I don’t know about you dear readers, but hobbies can be pretty expensive! I can’t even begin to tell you how much I spent on manga just last month alone, but even that pales in comparison to the amount of games I buy each month. Most indie games are pretty cheap, anywhere from two bucks to $25, and some of the more mainstream releases can sometime take you back $40 or more and that can add up! Not everyone has the disposable income to buy every new game that comes out, and no that doesn’t mean I condone piracy, because NO.
But, rather than pirating a game, there are some free indie game options that are just as good if not more so than the bigger budget games on the market—and who doesn’t like saving a bit of cash and getting a quality game? So, whether you’re an avid gamer or someone who plays only a handful of games a year, here are some free games that’ll be a welcome addition to your gaming library.
While these games are free, throwing the devs a few bucks in tips is always appreciated~
Our Life Beginnings and Always is a slice of life visual novel/life simulator developed by indie studio GB Patch. This is one of my favorite indie games. Our Life delivers a wholesome and emotion driven experience where you control just about every aspect of story. Design your own character and grow from childhood to adulthood as you navigate the ups and downs of your life alongside your family, friends, and most importantly the lonely boy next door, Cove Holden. It’s the everyday moments and experiences that make this game so much fun, from choosing your favorite flower, deciding how you feel about your height, and even your relationship with your older sister, each and every choice is defined to make Our Life a very personal experience for each player. While the base game is free, you can purchase additional DLC content to help expand on the story.
Check out the Review: Our Life Beginnings and Always Review – A One of a Kind Life
Ebon Light is a dark fantasy visual novel from Underbliss. Follow a young woman who is torn between her fate and a dark secret that threatens her very life. Meet others on your journey, some will help you, while other will try and end your life. Will you survive and forge your own path or will you be bound by the circumstances of your fate? Customize your MC (hair, skin color, and eye color modifications), but also decide your protagonist’s disposition. Personality choices directly effect the course of the story. There are five male love interests to romance, and your choices throughout determine both your relationships and the outcome of the game (and you can die).
I Love You! (Suki Da!) is a slice of life comedy otome game developed by Shinogi Shiohara and localized in English by Moonchime Studios. This game is a riot! I’ve been pretty burned out on high school romance otome games, but I Love You! had me in stitches from start to finish. Follow a silent heroine as she navigates her high school days—her class is planning for their upcoming school festival, help your classmates prepare for the event and in your free time spend time hanging out with one of three cute boys!
Check out the Review: I Love You! (Suki Da!) Otome Game Review – Cute High School Rom Com
Cinderella Phenomenon is a fairytale inspired indie otome game developed by Dicesuki Games. Follow Lucette, a cold-hearted princess, who finds herself the victim of a witch’s curse. In order to break her curse Lucette must complete three good deeds, but that’s easier said than done for this selfish royal. I love this wave of twisted fairytale otome games (and I definitely want more of them), but Cinderella Phenomenon really takes the premise and puts it’s own unique spin on it. Rather than doing gender flipped characters like in Taisho x Alice, each of the characters are afflicted with a curse that is inspired by famous fairytales—stories like Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, and Peter Pan all get a fun twist. There’s even a sequel, Cinderella Phenomenon Evermore, where you can follow the characters after their ‘happily ever after’!
Check out the Review: Cinderella Phenomenon: Evermore – What Happens After Happily Ever After?
Dark Nights is a mystery romance visual novel from indie game developer pinlin. This game was in development for years before finally being released late last year. In the game you play as a young woman who becomes embroiled in a series of mysterious disappearances in her small time. While looking into the mystery you cross paths with four enigmatic young men. Could they be behind the disappearances? Are you next? Uncover this and more as you slowly put together the pieces of the puzzle. This kind of reminds me a bit of 7’scarlet, except, without the murder zombies and bro-con, each route builds up to a finale that brings wraps up the entire mystery quite nicely.