A couple of months after I wrote about the very best video games of 2023 on iOS, Change, and Steam Deck as of the primary quarter of the yr, I’ve been enjoying a ton of nice indie video games on Valve’s handheld system. It has been exhausting to deliver this record down to simply 10 (ish), however these video games have impressed me fairly a bit. I’ve additionally included two bonus video games which I speak about intimately on the finish of this function. Take a look at all our Steam Deck protection right here. As traditional, this record of the very best new indie video games to play on Steam Deck is in no explicit order.
Finest New Indie Video games To Play on Steam Deck in 2023
Planet of Lana
I wasn’t conscious of Planet of Lana till just a few weeks in the past after I noticed the attractive trailer main as much as its launch on Xbox and PC platforms. The puzzle journey sport is gorgeous with glorious music, and it has been one of many greatest surprises of the yr to date. Whereas some puzzles and platforming parts is perhaps simpler than anticipated, Planet of Lana is a simple advice in case you’re all in favour of emotional tales, nice visuals, and fascinating gameplay. Having loved it fairly a bit on Steam Deck, I’ve been replaying it on Xbox due to how a lot I really like the environment.
Darkest Dungeon II
Darkest Dungeon II is a sport I used to be wanting ahead to ever because it hit early entry on the Epic Video games Retailer. When Threat of Rain 2 was introduced, I wasn’t offered on it going 3D after having fun with the primary sport as a lot as I did. It delivered in spades, and bought me excited for extra sequels like that. With Darkest Dungeon II’s 1.0 launch, it hit Steam, however had a little bit of a rocky launch. After just a few updates, Darkest Dungeon II on PC is a large step ahead for the franchise, and is a pleasure to play with some tweaking on Steam Deck. It is perhaps my favourite indie sequel in years alongside Rogue Legacy 2. Whereas Darkest Dungeon II performs loads higher on my laptop computer, I loved the unique an excessive amount of on a transportable to surrender on enjoying this on Deck. It doesn’t have official controller assist, so I perceive if somebody desires to attend earlier than grabbing it. As considered one of my favourite indie releases, the trouble to make it run and play comparatively nicely has been value it for me. As soon as this will get full controller assist, it’s possible going to be among the best video games of the yr general for Steam Deck.
Idol Showdown from Besto Video games is a totally free hololive fan sport that occurs to be an excellent enjoyable preventing sport as nicely. It permits you to play as hololive vtubers with simple controls, strong on-line play, and lots of care and love for the supply materials. Whereas I get that this may not enchantment to those that aren’t followers of hololive expertise, it’s nicely value trying out for the low asking value of free. If you happen to do occur to be a fan of hololive, this could already be in your Steam Deck. It has a stunning quantity of content material for a free fan sport as nicely.
A good friend of mine who is a big Pokemon fan instructed me Cassette Beasts is his favourite monster amassing sport ever. Whereas it has all the time seemed good, that remark bought me all in favour of checking it out. I’ve been enjoying it on each Change and Steam Deck, and whereas the previous is in a tough state proper now, it performs brilliantly on Steam Deck. I really like the fashion, music, and gameplay mechanics. We’ve seen a great deal of video games attempt their hand at monster amassing, however Cassette Beasts is the primary one that really manages to go all the best way with its designs, gameplay, and exploration.
Fuga: Melodies of Metal 2
CyberConnect2’s ardour challenge Fuga: Melodies of Metal is a sport I featured in our greatest hidden gems of 2021 record for Nintendo Change. The sequel launched just a few weeks in the past a day earlier than The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. I’ve been chipping away on the turn-based tactical RPG, and it is a wonderful sequel. I’d advocate making an attempt the demo for the primary sport in case you’ve not heard of this. Whereas Fuga: Melodies of Metal 2 does have additions and enhancements over the primary sport, it nonetheless may be very a lot a sequel persevering with the story with gameplay that feels acquainted. It’ll be fascinating to see what occurs when Fuga: Melodies of Metal 3 releases sooner or later. Fuga: Melodies of Metal 2 is a elegant and meaty sport in its present state, however one which I hoped to see do a bit extra in comparison with the primary entry.
Countless Monday: Desires and Deadlines
Countless Monday: Desires and Deadlines is a visible novel about procrastinating, initiatives, burgers, nice characters, glorious artwork, and catchy music. It has been an outstanding distraction and enjoyable expertise from all of the lengthy RPGs I’ve been enjoying over the previous couple of weeks. It’s ironic that I used Countless Monday: Desires and Deadlines as a break from ending my very own writing work as I attempted to get the endings and soak in additional of the characters. Whereas there’s a profit to realizing among the characters by means of the hcnone’s (the developer and artist) work, it’s nonetheless value experiencing by itself in case you just like the artwork within the screenshots on Steam.
