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A player takes cover behind a furry Pal in Palworld Image: PocketPair

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15 indie games to look forward to in 2024

From slapstick mysteries to a beloved mythology roguelike

2024 is looking as stacked as ever when it comes to innovative indie games. From Pokémon-with-guns game Palworld and the highly anticipated follow-up to Hades, there’s no shortage of games to get excited for. There’s so much to look forward to that it can be a challenge to keep track of it all, which is why we’ve put together another list of upcoming indies to add to your to-play list.

The video games created by independent game studios are often a refreshing look into the future of the industry. Elsewhere in the industry, video game companies are consolidating — working on larger projects that cost more money and take longer to create, meaning less risk and more games that publishers know will work. The indie game space is where we see studios breaking from those norms, creating stories and experiences you might not find anywhere else.

What indie games are you most looking forward to in 2024? Drop them in the comments.


Palworld

Release date: January 2024
Platforms: Windows PC

I’m sure you’ve seen the trailer for Palworld, which is a game that basically gives Pokémon guns. It’s entering an early access period in January, when players will be able to give its multiplayer survival gameplay and its brutal (yet still cute) world a try. As in Pokémon, you’ll befriend creatures — called Pal — to fight for you while surviving this dangerous world. Apparently there’s farming, building, breeding, poaching, and factory work to dig into. —Nicole Carpenter

Été

Release date: Q1 2024
Platforms: Windows PC

Simply put, Été looks beautiful. It’s a story about a girl taking in Montreal in the summer, and documenting the experience in her watercolor sketchbook. You’ll paint the actual world while also painting on canvas, using collected stickers and stamps to fill out your artwork. It looks like the perfect sort of vacation, with no pressures or stress. I don’t think I’ve seen a game more aligned with my own interests. —NC

Indika

Release date: Q1 2024
Platforms: Windows PC

Russian studio Odd Meter announced Indika in 2023, looking to create an arthouse-styled video game set in an alternate 19th-century Russia. The game focuses on the Russian Orthodox Church, something studio founder Dmitry Svetlow told Polygon is “one of the weapons of Russian propaganda.” Because of its themes — and the studio’s outspoken opinion on the Russian war on Ukraine — Odd Meter moved its work to Almaty, Kazakhstan, to finish the game for its 2024 release. —NC

Loco Motive

Release date: Q1 2024
Platforms: Windows PC, Nintendo Switch

What do you get when you cross Agatha Christie crime thrillers with point-and-click adventure classics like Full Throttle and Day of the Tentacle? You get Loco Motive, a slapstick 1930s mystery adventure where you play as a lawyer, a rookie detective, and an undercover spy working to solve a murder aboard a continental train. Anyone and everyone is a suspect— including yourself! —Toussaint Egan

Open Roads

Release date: Feb. 22, 2024
Platforms: Windows PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, Nintendo Switch

Open Roads, from Annapurna Interactive and The Open Roads Team, has had a tumultuous development period. Originally a Fullbright game, its developers split from co-founder Steve Gaynor and Fullbright in 2023 after he stepped away from development in 2021 following accusations of workplace mistreatment at the Gone Home developer. Open Roads stars Keri Russell (The Americans) and Kaitlyn Dever (Booksmart) as a mother and daughter on a road trip — a relationship that’s not often explored in video games. —NC

Chasing the Unseen

Release date: Mar. 7, 2024
Platforms: Windows PC

Do you like chasing and climbing on top of bizarre colossal creatures in video games? Of course you do! Explore vast, otherworldly landscapes and brave perilous new heights as you embark on a journey through this abstract fantasy adventure. —TE

Demonschool

Release date: Q2 2024
Platforms: Windows PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, Nintendo Switch, macOS

Faye and friends take on demons in the aptly named Demonschool, a tactics role-playing game from Necrosoft Games. It’s part Into the Breach, part RPG, and part Italian horror cinema, a combination that promises to create something wholly unique and very stylish. Fight and flirt your way through school to rid the world of demons. —NC

Hades 2

Release date: Q2 2024
Platforms: Windows PC

The highly anticipated sequel to Polygon’s 2020 game of the year is almost here. In Hades 2, players assume the role of Melinoë, princess of the Underworld and sister to Zagreus, who embarks on a journey to rescue her father from Chronos, the Titan of Time. Like the original game, Hades 2 will launch in early access and receive periodic updates and patches leading up to its full release sometime in the future. —TE

Dead Static Drive

Release date: Q3 2024
Platforms: Windows PC, Xbox Game Pass

This “Grand Theft Cthulhu” horror survival adventure has been in development for a minute, but we finally have a release window. Sneak, scavenge, fight, befriend other survivors, and hotwire cars as you fend off an invasion of eldritch horrors. —TE

Helskate

Release date: 2024
Platforms: Windows PC

Helskate is a skateboarding roguelike where you’re doing sick combos while also taking on monsters. The way Helskate plays out looks a lot like Hades; between dungeon-crawling runs (full of skateboarding here), you’ll meet different characters who can help with upgrades and fill out the story of the skate gods. From developer Phantom Coast, Helskate should enter early access this year. —NC

Hyper Light Breaker

Release date: 2024
Platforms: Windows PC

Heart Machine returns to the universe of Hyper Light Drifter, this time reimagined as a 3D co-op roguelike adventure à la Risk of Rain 2. Venture into the procedurally generated world of the Overgrowth, battle against the powerful forces of the Abyss King, and unearth answers to the mysteries of this strange world. Hyper Light Breaker is expected to launch in early access early this year. —TE

Keepsake County

Release date: 2024
Platforms: Windows PC

Burglarize byzantine farmhouses and evade eccentric hand-drawn enemies in this procedurally generated stealth game. No two houses are the same, so you’ll have to use every ounce of your wits and guile to make off with your haul in one piece. Think Hello Neighbor, but with more midwestern flair. —TE

Nirvana Noir

Release date: 2024
Platforms: Windows PC, Xbox Series X

The sequel to the jazzy cosmic adventure game Genesis Noir follows No Man, an entity who exists outside of time and space, as he navigates a psychedelic ’60s-inspired dimension known as Constant Testament to unravel a mind-blowing conspiracy. Traverse the cosmos, interrogate witnesses, and stop an even bigger bang from annihilating all of reality. —TE

Roman Sands RE:Build

Release date: 2024
Platforms: Windows PC, Nintendo Switch

The studio behind 2018’s Paratopic returns with an all-new, genre-defying experience: an apocalyptic visual novel immersive sim set between two bizarre overlapping realities. Complete fetch quests, talk to old people, and unravel the mystery of what the hell is going on. —TE

Summerhouse

Release date: 2024
Platforms: Windows PC

This meditative, small-scale building game tasks players with crafting a neighborhood of tiny, bespoke homes in a variety of different environments. Chill out, uncover surprising little secrets, and build to your heart’s content. —TE