The Best Upcoming Indie Games in 2024

Ten prospective winners

Andrew Johnston
7 min readDec 19, 2023
Source: Steam.

As the year draws to a close, we take time to reflect on topics of importance both great and small. Of all the deep and profound questions we ponder, none may be more important than this: What great video games are the gaming press going to completely ignore this year?

Below are a list of ten smaller games that I’m particularly looking forward to. These are a varied lot — ranging from near-AAA quality to smaller, quirkier titles, recognized genres and more experimental fare. What they reflect is the variety that we’re going to see going forward. Whatever you want from electronic entertainment in 2024, you’ll find something here.

Check out some of the games in action:

Ten Future Indie Gems to Watch

Black Myth: Wukong

Of all the games that will appear on this list, I don’t think any of them have been anticipated for quite as long as Black Myth. The inaugural game from Chinese developer Game Science, Black Myth has been held up as a prime example of the rising Chinese indie scene, and we’ve only recently had a chance to see in action.

Black Myth: Wukong. Source: Steam.

Based on the classic Chinese novel Journey to the West, Black Myth puts the player in control of the titular Sun Wukong, the Monkey King. Possessing an array of superhuman powers to rival Superman, Sun Wukong is a superb protagonist for an action RPG. Combine the fast and fluid gameplay with visuals far beyond the norm for indies, and you have something worth holding your breath over.

Earthlock 2

Snowcastle Games’s 2016 game Earthlock: Festival of Magic was an interesting game, if very rough. The more polished 2018 re-release improved things a lot, showing off how far ahead of the curve the developers were. Now that the 2000s-era visual and gameplay aesthetics are becoming more popular, Earthlock really looks like it was leading the wave.

Earthlock 2. Source: Steam.

Earthlock 2 promises to take the original concept to new heights, mixing up the gameplay and generally taking a more ambitious route. While Snowcastle has only revealed a little bit about the game, they have let us know that the sequel will be open world and a lot larger than the relatively compact original. Will that be enough to capture a new audience? Stay tuned.


Strategy games are a challenge to design, as there are so many big names with long pedigrees in the genre. One approach to creating a new strategy game is to take some small aspect of those established games and delve into it with renewed sophistication. Such is the case with Espiocracy, which — as the name suggests — focuses on the unseen world of espionage.

Espiocracy. Source: Steam.

Unlike most strategy games, the player does not control a country but rather its intelligence apparatus. The goal is to advance the client country’s interests using means short of war (though if other countries want to fight amongst each other, that’s obviously fine). Fulfilling this mission entails navigating a world of shadow diplomacy, negotiating with rival nations, non-state actors, dissident factions and one’s own turncoat assets.


The other approach to strategy game design is to go the other direction, simplifying and abstracting the rules to emulate a board game. That’s the approach taken by Tavrox and Brotherwise with Overboss, which puts the player in the shoes of a fiend trying to become the baddest final boss that there ever was.

Overboss. Source: Steam.

The rules of Overboss are simple on the surface. Players take turns drafting world tiles and monsters which they then place on the board, earning points depending on their positioning. Getting a high score isn’t as easy as it may seem, though — Overboss definitely has that “easy to learn, hard to master” feel to it.

Berserk Boy

Mega Man has long been a big inspiration for indie developers, but Mega Man-like games have been getting so ambitious and polished that they may be moving beyond their inspirations. Berserk Boy is definitely based on Mega Man Zero, but stirs in a lot of panache to make this an outstanding game in its own right.

Berserk Boy. Source: Steam.

Kai, the titular Berserk Boy, is an incredibly fast and fanciful hero with a range of abilities to deal with enemies. He can zip between targets and link attacks into long, flashy combo chains, and that’s just in his default form. With four additional forms adding a variety of combat and movement options, there’s a lot of space for players to build their own styles.

Bionic Bay

Visual design has become a watchword in indie games over the last few years, with developers taking steps to make their games look distinctive. Bionic Bay is a perfect example of this principle in action. The biomechanical world of Bionic Bay is surreal, disturbing, yet also very beautiful — a landscape made to be explored.

Bionic Bay. Source: Steam.

But we shouldn’t overlook the mechanical side. Bionic Bay is a puzzle platformer based around teleportation. The player character can swap positions with objects in the game world, an ability he must use to evade traps, cross gaps and trigger devices as he delves into the mysterious arcane world.


Old-school JRPGs have made a real resurgence in recent years. There were a lot of fantastic examples released this year, and 2024 is looking to be very much the same. One of the first throwback RPGs will be Quartet, an NES-styled game scheduled for a Q1 release.

Quartet. Source: Steam.

As the name suggests, Quartet follows four characters on what at first appear to be unrelated journeys. Nothing is ever so simple, and with time these four tales wind together in unexpected ways. The mechanics lean into the concept as well — while four characters are present in combat at any given time, up to eight can actually participate, with the front line and the back bench freely swapping in and out as the flow of combat shifts.

Eiyuden Chronicles: Hundred Heroes

If eight characters aren’t enough, how about a hundred? Rabbit and Bear’s upcoming RPG calls back to the PSX era, both aesthetically in its use of mixed 2D/3D and in terms of the sheer scope of the story. True to the name, there are at least hundred characters to recruit, each of whom brings something novel to the table.

Eiyuden Chronicles: Hundred Heroes. Source: Steam.

The heart of the narrative is both grand and intimate. Set in the cosmopolitan continent of Allraan, it is a world constantly on the edge of war, with aggression kept in check by a delicate balance of power. But when one of those countries makes a fantastic new discovery, that balance is disrupted and conflict looms. The two leads come from different sides of this conflict and strike up an unlikely friendship — one which will soon be tested in the crucible of war.

Dream Channel Zero

Surrealism has always been a big part of the video game experience, and Dream Channel Zero leans into that in a big way. The game follows two (seemingly) normal youths who find themselves trapped in an ancient game world, contending with bizarre entities as they seek a way back to the real world.

Dream Channel Zero. Source: Steam.

Between the unreal visuals, mystically minimalistic soundtrack and whimsical cast of characters, Dream Channel Zero is a game meant to hook the player with the enticement of what comes next. It’s a game meant for anyone who wants to step away from the usual and see how wonderful weird indies can get.

The Plucky Squire

We’ll end this round-up with my own most anticipated game. 3D platformers are always a challenge for indie developers, but The Plucky Squire might just be up to that challenge and then some. The game follows the misadventures of Jot, a literal storybook hero banished into the real world by the book’s villain.

The Plucky Squire. Source: Steam.

The Plucky Squire features a lot of gameplay variety, with Jot encountering many homages to/parodies of other famous video games as he journeys across the desk that is his world. This journey also shows off the game’s wonderful visual design, with an odd blend of highly realistic raytraced 3D assets and stylized, high-contrast storybook style 2D assets. It is an amazing looking game and I, for one, can’t wait to see it in action.

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Andrew Johnston

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