biggest indie video games 2023 list - Forever Skies Glyde the Dragon Flintlock: The Siege of Dawn Eternights Elsie Dredge Darkest Dungeon II Burn Broken Roads Bomb Rush Cyberfunk ARC Raiders The Alters A Highland Song Goodbye Volcano High Gord Hollow Knight: Silksong The Invincible Little Devil Inside Lies of P The Last Case of Benedict Fox Manor Lords Mandragora Mask of the Rose Open Roads Nine Sols The Outlast Trials Planet of Lana Oxenfree II: Lost Signals The Plucky Squire Replaced Routine Selaco Selfloss Songs of Glimmerwick Sons of the Forest Stasis: Bone Totem Thirsty Suitors We Stay Behind Witchbrook Witchfire WrestleQuest

The Biggest Indie Games of 2023: A Comprehensive Overview

It’s 2023, and while much of our gaming attention is focused on monoliths like Starfield, Final Fantasy XVI, and The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, the indie scene is packed to the gills with promising games. While 2022 delivered “Game of the Year”-calibur titles like Neon White, Immortality, Vampire Survivors, Tunic, and Stray, this year has the potential to be even bigger. Here are the biggest indie games we’re looking forward to in 2023.

Recommended Videos

A Highland Song

Release Date: TBA

Platforms: PC, Switch

If a heartfelt adventure is what you’re after, look no further than A Highland Song. The next game from inkle combines the team’s world-class interactive narratives with rhythm-based platforming. You’ll step into the hiking boots of Moira McKinnon, a Scottish lass who runs away from home, going up hills and down dales on a journey to see the sea for the very first time. With hints of magic, multiple routes to explore (with stories hidden along them), and composition by Scottish folk musicians, there are plenty of secrets to keep you playing beyond a single run.

The Alters

Release Date: TBA

Platforms: PC

Between This War of Mine and Frostpunk, 11 bit studios has established itself as one of the foremost purveyors of philosophical quandaries in video games. The Alters is set to further that reputation. Jan Dolski finds himself stranded alone on an alien planet. His only chance of survival is to create Alters, versions of himself born from different paths that he could have taken throughout his life. You’ll have to balance the conflicts that invariably arise between these many selves. Exactly what that entails isn’t clear at the moment, but given 11 bit’s penchant for bending and blending genre, it’s certain to be unique.

ARC Raiders

Release Date: 2023

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X | S

ARC Raiders is the first game from Embark Studios, a team founded by Battlefield veterans, but they’re not just trying to recreate their past success. The game is a free-to-play co-op shooter with a gripping sci-fi setting. In small squads, you’ll set out on missions to defend the earth from ARC, a vague machine threat that just won’t stop sending enemies our way. From the details available so far, those enemies range from scout drones to towering arachnoid robots that will require tactical precision, gadgets, and a whole lot of firepower to topple.

Bomb Rush Cyberfunk

Release Date: Summer 2023

Platforms: PC, Switch (additional consoles later)

It was sad to see Bomb Rush Cyberfunk delayed to 2023. That said, it’s still easily one of the slickest, sweetest, and most stylish indie titles we have ever seen, so we’re happy to do a little more waiting. This Jet Set Radio spiritual successor has impressed from the jump thanks to its funk-infused rollerblading gameplay and unforgettable art style. We’ll no doubt be listening to Team Reptile’s jam-packed Bomb Rush Cyberfunk soundtrack for years to come when this one finally makes its way to PC and Nintendo Switch (with other console versions coming down the line) this summer.

Broken Roads

Release Date: July 2023

Platforms: PC, PlayStation, Switch, Xbox

Broken Roads is just one of the games proving that the CRPG renaissance continues. Taking place in a post-apocalyptic Australia, the game is an epic journey that encompasses the strategic combat and deep narratives that genre fans love. The big wrinkle of Broken Roads is the Moral Compass, an underlying mechanic that influences and responds to dialogue choices and other decisions. With Baldur’s Gate 3 leaving early access and Warhammer 40K: Rogue Trader on the horizon, competition is stiff this year, but Broken Roads seems unique enough to stand its ground against those heavyweights.

