The Best New Indie Games of Q1 2024

Nine shining gems

Andrew Johnston
5 min readMar 25, 2024
Source for all images: Steam.

2024 is bound to be a tremendous year for indie games. With AAA companies relying on rereleases and minor releases, smaller studios getting all of the anticipation and engagement, and new consoles and GTA still on the horizon, this is a fine year for the little guys to break out.

This doesn’t mean it’s easy, though. As he number of new releases continue to rise and older, more famous indies continue to eat up sales, it’s hard for newcomers to get their chance to shine.

So let’s shine a light on a few of those would-be champions.

Check out the games.

I can’t argue that these are the absolute best releases from the first three months. While I have reviewed more indies than most, I’ve also only gotten to about 1% of everything that came out in Q1. Think of this as one resource of many — a little hintbook pointing you in the direction of worthy titles.

And if you want to catch more of my reviews in real time, you can subscribe to my YouTube channel or read my Indie Monthly articles on Superjump.

Source for all images: Steam.

All Quiet in the Trenches

All Quiet in the Trenches is the latest game to feature an anti-war message, and this one makes it hurt. Putting the player in charge of a novice squad during the First World War, it is a game of difficult decisions. You will never have enough time or enough resources to do everything you need or want to do, and the challenge comes from keeping your men going without alienating anyone. Uniquely for a war game, All Quiet in the Trenches focuses mainly on the grind that comes when the bullets stop flying, an interesting approach to the narrative.

Arzette: The Jewel of Faramore

There are a lot of games that rest on nostalgic visuals, but this is the first one to hearken back to the notorious Philips CD-i. Arzette’s intentionally campy visuals are the main draw, but let’s not overlook the gameplay, which plays a lot like one of the earlier Shantae games and offers a lot of opportunity for exploration. Still, this is a game meant for those with a taste for the absurdity of early and obscure titles, so try not to take it too seriously — no one did back in the day.

Berserk Boy

There are a lot of 2D platformers in the world, and it takes some real effort to stand out. Berserk Boy tackles this well-trod genre with panache, speed, and a lot of love. It features everything you’d ever want from a game like this — tight controls, big levels with mechanical variety and plenty of secrets, multiple forms with different skill sets, and plenty of colorful bosses. If you are a fan of Mega Man, this is the game you’ve been waiting for, bar none.

Source for all images: Steam.

CorpoNation: The Sorting Process

CorpoNation is a game that invites you to imagine a job worse than yours — one where life and work are just one blurry continuum. Confined to an office building/city state, your goal is to avoid getting fired while helping a secretive band of disgruntled employees learn what’s really going on. Perfect for fans of Papers, Please and the Orwell games, CorpoNation is a narrative experience that satirizes everything from overly sunny corporate culture to the petty greed of the video game industry.

Death of a Wish

Few games have an art style that suits the story quite as well as Death of a Wish. The dark, scratchy visuals are a perfect complement to the tale of a former chosen one seeking to destroy the cult that was once his family. It’s a challenging game with a combat system that demands skillful timing and strategic thinking, but for anyone with the patience and skill to master it, there’s a lot of depth here. A good pick for anyone who wants a blend of action and narrative.

Fantastic Fist

I’m not normally a fan of physics-based gameplay, but Fantastic Fist takes an interesting approach to it, coupling physics with puzzle platforming. It employs a keyboard-and-mouse control scheme that allows the player to move and manipulate objects at the same time, a system which is flexible and intuitive. But the strongest element is the level design, which features a wide range of mechanics that are novel but easy to understand. It’s a good mix of old-school design and new-school features.

Source for all images: Steam.

Roots of Yggdrasil

Roots of Yggdrasil takes two growing genres — city builders and deckbuilders — and merges them into something new and compelling. Sure, it’ll take a few rounds to get a handle on these new mechanics, but from there it’s a game full of well-designed puzzles with flexibile solutions. It’s challenging enough to maintain interest without being as unforgiving as deckbuilders tend to be. The game also includes an emergent narrative, the kind of thing that we don’t normally see with either of its inspirations.

The Thaumaturge

The Thaumaturge was one of this year’s most anticipated games, and it’s easy to see why. It’s a visually stunning game with a twisting plot, built around a combination of detection and RPG mechanics with a lot of viable combat builds. It really hits a sweet spot between the gameplay and storytelling of computer and console RPGs, having the openness of the former and the tight, compelling narratives of the latter. If you are an RPG fan, you owe it to yourself to give this one a look.

The Universim

For those who want something bigger than a mere city builder, the Universim grants an opportunity to build an entire world and then explore beyond it. A game very much in the vein of old-school god games, the Universim is a particularly detailed and even quite beautiful simulator that has the player advance from directly controlling events in a village to delegating actions across the universe. It’s a fantastic choice for anyone who wants the kind of classic game that one could play forever.



Andrew Johnston

Writer of fiction, documentarian, currently stranded in Asia. Learn more at