2019 indie games worth playing that you might have missed below.
2019 Indie Games Worth Playing | A Plague Tale: Innocence
French developer Asobo Studio made a name for itself this year with the intriguing action title A Plague Tale: Innocence. It was such a success that there will be a sequel released in 2022, and it was largely due to its interesting story set during the the Black Death plague of 1348. Gameplay revolves around avoiding hordes of deadly rats by using fire and using them to their advantage to kill other villagers that are hunting down Amicia and her brother Hugo, whom they blame for the plague. It winds up being an interesting period piece and a piece of historical fiction that takes full advantage of its setting.
2019 Indie Games Worth Playing | Devotion
Sadly, this is one game you won’t be able to catch up on. Red Candle Games’ excellent psychological horror game Devotion was an interesting look at Taiwanese culture. Drawing comparisons to P.T. for its spooky exploration, the game received high praise from critics. Unfortunately, a talisman was found in-game calling Chinese leader Xi Jinping “Winnie-the-Pooh,” which led to the game being review bombed and it being removed from Steam after its publishers cut ties with the company. It’s a sad reminder that authoritarianism can censor artists for speaking up on pressing issues.
2019 Indie Games Worth Playing | Gato Roboto
Some games are tough sales but that isn’t the case for Gato Roboto. The elevator pitch is that you get to play Metroid but with an adorable cat protagonist. If that somehow isn’t enough, the game winds up being a breezy play that celebrates the best of the genre without ever getting too difficult and its black-and-white art style helps further differentiate it from the crowd.
2019 Indie Games Worth Playing | Guildmaster Story
Canadian game developer Will O’Neill is best known for his bleak adventure games, but Guildmaster Story has a much more upbeat tone. That’s not to say it’s an overly cheery experience, though, as the puzzle game is an absolutely scathing critique of capitalism and its pitfalls. The difference from past games is that you’ll also be laughing the entire time only to realize how dark everything is once you spend some time reflecting on what had happened. With a meaningful message and some of the funniest sequences of any title released this year, Guildmaster Story is a must-play.
2019 Indie Games Worth Playing | Katana Zero
Developer Askiisoft knocked it out of the park with Katana Zero. This brutal action game takes inspiration from Hotline Miami and delivers stylish action where death comes quickly for both players and their enemies. Players can also manipulate time in order to deflect bullets and avoid traps. The action isn’t the only great thing, though, as it features an interesting story with plenty of twists and turns.
2019 Indie Games Worth Playing | My Friend Pedro
Another over-the-top action game published by Devolver Digital, My Friend Pedro is a delightful platform shooter that allows players to live their greatest John Wick fantasy. Featuring plenty of bullet time hijinks and levels designed to be completed as ridiculously as possible, there’s never a dull moment here. It can be completed in just a few sittings, and is definitely a wild ride worth taking.
2019 Indie Games Worth Playing | Pathologic 2
While the original Pathologic received plenty of critical acclaim, the sequel had a more split critical reception. Those that are into the difficult adventure game that looks to demoralize and stress out the player are in for a treat, though. It’s a bleak experience that isn’t always fun, but that is the entire point of the game. Art doesn’t have to always be enjoyable, and those that don’t mind an exploration of selfishness will find a rewarding time to be had. For those that want an easier experience, you will be glad to know that the developer added a difficulty slider to the game post-launch even though it clashed with their design intentions.
2019 Indie Games Worth Playing | Superliminal
We had a great run of first-person puzzle games like Perspective and Antichamber that messed with player’s vision earlier this decade, and Superliminal proudly offers up a surreal experience in a similar vein. The game primarily plays with perception as the puzzles revolve around how big (or small) objects are in your sight. It winds up being one of the smartest titles of 2019, and a real delight.
2019 Indie Games Worth Playing | Telling Lies
We still get a few full-motion video games every year, and Telling Lies was the cream of the crop in 2019. Furious Bee’s follow-up to Her Story is just as brilliant, as players need to go through a number of video clips on a desktop in order to solve a complex mystery. Unlike its predecessor, which simply ended when the player chose to walk away and was satisfied with what they saw, this actually has several endings and is a more approachable title as a result.
2019 Indie Games Worth Playing | Yuppie Psycho
Baroque Decay’s was Yuppie Psycho was one of the strangest psychological horror games released this year. It’s a hilarious, and often too true, parody of office culture that revolves around the newly hired protagonist having to track down and kill a witch. The premise is ridiculous, but the scares are certainly real. With a great story and a killer soundtrack, this is a top-notch 2D horror title.