Burn

Release Date: 2023

Platforms: PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X | S

Nina Burn is this game’s Taylor Swift — undisputedly the biggest pop star in the world. And you will guide her career. Burn is an interactive story taking place across three eras of Nina’s life from her debut at 17 to the height of her popularity at 27. Through shuffled scenes, you will determine how she reacts to various stimuli, shaping her along a spectrum of humility and arrogance. With a diverse soundtrack, the inclusion of public domain films, and a development team led by Returnal’s narrative director, Burn will tickle the fancy of those who love visual novels and involving stories alike.

Darkest Dungeon II

Release Date: May 8, 2023

Platforms: PC

In 2015, Darkest Dungeon offered up a unique spin on the dungeon-crawler genre, with its 2D, rank-based battle system. Darkest Dungeon II is bringing back the best of what its predecessor offered while also adding a few new wrinkles. One of the most impactful is that you now have a limited roster of heroes, meaning you can’t load your party with more than one character from each class. This decision flows through to a comprehensive overhaul of the Affinity system, so managing relationships will be more granular — and more important — this time around. There are also tweaks to the combat, the addition of overworld exploration, and heaps more for fans to sink their teeth into. Despite having been in early access for over a year, Darkest Dungeon II missed our earlier wrap-up of early access games because it’s not available on Steam just yet. It’s set to make the jump in a few months when it hits full release, and it’s certainly one of the biggest indie games of 2023.

Dredge

Release Date: March 30, 2023

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X | S

Prepare to trawl the eldritch depths in Dredge, the debut game from Black Salt Games. You’re a new arrival to the archipelago of Greater Marrow, and your trade is fishing. Dredge runs with that idea, building it into an RPG where you’ll be completing quests for locals, catching and selling fish to upgrade your boat, and exploring ever deeper into the mysteries of the islands. If that all sounds nice, you’re missing the twist, which is that The Marrows hide all manner of secrets, including enormous sea beasts and assorted horrors. So, if you’ve ever wondered what happens when you mix a day out on the water with impactful RPG mechanics and a touch of Lovecraft, this should be your answer.

Elsie

Release Date: TBA

Platforms: PC, Switch

Elsie looks like pure chaos. It hearkens back to the early days of gaming, as a 2D run-and-gun action game backed up by lurid pixel art. However, it mixes up the classic formula with bullet hell difficulty. It looks to be a stiff challenge, tailored for players with fast reflexes. And for those times when you’re not quite good enough, Elsie deploys a roguelike structure. That means each run through the various stages of Planet Ekis is procedurally generated to change up enemy placements and the skills available. You’ll have to work out what loadouts suit you best and make the most of every advantage. Plus, if you want to change up the challenge, you’ll have the option of playing as Andru, a melee-based character.

Eternights

Release Date: Early 2023

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5

Take Persona 5 and shift the focus from the role-playing to the romance, and you’ll start to get an idea of what to expect from Eternights. It’s the apocalypse, and even though humans are turning into monsters, it’s still an opportunity to fall in love. But there’s a ticking clock to keep in mind. You’ll be able to spend your time romancing companions and scavenging for resources, but you’ll always eventually have to head into the dungeons and face off against enemies in Devil May Cry-influenced combat. Eternights is a strange, yet beautiful mash-up of ideas.

Flintlock: The Siege of Dawn

Release Date: Early 2023

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X | S, Game Pass

The gods are callous in the world of Flintlock: The Siege of Dawn. First they abandoned humanity, and then they unleashed an army from the underworld. Against these terrible odds, you’ll take up a flintlock rifle, an axe, and dark magic as you embark on a quest to gather an army of your own and end the gods’ cruelty once and for all. And even though it’s definitively a modern game, with stunning visuals and an open world, there’s something about Flintlock: The Siege of Dawn that feels distinctly old-school. As it’s coming from the development team responsible for action RPG Ashen, we hope it’s the rollicking, fast-paced adventure it seems.

