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10 More Overlooked Single Player Indie Games

Content of the article: "10 More Overlooked Single Player Indie Games"

Here’s a link to the first post with 10 other overlooked indie games.

Introduction

We're all familiar with the Hotline Miami's, Hollow Knight's, and Celeste's of the world. These are some of the indie games that hit the big time. Of course, for every one of these games, there's 100 other indie games that have been glossed over, relegated to a spot in a digital store few people will ever find themselves in. I wanted to bring attention to some of these lesser known indie games again.

Details About the List

I'm going to order them according to Metacritic Critic Ratings. Since Switch is the only platform with all 10 of the games on this list, I will be using the Switch version of the Metacritic reviews for consistency (PlayStation 4 and Steam have 9 of them, and Xbox One has 8 of them). The two bottom games have pretty low critic ratings (60% and 58%). I personally disagree with the low scores of these two games, but it's only fair that you hear from more than just me. Keep in mind that games with only one or two User Ratings on Metacritic will not show the score. A game needs at least three User Ratings on Metacritic before the score will be shown. This is not the case for Critic Reviews.

For the purpose of this post, I’m just going to stick with saying “trophies” and “platinum trophies.” You can basically substitute these with “achievements” and “100% achievement attainment” if you’re an Xbox or PC gamer.

Platforms will include a link to the U.S. store page of the game for each platform. Price is in U.S. dollars.

1. Puddle Knights

  • Platforms: Switch, Steam

  • Price: 9.99

  • Trailer:

  • Genre: Level-based Puzzle Game

  • Metacritic: 80% from 2 Critic Reviews, N/A from 0 User Ratings

  • Description: Puddle Knights’ has a funny premise that makes for a really interesting concept. You control both knights and royalty, and your goal is to lay the knights’ capes over muddy tiles for safe passage for royalty. The movement of your knights is limited, so the order in which you move is an important piece of every puzzle. This makes for levels that look very simple on the surface, but in actuality it’s a harder puzzle game than most I’ve played. Fortunately the game has undo and reset buttons, allowing you to experiment more easily. Each world introduces a new element to the table that is expanded upon with each level throughout the course of the world.

  • Completion Time: ~15 Hours

  • Extra Content: There are a lot of optional levels that could add another 10-20 hours, as they are typically more difficult. Completion time is also going to vary more than most games on this list, as I found it to be very difficult.

2. Warlock’s Tower

  • Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, Steam

  • Price: $4.99

  • Trailer:

  • Genre: 2D Level-based Puzzle Game

  • Metacritic: 79% from 4 Critic Reviews, 78% from 4 User Ratings

  • Description: Warlock’s Tower’s puzzles are built around the movement of the player. There are numbers on the ground for the player to pick up – either 3 or 5 – and this gives the player a set number of steps before they die. Your goal in every level is to make it to an exit, and you’ll have to acquire the numbers in an order that gets you there. It is a bit easy in the beginning but eventually works up to be a challenge in the later levels as more elements are introduced: enemies, teleporters, conveyors, and even controlling two characters at once that share movement usage. The game has a very believable GameBoy aesthetic and sound effects to accompany it, and it works for this slower paced tile-based game.

  • Completion Time: ~6 Hours

  • Extra Content: This is published by Ratalaika Games, but surprisingly enough, you actually have to beat the game and find a few NPCs hidden in certain levels to get the platinum trophy. There are optional levels in each world that don’t have any trophies attached to them, and this should add a few hours to the game.

3. Cursed Castilla (Maldita Castilla EX)

  • Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, Steam

  • Price: $13.99 on Switch, $11.99 everywhere else

  • Trailer:

  • Genre: 2D Action Platformer

  • Metacritic: 77% from 5 Critic Reviews, 78% from 13 User Ratings

  • Description: This is an action platformer that emulates arcade games from the latter half of the 1980s, but it is probably most reminiscent of Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts. The creator, Locomalito, states that the soundtrack uses the true arcade sound of the YM2203 chip. The game is hard, but the checkpoints are never more than a minute or two apart, and the lives' system/continue system has no penalties outside of locking you out of trophies. This is a very boss dense game – in the ~4 hour run-time it takes to complete the game, you fight 19 bosses. The handful of weapons and items you pick up helps lend variety to the combat, and no two boss fights feel the same.

  • Completion Time: ~4 Hours

  • Extra Content: The game has two endings. Most players will get the bad ending the first time around and be locked out of the final stage (which is the longest stage in the game). You do have to play through the game again to get the good ending, but you'll likely do it in half the time. If you want to see all the major content on your first go around, I recommend looking up how to get the good ending before you play the game. As far as trophies are concerned, the platinum trophy is very difficult to obtain. If you like an extreme challenge, this one's for you.

