25 Best Upcoming Indie Games of 2019: Switch, Xbox One, PS4, & PC

2019 has no shortage of indie games but it’s easy to lose track of the release dates or miss these games entirely. So what can you expect coming out of the indie scene in 2019 and beyond?

Here at Nerd Much?, we’re big fans of indie games – and so is the industry at large. Many sites have stopped separating indie games into their own genre. And in 2018, Celeste was nominated for Game of the Year at The Game Awards, up against AAA heavy hitters like God of War and Red Dead Redemption 2.

It’s clear that small studios can pack a punch.

And with indie game experiences often being shorter in length and cheaper in price, there’s no reason not to fly through as many games as you can from these smaller studios. So, from games backed by major powerhouses, like EA Originals’ Sea of Solitude, to games made in studio apartments, like Ooblets, this list covers it all.

If you’re looking for some brand new indie games to play/keep an eye out for, we’ve got you covered with this working list of the top 26 most anticipated upcoming indie games of 2019 (and beyond).

**Note: These are not ranked in any order, and expect this list to be updated as more releases are announced.

Life is Strange 2 (episodes 2-5)

Developer: Dontnod Entertainment
Publisher: Square Enix
Platform: Xbox One, PS4, and PC.
Release Date: Episode 2: January 24, 2019; Other episodes TBD.

After getting a prequel to Life is Strange with Life is Strange: Before the Storm and a side story with The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit, we finally have a proper sequel to the original game. But instead of revisiting Chloe and/or Max’s story we’re leaving Arcadia Bay entirely. Instead, this game takes place in Seattle. A tragic incident causes two brothers, Sean and Daniel Diaz, to flee from the police. While episode one laid the groundwork for the narrative, episode 2 picks up and progresses quickly. Most likely, all the remaining episodes will release in 2019. And, if we’re lucky, the game will also get a physical release with all the episodes on one disc.

Read More Here.


Sea of Solitude

Developer: Jo-Mei
Publisher: EA
Platform: PS4, Xbox One, and PC.
Release Date: Early 2019

Joining the ranks of Unravel Two, Fe, and A Way Out, comes the next EA Original: Sea of Solitude (S.O.S for short). In this third-person exploration game, loneliness turns humans into monsters and that’s exactly what happened to the lead character, Kay. But there are monsters even bigger than her in this vast ocean. Exploring this world and interacting with these creatures just might be the key to changing back. Or rather, this adventure may just lead to self-acceptance and the recalibration of the inner self.

There’s a dreary feeling to SOS and its meant to create empathy from the player, reminding them what it felt like to be at their loneliest The game is meant to explore how different people experience loneliness but also how outsiders might perceive this loneliness while creating gameplay engaging enough for anyone to enjoy at face value.

Read More Here.


Untitled Goose Game

Developer: House House
Publisher: Panic
Platform: Nintendo Switch and PC
Release Date: Early 2019

In Untitled Goose Game you’re a goose and subsequently a jerk. Ruin everyone’s day by wrecking gardens, running through shops, stealing hats, honking in people’s faces and anything else you can think to do. This slapstick-stealth-sandbox game lets you run wild in an otherwise lovely village. Cause chaos by accomplishing various troll-like tasks/challenges throughout the neighborhood. Everyone will know who you are and they’ll hate you more for it.

Read More Here.


Super Meat Boy Forever

Developer: Team Meat
Publisher: Team Meat
Platform: Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch, and PC via Epic Games Store (April 2020 for Steam release)
Release Date: April 2019

A sequel to one of the most recognizable indie games of all time, Super Meat Boy Forever takes an autorunner approach to the difficult platforming fans love from the first game. Even though Meat Boy and Bandage Girl are always running doesn’t mean the game is never-ending. There’s still a story and an ending. The entire game is controlled with just two-buttons: you have a jump, a jump attack, a dive, and a slide. The most intriguing design choice is the way difficulty scales in the game. As stated on the official website:

“Each level consists of 100 carefully designed “chunks” that are placed together to create a level. Chunks are like little Meat Boy levels that are designed, decorated, and given a difficulty rating. Each time you beat a level, an increased difficulty criteria is used to generate the harder version of that level. Also, levels need to have a certain cadence to them so they don’t feel like just random stuff thrown at you. We’ve worked on a system that allows us to give a criteria of difficulty and pacing that makes the levels randomly, but still within the confines of what we want the levels to be presented as.”

The whole thing sounds unique and ambitious and I wouldn’t expect anything less from Edmund McMillen.

