Indie Games of 2013

This year I want to recognize some of the Indie Game Developers who caught my eye.  I’m not saying their games are the greatest, or that you’ve even heard of these particular devs.  I simply think they warrant some attention for a variety of reasons.

Image & Form – Steamworld Dig

The team at Image & Form (Steamworld Games?) somehow did everything right.  They launched strong onto the Nintendo 3DS via the eShop, took the world by storm, and are now available for PC, Mac, and Linux via Steam.  They even contacted us and opened the lines of communication.  I can really respect a team that reaches out to influencers and offers to let them review a game.

Graev wrote a fantastic review of Steamworld Dig, so I won’t go into too many details.  Suffice it to say the game is like Spelunky meets Metroid, and has hours of entertainment.  I think it’s also on sale during the Steam Holiday Sale event.

Cube World Hanglider

Picroma – Cube World

What blows me away is the fact that this dev team consists of only two people.  The quality of Cube World and what they have been able to accomplish is amazing.  Graev and I both bought Cube World and logged several hours back in the early release version of the game.  There was a period of several months where the devs went quiet, and we feared the worst, but they are back in action posting on their blog and giving us updates.  Trion recently announced a game that looks… well, in my opinion it looks like it is ripping a lot right from Cube World but without the charm.  Personally, I’ll be playing Cube World and I think you should too.

tower-of-elements-2Frogdice – Tower of Elements 2

If there was an award for never getting tired and continually pushing to succeed it would go to Michael Hartman, master of the frogs over at Frogdice.  I see him Tweeting up a storm every day, constantly working to get his games into the spotlight.  Frogdice recently launched a Kickstarter to fund their newest game, Tower of Elements 2, and received 159% funding (with 6 more days to go at the time of this post).

They are now trying to get their game on Steam via the Greenlight program, which is no easy task.  If strategy puzzle games with a tower defense twist appeal to you, show them your support. I think their ‘Elements’ series is pretty fun.  Personally, I would love to see ToE2 on the iPad.

There were dozens of great games from indie developers this year, and I regret not being able to write about them all.  I look forward to what is shaping up to be a fantastic era for indie devs.  If you played any indie games this year, or have anything to share about a particular dev, let’s hear it!

Update: I’ve added a few more to the list already.

  • I liked Papers, please.
    Do not get fooled by the simplistic look of the graphics.
    It has quite an original take on gameplay and control mechanics.

    Still waiting for a steam discount on castlestorm.
    I read the article on your blog about it back when it got released on xbox live.
    Been on my radar since for the pc.

    What about the upcoming indie games set for 2014? Any you are looking forward to?

  • Forgot to mention that State of decay is also pretty good if your into the whole zombie survival thing.
    Recently got it on pc. Framerate is smooth for me. (big complaint from the xbox version was very low fps)

  • Guacamelee was one of my favorite games of 2013. I love metroidvania style games, and not only was it a great metroidvania but it also had a ton of style and a great theme. Got a little heavy with internet meme use at times, but still a ton of fun.

    Cube World looked like fun, but it doesn’t seem to have been updated very recently from what I hear from some friends who have it.

    Starbound I plan on picking it up once it gets a bit further in development and stops wiping characters.

  • Oh yeah and I should mention, Banished ( is the one indie title I’m really looking forward to in 2014. It’s a gorgeous medieval city-builder game being done by a single person. He’s been working on it for ages and is very close to releasing it. Supposed to be out sometime in January if all goes smoothly.

  • @Zyler:

    Castlestorm is on sale atm on Steam, $4.99 for the base game and $7.49 including all of the DLC. It is hard to get much lower than that.

  • My favorite Steam sale indie has been Blackguards.

    Blackguards is a turn-based fantasy, often dark and frequently humorous, RPG.

    While still a beta product it is polished and one of the best RPG’s I have played in a while. It is a good feeling to catch myself laughing at the well voice acted humorous dialogue, which I haven’t experienced to this degree since way back in games such as KOTOR and Jade Empire. Daedalic Entertainment might just be the new old pre-EA BioWare we all fondly remember.