Indie games have been doing extremely well these last couple of years, with phenomenal hits like Vampire Survivors being created by just one developer with a ton of spare time. Of course, there are other stars in the indie field, but some of them may be on the more expensive side for what you get, while others will give you more than your money's worth when you buy them.

The 15 Best Roguelikes For Under $20
These are the best roguelikes for under $20 right now so you don't have to worry about taking out a small loan to pick them up!

So, which indie games are worth it when your stopping point is $25? Which ones are worth their price without breaking the bank? Here's a guide that will show you 10 of the best games you should own on a budget.

Atmospheric And Story-Driven Games

10. Dredge

Dredge tag image

Drege's dour atmosphere and outright terrifying enemies make it an exciting fishing simulator to play. Plus, if you like playing Tetris with inventory, you'll love the inventory management in this game.

March 31, 2023
Black Salt Games
  • Fishing game where you also have to flee from eldritch horrors
  • Satisfying organization system
  • Surprisingly captivating story

Dredge is a soothing fishing simulator where you take to the high seas and fish to make money. That money is then spent on upgrades to your boat and equipment to let you go after bigger fish that live further away. It's a relaxing game until you get hounded by your first eldritch horror, then it becomes a calming fishing simulator by day, and a hair-raising race back to the dock at night. Dredge's mixture of terrifying chases, unsettling characters, simplistic fishing mechanics, and rewarding organization structure are what make Dredge's gameplay such an addictive experience. It's easy to lose yourself in the cell-shaded seas of Dredge, sailing through the loop of fishing, organizing, exploring, and upgrading until the sun rises in reality.

9. Viewfinder


Toeing the line between an immersive work of art and a unique video game, Viewfinder is an innovative experience that takes full advantage of being a video game.

July 18, 2023
Sad Owl Studios
  • Innovative core mechanic that hasn't been done anywhere else
  • A good, emotional story
  • Fully explores the advantages of a 3D, interactive medium

Viewfinder treads the fine line between an interactive work of art and a video game. Players explore a simulation that was run by scientists to develop a way to restore all plant life back on Earth. However, the only way to escape the simulation is to shut the entire thing down, destroying everything the previous researchers discovered. Its story explores themes of overcoming loss and letting go of the past to move forward, with an exploration of some environmental themes.

In-game, players use a camera to explore the simulation. This camera can take a picture of a scene and then, by holding the photograph up, you can recreate that scene for you to talk in. A simple example is taking a picture of a bridge in one location, and then holding the photo up over a large chasm to summon that bridge. Another example is by having a postcard of Easter Island, you can hold the photo up to summon a scene from Easter Island that you can explore and interact with.

8. Venba

Venba box art

A heartwarming tale of an Indian family as they grow roots in Toronto, Canada. This game explores what it's like to stay in tune with one's original culture while also assimilating into your new home's culture as well.

  • Cooking Simulator
  • A story that tugs on the heartstrings and explores one's connection to their culture
  • Timeless, cozy artstyle

Venba follows Venba and her husband as they emigrate from Tamil Nadu, India and settle down in Toronto, Canada. Each chapter of the game follows a year in Venba's life as she tries to restore her family's damaged cookbook. Doing so requires her to reflect on her conversations with past family members and a healthy amount of trial-and-error to recreate each of the recipes. At the same time, Venba is also raising her son, who easily assimilates into Western culture, but has a tenuous relationship with his family's culture. This conflict and the rediscovered recipes serve as a means for Venba's story to explore the nature of one's connection to their cultural heritage and the culture of their country.

In-game, the trial-and-error to fix each recipe plays like a puzzle. Players have to experiment with different parts of each recipe, like different ways to cook or different ingredients to make it all work. Talking with other characters, and exploring Venba's life will also yield different clues and ideas that can be used to restore each recipe.

7. Cocoon

cocoon tag image

Cocoon's minimalistic design and gorgeous graphics are what make it such a memorable puzzle game. While its puzzles won't be extremely difficult, Cocoon will keep the player moving through the game at a steady pace without too many hang-ups.

