The Best Indie Games Made By Women to Play This International Women’s Day

It’s International Women’s Day and, while it shouldn’t require a special day to celebrate the success of women, it’s as good a time as any to look at some excellent indie games made solely by women.

“Games made by women” is a strange search term, because practically every game will have had numerous women as part of its production team. Plenty of AAA games have women in leading roles, too. But right now, we want to look at games which have been made solely, or at least primarily, by women. We’ve picked out four of the best indie games – all tried and tested by us – either made solely by one woman or by a small team led by women.

To women all around the world, happy International Women’s Day. Be powerful, do great things, and don’t let outdated gender stereotypes hold you back. With love from one woman who makes a living writing about video games on a website she co-created.

Cibele by Nina Freeman

Cibele is a game about “love, sex and the internet”, according to its Steam description. Created by Nina Freeman, it’s partly-autobiographical, based on Nina’s own experiences of being online as a 19-year old. Players will get the chance to explore Nina’s computer, browsing her files and emails, and play the RPG game she’s obsessed with: Valtameri.

Most of your time playing Cibele will be spent in Valtameri’s world, where you’ll take control of Nina’s avatar and engage with other players Nina has made friends with. In our review, we said that Cibele “is, in equal measures, funny, embarrassing and devastating, and largely that’s because it’s all so relatable”. As far as indie games made by women go, they don’t get much better – or realer – than this. If you’re a women and you’ve used the internet, you’ll relate to so much of Cibele.

Read our review of Cibele

A Normal Lost Phone by Accidental Queens

In their own words, Accidental Queens is a “French video game development studio initially founded by three women from the games industry.” The team is now made up of Diane Landais, Miryam Houali and Simon Bachelier, and their first game was A Normal Lost Phone.

A Normal Lost Phone has you exploring the phone of an unknown person that you’ve just found on the street. It’s your goal to find out who the phone belongs to by looking through texts, photos and files. It’s an intimate insight into someone’s life – and although simple in premise, it manages to pack in many complicated, sensitive topics into its gameplay. A Normal Lost Phone has often been compared to Her Story, so if you enjoy learning about the intricacies of a character while piecing together evidence, this is a game worth playing.

Read our review of A Normal Lost Phone

Before I Forget by 3-Fold Games

Before I Forget

Comprising of two women, Claire Morwood and Chella Ramanan, 3-Fold Games is a studio based in the south west of England. Their first game is Before I Forget, a gorgeously-told narrative-driven experience that tells the story of a woman living with Alzheimer’s Disease.

Playing as Sunita, players will explore a house and the objects within it to try to piece together a life. Whether you’re reading notes or looking at photographs, you’ll get a glimpse into Sunita’s past. At the same time, you’ll also be struggling with Sunita’s present, as she battles with an illness that makes it hard for her to separate the past from the present. It’s a short experience, but one that stays with you long after the credits roll.

In our review, we said: “a sensitive, beautiful and emotional glimpse into what it might be like to live with Alzheimer’s Disease, Before I Forget feels as important as it is excellently-executed.” So, if you’re looking for one of the best indie games made by women this International Women’s Day, don’t miss this one.

Read our review of Before I Forget

If Found… By Dreamfeel

if found

Last but absolutely not least is the gorgeous and moving If Found… from Dreamfeel. This is the first major release from Dreamfeel, a studio headed by Dublin-based Llaura McGee. She hasn’t created If Found… quite by herself though – also on the team was Liadh Young, Eve Golden Woods, Brianna Chew and Tim Sabo. The result of their work is an expressive and emotional story about a young transgender woman named Kasio. Throughout the course of If Found…, players will learn more about her, covering topics such as self exploration, queer togetherness, relationships and family bonds.

When we reviewed If Found… back in 2020, we called it “something truly special”, and “unique, provocative and wonderful”. In fact, it scored a 10/10 from us, something reserved for only the very best games. So if that doesn’t convince you that If Found… is one of the very best indie games made by women, we don’t know what else will.

Read our review of If Found…