Top Indie Games That Have Changed The Industry

The gaming world seems like a clash of titans between big-budget studios. Highly publicized gaming acquisitions have made headlines repeatedly, with mergers involving giants like Microsoft and Tencent reaching tens of billions of dollars. When pitted against such gigantic foes, independent developers might look quite powerless.

However, the financial constraints they operate under are often a blessing in disguise, allowing for authenticity and creativity sometimes found lacking in their risk-averse triple-A competitors.

Meanwhile, the expansion of crowdfunding sites like and publicly available engines has done wonders in democratizing game development, enabling even self-made devs to change the game. So, let’s look at three indie darlings that have left an enduring mark on the industry.


Morally grey video games are not hard to come by these days. Yet, Undertale dared take risks that no big studio would have – and it did so in 2015. Single-handedly created by American developer Toby Fox, this RPG meets puzzler meets adventure game defies any categorization. This indie gem challenges traditional gaming norms by offering players to avoid violence and befriend their foes. Friendliness is only one of many options, as gamers can also opt for a much less pacifist approach and go down a genocide route.

Every decision weighs heavily on the outcome of this underground odyssey, culminating into a journey filled with unexpected twists and turns – one journey players can keep coming to as the game’s short length allows multiple playthroughs to enjoy its branching paths. Backed by a remarkable musical score and charmingly nostalgic pixel art, this indie success story surprised everyone, down to its creator. No sooner had it amassed a cult following, defining the gaming tastes of an entire generation.


Cult of the Lamb, Lies of P, and Vampire Survivors are just some recent titles that play out their roguelike elements to a tee. The list goes on and on, courtesy of one smashing hit released in 2018. Hades wasn’t the first rogue-lite game ever, but this indie action RPG arguably rekindled the interest in that ruthless genre. Supergiant Games’ take on Greek mythology bagged dozens of accolades, including a much-coveted Best Indie Game at the

Casting players in the role of Zagreus, son of Hades, this indie hit kicks off to a notoriously rough start. Every time the prince of the underworld dies in his attempt to escape Tartarus, his quest starts from scratch. While the difficulty curve gets more manageable over time, an aptly named Hell mode makes each run impossibly challenging – and exhilarating. Due to this innate replayability, a vibrant speedrunning community quickly emerged to push the game’s limits in maximum difficulty. Dropping sometime this year, a highly-anticipated sequel has diehard fans reeling with excitement.

Stardew Valley

When independent gaming creator Eric Barone – aka ConcernedApe – released his farming simulation in 2016, little did he know that Stardew Valley would sell over 30 million units worldwide. This spiritual successor to the Spirit of Seasons franchise has arguably surpassed the master, spawning an endless string of copycats and Stardew Valley-like cozy titles. Not content with crafting one of the most wholesome games in history, ConcernedApe keeps spoiling fans with free expansions and updates. Stardew Valley is possibly one of the most universally loved indie games ever made – and one of the most replete with content.

This farming sim allows players to live their dream country life, harvesting crops, petting animals, and foraging in the valley. Once done tending to their farmstead, gamers can go out on exotic fishing trips or even unwind at the casino after completing a series of quests. The repetitiveness of this gambling mechanic may be one of the game’s only weak points, though. Hence, card sharks may browse sites like to shoot their shots online. Hundreds of up-to-date casino offers are up for the taking. Industry experts break down these promotions to help users make an informed decision. Advanced options like filters and comparison tools also come in handy to find the best deals in one click.

While many indie gems remain niche in their appeal, some indie darlings have effectively reshaped the industry. From Disco Elysium to Hollow Knight and Cuphead, many more games subvert narrative expectations and introduce innovative gameplay mechanics whose influence resonates far and wide. We could also have mentioned games like Minecraft, which started humbly before turning into a powerhouse franchise. What’s for sure is that indie developers are not afraid to rub shoulders with major studios.

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