Forever Skies

Release Date: First Half of 2023 (Early Access)

Platforms: PC (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X | S later)

If we could choose one word to describe Forever Skies, it would be “ambitious.” This post-apocalyptic survival game puts players in the thick of a far-future Earth that has been shredded by environmental disasters. Scavenging for resources is the only way to survive, and thanks to the tools at your disposal, you’ll be able to build toward a better future, too. Oh, and we should mention that Forever Skies gives players a customizable airship that they can fly around in. Developer Far From Home has a demo out for its terrifyingly gorgeous Subnautica-like on Steam, so be sure to try it for yourself.

Glyde the Dragon

Release Date: TBA

Platforms: PC

Spyro fans, rejoice! Glyde the Dragon is an indie project that aims to capture the magic of PlayStation 1 glory days with a new scaly hero to cheer for. However, while Insomniac Games’ purple fire-breather focused more on platforming challenges, Glyde puts a heavy emphasis on combat. In fact, when speaking with The Escapist, the developers at Valefor Games went as far as to list Devil May Cry as a direct influence on Glyde the Dragon’s combat-heavy approach. Of course, this faithful continuation for dragon gaming will still feature mechanics familiar to Spyro fans, but it looks like we can expect so much more.

Goodbye Volcano High

Release Date: Summer 2023

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5

Goodbye Volcano High follows Fang and their group of friends through the turbulence of their last days in high school. It seems as if themes of friendship and love beat at the heart of the game, and it should strike a chord with fans of Life is Strange or Oxenfree. Oh, did we mention that Fang and their mates are dinosaurs living in the late Cretaceous period? Yeah, that might add just a small extra layer of urgency to the choices you make. With more than 6,000 fully voiced lines of dialogue, it’s clear developer KO_OP has made an ambitious and touching narrative. It’s so ambitious, in fact, that it’s received a handful of delays since originally plotting a course for 2021. Here’s to hoping we finally play it this year.

Gord

Release Date: 2023

Platforms: PC

Gord is a single-player adventure with city-building elements – and it also happens to take place in a cutthroat dark fantasy world. Developed by Covenant.dev, the game tasks players with leading the people of the Tribe of Dawn into a better future. The problem is that future is blocked by enemy tribes, murderous monsters, and evil powers that don’t want you around. While off completing quests and objectives in a land inspired by Slavic folklore, players also need to keep track of their community’s sanity as they stand against the crushing weight of the threats that plague their way of life. Doesn’t that sound fun?

Hollow Knight: Silksong

Release Date: Hopefully before the end of the world

Platforms: PC, Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X | S, Game Pass

Remember when Hollow Knight: Silksong was one of our most anticipated indies of 2022? Yeah, we do too, but that won’t stop us from being excited for it all over again in 2023. This sequel to the critically acclaimed Hollow Knight was announced a whopping four years ago but has remained enthralling ever since. Team Cherry hasn’t been totally silent since the reveal, though, with the team last showing its flowy melee combat and revamped gameplay in June 2022. Last year also saw Hollow Knight: Silksong’s list of platforms expanded with PlayStation and Xbox versions. So, when it does eventually launch, you’ll be able to play it on pretty much any platform you can dream of. Yay!

The Invincible

Release Date: 2023

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X | S

While all eyes have been on the Polish developers behind games like The Witcher and Dying Light, the team at Starward Industries has been hard at work on what might be the next ground-breaking adaptation: The Invincible. Set in the retro-futuristic planet of Regis III, this single-player adventure aims to capture the bitter, intense tone of Stanisław Lem’s novel of the same name. Narrative is king in this compact, dialogue-driven story, and thanks to Starward’s dedication to atmosphere and immersion, it’s already looking like the kind of world any sci-fi fan could get lost in.

The Last Case of Benedict Fox

Release Date: April 27, 2023

Platforms: PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X | S, Game Pass

With a title like that, you could be forgiven for thinking The Last Case of Benedict Fox is a detective game. And while it kind of is, it also very much isn’t. The titular detective is investigating a double murder and disappearance; the twist is that he has a demonic companion that allows him to enter the minds of the recently deceased, where their histories manifest as physical spaces and enemies. As such, the game takes on Metroidvania stylings with nightmarish locations and slick combat.

