Dozens of games are added to the Steam store on any given day, and a lot of them are from small developers you've never heard of, selling low-priced games you'll probably ignore.
Often, scattered among those many new titles are a few gems worth the asking price, and sometimes they're even free. But even if you've heard of some of these games, they can still get lost in the shuffle. To help you out, we looked through the freshly updated Steam store for promising indie games of various sizes and genres, and came up with the following 21 indie games you shouldn't ignore.
This is a card-dueling game with higher-than-average production value for a free-to-play title. It features a single-player campaign that lets you earn new cards, and boasts surprisingly solid voice acting throughout a serviceable storyline.
The battle system offers quick turns with cards that level up ("evolve") and a limit on card ability text to keep things from getting bogged down. With a challenging solo campaign and a full online multiplayer mode with custom decks, this game provides a fine alternative to other digital collectible-card games.
As one of the few worthwhile spaceship exploration games on Steam, Rebel Galaxy gives players a lengthy single-player campaign as a space trucker/bounty hunter.
Gameplay feels like a ship on water as you fire broadsides and turrets at enemies darting around your ship. It's less like dogfighting and more like a naval ship battle. It will take you a long time to go from the dinky starting ship to a truly massive battle cruiser capable of hauling tons of space goodies, so expect the game to have some staying power.
A rare indie treat from Japan, Downwell became an instant hit thanks to its very simple (but addictive) mechanics and combo system. Using a very limited color palette, this game does an amazing job of communicating how to play without using any text.
The object is to simply descend the well and rack up a score by either jumping on enemies or shooting at them from above with your neat gun boots. With several different gun types to pick up — as well as health upgrades, character types and different palette schemes to unlock — this run-based game should keep your attention for a while.
If stealth gameplay is your thing, then Aragami will scratch that itch like few games can these days. It focuses mainly on ambush kills, because you lack any combat ability as the titular Aragami character, who has been summoned using a mysterious ritual to get revenge for a kidnapped woman.
The plot takes a few interesting turns, but it's window dressing for playing around with your cool shadow powers that let you warp from shadow to shadow, avoiding light sources that drain your power, while studying enemy routines for the perfect kill. Whether you prefer to go deadly or completely non-lethal, Aragami has more than a few ways to play.
Straight from the SNES days of side-scrolling beat 'em ups like Final Fight, Mother Russia Bleeds will give you a new reason to hone your old-school skills again. Movement is stiff, and chaining combos requires good timing, just as in the games that inspired it.
Mother Russia Bleeds has a semblance of a story, but the main attraction is the brutal beat 'em up experience paired with a cool healing/buffing mechanic that lets you inject yourself with a drug to either regain health or go into a "berserk" mode. Local multiplayer is a nice addition to this fun and challenging game.
Butcher sums itself up pretty well in the opening screen with the line "The easiest mode is 'hard.'" That's literally true in the menus, and generally true, as this game tests your reactions and aiming skills.
Enemies will fire on you at the first opportunity in this very pixely 2D side-scroller, and it's up to you to keep a keen eye out for line of sight and maintain a steady hand on the mouse for returning fire. Limited health and ammo pools mean you also need to make every shot count as you run around, avoiding incoming enemies.
Besiege is a physics game that challenges you to destroy or eliminate obstacles using certain building tools at your disposal. You're essentially building a siege machine of some sort, but don't let rational design get in your way.
Besiege shines when you slap together a totally insane and semi-effective killing machine that halfway flies and halfway propels itself forward with cannon fire. The building system is easy to understand and gives you a wide array of connectors, joints and wheels to snap onto your catapult that hurls buzz saws.