Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

The Indie RPGs of 2014 – Part 1

Posted by Rampant Coyote on January 7, 2015

Now that 2014 has officially come to a close, I thought I’d take a very brief look at many the indie role-playing games that were released this year for the PC. I’ve given up all hope of this being an exhaustive list, so please feel free to chime in with other titles that were released during 2014. As it is, we have more than 50, and that was without delving too deeply into the ranks of the most amateur releases.

Trying to list the indie role-playing games released in any year nowadays is a pretty complicated thing, and not only because trying to track down the games themselves can be exhausting and difficult. But pretty much every aspect of the subject raises more questions. What constitutes “indie?” What really counts as an RPG? What does “released” even mean anymore, in days of early access, multiple release dates across multiple distribution channels? I mean, Frayed Knights: The Skull of S’makh-Daon just released in 2014 on Steam, whereas it was largely unheard of before then, so does that constitute a “new release?” I’m not counting it, really, but it was really just a straight line that moved very, very slowly. There were more than a few games that only enjoyed a “large” release in 2014 a year or two (or more) after their original public launch.

Because there were so many – and I wanted to include a few videos and pictures – I broke this into two articles. Part 2 can be found here: The Indie RPGs of 2014, Part 2.

Without further ado, here are (many of) the RPGs released for the PC in 2014…

500 Years: Act 1 (Poor Will Games) – Real-time 2D space exploration RPG

Atonement: Scourge of Time (Astronomic Games) – an RPG Maker title in a dark fantasy setting

TBS_introThe Banner Saga (Stoic Studio) – A Kickstarter’ed RPG done with Disney-style graphics based on Norse mythology which finally made its release. Turn-based, tactical combat, and a very different approach to the genre – but still quite satisfying. And a sequel is currently in development.

Bionic Dues (Arcen Games) – A tactical roguelike with Mech customization.

Boot Hill Heroes (Experimental Gamer) – In the style of a 16-bit console jRPG, but with a decidedly western twist – it’s a western, for one thing! The Wild West in the style of classic Square titles, and with the added potential of four-player cooperative multiplayer.

Coin Crypt (Dumb and Fat Games) – A “roguelite deckbuilding adventure game about *lootmancers* who can unlock the hidden power inside of coins and use them in magical duels.” Inspired by Spelunky, Nexus City, and the board game Dominion.

ColdFire 2Coldfire Keep (Steve Jarman) – A first-person, grid-based, party-based dungeon crawler in the style of Dungeon Keeper,

DarkEnd (Kodots Games) – an RPG Maker title from freshman Kodots Games, with an emphasis on dynamic (!)  dungeons and side-events, dungeon-crawling, and interesting tactical combat.

Data Hacker: Corruption (New Reality Games) – The second of the three-game series of RPG Maker titles involving virtual reality worlds.

Dead State (Doublebear Studios) – Finally released! A thinking-man’s zombie apocalypse RPG, which is more about building a community for survival against a hostile world and even more hostile humans. Turn-based, heavy on the hard human decisions and survival tasks.

Deity Quest (Fancy Fish Games) – A Pokemon-inspired light-hearted RPG where you play a minor deity in a quest to become the Overgod.

Divinity: Original Sin (Larian Studios) – My personal pick for RPG of the year, which is saying a LOT considering the incredible, wonderful RPGs released this year. It’s a single-player and co-op multiplayer (well,  dual-player) old-school style RPG in the vein of the old Ultima classics done with modern style and high production values. It’s also old-school hard, so be warned, but with a marvelously interactive world.

Dungeonmans (AdventurePro Games) – I’m not sure if there’s a relationship between this and the “joke” game in Homestar Runner, but this is a tongue-in-cheek graphical roguelike where you can actually build an academy for other heroes like yourself (and carry some of your experience & knowledge over to new characters when (perma-)death happens).

Dungeon of the Endless (Amplitude) – Dungeon crawling  Roguelike+ Tower Defense.

Edolie (Amaranth Games / Eridani Games) – Another higher-quality RPG Maker title. A dangerous threat is looming on the horizon, but the people of Edolie seem oblivious or unconcerned. Only Willow and her friends seem willing to brave peril to uncover the threat.

Eschalon: Book III (Basilisk Games) – The long-awaited conclusion to the isometric-view RPG with serious old-school, western sensibilities.

Fight the Dragon (3 Sprockets) – Community-created / expanded hack & slash RPG with single-player and multiplayer co-op capabilities.

Finding Hope (Falling Star Studios) – A light-hearted RPG Maker title.

Fragile Soul (Dragon Adventure Entertainment) – A graphical roguelike where you play the soul of a departed hero, who must now quest to save his own soul from damnation. To make things even trickier, it’s not just a clever title – a single hit will end your quest.

Screenshot_GCI_1GhostControl Inc. (Bumblebee Software) – I covered this in some detail my October “Halloween Games” feature. Basically, build up a ghost elimination team and business in London.

Girlfriend Rescue (Aldorlea) – A departure from Aldorlea’s usual fare, Girlfriend Rescue is an adventure / RPG / beat-em-up in the modern world with bizarro elements.

Halfway (Robotality) – A science-fiction, turn-based tactics RPG. Take control of the survivors of a colony ship invaded by aliens.

Heroes of a Broken Land (Winged Pixel) – Combining city-building with dungeon-delving, this is a strategy-RPG with multiple adventuring parties and dynamic, procedurally generated worlds.

Heroes of Steel (Trese Brothers) – Tactics RPG for mobile and PC in a post-apocalyptic fantasy world. The first chapter was released at the end of 2013, but the full game was released in 2014.

Heroine’s Quest: The Herald of Ragnarok (Crystal Shard) – A spiritual successor to the classic Quest for Glory series, but featuring a female protagonist (cool!), Norse Mythology (epic!), and a price tag of $Free (rock!).

Joe Denver’s Lone Wolf  (Forge Reply) – The PC and mobile game based on the classic game books of the 1980s (which I actually played!), featuring lots of text, mini-games, and something of a real-time / turn-based hybrid combat system.


Filed Under: Indie Evangelism - Comments: 2 Comments to Read

  • The Indie RPGs of 2014, Part 2 said,

    […] Here’s the rest of the list of indie RPGs released for the PC in 2014. If you missed part 1, you can read it here: The Indie RPGs of 2014, Part 1. […]

  • RPG Watch names the best 3 RPGs of 2014 said,

    […] now it is. 2014 saw dozens upon dozens of indie releases (which I talked about last week in my 2014 Indie RPG Round-up Part 1 and Part 2). Between those and the mainstream releases, and some of my personal favorites like Dead […]