Lies of P

Release Date: 2023

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X | S

Between this and Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, it’s a wild time for retellings of Carlo Collodi’s story of a puppet who wants to be a real boy. Lies of P reimagines the tale as a Soulslike, with Pinocchio arriving in a beautiful, ruined city in search of Geppetto. However, it adds a few twists to the familiar formula that are inspired by the original story. Lying quests will affect how the story plays out, while Pinocchio’s existence as a puppet means that he will be able to switch out body parts to gain different skills. This game certainly stands out among the big indie games of 2023.

Little Devil Inside

Release Date: TBA

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5 (Switch, Xbox later)

Little Devil Inside is shaping up as an experience unlike any other. It’s an action RPG, a slice-of-life sim, and a survival game all rolled up into one, characterized by its uniquely charming, hyper-stylized aesthetic. You’ll explore an overworld, chase down monsters, happen upon chance events, and then return to your safe home to prepare to do it again. Unfortunately, the leadup to its launch has been anything but smooth sailing owing to frequent delays and a lack of communication from developer Neostream Interactive. The last update on the Little Devil Inside Kickstarter page was posted in June 2020… but there’s always 2023, right?

Mandragora

Release Date: 2023

Platforms: PC, Switch, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X | S

Mandragora doesn’t look like most games. It moves like a freshly painted work of art, with the backdrop being a unique, 2.5D dark fantasy realm crawling with enemies that are both disgusting and awe-inspiring. What’s more is that just beneath its jaw-dropping surface lies a Metroidvania with Dark Souls-inspired combat and an emotional narrative. Primal Game Studio ran a pretty successful Kickstarter campaign last year, so we spent some time speaking with the team. In short, we learned that Mandragora will be a long adventure that is well worth the time of anyone looking for an intricate and punishing experience.

Manor Lords

Release Date: 2023

Platforms: PC

Manor Lords is a medieval strategy game with city-building mechanics and huge, tactical battles. It’s polished, too, with seasons and weather that come and go as players assemble their ideal city in a lush depiction of 14th century Franconia. Manor Lords is impressive, especially considering it’s being made by solo developer Slavic Magic. With a well of mechanics to dive into, calling the project a strategy gamer’s dream might just be an understatement.

Mask of the Rose

Release Date: April 2023

Platforms: PC, Mac, Switch, (PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X | S later)

Failbetter Games is once again diving into the Fallen London universe, though it’s trading the RPG styling of Sunless Skies for a dating simulator with a twist in Mask of the Rose. For one, there’s no inherent goal to seduce any characters; every relationship can be purely platonic — or you can play matchmaker. Beyond that, you’ll also be tasked with solving a murder, and since this is Fallen London, the victim will be helping you in this quest for justice. In addition to being utterly gorgeous, Mask of the Rose is also likely to be one of the strangest and most surprisingly wholesome games of 2023.

Nine Sols

Release Date: Q2 2023

Platforms: PC, Switch, PlayStation

Who would have guessed that the developer behind an atmospheric horror game like Devotion would go on to make the 2D action platformer in the video above? As you can tell, Red Candle Games is into defying expectations, and that’s exactly why we’ve got our hopes up for Nine Sols. Players take on the role of Yi as they glide through the land of New Kunlun, cutting through droves of animated enemies along the way. It’s part cyberpunk, part Far East mythology, part Hollow Knight, part manga, and a full-on dream to look at. Not sold yet? Then head to Steam and play the Nine Sols demo to find out exactly why this lore-filled action game should be on your radar.

Open Roads

Release Date: TBA

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X | S

Having helped birth the walking simulator genre with Gone Home, Fullbright is taking a sideways step from the format in Open Roads. You’ll once again be unearthing family secrets in intimate locales, except this time it’s framed by a road trip mystery. Players follow mother and daughter Tess and Opal Devine after they discover a collection of old documents in their attic. They point to a long-buried mystery, and the pair set out on a journey through their family’s history to find out exactly what it’s all about. We’ve been waiting for it since the end of 2020, so hopefully we’ll be able to join them in 2023.