Read More Here


Among Trees

Developer: FJRD Interactive
Publisher: FJRD Interactive
Platform: PC
Release Date: Steam Early Access 2019

Marking this studios debut of this studio, the team aims to “create rich worlds with breathtaking art and immersive gameplay.” Among Trees will be a small but vibrantly colored survive sandbox game taking place in the wilderness. Located in a lush forest you can expand and upgrade your cabin, adding new rooms and unlocking additional game mechanics such as cooking, gardening, and crafting tools. Explore the environment and survive any way you can by scavenging for food, fishing, and chopping down trees.

This game has been in development for 1.5 years thus far. While early access will open up soon there’s no word on when the full game will release.

Read More Here.


Cat Quest 2: The Lupus Empire

Developer: Gentlebros Games
Publisher: PQube Limited
Platform: Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch, PC, and Mobile.
Release Date: Early 2019

War just might continue between the Cats of Felingard and the Lupus Empire. In Cat Quest 2, two rivals are brought together for the common goal of bringing peace to their world. The world will be familiar, in some regards, but have plenty of fresh content to keep fans engaged. Play as either a cat or a dog, solo or with a friend, as you travel across an expansive map in this RPG.

Read More Here.


Necrobarista

Developer: Route 59
Publisher
: Coconut Island Games
Platform: PS4, Nintendo Switch, and PC
Release Date: Early 2019

Welcome to the magical Melbourne, Australia cafe. Here the dead are indistinguishable from the living and have come back to Earth for one last night and one last cup of coffee. This cinematic visual novel takes you through a series of surrealistic vignettes from the perspectives of several patrons. But for the most part, the story focuses on Maddy, the cafe’s manager and resident necromancer (naturally). Explore the 3D environment freely in this point-and-click adventure full of a memorable cast of characters that draws heavily on anime aesthetics. Known for its stunning visuals and mysterious narrative, Necrobarista is offering something new to the visual novel scene.

Read More Here.


Jenny LeClue

Developer: Mografi
Publisher: Mografi
Platform: PS4, Nintendo Switch, PC, Mobile.
Release Date: 2019 or beyond

This mystery adventure game puts an emphasis on relationships. Taking place in the small town of Arthurton, Jenny’s life gets turned upside down when her mother is accused of murder. Player choices will have an impact on a massive scale with the decision made at the end of episode 1 changing the start of episode 2. Originally launched as a Kickstarter back in July 2014, Jenny LeClue doubled its funding goal and has been deep in the development trenches every since. But with a recent Nintendo Switch release announced during the Kinda Funny Games Showcase this year, it seems like the release isn’t far off.

Read More Here.


Mineko’s Night Market

Developer: Meowza Games
Publisher: Humble Bundle
Platform: PC and Nintendo Switch
Release Date: 2019 or beyond

A crafting heavy game with a strong story, Mineko’s night market involves cat racing and draws on Japanese tradition to establish its lore. What really makes Mineko’s Night Market stand out among the crowd is the diverse range of adorable activities players get to partake in: from working in a Ramen shop to riding on cats. The “Night Market” in the game will feature 16 unique weekly main events. Resource gathering involves things like cutting trees, catching fireflies, snow monkey grooming (whatever that means). All crafting will involve interactive minigames and you’ll be guided through the main campaign via non-invasive quests to accomplish. It’s a game about “crafting crafts, eating eats, and catting cats.” With costumes to make and plenty of locations on Mt. Fugu to explore, Mineko’s Night Market is shaping up to give us an adorable adventure to embark on this year.
Read More Here.


Ooblets

Developer: Glumberland
Publisher: Double Fine Presents
Platform: Xbox One and PC
Release Date: “Soonish!” 2019 or beyond

A two-person team consisting of Rebecca Cordingly and Ben Wasser, Ooblets is a self-proclaimed cross between Harvest Moon (when it was good), Pokémon, and Animal Crossing. Brimming with character customization options, superfluous dance breaks, and 35 confirmed creatures, Ooblets is shaping up to be an adorable, pastel, simulation game with some turn-based battle elements.

The fact that the game is being published by Double Fine Presents, the company tied to indie hits like Escape Goat 2, adds credibility to the title. While fans have been waiting a long time for Ooblets you can rely on plenty of updates to tide you over. Cordingly and Wasser are constantly updating their community by sharing cute gifs on Twitter, detailed development decisions via blog posts, and unique rewards on Patreon.

Read More Here.


