Steam Summer Sale Highlights: Indies with Near-Infinite Playability

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By Tan Montana on June 30th, 2021

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I don’t have to tell you that the annual Steam Summer Sale is live again. It’s been plastered across our screen for days already. Another week and change of being barraged with more deals and games than any person could have time for is upon us. Fortunately, if your worry is time, I have a list of some of my personal favorite indies that you can lose yourself in.

Of course, I’m talking hundreds of hours of replayable content from studios and developers that put in the work. Trust me, I lost weeks of my life to some of these and now so can you.

Here are my top five independent games on the Steam Summer Sale with near-infinite replayability.

Heroes of Hammerwatch 

Figured I’d start out with a recent classic. You like classes, dungeons, and a difficulty scale that will eventually become a sheer wall you and your friends throw yourself against again and again? Heroes of Hammerwatch has you.

This roguelike spawns infinite dungeons with infinite combinations that shouldn’t be plausible but usually translate to crazy fun. Each run nets you income to build up your town and its corresponding buildings. Beyond the scope of the initial dungeon (which is quite large), there’s also a ton of DLC, and it’s all good. There’s a near-infinite power scaling, so you and your multiplayer party will always have more to do. It’s one of my personal co-op dungeon crawler favourites.

StoneShard

Stoneshard is still in early access but has more than enough content and potential to make it an easy buy. There’s a wealth of tactical challenge and freedom to explore, as well as a beautifully crafted pixel art world filled with towns, dungeons, and lots of little bits in-between.

Stoneshard is a good choice if you want a big world to explore and are ok with a bit of aimless questing for the time being. The full game promises a lot more, and the devs have kept good at every turn so far, earning them a loyal fanbase of players. (Good luck with the Trolls.)

Kenshi

There’s a reason Kenshi comes up in every discussion about procedural and emergent gameplay. The game is enormous, almost too big depending on who you ask. Nevertheless, this is a great one if you can handle a steep learning curve.

The setting for Kenshi is an apocalyptic desert world filled with violent factions and struggling cities. The potential for your lone character (or squad) is genuinely infinite. Faction building? Kenshi has it. Just don’t be too surprised when you end up captured and jailed by religious zealots for the first few hours of the game. But, really, just about anything can and will happen. Also, a potential sequel is in the works, so keep an eye on the horizon for that.

Outward

Outward is a bit rough around the edges, but another one of my favourites. A great single-player or co-op option with great overworld exploration and even better dungeon crawling. The combat is a bit clunky, and inventory management is going to take up a lot of your time, but I still think the world shines through on this one. The game starts with you indebted to a small communal town and given a deadline to pay off said debt or lose your family home. From that point on, the world is huge, dangerous, and can be explored in any path or method you choose. Want to keep your home and pay off your debt? Or do you want to travel to a giant mountain and learn how to do sick magic? Outward is a strong contender for a time-eater, and if you can get used to some of the clunk, a great RPG experience. 

Tan is a Tabletop RPG writer with a deep love for give-'em-a-chance indie games and music made on a ten-year-old laptop in Audacity. They drink their seltzer warm.

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