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Hey Poor Player Holiday Buyers Guide 2021 – Indie Gems

Smaller Budgets, Great Games

Holiday Buyers Guide

Welcome to the Hey Poor Player Holiday Gift Guide. From Monday, November 8th through Friday, November 19th we’ll be bringing you a guide to all the games, accessories, systems, and other hot items players will be looking for this holiday season. With Black Friday and other Holiday sales set to start in the coming weeks, we thought now was the perfect time to help draw attention to just what you players should be looking for in the coming weeks. So whether you’re looking for a gift for someone else, or maybe something for yourself, we’ve got you covered. Please keep in mind that as we move into our individual game lists, we’ve limited each game to one list to help spread the word about more great titles released in 2021. So if a game you love shows up on a genre list but not on one for a system, it doesn’t mean we didn’t love it. It just means that let us showcase more great titles.

Today we’re looking at some of the great indie games that released in 2021. Indie has almost lost its meaning in the market, with more and more games with studio backing of some sort or another still getting lumped in with indies. Yet there’s still something to be said for small games that make a big impact. For developers who invest their own time and money on a dream and have it actually pay off.

 

Everhood

 

Holiday Buyers Guide

Platforms: Switch (Our Review), PC

Price: $14.99

An unconventional RPG is the tagline for Everhood and it describes it well. Mixing in elements from all sorts of genres, everything from adventure games to rhythm titles, our own Josh Speer had this to say about i:

“I wasn’t sure what to expect when I took Everhood for review. Now that I’ve beaten the game once and touched upon New Game+, all I can say is this is my favorite 2021 indie so far. And I strongly think it will take something incredible to dethrone it from that position. Not only does it feature amazing music, but it also has evocative artwork and a compelling plot about mortality and human choice.”

 

JETT: The Far Shore

 

Holiday Buyers Guide

Platforms: PS5 (Our Review), PS4, PC

Price:  $29.99

Some games are too different for their own good. There’s nothing on the market quite like JETT which makes it hard to define, but also means it fits right in with the best indie titles. With a stunning story, gameplay which usually feels fantastic, and a stunning world to look at, here’s what I had to say about JETT earlier this year:

“A truly unique title, JETT: The Far Shore is unlike anything I’ve played. With a fascinating story, fantastic feelings of movement, and a stunning world to explore, you’ll want to fulfill Jao’s Directive and check out the far shore.”

 

The Last Friend

 

Holiday Buyers Guide

Platforms: PC (Our Review)

Price: $14.99

Do you like dogs? We like dogs. Who doesn’t love dogs? Our own Daymon Trapold tried The Last Friend and while the pure doggyness of it may have caught his eye, it has a lot other than that going for it:

“The Last Friend is truly a gem. Polished gameplay, tight controls, superb, charming art, and just that wow factor that makes you want to play for hours on end. It’s one of those games that I hesitate to call perfect, but honestly, I can find so few flaws, I’m awfully tempted to.”

 

A Monster’s Expedition 

 

Holiday Buyers Guide

Platforms: Switch (Our Review), PC, Apple Arcade

Price: $19.99

Indie developers are some of the last ones to realize that often simple is better. Doing what you do well is so much more important than changing things for the sake of doing so. Our own Scott MacDonald loved the simple mechanics in A Monster’s Expedition:

“A Monster’s Expedition is a brilliant little puzzler. It gets incredible mileage out of a simple mechanic and manages to use it in unexpected ways. The game’s zen-like presentation, open-ended exploration, and sense of humor create a relaxing environment that soothes away the frustrations found in other puzzle games.”

 

Rain On Your Parade

 

Platforms: Switch (Our Review), Xbox One, PC

Price: $14.99

You’re not going to rain on my parade, or that of Heather Johnson Yu either. While rain based gameplay probably isn’t about to take the world by storm, it works great for Rain On Your Parade. Here’s what she had to say about it:

Rain on Your Parade is a delightfully charming puzzle game that will super-soak players with its incredible creativity. Although I had plenty of fun breezing through on my own, I can absolutely see streamers and youtubers drawing in an eager audience, wondering what hilariously designed level awaits them next. If you love a novel experience that doesn’t take itself seriously but is genuine fun every step of the way (or you just really like precipitation-based gameplay), look no further than Rain on Your Parade.”

 

 

Andrew Thornton
Andrew has been writing about video games for nearly twenty years, contributing to publications such as DarkStation, Games Are Fun, and the E-mpire Ltd. network. He enjoys most genres but is always pulled back to classic RPG's, with his favorite games ever including Suikoden II, Panzer Dragoon Saga, and Phantasy Star IV. Don't worry though, he thinks new games are cool too, with more recent favorites like Hades, Rocket League, and Splatoon 2 stealing hundreds of hours of his life. When he isn't playing games he's often watching classic movies, catching a basketball game, or reading the first twenty pages of a book before getting busy and forgetting about it.

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