10 Upcoming Indie Hits for 2014

Let the soothsayer reveal unto you a bounty of indie hits for 2014.

by

Greetings, traveler. Why not stay awhile and listen? I am the magical soothsayer, and I shall reveal unto you a bounty of upcoming, lesser-known hits to put on your gaming radar. Clear your mind and let these magical predictions wash over you. From purple goats to keyboard-wielding cowboys to underground technological labyrinths, there is so much gaming goodness to enjoy in 2014, if you only know where to look.

Crypt of the Necrodancer

Crypt of the Necrodancer is the only game in this feature that can be played with a Dance Dance Revolution dance pad. That fact alone should be reason enough for you to check out this rhythm-based roguelike. If you still need convincing, consider the game's beat detection algorithm, which transforms your music into a dungeon that can be explored in the game. But be careful: you have to keep up with the beat of the music, so maybe stay away from the DragonForce.

Escape Goat 2

Escape Goat was a game of puzzles, platforming, and magical barnyard animals--specifically, a magical purple goat and a mouse wearing a wizard's hat. Now it's finally getting a sequel, complete with a redesigned art style, new traps, new puzzles, and, of course, plenty of magic. And while it may not be available the day Escape Goat 2 comes out, a level editor is also in the works so you can design your own mind-bending challenges.

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Hyper Light Drifter

A game that captured the imaginations of thousands on Kickstarter (and smashed its goal by a significant margin), Hyper Light Drifter is a 2D action role-playing game that juxtaposes its colorful world with a somber, haunting tone that underscores the game's deeper mysteries. As a drifter--a collector of lost knowledge and technology--you will hack and slash your way through the forgotten corners of the world in search of treasures unknown.

The Iconoclasts

Robin is a badass mechanic who smashes foes with her trusty wrench. The Iconoclasts is a badass action platformer with a wonderfully vibrant world ripe for smashing. The two were made for each other, and with a bit of luck, they might just smash their way onto our computers this year. This game has been a long time coming, but if it meets the high standard of quality set by developer Konjak's other games--such as the lovely Noitu Love 2: Devolution--it'll be well worth the wait.

Jazzpunk

Jazzpunk. How do you describe Jazzpunk? It's a game about life and adventure, specifically a first-person adventure through an extreme alternate-universe version of the late 20th century. Sporting an offbeat style and a sense of humor all its own, Jazzpunk tasks you with committing corporate espionage, exploring its absurdist Cold War-era world, and using a wide assortment of tools to generally harass the unsuspecting public.

Nidhogg

Everyone knows the world of fencing is filled with danger, adventure, and, most of all, dueling. Therefore, it's apt that Nidhogg is a game of dangerous dueling adventures played out across a 2D plane. The premise is simple: two duelists enter, and through a combination of swordfighting, fisticuffs, and acrobatics, only one will leave alive. That reprieve is only temporary, however, because the game's lightning-fast pace ensures another challenger is right around the corner.

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Quadrilateral Cowboy

Quadrilateral Cowboy is looking to be a truly fascinating cowboy simulator. Only instead of a cowboy, you're more of a computer hacker. And instead of a gun, you have a laptop. And instead of a horse, you ride a motorcycle. You know what? Let's not sweat the details! This game is one of corporate intrigue and computer hacking in a bygone era of tape decks and CRT monitors. Armed with your newfangled hacking device, you'll breach and bypass through the finest security systems of the last century.

Radio the Universe

Radio the Universe mixes classic Zelda-style action and dark science fiction into a distinctly haunting blend that is hard to forget. Armed with a variety of tools, including a shield, a short-range teleport, and various weapons, you will guide an unnamed heroine through a trap-filled labyrinth crawling with mechanized foes. Be mindful, however, because as the game's Kickstarter pages notes, "Players who die in-game, die in real life."

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Rain World

Slug cats. That's one way to describe these oddly animated creatures who inhabit the somber dystopia of Rain World. Snake otters or worm ferrets would have also been acceptable. As one of these creatures, you will navigate mazelike environments while hunting lesser creatures and not becoming dinner for the lizardlike predators who dominate this ecosystem. Test your survival skills solo or with other slug cats cooperatively.

Routine

Routine charges you with investigating the disappearance of everyone on a lunar research station. And just as you would expect, these people didn't go missing due to completely mundane reasons. The tension of your search is underscored by a throwback to the bleeps and bloops of clunky 1980s technology. I mean, if BioShock Infinite's Columbia can have turn-of-the-century, steam-powered gizmos in the sky, there's no reason we can't have a floppy disk on the moon. Right?

Discussion

80 comments
hallegion
hallegion

Jazzpunk and Routine are wins for me.

Minishdriveby
Minishdriveby

It would have been nice to know RainWorld needs to be funded at the moment.

cvbz
cvbz

kinda sounds like maxwell. oh wait. I guess it is!

obsequies
obsequies

so hotline miami 2 isn't this year?

deth420
deth420

heh,


the jazz punk, when he throws popcorn on the guy.

variable21
variable21

Will Transistor not come out in 2014 ?

Xanitra
Xanitra

Cool stuff, I miss sidescrolling shooters though.

benleslie5
benleslie5 moderator

Interesting list some of these indie games catches my attention

Ladiesman17
Ladiesman17

I'm waiting for Hyper Light Drifter and Max: The Curse of Brotherhood PC version

=p

GreenvaleXYZ
GreenvaleXYZ

Cool list, but you should write what platforms the games will be offered on!

