Christmas is a great way to get some gifts. The holiday spirit is all about giving, after all. So if you’re truly hankering for some great gift ideas for gamers, or just want to stuff your wishlists with as many new games as possible, we’re presenting you with some of the newest indie games on Steam that you’ll want to receive and play through during the holiday season!
This won’t be a definitive list, but the games on this list are ones that we feel extremely positive about. We have all of these games in our wishlists too. So, in no particular order, let’s get on with the list!
The newest game on our list, and possibly the slickest looking one, Fights in Tight Spaces is a turn-based deck-building game that aims to simulate, well, fights in tight spaces. With multiple enemies coming from different angles and a huge variety of ways to outmaneuver their smooth moves, Fights in Tight Spaces is a welcome addition to any gamer’s library who loves action flicks but can’t be bothered with games that rely on fast reflexes.
If you’ve played any of the newfangled deck-building video games like Slay the Spire or Monster Train, or maybe have had plenty of experience with physical ones like Star Realms or Dominion, then Fights in Tights Spaces will be right up your alley. This game will make you feel like a badass while also keeping true to its turn-based tactical gameplay.
If action flicks aren’t your thing, then how about a wacky management sim about creating a zoo? If you’re unsure about how wacky things can get in a zoo sim, then let me tell you about Let’s Build a Zoo. This sandbox game with beautiful pixel art puts you in charge of not only creating your animal enclosures and everything in it but also splicing together the DNA of different animals to create weird combinations of animals. Whether you want a Crocoduck, a Chickow, or something else entirely, there’s a whole bunch of possible combinations to uncover!
Of course, if that was all that the game could provide, it would be special enough. But with a bunch of random events with an equally oddball nature coupled with the usual management sim tropes of keeping customers happy while raking in the cash, it truly makes for a special one-of-a-kind of experience.
Crazy antics are fun, but if you’re looking for more of an odd mixture of gameplay elements, then Defend the Rook has it in spades. It combines tactical RPGs with tower defense mechanics while also being a rogue-lite. While a combination of any two of those elements has been mixed before, none has done it in this manner. The presentation is more akin to being a battle of chess, with players being able to move their pieces across a grid and summon various types of towers and units to defend their castle.
And while that would be different enough in itself, the added layer of being a rogue-lite makes each battle unique. If you’re not particularly enamored with how rogue-lites lull you into a particular gameplay loop, this will probably leave you wanting something different. But for everyone else, Defend the Rook will keep you coming back for one last round, over and over again.
So far, none of the games in this list presents a strong enough story. How about we change that with this entry then? Growbot is a point-and-click adventure game with very cute aesthetics and a strong visual identity. It follows the story of a young robot who is trying to save her verdant home from a dark force made up mostly of crystals. Most of the game is made up of various puzzle sections that the player must solve to progress through the story.
The one caveat that we have to give about Growbot is that its overall runtime was a bit short. Nonetheless, if you’re looking for a solid adventure game to sink your teeth into throughout the weekend, we can’t help but recommend this charming little package.
Do you want more story than just a cutesy adventure of a little robot trying to save his home? Then They Always Run is going to be your jam. It’s got a complex story about a three-armed bounty hunter caught up in a galaxy-wide conspiracy interwoven with its tight 2D Metroidvania gameplay. The setting gives off a strong Cowboy Bebop vibe, while the gameplay feels like a more methodical version of Dead Cells’ over-the-top action sequences.
The coolest thing about They Always Run is the usage of the third arm. Rather than simply pressing a button to perform attacks with it, players need to manually aim it using their mouse, making for a surprisingly flexible attack that can be executed from any angle.
If you’ve never played any game from Freebird Games before, then Impostor Factory will surprise you with how much of an emotional gut-punch this game can be. It’s billed as a tragicomedy, sure, but when the tragedy part hits, it hits hard. There isn’t much gameplay to be found in Impostor Factory. It’s mostly a superbly written story fleshed out by having players be involved in it by having some sections of walking around, talking to people, and interacting with objects.
There’s also a good amount of puzzles to solve throughout the game’s runtime. The puzzles are good, but there’s nothing here that will challenge you as a gamer. If you’re looking for ways to test your skills, Impostor Factory won’t be the game you’re looking for. But it will test the threshold of your tears.
Do you miss the 2D Metal Gear games on the MSX2? Or maybe you want to play them but find it tedious to whip out such an old system? You’re in luck then, because Unmetal harkens back to that good old top-down 2D stealth action of those titles and puts them into the modern era! The catch here is that this one’s a comedic romp that pays homage to the classics with plenty of humor and satire, so if you feel like you won’t be amused by a game that makes fun of the hyper serious military setting of Metal Gear games, then maybe skip this one out.
If you can get past that barrier, though, you’ll have an especially fun time in your hands. This is a great parody of the series, and even if you’re not exactly privy to any of the Metal Gear games, the humor here is still fresh and will be able to continuously deliver you solid gameplay and hearty laughs.
If you’re iffy about early access games, this one might not be for you. But if you’re willing to invest in a game brimming with potential, then Potion Craft: Alchemist Simulator might just be your cup of tea. It’s one of those games that has a very satisfying gameplay loop and a singular focus. You gather ingredients, craft potions, then sell them off to customers. There’s very little pressure to succeed because even your failures are a big part of what makes the game enjoyable, especially given the flavor of alchemy that this game is going for.
If we’re looking to nitpick something about the game, it’s just that there’s nothing to the game that is a challenge. Everything is fun and safe, and there’s not much to it in terms of narrative too. But if you’re simply looking for a chill gaming session, then Potion Craft will be the perfect game for you.
Flavor is the name of Eastward's game. Its world is brimming with characters that you would want to get to know more about, the locales are places that you would want to stay in longer, and the music gives each area a unique feeling to them. This game is probably the most well-known on this list, but that comes with plenty of good reasons. The story is delightful, albeit a bit slow-paced. But when it finally moves forward, it does so with plenty of gusto.
Eastward wears its inspirations on its sleeves. One look at it and you’ll know that it takes plenty of cues from Earthbound and Undertale with its charming worldbuilding, quirky characters, and colorful visuals. The gameplay treads plenty of familiar ground, but that’s such a small caveat for players to be torn away from the wonderful world presented in this game.
Our last game is something that we hold close to our hearts and for good reason. Log Jammers has long been in early access, and while its fast-paced gameplay is better suited for couch sessions with friends or online multiplayer with jeers and cheers via voice chat, the current state of both the world and the game offers very few opportunities to play it as such.
Thankfully, with the upcoming updates to the game’s multiplayer code, online play will be smoothed out. Add to that the new servers that we’ll be adding to the mix, plenty of quality of life changes, and easier ways to invite friends, and we’ve got ourselves a banger of a multiplayer game to end this list.
Why Not All of Them?
And that’s our list of Steam games that we would love to see in our libraries this Christmas! If you feel like we’ve missed any game that you want to see, then go ahead and tell us all about it on any of our social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram! You can also head on over to our Mega Cat Discord to discuss which other games you want on your wishlist!