The five must-see indie games of 2020

The five must-see indie games of 2020
After digesting the dinner and putting the sparkling wine in the fridge for New Year's Eve, it's time to think about the past before the future comes, with an eye dedicated to the independent titles that surprised us over the course of the year and that we got to deal with. on our pages.

We will talk about different stories from each other, with original plots and incredible and dangerous journeys, stories of love and worries of the human soul, themes have been able to propose themselves through our favorite hobby and that we enjoyed it.


Let's start with a bang, with one of the candidates in the recent event of The Game Awards, as well as one of the direct competitors of The Last of Us Part II by Naughty Dog, which then has won the title as game of the year.

Developed by Supergiant Games, Hades is a roguelike with role-playing elements of exquisite workmanship, with a truly original and picturesque design, very cartoonish and with a pleasant art direction , with bright and bold colors. He treats Greek Mythology with meticulous attention to detail, bringing our minds back to the first God of War, with the only difference that our enemies are not the Gods of Olympus at all, but our father Hades, who is not particularly inclined to accept Zeus in his immortal existence.

Hades is irreverent, funny and ironic. A curated, inspired and enjoyable title. We take on the role of Zagreus, son of the God of the Underworld, determined more than ever to leave the place where he grew up to reach Olympus and his dear uncle, of whom he heard (badly) from his father and from other relatives (described with particularly offensive terms). In our opinion it is a fun and stimulating title, as well as challenging and punishing, in certain situations. And how not to mention the irony of Hades, similar to his direct Disney counterpart?

If you want to know more, we expressly recommend reading Hades' review of our Virginia. And if you let yourself be tempted, we really believe that you will not be disappointed at all by Hades and his irreverent pace. Moreover, at The Game Awards it was awarded as the best indie game, and we really think that it cannot be missing in your videogame collection.

The Pathless

If you've found yourself comfortable with Abzû, then you won't be disappointed at all in The Pathless by Californians Giant Squid, an interactive adventure along the lines of the appreciable The Journey, with an eagle as a traveling companion.

The Pathless begins with a short sequence in the initial introduction where we are on a boat, and then we arrive on the mainland, the nerve center where we take our first steps.

Accustomed as we are to this kind of productions, with a barely whispered plot and a concept more interested in letting us grasp the sensations of what we have around us, the journey we undertake is particularly different, considerably more intense and unpredictable, with real bosses intent on preventing us from advancing and a world that, as the title suggests, is without a way. Exploring is important as we find fun and special environmental puzzles, as well as a slew of collectibles that allow us to go beyond its nine hours of play.

Eagle and huntress, a world to explore: what The Pathless offers can make our eyes sparkle. We walk on the green plains of an open world, scattered with explorable macro areas and dominated by ancient trees. And our eagle marks the way in these nefarious but still pleasant and silent lands, certainly cautious and intrigued like us by the knowledge and love for a world we want to recapture.

As written by our Alessandro Barravalle in his review of The Pathless: "Huntress and eagle. Allies, friends". A relationship that is not at all obvious, of great impact, not to be underestimated.


On the other hand, what is it like to accompany the souls of the dead in a management sandbox that can certainly lead to many considerations on the meaning of life? Certainly not as we would have expected, since there are moments in which we cannot hold back the tears of emotion, and which lead us inexorably to reflect on our dearest bonds and affections, those that we just can't shake in any way. off because they are part of us, even though they are no longer there. And a hug, in this sense, becomes more therapeutic than many words, as well as necessary.

The developers Thunder Lotus, already known for the famous Jotun and Sundered, have allowed us to take on the role of Luna and Daffodil, our souls ferrymen much nicer and warmer than the cold and inflexible Charon described by Dante Alighieri in "The Divine Comedy", which in turn is less gloomy than what we have known in Greek Mythology and in the epic of Homer and Virgil.

We are ferrymen of souls. Nothing more, nothing less. But we hadn't dealt with emotions. Don't forget the handkerchiefs. Spiritfarer is a mixture of functional elements to a narrative that involves and amazes from beginning to end, in which we must visit specific places and carry out missions for each soul that we will have the responsibility to accompany so that it is received in the Underworld. Then managing the boat, the center of all our efforts, we develop and build other structures, hosting those who are on their way to the final stage, with the constant weight in the heart of suddenly losing them.

We assure you that it is really complex not to feel empathy or affection for each soul that we will accompany to the edge of the River Styx. And when that happens, arm yourself with handkerchiefs as you will probably not be ready to let her go.

Amnesia: Rebirth

Fears, hopes and remorse in a sharp and decisive, cold and unpredictable, dark survival horror and mysterious, inspired by the literature of the nightmare, the one that intrigues and frightens us at the same time.

Amnesia: Rebirth takes us to the Algerian desert, a courageous location for the Frictional Games, also known for the memorable and sci-fi SOMA, capable of that creative twist typical of the most famous developers, which we also praised in the last production, a concrete proof of maturity for the Swedes that our Alessandro has had the opportunity to review.

Let's take on the role of Tasi, a girl lost in the wreckage of a plane, with a heavy mind and fear in front of her becoming more and more insistent, uncontrollable and unpredictable. We move through the villages abandoned by the Bedouins, in gloomy caves with only a match to light our path, in ghostly oases and in tombs that hide more than they want to show, perhaps creatures that are waiting for nothing but our false step .

Fear, anxiety and claustrophobic sensations in the oldest and most remote tombs in the world, while the desert sands hide threats and creatures ready to feast on our corpse. Intrigued by the unrecognizable, we are somehow attracted to it, and we are forced to find a hiding place to escape the creatures that lash the veil of darkness to procure our terror in massive doses.

More refined and refined than its predecessor, Amnesia: Rebirth is a real surprise for enthusiasts, the few accustomed and the curious. Frictional Games knows how to amaze and scare: don't miss it!

Kentucky Route Zero: TV Edition

Cardboard Computer, a three-person development team, released the first Kentucky Route Zero Act way back in 2013, hoping to end the story within a few years. But it actually took seven years, not a few for an episodic game.

We only had the opportunity to review the fifth Act included in the TV Edition in February 2020, taking the time to carefully analyze the full version. Which could not be missing in this selection, and is very eloquent in this regard.

Kentucky Route Zero TV Edition is the complete package with all the Acts at a very affordable market price, with the addition of unreleased preludes at the beginning of each episode. What struck us is his very simple but impactful graphic style, drawn by hand and which winks at other indie productions such as The Pillars of the Earth.

Delicate but powerful, attractive and interesting. If you like point and click adventures, you can't miss Kentucky Route Zero. If you loved What Remains of Edith Finch and Firewatch, in Kentucky Route Zero you will find yourself at ease since you will not have to do is let yourself be carried away by the narration and dialogues with the characters that you will learn about through the main protagonist.

We are facing an extremely satisfying experience, one of those reflective and powerful ones, with a great emotional and reflective capacity. And this video game does not lack bite, especially in carving out a space among the most original and surprising independent titles of 2020, despite being released with its first Act at the beginning of the last generation.

For sure there are just as many that we haven't mentioned, as the indie scene is full of surprises and hidden gems that await only us. Not for nothing, we hope to stock it up again in 2021, and in a greater quantity (and quality) as it did in 2020. But now you have the last word: what is your best indie title of 2020? Let us know in the comments!

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