The eighth generation of video game consoles was the golden time of indie games, the industry was flourishing with some of the greatest ideas and games with simple yet amazing execution. The PlayStation 4 was not short on indie games with a library full of amazing titles, the console was more than enough to deliver the definitive indie experience including 2d and 3d graphics.
Today we are here to dig into the Ps4 library delivering our best indie games on the system including all genres, and of course, we let ourselves slide some hidden gems, as usual, so without further ado, let’s begin!
Undertale is a classic 2d RPG with its own style and some crazy new idea. The game was a surprise for me and surely it was for many. You play as a mysterious human child who falls into a pit leading him to a mysterious world inhabited by monsters, your goal is to search for a way to get back to the human world. This adventure will lead you into meeting different characters and friends, these encounters will force you to make choices that will surely affect the story of the game.
What makes this game so different is that you have the choice to play it completely as you like, you can kill the monsters or spare them, you can even avoid killing main bosses, and as I said every choice you make impacts the ending you will get. Also, the game has very fun and different combat mechanics that vary from monsters to others.
Velocity 2X is an outstanding shoot ’em-up game that combines several genre elements into an awesome mix, you take control of Tana a young cyborg woman who is looking to find a way back to her home planet.
The gameplay consists of two parts, in ship gameplay where the game plays just like a shmup with a few additional elements such as warp through solid objects and more, the second part is one foot where it plays just like a 2d Metroidvania game. The game is very challenging and can test your patience but the flow and speed run feel make every try worth it.
Dead Cells is a Roguelike Metroidvania game, the player controls a mysterious warrior known as The Prisoner, controlling the prisoner the player must venture through the deceased island in order to slay the island king.
The game uses a permadeath system, causing the player to start all over when dying, the player ventures into the world defeating monsters and collecting various equipment and treasures. Weapons include bows, shields, traps, and swords. Mostly the game combat system is melee similar to titles like Dark Souls where every move and swing counts, the game crushing difficulty is a core element of the experience as dying is a crucial element in progressing and getting better.
Kena Bridge Of Spirit is a brilliant action-adventure game offering a ghibli-like world. The story follows Kena, a young spirit guide who guides deceased people’s spirits to traverse from the physical world to the spiritual world.
The game is seen from a third-person perspective, you control Kena as she ventures into a beautiful world, and you can use her staff to beat down enemies with a light and heavy attack. The staff can also be used to solve various puzzles or act as a hook to leap between ledges. At each stage, the player is tasked with collecting small spirit companions known as the Rot, the rots can be used in various ways to help you solve puzzles, open new areas, and reinforce your weapon. Overall, Kena is a beautiful game with a calming atmosphere and outstanding graphics.
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is an ambitious indie action-adventure hack-and-slash game. Set in a dark fantasy world inspired by Norse mythology, the game follows the adventure of Senua a young Pict warrior who embarks on a journey to rescue the soul of her dead lover.
The game is known for its incredible portrayal of mental illness, during the game the player will hear and see Senua hallucinations all the time, these voices can be sometimes helpful as they guide you to the right path, or help you when solving puzzles. The game is seen from a third-person perspective where you walk freely into a dark world, you can use your sword to defeat various terrifying monsters, and use the help of the voices to trigger many puzzles and solve them. Overall, Hellblade is well worth it offering an amazing psychological experience despite the tight budget.
Celeste is a challenging 2d platformer game similar to games like Super Meat Boy. The player takes control of a young girl named Madeline as she climbs a mysterious mountain called Celeste, on this long journey Madeline must face many hardships and fights her inner demons.
The game offers a simple 2d platforming gameplay, the goal in each stage is to move from point A to point B while avoiding deadly obstacles. The game demands precise timing when dashing and climbing which makes the game very challenging. If you like some challenges with a huge emphasis on trial and error this game will keep you busy for a long time.
