IndieGameReviewer’s Most Anticipated Indie Games for 2015

IGR’s Most Anticipated Indie Games for 2015

Though we’re still waiting for the dust to settle after compiling our Top Ten Best Indie Games list for 2014 2015 is already shaping up to be a huge year for indie gaming and all of us who play them.

The following titles already have us eagerly anticipating their release. A few of them can be enjoyed in early access, while others are nearly completely shrouded in mystery. Nonetheless, and for various reasons, this short list includes the titles we are currently most excited about seeing the light of day. Note we did not include other games that made our lists in previous years (and are still under development).

IGR’s Most Anticipated Indie Games – 2015

The Long Dark

Hinterland Studio
“A decidedly bleak scenario has you weak and alone in the snowy North. Before long you may discover a shack, a railroad track, a frozen carcass, or a ranger’s outpost. Any of these will provide little more than unfounded hope that you may have a fighting chance against wolves, starvation or bitter cold. The game I have played so far is among the most realistic (though still far from literal) and heart-pounding takes on the survival simulator yet.

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“Richly rendered environments and intricate sound design provide much to consider in making a bid for life. The primary campaign is still under development, but what we have played is exceptionally engaging.” ~ Indie-Game-Reviewer

Get The Long Dark on Steam

Satellite Reign

5 Lives Studios
“A tactical strategy game from the developer of Syndicate Wars, set in a world clearly visually inspired by Riddley Scott/Syd Mead’s Blade Runner, Satellite Reign has been designed to support and encourage emergent gameplay – in other words, ways of solving levels that even the devs had not anticipated. Moreover, missions aren’t spoon-fed to you via drip; instead you are free to roam about a huge world wherein you can discover the actions needed to meet your overarching objectives.” ~ Indie-Game-Freak

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Get Satellite Reign on Steam

Armikrog

Pencil Test Studios
The latest game from Earthworm Jim and The Neverhood creator Doug TenNapel (along with other members of the original Earthworm Jim team), Armikrog follows the adventures of a space explorer named Tommynaut and his talking alien dog, Beak-Beak, as they crash-land on a weird planet and end up locked in a mysterious fortress.

“The game is being created using classic sculpting, set building and clay and puppet fabrication methods combined with stop-motion animation. Voice-over talent includes well-known actors Jon Heder (Napoleon Dynamite), Rob Paulsen (Pinky and the Brain) and Michael J. Nelson (Mystery Science Theater 3000). ~ InfinityWaltz

Blockstorm

GhostShark
“Looking like a cross between Minecraft and Team Fortress 2, Blockstorm combines fast-paced FPS action with voxel-based construction. All the maps and characters included with the game were built using the same construction tools available to the public, so anything you see in the game is something you can potentially build…or destroy, of course!” ~ InfinityWaltz

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Get Blockstorm on Steam

Crypt of the Necrodancer

Brace Yourself Games
It is almost wrong to put this game on a most anticipated list, considering it has already built a huge cult following with streaming events and more in 2014. A unique merger of dungeon-crawling and rhythm action, Crypt of the NecroDancer already features great gameplay and an engaging soundtrack, and it can only get better with an incoming official 1.0 release. ~ BlueBirdPlays

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Get Crypt of the NecroDancer on Steam

The Forest

Endnight Games Ltd

This super scary survival sim has you roaming about in a strange metaphysically diseased forest after your plane crash lands. Available now via Steam Early Access, what we have witnessed so far is pretty intense with top notch 3D graphics, completely destructible flora, a robust crafting system and full Oculus Rift support. ~ Indie-Game-Freak

Get The Forest on Steam

Night in the Woods

Infinite Fall
“Night in the Woods is going to be a story-driven game about…. well, we don’t know for sure yet, and I’d like to find out on my own when it launches. In the meantime, we can see its quality animation and its focus on exploration, following a group of misfit teen angst hoodlums. Explore the city, vandalize cars, uncover whatever story it has waiting for us. And right now, you can play a semi-unrelated supplemental game to tide you over: The Longest Night.” ~ HappyWulf

Night In The Woods – Kickstarter Trailer from Scott Benson on Vimeo.

Night in the Woods – Official Site

Distance

Refract Studios
“Take on racing challenges in a destructive distant future realm that resembles a cross between Akira, and Tron. Jump in your car and chart the world in open-ended action that is as much survival as it is racing. It’s an odd pairing, but the action is fast-paced and intense. Avoiding the plethora of deadly traps is going to take precise timing on the fly. Add some online competition, and you have a seriously dangerous party on your hands.” ~ Adam “Callabrantus” Fimio

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Distance: screenshot courtesy of the official website

Get Distance on Steam

BroForce

Free Lives
“Do action games leave you feeling expendable? BroForce – currently in early access – packs in pixel art nods to some of the action film genre’s most iconic characters. Take on missions alongside the world’s most aggressive and underfunded crack commando squadron. With the capability of teaming up with up to three other players, the level of superfluous explosions launches past ‘overkill’ and lands somewhere in the vicinity of ‘scorched earth.'” ~ Adam “Callabrantus” Fimio

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Broforce: screenshot courtesy of Steam

Get BroForce on Steam

Hyper Light Drifter

Heart Machine
“An action RPG with a deliberately pixelated style, this Kickstarter success story looks to replicate the visual storytelling and evocative music of 16-bit classics like The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. It also has a seemingly simple combat system that rewards nuance rather than button-mashing.” ~ InfinityWaltz