September 29, 2023
Geometric Interactive
  • From one of the creators of Limbo and Inside
  • Intriguing puzzles that are fun to solve without being too difficult
  • Simple mechanics and a clean UI

If you're familiar with the style of Limbo and Inside, then you'll have an idea of Cocoon's general presentation. Its UI is practically nonexistent, there's very little text on screen, and the controls are minimalist, with just movement and interaction to control your little bug friend.

Where Cocoon shines is in just how well it guides the player from one puzzle to the next while also refusing to explain anything to the player more than it needs to, including its boss fights, which will also add more complexity to its previously established mechanics. Much like its predecessors Limbo and Inside, it's a master class in "show, don't tell" to teach its players the necessary tools to solve each puzzle without ever needing to hold their hand or bludgeon its audience with clunky boxes of text.

6. Hades


Supergiant's Hades has become the standard for every action roguelite to follow. At its core, you have streamlined roguelite mechanics to follow that are easy to learn, but with an incredible amount of depth and complexity to it.

September 17, 2020
Supergiant Games
  • An amazing game overall, from its music to its game mechanics.
  • One of the best roguelites you can play, and the perfect entry point into the genre
  • A heart-warming story about repairing a broken family

Hades' stellar presentation and compelling gameplay have solidified it as one of the leaders in the roguelite genre. It's taken what makes roguelites such addictive games to play, distilled it into a streamlined formula for everyone to enjoy, wrapped it with a retelling of Greek mythology, and tied it all together with a phenomenal soundtrack.

You play as Zagreus, the often ignored and downtrodden son of Hades. In hopes of a better life, Zagreus wants to break out of the underworld and make it to the surface. Through each attempt, his family on Olympus will attempt to help him by gifting him with temporary boons that disappear each time Zagreus dies. When he does die (and death is inevitable in this game), you'll return to the House of Hades, where characters will want to speak to you about your recent escape attempts. Each time you die, new dialogues will open up with these characters, advancing the story, unlocking new sidequests, and even introducing new mechanics that will aid you in your next run.


5. Bloons TD6

Bloons TD6 box art

For such a simple game, Bloons TD 6 knows how to create an entertaining patchwork of chaos. Later, waves become an indiscernible mess of darts and destroyed balloons, and figuring out new ways to clear maps gives players plenty of replayability.

December 17, 2018
Ninja Kiwi
  • Easy to learn tower defense game
  • Plenty of cosmetics to grind for
  • Chaotic end game
  • 2–4 players

On the surface, Bloons TD6 looks like a simple, goofy tower defense game. Players put down cartoon monkeys to throw darts and pop balloons. Those balloons will travel along a designated pathway until they reach the end of the map, and if too many balloons reach the end, the player loses. However, what makes Bloons such a good game is how ridiculous its final waves can be. What started as a simple cartoon monkeys throwing darts quickly escalates into dart throwing pandemonium as monkeys launch nuclear warheads, perform strafing runs from bombers, summon Kryptonian monkeys, and resurrect the solar deities to smite their inflated foes.

4. Astral Ascent

Astral Ascent box art

Astral Ascent takes a chill aesthetic and combines it with the best parts of 2D platformers like Megaman X and the powerscaling upgrades of roguelites like Hades

November 14, 2023
Hibernian Workshop
  • Beautiful action roguelite with a cozy aesthetic
  • 2D platforming with silky smooth combat
  • Fascinating story with challenging bosses
  • Two player co-op

Imagine a game that has the 2D platforming mechanics of Megaman X and the roguelite mechanics of Hades. Sounds pretty amazing, right? Astral Ascent is another addictive action roguelite you can get your hands on. Similar to Hades' way of building up Zagreus, building up the heroes in Astral Ascent starts out slow, but with the right decisions, each character snowballs into a vicious monster-slaying blender.

