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5 rad indie games you might have missed in January 2023

It’s the start of a brand new year, and that means a brand new calendar full of exciting games to look forward to. But before we move on to The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom or Resident Evil 4 Remake, we don’t mind stopping by and sampling the best new indie games of January 2023 that won’t wait until the end of the year. are doing. Make their mark.

Here are five such titles across PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X&S and Switch, each of which is sure to start your 2023 gaming off right. From roguelikes to narrative-heavy slow burns, each will keep you enthralled during the short time between major releases.

1. A Place for Unbound

a place for unbound

Developer: Mojiken
Publisher: Toge Productions, Chorus Worldwide
Platform(s): PC, PS5, PS4, Switch, Xbox Series X | s, xbox one
For fans of: Persona, Psychonauts, The World Ends With You, Slice-of-Life Sims

The latest title from Indonesian developer Mojiken, A Space for the Unbound takes place in 1990s Indonesia, as two best friends face the twin perils of the end of the world and the beginning of adulthood. Rendered in a gorgeous pixelated art style, these teens will spend their days exploring their quiet town, encountering strange supernatural forces, plunging into people’s minds, and resolving their feelings for each other.

The mix of grounded life events, paranormal phenomena, and nuanced explorations of people’s minds is an ambitious balance to strike, yet A Space for the Unbound finds the right proportion for all its disparate elements. Fans of timeless tales and vivid, lived-in small towns will easily get lost in this lovely community filled with memorable characters and gorgeous atmosphere. Add excellent music and intuitive, clever puzzles that never leave you feeling stumped, and A Space for the Unbound comes together as an early precursor to 2023’s best narrative game.

But be sure to play around with some tissues.

2. Luck be the landlord

luck is the landlord
luck is the landlord

Developer: trampoline tales
Publisher: trampoline tales
Platform(s): pc
For fans of: slay the spire, encryption

Nobody likes paying rent, and while video games are a fun way to escape the economic pain of reality, rare are games that dig into the pain of renting property and combine it with the joy of gambling. Luck Be A Landlord is a unique little gem of a game where you try to win enough money from the slot machine to not only pay your rent, but, as the game’s Steam page says, “defeat capitalism.”

Borrowing gameplay elements from the roguelike deck builder genre, you’ll expand the icons on your slot machine to increase your chances of winning and the options at your disposal. Soon, the scope of your struggle and the money you’re throwing at it will expand outward beyond your wildest expectations. The tight, quick rounds make it ideal for quick play, as you can complete a loop in a few minutes and still feel like you’ve made progress, earned (imaginary) money, and had fun.

Thankfully, despite its focus on slot machines, money, and gambling, Luck Be A Landlord doesn’t have any real micro-transactions or pay-to-win mechanics, so this game about the evils of capitalism doesn’t want to freak you out. Will not try nor cheat. Hard earned real world dollars.

3. Doomed Alone

lonely doomed
lonely doomed

Developer: cuddle monster games
Publisher: super rare game
Platform(s): PC, Switch
For fans of: Hades, Vampire Survivors

Sometimes all you want from a game are bright lights, beautiful colors, and tons of stuff bouncing around on the screen. Lone Ruin is an isometric twin-stick shooter about looting treasure by venturing into a deep and deadly set of ruins. Gorgeous neon visuals bathe each new level in flashy and eerie colors, and strong and intricate spells make every run a thrilling balance.

Making frequent runs pays off with great risk reward, and the enemies and environments will always keep you on your toes. It’s one of the more easily completed roguelike shooters out there, meaning you won’t have to sink endless hours to complete a run, while still having reasons to come back to, which takes a lot of the joy out of Lone Ruin’s unique internalization. Is. Combat Rhythm.

The journey definitely puts you through your paces, even given its brief running time, with screen-filling hordes of enemies that are overwhelming unless you have them to chew on with ease. Don’t have the power

4. Seasons: A Letter to the Future

season a letter to the future
season a letter to the future

Developer: Scavenger Studio
Publisher: Scavenger Studio
Platform(s): PC, PS5, PS4
For fans of: Sable, Death Stranding

Gliding onto consoles on virtually the last day of the month, Seasons: A Letter to the Future has been a highly anticipated title since it was first announced in late 2020. As a young historian, it’s your job to explore your world, photograph it, and record the sounds of your afterlife before an apocalyptic cataclysm destroys it all.

Despite this difficult premise, each trailer for the season has presented a beautiful, alive and vibrant world. If you’re the type of player who likes to get lost in an open world and simply immerse yourself in the sights, then it looks like Seasons is built with you in mind. Each setting is dripping with detail and warmth, making the importance of your mission all the more powerful. You’ll meet other inhabitants of this uncertain world, learn their stories, and do your best to make the most of this perilous journey.

The season is the second title from Scavengers Studio, following 2017’s battle royale Darwin Project. The studio is definitely taking a more original approach to its sophomore release, as the season looks incredibly eccentric and unlike anything else on the market right now.

5. Beneath the Dungeon

the underground
the underground

Developer: joseon
Platform(s): PC, Switch, Xbox Series X & S, Xbox One
For fans of: legend of zelda minit tunic

Comedy and parody are intriguing tastes to try in video games, with senses of humor varying from player to player. Underdungeon, a loving parody/homage to the top-down Zelda titles and classic dungeon crawler, aims to strike a balance between recreating the hallmarks of its genre and providing a fresh, fun spin on them.

Exuberant feline adventurer Kimuto begins his first day on the job as a hero, battling mysterious monsters and exploring the world around him. Roaming the overworld, hunting down enemies, dungeons to explore, puzzles, and friendly NPCs is a consistently rewarding experience, with fresh ideas and smart level design hiding in every nook and cranny.

The colorful cast of supporting characters keeps Kimuto’s adventures feeling fresh and exciting. While the cast is colorful, the world is not, as Underdungeon is beautifully rendered in a minimalist black-and-white 8-bit-inspired style that contributes to the retro aesthetic. However, these humble first appearances are deceptive, as Joseon’s designers have wielded all kinds of creative tricks and graphical sleight-of-hand to make Journey stand out.

A catchy soundtrack completes the package, making Underdungeon a clever, comfortable, and concise riff on an old style of game.

Read further: 10 best indie games of 2022

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