7 Indie Games To Buy In The Black Friday Sales
Grab your pre-Christmas game gift.
The Black Friday sales and Cyber Monday deals are almost here. As more stores and companies move their sales online, it’s never been easier to pick up a cheap game or eight to add to your growing backlog. For indie game lovers, Black Friday and Cyber Monday present the chance to pick up some titles which you may have missed, for a cut-price fee.
Wading through the sheer number of indie games can be difficult, though. There are tons around, and it’s hard to know which ones are worth your time. Luckily for you, our expert guide is here to help. We’ve picked out seven indie games that you have to buy in the Black Friday sales. Make this Cyber Monday one to remember by getting yourself a cool little pre-Holiday gift.
7. Human: Fall Flat
The platformer genre has found a welcoming home in the indie community recently. Yooka-Laylee, Celeste, Braid, and countless others have been well-received among critics and fans alike – and the same can be said for No Brakes Games’ puzzle-platformer Human: Fall Flat.
More of a casual game than its siblings, Human: Fall Flat’s charm lies in its plasticine-inspired playable character called Bob. You’re tasked with getting Bob from one end of a level to another, and there are plenty of ways to do so. You can climb, catapult, jump, run, fall, and smash your way through obstacles using your environment and Bob’s elastic arms, so the only limits placed on its gameplay are those imposed by yourself.
The game’s quirky puzzles are even more fun in co-op mode. Up to eight players tackling levels together and, thanks to Human: Fall Flat’s no death policy, you’ll have just as much fun sabotaging your mates as you will do completing levels. Human: Fall Flat is currently 60% off on the Steam store and, with Black Friday right around the corner, it’s inevitable it’ll remain on sale with a potentially even bigger discount.
If Human: Fall Flat represents the chilled end of the indie game spectrum, Cuphead is one for gamers who enjoy challenging titles and frustration in equal measure. The 1930’s cartoon-inspired adventure will test your nerve and anger management levels, and it doesn’t apologise for how difficult it is.
Taking on the role of Cuphead – and Mugman in co-op – players are tasked with recovering the ‘soul contracts’ of characters who owe debts to the Devil after Cuphead loses his own bet with the game’s chief antagonist. It’s a simple plot, but the gameplay more than makes up for that. It’s a classic run and gun action title, but the severe difficulty level really offers up a challenge and you’ll have to work out each enemy’s pattern of attack to ensure safe passage to the next level.
Cuphead was recently available with a 20% discount to celebrate its two-year anniversary, and can be picked up for a cheaper price as part of a bundle on the Humble Store. Couple that with its release on the Switch earlier this year, and it’s likely you’ll be able to grab it on the cheap next week. Just don’t blame us if you break a Joy-Con or two playing it.
If you like RPGs, hilarious characters and dialogue options, and random battle mechanics – who doesn’t want to use “hug” to fight enemies? – then Undertale is for you.
Toby Fox’s outstanding game puts player choice right at its heart. You can play as a pacifist and spare every foe you encounter, or be a warmonger and rain destruction down on them. You can choose a funny reply, or stir up other characters with a put-down. You can dance with a slime or pet a dog. The options are limitless, and its six-hour average playtime means you can play it multiple times to get different outcomes.
Couple that with mini bullet-hell battle mechanics, a sweet soundtrack, and iconic characters that you’ll be thinking about months after playing, and Undertale should be high on your list of games to play. Expect its price to be reduced too, as it’s enjoyed a 25% discount around the holiday period in the last couple of years.
4. Return of the Obra Dinn
Return of the Obra Dinn might look like something out of the 1980s, but its initial release date was only a year ago. Made by Papers, Please developer Lucas Pope, Obra Dinn puts you in the shoes of an insurance investigator from the East India Company’s London branch. You’re tasked with deducing what happened on board the Obra Dinn merchant ship, which has mysteriously drifted into Falmouth port five years after reportedly being lost at sea.
Armed with a special Memento Mortum stopwatch, you’ll have to work out the identities of the sixty crew members, how they died and, if applicable, who killed them. Think of it as an 1800s version of Sherlock Holmes, and you’ll get the gist.
