The most anticipated video game tradeshow of the year doesn’t only include the big names. It also welcomes some of the most creative games by independent designers, known affectionately as “indie games.” Some of these games are made by very small, unknown teams, and others are small teams that have been scooped up by the big names in gaming. Regardless of how they came about, here are 10 of the best indie games at this year’s E3.

1. Abzû

If you love beautiful and fascinating features in your video games, Abzû is for you. This game takes place under the sea, and your goal is to uncover details about the character as you explore the seascape. It’s both relaxing and enthralling.

2. Cuphead

Cuphead, though strangely named and designed, was a major standout among the other E3 games. It’s meant to mimic a 1930s cartoon, and it does this well. Enjoy a vintage gaming experience while going head-to-head with clever characters, both noble and ignoble.

3. Beyond Eyes

This game was so popular on the E3 floor that it not only made it onto the list of top indie games, but also the list of top games overall. It was shown as a part of Microsoft’s display, but that’s not the only reason it gained so much attention. The scenes are beautiful, the interface flawless, and the main character is a 10-year-old blind girl looking for her missing cat. The player enjoys a long walk with the little girl as she overcomes her fears and navigates the beautiful world using only touch, smell, and sound.

4. Firewatch

Imagine standing alone in the middle of nowhere in Wyoming on a fire lookout. Your only human communication is through a walkie-talkie to your superior. That’s the premise of Firewatch, which is a game based on exploration and forming a relationship with someone you’ve never met in-person.

5. No Man’s Sky

With No Man’s Sky, you can explore the universe, virtually, with an interface patterned after the real thing. As the name suggests, there are no limits for exploration and beauty, with stunning graphics that bring it all to life.

6. Soma

With this thrilling underwater game, you get survival and horror rolled into one. The main character is looking to escape from an underwater world of the spine-chillingly unknown.

7. Lumino City

Join Lumi, the young star of this visually appealing game, who must solve puzzles and win mini games in order to find her missing grandfather. All of the scenes in this game are fashioned with paper and cardboard to create a scrapbook-like city.

8. Unravel

This character-driven game follows Yarny, a doll made entirely of wire and red yarn. As Yarny tries to explore the incredible world around him, his string unravels until there is nothing left of him. The challenge is to collect tokens and solve puzzles before Yarny unravels entirely.

9. Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture

The premise of this game is interesting. It’s post-apocalyptic, but instead of everyone dying in an explosion or from a mass epidemic, the Rapture has occurred, leaving behind just a few people. You can enjoy following as many as six characters, and their stories, as they navigate this nearly empty world.

10. Guild of Dungeoneering

Last but not least, Guild of Dungeoneering turned several heads at the convention. It acts like a goofy board game, but you’re allowed to build your own dungeons. The goal is to collect as much loot as possible, and train your recruits for serious battles.

Tags : E3e3 2015indie games