The Outlast Trials

Release Date: TBA

Platforms: PC, PlayStation

Remember when Outlast stripped players of all of their defenses, locked them in a spooky insane asylum, and gave them little more than a simple video recorder? Well, if you thought that was a good time, then series developer Red Barrels has made The Outlast Trials so you can do it all over again with a friend. This time, however, instead of running through the suffocating halls of an asylum, players find themselves trapped like rats in a giant experiment that will test their will to live. Set during the Cold War, The Outlast Trials aims to have players feel like guinea pigs, and in case you were wondering, no, it’s not a VR game.

Oxenfree II: Lost Signals

Release Date: 2023

Platforms: PC, Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5

Oxenfree II: Lost Signals is a loose sequel to Night School Studio’s breakout debut. Returning features include a dialogue-driven story that deals with supernatural goings-on, the fabulous watercolor-esque art style, and an experience focused on player choice. That last element is hugely expanded though, with more sidequests, more agency in initiating conversations, and more instances where your actions rather than your words impact what happens. Like many projects from the last few years, Oxenfree II: Lost Signals was hit with a delay and will now launch in 2023. Considering Night School’s track record, though, we’re more than willing to give them some extra time with this one.

Planet of Lana

Release Date: Q2 2023

Platforms: PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X | S, Game Pass

Hand-drawn and totally surreal, Planet of Lana looks like the kind of alien world only seen in our dreams. Wishfully has already proven that its cinematic puzzle adventure will be worth your time thanks to its standout visuals, but the story we’ve been teased so far makes it all sound so much more intriguing. This narrative sees players accompany a young girl and her loyal companion as they navigate a serene world under siege. It was previously set to arrive last year, but a small delay won’t keep us from staying glued to our seats to see where this one lands.

The Plucky Squire

Release Date: 2023

Platforms: PC, Switch, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X | S

Dripping with charm and imagination, The Plucky Squire looks like if Toy Story and The Legend of Zelda had a baby. This storybook adventure from Devolver Digital and All Possible Futures follows Jot and his pals as they discover a 3D universe just outside the world they thought they knew. Swapping between 2D and 3D adventuring would be fun enough, but with enough minigames to fill a novel and an already inviting cast, The Plucky Squire earns an easy spot as one of the most creative indie projects we’ve seen in quite a while, making it one of the biggest indie games of 2023.

Replaced

Release Date: TBA

Platforms: PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X | S, Game Pass

If Replaced somehow fumbles its Arkham Asylum-style combat and gritty retro-future story, we’ll still be able to feast our eyes on its drop-dead gorgeous visuals. Created by the Belarus-based Sad Cat Studios, this Blade Runner-inspired 2.5D cinematic platformer first blew audiences away with a densely atmospheric reveal trailer in 2021. It combines old and new with gripping pixel art visuals in a grimy neon world. Laced with an already infectious techno soundtrack, Replaced is the kind of game that you won’t easily forget.

Routine

Release Date: TBA

Platforms: PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X | S, Game Pass

One of the biggest gaming surprises of 2022 was the re-reveal of Routine. The game was first announced a decade ago, but the development team at Lunar Software hit obstacles that left many fans thinking we’d never hear of it again. But it’s resurfaced with the same retrofuture horror vibes. You’ll be tasked with exploring an ‘80s-inspired lunar base that has fallen silent — and everything is definitely not what it seems. Danger lurks in those dingy corridors, but we’re not likely to know what form it takes until the game is in our hands.

Sea of Stars

Release Date: August 29, 2023

Platforms: PC, Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5

The developers behind hit indie action platformer The Messenger are back with a retro-inspired turn-based RPG with drop-dead gorgeous pixel art. This change of pace for the studio follows protagonists Valere and Zale, two Children of Solstice who harness the powers of sun and moon. They’ll need their combined powers to create eclipse magic in order to defeat the Fleshmancer and his army of monsters. Sea of Stars is Chrono Trigger meets Super Mario RPG, and it also just so happens to be a prequel story set in the same world as The Messenger. What’s not to love? This is definitely among the biggest indie games of 2023.