Hyper Light Drifter – Official Site

Cuphead

Studio MDHR
“The wonder I’d experience at Don Bluth’s Dragon’s Lair is now being revisited with Cuphead’s extraordinary take on 1930’s era TV animation, complete with RGB displacement, jitter and dust and specks. Evoking anything from Felix the Cat and Betty Boop to early Disney and Heckel and Jeckle, Cuphead’s heavy-action side-scrolling platformer is a feast for your eyes and pop cultural historian soul like no other. I have been waiting for this one for a long time.” ~ Indie-Game-Freak

Cuphead – Official Site

Aegis Defenders

Studio Guts
“Combining Metroidvania exploration with defense-driven arena combat and lush post-apocalyptic environments, Aegis Defenders looks a little like a side-scrolling version of Dungeon of the Endless by way of Studio Ghibli’s Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind.” ~ InfinityWaltz

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Aegis Defenders – Official Site

Crawl

Powerhoof
“Crawl, once done, will be the epitome of couch multiplayer chaos; one player is a hero wreaking havoc though your standard dungeon setting, the rest of the players spawning in at each new room as monsters trying to kill the hero. This continues until one player levels up enough as the Hero to face–and kill–the level boss.”

Crawl: screenshot courtesy of the official website
Crawl: screenshot courtesy of the official website

“Currently available via Early Access but with only one level, this will become a blast of a party game to rival such staples as Smash Bros. The only thing it’s lacking is more content – more levels!” ~ HappyWulf

Get Crawl on Steam

No Man’s Sky

Hello Games
“Look up from whatever planet you are currently standing on. Pick a star out of the sky…pick any star. Now climb aboard your spacecraft and fly to it. Each light in the stellar expanse is a star-system unto itself, surrounded by planets and moons. Each world can be explored, and several are populated with fascinating undiscovered lifeforms. The creators have estimated that to see everything there is to see in the procedurally generated universe, it would take a player five billion years. Might want to get your local pizza place on speed dial…” ~ Adam “Callabrantus” Fimio

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No Man’s Sky: Screenshot courtesy of the official website.

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Capybara Games
Super Time Force developers Capybara Games are playing their cards pretty close to their chest with this one, but what we do know about it is that it’s a top-down survival-oriented adventure with procedurally generated environments and music by Jim Guthrie, who also worked with the studio on Superbrothers: Swords and Sworcery EP.” ~ InfinityWaltz

Below – Official Site

Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture

The Chinese Room, SCE Santa Monica Studio
From The Chinese Room – the indie developers behind the beautifully-rendered guided walker Dear Esther and Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs comes the equally stunning, cinematic and haunting post-apocalyptic thriller Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture. Sadly, the side effect of SONY’s PS4 indie overzealousness is that they get exclusives to the detriment of everyone not on their platform. But for PS4 gamers, this one promises to be an unforgettable treat. ~ Indie-Game-Freak

Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture – Official Site

Rain World

Project Rain World
“Without even knowing the greater picture of Rain World, the sight of a parkouring slugcat snatching bats out of the air and then popping them into her mouth like Skittles while cautiously eying a glowing lizard monster is enough to stir me up. It could have a deep story, it could be a huge Metroidvania, it could be as simple as a survival game akin to Don’t Starve. I don’t care; the expressions of life in a dead world in the concept videos are enough to send me into a tizzy.” ~ HappyWulf

Rain World: screenshot courtesy of Steam
Rain World: screenshot courtesy of Steam

Rain World on Steam Greenlight

Darkest Dungeon

Red Hook Studios
“A moody, party-based rogue-like with art that’s less Frank Frazetta than Mike Mignola, Darkest Dungeon takes a novel approach by making your characters’ psychological damage as important as their physical damage. This rather Lovecraftian take on the usual hack and slash approach makes this one of the most interesting dungeon crawlers we’ve seen in quite some time.” ~ InfinityWaltz

Darkest Dungeon screenshot courtesy of the official site
Darkest Dungeon: screenshot courtesy of the official website

Darkest Dungeon – Official Site

Clockwork Empires

Gaslamp Games
“A Victorian steampunk colonization simulator a la The Settlers with a dash of Lovecraftian horror thrown in for flavor? Produced by Dungeons of Dredmor devs Gaslamp Games, no less? Yes, please!” ~ InfinityWaltz

Get Clockwork Empires on Steam

Tangiers

Andalusian
“A stealth game inspired by the avant-garde music, art and writing of the twentieth century, Tangiers combines the shadowy tension of the classic Thief and Deus Ex games with the cut-up writing of William S. Burroughs by stealing and redistributing language. This looks to be the closest you could get to a video game version of Naked Lunch that would still qualify as a “game” by any reasonable definition…” ~ InfinityWaltz

Tangiers: screenshot courtesy of the official website
Tangiers: screenshot courtesy of the official website

Tangiers – Official Site

Invisible, Inc.

Klei Entertainment
“A turn-based tactical stealth game, this upcoming release from Don’t Starve and Mark of the Ninja developers Klei Entertainment combines the tense tactical elements of X-Com and Frozen Synapse with an emphasis on pure infiltration. Select your agents, and sneak into a hostile corporation, hacking into their their computer systems and silently taking out their security guards by any means necessary in this brilliant-looking cyberpunk take on industrial espionage.” ~ InfinityWaltz

Invisible, Inc.: screenshot courtesy of Steam
Invisible, Inc.: screenshot courtesy of Steam

Get Invisible, Inc. on Steam

Have a game you can’t wait to play in 2015? Let us know in the comment section!

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