By Carrie Lambertsen
With many big games of various genres coming out in early summer, it is easy to miss out on some of these fantastic works by indie developers.
The summer of 2023 is going to be huge with all the new video games coming from big-name companies, but there are amazing indie games by smaller developers which would be a shame to have overshadowed. So many large and highly anticipated titles are coming throughout the late spring and summer months, and it is understandable that many will be drawn toward these great titles. Between Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, Street Fighter 6, Diablo 4, and Final Fantasy 16, it might be worth checking out some indie game developers' works, as there are some equally impressive finds there.
The big companies seem to have games releasing for every genre in May and during the summer of 2023. Indie game developers have also been hard at work, however, with some very high-quality titles that players will want to experience. Whether someone is looking for a dark and gritty Soulslike in the world of Pinocchio or a cinematic narrative-driven rhythm game about high school, there are many indie games of all styles coming soon. The examples below barely begin to cover the number of titles coming out, but these are some that shouldn't be missed.
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10 Paper Trail
Paper Trail is a puzzle adventure game set artistically in a world with foldable paper environments. Its innovative game mechanics challenge players to look at the world a little differently as they guide Paige through these interactive puzzles. Developer Newfangled Games has not yet given a specific release date, but Paper Trail is expected to launch in August 2023 for Steam, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, and PS5.
9 Goodbye Volcano High
Goodbye Volcano High is a fully voice-acted and hand-drawn narrative game that incorporates the mechanics of a rhythm game into its gameplay. Players control Fang as they face their final year of high school and all that goes with it. Choices matter in this game as Fang grapples with whether to admit their feelings to their crush, how to write the best song for the band, and if it's possible to fix their family dynamic all while facing an incoming apocalypse. Goodbye Volcano High will be released on June 15, 2023, for PS4, PS5, and Steam.
The action-thriller platformer, REPLACED, is set in a sci-fi alternate world of the 1980s where players experience what it's like to be an AI trapped in a human body. Society has turned dark and dystopian as humans are led by greed with plenty of combat and mystery for players to encounter. This indie title by Sad Cat Studios is expected to be on Xbox Game Pass on day one, as well as coming to PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S during Summer 2023.
7 Bomb Rush Cyberfunk
Cult classic Jet Set Radio is getting a spiritual sequel in Bomb Rush Cyberfunk, which is nearly available. This sequel will include new music by the same composer who crafted Jet Set Radio's soundtrack and allows players to battle against other graffiti writers for control of the streets while uncovering a mystery and avoiding the police. The main character, Red, had his head cut off and replaced by a robot head and is on a mission to discover who beheaded him and how he is linked to this graffiti painting, BMX skateboarding world. Indie developer Team Reptile plans to release Bomb Rush Cyberfunk on August 18, 2023
6 Lies Of P
The Soulslike genre will have fierce competition with Round8 Studio's new Lies of P. A dark, twisted story of Pinocchio, Lies of P has many Soulslike gameplay similarities to Bloodborne intermixed with its mysterious story. Players control Pinocchio as he fights to become human, with many possible outcomes as to how the story will end. Innovative systems for how well Pinocchio can tell a lie are a strong predictor of outcomes, and with Pinocchio's doll-like qualities, players can exchange parts of his body for new skills and battle techniques. This very mature-themed indie game will be released on Steam, Xbox, and PlayStation in August 2023.
5 Tiny Thor
Tiny Thor is a beautifully crafted 16-bit platformer that tells the story of Thor from Norse mythology in a bright and clever way. Combat in the game focuses heavily on the use of Thor's special hammer, Mjölnir, which can be carefully aimed to make fun trick shots. Though the game has a retro feel in its artwork, there are new abilities and fun story features in its 30 levels to make it stand out from the crowd. Developed by Asylum Square, Tiny Thor will be released during the Summer of 2023.
4 Oxenfree 2: Lost Signals
Oxenfree 2: Lost Signals is a sequel that takes place five years after the events of Oxenfree. In this narrative adventure, players control Riley Poverly, who is researching strange electromagnetic waves when she unlocks the ability to communicate with supernatural beings. Cultists are also there trying to open rifts to allow these supernatural monsters to enter the world. The game offers a lot of narrative choices and platforming with some puzzles and mystery surrounding it all. Oxenfree 2 is the newest indie title from Night School Studio and will be released on July 12, 2023, for PC, Nintendo Switch, PS4, and PS5.
3 Sea Of Stars
Indie game developer Sabotage Studio used Kickstarter to fund this retro turn-based RPG that is a prequel to The Messenger. The beautiful game, Sea of Stars, has been a passion project for the studio and has been delayed multiple times to ensure that not only was the game of the highest quality possible but that the developers were able to continue having a healthy life-work balance. The soundtrack for the game is composed by Yasunori Mitsuda, of Chrono Trigger fame, who approached Sabotage Studio and asked if he could write the music, according to the game's Kickstarter page. Sea of Stars is coming to Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S on August 29, 2023.
