One thing I decided to look for in 2020 was some Indie games that up until now have always seemed to slip under my radar. After making that decision, I have now found some new favourites and it made me even more excited to research which ones were getting released in the new year. These games can be the perfect escape, especially during these tough times, and I definitely recommend adding these to your wishlists! As I have a few on my radar, I’ll definitely be posting more in the future.

Venba by Visai Games

This narrative driven cooking game tells the story of an Indian mum after she immigrates to Canada with her family in the 1980s. The game will consist of cooking dishes of Southern Indian origin (my old Cooking Mama skills will come in handy), exploring the family with branching conversations (choice-based) as well as restoring old recipes and delving into themes of love and loss. Not only that but the game will have a soundtrack inspired by Indian Musicals and promises to remain authentic.
Steam | Website | Twitter

12 Minutes by Luis Antonio

In this interactive thriller game, the story begins with a husband enjoying a simple date night with his wife. However when a police detective breaks into your home, accuses your wife of murder and beats you to death, what turns into a tragic event gets a whole lot stranger. You find yourself stuck in a twelve minute time loop, beginning when you open the door, forcing you to relive the event over and over. Your only choice is to learn why the events occur, find a way to stop them and end the loop. With an all star cast of actors, this is definitely a scary one to pick up this year!
Steam | Website | Twitter

Open Roads by Fullbright

This upcoming mystery-thriller from the creators of Gone Home tells the story of teenager Tess Devine and her relationship with her mum, Opal. The pair one day find a stash of old notes and letters in the attic of their house which reveal deep-rooted family secrets as well as a lost treasure near the Canadian border. The mother and daughter duo decide to investigate and embark on a road trip to long abandoned family properties. Accompanied with beautiful hand-drawn animations, an interactive dialogue system and stunning first-person environments, this is definitely one to keep an eye out for this year.
Steam | Website | Twitter

She Dreams Elsewhere by Studio Zevere

This surreal adventure RPG is a story about dreams and how they can mirror reality. As Thalia, an anxiety-ridden woman, you traverse an ethereal dreamscape and fight your inner demons all whilst trying to free yourself from a coma. Only by trying to defeat the nightmares that stop you from leaving and working out how you got here in the first place can Thalia begin to heal. With themes of mental health and self-identity, intense battle mechanics and even customisation to mix-up your battle strategies and playstyle, She Dreams Elsewhere is not one to miss.
Steam | Website | Twitter

Lake by Gamious

This atmospheric 2021 release takes place in 1986 as you take on the role of forty-something Meredith Weiss who after moving back to town, takes on the responsibility of the local mail carrier to fill in for her dad. Set in the beautiful Providence Oaks, Oregon, Meredith meets people old and new and as the player you can decide everything from who she talks to and even who she starts a romantic relationship with. But at the end, will Meredith return to the big city or stay in her quiet home town? Drive around the town in your rusty mail truck, choose after-work activities and even determine your own story. The choices are endless.
Steam | Website | Twitter

Know By Heart by Ice-Pick Lodge

Described as a game about accepting loss, Know By Heart tells the story of Misha, who is stuck in a boring routine with a dead-end job. However, everything changes when his school crush returns to their post-Soviet provincial town. Faced with the opportunity of something new and exciting, Misha regains hope. However, traces and echoes of the Soviet era can still be seen and heard and when a gang of childhood friends come together, it’s up to them to overcome their threatened bonds and rekindle their friendship. Including a collection of mini-games, emotional themes with a non-linear path and several endings, this narrative driven game sounds perfect.
Steam | Twitter

Keep an eye out for part II with more recommendations!

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