There’s no denying that 2018 brought a number of high profile, AAA releases to the world of gaming. However, for every God of War and Red Dead Redemption 2, there were dozens more indie games crafted with passion and care that flew under the radar. These five titles might not have stolen the headlines that this year’s heavy hitters did, but they are well worth the time of any gamer.
5 Best Indie Games of 2018 You Must Play
The hunt to slay the dragon is as old as time, but Biterkid makes things interesting with his roguelike Dragonward. The quest isn’t easy, as both fatigue and enemy threats lie around every corner. Moving at a quick pace, it offers a satisfying feedback loop that absorbs players into its world and makes you crave just one more run until you reach your goal. Though it is a little on the challenging side, it provides a fair battle worth the time of all RPG fans.
You can read our review of Dragonward here.
Aesthetics can go a long way. Sonoshee knocks it out of the park right from the get go with their shmup RYM 9000 with its stylish opening, rocking soundtrack, and vibe that would be right at home in a high profile cyberpunk anime. Gameplay in this vertical shoot-em-up holds up too, with multipliers, enemy threats, and a steady beat that makes the world go round. Those tired of the generic shooters on the Steam marketplace will be revitalized when booting this one up.
You can read our review of RYM 9000 here.
Arcade racers are a dying breed in this day and age, taking a backseat to more sim-based titles. Ansdor pays tribute to Outrun’s style with Slipstream, building on the time-tested formula to make something even better. The emphasis on both slipstreams and drifting makes the already fast pace that much faster, and the tributes to classic games and new pixel art create a unique atmosphere that is both fresh and familiar. There is no shortage of things to do either – this is one racer worth revisiting time and time again.
You can read our review of Slipstream here.
Your garden variety shmup typically has players fighting either solo or co-op, but Degica Games and Spacewave Software turned the genre on its head with the release of Rival Megagun. With PVP being the main focus, surviving an onslaught of enemies becomes that much more challenging when enemy fire, drones, and a hulking Mega Gunship are all thrown into the mix. Much like a fighting game, mastering each character and finding a main is a thrilling feeling, and the detailed pixel art and music harkens back to the quarter munchers of old.
You can read our review of Rival Megagun here.
Outside of Mario Golf and Everybody’s Golf, your typical golf game tends to be a little dry. However, that is most certainly not the case in Rightstick Studios and ANIM•ACE’s Wonder Wickets. Fire, ice, rocket ships, bounce pads, and a host of cutesy critters have made their way to this space-themed title, giving it a personality all its own. Don’t be fooled by its cheerful aesthetics though – the engine behind each swing packs some serious depth, all while being accessible to newcomers. The high level of polish makes everything shine too.
You can read our review of Wonder Wickets here.