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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 12 games from the last 8 years, with 567 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, Fighting, Narrative, Open World, Platform, Point-and-Click, Puzzle, Role-Playing, Shooting, Stealth, Strategy and Turn-Based
Total Likes: 567
 

 

Loop Hero

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 03/02/2021

Platforms: PC and Switch

Genres: Puzzle, Role-Playing and Strategy

Accessibility: 17 features

Developer: F Qteam (@_FQteam)

Players: This is a single player game

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

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Release Date: 01/09/2021

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure and Narrative

Developer: Gamious (@Gamious)

Players: This is a single player game

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

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 26/09/2014

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4 and Switch

Genres: Fighting, Shooting and Stealth

Developer: Glass Knuckle (@Glass_Knuckle)

Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room

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.

Night in the Woods

Content Rating: PEGI 12

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

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

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Puzzle

Accessibility: 23 features

Developer: Night In The Woods (@NightInTheWoods)

Players: This is a single player game

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...

A Short Hike

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

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

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

Genres: Adventure and Open World

Accessibility: 26 features

Developer: Adam Gryu (@AdamGryu)

Players: This is a single player game

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

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Release Date: 07/10/2021

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

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Role-Playing and Strategy

Accessibility: 23 features

Developer: Coat Sink (@CoatSink)

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room

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...

Celeste

Content Rating: PEGI 7

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

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

Genres: Platform

Accessibility: 27 features

Developer: Exok Games (@Exok_Games)

Players: This is a single player game

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...

Untitled Goose Game

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 3-11 year-olds

Release Date: 03/10/2019

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

Genres: Action, Puzzle and Stealth

Accessibility: 25 features

Developer: House House (@House_House_)

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room

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...

Papers, Please

Content Rating: PEGI 16

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

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS Vita and iOS

Genres: Narrative, Point-and-Click, Puzzle and Turn-Based

Accessibility: 19 features

Developer: Dukope (@Dukope)

Players: This is a single player game

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...

That Dragon, Cancer

Content Rating: PEGI 3

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

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Point-and-Click

Accessibility: 27 features

Developer: Numinous Games (@Numinous_Games)

Players: This is a single player game

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 challenge. It’s a unique...

Her Story

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Release Date: 24/06/2015

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Genres: Narrative, Point-and-Click and Puzzle

Developer: Mr Sam Barlow (@MrSamBarlow)

Players: This is a single player game

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...

Into The Breach

Content Rating: PEGI 12

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

Platforms: Mac, PC, Stadia and Switch

Genres: Fighting, Puzzle, Strategy and Turn-Based

Accessibility: 18 features

Developer: Subset Games (@SubsetGames)

Players: This is a single player game

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...

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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