The Best Indie Games to give as gifts (and who to give them to)

You’re here because you need to give someone a gift, and you want to give the gift of the game. Well, we’re here to help!

You’re here because you need to give someone a gift, and you want to give the gift of the game. Well, we’re here to help! We’ve compiled this handy list of the best games to give to certain people, we hope you find what you need, and if you don’t just reach out to @indie_game_fans on Twitter and we’ll give you a recommendation ASAP! We’ve ordered these from most likely you’re looking for it to least likely you’re looking for it, so let’s get started!

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Sibling

give somethng away day Sibling

We get it, you’re related but you’re not, like, besties. Now some event is coming up; a birthday, christmas, graduation, whatever; and you want to get them a gift, but you can’t find a wishlist and you don’t want to, you know, ASK, because that’d ruin the surprise.
Well fret not, we have just the thing!

‘From the creator of Pony Island and The Hex comes the latest mind melting, self-destructing love letter to video games. Inscryption is an inky black card-based odyssey that blends the deckbuilding roguelike, escape-room style puzzles, and psychological horror into a blood-laced smoothie. Darker still are the secrets inscrybed upon the cards…’

Stick with me here, I’d normally never recommend a card game, but trust me on this one, it’ll be worth it. Give it a play yourself first, and then give it to your sibling, maybe watch them play it, maybe experience it for the first time together. I promise there’ll be plenty for you to talk about and plenty of hard gameplay decisions to make. As this is a card game it makes a great shared gaming experience, and what’s more your sibling will think you’re really cool.

Friend

give somethng away day Friend

Your friend has something coming up and you NEED to get something, but what… We’ve scientifically figured out the best game to give a friend, and by scientifically I of course mean by thinking of it with our very subjective opinion making skills.

‘Winner of Best Game at the 2020 BAFTA Games Awards and named Game of the Year 2019 by Giant Bomb, Polygon, Eurogamer, and The Guardian, Outer Wilds is a critically-acclaimed and award-winning open world mystery about a solar system trapped in an endless time loop.’

Outer Wilds is, in this humble writer’s opinion, one of the best games of the last decade, maybe of all time. This is a perfect game to give to a friend, you can help figure out the puzzles, give tips and talk about the mind-bending late-game. Trust me, there’s no way two intrepid and curious games could regret getting this or (for easier puzzles) the amazing DLC.

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Partner

give somethng away day Partner

You’ve been together a while, you want to get something that will let you spend more time together but also let you rack up more game hours, what are you to do?

‘Embark on the craziest journey of your life in It Takes Two, a genre-bending platform adventure created purely for co-op. Invite a friend to join for free with Friend’s Pass and work together across a huge variety of gleefully disruptive gameplay challenges. Play as the clashing couple Cody and May, two humans turned into dolls by a magic spell. Together, trapped in a fantastical world where the unpredictable hides around every corner, they are reluctantly challenged with saving their fractured relationship.’

Look, I know this isn’t TECHNICALLY an indie because it was published by EA, but they can’t keep getting away with swiping an indie halfway into development and acting like it’s theirs. This is the PERFECT game to play with your partner, with an engaging story, great setpieces and most of all some of the most fun co-op gameplay ever put to screen, if you’ve not played it yet you need to fix that ASAP! Each level has new character abilities and mechanics, each environment is well-realised and unique, the platforming is thought out and satisfying and generally speaking this is just a fantastic title and one of the best 3D platformers in recent years.

Parent

give somethng away day Parent

If your parents are anything like my parents then they’re always trying to understand and get involved in the things I love and my hobbies, and it can be nice to give parents a window into why you love this hobby so much. And we believe this is the perfect game to do so.

‘Play as Lee Everett, a convicted criminal, who has been given a second chance at life in a world devastated by the undead. With corpses returning to life and survivors stopping at nothing to maintain their own safety, protecting an orphaned girl named Clementine may offer him redemption in a world gone to hell.’

The walking dead is a perfect game for parents, with an engaging story and minimalist gameplay this is a perfect introduction to the world of games, and being from a decade ago it gives them space to be impressed by newer titles in future.

Ex

give somethng away day Ex

Sorry? Why are you trying to buy your ex a gift? I’ll be honest that’s a red flag, I hope this is you ending it on good terms and still being friends and not you trying to win them back or otherwise being weird about it. Honestly I don’t even know what to suggest, maybe Downwell? It’s great fun and super cheap, so perfect for this.

Downwell is a curious game about a young person venturing down a well in search of untold treasures with only his Gunboots for protection. Make your way further and further down into the darkness filled with nasty creatures and mysterious secrets to collect the spectacular red gems scattered about the rocks. Step into precariously placed shops and buy some helpful items or level up between levels to battle well-dwelling monsters and uncover hidden caves filled with riches and relics. No two trips down the well are ever the same!’

This game was made for mobile, but at that price you can’t turn down this definition of simple but effective.

The Pope

give somethng away day The Poop

Sorry, I think this one must have been put here by mistake. I have absolutely no idea in what situation or for what reason you’d possibly need to buy The Pope a video game. We are talking about the same pope, right? The one in the vatican? Vatican City? 

Well, whatever you do, just be sure not to buy Undertale, if you are somehow in the situation where you somehow, for some reason need to buy The Pope a video game, then do not buy Undertale, for any reason.

Alright, that’s all, that’s our brief gift guide for this day of giving, we hope you found what you wanted and we hope whoever you buy for likes the game!

Liked this list? Why not try Josh’s List of 5 Indies that Belong in a Museum or Jamie’s List of 5 Relaxing Indies to Chill With.