Fallout 4, Star Wars Battlefront, Halo 5: Guardian, Call of Duty: Black Ops III—these are only a few of the many well-received titles gamers all over the world couldn’t wait to get their hands on in 2015. Of course, some of the biggest surprises that had everyone in the video game industry talking came in the form of low-budget indie titles.
One of those indie titles, Toby Fox’s Undertale, is even considered to be the best game of 2015. There’s no denying that indie games have cemented their importance in the game industry, and the good news is, that 2016 is shaping up to be yet another great year.
Below are some of the most anticipated indie titles releasing in 2016 for PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Windows, Wii U, Mac OS, and more. Whether you’re just a fan or plan to work on your own small project one day, it’s always cool seeing what passionate indie developers are cooking up for gamers next.
By: Three One Zero
Imagine being an astronaut who has lost his memory and finds himself floating among the wreckage of a destroyed space station. Alone and in space, you must figure out a way to return home while piecing together the events that caused such a horrific incident. Sold as a “first-person experience” with no violent gameplay, gamers are looking forward to see how Adr1ft sucks them into its dark, scary world.
By: Playtonic Games
Those of us who grew up in the Nintendo 64 and PS1 days have fond memories of exploring 3D worlds for the first time. Yooka-Laylee is a love letter to those titles by providing a vibrant world with colorful characters. Being developed by many former Rare members who worked on the best games of that time, including Banjo-Kazooie and Donkey Kong 64, it’s no surprise why gamers can’t wait for this indie platformer to release.
Hyper Light Drifter
By: Heart Machine
Hyper Light Drifter is a 2D action RPG heavily inspired by classic 8-bit and 16-bit titles. Aside from the attractive pixelated visuals, gamers are looking forward to seeing how the story unfolds given that no dialog will be spoken throughout the game. Instead, Heart Machine wants to captivate us with two powerful tools commonly used in the SNES era—music and visuals.
By: Jonathan Blow
The Witness was developed by Jonathan Blow, the creator of the acclaimed Braid and one of the first indie developers to “make it,” reaping acclaim and notoriety off the strength of his work. This game has been in development for several years, which means we can expect more than a few surprises as we explore a mysterious island. Backed by a team of developers and developed over seven years, The Witness should definitely be on the radar of any 3D puzzle game enthusiast.
By: Capybara Games
The independent studio behind the praised Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP is whipping up yet another atmospheric title. Below is a top-down adventure game where the goal is to explore an island packed with all kinds of dangers. Featuring challenging combat and even permanent death, Below hopes to be the 2D version of the beloved Dark Souls titles.
Mighty No. 9
This upcoming action-platformer is being developed by Keiji Inafune, creator of none other than the famed Mega Man series. Mighty No. 9 is considered a spiritual successor and will feature many similarities with the original titles featuring the Blue Bomber. Nearly $4 million dollars were pledged during the Kickstarter campaign, which goes to show how much people have been yearning for another true Mega Man experience.
Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom
By: Game Atelier
If you gamed in the 90s and owned a Genesis/Mega Drive, chances are you played one of the Wonder Boy or Monster World titles. Despite being years since the last title, there are still many fans who have been waiting for a spiritual successor. Monster Boy looks to be just that, boasting the classic platforming and RPG elements of the past games but with new twists and visuals as well.
No Man’s Sky
By: Hello Games
In case you haven’t noticed, the idea of exploring strange, new worlds has become a popular concept in the indie scene. No Man’s Sky looks to stand out of the crowd by delivering a survival adventure game with a world boasting countless unique planets. Combined with many interesting gameplay mechanics and a gorgeous visual style, this title may be be a contender for the best indie game of 2016.