You know what to expect from E3 by now. Explosive new game trailers! Sneak peeks of upcoming games you want right now! Avatar news! Someone somewhere is very excited about that. With all the announcements and livestreams from gaming’s biggest developers and publishers, it’s easy for smaller titles to get lost in the crowd. That’s why we’re here with five picks for indie games that we want to make sure you add to your wishlist. (Seriously. It really helps these developers.)
Do you want even more indie game goodness? Be sure to check out the presentations from the 2021 Wholesome Direct and E3 Indie Showcase.
Bear and Breakfast
Armor Games Studios
Welcome to Pinefall Resort! We first heard about Bear & Breakfast last year, and this E3 brought us the first story trailer for this delightful management game. You’re a bear named Hank and you run a bed and breakfast. Do we really need to say much more?
The woodland resort management game looks to combine decorating and running the inn with adorable (if grumpy) critters. And there’s a slightly spooky story that will unfold? We’re ready to get lost in these woods.
Bear & Breakfast is coming to the Nintendo Switch and Steam in 2021.
Let’s go from slightly spooky to very scary with Inscryption from Devolver Digital.
Inscryption is a card game with escape room and psychological horror narrative elements added to the dark mix. Described as a “self-destructive love letter to video games,” this standout title includes deckbuilding and a disturbing story that hooks you from the get-to. Just watch the announcement trailer and try not to get goosebumps. We dare you.
Inscryption will be available on Steam in 2021.
If you’ve ever dreamed of running away to a quiet town, Lake is the game you’ve been waiting for. There are no monsters to fight or murder mysteries to solve in this small town–but there is a lot of mail to deliver. It’s 1986. A young woman is taking a break from her big city job by returning to her hometown for two weeks. She gets a temporary job as a mail carrier, and her path intersects with the residents of her childhood home.
A slice of life story with a branching narrative, this promises to be the kind of game you can escape to time and time again.
Lake comes to Xbox and Steam on September 1, 2021.
Nestled in the middle of the Xbox presentation, Replaced took almost everyone by surprise. This pixelated dystopian action thriller immediately grabs your attention and doesn’t let go. The game is a retro-futuristic treat for the eyes. The “2.5D” platformer puts you in control of R.E.A.C.H., an AI trapped in a human body, as it struggles to unravel the mysteries of Phoenix-City.
Replaced is planned for a 2021 release on Xbox, Steam, and the Epic Games store.
We Are OFK
We Are OFK might stretch the definition of a video game. This interactive series is a “making the band” style look at a group of friends who are trying to make it in the music business. With stunning character designs and an art style that practically glows, this interactive animated series is an entirely different kind of adventure. And what’s a band without music? You can listen to OFK’s first song, “Follow/Unfollow,” right now.
We Are OFK takes to the stage this year on Steam.
Featured Image: Team OFK
Kelly Knox is a freelance entertainment writer in Seattle, WA who writes for Star Wars, DC Comics, and more. Her book Marvel Monsters comes out this July from DK Books. Follow her on Twitter for bad puns and pop culture coverage.