2020 saw two major console launches, tons of anticipated releases, and plenty of hype. However, the indie game scene was alive and kicking as well, dishing out quality gameplay under the radar. These five titles might not have the marketing blitz of AAA juggernauts like the Final Fantasy VII Remake or Cyberpunk 2077, but they are well worth the time of any gamer.
5 Best Indie Games of 2020 You Must Play
A match made in heaven (or hell in this case), vanripper’s Helltaker and its court of demonesses, great storytelling, and clever puzzles can turn any sinner into a saint. The puzzle solving (and in certain cases, action sequences) had us captivated to the very end, not stopping until every puzzle was solved, artifact was discovered, and pancake was made. This one is worth a go for anybody searching for a little love, especially since it comes in at the low, low price of free.
You can read our review of Helltaker here.
Mission: It’s Complicated
Huey Lewis may have taught us about the power of love, but Schell Games’ Mission: It’s Complicated puts it into practice. This visual novel features an interesting concept right from the get-go – save the day by making two superheroes fall in love. What follows is a journey that features crime fighting and heroics with a dash of the human element. The nonlinear gameplay just seals the deal, ensuring that no two playthroughs are the same.
You can read our review of Mission: It’s Complicated here.
Blast Rush Classic
Those weaned on a healthy diet of shoot-em-ups at their local arcade/pizza parlor/7-11 know all too well the importance of bombs, only saving them for when the going gets tough. Bipedal Dog decides to throw caution to the wind by giving players infinite bombs in their shmup Blast Rush Classic. Don’t be fooled though; players will need all the help they can get to get through the 40+ level gauntlet that lies ahead. This title might have a short runtime, but score chasers will no doubt love the thrill of blowing up everything in sight.
You can read our review of Blast Rush Classic here.
FOOTSIES Rollback Edition
Fighting games are aplomb with screen clearing supers, multi-hit combos, and countless fantasy elements, but HiFight boils the genre down to its most basic elements with FOOTSIES Rollback Edition. Its simple control scheme and even simpler presentation looks basic at its core, but it manages to keep all of the important parts of the FGC and features absolutely no fat. If that wasn’t enough, the rollback netcode (which is even better than the one found in this year’s disappointing Street Fighter V: Champion Edition) helps to keep the scene alive.
You can read our review of FOOTSIES Rollback Edition here.
Formula Retro Racing
It was a good time to be an arcade racing fan in 2020; Hotshot Racing, Inertial Drift, and Art of Rally kept the spirit alive. However, the true dark horse of the genre can be found in repixel8’s Formula Retro Racing. A love letter to SEGA’s racers of old, players will be able to traverse its low poly landscape with its raw thrills and plentiful checkpoints. For those seeking out those blue, blue skies, welcome home.
You can read our review of Formula Retro Racing here.