Every new Indie Spotlight generates one extra competitor, fighting to be the very best.

I have certainly covered some great games, … but which game is the best in each genre? Here’s my picks:

 

3D PLATFORMER
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BOMB RUSH CYBERFUNK

An unusual choice due to its focus on skating, but the game contains open areas that require you to use platforming to get about and tag locations. Its combat may be a letdown, but the game feels so good to move around in.

2D PLATFORMER
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OLIJA

A short but sweet platformer that takes its harpoon gimmick and uses it well. The game never misses a beat nor overstays its welcome.

METROIDVANIA
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BLASPHEMOUS

People may focus on its difficulty as the main selling point, but really Blasphemous is an absolutely beautiful Metroidvania that is way fairer than you expect it to be. The fact it’s missing a bestiary though is a crime.

FPS
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NEON WHITE

Certainly a less traditional FPS as it includes an element of strategy with how you use your cards, but it’s still a very fast-paced shooter that’s naturally designed for going fast. Think of it like Vaporwave Quake.

ACTION SHOOTER
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HOTLINE MIAMI COLLECTION

These games may be older now, but they still retain their charm. Both games are brutal fever dreams where you indulge in a bit of the ol’ ultra violence. They’re classics for a reason.

SHMUP
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BLACK BIRD

Whilst I’m not a huge fan of the genre, there are some games that I do have a soft spot for. Usually it’s because of a gimmick or art style, and Black Bird has both in spades. Taking a Fantasy Zone style approach to stage design, and incorporating some rather quirky steampunk visuals, the game is an absolute joy.

FLIGHT
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ASTRODOGS

Whilst we have no real Star Fox game, Dynamic Media Triad provides us with the next best thing. A decent sized campaign with lots of unlockables to keep you playing. This is definitely one of my favourite indie games.

RPG
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OUTER WORLDS

Whilst it’s true that the Switch version had to make some sacrifices to get it running, it’s still an excellent RPG that takes the Fallout formula and separates the game into bite-sized planets instead.

ADVENTURE
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RAJI: AN ANCIENT EPIC

Whilst the combat isn’t the best, Raji offers a really compelling adventure with an ancient Indian backdrop. Lots of really interesting lore here that will keep you engaged as you traverse the land to save your brother.

STRATEGY
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ROCK OF AGES 2

Tower defense meets Monkey Ball, and infused with Monty Python. It shouldn’t work but it absolutely does. Whether you’re controlling an unwieldly boulder or planting your riduculous defenses, it’s an absolute blast.

ROGUELIKE
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DICEY DUNGEONS

It didn’t win the 2021 GOTY for no reason. It’s cheap, it’s fantastic, it’s Dicey Dungeons. Don’t be put off by the dice rolling and the deckbuilding. That put me off too, but now it’s one of my favourite games of all time.

DECKBUILDER
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INSCRYPTION

Inscryption is quite an unusual deckbuilder in that it has a core concept that gradually shifts and changes over the course of the game, whilst also adding in light escape room elements that can help buff both your deck and help you progress. Whilst it has a very self-contained story mode, the unlockable roguelike mode after beating the game will keep you playing indefinitely!

RACING
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SNAKEYBUS

Whilst not a traditional racer, there’s certainly a competitive driving element as you aim to drive around for as long as you can racking up a high score. Acting as a fusion between Crazy Taxi and Snake, Snakeybus is stupidly good fun. There are some technical issues, as the game has a tendency to crash in the suburbs level, but if you can grab it for cheap then those issues can be slightly forgiven.

BEAT ‘EM UP
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FINAL VENDETTA

Final Vendetta may not do anything particularly new for genre, but it makes everything so refined that you won’t care all that much. Smooth controls, gorgeous visuals, and some great levels. It probably won’t win over non-fans of the genre, but everyone else should love it.

NARRATIVE
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WORLD OF HORROR

Taking inspiration from tabletop RPGs, World of Horror provides a number of mini-stories where random events will guide your path through them. Multiple endings will make you want to replay each one, and the fantastic writing will make you love it every time.

HORROR
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SIGNALIS

An excellent non-linear cosmic horror tale that takes inspiration from Lovecraft and Lynch as much as it does from Silent Hill and Resident Evil. With top-notch presentation and great puzzles, this is a must play for fans of the genre.

STEALTH
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UNMETAL

What seems to be a MGS on the surface is in fact an excellent parody game that riffs off many action games and films. It’s not all comedy though, as the gameplay is top notch too.

PUZZLE
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BABA IS YOU

Baba is You is such a clever puzzle game with a simple premise, but it’s one that can be cracked open in a multitude of ways. It starts simple but gets ridiculously hard. You even have a built in creator to make your own puzzles!

POINT AND CLICK
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LOST IN PLAY

A fusion of point and click with puzzles that works perfectly, and the beautiful and charming presentation mixed with the cute story of siblings lost in their imagination make this a game you won’t want to miss!

MONSTER TAMER
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COROMON

Despite not doing a huge amount to differentiate itself from DS era Pokémon games, Coromon does offer a compelling story, great creature designs, thought-out mechanics, and adjustable difficulty. Any Monster Tamer fans should grab this without hesitation!

SIMULATOR
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SPACEBASE STARTOPIA

A really fun twist on the simulation genre sees you building your own space donut. The RTS mechanics can be a bit of a pain later in the story due to framerate issues, but most of the time the game is an absolute delight.