Its monochromatic colour scheme and art style might seem odd at first, but it soon adds to the experience. Being a sleuth is a joy, and it really tests your knowledge, listening skills, and powers of deduction. Your logbook and stopwatch will help you work out what happened and why, but there’s no hand-holding involved. You must figure each death out alone, and you’ll gain a huge sense of satisfaction once you fit the jigsaw pieces together in the right way.
As it’s initial release date was October 2018, it’s possible that it’ll be part of the Steam Christmas sale this year. Don’t expect discounts on consoles, however, as it was only released on PS4, Xbox One, and Switch two months ago.
3. Stardew Valley
You’ll have heard of Stardew Valley even if you’ve never played it. It’s been out for over three years and, with a potentially decent Black Friday discount, now is a good time to add it to your collection.
Inspired by other farming simulators like Harvest Moon, Stardew Valley whisks you away to Pelican Town to take over the plot of land your grandfather has given you. You’ll have to restore the farm to its former glory but, other than that, Stardew Valley gives you free rein to do whatever you like.
You can customise your character, home, and more to suit your style. You can marry any one of 12 NPCs. You can explore dungeons and encounter monsters and treasures along the way. And, at the end of it all, you can tend to your farm and earn yourself a fortune.
Just like Human: Fall Flat, Stardew Valley is a game for casual players. Its addictive gameplay will always have you coming back for more, though, so you’ll definitely get your money’s worth from it. It’s available on any platform you can think of too so, even if you’re a smartphone gamer, Stardew Valley is one you shouldn’t miss out on.
A game that you can save money on as part of the Humble Monthly bundle, and one that’s been discounted in the past, expect this to be on sale again this year.
2. Untitled Goose Game
The most recent release on this list, but one we simply had to include. Untitled Goose Game became such a hit back in September that it was even covered by The New York Times. Not bad for a game that turns you into a naughty goose and tasks you with hilariously infuriating a village full of English people.
You’re set specific challenges to complete and progress through the game. You have to use all of your cunning and stealth to do so, however, as you can easily be chased off by any one of the townsfolk. You can honk, flap your wings, and steal objects to help you, and watching the village’s residents get spooked and exasperated by your heinous crimes is simple but humorously effective.
It isn’t the longest indie game in terms of playtime, but the fun and laughs you’ll get from it are worth the price. PS4 and Xbox One players can’t try it out as it hasn’t been ported to these consoles yet but, if you’re a Switch, Mac, or PC owner, you can get your goose on and make everyone’s lives miserable right now. Despite not being out long, House House could discount it – even if it’s by 10% – to get more people to play it too. If that happens, be sure to snap it up.
1. The Outer Wilds
There’s a reason The Outer Wilds is our number one choice. The open-world exploration title is an utter joy to play, and its Groundhog Day-inspired gameplay is the reason why.
You take control of an astronaut on a planet that, in the next 22 minutes, will be destroyed when the system’s Sun goes supernova. You can explore parts of the planet, surrounding solar system, and how you got there but, after this 22-minute period, you die. The game restarts at a different point, and you’re tasked with uncovering more mysteries before the supernova occurs again. And again. And again. You get the idea.
Instead of resetting everything within the time loop, however, the discoveries you make will remain and open up new opportunities to help you find out what’s going on. It’s a simple mechanic, but one that makes you investigate every inch of the solar system to get to the bottom of its mystery.
It’s a title you have to play as everyone’s experience is different. You might unearth something early on that your friend didn’t find for hours, and in a different order as well. The Outer Wilds truly makes your experience unique to you, and we can’t recommend it enough.
It isn’t available on Steam yet as it’s a timed Epic Games store exclusive. With Epic expected to launch their first Black Friday sale next week, however, and the game having been out for a while, it could well be on sale on PC and other platforms.
Black Friday sales will no doubt see some great prices on classic indie game titles and if you haven’t tried any of the games on this list, you’d do well to keep an eye on them in the upcoming shopping season. If you’re feeling thrifty, however, there are also plenty of free indie games to pique your interest without spending a cent. We’ve also got your back on the top free indie games as well as the 7 of the best free horror games about.