When HUMANITY was introduced for VR, I used to be dissatisfied as a result of I don’t see myself ever investing into that ecosystem. I borrowed a good friend’s headset for Tetris Impact and Rez Infinite which had been each chic, however I nonetheless don’t see myself shopping for an costly headset for just a few video games. When HUMANITY was confirmed as playable on not simply PS5, but additionally PC with out VR, I used to be hyped, and the demo offered me on it. The puzzle platformer the place you play a Shiba Inu is classy, elegant, and important with its high quality ranges and creation instruments. It appears like an summary and extra polished tackle Lemmings in 3D as nicely. That is undoubtedly a sport I’ll check out if I ultimately get a VR headset. On Steam Deck, it performs like a dream barring some textual content being a bit too small.
A Area for the Unbound
Whereas A Area for the Unbound had just a few segments within the center that would’ve been higher, it is among the finest narrative pushed indie video games I’ve performed in a very long time. Regardless of not having been to Indonesia which conjures up the setting, the storytelling, characters, and environment all felt excellent. It jogged my memory of how I felt enjoying The Youngsters We Have been and Persona 4 Golden in that sense. If you happen to take pleasure in memorable tales and nice characters, A Area for the Unbound is a simple advice, and it runs completely on Steam Deck. I’ve performed it on each Change and Steam Deck, and it’s a fantastic transportable expertise.
Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun
My expertise with Warhammer 40,000 is proscribed to the Daybreak of Battle video games, however Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun being a boomer shooter means I used to be instantly . Having performed it, Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun appears like a mix of boomer shooters with what trendy Doom video games are going for. Merely put, Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun is an important even in case you don’t care or aren’t conversant in Warhammer 40,000. The gameplay and aesthetic is that good. Whereas the extent design may’ve been higher in components, I’ve been having a ton of enjoyable with Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun on Steam Deck exterior of movies not enjoying. That’s the one caveat to remember. Regardless of the unsupported label from Valve, solely the movies don’t play with every little thing else working high-quality.
Mr Solar’s Hatbox
I’ve been a fan of Kenny Solar for a very long time, so when Uncooked Fury introduced that it was publishing Mr Solar’s Hatbox by the developer, I used to be instantly . Mr Solar’s Hatbox is a platformer roguelike that borrows from video games like Steel Gear Stable V and XCOM 2 in hilarious methods. The mission selection, easy gameplay, and customization really elevate Mr Solar’s Hatbox into considered one of Kenny Solar’s finest video games but. If the premise of upgrading your base, utilizing completely different sorts of hats with stats, and upgrading your group sounds fascinating, that is for you. The construction completely fits transportable play, and it’s Steam Deck Verified as of this writing.
Prepare dinner Serve Perpetually
The explanation Prepare dinner Serve Perpetually is on this bonus portion and never in the primary record, is as a result of it’s presently in Steam Early Entry. If you happen to’ve not already learn my interview with David Galindo about Prepare dinner Serve Perpetually and Prepare dinner Serve Scrumptious, it’s right here. Prepare dinner Serve Perpetually just isn’t a Prepare dinner Serve Scrumptious sport, however a brand new simulation expertise aiming to be extra journey centered with its accessible gameplay. Prepare dinner Serve Perpetually feels constructed for a controller from the beginning, which makes it higher on Steam Deck, and it even helps co-op play for the marketing campaign. I’ll be doing a full evaluate of this one when it hits 1.0, however for now, I’m having fun with many points of Prepare dinner Serve Perpetually and am wanting ahead to seeing the way it evolves over time.
The Final Case of Benedict Fox
The Final Case of Benedict Fox is a sport that’s equal components spectacular and disappointing. I really like the visuals, worldbuilding, puzzles, and different points of the sport, however your entire expertise is held again by its precise platforming and fight. Having been by means of screenshots and trailers, The Final Case of Benedict Fox is a sport that appears and sounds nice, however one which simply doesn’t really feel good to play sadly. In its present state, I needed to spotlight these points of The Final Case of Benedict Fox, but additionally spotlight why it doesn’t work. I loved my time with it on Steam Deck regardless of these points, however I can’t actually advocate it at full value in its present state. If you happen to’re a fan of metroidvania video games, I’d advocate watching some footage of The Final Case of Benedict Fox to see how pretty it appears to be like and sounds.
Hopefully this function launched you to an ideal sport you hadn’t heard of whereas additionally reminding you of how good the current indie sport releases have been in a slew of some unhealthy AAA PC ports. If there’s a sport you suppose I ought to’ve included, let me know within the feedback and I’ll attempt it for the following Steam Deck function we do. Thanks for studying.
Notice: Any Steam Deck label talked about like verified or unsupported applies as of the date of publishing this function. A few of these change over time so maintain that in thoughts.
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