June 1, 2021

Don't Miss Out On These Hidden Gems! The Best Indie Games From May 2021

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Don't Miss Out On These Hidden Gems! The Best Indie Games From May 2021

By Joel | June 1, 2021
The NBA has LeBron, the NFL has Patrick Mahomes, and Major League Baseball has Ohtani, but they aren't the only teams with 'All-Star' talent. Today, we highlight some of the best indie games from several of the most talented indie developers around! 

Normally around this time of the month, I start talking about what a wonderful first six months we had and ramble on about the great games to be released between now and the end of the year. While big-name exclusives like Resident Evil Village, Mass Effect: LE, and Knockout City dominated the headlines, there's no denying the positive impact the indie developers and their games had on many of us.

With roughly 250-350 games being released monthly through Steam, Epic, and other digital outlets, it is often difficult to separate the good from the not-so-good without having to actually plop down your hard-earned dollars. As such, I'd like to make mention of some of the talented indie developers who made the month of May such a spectacular month and without them, our nights would have been cold and lonely. OK, maybe not so lonely, but definitely cold.

#10 - Broken Sky

Developer: Addictive 247 Games
Publisher: Addictive 247 Games
Release Date: May 2021
Game Description: Broken Sky is a fast-paced dogfighting shooter featuring unlockable planes, explosive weapons, special abilities, and Shoot 'em up madness. Responsive controls combined with super-fast air combat will have you coming back for more in your bullet-hell quest to defeat the alien takeover.

Sometimes the best things in life are those that are simple and nothing brings that point home better than Broken Sky. Its mechanics and retro appearance make it feel like you're actually looking at something from the early '90s with your only goal of beating the other guy's high score. I reviewed Broken Sky a few weeks back and I'm still having a good time with it. If casual gameplay is your thing, look no further than Broken Sky.

#9 - Siege Survival: Gloria Victis

Developer: Black Eye Games, Fishtank Studios
Publisher: Ravenscourt
Release Date: May 2021
Game Description: A medieval city under siege and a handful of civilians are all that keep the walls from falling. Mixing survival strategy and resource management, build your camp, craft supplies, and scavenge the occupied city to supply the last troops holding back the invaders.

A mixture of resource management and role-playing elements makes Siege Survival's technical aspects very deep and involving. I've only been able to try out the first few levels which feel similar to the mechanics of This War of Mine which is not a bad thing. This is one you should try out if you're into RPG/Survival games. Look for my review soon.

#8 - Jetboy

Developer: GamoOverDog
Publisher: GameOverDog
Release Date: May 2021
Game Description: Jetboy is a retro supercharged jetpacking pixel shooter with a pumping metal soundtrack.

If you've read any of my reviews, you know I'm an avid shooter fan and Jetboy looks to be one of the games I need to jump on right away. I have a review of Jetpack up on the site which actually looks and plays similar to this one but I'm not sure if the old Amiga game was the inspiration for Jetboy. I'm guessing by the looks, it just might be. Regardless, I'm looking forward to trying this out, and you should too!

#7 - Harvested

Developer: Vashta Entertainment
Publisher: Vashta Entertainment
Release Date: May 2021
Game Description: Harvested has all the fun you'd expect from a strategy game - resource management, base building, and epic combat. Additionally, Harvested lets you play as a soldier on the field.

Harvested is one of those games that starts off slow but sucks you in midway and doesn't let up! Combining the best elements of real-time strategy and the action of a top-down shooter, you'll have your hands full just trying to stay alive while building a thriving community. Harvested is a very challenging and well-thought-out game and I gave it one of my highest recommendations when I reviewed it in early May.

#6 - Bloodroots

Developer: Paper Cult
Publisher: Paper Cult
Release Date: May 2021
Game Description: One-hit kill die-retry murder ballet. Left for dead by a colorful band of bandits: you will chain killing sprees to exact revenge on the treacherous Mr. Black Wolf. Improvise your kills with utterly everything you can get your hands on: from carrots to plasma guns.

