The indie industry has grown exponentially since the start of the decade. Every year there have been more indie titles than the last. From platformers to abstract walking sims, the genre has given us so many new ways to play and think about games in general. 

There are so many indie games that have been announced to release in 2020, that I decided to compile a list of the big-shots to look out for. These guys will end up being the role models for the next generation of developers who come after them. Here are the most anticipated indie games of 2020.

10. Backbone 

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Howard Lotor is a detective in a darker noir-version of Vancouver. The world is populated by anthropomorphic animals, setting the scene for discrimination and injustice. Howard may have just stumbled upon a case that’s far different than the rest. It’s a point and click narrative game with an emphasis on stealth and computer role-playing game (CRPG) mechanics. If you like Disco Elysium, this might be right up your alley.

Backbone is coming to PC in 2020 with no concrete date yet, but you can check out the playable prologue now on Steam.

9. Twelve Minutes

A man is stuck in a time loop and must try anything to stop it. His wife has been accused of murder, a policeman barges in and assaults the both of them. Find out how to end the cycle. Revealed back at E3 2019, this looked like a very promising interactive story game. Anyone who liked the premise of Outer Wilds will be psyched for this one.

Twelve Minutes is coming to Xbox One and PC sometime soon.

8. Journey to the Savage Planet

After being dumped on a random alien planet, your job is to check out whether it’s safe for humans to colonize on it. Survive, explore, and chart your findings. This title borders a little on the edge of the word “indie” a bit, but I thought it deserved to be on this list anyway. Made by a team of former Electronic Arts and Ubisoft employees, captained by the director of Far Cry 4, this is sure to be a phenomenal game.

Journey to the Savage Planet will be coming on January 28 to Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.

7. Axiom Verge 2

The followup to Axiom Verge is finally coming! There is little to go on plot-wise. It is, however, a completely different scene and a new story. If you’re a fan of the Metroidvania genre even in the slightest, this is worth checking out. 

Axiom Verge 2 just got announced at Indie World 2019 and will release in the fall of 2020 on Switch.

6. Sable

Sable is a narrative adventure about an alien planet and a girl’s journey to understand herself. Explore a vast desert and help the people who inhabit it. It has an absolutely gorgeous cel-shaded art style and looks to be one of the best upcoming indie games of 2020. 

Sable will release sometime in 2020 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.

5. Haven 

From the creators of Furi, Haven is one part role-playing game (RPG) and the other part adventure. The plot looks to focus on the relationship of a couple who came to a new planet to be together. I am a little skeptical about this one, but Furi is one of the sweetest indie titles out there, so I’m sure this should hold up. 

Get ready to feel more single than ever; Haven comes to Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Switch, and PC in 2020.

4. Ori and the Will of the Wisps

Ori and the Will of the Wisps is the sequel to the highly acclaimed Ori and the Blind Forest. Now begins Ori’s journey to discover the world outside the forest and find what he was meant to do. Another game that isn’t technically indie anymore, now being published by Xbox Game Studios. I’m glad to see such an incredible platformer get the budget it deserves in its sequel. Ori and the Blind Forest is regarded as one of the best modern indie platformers of all time, and the sequel is shaping up to take the same status. 

Ori and the Will of the Wisps will release on February 11 to Xbox One and PC.

3. The Last Campfire

Coming from Hello Games, the developers of No Man’s Sky, The Last Campfire is going to be a much smaller-scale compact adventure. A lost ember searches for their way home beyond the dark forest. Through the journey, they hope to find meaning for themselves. Hello, Games got a lot of heat when No Man’s Sky first released, so they worked hard to make it into an incredible game, which they achieved. They are clearly the type who love their games and put an enormous amount of work into them. It’s exciting to see them take such a turn and try something new.

The Last Campfire has little information on release date and platforms, it’s been in development for some time, and everything is pointing toward a 2020 release.

2. Eastward

The world’s population has shrunk significantly. A miner, John, finds a young girl, Sam, in a secret facility, and he rescues her from it. Outside, monsters have been attacking the towns around Eastward, and it’s up to John and Sam to find out why and learn Sam’s past along the way. Eastward seems like a beautiful mix between Cave Story and Stardew Valley. An RPG indie adventure published by Chucklefish.

Eastward will be coming to Switch and PC in early 2020.

1. Hollow Knight: Silksong

The long-awaited sequel to Hollow Knight will feature Hornet as the protagonist this time. Hornet has been captured and taken to a silk-covered kingdom. She escapes captivity and must divulge the mysteries that surround her. I didn’t mean for these ten games to have much of a chronological rank, but this is number one for a reason. Hollow Knight is acclaimed as one of the greatest indie games of all time, moreover, one of the best games of all time in general. Hornet being the fan-favorite she is and expanding on the universe, Silksong has the potential to beat out its predecessor.

Hollow Knight: Silksong is predicted to release around mid-2020 with platforms still to be announced, but Switch and PC for sure.

Honorable Mention. Coffee Talk

This one is lesser-known than the rest and more of a little hidden gem. Coffee Talk is a barista simulator where you work at a cafe in a fantasy-version of Seattle. Listen to your customers’ woes and serve them up a warm cup-o’-joe with specific ingredients. A good title to showcase the creativity of indie games at the start of the new decade. As someone who spent a year as a literal Seattle barista, I’m ready to mess up a beanie-wearing, spectacled bearded man’s; cold brew order again.

Coffee Talk releases in January 2020 on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Switch, and PC.

These are the most anticipated indie games of 2020! Though it’s much too soon to know what the year holds for us in terms of new releases. There were so many I couldn’t mention in such a small list. Anyways, I’m just glad gaming has gotten so popular that it made a list like this difficult. I believe we’ve got some ripe competition to kick off the new decade of games!

If you want more indie games, check out what got announced at Indie World Showcase.  Or if you’re looking for new games in general, see the most anticipated video games of 2020. Be sure to let us know what indie games your excited for down in the comments! There are not too many actual dates announced for 2020 this early on yet, so check back at Culture of Gaming for when any news does pop up!

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