Big name games are all well and good, but more often, indie games are where the spotlight’s at. However, the spotlight isn’t always accurate, and a lot of incredible indies get lost in the dark. Never fear, I’m here to provide you a flashlight. These are the best android indies you’ve never heard of.
12. Hexlords: Quantum Warfare – Currently Free on Google Play
This strategy game from Tantanmen Games is still in early access but appears promising. Looking like a cross between Halo and Call of Duty, world war three is breaking out in an alternate 2020 and you must pick a side to lead into battle. Play in real-time PVP across several hex grid maps with varied customizable troops. With four factions to choose from, each with their own ideals and heroes, content seems to be bursting at the seams. Time will tell how players receive this game.
11. Thumper: Pocket Edition – $4.99 on Google Play
If you love rhythm games and are looking for a challenge, this critically acclaimed VR game from Drool is for you, and it’s now in app form. Play as a metallic beetle racing along a track across several unsettling environments that look like they came out of a psychedelic nightmare. Keep pace with the trippy music to avoid obstacles and attack enemies through nine high-octane levels. At the end of it all, square off with a giant metal face and destroy it before it destroys you.
10. Conquest of Elysium 3 – $9.90 on Google Play
A top-down strategy game from Illwinter Game Design, choose from several races and set out to make an empire. What makes this game unique is how your empire grows depends on what race you choose. For example, if you choose a Druid, your focus will be on an empire of forests and jungles. To expand, fight eighteen different factions across a randomly generating map. Your race also determines what troops you’ll have, from the conventional to the undead. Strategize your troops’ positions and watch as they attack the AI enemy. There’s more to battle than just fighting; morale has to stay high and weapons and defenses need upgrades. Your actions determine what happens in the game, with six significant moments for you to find.
9. The Quest – $7.99 on Google Play
Old school in a good way, this RPG from Redshift Games takes you on a journey through the kingdom of Monares during a time of magic and mayhem. Choose from five different races and fully customize your character’s clothes and weapons as you travel the world. Follow the main quest and a variety of side quests across four cities and vast wildernesses as you interact with the kingdom’s inhabitants. Through text-based interaction, talk to multiple people, all with different motivations, and make friends and foes alike. Fight creatures such as goblins, witches, and cyclopes that, even with dated graphics, look terrifying. This game was so popular it spawned multiple spin-offs like Basilisks Eye and Islands of Ice and Fire.
8. The Crystal Story Series – $0.99 on Google Play
This RPG series made by Emmanuel Salva Cruz is very addicting. Explore creepy caves, imposing mountains, and dense forests while controlling four different characters in turned-based combat. The character roster changes from game to game, but you won’t miss playing them as they sometimes show up as NPCs. Your four-person team will face a myriad of enemies, from weak slimes and skeleton warriors to tough minotaur’s and dragons. Each character, male or female, can be one of four classes: Warrior, Mage, Rogue, and Healer. Assigning them Ability Points (won after fights) increases their health and mana points, making them stronger and more able to handle tough enemies. Add in exciting side quests and equipment upgrades, you’ll want to keep playing one game after the next.
7. Immortal Rogue – $4.99 on Google Play
Play as a blood-starved immortal vampire who has recently woken from a 100-year slumber. Hack and slash enemies in this retro-style roguelike mobile game from Kyle Barrett. Your actions affect the world around you, depending on who you kill and who you turn into vampires. Sleep another hundred years after bloody battles and your character could be fighting a futuristic military or angry cavemen. Play the game again and again to unlock over thirty vampiric abilities and awesome weapons. Fight over seventy different enemies and discover secret bosses across several exciting timelines. History is about to turn bloody.
6. The Witness – $13.60 on Google Play
If you’re a fan of Braid and puzzle games, you’ll enjoy this open-world puzzler from Braid’s creator, Jonathan Blow. You play as an unnamed and unseen character who finds themselves on a mysterious lush island filled with puzzles. Make your way through ten different locations on the island and solve puzzles that increase in difficulty the farther you travel. Explore beautiful forests, abandoned buildings and more for secret collectables, hidden areas, and possible Easter Eggs. This is a picturesque game that’s perfect for players with time to kill.
5. ALTER: Between Two Worlds – Free on Google Play
In the debut hand-drawn mobile puzzle game from Crescent Moon Games, play as Ana who can travel between dimensions. Traverse an abandoned desert temple filled with intricate puzzles consisting of cubes, switches, and lasers. Often the puzzles will require hopping dimensions to figure them out. If that wasn’t enough, Ana will have to face three different yet vibrant enemies bent on halting her progress. The game controls are easy to handle, though players have described the game as too short. However, it is Crescent Moon Games’ very first mobile release, after all. I’d take a short and fun game over a long and tedious game any day.
4. Outsider: After Life – $3.99 on Google Play
Humanity has died, and their one chance to survive, The Escape Initiative, somehow failed. Centuries into the future, in a dilapidated science lab, a small android is accidently revived, and it’s up to him to find out what caused humanity’s downfall. Explore this puzzler from Rogue Games, Inc. as HUD-ini, and traverse a beautifully pixelated apocalyptic landscape. Solve unique and varied puzzles against a backdrop of dark, atmospheric music that never deviates from the melancholic tone. With flawless animation and a story that sucks you in, you won’t want to stop playing until you solve the mystery.
3. Detective Di: The Silk Rose Murders – $4.99 on Google Play
Travel back to ancient China and stop a serial killer as detective Di Renjie in this 2D pixel art adventure from Nupixo Games. During the Tang Dynasty, under the rule of the first and only female empress Wu Zetian, the people are talking revolution amidst a series of brutal murders. Are these murders random or motivated by shady politics? Take control of Di and travel to over 45 historically accurate locations in search of a killer. Talk to colorful NPCs, interact with various objects, and solve puzzles against beautiful painted backdrops. Get lost in the engaging story based on the real Di Renjie.
2. Bear With Me – Free on Google Play
It’s amazing what a child’s imagination can conjure, especially when coping with loss. A noir-esque point and click adventure from Modus Games takes you on a journey through Paper City with ten-year-old Amber and her plush sidekick detective Ted E. Bear. Searching for Amber’s missing brother, she and Ted encounter allies and foes across a beautiful 2D black and white landscape. Throw in a mysterious Red Man starting fires throughout the city, and you get a melancholic yet hopeful metaphor in the form of a little girl struggling to move on. Come for the engaging story, stay for the sarcastic, foul-mouthed, and sounding perpetually hungover stereotypical detective teddy bear.
1. Oxenfree – $4.99 on Google Play
Brought to you by Nightschool Studio comes the story of a group of teenagers that spend a night at an island and discover a sinister presence through a radio signal. They must work together to stop it before it kills them all. Throw in teen angst, unresolved past issues coming to light and even time travel, and you get a fun, spooky adventure. Character design and background art are gorgeous and make you worried for these teens dealing with the violent unknown. As there are multiple endings, choices and relationships matter, so watch what you say.