Selaco

Release Date: TBA

Platforms: PC

Doom may have launched first-person shooters into the mainstream decades ago, but its DNA can still be seen in retro action-adventure games like Selaco. Made entirely with GZDoom, a modern take on the Doom engine, Altered Orbit Studios’ FPS takes players into a future where Earth has fallen. Dawn, the protagonist, is equipped with a vast array of weaponry, with each weapon perfect for tearing through the intelligent AI inhabiting the otherworldly invaders that stand in her way. Selaco seems highly polished so far, and the waterfall of enemy death animations look like they’ll make every firefight feel unique.

Selfloss

Release Date: Q2 2023

Platforms: PC

An old man, a magical staff, and an ethereal journey are the three pillars that make up Selfloss. This 3D adventure game is set in a world of whale gods, inspired by Icelandic and Slavic folklore. In it, you’ll control both the man on his quest to heal souls and the staff as it works tirelessly to protect him from the threats that linger. It’s all wrapped up in a charming low-poly aesthetic that helps to sell the mystical vibe of the project. We expected Selfloss near the beginning of last year, but developer Alexander Goodwin is still chipping away at it and regularly sharing tantalizing glimpses of the work-in-progress on his Twitter profile.

Songs of Glimmerwick

Release Date: TBA

Platforms: PC and consoles

Many of the games on our list of indies to look forward to in 2023 feature groundbreaking combat, crushing settings, and vicious creatures you could only dream of. Songs of Glimmerwick, though, is not one of those games. In this whimsical woodland fairy tale lovingly crafted by Eastshade Studios, all you need to worry about is kicking back, making friends, growing a garden, and, yes, playing music. Players can expect a cozy RPG adventure in a realm filled with mystery as they pick up their flute and become one with the grass and trees. It’s kind of like Harry Potter meets Animal Crossing, and it has quickly captured our attention.

Sons of the Forest

Release Date: February 23, 2023 (Early Access)

Platforms: PC

The Forest made a name for itself with challenging survival gameplay with in-depth mechanics, and it looks like its sequel, Sons of the Forest, will up the ante. Endnight Games has promised as much, with the footage we’ve seen so far showing more nightmare creatures to fight off in a new, densely wooded setting. If the suffocating single-player atmosphere isn’t enough to suck you in, then maybe Sons of the Forest’s promise of multiplayer will. Up to eight players can join to brave the elements together, but you should know that this game will likely be just as unforgiving when your friends join in. Regardless, there’s no doubt that Sons of the Forest is among the biggest indie games of 2023.

Stasis: Bone Totem

Release Date: TBA

Platforms: PC

If you’re after something profoundly unsettling, Stasis: Bone Totem is one game you may want to watch. Having explored sci-fi horror in space with Stasis and a research facility with Cayne, developer The Brotherhood is now casting players out to sea. This time, you’ll follow husband and wife duo Mac and Charlie after they find an abandoned oceanic rig and set out to explore it. As with the previous games in the anthology series, there’s a lot more beneath the surface, and you’ll be tasked with solving mind-bending puzzles, uncovering the buried secrets of the Cayne Corporation, and dealing with a whole bundle of body horror. Plus, the team is upping the ante with the writing this time, enlisting Conquered Earth writer J. Barton Mitchell to handle the script.

Thirsty Suitors

Release Date: 2023

Platforms: PC, Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X | S, Game Pass

This dreamy turn-based RPG has an almost comic book-like flair, but it couldn’t be more down to Earth. Thirsty Suitors – the next unapologetically charismatic title from Falcon Age developer Outerloop Games – sees players explore the ferociously romantic past of purple-haired protagonist Jala as she battles her exes and, maybe, disappoints her parents. Wonderfully colorful battles are only one of half of the equation, however, as Outerloop promises a bombastic, stylish narrative that tells a story of culture, relationships, family pressures, and expressing yourself. Thirsty Suitors recently got a confident 2023 release window, so we won’t have to wait much longer to visit this bright new playground.