2 My Time At Sandrock
My Time At Sandrock is a post-apocalyptic life sim from the same indie game developer who made My Time At Portia, and has been in early access on Steam for several months now. As the game's official release inches closer, this summer 2023 it is making the leap to consoles for players to experience more than 60 hours of adventure and questing in this futuristic old west village. A cozy life sim, My Time At Sandrock's continuous updates allow players to romance and marry NPCs, build and decorate a home with crops and livestock, uncover the mysteries in an addicting series of quests, and more.
1 Mineko's Night Market
Though slightly late to be considered an official summer release, Mineko's Night Market is a game that players should be looking forward to. Scheduled to be released on September 26, 2023, Mineko's Night Market is filled with Japanese culture as players get to solve puzzles, craft items, explore, and pet lots and lots of cats. This adorable game includes many minigames to enjoy and a clever story to restore a struggling town and discover the secret of the Sun Cat who has been sighted.
All the big titles coming from companies such as Square Enix, Blizzard, and Nintendo in 2023 can easily overshadow the indie games, blocking them from getting some of the attention and hype they deserve. Many of the games releasing from smaller developers such as the ones above have the potential to become favorites for many players. These indie games and more are all releasing in the summer of 2023 and may be fantastic, and often cheaper, alternatives from the big-name games to keep on the radar.
Source: Sea of Stars/Kickstarter
10 Biggest Indie Games Coming Out Summer 2023? ›
The Gayming Awards has announced the winners of its 2023 event, with Cult of the Lamb beating Elden Ring and God of War: Ragnarok for Game of the Year. Want must read news straight to your inbox? The winners of the show, presented by Logitech G and Streamlabs, were presented at an event in New York City.What game is getting Game of the Year 2023? ›
The Gayming Awards has announced the winners of its 2023 event, with Cult of the Lamb beating Elden Ring and God of War: Ragnarok for Game of the Year. Want must read news straight to your inbox? The winners of the show, presented by Logitech G and Streamlabs, were presented at an event in New York City.What is the biggest indie game? ›
|4.||Plants vs. Zombies: Game of the Year||+|
Indie games are games created by independent developers, often with limited resources and funding, and distributed through digital storefronts like Steam, Itch.io, or the Epic Games Store. Indie games have become increasingly popular among players and have had a significant impact on the industry.What was the first big indie game? ›
Before that, they were termed as amateur, enthusiast, or hobbyist games. One of the first known examples of an indie game is Spacewar! which was released in 1963 but there is still some debate as to which is the first indie video game.What game is shutting down in 2023? ›
Knockout City, the team-based 'dodgebrawler' from Velan Studios and EA, will be shut down on 6 June 2023. It becomes the latest in a long line of live service games being sunsetted, following in the footsteps of EA's own Apex Legends Mobile and Battlefield Mobile, as well as Rumbleverse, and Fuser.What game is coming out in 2025? ›
Judas, the next game from BioShock creator Ken Levine, is set to be released by March 2025. From developer Ghost Story Games, the game was first shown at The Game Awards last December and looks to include many familiar features to BioShock fans. It's set for PC, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S.What is the largest game size ever? ›
- 1 Ark: Survival Evolved - 400 GB.
- 2 Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare - 235 GB. ...
- 3 Borderlands 3: Director's Cut - 135 GB. ...
- 4 Call Of Duty: Black Ops Cold War - 175 GB. ...
- 5 Red Dead Redemption 2 - 120 GB. ...
- 6 Final Fantasy 15 Windows Edition - 110 GB. ...
According to VG Insights, only 15% of all solo game developers take home more than $100,000 annually. VG Insights also reported that only the top 5% of indie games released each year make over half a million dollars each, and the average game only makes $13,000.What is the biggest game screen? ›
The largest projected videogame display is 4,397.75 m² (47,337 ft² 1095 in²), and was achieved by EA SPORTS Madden NFL by Electronic Arts & the National Football League (NFL) (both USA) in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, on 1 February 2022.
