2024’s must-play PlayStation indie games so far

June 6, 2024
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We’re only halfway through 2024, and it’s already been a banner year for indie games. These games from small developers offer big-time fun, showcasing new and unique approaches to gameplay, visuals, and storytelling. This year’s bounty of indie goodness offers an amazing variety of experiences, from old-school throwbacks to bold new experimental designs. Whether you want to immerse yourself in the foreboding wilderness on your big screen monitor or make some poker hands on the PlayStation Portal before bed, something here is sure to please.

Ultros


2024’s must-play PlayStation indie games so far

As you awaken in the depths of a ship floating in space, a stunning neon landscape spreads before you, teeming with bizarre lifeforms and untold mysteries. What happened here, and what has transformed this craft into a womb of cosmic horror? Combat vicious foes with an arsenal of hard-hitting combat skills, then nurture the strange seeds you discover on your travels to sprout secrets. Strengthen yourself and explore all you can before a time loop engulfs everything and begins anew. Will you be able to escape the cycle of birth and destruction?

Publisher: Kepler Interactive | Developer: Hadoque | PS5, PS4

Penny’s Big Breakaway


2024’s must-play PlayStation indie games so far

A rollicking 3D action adventure for all ages, Penny’s Big Breakaway sees the titular heroine getting up to comical shenanigans in a bright, colorful fantasyland. Small-time performer Penny thinks she’s found her path to success with a special string that brings her yo-yo to life, but when her newly sentient accessory pulls a humiliating stunt on Emperor Eddie, her freedom’s left hanging by a thread. Use Penny’s yo-yo to attack, swing around, and ride through the numerous skill-testing stages in this speedrunning-focused platformer that’s packed with charm.

 Publisher: Private Division | Developer: Evening Star | PS5

Pacific Drive


2024’s must-play PlayStation indie games so far

Take it from a resident–the Pacific Northwest is a very strange place. There’s the constantly changing weather, the bizarre terrain, and so many trees. As beautiful as nature and wilderness are, it’s very easy to isolate and consume you, so how will you survive when it’s just you, your trusty station wagon, and a handful of other humans stationed in an abandoned garage against bizarre phenomena transforming hundreds of miles of wilderness into a life-sucking hellscape? Each trip is unique, exciting, terrifying, and perhaps the one where you’ll finally escape.

Publisher: Kepler Interactive | Developer: Ironwood Studios | PS5

Harold Halibut


2024’s must-play PlayStation indie games so far

Stop-motion animation’s distinct look and feel combined with Harold Halibut’s narrative-driven gameplay. Set in an alternate history where a space colonization expedition was launched in the 1970s, things went disastrously wrong, and now the ship’s stuck at the bottom of a hostile planet’s sea. As Harold, a wholly average handyman, you meet and befriend the various personalities onboard while doing your duties, learning about the various ideas everyone has to escape this decades-long rut. When the time to act comes, what role will Harold play?

Publisher: Slow Bros. | Developer: Slo Bros. | PS5, PS4

Balatro


2024’s must-play PlayStation indie games so far

So, you think you’re a real card shark, huh? You might think you have an unbeatable poker face, but we all know the house always has the advantage, or does it? The first (and only) poker roguelike sees you constructing decks with special Jokers, Vouchers, Tarot, and Planet cards. Play your cards well, score big, beat the Blinds (or even strategically skip them), and take on the Bosses who have some of their own aces up their sleeve–then earn new decks to expand your strategic possibilities even more.

 Publisher: PlayStack Limited | Developer: LocalThunk | PS5, PS4

Tales of Kenzera: Zau


2024’s must-play PlayStation indie games so far

Journey through a gorgeous world inspired by African tribal art, music, and culture. Abubakar Salim, the voice behind Beyek in Assassin’s Creed Origins, weaves a story of loss and self-discovery inspired by his experiences. As the headstrong shaman youth Zau, you must pass an arduous trial, offering up the souls of three beasts to the God of Death to revive your fallen father. Switch seamlessly between the Sun and Moon masks with different navigation and combat skills as you amass the power you need for your goal.

Publisher: Electronic Arts | Developer: Surgent Studios | PS5

Another Crab’s Treasure


2024’s must-play PlayStation indie games so far

Do you love the gameplay and exploration of games like Demon’s Souls and Elden Ring, but feel a bit weary of dark fantasy? Another Crab’s Treasure is an undersea adventure with a colorful, cartoony aesthetic and all the skill-testing challenges you’ve come to love. Take over the claws of hermit crab Kril, whose underwater paradise is ravaged by pollution. Use the trash you find as weapons and armor to take on the nastiest underwater baddies on this side of Amity Bay. Find the legendary treasure and get back your precious shell!

Publisher: Aggro Crab | Developer: Aggro Crab | PS5

Animal Well


2024’s must-play PlayStation indie games so far

The debut game from new publisher Bigmode takes players on a dark, wild exploration adventure. Here in the labyrinth, there’s very little light–but plenty of creatures, several of which are less-than-docile, let’s say. You control an odd little something and are here to delve into the labyrinth’s mysteries, assuming you can survive. Beautiful, atmospheric pixel art blends with exquisite exploration and an atmosphere that’s both beautiful and terrifying to create a game packed with secrets, discovery, and replayability.

Publisher: Bigmode | Developer: Billy Basso| PS5

Crow Country

Edward Crow’s famous amusement park, Crow Country, shuttered years prior, and its founder went missing, but something remains in this wonder-wasteland. Travel back to the 90s in this survival horror adventure inspired by ‘90s PlayStation classics. As special agent Mara Forest, you’ll traverse the abandoned park to discover why it abruptly closed, savoring the creepy atmosphere packed with brain teasers, environmental storytelling, dangerous encounters, and terrifying surprises.

Publisher: SFB Games | Developer: SFB Games | PS5, PS4

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