To say that the 2020s have been an extremely exhausting decade thus far would be a huge understatement. For people working in various creative fields, this exhaustion has come with many additional hurdles as traditional, in-person, means of advertising their art were not available, particularly during the early years of the pandemic. Thankfully, various different forms of community awareness have made it possible for various video games and comics to reach a wider audience, be it through “Nintendo Direct” inspired showcases for indie games, digital comic festivals, or positive word of mouth on social media. That being said, it is difficult for every single title released to get the spotlight, as so many wonderful video games and comics have been released this decade, both independent and mainstream, and many more are planned for release in the near future. That is why I have decided to do my part in signal-boosting a variety of titles that I personally loved and enjoyed these past few years so that more people are able to discover and enjoy them for themselves.
This post will focus on fourteen independent video games that were released during the three-year time period of 2020 to 2022, as well as one developer who has released several titles throughout this time period. The titles all vary in terms of art style and gameplay, but many common themes within them are queer positivity, creative game design, and a strong narrative focus. I have also chosen to list these titles in terms of both age appropriateness and inclusion of potentially triggering content. This means that titles that can be enjoyed at any age and have next to no triggering content are at the top of the list, while games that are only intended for adults and have severely triggering content are at the very bottom of this list. This is based partially on my subjective experience of playing said games, the developers’ own descriptions and discussions of the games in their own words, and any age ratings available in digital stores.