What does AAA stand for in gaming? ›
The term "AAA Games" is a classification used within the video gaming industry to signify high-budget, high-profile games that are typically produced and distributed by large, well-known publishers. These games often rank as “blockbusters” due to their extreme popularity.Are indie games hard to make? ›
Creating your own indie game is a challenging and rewarding process. This is your chance to create the game you want and share your ideas with the world. Whether you're working by yourself or with a small team, there are some very important things you should keep in mind when creating a successful indie game.Why are indie games so much better than AAA games? ›
Indie game studios are usually much smaller than AAA studios, with everyone working more closely together, often leading to a more democratic environment that encourages wider creative input from the whole team.What was the first AAA games? ›
One of the first video games to be produced at a blockbuster or AAA scale was Squaresoft's Final Fantasy VII (1997), which cost an estimated $40–45 million (inflation adjusted $68–76 million) to develop, making it the most expensive video game ever produced up until then, with its unprecedented cinematic CGI production ...Why are indie games so short? ›
Typically, indie games are smaller than mainstream titles. Indie game developers are generally not financially backed by video game publishers, who are risk-averse and prefer "big-budget games". Instead, indie game developers usually have smaller budgets, usually sourcing from personal funds or via crowdfunding.What are most indie games written in? ›
Java. The indie game industry owes a lot to Java. Because of its open-source material and beginner-friendly syntax, Java is one of the go-to's for game developers in need of a solid coding language.Will 2023 be a good year for gaming? ›
While there are few guarantees in the gaming industry, 2023 is a guaranteed great year for gamers everywhere. Whether it's meaningful remasters or reboots, ambitious sequels or intriguing indie titles, 2023 possesses a diverse list of releases.Why a game is closing by itself? ›
Games run on your PC primarily with graphics capabilities besides CPU and RAM. This means the GPU decides how smoothly a game can run on the PC. If the graphics card driver is outdated or corrupted, PC games crashing could happen unexpectedly. Therefore, it is necessary to update your graphics card driver.What games will take place in 2024? ›
The Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games will be the biggest event ever organised in France. The Olympic Games will take place from 26 July to 11 August 2024.What will gaming look like in 2030? ›
In the year 2030, virtual reality and augmented reality will dominate the gaming industry. In addition to this, numerous gamers will significantly use this technology to introduce new genres to the audience.
Which game has the lowest size? ›
The entire game uses only 97,280 bytes of disk space. In contrast, most contemporaneous first-person shooters filled one or more CDs or DVDs. According to the developers, . kkrieger itself would take up around 200–300 MB of space if it had been stored the conventional way.Which game has the best graphics? ›
- Here are the games with the best graphics.
- Red Dead Redemption 2.
- Forza Horizon 5.
- God of War: Ragnarok.
- Assassin's Creed Valhalla.
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.
- Microsoft Flight Simulator.
- Marvel's Spider-Man.
Scripts, music, cutscenes, and animation which consists of movement of the 3D objects which makes up the rest. Lots of textures in high resolution, and lots of audio, and perhaps even rendered video. Those are the main things that take a lot of space.Are indie game developers rich? ›
Yes, only 3% of indie developers ever make more than $1m, but that's still over 1,500 indies who have done so.How much can a solo game developer earn? ›
While ZipRecruiter is seeing annual salaries as high as $180,000 and as low as $50,500, the majority of Indie Game Developer salaries currently range between $89,000 (25th percentile) to $148,000 (75th percentile) with top earners (90th percentile) making $171,500 annually across the United States.Can I sell my indie game? ›
Yes, of course, you can. There are actually a few ways to make money selling indie games. One is to build a game that is designed for mobile devices, as these games tend to have lower development costs and can be marketed through app stores at a lower price point.What screen is too big for gaming? ›
For most people, monitors larger than 32 inches are too big for gaming. Whatever display size you prefer, you should always keep the screen resolution in mind as well.Is a big screen bad for gaming? ›
In a word, no. Some consumers, for example, choose TVs because larger screens are better suited to split-screen, multiplayer games (on a smaller, gaming monitor, finer details tend to get lost). Some gamers prefer to sit further away from the screen to reduce eye strain and fatigue.Are bigger screens worse for gaming? ›
When looking for the best monitor size for gaming, it can be easy to get confused with which exact size you need. With all the buzzwords and features manufacturers put into their marketing, it's important to remember that a monitor's performance doesn't depend on the size, but that the size is a personal preference.Is Elden Ring a AAA game? ›
Elden Ring, the most recent game by FromSoftware, is another title that has claimed the world of AAA games and is quite similar to popular names like Dark Souls.
