COGconnected’s Game of the Year Awards – Best Indie Game
Indie games dare to be different. Without a conglomerate breathing down their neck, the developers are able to try out new ideas and take risks which often results in unique experiences. With a ton of incredible releases throughout the year, we at COGconnected, have narrowed down the list and ranked the Best Indie Games of 2023.
10 – Pizza Tower
Inspired by the Wario Land series, Pizza Tower is a stunning platformer with Nickelodeon-style visuals. You venture through a wonderful world packed with secrets on a quest to save your restaurant from annihilation. Upon reaching the end of a level, you will then need to launch it, full pelt back to the beginning to avoid being attacked by a strange pizza enemy. It’s absurd but an absolute blast and makes our list of best indie games of the year.
9 – Dredge
Who would have thought that a fishing game would be one of the best horror titles of the year? You play as a fisherman who sails the sea in search of sea creatures and secrets. What you slowly uncover is a Lovecraftian nightmare that will keep you on the edge of your seat throughout the entire runtime. Creative and clever, you should definitely check out this unique title.
8 – The Last Faith
Souls-style 2D adventures are becoming more prominent in the industry. Taking the Metroidvania format and adding in a high level of challenge through its precise, methodical combat has helped to create some truly memorable titles. One of which is, The Last Faith. Its stunning gothic design and remarkable bosses make this an essential title for fans of the genre.
7 – Cassette Beasts
Pokemon is in a transitional phase. Sword and Shield introduced Wild Areas that allow you to explore 3D environments while Scarlett and Violet offered a complete open world for you to get lost in. Unfortunately, none of these have managed to capture the magic of yesteryear but Cassette Beasts does. With the ability to build your own team, you will fall in love with this adventure.
6 – Blasphemous II
Blasphemous II is a wonderful and disturbing adventure that has a truly unique aesthetic. The biblical imagery adds a daunting atmosphere that traces each step of your descent into the foreboding land of Cvstodia. With its deep, dark story and intense gameplay, Blasphemous II is an exception title that deserves your attention.
5 – Lethal Company
Lethal Company carves a niche with its multiplayer focus in the survival horror genre. The hunt feels great due to the satisfying loop that makes you want to play again to gain more items and build your character. With a ton of content promised, Lethal Company looks to keep you hooked for years to come.
4 – Dave the Diver
There are certain games that you can’t put down; Dave the Diver is one of those. Packed with character, you explore the deep to find sea creatures that you can use in your restaurant. While it may sound simple, trust me, there’s so much more to the game. Surprises pop up regularly throughout the 30-hour adventure and help to make this one of the absolute best games of the year.
3 – Planet of Lana
The Limbo formula is my favorite type of Indie game. I love the puzzle platforming premise and focus on storytelling. While Planet of Lana’s influences are evident, the manner in which it delivers its tale is truly astonishing. The visuals are jaw-dropping with remarkable vistas throughout and the relationship with your cute critter forms some wonderful gameplay segments. Definitely check out this title for a truly memorable experience.
2 – Baldur’s Gate 3
It must be daunting to create a sequel to a much-loved franchise, however, this didn’t phase Larian Studios. In fact, they absolutely smashed it, creating possibly the best virtual rendition of a D&D experience. With its rich story, deep gameplay and believable characterization, Baldur’s Gate 3 is an essential release.
1 – Sea of Stars
The 16-bit era is considered the epitome of RPGs. Chrono Trigger, Star Ocean and many others are classics of the genre and Sabotage Studio aims to capture this with Sea of Stars. A lofty goal but one they undoubtedly achieved. With its rich world and interesting characters, the game manages to surpass nostalgia and stand proudly beside its peers as one of the greatest RPGs of all time.
Well there you have it, that’s our top 10. While there are definitely great games that just missed the list, each entry that made the cut is an absolute gem and an essential game to track down and play. What are your thoughts on our list? Are there any titles that you would swap? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter, and don’t forget to subscribe to us on YouTube for more great video game content.
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