From Anthem to Kingdom Hearts 3, there are plenty of triple-A video games to look forward to in the year ahead. However, 2019 is also shaping up to be a great year for indie games. Below, we’ve rounded up a few of our top picks for some of the best upcoming indie games of 2019 that gamers should keep an eye on in the coming year. 

Children of Morta

Children of Morta is an upcoming hack-and-slash roguelike game being developed by Dead Mage and published by 11 bit studios. As a member of the Bergson family, players are tasked with slaying endless hordes of enemies on a procedurally-generated mountain that has been infected with Corruption. It is up to the Bergson family to push back the violent nightmare that now plagues Mount Morta in an effort to protect their home. 

Children of Morta’s unique art style and glowing color palette make for an attractive pixel art aesthetic that sets it apart from many other games, while its ever-changing world will keep players coming back for more. Players can brave the terrors of the mountain alone or alongside a friend through local or online co-op. Originally slated for 2018, Children of Morta has since been postponed and is now scheduled to launch simultaneously on Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch, and PC in 2019.

Mineko’s Night Market

Mineko’s Night Market is a community/merchant simulation game made for cat lovers. Developed by Meowza Games and published by Humble Bundle, Mineko’s Night Market is an adventure game that’s all about crafting, exploration, and most importantly, collecting cats. Don’t expect a passive kitty collector like Neko Atsume, however. From crafting goods to setting up shop every evening, there’s plenty to keep you busy in Mineko’s Night Market.

You play as Mineko, an ambitious and curious girl who has moved to a new Japanese-inspired island town where the residents worship a Sun Cat named Abe. As you complete quests, make friends, and begin to build rapport with the locals, new details about Abe begin to surface. If a cat-themed Animal Crossing sounds like your cup of tea, then you should definitely look forward to Mineko’s Night Market on PC, Mac, and Nintendo Switch in 2019.

Disco Elysium

Developer ZA/UM is taking the hardboiled detective genre to a whole new level in their upcoming isometric RPG, Disco Elysium. In this game, players take on the role of a disgraced detective who is tasked with solving an open-ended case while simultaneously battling his own internal demons. Set in an urban-fantasy setting, players are free to choose what sort of cop they want to be, with choices and consequences around every corner. 

Interpreting clues and new information is done through a unique internal dialogue system, where your own internal faculties and emotions play a role in your crime-solving capabilities. The exact release date for this witty and inventive detective RPG has yet to be announced, but it’s worth keeping an eye out for Disco Elysium in 2019.

Soundfall

Musically inclined gamers will want to look out for Soundfall, an upcoming rhythm-based game that mixes dungeon crawling with uplifting musical beats. Developed by Drastic Games, a team composed primarily of Epic Games alumni, Soundfall is described as an “upbeat action/adventure game with music at its core.” If you enjoyed Crypt of the NecroDancer, then Soundfall will likely be right up your alley.

In Soundfall, players control Melody, a young audiophile who must fight off malicious foes in a musically driven world named Symphonia, a place where music manifests as part of the real world. Players must shoot, dash, and move to the beat of persistent songs that overlay each adventure. Timing your actions to the beat will grant bonuses that allow you to unleash special abilities while grooving through Symphonia. The game’s Fig campaign was fully funded in December 2018, so make sure to stay tuned for Soundfall sometime in the year ahead.

DARQ

Many of us have experienced what it’s like to be self-aware while dreaming. Developer Unfold Games takes this concept as the basis for their upcoming puzzle adventure game, DARQ. You play as Lloyd, a boy who has become aware of the fact that he’s dreaming while asleep. Lloyd’s lucid dream devolves into a nightmare, and he can’t seem to wake himself up. Left with few options, Lloyd takes control of his surroundings instead by manipulating the dream world around him in an effort to survive. 

DARQ features world-bending puzzles and moments of stealth not unlike Tarsier Studios’ dark puzzler, Little Nightmares. According to the game’s Steam page, DARQ is scheduled to release for PC sometime during the first half of 2019.

If you’re looking for more great indie games to play, check out our picks for the top five must-play indie games of 2018, as well as some of the indie games you may have missed.