4. Hayfever

  • Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, Steam

  • Price: $14.99

  • Trailer:

  • Genre: 2D Precision Platformer

  • Metacritic: 76% from 4 Critic Reviews, N/A from 0 User Ratings

  • Description: Hayfever is a precision platformer that revolves around a mailman propelling himself using a number of different allergens that act as power-ups. A lot of the platforming is aerial and typically has you catching allergens mid-air to perform maneuvers in quick succession. It's not an easy game by any means, but it has oddly relaxing music to accompany the rather intense platforming. There are also letters to collect in each level to steepen the challenge and some secrets to discover too. It takes an hour or so to get used to the aerial platforming, and this is one of the few 2D platformers played better with the analog stick rather than the D-Pad. But letters that seemed unattainable to me at the beginning of the game became much simpler by the end, as I had mastered the controls and physics of the game. I’ve played a ton of 2D platformers, and this is one of my favorites.

  • Completion Time: ~8 Hours

  • Extra Content: It'll take another 8 hours or so to collect all the letters and probably about 6 hours or so to beat the Hard World, which features an additional 28 remixed levels. There are also secrets to uncover, but they don't net any in game progress and only work towards your trophy. Finding these secrets will probably vary more in time because they are hidden, but expect them to take a few hours to find. Just to clarify, letters are an expanded test of your platforming skills and are all in clear view of the screen, while secrets are a test of your observation skills and take a little more digging to find. The platinum trophy is a fair and rewarding challenge that took me about 25-30 hours to get.

5. Duck Souls+

  • Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, (Page Not Found) Steam

  • Price: $1.99 on Steam, $4.99 on consoles

  • Trailer:

  • Genre: 2D Precision Platformer

  • Metacritic: 76% from 4 Critic Reviews, N/A from 2 User Ratings

  • Description: Duck Souls+ is a twitch 2D platformer reminiscent of Super Meat Boy and Celeste – it even has the same kind of dash as Celeste. But the format of the game is much simpler: 100 levels, all on one screen. This makes it easy to see the challenges ahead so there are no surprises. The game also offers an easy mode like Celeste for players looking for a more trouble-free experience. Easy mode simply adds checkpoints throughout the relatively short levels, so you're getting one every 10 or 15 seconds. This cuts the completion time in more than half but also removes a lot of the intensity from completing a level. It's nice to have the option there though.

  • Completion Time: ~2.5 Hours

  • Extra Content: This is published by Ratalaika Games so the platinum trophy is basically a gimme. You do have to beat the game and discover one secret to get the platinum trophy, though this can be done in an hour if you do the easy mode. The completion time above is based on the hard mode. There are a few cosmetics but not much else to come back to.

6. The Count Lucanor

  • Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, Steam

  • Price: $9.99 on Steam, $14.99 on consoles– Switch version currently on sale for $2.99

  • Trailer:

  • Genre: Top Down Adventure/Horror

  • Metacritic: 72% from 9 Critic Reviews, 75% from 22 User Ratings

  • Description: The Count Lucanor’s story is very fairy tale-esque – more like a classic fairy tale as it can be pretty dark and grotesque at times. On his 10th birthday, Hans chooses to leave his mother in a quest for wealth. After some walking and conversation with NPCs you find along the way, you stumble upon a large mansion and find that the count of this mansion is looking to pass his wealth onto an heir who can prove himself worthy – “worthy” in this case being the one who can figure out the count’s name. From here, you are tasked with adventuring through the mansion and solving environmental puzzles in a nonlinear way to acquire the letters that spell the count’s name. There is a survival horror element to the game, as you are unable to attack the enemies in the mansion and instead must crawl under tables and find other ways around them. You can place candles around the mansion to light it up to help you better evade enemies, but your usage is limited (though you can find more).

  • Completion Time: ~4 Hours

  • Extra Content: There are five different endings and some puzzles/rooms you don’t even have to do. This could double your playtime – maybe even more if you don’t use a guide.

7. Reverie

  • Platforms: PlayStation 4, Switch

  • Price: $12.99

  • Trailer:

  • Genre: Zelda-like Top Down Action Adventure

  • Metacritic: 71% from 5 Critic Reviews, N/A from 0 User Ratings

  • Description: Reverie is a mix between Zelda’s gameplay, Earthbound’s aesthetic and humor, and a New Zealand folktale – the legend of Maui and the Giant Fish. Instead of the more traditional sword and shield style fantasy, Reverie instead opts for items and tools a modern boy is more likely to find in his possession, like a cricket bat, a yoyo, and a nerf gun. Similarly, the first dungeon is grandpa’s basement, where you’ll square off against a giant hedgehog and a tumble dryer. That said, the game does get more fantastical with the last two locations, particularly the fifth one. It’s a relatively easy game overall, though the fourth and especially fifth dungeon offer up a moderate challenge. The indie scene has produced a lot of Zelda-like games in recent years, but this is the only one I know of that isn’t your standard medieval fantasy.