If I'm not playing some type of shooting game, you can usually catch me playing some form of hack n slash. Bloodroots is one of those games that's relentless and shakes you to your core from start to finish. I wholeheartedly recommend giving Bloodroots a try especially if you enjoy classic games like Reloaded or more recent titles like Hotline Miami. There's also a demo available to get your blood, um, flowing.

#5 - Itadaki Smash

Developer: Main Loop Videogames
Publisher: Main Loop Videogames
Release Date: May 2021
Game Description: Itadaki Smash is a Beat 'em Up game that pays tribute to the classics of the genre. Gain new skills and revive the spirit of the arcade by unleashing an arsenal of combos, throws and special attacks.

Here's another beat 'em up that I'm trying to finish up so I can brag about it in my upcoming review. Unfortunately, it's taking me longer to finish and I'm not sure quite why. As an old school beat 'em up, Itadaki Smash looks and plays like something you would see in an arcade, minus the cigarette butts and spilt nachos on the floor. The game is so old school you'd think someone snuck a SNES inside your PC.

#4 - THe longest road on earth

Developer: Brainwash Gang, TLR Games
Publisher: Raw Fury
Release Date: May 2021
Game Description: A thoughtful and deeply personal title with stripped-down mechanics. The lack of dialogue or text allows you to create your own narrative through your time with four characters. Each short story will allow players to be swept away by the haunting lyrics of over twenty original, nostalgic songs.

One thing I've always enjoyed about games is the music and The Longest Road on Earth has this part down to a perfect note, literally. The gameplay is a little light but the experimental design between in-game aesthetics and environmental ambiance blends perfectly together here. You may not get much out of the gameplay, but the experience will set you on the perfect path.

#3 - Guardian of Lore

Developer: Round2Games
Publisher: Round2Games
Release Date: May 2021
Game Description: A mystical library houses books of ancient folktales from lost civilizations. Play as prince Sayri, and protect these stories from wicked magic that aims to erase their memory forever. Enter each story and save it from within… or at least part of it.

If you're a sucker for platformers (who isn't?) then you're going to love Guardian of Lore. The core mechanics pay tribute to platformers of years past but the gameplay is anything but traditional. The use of magical spells that you conjure up with unique button sequences (think Magicka) adds to the overall wonderful experience.

#2 - mayhem in Single Valley

Developer: Fluxscopic LTD
Publisher: tiny Build
Release Date: May 2021
Game Description: In this fast-paced, puzzle-loaded action-adventure, you’ll juggle housework, zombie hordes, family dinners, and radioactive squirrels! Oh, and you have to prevent the end of the world while keeping everyone from finding out it was all your fault.

Who's afraid of the big bad wolf? Apparently not this little guy in the red hood. I had the opportunity to review the game a few weeks back and walked away very impressed with the unique and captivating gameplay. The stylized retro look made it an instant attraction since I'm an old-school dude by heart. If you're looking for a fun little adventure with lots of plots and interesting twists, Mayhem in Single Valley should be added to your gaming collection.

#1 - huntdown

Developer: Easy Trigger Games
Publisher: Coffee Stain Publishing
Release Date: May 2021
Game Description: In the mayhem-filled streets of the future where criminal gangs rule and cops fear to tread, only the bounty hunters can free the city from the corrupt fist of a felony. Lay waste to the criminal underworld and make a killing in this hard-boiled action-comedy arcade shooter.

Well here's a nice little side-scrolling shooter with a really cool 16-bit vibe ala Contra and Gunstar Heroes. I haven't had the opportunity to really get into the nook and cranny of the game, but the limited amount of playtime I've put in has definitely been a positive one. Huntdown is in my backlog of games to finish so hopefully I'll get some quality time in and do a proper review on it soon. In the meantime, happy hunting!

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