Afterparty

Developer: Night School Studio
Publisher: Night School Studio
Platform: TBA
Release Date: 2019
From the team that made Oxenfree comes a new adventure where you’re trying to binge drink your way out of hell. You play as Milo and Lola, two recently deceased friends who find themselves facing an eternity in hell unless they can outdrink Satan for re-entry to Earth. But to even reach Stan you’ll have to best and impress his Monarchs. Walk through the neon streets of Nowhere, the outermost island of Hell, selecting dialogue and impacting the story as you bar crawl your way through the underworld. Player choice will play an even larger role than it did in Oxenfree in both the development of character relationships and gameplay. And yes you can play beer pong.

Read More Here.


Tunic

Developer: Andrew Shouldice
Publisher: Finji
Platform: Xbox One and PC
Release Date: 2019 or beyond.

Formally unveiled on Microsoft’s stage at e3 2018, this action adventure game has you playing as a tiny fox in a green tunic and pink scarf. You wake up on a beach only to stumble across a sword that will aid you on your quest. Open treasure chests, explore a big world, and vanquish foes much larger than you as you journey through the wilderness. Bound to draw Legend of Zelda comparisons due to the framing of the story and design choices, Tunic draws on history while aiming to create a path of its own.

Read More Here.


My Friend Pedro: Blood Bullets Bananas

Developer: DeadToast Entertainment
Publisher: Devolver Digital
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Release Date: TBD

A game that’s hauntingly beautiful in its graceful violence. A fugue of bloodshed fueled by majestic ballet-esque movements and skateboarding, My Friend Pedro involves duel wielding guns and taking down the bad guys under the command of a sentient banana. Developed by DeadToast Entertainment, the studio consists of just one former employee of Media Molecule (the team behind IPs like Little Big Planet): Victor Agren. The game relies on “strategic use of split aiming, slow motion, and the ol’ stylish window breach create one sensational action sequence after another in an explosive battle through the violent underworld.” And if the trailer is any indication of what’s to come, it’s bound to be a fun time.

Read More Here.


In the Valley of Gods

Developer: Campo Santo
Publisher: Campo Santo
Platform: PC
Release Date: TBD

From the team behind Firewatch comes another single-player, first-person adventure called In the Valley of Gods. Set deep in a remote and ancient valley in the Egyptian desert, you’re pursuing a discovery that could bring you fame and fortune. Conversely, it could be the death of you. While the bulk of the game involves climbing, exploring, and traversing this ancient world there’s also some emotional weight to the story as you work to rebuild your relationship with your companion Zora.
Read More Here.


Spelunky 2

Developer: Mossmouth
Publisher: Mossmouth
Platform: PS4, PC (first)
Release Date: 2019

Following up the original game, Spelunky 2 builds on the formula of the first game. While it’s primarily more of the same the team has added a few features such as liquid physics which creates unique moments in the game when combined with the destructible terrain. Expect new areas, items, monsters, and straps. Most importantly this game will include rideable mounts (and online multiplayer). Get ready to jump back into what many consider to be one of the best indie platformers of the generation.

Read More Here.


Sable

Developer: Shedworks
Publisher: Raw Fury
Platform: Xbox One and PC
Release Date: 2019

A coming-of-age tale with that looks like an Image comic come to life, this story will take you across an open world desert on the back of your hoverbike as you discover relics of the past. Learn valuable lessons throughout your journey as you meet nomadic people who you assist on their quests. You’re the young Sable, traveling across an alien planet hoping to find your place in the world.

Read More Here.


The Last Campfire

Developer: Hello Games
Publisher: Hello games
Platform: TBD
Release Date: 2019

From the developers of No Man’s Sky comes a new (much smaller scale) adventure game. The Last Campfire features an adorable lead in an oversized pullover. This character is an ember that has drifted from the flame. In an attempt to make it home you’ll have to paddle across the water and navigate the puzzle-filled relics of the surrounding areas. With a somber tone and an adorable art style, The Last Campfire is ominous yet inviting.

Read More Here.


The Pathless

Developer: Giant Squid
Publisher: Annapurna Interactive
Platform: PS4, PC (via Epic Games Store)
Release Date: 2019

From the team that brought us Abzu comes The Pathless: a mythic adventure of an archer and an eagle exploring a vast forest. You’re tasked with hunting corrupted spirits while making sure you don’t become the hunted yourself. Battle against your foes and solve puzzles in ancient ruins. Maintaining a bond with your eagle will be instrumental to your quest to save the fate of the world. Fight against the dark mystical creatures and forces until their grip on the planet finally comes loose and peace is restored.

Read More Here.