  • Completion Time: ~5 Hours

  • Extra Content: There are feathers to collect, mini games to play, and a combat focused bonus dungeon to beat. That said, a lot of this stuff is easy to stumble upon in the main quest, so you’re probably looking at about two or three hours’ worth of content after beating the game to complete everything.

8. Cybarian: The Time-Traveling Warrior

  • Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, Steam

  • Price: $5.99 on Steam, $4.99 on consoles

  • Trailer:

  • Genre: 2D Action Platformer

  • Metacritic: 70% from 3 Critic Reviews, N/A from 0 User Ratings

  • Description: Cybarian has an interesting yet simple combat system that distinguishes itself from most action platformers. Instead of mashing the attack button, you have to press it once, wait two seconds for the animation to complete, press it again, wait two seconds for the animation to complete, and then press it again to complete a full combo. It sounds like something that's easy to get down quickly, but I found myself still occasionally going too quickly in the intensity of a boss fight. The game punishes you by not fulfilling the attack if you button mash. After each boss fight, you unlock a new move that will be required to fell some foes in the next stage. Conversely, you can play Hard Mode which unlocks all moves right from the get-go, but you'll have to beat all four stages without dying. "Hardcore Mode" would've been a more apt description of this difficulty setting, I feel.

  • Completion Time: ~1 Hour

  • Extra Content: This is published by Ratalaika Games, so once again the platinum trophy can be achieved in under an hour. It would've been nice if they pushed you to beat Hard Mode, but you'll just have to settle for internal gratification instead. Outside of replaying the game, Hard Mode is the only thing to come back to, though I think it’s a little more compelling than your typical difficulty setting since you get all the moves from the start.

9. The Bunker

  • Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, Steam

  • Price: $12.99 on Switch and Steam, $19.99 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

  • Trailer:

  • Genre: FMV Point & Click Adventure/Horror

  • Metacritic: 60% from 10 Critic Reviews, 23% from 4 User Ratings

  • Description: The Bunker is an FMV point & click adventure, meaning it features real actors and environments just like a live action movie. Many of the actors involved have been in high profile movies/TV shows as well, including The Hobbit, Game of Thrones, Star Wars, and Penny Dreadful. The game takes place in a fallout shelter and follows the last survivor as he tries to find a way outside following the death of his mother, after living 30+ years in the bunker. The gameplay has you solving puzzles and finding ways to proceed to the next area. The story is the focal point of the game though, and it frequently switches between the past and the present. There’s a good juxtaposition between the lively past and the lonely present that makes you question how the protagonist ended up as the last survivor. There’s only one narrative choice to make in the game, and it comes at the very end.

  • Completion Time: ~2. Hour Completion Time*

  • Extra Content: You can replay the game and try to find all the collectibles. Most of them give more background on the story. You can trigger the ending you did not choose the first time around by simply reloading the last checkpoint, so there is no need to play through the whole game again to unlock it.

10. Verlet Swing

  • Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, Steam

  • Price: $14.99

  • Trailer:

  • Genre: 3D Platformer

  • Metacritic: 58% from 2 Critic Reviews, N/A from 0 User Ratings

  • Description: Verlet Swing’s aesthetic is as intriguing as its gameplay: you are tasked with grappling and swinging yourself across these vaporwave styled levels without hitting anything. The levels are all very short, but you’re likely to play many levels dozens of times before even finishing it… just to get a 1/4 rank. The ranking system is actually very cool, in that it encourages you to find alternative paths or sometimes just building up more momentum to get to the end faster. Most levels do seem to have a set path, but at the same time, with the proper grappling of the mechanics, you can forge your own, which is a game in itself.

  • Completion Time: ~7 Hours

  • Extra Content: There’s an in game challenge menu that mostly recycles a lot of the base game content – though there’s a particularly funny one that switches the perspective to third person to play as a knockoff Spiderman. You can also go back and try to get the best possible time for each level. Getting the platinum trophy is extremely hard and I believe is at 0.1% completion.

Special shoutout to Hayfever which is my favorite game on the list and, again, one my favorite 2D platformers ever.

Have you played any of these games? What are some other overlooked single player indie games?

Source: reddit.com

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