A Hat In Time is a love letter to classic 3d platformers like Super Mario 64 and Banjoo Kazoi, the game offers a witty story and cartoony-style graphics. The game follows the tale of Hat Girl, a young alien girl who is on a journey through space looking for her home planet, along the course of her galactic travel Hat Girl visits many planets interacting with the inhabitants and solving their problems.
the game is seen from a third-person perspective where the player travels between four open levels on each planet. The player can collect various items, solve puzzles, and gain new abilities, unique to the game is the ability to change hats, collecting various items will grant the player the possibility to knit new hats, each hat has its own ability which can be used to navigate the levels and beat down many enemies. Overall, A Hat In Time is a solid 3d platformer game offering a throwback to the n64 classic platformer games.
What Remains Of Edith Finch is an amazing journey offering heavy storytelling with minimal gameplay elements similar to many Walking Simulators. You play as Edith, a young girl who returns to her family mansion to visit her deceased family members’ rooms which have been turned into shrines after their death, each room uncovers a secret of Edith’s family uncovering some paranormal experiences and dramatic flashbacks.
The game is seen from a first-person perspective, the main goal is exploration while following the voice of Edith across the mansion. The player interacts with the deceased rooms uncovering old memories and little secrets by reading their diaries. While the game is mainly a walking simulator the story makes up for it with amazing voice acting and an engaging fantasy tale.
Brothers A Tale Of Two Sons is a unique co-op puzzle platformer, the game offers a great single-player experience and an even greater co-op experience. The player takes the role of two sons in a mythical fairy tale world, the two sons must embark on a journey to find a cure for their sick father.
The game is presented from a third-person perspective where the player controls the two brothers at the same time, each brother’s movement is assigned to one side on the controller where they lay on each other to complete various puzzles. For example, the little brother can pass through tight entries to unlock doors and such, and the big brother can move heavy objects and swim. Overall, the unique controls and the amazing fairy tale world make this game a must-play on the system for puzzle fans.
Hades is a 2d roguelike dungeon crawler made by a small team of enthusiastic developers. The player takes control of Zagreus the son of Hades as he attempts to leave the underground world, and reach Mount Olympus.
Each stage challenges the player through a random series of rooms populated with enemies and awards, the game is seen from a top-down view where the player hacks and slashes their way through hordes of enemies while collecting many prizes. The game has perma-death but fears not as you can still progress each time you die with permanent upgrades. Overall, the game is very enjoyable offering a great mix between the Roguelike genre and Dungeon Crawlers.
Rime is a unique adventure puzzle game similar to titles like Journey and Abzu. The player assumes the role of a boy, as he gets washed ashore on a mysterious island the boy must explore the area with the help of a bizarre magical fox.
The game is seen from a third-person perspective with cell-shaded graphics and a colorful art style, the boy can run, jump, and push objects along the island, as well as operate levers and mechanics to solve various puzzles. While the puzzles might be a bit on the easy side the beautiful atmosphere and the colorful world make this game worth a play especially if you’re looking for a calming and sort of zen-like game.
Shovel Knight is an 8-bit-like 2d action platformer game that will take you back to the classic NES era. You play as a Shovel Knight who fights his way with a shovel defeating monsters and collecting treasures, the knight’s goal is to find his long-lost companion Shield Knight.
The game consists of several levels, as you make your way through them you get to collect various treasures which can be used later to buy different relics, these objects will help you on your adventure making it a little bit easier. Shovel Knight is a very fun and challenging game bringing the old 8-bit era to life on modern handheld and consoles.
Stray took the world by storm offering a cyberpunk game starring a cat, yes you heard it right a cat! You take control of an orange Cat who has been separated from his cat family now lonely and lost the little cat must find a way to reunite with his fellow Catmates.
The game is seen from a third-person perspective with a huge emphasis on 3d platforming elements, the cat can traverse the city by running around the streets climbing walls and roofs, and invading homes. The cat will eventually find an AI friend who will help him with communicating with the humanoid androids who live in the city, the cat will take on various quests from the androids. Completing these quests will get our fellow Neko closer to reaching his goals and meeting his family.
Hollow Knight is a perfect Metroidvania game with crushing difficulty and amazing hand-drawn style graphics. Hollow Knight put you in the shoes of The Knight, a nameless warrior who freely roam a mysterious fallen kingdom under the name of Hallownest, the Hallownest is full of dangerous monsters and numerous bosses.
