The 10 Most Promising Indie Games In Their Alpha Stage

Since the advent of Minecraft’s uprising, indie game developers have caught on to the very thing that initially generated the interest in Mojang’s sandbox-crafter: having an open alpha stage. Before a few years ago, developing a game was very much a secret thing, there may be the odd PR quip to tease an interest but that was about as far as things stretched to. Now, however, many indie game developers are very open and honest about the development of their games. Some choose crowdfunding to gain an interest and some funds, others simply provide regular development updates via video. Alphafunding has also become a good way to earn fund, interest and by letting people play the game, you also gain a whole load of testers who give you thorough feedback and suggestions.


Consequently, many of those who enjoy the indie gaming scene like to find games that they can play and invest in. This is where we come in with this very list and tell you, the player, what the hottest games in alpha stage are right now. You want to help shape a game with your feedback or track the development progress of a great game; scroll down and have a look at our pickings. This top 10 is in no particular order.



People seem to enjoy moaning about games that combine lots of good elements together. If only they would spend that time actually playing the game, only then would we start to make some progress. 3079 is, without remorse, a game that is literally made up of components taken from games like Minecraft and Fallout. Is this a bad thing? Some people like to think so. What if the meshing of these components actually created an experience that felt fresh and, more importantly, genuinely fun? We have a procedurally generated open world to explore infinitely, the fun of shooting things from the first-person perspective and plenty of that addictive RPG experience chasing. What’s not to love? The graphics you say? That’s all getting vastly improved in the coming updates, remember – this is an early alpha build, this is impressive from the get-go. No argument.



While we are all getting just a little bit excited about X-Com’s big return, it seems like a good time to bring up Xenonauts – a “planetary defence simulator” in very much the same vein. It takes basically all the aspects of the classic strategy game, updates and fine tunes them into something the developers like to refer to as a “re-imagining”. All you really need to know is, there is an extraterrestrial invasion and you need to organise defences in the sky and on the ground. Scientists need to research new technologies and innocent lives need to be saved. Now get out there soldier!



We have recently become an era of gamers obsessed with building, crafting, making, gathering; you know the drill, so it’s no surprise that Towns is a game on this list. What’s so different about this sandbox-crafter from the many other in the same boat though? Well, for a start it’s not obsessed with pixel art…just saying. More importantly, it draws inspiration from a different gene pool and the execution is noticeably unique. The developers tell us there are a ton of features on the way which are going to make this game even more of a cross between Diablo, Dungeon Keeper and Dwarf Fortress and that is no bad thing.



Where to start with Kenshi? Dynamic open world, squad-based RPG, with RTS elements blended in. Kenshi is also a very unforgiving game, this is closer to a realistic survival experience than an RPG with some fair rules. You can travel alone or with a group of 50 people too…mind blown? Consider it a seamless blend of RPG and RTS and the room stops spinning, if only a little bit. Scanning over the game’s feature list in an attempt to summarise its best parts is an impossible task – so here’s some words in a jumbled order: seamless, dynamic, survival, tough, factions, micromanagement, business, possibilities, realistic. That will do us. Just go buy the game already.



Awww, what a cute little bunny…THWACK! You won’t want to mess with these bunnies, less so the rest of this bizarre anthropomorphic cast of creatures. Overgrowth is well-known in the indie game scene as it’s the baby of Wolfire Games, who also delve in spreading the indie spirit with their Humble Bundles from time-to-time. The sequel to Lugaru, Overgrowth is built in a brand new engine so that it is the finest ninja-rabbit game you will ever play…also the toughest. Updates come thick and fast with Overgrowth so if you purchase the game in alpha, and you should, then you will be delighted with new features almost every week. Overgrowth is probably one of the most highly-anticipated indie games ever, depending on who you ask, due to its smooth acrobatic action and capacity to stun.


Project Zomboid

Uhhhh. It’s funny that when you mention “another zombie game” people imitate the undead buggers as if avid fans unable to respond without mimicry. Maybe they were fans once, sometime in the past when zombies were not one of the most over-saturated gimmicks in gaming. If that is the case, then they just need something fresh, something to surprise them and this is where Project Zomboid bursts through the door and chomps on their necks. Being designed around The Zombie Survival Guide, Project Zomboid is as close as you’re going to get to an actual zombie apocalyspe without actually being in one. The game’s initial build has won the hearts of many but unfortunate setbacks have put a hold on the excitement. Things are back on track now though and the future updates are looking very promising, so it’s definitely the right time to grab your weapon, smother your wife and kick some zombie ass!


King Arthur’s Gold

There is no way of describing King Arthur’s Gold that will sum up the hilarity, the epicness and sheer wonder of the experience. You can only “feel” it during direct interaction with the pals and numbskulls that inhabit its servers. The great thing is that you can actually play it right now for free! There is a full, paid-for version too which means you get a HUGE discount on all the upcoming features – zombies, bisons, more game modes, siege weapons and plenty more as of yet unveiled components. The staff at IGM absolutely love King Arthur’s Gold and highly recommend it to just about everyone.



Action platformers don’t get any more infused with kinetic energy than Cobalt. The constantly tumbling and always gun-blasting cyborg you play as in Cobalt is a charming little character, much like the entirety of the game. With a multitude of gadgets including whirring jet boots, jet bikes and sloth hands (for climbing of course); Cobalt is a terribly enthralling title, even in a spent-out genre. Strap on a level editor which allows for LittleBig Planet-style creation of game modes and levels and you can see the potential boiling up via the game’s devoted community.



Hold my coattails because I am boarding this fine ship and demand you all to follow! Drifter is an open galaxy space trading game and as you can see below it is very impressive to merely look at. As far as iOS titles go, this one that blows my head off every time I see more footage – there may be a PC version down the line too! Inspired by the likes of Frontier and Privateer, think of Drifter as their procedurally generated cousin, boasting around a 100,000 lightyears worth of space to explore. Yes, that is very large.



Ah, Herzog Zwei, that takes me back…of course, AirMech is not the classic RTS Genesis title but a fine looking update on its core principals. For those fascinated with mechs then you are definitely in luck here as you play a, wait for it…transforming jet mech. Tactics and combat come as a mixture of Defense of the Ancients and your typical twin-stick shooter; so that’s appeasing a whole range of people, with head-scratching RTS and twitchy shooter mechanics. Of course, AirMech is all about the multiplayer battles and there is a fine range of options to delve into this primary mode.

Valuing gameplay and innovation over everything, Chris has a keen eye for the most obscure titles unknown to man and gets a buzz from finding fantastic games that are not getting enough love. Chris Priestman, Editor-in-Chief of IGM

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