Disclaimer: These are the indie games that have come out already and we’ve had the opportunity to play. It’s an evolving list!

Alekon: In some alternate universe that we didn’t get New Pokemon Snap in 2021, Alekon would’ve been the most sought-after Snap-alike on the market. That doesn’t mean that Alekon isn’t worth paying attention to. As you move your way through Alekon’s lush landscapes, taking inspired photos of beautiful, unique creatures, you can unlock mini-games to playback at the game’s hub. Each creature has a fun personality to uncover, much like in New Pokemon Snap. And at $19.99, it’s a joyful (and affordable) alternative to Nintendo’s New Pokemon Snap.

An Airport For Aliens Currently Run by Dogs: If you’ve ever thought to yourself, “Self, I wish I were playing one of the weirdest and most delightful indie games out there, but also please make sure there are dogs,” then you’re in luck. An Airport for Aliens Currently Run by Dogs is a witty, strange, and hilarious indie game that has you flying all around the (un)known universe as the last human. Well, and your wife. This game is beyond categorization and classification, but if you loved the quirky beauty of Hypnospace Outlaw, you’ll love this.

Beasts of Maravilla Island: Two Snap-alikes in one year? Clearly, we’ve all been thinking about how much we wanted a new Pokemon Snap game and between Alekon and Beasts of Maravilla, we’re all set! You follow a young wildlife photographer as she traverses Maravilla Island, taking photos of the magical wildlife and learn all about their personalities. In this year of 2021, with everything being what it is, the pursuit of restoring magic to the world is an incredibly tantalizing prospect, which is exactly what you’re set to do on Maravilla. It’s a delight.

Chicory: A Colorful Tale: The world has lost all of its colour and Chicory, the master of a magical paintbrush, has gone missing. It’s up to you, an anthropomorphic dog, to pick up your employer’s (no, really) mantle and try to fight back the darkness. You’ll meet friends to help, puzzles to solve with your colourful skills, and enemies to defeat along the way. Can you save the world from the darkness? Can you make cool clothes? You’ll figure it out and have a blast doing so.

Cozy Grove: Animal Crossing: New Horizons kind of fell apart with content updates during the pandemic, which means that those of us who love those kinds of farming and social simulation games have been kind of left in a lurch. Cozy Grove is all about that slow, slow burn. Also, it’s a little spooky. You play a Spirit Scout, stranded on a haunted island that can’t seem to make up its mind about what it is. As a Spirit Scout, you help the resident spooks and find hidden secrets along the way. Best part of Cozy Grove? It’s designed to be played in 30-60 minute chunks. Bliss.

Embr: Saving people and putting out fires – that’s what we’re doing at Embr Corp! You can dial up Embr and, much like how Door Dash sends out delivery folks to pick up your food, a team of (un)qualified firefighters will come and save the day. They definitely won’t screw up, let the house burn down, neglect to save everyone, or steal a bunch of cash. That would never happen. But if it did happen, it wouldn’t be Embr’s fault. Embr did its due diligence and you’re on your own, bud. Good luck.

Knockout City: Don’t let the game’s title fool you – Knockout City is a dodgeball game. No, it’s a three-versus-three dodgeBRAWL game. There are special dodgeballs, fun cosmetics (yes, there are microtransactions), and whole teams of people for you and your family to knock into a whole other dimension. You can throw dodgeballs, become a dodgeball and be thrown by your team (or your opponents, so be careful there), and hang-glide from spot to spot, dodging and catching and bopping along the way. Knockout City is surefire way to get your family to bond over smacking down the competition, but make it cute and wholesome.

Lost Words: When we’re young, the whole world is magic. The possibilities are endless. It’s doubly so when you’re a burgeoning writer, diving into your talents and discovering your voice. Lost Words is an exploration of youthful creativity and coming to terms with immense loss. It’s a gorgeous side-scrolling platformer that relies on using words to help propel your intrepid heroine towards her goal. We get to help Izzy, the game’s protagonist, as she moves through her grief using her creativity to process how she feels. It’s a beautiful, heart-wrenching experience.

Overcooked: All You Can Eat: Overcooked is an absolutely frenetic, bonkers-town multiplayer game that puts you and your family (and friends) in a kitchen to serve hungry, sometimes impatient customers, on your way to save the world. Learn how to cook dishes, move as a single unit (or not), clean dishes, and traverse bizarre kitchen layouts in this grand collection of every Overcooked game and its DLC. (No yolk! It’s real!) Be ready for shouts, jabs, and laughter as you win (and fail) together.

Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion: I’m a blueberry!

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

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