The game is presented in a 2d Metroidvania style, the player fights off numerous insect-like monsters roaming the Hallownest using melee-based attacks, further up the player can learn spells that can be used when attacking from a distance. The game is known for its crushing difficulty where players will spend a huge time trying over and over to defeat a boss or pass a certain area. If you enjoy some challenging gameplay and love the Metroidvania genre, then Hollow Knight is a must-play for you as it’s considered a modern-day classic by many hardcore gamers.
Carrion is an exciting 2d platformer where to my surprise you take control of the villainous monster, the player controls a mysterious tentacled monster as he roams a closed facility killing off scientists and soldiers.
The game offers a 2d environment with a 16-bit art style, where the goal of the monster is to reach out for new food and upgrades, you can claw your way up and down ripping your enemies apart while looking for a way forward.
SUPERHOT is a unique indie first-person shooter game offering complex yet fun gameplay elements. Just like any fps game the player takes down several enemies using his weapon while playing from a first-person perspective, but that’s not all of it.
The time in the game flow only when you perform an action such as moving and shooting, offering a weird hybrid between tactical strategies and FPS. The weapons have a very limited ammo capacity and tend to break up easily, which pushes the player to always defeat other enemies to take their weapons. On the whole, the game is well-balanced with a gimmicky yet fun mechanism that will keep you hooked all along.
Salt and Sacrifice is a love letter to souls game fans offering a perfect hybrid between Dark Souls and Metroidvanias. Similar to its predecessor the game offers a huge world to explore where the goal is to fight your way defeating monsters and slaying bosses.
Instead of having one large map, the game world is separated into five separate zones. To progress in the game the player must chase down Mages and devour their hearts revealing new passages to new areas. Each defeated mage will drop unique weapons and armor which can be used by the player, and each weapon has its unique skill and moveset.
Axiom Verge is a 2d Metroidvania game mixed with some crazy and complex story elements. You play as Trace a scientist who awakens in a mysterious world. After getting in a lab explosion, a mysterious voice reaches to him guiding him to this new mysterious alien world filled with mutants.
Your goal is to uncover the truth of this new mysterious world through exploring new locations and challenging various bosses, each of these locations has many powerups to discover, varying from health upgrades to weapon modification and many more.
Stardew Valley is a farm simulation game with some RPGs elements, you get to create your own character and start in Pelican Town, you take over your grandfather’s old forgotten farm as you aim to get the farm back to business just like the old days.
As you start the game, your farm is mainly overrun by boulders and weeds, you need to take your time to clean the land and make it possible to farm. The game has a season system that allows you to grow specific seeds in each season. You have an energy bar that can be decreased after each task is done, these tasks consist of several activities such as using your tools or fishing, further in the game the player can eat food to replenish his energy bar allowing him to take on more tasks during the day. This is definitely worth a try for fans of Harvest Moon or farming games in general.
Inside is a 2.5d puzzle platformer the game is a spiritual successor of Limbo offering more intricate gameplay and unique graphics. The player controls a mysterious unnamed boy exploring a dystopian world full of zombie-like creatures and mysterious guards.
The game is seen from a 2.5d perspective, the boy can run, swim, climb, and move objects to overcome many obstacles. Also, the boy can use the ability to control other people’s bodies to overcome certain puzzles. On the whole, the game is a love letter to Limbo fans offering solid gameplay and complex storytelling.
The Last Campfire is a beautiful indie game, you assume the control of Ember a mysterious cloaked soul, Ember roams a fantasy world helping desperate souls who have been turned into stone to find their way and purpose in life.
You help desperate souls by solving various puzzles that represent their problems in life, for example, you’ll find yourself helping a chef who is obsessed with perfection to the point where he forgets why he fell in love with cooking. The puzzles are fairly diverse, for instance, some puzzles require you to move parts to make a route to cross flooded areas, push pressure plates to reveal hidden paths, and many more. While The Last Campfire might be on the easy side for challenge seekers, the deeply touching story and the amazing environment hold this game high enough to claim a place on this list.