10 really exciting indie games releasing May 2021

Posted on May 5, 2021

MAYDAY MAYDAY gamers… it’s May! How is it May already? 2021 can’t be stopped, no matter how many times we try to find that pause button. So it’s a good thing the indie releases this month are a rather brilliant batch. Look away from the indelible Countess Alcina Dimitrescu AKA tall lady in the new Resident Evil 8: Village for just a moment. Maybe you might just find a delicious hunk of fun among these 10 indie game releases coming out this May 2021!

Eastern Market Murder

Developer: True Crime Games
Release Date: May 1
Platforms: iOS, Android
Genre: AR Location-Based Game

“Investigate a shocking true crime from 1899 as you explore crime scenes, question witnesses and collect evidence to outsmart the killer and reclaim justice for the victim’s family. Delve into a mystical world of fortune tellers and phrenologists in this twisted tale of murder and madness. Blood red radishes, a business rivalry, whispers of false friends. When everything is not as it seems, will you foresee how it ends?”

A fresh new AR game from Melbournes’ own True Crime Games – Eastern Market Murder is going to have you visiting crime scenes and investigating a real crime that took place 120 years ago! Think Pokémon GO but twisted, so instead of catching Pokémon you’ll be catching on to the clues as you hunt down the killer. I love this blend of the old and new this game presents. Seeing Melbourne’s history explored through an AR app is a wild idea and the very mention of true crime in my vicinity has me with my phone at the ready. BYO power packs for this one, folks!

The Invisible Hand

Developer: Power Struggle Games
Release Date: May 7
Platforms: PC
Genre: Simulation

“Want to get rich, quick? Welcome to FERIOS, where you’ll be empowered to pursue wealth and success as a mid-level stockbroker! Your wildest dreams of wealth can come true… at the cost of everything else.”

You ever watched Billions or Succession and thought: “Wow, I really would thrive in an intense toxic work environment!” Then this one for you. Sell your soul and become a capitalist, making money off other people’s misfortune as you stockbroke your way to the money. It’s tongue in cheek investing that will have you become the master of insider trading. And when you’re not making serious bank, you get to torment your fellow brokers as you roam the office. Someone better call human resources now! This one sounds perfect for those with a knack for simulation games a little on the sarcastic side.

Retro Machina

Developer: Orbit Studio
Release Date: May 12
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch
Genre: Puzzle

“Retro Machina is a single-player action and exploration game set in a retro-futuristic universe. Experience the journey of a little robot as they solve intricate puzzles and begin unraveling the mysteries of a world long forgotten.”

I’m a sucker for a game about robots and this one is certainly not an exception. Retro Machina pulls me into its gears with its retro-futuristic hand-drawn worlds that beckon the player in closer. The indie game also boasts intricate puzzles so it’s not just another pretty face. I am quite intrigued by the hacking mechanics and how one can use different robots to gain a variety of abilities. The level design also gives me big Transistor vibes which is high praise, so it will be interesting to see how this game measures up.

Sacrificial Lighthouse

Developer: PhobiaGamesNet
Release Date: May 13
Platforms: PC
Genre: Adventure

“You are a girl called Maya who ends stranded in island with a lighthouse during a storm. What is this strange place? How did she get here? What to do next? Explore this small island and lighthouse to understand what happened to Maya.”

This game’s aim is to crush your heart, so if that’s a game you can get around then this one may be just what you’re looking for. Sacrificial Lighthouse carries this eery despair to the player with its drawn 2D art style that’s backed up by a story just as atmospheric. Pinned as a psychological thriller, this lighthouse might not be the safe harbour we hope, but it is so fetching as an indie game experience. Embrace the darkness and discover what happened to Maya during the storm.

The Wild At Heart

Developer: Moonlight Kids
Release Date: May 20
Platforms: PC, Xbox One
Genre: Adventure

“A mysterious hidden realm. Two precocious kids fleeing hardship. Magical creatures and an oddball order of guardians who have lost their way. A stygian evil imprisoned. Welcome to the Deep Woods.”

Pairing players with a variety of magical little creatures, The Wild At Heart encourages players to search for and craft new items and structures There are even opportunities to battle predators and supernatural foes that lurk among the stylized environments. At nighttime the foes become even more prevalent too, so be sure to keep your critters safe by the fire till dawn. This is an indie game that showcases its charm through every little detail. It looks like a perfect offering for those with an interest in Pikmin as well, and it’s just as cute!

