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The Best Indie Games From January 2024

Best indie games of January 2024

With the month coming to a close, it’s time to look back on the best indie games from across January 2024. The first month of the year is typically a quiet one, but this month’s been a little more hectic than usual. There’s been a good amount of indie games trickle out, and while we haven’t been able to try them all, we’ve had our hands on a good number of ’em.

We’re only featuring games that we’ve played, and each of the games mentioned here have more in-depth reviews or features published elsewhere on the site. (Don’t worry – we’ll give you a link!) Without further ado, then, if you want something a little different to play and relish an indie gem, we’ve got you covered.

1. Chronique des Silencieux

A screenshot of Chronique des Silencieux showing protagonist Eugene interviewing a character.
Image: Pierre Feuille Studio
  • Great for fans of classic point and click games and detective mysteries
  • Beautiful animation and clever dialogue
  • Available on PC

It’s tough as nails – we’re not ashamed to say we’ve still not finished it – but if you’re a fan of solving mysteries without much help, there’s a lot to love about Chronique des Silencieux. It’s one of the best indie games of January 2024, particularly if you love story-driven adventures. You play as Eugene, a young man who’s just arrived in a small town in France. Finding his uncle in prison, however, he’s thrown straight into a dark mystery that sees him embroiled in underground drug rings, brothels, murder and more.

There’s no hand-holding here: while there is a hint system, you’re mostly on your own. Solving Chronique des Silencieux is all about making connections between dialogue and documents, picking up on inconsistencies with what people have said. You need to pay close attention to everything, then, but it’s worth it. Getting something right feels good.

Read more about Chronique des Silencieux

2. Home Safety Hotline

Home Safety Hotline
Image: Night Signal Entertainment
  • You’ll love it if you’re a fan of the uncanny and the macabre
  • A unique horror game quite unlike anything else you’ve played
  • Available on PC

Home Safety Hotline puts you in a call centre unlike any other. Forget helping people with their bank payments: here, you’ll be figuring out weird household problems and… infestations. Sure, you might start out offering your advice about mould and cockroaches. But it won’t be long until you move onto trying to figure out why your clients have homes filled with common hobbs and faes.

This is a horror game quite unlike anything else, where you’ll be listening to people’s calls and trying to figure out the best way to help them. Your Windows 98-style database will be your best friend, providing all the information you need about the weird and wonderful issues your callers may get in their homes.

Read our review of Home Safety Hotline

3. Go Mecha Ball

Go Mecha Ball
Image: Super Rare Originals
  • Epic combination of pinball and twin-stick shooting
  • If you’re a roguelike fan, this is worth jumping into
  • Available on PC and Xbox Series X

Go Mecha Ball took us by surprise when we jumped in last week. We get codes in our inbox on a regular basis, and we don’t often know what to expect. We took a chance on Go Mecha Ball, though, and we’re very glad we did. This fast-paced, relentless roguelike game combines twin-stick shooting and pinball to create something unlike anything else you’ve played before. Sure, you can shoot. But you’re going to do better when you’re razzing around the stage in pinball mode.

Speed pays in Go Mecha Ball. Too slow, and you’re going to get bombarded by the plethora of enemies pervading each stage. But being fast means losing some precision, and you’re going to want to have good aim to ensure you can dash into enemies and make it up ramps. Lose all your health, and it’s game over – but you’ll no doubt jump straight back in again.

Read more about Go Mecha Ball

4. The Cub

The Cub
Screenshot: GameSpew
  • For fans of platforming games like Limbo
  • Set in the same universe as Golf Club Wasteland – without the golf
  • Available on PS5, Xbox Series X and PC

Remember Golf Club Wasteland? The Cub is set in the same world. But instead of 2D side-scrolling golf, this is a side-scrolling platforming adventure game. You play as the titular Cub, a young boy left to fend for himself on an Earth abandoned by the humans that used to live there. But with the atmosphere now toxic, he’s wanted by the scientists, now residing on Mars, who come back to Earth to take samples.

The Cub isn’t very long – it’ll only take you three or four hours to complete – but in that time you’ll be outwitting scientists, keeping away from their hungry hands. There are some slower-paced stealth sections along with fast-paced traversal, so this is a game that requires you to keep your wits about you. It looks fantastic, packs in a great atmosphere, and we love the story here. The fact it fits so nicely with Golf Club Wasteland is a nice touch, too.

Read our The Cub review

5. Bahnsen Knights

A three-colour car-driving mini-game in the game Bahnsen Knights.
Image: LCB Game Studio
  • The third game in LCB Game Studio’s Pixel Pulps trilogy
  • Great for fans of cultish mysteries and lo-fi animations
  • Available on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch and PC

The third part of a trilogy, Bahnsen Knights isn’t going to be for everyone. But its unapologetic visual style and edgy story means that you’re going to find it hard to resist. Start with the first game, Mothmen 1966 if you wish, and you’ll get your way here eventually. It’ll be worth the ride, because Bahnsen Knights is a delicious tale, packing in suspense and shock in droves.

Best described as a visual novel, it’s only going to take you two or three hours to complete Bahnsen Knights, but it’s a few hours you’ll be completely on the edge of your seat, engrossed in its darkly fascinating tale. There are a few duff bits – we didn’t get on with the driving minigame, for example – but it’s a small price to pay for how good the rest of it is.

Read our review of Bahnsen Knights

6. Lil’ Guardsman

Lil Guardsman
Image: Hilltop Studios
  • A cuter, easier-going Papers, Please
  • Gorgeous, colourful artwork and memorable characters
  • Available on PS5, Xbox Series X/S, Switch and PC

Lil’ Guardsman puts you in the shoes of Lil, a 12-year-old girl who has found herself taking over her dad’s job as the town’s guardsman. Her father, incapacitated by his gambling habit, has left the position open, and now it falls down to Lil to vet who enters the town. By talking to each wannabe visitor, you’ll need to ascertain if they’re there for the right reasons – or if they potentially want to overthrow the government and/or eat innocent civilians. Hey, it’s a possibility.

Your decision goes, and there’s a good chance you might make the wrong call. But with dozens of visitors to vet, you’ll get better as you go.k Thankfully, nothing’s too challenging in Lil’ Guardsman, and there’s plenty of leniency if you do step wrong. What you’ll likely enjoy most, though, is the game’s fantastic visual style – a charming, chunky 2D art style packed with colour – and its writing, which is dropping with humour. If you like to have a chuckle while you play, you’ll find this to be one of the best indie games of January 2024, hands down.

Read our review of Lil’ Guardsman

Editor in chief // Kim's been into video games since playing Dizzy on her brother's Commodore 64 as a nipper. She'll give just about anything a go, but she's got a particular soft spot for indie adventures. If she's not gaming, she'll be building Lego, reading a thriller, watching something spooky or... asleep. She does love to sleep.