For some time now, indie games have become synonymous with shooter games and other action-adventure games that involve a lot of blood, guts, and gore. While they’re great in their own right, they may not be to the liking of gamers who prefer games that are slower, more emotionally-charged and well, non-violent.
If you’re such a gamer, then you’ll be happy to know that there are plenty of indie games that don’t follow the violence route. Here are our picks for the most stand-out, non-violent indie games on the market:
Have you ever been assailed by self-doubt? Maybe your worst fears surfaced when you least expected them to.
That’s exactly what the character on Celeste goes through. You play Madeline, a young girl who’s the only dream is to summit the Celeste Mountain. But as she climbs, her doubts, fears, and uncertainties creep-up, vying to stop her in her tracks. Your job is to help Madeline overcome these doubts and anxieties and help her reach the top.
Developed by independent developers Matt Thorson and Noel Berry, Celeste is a beautifully hand-crafted game that offers stunning visuals, a moving soundtrack, and a compelling storyline.
Video Source: Youtube
If you had to find a likeness for Sir David Attenborough’s Blue Planet in a video game, it would have to be Abzu. This beautiful and relaxing indie game is one of the most visually stunning games on the market.
The game is super-simple. Dive into crystal clear waters and explore the deep ocean. You’ll swim next to the most colorful fishes and maybe even ride on the back of a blue whale. You’ll explore underwater caves and discover hidden places beneath the sea.
This game by Giant Squid Studios is an aesthetic marvel in its own right. Its so captivating, you won’t want to stop playing it. It’s the perfect gift for kids who love biology.
If you love flying games, then you’ll definitely enjoy this little treat. Superflight by Grizzly Games Co is a simple game that involves you flying a winged character. The game comes with numerous, expansive maps and your job is to get as many points as you can while navigating the colorful and rocky environment.
The controls aren’t complicated either. Just use the arrow keys on your keyboard to fly and mix-and-match movements to engage in aerial acrobatics. The more complicated the maneuver, the more points you get.
There aren’t any winged battles or epic quests in this game. It’s a straightforward flying game that offers a relaxing experience.
A beautifully created silent game, Journey follows an anonymous protagonist as she walks through a deserted desert. The rich backdrop and the soulful background music add to the ethereal effect of the game.
Gamers have just one objective. Explore the vast and expansive desert, while interacting with every animal, plant, and insect that they meet. Soon, you discover a mountain that you wish to climb. Now your goal is to summit this mountain and explore the wondrous mysteries that it hides. Along the way, you’ll solve puzzles, escape strange monsters, and meet fellow travelers who are on their own personal journeys.
The journey is one of the visually-richest games on this list. Its very lack of a concrete purpose makes it such an enthralling game.
Think of a game based in an apocalyptic world, and you’ll automatically assume it to be replete with shooting, knifing, bombing and more. Well, you wouldn’t be wrong, most of them are like that. But not Wandersong.
Created by indie developer Greg Lobanov, Wandersong faces the end of the world with songs, ballads, and poetry. You play The Bard, whose mission it is to save the world. Your task is to write and sing the Earth Song, which is the world’s only protection from the songs of destruction sung by the Goddess Eya.
As The Bard, you encounter numerous challenges, always armed with a smile and a song. Sounds fun, doesn’t it?
Video Source: Youtube
Firewatch by Campo Santo is a beautiful mystery adventure game set in the desolate forests of Wyoming. You play the protagonist Henry, who’s left civilization behind to lead a survivalist life. Your only contact to the mainstream world – your supervisor Delilah – who you talk to on a handheld radio.
To play the game, you must explore the expansive wilderness, while at the same time, having heart-to-heart conversations with Delilah. Say the wrong thing, and your only link to humanity will snap forever. On her part, Delilah tries to make you laugh, contemplate, and debate.
As Henry, every sentence you type impacts what situations you’ll experience in the game. Yes, there are some minor jump scares to keep things interesting, but the game is mostly based on exploration and wordplay.
