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Gaming 101: Indie Games

In this series, we are learning how different aspects of video games work by playing games that offer an easy introduction to this one concept. This is designed for people new to gaming, and aims to identify games with the least barriers. In this entry we are looking at Indie Games.

These are games made by small studios or individual developers. This can mean that the art and production is simpler, but because of no company constraints these games are often the most inventive and enjoyable for families. They can take risks on strange ideas and push the boundaries of play in new directions.

The games in this list offer a range of acclaimed Indie games that are a good place to start. Because the games don't have big marketing budgets they are often off the radar for families.

This list includes 17 games from the last 9 years, with 841 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to play your first indie game.

DetailsList Details

PEGI Ratings: PEGI 3 to PEGI 16
ESRB Ratings: ESRB EVERYONE to ESRB MATURE 17+
Australian Ratings: G to R 18+
Genres: Action, Adventure, Collecting, Creative, Fighting, Narrative, Open World, Platform, Point-and-Click, Puzzle, Rhythm, Role-Play, Shooting, Simulation, Sports, Stealth, Strategy and Traversal
Total Likes: 841
 

 

Apico

Release Date: 20/05/2022, updated in 2022

Platforms: Mac, PC and Switch

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Apico is a simulation game where you play a beekeeper and conservationist. You explore environments, breed rare bees and release them into the wild, while growing your business. There are no enemies, time constraints or set objectives so you can focus...

Loop Hero

Release Date: 03/02/2021, updated in 2022

Platforms: PC and Switch

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Pieces: Cards

Loop Hero is a dungeon exploring adventure game where you use cards to create a world for your character to survive. Rather than control the hero yourself, you take the role of designer (or Dungeon Master) who use cards to create a world that is hard...

Lake

Release Date: 01/09/2021

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Lake is a narrative adventure where you play Meredith Weiss on a career break in 1986 while she returns to her hometown and ends up delivering the mail. As you talk to locals, meet up with old school friends and even fan a few romantic flames from your...

Thief Town

Release Date: 26/09/2014

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4 and Switch

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Thief Town is a 2-4 player game where you play in a crowd of identical characters. You must first work out which one you are and then spot the other human players to attack them. Get it wrong and all you do is reveal yourself.

That Dragon, Cancer

Release Date: 12/01/2016, updated in 2016

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

That Dragon, Cancer is a game about a family with a young son who has terminal brain cancer. It sounds off-putting and morbid but this living biography invites you to join the family and find hope, faith and love in the face of an insurmountable...

Night in the Woods

Release Date: 10/01/2017, updated in 2017

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Night in the Woods follows college dropout Mae Borowski returning home to the crumbling former mining town of Possum Springs. But the place is different now her friends have grown and changed. There’s something suspicious happening in the nearby...

Into The Breach

Release Date: 27/02/2018, updated in 2020

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, Stadia, Switch and iOS

Into the Breach is a fantasy turn-based battle. It's set in a future where humanity fights an army of giant monsters. You control mechs equipped with a variety of weapons and armour in carefully coordinate actions played out on super-small tile-based...

Papers, Please

Release Date: 08/08/2013, updated in 2017

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS Vita and iOS

You play the role of a border-crossing immigration officer in the fictional dystopian Eastern Bloc-like country of Arstotzka. You review each immigrant’s and returning citizens’ passports and paperwork according to an increasing list of changing...

Untitled Goose Game

Release Date: 03/10/2019

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

This is another silly and funny game but with a dastardly vibe. You play a mean goose who is intent on ruining the day of the inhabitants of a sleepy English village. By stealing items, squawking and otherwise making a nuisance of yourself you slowly...

Celeste

Release Date: 23/01/2018, updated in 2018

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

This is a platform game that requires players to use jumping and climbing moves to ascend an increasingly challenging two-dimensional mountain. You play Madeline, who is, perhaps unsurprisingly, haunted by self-doubt at the task in hand. She presses on...

A Short Hike

Release Date: 05/04/2019, updated in 2021

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, PS5, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

In A Short Hike you play penguin-like character Claire, who needs to climb a mountain in a beautiful national park to receive an important phone call. Presented in cute pixel graphics, the game invites you to explore the park, help other animals, find...

Moonglow Bay

Release Date: 07/10/2021

Platforms: PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Moonglow Bay is a role play game where you play a rookie angler. Unlike other slice-of-life games, fishing isn't tucked away as a side quest here, it's front and centre. Set along the Canadian coastline in the 1980's, you live in a fishing town that has...

Her Story

Release Date: 24/06/2015

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Solve the 1994 mystery of a murdered man by searching an old police computer archive of interview videos of his wife. The game presents a retro computer interface but the interviews themselves are short films with real actors. Although there are only...

Arctico

Release Date: 15/02/2022

Platforms: Mac and PC

Arctico is a meditative, exploration and base-building game where you play a lone scientist on a quest to continue your mentor's legacy and grow food in the arctic. You explore the vast frigid wilds of the island of Arctico with your sledge dogs, create...

Pocket Oasis

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC, Switch and iOS

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Pocket Oasis is a gentle horticulture simulation where you care for plants and pets on your balcony. It's a meditative experience where the end goal, rather than being a defined objective, is simply to create a beautiful balcony with an array of...

Letters: A Written Adventure

Release Date: 09/02/2022

Platforms: Mac, PC and Switch

Letters - A Written Adventure is a running and jumping literary puzzle where you write letters to your pen pal throughout the stages of your life. What's unique is that you physically explore each letter, using the lines as platforms and changing words...

The Ramp

Release Date: 03/08/2021, updated in 2022

Platforms: Android, PC, Switch and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

The Ramp is a relaxed skating game where you perform stunts, jumps and flips with no timers, penalties scores or objectives. It's this simplicity that, along with its deep-yet-simple controls and laidback soundtrack, make it a uniquely calm and...

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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