7 of the Most Promising Indie Games at Digital Dragons 2023

Gamezebo is at Digital Dragons in Krakow, and we’ve spent some time sniffing around the extensive Indie Showcase.

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Gamezebo is at Digital Dragons in Krakow, and we’ve spent some time sniffing around the extensive Indie Showcase.

For our money, this is always the most interesting place to be at any games conference, where it’s possible to see games at various stages of development and perhaps get an early glimpse at the next Slay the Spire or Spelunky. 

Later on, some of these games will be recognised with awards at the Indie Showcase Gala. 

We’ll let you know who wins. 

In the meantime, here are some of our favorite games at the show. 

Backpack Hero, Jaspel

Already available in Steam Early Access, Backpack Hero has the potential to be an indie hit along the lines of Slay the Spire or 10000000, with the same brand of innovative, accessible RPG gameplay. 

Pitched as an “inventory management roguelike”, this pixelart treasure sees you arranging the items in your backpack to maximise their impact. One user describes it as “Slay the Spire and Tetris” mixed together, which is a solid elevator pitch as far as we’re concerned. 

It’s not clear when the full game will be released, but in the meantime its developers are piling on more content in the form of dungeons, items, heroes, enemies, events, and more. 

Grab at a 20% Early Access discount on Steam right now.

Bang-on Balls: Chronicles, Exit Plan Games

Another hotly anticipated Early Access title, Bang on Balls: Chronicles is a slick, polished 3D platformer that sees you rolling around in a gorgeously rendered little world bashing into enemies, collecting items, and completing missions. 

Indie game stands can be a mixed bag at events like Digital Dragons, but Bang-on Balls has the look and feel of a AAA title. There are already three huge themed maps to explore, with two more in the pipeline, and you can expect the final release to be along soon. 

In the meantime, you can play the Early Access version now. 

Let Bions Be Bygones, Bohemian Pulp

We’ve all moved on from the days when developers could hope to impress us with stylish pixel-art graphics and atmospheric detective noir aesthetics.

Except we obviously haven’t, because Let Bions Be Bygones was one of the most eye-catching indie titles at Digital Dragons. 

The game is steeped in cliche, and sees you taking on the role of a hardboiled detective coming out of retirement for one last job, taking you into the underbelly of a neon-soaked dystopian city.

We don’t know when it’s coming out, but you can wishlist it on Steam.

Everdream Valley, Mooneaters

There’s a growing number of gamers who have done everything it’s possible to do in Stardew Valley and want to repeat the experience in new pastures. 

Everdream Valley is the latest in a long line of agricultural life sims, and this charming 3D adventure comes with its own twist. 

During the day you spend your time raising animals, growing crops, and generally trying to become a successful bumpkin. By night, you enter your animals’ dreams and bring enchantment to the valley.

The quality of a game like Everdream Valley can only be established over the long haul. But we think it has promise. 

It’s out on May 30th, and you can pre-order it on Steam right now for a 20% discount.

Inkulinati, Yaza Games

Inkulinati is a singular name for a singular game. Available right now in Steam Early Access, this accessible, playful 2D strategy game sees you unlocking units, creating squads, and taking on enemies in turn-based battles.

The game’s most obvious USP is that it all takes place on a medieval manuscript, like a Monty Python animation.

But there’s more. Yaza Games has integrated various gestures into the action, allowing you to harness your Inkulinati powers to intervene directly. Plus, the turn-based combat works on a unit-by-unit rather than team basis, which is relatively unusual. 

You can download the Early Access version of Inkulinati on Steam right now. 

Super56, Onion Soup Interactive

Is 56 games enough to sustain a WarioWare-style mini-game collection? We don’t know.

But Super56, from Onion Soup Interactive, looks like a fun take on the genre all the same. 

Super56 showcases an impressively diverse array of graphical styles, from 8-bit retro arcade to multimedia graphic novel to full 3D with ragdoll physics. 

If you want to check it out, there’s a demo on Steam right now. The full release is “coming soon”.

Project Bridge, NE Games

File under “terrible name, interesting game”. 

While Project Bridge sounds a bit like an engineering puzzler or a city-builder, it’s actually a frantic co-op endless runner. It sees you and three friends scrambling around to gather resources and build bridges while the void sweeps inexorably along behind you. 

Levels are procedurally generated, and every attempt is doomed to end in failure. But we think there’s potential in working with other players to keep your attempt alive as long as possible. 

Project Bridge is “coming soon”, and you can wishlist it on Steam right now.

Rob Hearn has over ten years of experience in the mobile journalism - so is our in-house sage on all things mobile, naturally.