The chill is slowly draining our energy as we prepare to transition into a new season. However, for now it’s just nature giving us a reason to stay inside where it’s warm and cozy. With such a predicament, there’s no harm in doing some reading, watching that series you’ve been meaning to, and playing through the ever-growing list of games in your library. To help make your choice of where to start, there are some great upcoming indie games to watch for and rejuvenate the gaming desire within us all. There are some artsy-looking entries with calm tones, others full of action, and somewhere you have to sit back and make something unusual.
Upcoming Indie Games in February 2023
Color is arguably the life of every conceivable party, especially when you’re trying to make a lively video game. That’s what Orion Games are trying to do with Arto. This game is about art, specifically about using art to heal a dull and fading world. You play as a hero who is able to wield the power of color and creation to restorative and powerful effects. Unfortunately, you’ve got a whole mass of color-stealing entities trying to sink the world into darkness. Travel to all the different biomes, explore every nook, splash color everywhere you can, and push the darkness into the light that you painted yourself.
Arto will release in February for PC and Switch.
The Last Starship
Space… the supposed final frontier. However, we’ve been to it so much in our fantasies and media, that I feel we may be hyping up beyond our expectations. The good thing is that it’s still very fun to play space-based indie games, and there’s another coming fresh from Introversion Software called The Last Starship. As you can probably tell, you’re placed in charge of designing and maintaining the last starship. Watching over a group of people adrift through space, your designs and management will determine how well they do and how far they get. Also, don’t forget the guns, because there are still plenty of other starships gunning for you.
The Last Starship will release in February for PC.
Friendship is one of the greatest things that a person can experience. Whether it’s with a group of folks or just one special person, the bonds between true friends can never be broken. You can feel this strength in Bokura by ところにょり. This 2D pixel story follows the adventure of two boys who share the same goal: To run far away. Being children, there’s only so much they can do but it’s up to you to guide them on their journey. Lead them through the natural wilderness while solving puzzles and growing as people. Who knows where their story will end? It’s up to you to find out and see.
Bokura will release on February 13 for PC.
There’s a lot of support for unlikely allies weathering a difficult sea because they’re in the same boat. Even though there aren’t any boats or seas (probably) in it, Blanc by Casus Ludi still has you controlling two beings brought together by circumstance. The two in question are a wolf cub and a fawn that has become lost in the woods. Though they’re expected to be enemies, now all they have is each in this monochromatic artistic environment. By using their complementary skills, they need to overcome challenges ahead so that they can survive and succeed. Their families are out there somewhere, and you need to help them reunite.
Blanc will release on February 14 for PC and Switch.
Metroidvania is built around the idea of tracing your steps and marking important areas that you’ll have to return to later. This is because you won’t have all the tools at the start, so make sure you note weird-looking blockages. Of course, this is just one of the obstacles you’ll encounter in Elderand by Mantra and Sinergia Games. By throwing you into a brutal 2D pixel-art world, it’s kill or be killed. You may think that you’re at a disadvantage due to all the demons, but you’re tough. You’ve got all sorts of armor, weapons, and powers to draw upon, but it all comes down to your skill. Assess situations as they come up, analyze your foes, and fight smart, and you’ll improve your chances of getting to the next big, bad boss fight.
Elderand will release on February 16 for PC, Switch, PlayStation, and Xbox.
The miracles of life are truly something spectacular, but it has both shining and haunting moments. There’s a calming but slightly unnerving take on this attempted by Madison Karth in Birth. In a world where it’s totally normal to wear large skulls or to not have skin, you are trying to make something. To be blunt, you’re trying to make a creature in your house. This means you need bits and pieces to put it together, but you won’t find them lying around your house… probably. So, head out into town to meet the neighbors and townfolk to see how you can help them to help you. Take your time, solve puzzles, and enjoy the chill vibes of creating life with your own hands.
Birth will release on February 17 for PC.
Robots are coming, in fact, they’re already here. Who knows how things are going to play out? While there are plenty of stories about it, a lot of those can be found in indie games such as Metal Mutation by T0 Studio. The story here is that humanity is being killed off by a wave of viruses. Being unable to fight them without getting sick, the humans need to turn to the robots for help. Thankfully, a duo of a cyborg and AI have taken it upon themselves to help. You’ll get to use their powers and weapons in the isometric action RPG where you’ll be cutting through the robots who don’t feel humans should be healthy. Make a compelling argument by shoving your cyborg fist into their faces.
Metal Mutation will release on February 23 for PC.
Dungeons of Aether
Will dungeons ever not be an exciting place to explore, or the very least enticing? From the minds of Dan Fornace and Ampersandbear, journey into the depths of the Dungeons Of Aether. Here, the deal is all about the natural elements, notably the classics such as fire, wind, water, and earth. Take control of a group of animal warriors drawing on their elemental powers in order to brave the dungeon together. With some rogue mechanics mixed in, the dungeon will keep changing whenever decide to return. You’ll need a combination of stats, skill, and luck if you hope to reach the end, and even more to do so with everyone in good condition.
Dungeons of Aether will release on February 28 for PC.
Will Quick is a freelance media wizard living in Spain. When he's not gaming or writing, he's doodling comics or whatever else pops in his head.