Indie games have been bringing me a ton of joy as of late. Part of that is because they are so much more easily obtained on my end, but there is something more to it. Indie games take risks. Risks most triple-A studios wouldn’t even consider taking. I think that’s what helps set them apart as stories and helps them stand out in the hustle and bustle of the game industry.

The Void Rains Upon Her Heart (PC)

A 2D bullet-hell game where players literally shoot monsters with their love until they love them back and give them presents. I’m not messing with you that is The Void Rains Upon Her Heart in a nutshell. The game is so much more than that though. In a dark world full of monsters a single female alien looks to pierce the veil and spread love. She does that with the help of her robot companion that exchanges some pretty witty dialogue with her, kind of explaining the ins and outs of the game.

The game also has some unique aspects too it. For instance, the presents that the monsters drop affect the player in different ways and the level of the monster also makes a difference. In theory always taking out the highest level monster will leave your heart decked out with a ton of power ups, however the fights are going to be significantly more difficult. There is also another story that unlocks, the one about a defective heart. It feels a little less challenging, not by much though. After several attempts I made it too the final boss and it was neck and neck we were both down to one shot. I felt like I had it won and happened to miss time a move resulting in my death. Due to the game’s permanent death I had to restart all the way back at chapter one. Heartbroken I immediately tried again. If any of that makes the game sounds worth your while I recommend dropping the eight bucks on this amazing indie title.

Wulverblade (Switch, Xbox One, PS4, PC)

This game has a kill ’em all attitude and I love it. Wulverblade is a two-dimensional hack and slash game following a tribe of warriors from Britannia out to fight for their land against invading Romans. Caradoc (one of three lead characters) has the ability to once a level summon a small battalion of wolves that deal a pretty decent amount of damage that can change the tides of a boss fight. The developer took a lot of care with this game and went the extra mile for authenticity. There are a ton of collectibles that show the amount of research that went into the history and environment building of the game. It also has couch co-op for anyone looking for a Castle Crashers style party. The game is only fifteen dollars right now and the accents to the game are almost worth it on their own.

Oxenfree (PS4, Xbox One, PC, Mobile)

Oxenfree is a thrilling story, that to my knowledge has multiple endings. What starts off as a bunch of young adults/teenagers going to a beach as some sort of right of passage trip, coupled with some good ole fashion partying, quickly changes into a supernatural thriller. One of the characters gets possessed by a demon, time starts jumping and rewinding, character’s sanity starts slipping. It all adds up to a superb experience that I feel blessed to have had the chance to play. So the endings all are based on the choices and major answers the player is faced with in the game. Take for instance if the player chooses to let the demon keep the character they have possessed in exchange for everyone else going free, you will get a completely different ending than the one I got for figuring out how to “save” everyone and get off the island. Grab the game now for just twenty dollars.

The Painscreek Killings (PC)

This isn’t just your run of the mill walking simulator. The Painscreek Killings is a murder mystery that can be ended at any point. Once the player feels they have enough evidence to piece together who is the murderer they can turn in the case. That gives this game a ton of replay-ability. I also appreciate that the game doesn’t hold your hand, it doesn’t give you a hint system the player must rely solely on their own ability to find the clues and connect the dots. The Painscreek Killings also has the players photographing things inside the game to save them as a clue and recommends writing down clues outside the game. Which gets me giddy as it reminds me of when I had to draw maps on some older games that didn’t have them. You can step into the shoes of the young journalist now for just twenty dollars.

Pick of The Month: Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds (Xbox One, PC)

Right now I have a love/hate relationship with Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds. I love playing it but it runs so horribly on Xbox One I have to stop playing soon after starting or I get a horrible headache from the stuttering frames, the textures not loading, and the atrocious latency issue that causes rubber-banding. The PC version of the game is what made me fall in love with it though. One hundred players drop in on a map, grab whatever loot they can and fight to the last man standing all while avoiding a storm that encloses the map. Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds has a bundle of aspects that set it apart from the ever-growing genre of battle royal games. The armor is visible, meaning it shows up in the form of police/tactical vests, and helmets each with their own varying levels that protect the player differently. Backpacks also help expand the player’s inventory, allowing them to carry more items as opposed to the limits of say Fortnite that only allow five items at a time. Another notable mechanic is the ability to use vehicles, since PUBG has such an expanded map when compared to its counterpart vehicles are a necessity. It’s also insanely satisfying to run over enemy players. Grab your frying pans and get a copy of this game now for just thirty bucks.

In the calm leading up to E3, there may be a lack of AAA titles, but that just gives you time to enjoy the indies and smaller titles you may have overlooked the past few months. If you have any indie titles you would recommend giving a chance feel free to drop them below in the comments. That’s all I have for you this month, you can go read something else now. I recommend Crank by Ellen Hopkins. This teen gets hooked on meth and gets a bad tattoo, it’s good stuff.