If you’re a Windows, Mac, or Linux gamer, Steam is your best friend. With instant access to over 3,500 titles, this massive online gaming community is bursting at the seams with new titles to discover. Lately we’ve seen an influx in the indie game section, with a big emphasis on retro-style platformers, tower defense games, and nostalgia-inducing RPGs. We scoured the list of new releases to bring you the cream of the crop. From charming games with excellent design that pay homage to the God of War series to eerie MMOs with postapocalyptic settings, here are eight new indie titles that deliver the goods.
What happens if you remove the third dimension from God of War? You get Apotheon, a Greek-mythology–themed 2D platformer that has players ascending Mount Olympus to combat divine forces and save humanity. Using high-quality, cel-shaded graphics complemented by stunning hand-drawn art and an epic soundtrack, co-designers Jesse McGibney, Lee Vermeulen, and the Alientrap development team have created a brutal, fast-paced Castlevania-like world.
Set one year after the collapse of civilization due to a zombie apocalypse, this massive open-world RPG gives gamers the freedom to do what they want – but each choice comes with a consequence. Developer Bob the Game Development Bot puts players into the role of Joe Wheeler, an egotistical hedge fund manager who emerges from a specially designed bunker in search of nourishment. As Joe, gamers must find other survivors, build a sustainable community, scavenge for supplies, and face moral dilemmas such as potentially kicking others out of their makeshift village or going to war with neighboring towns.
Ever wonder what Diablo would be like if it were released for the Super Nintendo? Enter Overture, a real-time 16-bit dungeon crawler developed by Black Shell Games. In this action-adventure RPG, players can pick from 24 different character classes to trudge through randomly generated maps and pick up loot. With its wicked hard boss battles, early-‘90s graphics, and charming chiptunes soundtrack, developers Daniel Doan and Raghav Mathur have created an immersive, old-school experience.
Astray, a first-person horror/puzzler created by UK-based Aegon Games, is an exploration game set in an abandoned supernatural-themed museum. The developers – who only go by Dan and Dave – put gamers into the role of the nephew of Rupert Walker, the museum’s missing curator. As his nephew, you have been summoned by your family to investigate on their behalf, but things soon go awry as the museum possesses a dark secret. On a technical level, Astray is impressive: it boasts an atmospheric feel enhanced by a dark soundtrack and glossy graphics. Fans of the horror genre should make sure to check this one out.
Stardust Vanguards is a unique medley: part arcade space-shooter, part old-school anime opera, this action-packed local multiplayer game lets players fight space pirates via randomly generated surprise attacks. Developer Zanrai Interactive is a two-man team consisting of project lead Jason Koohi and programmer Simon Inch; they’ve made an addictive space combat game reminiscent of the Thunder Force series, complemented by a killer soundtrack and classic graphics.
The final outpost of an ancient civilization is under siege, and it’s up to you to defend it in this tower defense game by developer Moonlight Mouse, a little-known Russian-based studio that has not released the names of any employees. Featuring 35 unique levels, a storyline based around an intergalactic soldier’s memories, beautiful graphics, a futuristic soundtrack, and crisp, unique gameplay tactics, Ancient Planet delivers on all levels.
Forward to the Sky
This anime-inspired action-adventure platformer by Taiwan-based developer Animu Game puts players into the role of an adorable chibi princess on a quest to fix a ruined sky tower by collecting crystal shards. Filled with platforming segments, Kingdom Hearts-like weapons combat, colorful graphics, and aesthetically pleasing sound design, creator Wei made sure Forward to the Sky turned out as a cute, albeit short, homage to the golden age of 3D platformers.
Natural Soccer, created by Thorsten Schleinzer, is a fast-paced, top-down arcade soccer game with believable physics and simple controls. The game delivers an intense soccer experience albeit with ultraminimalist graphics. For bare-bones soccer on the go, fans of the sport should give Natural Soccer a shot.