Hey Poor Player Holiday Buyers Guide 2022 – Indie Gems

Little Games, Big Quality

Indie Gems

Is it already that time again? With the Holidays closing in once more, we know a lot of you are looking for gifts for all the players in your lives, and maybe some things you’d like to get for yourselves too. If you’re not sure what to get, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. From November 3rd to November 18th, we’ll be bringing you guides to satisfy every type of player each weekday. Strap in and kiss your wallet goodbye.

Indie games have gone from once receiving minor attention at best to being some of the most important video games in the world. Almost 40% of our 25 favorite games last year were indies, and the number of games we love from smaller developers feels like it just grows every year. This list, more than most others, could be far longer, but we want to give you some direction on the games most worth your time, so here are five indie games players should absolutely keep their eyes out for this Holiday season.

 

Behind the Frame: The Finest Scenery

 

Indie Gems

Platforms: PS4, Switch, PC, Mobile

Our Review

One of my favorite things about indie games are how they can explore aspects of the world that mainstream titles simply never will. A love letter to art which is highly reminiscent of the works of Studio Ghibli, Behind the Frame, is stunning. While it’s a relatively short title, that doesn’t lessen its impact. Absolutely consider checking it out this holiday season.

 

Far: Changing Tides

 

Indie Gems

Platforms: PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Switch, PC

Our Review

Far: Lone Sails made quite the impression when it left you alone to explore a drowned world a few years ago, but even the beautiful world there didn’t fully prepare me for its follow-up. Far: Changing Tides once again strands you in that drowned world, this time with a different massive mechanical machine as your main source of transport and company. Managing the ship, something never really explained to players which you just have to figure out, is refreshing and there are some truly visceral scenes on the ocean. A few of the puzzles can be a bit obtuse, but this is a wonderful puzzle box of a game that players should absolutely check out.

 

Nobody Saves the World

 

Indie Gems

Platforms: PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Switch, PC

Our Review

The latest game from the team at DrinkBox Studios hasn’t grabbed quite the attention that their Guacamelee! games did, but don’t let that stop you from giving it a try. This dungeon crawler has you playing a nobody thrown into events far beyond him. When he finds himself in possession of a magic wand with the wizard who wields hit missing, he has no choice but to save the world. Luckily, Nobody Saves the World gives him 18 forms he can transform into, which allow him to fight back in a wide variety of situations. Everything from a tiny mouse to a massive body builder has its time and place where it’s relevant, and I loved the combat. If you need a game you can just sink yourself into, upgrading your character and trying new combinations of attacks and abilities, you won’t find many better options this year.

 

Rogue Legacy 2

 

Indie Gems

Platforms: Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PC

Our Review

The first Rogue Legacy was one of the games that really put roguelites on the map in a major way, but it released nearly a decade ago, and it would have been easy for this one to feel like it was stuck In the past. Luckily, the team at Cellar Door Games simply weren’t going to let that happen. With fantastic new classes, terrifying bosses, and enough customization and randomness to keep things fresh, Rogue Legacy 2 is one of the best games in the genre.

 

Shovel Knight Dig

 

Indie Gems

Platforms: Switch, PC, iOS

Our Review

There are few games more associated with the indie game scene than Shovel Knight. So a true follow-up had big shoes to fill, even if it was highly anticipated. Thankfully, Shovel Knight Dig is up to that burden. While in some ways it’s quite different, with you constantly working your way downward, Dig still maintains a lot of what players loved about the original game with familiar controls, tight gameplay, and plenty of challenge. Definitely a game worth your time this year.

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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