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10 New Indie Games To Get Excited About in 2021

It’s a new year and therefore we need a new list of games that excites us. In this round, we will focus on 10 new indie games coming in 2021 that we think look epic. There are many similar lists online from a wide variety of other publications, but ours is different. Narrowing down 1000s of games to just 10 is a tough job, and we will probably end up with different indie games each time. But for this list of 10 new indie games coming in 2021, we focused on only one thing. Does the idea excite us?

We often use rigid sets of criteria to tell someone if a game is “good” or “bad”, but in this list we allowed ourselves to buy into the idea of a new indie game with no other baggage. The indie games on this list can turn out fantastic or horrific, but the ideas on which they are forged excite us.

With that little disclaimer, let’s get into our list of 10 new indie games that excite us in 2021.

Gladiators Manager

10 new indie games in 2021 gladiators manager

Estimated Release Date: Q4 2021

If you followed us over the last year or so, it should be no surprise that we dig simulation and management games. Therefore, we are very excited for Gladiators Manager. The game looks to have good graphics and allows you to manage your own gladiator empire. You manage your gladiator school where slaves are brought and trained to represent you in the arena. As their manager, battles are not a passive affair, and you issue orders to help your gladiators succeed. This sounds like a lot of fun, just don’t grow too attached to your “assets”.

Monsters Domain

Monsters domain indie game

Estimated Release Date: Sometime in 2021

One of our favourite games from the mid-2000s was Dark Messiah. The first-person melee combat was utterly addictive, and we had a great time playing it. Monsters Domain gave us a jolt of nostalgia as the vibe looks very similar. That alone is enough to siphon out wallets. The idea behind Monsters Domain is to defend your domain while playing as the monsters. You can possess any of your units for some glorious first-person combat. As monsters slay heroes, you can experiment with the loot you gather and improve the various monsters in your army. Monsters Domain has all the ingredients for an exceptional experience!

Distant Kingdoms

distant kingdoms new indie game 2021

Estimated Release Date: Sometime in 2021

We covered Distant Kingdoms in 2020, with the hope of a release. Unfortunately, the release moved to 2021, and we will wait till sometime this year to get our hands on this medieval city-builder. Gorgeous graphics, lush fields, Humans, Dwarves, Orcs, and Elves. Do we even need to continue? Distant Kingdoms is a blend of city building, social management, exploration, and adventure gameplay. This sounds like the perfect game to occupy our time for weekends on end as we meticulously plan and build our sprawling fantasy empires.

Fights in Tight Spaces

10 new indie games in 2021 fights in tight spaces

Estimated Release Date: Early 2021

Fights in Tight Spaces takes the fighting genre and the deckbuilding genre, and smashes them together, gleefully waiting to see what pops out. The result is a unique-looking action game that is played in a turn-based style with a deck of cards determining your moves. Based on the screenshots and videos of the game, it looks like a lot of fun with some nostalgic throwbacks to Superhot when it came out. If you found Slay the Spire lacking in action, Fights in Tight Spaces may be for you!

Coral Island

Estimated Release Date: Sometime in 2021

With the recent Stardew Valley patch at the end of 2020, players have flocked back to the farming and life sim to spend hours upon hours in its charming world. Coral Island is certainly inspired by Stardew Valley and looks to offer the same charming and relaxing gameplay. The graphical style is completely different, but the elements that made Stardew Valley such a hit seem to be there. You are part of a community and by the looks of it you can choose from 16 people to start a romance. Other than chasing after your romantic option, you also farm and, as is clear from the name, you dive to save the coral around your village. We think Coral Island can offer a nice relaxing experience to calm us down in these troubling times.

Disjunction

Estimated Release Date: 28 January 2021

There is no doubt that Cyberpunk 2077 ushered in a new age for games in the cyberpunk genre. We predict that 2021 and 2022 will see a healthy amount of games releasing in this genre. Disjunction looks like an exciting title in this regard and offers players a stealth-action RPG experience in a cyberpunk world. It has everything you would expect from a cyberpunk world such as augmentations and a dystopian corporate world. It also promises a reactive world. If Ape Tribe Games can pull it off, it should be a blast to play.

Dice Legacy

Estimated Release Date: Sometime in 2021

When we checked out games to put on this list of 10 new indie games for 2021, we regularly came back to Dice Legacy. The game is marketed as a “dice-based survival city builder” and it is set in a mysterious ring world. Dice Legacy looks extremely interesting and blends a variety of genres and mechanics to offer something fresh. The graphics are gorgeous and city-builders are always fun to play. The dice are your primary tools to progress in the game. You have to feed them, give them beer, and protect them from the elements. In turn, you can use them to build, work, and fight.

Starmancer

Estimated Release Date: Maybe 2021

We were drawn in by the unique visuals on display in Starmancer, and we were pleasantly surprised to see more than just nice graphics on offer in the rest of the game. Starmancer is a colony simulation game, where you play as a powerful A.I. managing a space colony where humans are nourished and even made. Your colony forms part of a procedurally generated universe and you will have to survive here amid many other groups. Your colonists have memories, they spread rumors, and they have relationships with each other. Starmancer looks fantastic and may offer us a deep simulation experience.

Rustler

Estimated Release Date: 18 February 2021

Rustler is a medieval interpretation of the GTA series. Here you wreak havoc on your horse and fight your battles with a sword and shield. Rustler is inspired by the older GTA games and offers a top-down view similar to that found in GTA 2. We had a tough time deciding whether to include Rustler on this list of 10 new indie games in 2021, as we were not impressed with the demo we played last year. But as we said at the start of this list, we tried to include games that sell us an idea that helps us imagine hundreds of hours of exceptional gaming. If Rustler manages to be fun when it releases, it has the potential to be a great indie title.

Nine Noir Lives

new indie games in 2021 nine noir lives

Estimated Release Date: First Half 2021

The final game on our list for 10 new indie games in 2021 is what the developers call a “point-and-lick”. In Nine Noir Lives you play as a feline private investigator and explore a city riddled with crime from the perspective of a cat. The developers also state that the game is inspired by “every cat ever”, meaning you can expect a lot of the behavior of your kitten in the world of Nine Noir Lives. Chicken Police did an excellent job of delivering a point-and-click noir game. We hope Nine Noir Lives can do the same.

That is it for our list of 10 new indie games in 2021. There are of course hundreds of other worthy games, and even games we are not aware of. This list is not meant to be definitive, but rather to introduce you to games you might have missed otherwise. Happy gaming in 2021!