It’s May! You know what that means? That’s right, this is the month where we have to do our best to ignore the vampiric, ten foot-tall elephant in the room – not to mention her many, many admirers – and think about other videogames. Of course we’re very excited about the upcoming Resident Evil Village release date, but May’s got a ton of treats in store for PC gamers who don’t want to be stepped on, choked by, or otherwise maimed at the hands of Lady Dimitrescu.
Every month we trawl through our inboxes, dig through Steam’s messy ‘Popular Upcoming’ list, and preview a bunch of hidden gems in order to bring you a list of the month’s best indie games. April’s selection still looms large in the rear-view mirror, so you can check that out here in case you need to add any more game’s to your Steam backlog.
This month we’ve got skateboarding endless runners, winemaking simulation games, motorway management games, point-and-click adventure games, god-slaying action-RPGs, and more. So join us as we pick through our top indie prospects of the month.
Almighty: Kill Your Gods – May 5
This indie looter shooter from South Wales-based studio Runwild Entertainment cherry picks mechanics from games like Anthem, The Division 2, and Monster Hunter: World. You fly around an island sandbox looking for giant monsters to slay, whittle their massive health pools down until you can vanquish them with a melee finisher, take your loot to an extraction point, and then turn that loot into powerful gear back at your base. Almighty: Kill Your Gods is an out-and-out power fantasy, and sometimes that’s just what you need in life. Check it out here.
Skate City – May 6
Thankfully, skateboarding games are having something of a moment right now, and Skate City distills all the cool of a triple-A series like Skate into a 2.5D side-scrolling format. There are three cities to explore – Barcelona, Los Angeles, and Oslo – and each one features iconic skateboarding spots and obstacles from the real world. The controls are accessible, allowing you to treat each run as a meditative sightseeing tour, but Skate City’s soothingly lo-fi aesthetic belies the fact that there are hundreds of tricks and combinations to master. Check it out here.
Papetura – May 7
Papetura is an atmospheric point-and-click adventure game with a visually stunning aesthetic made entirely from animated paper. Creator Tomasz Ostafin was inspired by a 1996 point-and-click adventure game called Neverhood, which features a world made of clay. As every scene and creature in Papetura is made from paper, the lighting is especially gorgeous with illuminated objects glowing like paper lanterns. There’s no dialogue in Papetura, but it aims to tell a story about finding new friends and fighting loneliness. Check it out here.
The Hand of Merlin – May 11
Part Arthurian RPG, part sci-fi horror game, The Hand of Merlin mixes turn-based XCOM-like combat with roguelike mechanics as you guide your ramshackle party from Albion to Jerusalem. The Hand of Merlin’s horror influence manifests in the occasional battle against twisted, cosmic monsters from another dimension, but don’t worry if that’s not your vibe as there are still plenty of raiders, brigands, and outlaws to slay on your journey. Check it out here.
Hundred Days – Winemaking Simulator – May 13
Hundred Days is a farming sim and management game about starting your own vineyard and growing it into a successful winery. You choose the grape variety and type of wine you want to make, learn when best to harvest it, and eventually go through the process of turning the harvest into wine and bringing it to market. Boasting a crisp, minimalist art style, Hundred Days aims to be approachable and easy to understand for newcomers and would-be sommeliers alike. Check it out here.
Before We Leave – May 13
Before We Leave isn’t totally new to PC, but it is new to Steam after spending the last year on the Epic Games Store. This relaxing colony sim does away with any kind of combat mechanic, putting the focus instead on nurturing your humble civilisation and the planet it occupies. The closest thing to an enemy you encounter in Before We Leave is the occasional space whale that might swoop in to gobble up some vegetation. Don’t let the hexagonal tiles fool you, while it looks a lot like a Civ game, Before We Leave has much more in common with survival games like Frostpunk. Check it out here.
The Wild at Heart – May 20
There just aren’t enough games about amassing a horde of critters, leading them around the world, and getting them to do your bidding for you, are there? The Wild at Heart’s Pikmin-inspired gameplay sees you exploring the magical world of Deep Woods with your very own posse of cheerful little sprites, who rapidly batter any dangerous creatures in the forest and help you scale obstacles. It’s like a twee power trip, so of course we adore it completely. Check it out here.
Mind Scanners – May 20
In Mind Scanners, your job is to sort through people, analysing their brains to test how sane they are, and then meting out treatments to anyone who doesn’t fit the criteria for sanity. Like in Papers, Please, you’re working for an oppressive regime, so while you may not want to lobotomise someone for exhibiting any kind of ‘deviant’ behaviour, you don’t exactly have a choice in the matter. There are ways to push back against the powers that be, but you’ll have to balance any resistance with compliance as the government of this dystopian metropolis is holding your daughter hostage. Check it out here.
The Longest Road on Earth – May 20
The Longest Road on Earth is a short, narrative game with no dialogue or text. Its four stories are designed to be open to interpretation, and each one is accompanied by a handful of songs that evoke the essence of the actions and scenarios playing out on-screen. It’s a celebration of the quiet and tender moments that make up everyday life, and with no challenges or fail-safes you’re able to enjoy each one without worrying about what’s coming next. Check it out here.
Mini Motorways – TBC
Mini Metro was a breath of fresh air for the management and strategy genres when it released on PC back in 2015. It managed to make an oddly soothing experience out of the increasingly difficult task of keeping a subway running efficiently. Its successor, Mini Motorways, launched on mobile two years ago, but it’s finally coming to Steam this month. No surprises for guessing what the major difference between the two games is, but suffice it to say that managing a growing network of motorways in an evolving city has its own unique challenges for players to overcome. Check it out here.