We Stay Behind

Release Date: TBA

Platforms: PC (other platforms TBA)

Content is often key in games, whether that comes as hours’ worth of exploration or endless replay value, but We Stay Behind has different ambitions. Unusually for games, it’s described as a short story. You play as writer Laura Tanner, who arrives in the sleepy resort town of Laburnum Creek as it’s set to be destroyed by a comet. Despite the imminent destruction, residents are refusing to leave, and Laura wants to know why. It’s the basis for an exploration of the deep parts of the human psyche and an examination of how we perceive the world around us.

Witchbrook

Release Date: TBA

Platforms: PC

Get your wands and broomsticks ready, as Witchbrook is another game about life in a magical school. This one comes from Starbound developer Chucklefish and sets out to create a wholesome, slice-of-life vibe. There are all the trappings you’d expect from a school sim, as you’ll be attending classes to learn the myriad skills of witchery, but there’s more to it than just schoolwork. Witchbrook is also a social sim, and you’ll have plenty of opportunities to make friends, fall in love, help out the people who live in the nearby town, and partake in various side activities like gardening and photography. It’s warm, cozy, pretty, and primed to be the kind of game you can easily lose hundreds of hours to, yet it still has no trailer after years in development.

Witchfire

Release Date: TBA

Platforms: PC (Early Access via Epic Games Store), other platforms TBA later

Witchfire sees the creative team behind Bulletstorm and Painkiller return to the shooter genre, following a foray into narrative adventure with 2017’s The Vanishing of Ethan Carter. It’s a dark fantasy shooter that takes narrative inspiration from Dark Souls and The Witcher, but the real draw is the gunplay. Frenetic, heavy, and infused with magical powers a la BioShock, it promises to feature the easy-to-learn, hard-to-master ethos that underpins the most engaging games. The team has taken plenty of time to make sure everything about Witchfire feels right, and we’re excited to finally see if it’s been worth the wait.

WrestleQuest

Release Date: TBA

Platforms: PC (Steam), Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X | S

The WWE deserves a game that matches its explosive and theatrical nature, and WrestleQuest might be that game. Developer Mega Cat Studios has assembled the ultimate wrestling love letter with this turn-based RPG, which sends players on a smackdown journey to take them from rookie to world champ. With more than 30 iconic wrestlers – including “Macho Man” Randy Savage and André the Giant – highlighted in the adventure, WrestleQuest already looks like an all-star wrestling fan’s dream.

 

So, that’s that! There are so many indie gems released each year, but these are the biggest indie video games we spotted for 2023. If we missed any exciting titles, leave your suggestions in the comments below.

This article was written by Michael Cripe and Damien Lawardorn.


The Escapist is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more
related content
Read Article Wuthering Waves Could Be a Real Rival for Genshin Impact
wuthering waves rover
Read Article I Once Produced an Unlicensed Stage Adaptation of Touch Detective
Read Article Solo Leveling Captures the Fury & Fun of Gaming
Solo Levelling
Related Content
Read Article Wuthering Waves Could Be a Real Rival for Genshin Impact
wuthering waves rover
Read Article I Once Produced an Unlicensed Stage Adaptation of Touch Detective
Read Article Solo Leveling Captures the Fury & Fun of Gaming
Solo Levelling
Author
Damien Lawardorn
Editor and Contributor of The Escapist: Damien Lawardorn has been writing about video games since 2010, including a 1.5 year period as Editor-in-Chief of Only Single Player. He’s also an emerging fiction writer, with a Bachelor of Arts with Media & Writing and English majors. His coverage ranges from news to feature interviews to analysis of video games, literature, and sometimes wider industry trends and other media. His particular interest lies in narrative, so it should come as little surprise that his favorite genres include adventures and RPGs, though he’ll readily dabble in anything that sounds interesting.