My 2012 Indie Game Picks #IndieXmas

I’ve played some great indie games this year and I’d like to share my recommendations with you. Other indies are also using the #indiexmas hashtag, so search for it on Twitter to find more recommendations. Alex Amsel started this initiative, read more on his blog post.

Note that these games may not have all been released in 2012, they are just the ones I played and found interesting in 2012. You can also read my 2011 Indie game picks here.

Also this year I’m only recommending PC games (although these games may be available on other platforms)

Anyway, here are my recommendations in no particular order:

Cardinal Quest

I’ve always been a fan of Roguelikes and this is a great little one with a nice retro feel. Looking forward to the sequel in 2013!


It might not look like it at first glance but this is a a deeply tactical RTS game! It’s fascinating and kept me hooked until I completed it. Very novel.


A great puzzle game that keeps introducing new things and really ramps up the difficulty towards the end. Super-addictive.

Hard Reset

It’s pretty unusual to see an indie FPS game and this one was brilliant! Fantastic futuristic graphics and great old-skool gameplay. Also they released a free 5 level DLC too – Amazing!


A pixel-art horror game with a great atmosphere in which you get to interpret the ending yourself. Very thought-provoking.


I love Gradius/R-Type style games and Hydorah is a fantastic homage to that genre. If you look sidescrolling shoot ’em ups, you must try this, especially as it’s FREE!

Legend of Grimrock

This is definitely a contender for my favourite indie game of the year. I loved Dungeon Master and EoTB back in the day and this game is such a good modernised equivalent. I really hope they come out with some DLC in 2013.

Hotline Miami

This game had a lot of hype, but it was well-deserved. A visceral experience in a stylised retro look (with great music!) Brutal and brutally hard, this is a real “twitch” game but with a surprising amount of tactics. You must check it out.

Lone Survivor

An extremely atmospheric pixel art survival horror game. I loved it and played it to the end. Please check it out if you haven’t already.

Maldita Castilla

I’m worried that this game won’t have made it into many best of 2012 lists because it came out so late in the year but it should do because it is a brilliant homage to Ghosts ‘n’ Goblins. A wonderfully crafted arcade-style retro platformer with tons of variation. A must-play! *and* it’s FREE, unbelievable!


Radiangames made some really great games on XBLIG that I have recommended before and this is a fantastic modernised shoot ’em up game. Don’t miss it if you like this sort of game.

Retro City Rampage

I’m sure you’ve heard of this epic homage to everything from the 8-bit era. My friend, Brian Provinciano, worked on this game for many many years and it shows in every detail! Available on nearly every platform, you’ve no excuse not to have a play 🙂

What are your indie picks of 2012? Let me know in the comments, thanks!

One Response to “My 2012 Indie Game Picks #IndieXmas”

  1. Carl Chavez Says:

    My picks:

    Drox Operative – best action RPG of the year (better than Diablo III and Torchlight II!)
    Eador: Genesis – better than Heroes of Might and Magic 3
    FTL – quick burst of fun