Minishdriveby
Minishdriveby

I've been really excited for Radio the Universe, Hyper Light Drifter, and have been waiting for Routine for 2 years! But Rain World looks really cool!

GameYakuza
GameYakuza

thanks, I heard of radio the universe earlier this year and spent the rest of it trying to remember its name.

Aragorn823
Aragorn823

So 'Radio the Universe' can kill you?! Oh Ma Gaaaaadddddd~!!! AhhhhhhHHHHHHHHH ~ *Screams and runs away* lol..

OllieBrown
OllieBrown

Ummmm Maxwell.  Are you feeling all right?  Seriously, nice idea but it just didn't work.  The whole soothsayer thing.  I found myself watching despite the irritating, grating nature of the narration.


On the other hand I think you guys should have regular roundups like this!  Put some indy games on my radar, I love that concept!


I'm kind of glad you focused on the low-profile indy games but here's some other everyone needs to check out (but that I suppose don't need the press):

- Broken Age (part 1 Beta comes out Tuesday for backers, a week later for everyone else)

- Star Citizen / Squadron 42 (does it count as Indy anymore?  and the full experience looks to be coming in 2015 now)

- Transistor (Come on, give your ol pal Greg some love ... or are you too young to have known him?)


NoThlnG
NoThlnG

Nice list but... I think there are a lot of better ways to make video about it

gamerno66666
gamerno66666

Routine better scare the shit out of me.

cousinmerl
cousinmerl

Alien isolation & Routine? split at birth??

some good looking indie titles there... and er...a goat?

AndCarlsen
AndCarlsen

This is a pretty good list. I'd put Legend of Iya here. That game looks good.

DarkSaber2k
DarkSaber2k

Needs more zombie platformer open-world sandbox building games with rogue-like elements.......said nobody because they are totally sick of them.

tom_cat_01
tom_cat_01

No mention of Transistor? I'm really psyched for that one! :)

WTA2k5
WTA2k5

I'm looking forward to Barkley 2, The Witness, and the last few chapters of KR0.

Igal-Ze
Igal-Ze

Risk of Rain is legit. I`m playing v1.0.0 version for a while and I love it. Drifter is on my 2014 waiting list. I was surprised when I saw that you didn't mention Startbound, but I guess I can see your point - its getting enough coverage as is...
However, the video above is just bad, the shouting.... the flashy lights... the lame jokes...
We don't need loud music and shiny objects to get interested... You do know that you cab just speak to us, as a regular person? That usually does the job :)

Moonco
Moonco

Cuphead is my most anticipated indie game this year

rawkstar007
rawkstar007

These are indie titles. It's not exactly wise to project their success before they have been released when most people have never even heard of them before now.

KotomineKirei
KotomineKirei

You guys, who are talking nonsense about how indie games are bad, don't know that "indie developer" just means that the developers are not dependent on publishers, do you?



skyke101
skyke101

I think that some indie nowadays are 'lazy indie', using lazy art style and calling it art. I mean, look at SMB, Binding of Isaac, Bastion, Trine, those indies are not 'lazy indie', some even created by small studios. Indie does not equal lazy, the era of voxel or nostalgic art style is 'over', if you want to be a 'real' indie developer, then you have to create something new, a breakthrough

amdreallyfast
amdreallyfast

Interesting selection, but how many glasses of water did you have to take during these takes?



Grimkillah
Grimkillah

I am sad that Transistor didn't make to this list, but I still think it will be the indie GOTY.

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

With the comments in GameSpot about indies by those who are not into supporting the underdog, it's little wonder that people such as s_h_a_d_o don't come by GameSpot as frequently as they had before.

Good riddance, I say though. GameSpot is certainly not the site for them when they should be going to the likes of Gamasutra's sister site, indiegames.com, or those self-proclaimed "independent" sites.

de-astroturfer
de-astroturfer

Just to echo some of the settlements expressed here please Gamespot will you endeavour to give more attention to indie games which don't follow this pretentious pixel art trend, Im sure there are plenty of indie games out their which have rich lush 2d graphics unfortunately the media seems to think indie == pixel art and it doesn't !


We have to support indies otherwise companies like EA will monopolise the industry and stifle innovation with their greed , but I think this relentless tide of pixel art games is putting the mass market off supporting this very important part of our industry. The majority of people don't like pixel art and other pretentious, bland design trends such as flat design, windows 8 and iOS 7 for example, we want the rich variety of texture shadow and highlight the sooner these self important design hipsters realise that the better ! 

WingChopMasta
WingChopMasta

Snooooooore. Platformers with fancy stylized graphics and 'Zelda-like-roguelikes' with bits instead of colors.


Love the indie invasion, getting sick of the hipster vibe of it all. Artsy fartzy is getting as bad a modern day shooters.



jdl003
jdl003

@NoThlnG Nice comment but... I think there are a lot of better ideas to express

Klagmar1
Klagmar1

@skyke101 Yeah, a rogue-lite dungeon-crawler based on music is completely unoriginal. I'm sick of the genre, in fact.

X-RS
X-RS

@WingChopMasta

You said it! Not like some don't look good, but how many Zelda like games people really need!!>!>!

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@xsonicchaos 

Well, you can consider them popular, but I don't. They may have been featured on GameSpot before, but I still wouldn't overestimate their profile.