Is Hogwarts Legacy AAA? ›
The highly anticipated AAA game is being developed by Avalanche and published by Warner Bros. Games under the Portkey Games label.Is fortnite a AAA? ›
Fortnite is the first AAA game to use Epic's own Unreal Engine 5 killer features, starting next patch.Do game devs make good money? ›
The national average salary for a game developer sits at US$101,644 per year. However, it's worth noting that years of experience determine your job rank and game programmer salary. Beginner game developers who recently developed a strong interest in game development work in an entry-level or junior job position.How many indie games fail? ›
70% of all indie games are commercial failures. Of the 30% that are considered successful, only 7% of those games will generate enough revenue to fund a second project.How much money do I need to make an indie game? ›
The average cost to make an indie game is about $250,000, but some small projects can cost as low as nothing + time you spend on development. The lower numbers assume you're working alone and don't have any other developers on board yet; however, the costs stack up quickly once multiple people are involved.What is the opposite of indie games? ›
Indie games are usually made by companies with less than 30 people, and some are even made by less than five people. On the other hand, AAA games are made by much bigger companies, usually with hundreds of employees.What are the disadvantages of indie games? ›
|Creative freedom||Limited resources|
|No crunch culture||Lack of support|
The main problems with Unity are that it doesn't scale well for a very large teams and you don't have the ability to finely manage your memory. Both of those are major roadblocks for AAA game development.What is the opposite of AAA games? ›
AA Games: These are titles made by companies with significantly smaller budgets allocated to produce their games. They are still developed by large groups of people spread across multiple offices, but they do not have the scale and reach of AAA games.What is the average budget for a AAA game? ›
Generally, AAA games cost several million dollars to develop and can exceed tens of millions of dollars.
How many people are needed to make a AAA game? ›
We remember the answer to the question what makes a game triple-A. One of the indicators is a huge team of developers. AAA game development process requires an average of 100 professionals if the work is done from scratch.What percentage of indie games succeed? ›
70% of all indie games are commercial failures. Of the 30% that are considered successful, only 7% of those games will generate enough revenue to fund a second project.What is the average indie game size? ›
Indie games tend to be smaller, but they're still bulky—there's no guarantee that an indie game will be any smaller than a AAA game. For example, Rogue Legacy only needs 550 MB to install while Guacamelee needs about 1 GB and Tabletop Simulator needs about 3 GB.Why are all indie games pixelated? ›
Indie developers need to use a graphical style which is cheap to make. Pixel graphics satisfy this condition. There are several other styles that satisfy this condition too, but, most choose to copy the style of the games they are inspired by (i.e., other indies).What is the most famous indie game? ›
|4.||Plants vs. Zombies: Game of the Year||5,621|
C++: C++ is an object-oriented programming language. Its speed, ease of use, and widespread adoption make it stand out as a highly desirable language. According to Game-Ace, it is widely considered the gold standard in game programming, and many call it the best coding language for games.What is the most profitable indie game of all time? ›
What is this? Minecraft was originally developed by Marcus "Notch" Persson until he had enough money to be able to hire more people to help him develop it. He created the company Mojang which is probably the largest indie game success story.
|3||Apex Legends||50 Million|
|4||Fortnite Battle Royale||45 Million|
And in an extraordinary turn at the Bafta Game Awards 2023, Vampire Survivors beat competition from multi-million pound blockbusters such as Sony's God of War: Ragnarok and From Software's heralded Elden Ring to win the Best Game award. Vampire Survivors also won the Game Design award.What is the best selling game of 2023? ›
Which game is No 1 in the world? ›
1. PUBG. PUBG is the most popular online game in 2022, with a huge fan following. Inspired by armor and H1Z1, PUBG has swept the internet and now has more than 100 million players.What is the #1 game of the year? ›
2022 Game of the Year Winner: Elden Ring
Xenoblade Chronicles 3.
|4.||The Sims 4||Electronic Arts|
- Resident Evil 4 Remake. Image: Capcom. ...
- Tchia. Image: Awaceb/Kepler Interactive. ...
- Patch Quest. Image: Lychee Game Labs/Curve Games via Polygon. ...
- Paranormasight: The Seven Mysteries of Honjo. Image: Square Enix. ...
- Phantom Brigade. Image: Brace Yourself Games. ...
- Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty. ...
- Company of Heroes 3. ...
- Octopath Traveler 2.
|2018||God of War||Santa Monica Studio|
|2019||Untitled Goose Game||House House|
|2021||It Takes Two||Hazelight Studios|
After Elden Ring was announced as the Game of the Year winner, an individual followed the developers on stage and waited while they gave their speech.Do gamers have a future? ›
Gaming is now a bigger industry than movies and sports combined. Revenue for gaming reached $184 billion in 2022, and the number of gamers is expected to grow to 3.6 billion by 2025. It's not just kids either: 38 percent of gamers are between the ages of 18 and 34 years, and 16 percent are older than 55.What is the #1 best selling game of all time? ›
The best-selling video game to date is Minecraft, a sandbox game released by Mojang in May 2009 for a wide range of PC, mobile and console platforms, selling more than 238 million copies across all platforms. Grand Theft Auto V and EA's Tetris are the only other known video games to have sold over 100 million copies.What is the 2 best selling game of all time? ›
|3||Tetris (EA)||EA Mobile|
More than 100 major video game releases are expected in 2023, from highly anticipated RPGs like Starfield, Final Fantasy 16, and The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, to new, mainline entries in series like Marvel's Spider-Man, Assassin's Creed, and Street Fighter, and the long-awaited return of franchises like ...