5 Upcoming Indie Games To Look Out For

The weeklong Steam Next Fest, which presented a promising slate of indie games soon to be released, ended today. Being the indie game sleuth that I am, I took it upon myself to try out several demos to see which ones were worth looking out for. Here are the ones that stood from the pack.


It’s always a joy to see developers take a stab at classic gaming ideas and spin them into something different. Enter Crystal Project, which takes the fundamentals of an old-school Final Fantasy game and meshes it with the non-linear trappings of modern RPGs. In essence an open-world JRPG, Crystal Project gives players the freedom of exploration and without the cumbersome storytelling made famous by genre.

The current state of the game is incredibly polished and elaborate. It has all the bells and whistles of Final Fantasy classics such as a versatile job system and a turn counter for that modern QoL. Visually, the game is a treat. The combat animation is sublime and almost rivals the likes of the burgeoning 2.5D aesthetic pioneered by Octopath Traveler. The voxel Minecraft-backdrop takes traditional JRPG exploration to literally a new level by allowing players to move vertically on each 3D platform with a jump feature. 

Fans looking for something traditional might be turned off by the game’s openness. According to developer Andrew Willman, the game’s story will be more of a world-building aspect than an actual plot.

Crystal Project is listed to come out on Q1 of 2022


The release of Cyberpunk 2077 may have been a letdown for the cyberpunk genre but that isn’t stopping smaller devs from keeping it alive. In Anno: Mutationem, you play as Ann, a cyborg on a quest to find her missing brother that is seemingly involved in a big corporate conspiracy. In this incredible rendered 3D world, your 2D protagonist will fight waves of goons and all sorts of cybernetic creatures as you traverse through a hostile city. 

While the demo doesn’t show us the full potential of what the game offers, it’s enough to pique anyone’s curiosity. The combat seems complex enough to allow players aerial combos. Exploring the unique 3D plane with a 2D character already makes the game a worthwhile experience.

No concrete release date is attached to this game though it has 2021 listed on Steam.


Steam describes Wytchwood as a story-rich, crafting RPG set in a gothic landscape filled with fables and folklore. None of those descriptions are ones that would usually draw a gamer like me in but a single glance at the game’s storybook artstyle did more than convince me to check out the product page.

Wytchwood will ooze charm and vivid nostalgia to kids who grew up reading books resembling it. Yet it somehow feels all unfamiliar and fresh. Given that you’re playing a witch and have your own Black Philip, there are obviously dark occult themes that rest beneath the cutesy design. The game mechanics are quaint and simple yet also seem deep enough to keep the casual gamer occupied. As far as indie games go, this is one of the most memorable ones I’ve seen in a while.

No concrete release date is attached to this game though it has 2021 listed on Steam.


I arrived late to the Metroidvania party. Ori and Will of the Wisps turned me on to it but Hollow Knight showed me the genre’s true potential. So to see an upcoming game like Haiku the Robot embrace genre sensibilities akin to Hollow Knight makes it a highly-anticipated Metroidvania in my book.

The game’s presentation is absolutely stunning. The graphics, sound design, and gameplay are all tightly crafted. The pixel art style is wonderfully reminiscent of the Game Boy Advance era of sidescrollers I grew up playing. The platforming and combat feel precise and hefty which is absolutely crucial to any good Metroidvania. The little progression system we get to see is also very promising.

There’s no release date for the game currently but its Kickstarter campaign is still ongoing.


The Young Souls demo had me in awe in the first 5 minutes of the game where it throws you in this suburban fantasy world where a small town is being taken over by goblins and odd monstrosities. A 2D beat-em-up game at its core with fun RPG elements as its flourishes, the player is given control of Tristan and Jenn, twins who find themselves in the middle of this crazy premise. 

Hordes of goblins are sent your path as you alternate between each twin, hacking them away, parrying, dodging, and all that. Like most good beat-em-ups, the combat is surprisingly in-depth and should allow for all sorts of combos in a co-op setting. The RPG element works in harmony with the brawler elements as it opens up a new avenue of complexity in building your characters’ stats. 

The only evident downside to this game is that you quickly get a sense of how subpar the writing and dialogue are. The game has a very Saturday morning cartoon aesthetic to it which is quickly undermined by characters forcibly cursing to seem edgy.

The game has Q4 2021 as its release so stay tuned as it may be real soon.

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