FeaturedIndie Roundup

Indie Roundup 2021

Growing up my gaming exploits were funded by my parents. My family were not rich, and I was the third child of four. I began representing myself in negotiations around the age of ten, arguing from a position that as it looked like I would never be the owner of new clothes, perhaps I could be compensated for that by having an extra game or two each year. My parents laughed me out of the courthouse. Overruled. Case dismissed. I think ten-year-old me could not quite grasp that the reason I had hand-me-down clothes, was because money was tight.

So, when it came to games, I had to make my choices count. That meant buying the same game everyone at school had. Now that I am technically fully grown – 5’10 is respectable – I fund my own gaming habit. It is a pastime that has seen me aggressively lean away from triple A titles in search of more wholesome experiences. They are the type of gaming experiences I am learning only independent releases can offer me. I am an artist by profession, working in multiple fields – hence the strong undercurrent of pomposity in my writing – and each month, I want to share my findings with you.

I want to help promote upcoming independent games that do our industry a great service. I search for single-player stories, beautifully presented and full of heart. January is always quiet but for now, here is a peak of what we can expect this year…

Forever Ago

Release date – 2021
Platform – Microsoft Windows

Following a tragic stroke of fate, Alfred embarks on a journey north in search of redemption. In this single-player road trip adventure, you’ll travel to beautiful places, capture memories with your camera, meet interesting people, and even make some new friends.

The Artful Escape

Release date – 2021
Platform – Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, iOS, Linux, Macintosh operating systems

On the eve of his first performance, Francis Vendetti battles with the legacy of a dead folk legend and the cosmic wanderings of his own imagination. In this 2D adventure platformer, Francis, a teenage guitar prodigy, sets out on a psychedelic, multidimensional journey to inspire his stage persona.

12 Minutes

Release date – 2021
Platform – Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, Xbox Series X and Series S, Macintosh operating systems

TWELVE MINUTES is a real-time top-down interactive thriller with an accessible click and drag interface.

What should be a romantic evening with your wife turns into a nightmare when a police detective breaks into your home, accuses your wife of murder and beats you to death…

Only for you to find yourself immediately returned to the exact moment you opened the front door, stuck in a TWELVE-MINUTE time loop, doomed to relive the same terror again and again…

Unless you can find a way to use the knowledge of what’s coming to change the outcome and break the loop.

TWELVE MINUTES blends the dream-like tension of THE SHINING with the claustrophobia of REAR WINDOW and the fragmented structure of MEMENTO.

Featuring James McAvoy, Daisy Ridley, and Willem Dafoe.


Release date – 2021
Platform – Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows

It’s September 1, 1986. You take on the role of forty-something Meredith Weiss, who returns from the big city to her quiet hometown. She exchanges her busy career at a software company to fill in for her dad, the local mail carrier.

During her two-week stay in the beautiful Providence Oaks, Oregon, she runs into a few familiar faces as well as plenty of new folk. As Meredith, you get to decide who to talk to, who to befriend and perhaps even start a romantic relationship with.

Whatever happens, at the end of her stint she’ll have to make up her mind: return to her demanding job in the big city, or stay in the town she grew up in?

A Space for the Unbound

Release date – September 2021
Platform – Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, Linux, Macintosh operating systems

A Space for the Unbound is a slice-of-life adventure game with beautiful pixel art set in the late 90s rural Indonesia that tells a story about overcoming anxiety, depression, and the relationship between a boy and a girl with supernatural powers.

Follow two high school sweethearts, Atma and Raya, on a journey of self-discovery at the end of their high school years. When a mysteriously supernatural power is suddenly unleashed threatening their existence, they must explore and investigate their town to uncover hidden secrets, face the end of the world, and perhaps learn more about each other.

Set in a small town inspired by 90s era rural Indonesia, A Space for the Unbound presents an endearing story-driven experience with a vibrant environment waiting to be explored.


Release date – 2021
Platform – Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows

Experience how life would be in a world ravaged by mankind through the eyes of the last fox on Earth in this eco-conscious adventure. Discover the destructive effect of the human race, which corrupts day after day the most precious and needed resources of the natural environments.

Explore Endling’s 3D side-scrolling world and defend your cubs, three tiny and defenceless fur balls, feed them, see how they grow up level after level, notice their unique personalities and fears, and most importantly, make them survive.

Use the cover of the night to sneak with your litter towards a safer place. Spend the day resting in an improvised shelter and plan for your next movement carefully since it could be the last one for you or your cubs.


Release date – 2021
Platform – Steam

Venba is a narrative cooking game, where you play as an Indian mom, who immigrates to Canada with her family in the 1980s. Players will cook various dishes and restore lost recipes, hold branching conversations, and explore in this story about family, love, loss and more.

Open Roads

Release date – 2021
Platform – PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, Xbox Series X and Series S, PlayStation 5

One fine fall day, Tess Devine and her mother, Opal, discover a cache of old notes and letters carefully stashed away in the attic of their house. Hints of deep-rooted family secrets, decades-old burglaries, a lost treasure somewhere near the Canadian border… What they uncover suggests a much darker mystery, best left well enough alone.


Release date – 2021
Platform – Microsoft Windows, macOS

Dordogne is a narrative adventure game in which you play as Mimi, a 32-year-old woman visiting the house of her recently deceased grandmother. As a souvenir of the childhood summers Mimi spent with her in Dordogne, her grandmother left her letters and puzzles to solve, to remind her to make the most out of life. In this colourful region, full of wonderful scents and feelings, Mimi will immerse herself back into her childhood memories, and see once again through the eyes of the little girl who marvelled at everything.

Know by Heart

Release date – 2021
Platform – Microsoft Windows

“Know by heart…” is a game about accepting loss. The plot, the music, the intuitive gameplay and atmospheric mini games work together to weave an illusion of briefly returning to one’s childhood and inevitably growing up, the feeling of time slipping through our fingers.

Players will be immersed into the quiet life of a provincial Russian town, where traces and echoes of the Soviet era can still be seen and heard.

Misha, the protagonist, is stuck in his monotonous, dead-end job, until one day the routine is shattered as his school crush returns to town. For the first time in years Misha regains hope of escaping the ennui of his daily life. A brief but tumultuous episode of the town’s life is interwoven with the story of a gang of childhood friends coming back together. It’s up to them to journey down memory lanes and rekindle their friendship, but their memories of the past and the very bonds between them become threatened…


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