FEZ, a 2D fantasy game by Disasterpeace, is an exciting puzzle game that involves an alien (Gomez) collecting cubes to save the universe. With a theme that slightly resembles the Super Mario franchise, gamers will find comfort in the game’s pixelated graphics, funky music, and a fun storyline.
In the game, players help Gomez solve numerous puzzles-within-puzzles. You jump across ledges, activate passageways, solve riddles and collect cubes, in an effort to fix the torn fabric of space.
While there are one or two instances where Gomez needs to activate a bomb to create a passageway, that’s the extent of violence you’ll see in the game. For the most part, this a fun and colorful game that everyone can enjoy.
8. Beyond Eyes
Seldom do you find a game that gives voice to the specially-abled But Beyond Eyes by Team 17 does just that.
The game follows 7-year old Rae – a visually impaired orphan – who has no friends. But one day, a cat enters her garden and befriends her. The cat – named Nani – visits her every day. But one day, Nani disappears and Rae decides to find her. Leaving her garden for the first time in her life and mentally recreating a world that she’s only known through touch and sound, Rae begins her arduous journey to bring back her beloved cat.
The game is rich with the most delicate, pastel-hued graphics and a haunting score. Gamers help Rae solve various challenges (which you can’t see until you come upon them). Just like Rae, gamers need to figure out how to solve hurdles without the power of sight – a task that proves to be both challenging and rewarding.
A game that can be enjoyed by anyone 6 & up, Plaything by Niall Tessier-Lavigne and Will Anderson is one of the most fun and colorful video games on the market.
Gamers start by creating creatures using a variety of rainbow-colored geometric shapes. Once the creatures are complete, they come to life. Each creature has its own distinct personality. The objective of the game is simple. Care for your creature, play with it the way it likes, feed it, and nurture it till it grows. The game is designed to stimulate a parent-child relationship. The only way to successfully complete the game, is to develop a relationship of trust and love with the creature you create.
The hand-drawn animation is extremely adorable and the gameplay is so effortless. If there’s a game that could make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, its this one.
10. Floating Point
If you could describe Floating Point in one word, it would have to be ‘confusing’. But once you get a hang of the game, it becomes ‘relaxing’.
Created by developer Tom Francis (of the Gunpoint fame), Floating Point is a free-floating grappling hooks game that makes for a strange and almost-whimsical experience. But the gameplay by itself is hardly whimsical. You’ll need to understand the fundamental tenets of physics, to play the game. Here, gamers need to direct the grappling hooks from one block to another, as they make their way through an endless loop. Succeed in getting the hoop on-target and you get points; fail and well, your points stay as they are. But this is where the challenge lies. It takes a delicate and a precise hand to get the hooks to the blocks. Too fast or too slow and you’ll definitely fail.
There’s no real story or background to this game. But, if you’re in the mood for something that doesn’t take a lot of effort (.i.e. only after you master the controls), then this game is definitely for you.
A supremely peaceful and cheerful game by Twisted Tree, Proteus is a first-person, solo, exploration game. Your only job is to explore the unnamed island which you inhabit.
This game is the perfect relaxation game. With its vibrant graphics and uplifting music, you’ll feel energized after just a few minutes of playing the game. Gamers can walk across the island, climb mountains, swim in the sea and explore the surroundings. You can pick-up things, pet animals, pluck flowers and enjoy nature’s bounty.
Depending on where you go and what time of the day/night it is, the background score changes, creating an ethereal atmosphere in the game.
If you don’t mind the lack of a storyline and the absence of a goal, give Proteus a try.
Video Source: Youtube
Who doesn’t remember their very first love? That heady rush of feelings, the constant fluttering in our stomachs, the desire to spend all day with our beloved and the ache that follows separation…Well, Florence by developer Ken Wong is reminiscent of that first love.
We join young Florence, as she embarks on her first, epic romance with a cellist named Krish. They go on dates, have conversations, take classes and move-in together; until one day the inevitable happens and they break-up.
Florence is an interactive game that allows gamers to really immerse themselves in the budding romance. You help set-up dates, patch-up fights between the couple and when the time comes, help Florence pick up the pieces of her broken heart.
Extremely touching and bound to leave you teary-eyed, Florence is easily one of the best romance games today.