Just Die Already

Developer: DoubleMoose Games
Release Date: May 21
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch
Genre: Sandbox

“You are an old retired person in a near future where people aren’t having any children. There isn’t anyone to pay for pensions due to those ungrateful millennials who prefer playing video games instead of doing actual work. With no one to cover your living costs, you – just like all other old people in this world – have no other choice but to survive on your own.”

This time of year wouldn’t be complete without a simulation sandbox and this one is definitely one of the more cathartic. Players will find themselves elderly and unwanted in a city sandbox that is less than kind to senior citizens. It’s a chaotic mash of cartoon chaos and gore that’s certainly fun but not fit for the whole family! Also featuring online co-op for up to 4 people, Just Die Already will give you a taste of life as a boomer. Just don’t forget your false teeth though!

The Longest Road on Earth

Developer: Brainwash Gang, TLR Games
Release Date: May 20
Platforms: PC
Genre: Interactive Fiction

“A thoughtful and deeply personal title with stripped-down mechanics. The lack of dialogue or text allows you to create your own narrative through your time with four characters. Each short story will allow players to be swept away by the haunting lyrics of over twenty original, nostalgic songs.”

The retro style of this game blows me away. It sits somewhere between surrealist and nostalgia. The visuals inspire a sense of melancholy in how they tell the story, but ultimately it’s up to the player to interpret what’s happening. The game goes for around 2-hours and all the music is original so Brainwash Gang and TLR Games have definitely put the work into making this a ruminative experience something players won’t forget. I love indie games like this that don’t spoon-feed the player with a story. Games like these often surprise me at the thought processes and memories they trigger, so I’ll certainly be picking this up.

Very Very Valet

Developer: Toyful Games
Release Date: May 25
Platforms: Switch
Genre: Arcade

“Very Very Valet is a madcap couch co-op party game. 1 to 4 players control an “elite” team of puppet valets, working together to overcome any and all valet-related challenges. It’s going to take teamwork and a certain “just park it anywhere” mentality to save the world from a severe parking crisis! It’s not enough to just be a valet – be a VERY VERY VALET.”

Get your hands on the keys and park cars in this couch co-op experience. Very Very Valet swerves onto the Switch as a timed exclusive. Perfect for players after something new for their next game night, so get your mates over for this one. I’m also living for the character design. They look a bit like the muppets after a career change, but it’s so fun and it works with the levels shown so far. Giving this one a go is a no-brainer.

An Airport For Aliens Currently Run By Dogs

Developer: Strange Scaffold
Release Date: May 25
Platforms: PC, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One
Genre: Wholesome

“An Airport for Aliens Currently Run by Dogs is a first-person open-world comedy adventure game with a very long name. You and your fiancée are the last two human beings left in the universe. Dogs run airports, along with the rest of society. Deal with alien logic, travel issues, and strange stock photo dogs as you attempt to stay in touch with the person you love, when you both live your lives on the go!”

I’ve had the itch to travel ever since lockdown so this game sounds perfect for those looking to flea the country. This game may sound bizarre, and surface-level it is pretty wild. If you look past the cute dogs, just for a moment you’ll realise you’re in an airport that is impossible to navigate thanks to the alien language you don’t understand. As far as indie games go, this one knows the assignment. It packs all the quirk into a wholesome experience that I’m sure will lead to many laughs as players learn the dog’s secret language. The developers at Strange Scaffold also know you love patting video game dogs, so you can pat any dog in the game at any time!

King Of Seas

Developer: 3DClouds
Release Date: May 26
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch
Genre: RPG

“King of Seas is an Action Role playing game set in a deadly procedurally generated pirate world. In a ferocious plot you will fight to regain what has been taken away and embark on an epic adventure in a fantastic world, filled with battles, lost islands and treasures. A universe full of amazing characters and breathtaking missions will keep you anchored as you strive to become the king of all pirates.”

Calling all buccaneers, there’s a new ship on the horizon! Don’t be so quick to make this one walk the plank ether or compare it to Sea Of Thieves. The tides of King Of Seas sound like a perfect adventure title to sink into and explore. I think what I see as the biggest draw for myself to this game is the procedural generation. Playing an ocean exploration game is one thing, but playing one that is totally unique every new game – well call me a pirate because I’m definitely going to relish this treasure. I love that this is also a single-player title, so no need to worry about assembling the crew for this one. Whether you’re after a rich combat system or the chance to explore the open waters at your own pace, King Of Seas will definitely have you covered.

The indie game offerings this May are a pretty wild selection, so hopefully something here has you interested. Let us know if we missed something you have your eye on!