The best indies at GDC 2019

After a week spent catching rays in San Francisco and playing as many games as we could muster at GDC, we've compiled a list of our favourite indie games from the show.

Splitgate: Arena Warfare

This multiplayer shooter nails the momentum you loved in Halo and Quake, but adds the interdimensional glory of Portal. Get ready to tactically warp around rooms, outflanking and outthinking the competition.

You’ll shrink space and blow minds as you blast away rivals across the game’s neon arenas. With a range of punchy guns and a wide variety of match types this could be the next competitive shooter mainstay.

The Cycle

The makers of the emotional, all-shades-of-grey military shooter Spec Ops: The Line are behind The Cycle. It’s a PvE battle royale with a twist.

Forget being last man standing, here you’re in a race to claim essential resources from an alien planet. The inventive premise is matched only by the strong sense of mystery and fresh aesthetic.

Dark Future: Blood Red States

Dark Future is a vehicular real-time strategy game that has you chase and annihilate other cars with your foot firmly on the accelerator. It’s basically The Fast and the Furious crossed with Fallout’s V.A.T.S. system.

A reboot of the cult-classic Games Workshop property, you set your car’s direction mid-clash and issue commands such as lane changes, speed, and weapon use. Sadly, it’s a nightmare getting insurance.

TABS

Totally Accurate Battle Simulator is the best approximation of warfare throughout the ages. Probably. With state-of-the-art but wilfully zany physics, you can pit mages against mammoths - just like the battles you read about in history class.

Victory is a hilarious trial-and-error process as ragdoll soldiers launch themselves at each other and then crumple in a tangled heap. This strategy game requires a mix of experimentation and sound tactics, but it’ll never fail to raise a chuckle.

Night Call

A noir visual novel set in Paris’s dark arrondissements which casts you as a taxi driver trying to disentangle a devilish murder mystery the only way you know how: by getting a series of suspicious passengers where they need to go.

What’s unusual is that the game encourages you to remain silent. Instead, you need to get everybody else to do the talking. If you’re successful, one scoundrel will be on their way to prison.

Away: The Survival Series

Away: The Survival Series is essentially a playable nature documentary where your impression of David Attenborough is entirely optional, but highly recommended.

This third-person action-adventure resembles a flight sim as you pilot your cute sugar glider through a magnificent landscape that’s under threat. Come for the natural majesty, stay for the absorbing ecological commentary.

Cardpocalpyse

Cardpocalypse is a single-player card game that has you change the rules as you go. You even get to design your own cards before drafting them into its Hearthstone-style matches.

As ten-year-old Jess, you tackle bullies and try to get your favourite school yard game unbanned - with card-battles, natch. Nineties pop culture references abound in this endearing, cartoony tale.