The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe

Developer: Galactic Cafe
Publisher: Galactic Cafe
Platform: PC and consoles
Release Date: 2019

The iconic walking simulator, The Stanley Parable, is finally coming to consoles for the first time ever (and PC again) featuring more content and some new endings. Originally release back in 2013, you play as Stanley who upon exiting his office for the first time realizes no one is there. In the game, you venture through the office in an attempt to find out what happened, using the narrator’s directions as a guide for the story. Or doing exactly the opposite. Or following some directions but not others. Or just trying to break the story however you can. The game changes with each playthrough and what you do in one run can affect the next. Over the years it has remained one of the gold standards of its genre. The PC release of Ultra Deluxe is still a bit unclear. Will it be available at a fraction of the price, a standalone game, or a sort of update. On the game’s official website the team said “because the game is so substantially different, we’re trying to find a way to make the original Stanley Parable and Ultra Deluxe both separately accessible. Not totally sure yet on how that’ll work.”

Read More Here.


Ancestors

Developer: Panache Digital Games
Publisher: Private Division
Platform: PS4, Xbox One, and PC
Release Date: 2019

Tracing all the way back to 10 million years ago, players will embark on an odyssey through human evolution itself. Starting off in Neogene Africa at the dawn of humankind. Take in the beauty but beware of the danger lurking around every corner. This third-person, open world survival game challenges players to expand their territories by forming bonds and working with others eventually evolving through multiple generations.This ambitious title lets you forge your own path which each decision shaping how you will “overcome obstacles, increase your species, and what knowledge will pass on to future generations. Focus on specific attributes or choose a more balanced approach to survival.”

Read More Here.


Psychonauts 2

Developer: Starbreeze Studios
Publisher: Double Fine Productions
Platform: PCs and consoles
Release Date: 2019

The follow-up to Psychonauts finally picks up on the cliffhanger and continues Razputin’s story. Raz realizes his dream and visits Psychonauts Headquarters only to realize they really need his help. Psychonauts 2 will feature a new hub world inside Psychonauts HQ, allowing you to access new mental worlds as Raz looks into the minds of a cast of new characters. “Raz will hone his secret agent PSI-abilities—and learn new ones too—using them to solve mysteries and uncover evil plots.”

Read More Here.


Sayonara Wild hearts

Developer: Simogo
Publisher: Annapurna Interactive
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Release Date: 2019

Unveiled as one of the world premiere announcements at The Game Awards 2018, Sayonara Wild Hearts is a cel-shaded, neon music video fever dream about “being awesome, riding motorcycles, skateboarding, dance battling, shooting lasers, wielding swords, and breaking hearts at 200 mph.” Visually overwhelming but undoubtedly gorgeous, every stage is set to a song of a custom written pop album. While the game is described as being full of “sensory overloading arcade game action” the genre itself is still unclear. But considering the fact that the game is locked at 60fps both docked and undocked, it’s safe to say things will be moving quickly.

Read More Here.


Ori and the Will of Wisps

Developer: Moon Game Studios
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Platform: Xbox One and PC
Release Date: 2019 or beyond

Following up the critically acclaimed Ori and the Blind Forest comes Ori and the Will of the Wisps. Likely still a Metroidvania with some challenging platforming, this game will feature new combat and customization options. The trailer shows Ori using some whimsical weaponry including a sort of sword and a bow and arrow. Additionally, it seems that Ori and the Kuro’s child will become partners in this next adventure. Expect the same kind of larger than life enemies and challenging puzzles.

Read More Here.


The Dark Pictures: Man of Medan

Developer: Supermassive Games
Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment
Platform: PS4, Xbox One, and PC
Release Date: 2019

From the team that made Until Dawn comes more decision driven horror. But this time the experiences are much smaller. Rather than create one massive story, Supermassive Games is launching The Dark Pictures Anthology, a series of standalone horror games. The first in this series in Man of Medan. The game will be more feature one primary playable character rather than have you control the entire cast. Survive the supernatural horrors that exist on board a ghost-ship adrift in the South Pacific during this four-hour long adventure. Make your choices quickly and they very well might be a matter of life and death.

Read More Here.


Wattam

Developer: Funomena
Publisher: Annapurna Interactive
Platform: PS4 and PC
Release Date: TBD

From the creator of Katamari Damacy comes a game that might be even quirkier. This unique sandbox adventure has been in development with Funomera since 2015 and centers on odd interactions with over 100 unique characters. Unlock and befriend everyone in the world. Described as a goof-around simulation game, you’ll spend this title playing with physics and animations, solving puzzles, and playing bizarre minigames. Freely switch between co-op and same screen multiplayer for added fun. But considering how long it has been openly in development the release date could be any day now or years away. It’s a toss-up but Annapurna Interactive has been publishing quality indies left and right so hopefully this will be one of them in 2019.

Read More Here.


Honorable Mention: Astroneer is coming out of Early Access and releasing its 1.0 version on PC and Xbox One.


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