Spells are a unique mechanic to Astral Ascent and feel similar to the spells in One Step From Eden, where players generate energy through their basic attacks and then use it on a powerful spell that is then replaced with a different spell. While One Step uses a deck, Astral Ascent only uses 4 spells, but each one can be modified with a passive called a Gambit that can change their on-hit effects or add other effects for just casting them. All of this comes together to recreate Hades' style of power-scaling through upgrades.

However, Astral Ascent shines through its combat, and its combat is at its best when you're fighting any of the Zodiacs, the colorful end-level bosses that are also trapped in an endless loop with you. The fights themselves feel reminiscent of the Robot Masters from Megaman X, since the fights take place in a fairly plain room, and each boss has a unique moveset that must be learned and dodged appropriately.

3. Stardew Valley

stardew valley

Stardew Valley is the perfect farming game to just relax with. You can share the experience with up to three other players and divide jobs between yourselves to keep your farm running.

February 26, 2016
  • Relaxing farming simulator with a dungeon-crawling component
  • Lively town with small mysteries and interesting NPC characters
  • Freedom to spend your days however you want
  • Four player co-op

Stardew Valley is the go-to farming simulator for anyone interested in a relaxing, stress-free way to spend their time. You take control of a farmer who's just escaped their life in the big city to move into Pelican Town. While you're managing your farm and your day-to-day activities, you'll get the chance to explore the mysteries surrounding Pelican Town and Stardew Valley itself, along with the residents who call the countryside their home.

The best part about Stardew Valley is how it doesn't put pressure on you to do anything in particular. You're encouraged to explore the town, or build up your farm, or explore the vast network of tunnels nearby, but if all you want to do is fish every day and live out your dream as a farmer, that's okay too. Stardew Valley leaves the choice of how to spend each day up to the player without forcefully coercing them to do one thing or another. This open experience leads to players just having the freedom to do whatever lets them relax best, and since Stardew Valley continually receives new content updates, you'll always find something to do that interests you.

2. Valheim

valheim game

Valheim lets you take on the nightmarish boss monsters inhabiting the local lands, so you can earn your way into Valhall. Along the way, you'll get to build up your own base camp and create your own style of Viking life.

February 2, 2021
Iron Gate AB
  • Awesome Viking theme
  • Fun bosses that feel like a blend of Dark Souls and Monster Hunter
  • Fun Farming mechanics and base defense
  • 1–10 players

What if you took Dark Souls-like combat, combined it with farming mechanics, and allowed up to 10 players to inhabit each randomly generated world? Throw in some Viking horns, and you'll have Valheim. In Valheim, players fill in the boots of a Viking who must prove themselves worthy of Valhalla. But first, to earn passage into those golden halls, your Viking must prove themselves worthy by slaying the legendary monsters who lurk in Valheim while starting with nothing other than the clothes on their backs.

While you can play this game solo, playing with friends is an altogether hilarious experience. You and your friends can set sail to one of the local areas while another group sits and defends your base or gathers more nearby resources. But be aware that the wildlife in the realm of Valheim will not take very kindly to your intrusions, and sometimes you'll have to work together to repel a large number of invaders to your home.

Valheim is also set to soon receive the new Ashlands update, which will further add more content into the game like new dungeons, new items, and a new quest, so now is the perfect time to jump into this game.

1. Lethal Company

lethal company tag image

Lethal Company is a co-op indie survival horror game set in a dystopian future where players work for a company simply called The Company, where they visit abandoned moon facilities and must contend with dangerous wildlife and hazardous environments.

October 23, 2023
  • A mix of horror and sometimes, comedy
  • Scavenger game where you're picking apart abandoned spaceships so you can sell them for more items.
  • Interesting monster design, and you should definitely play this game using the in-game voice chat
  • Max 4 players without mods

Lethal company has taken the world by storm with its fun multiplayer shenanigans, and unique monster designs. This game has you and your friends taking control of some space scavengers who are tasked with looking through abandoned wrecks to find anything valuable so you can sell it. You'll have to meet your company's quota of profit, and if you don't, you and your team will be jettisoned out of the nearest airlock. What stands between you and your sweet treasure are some of the most terrifying enemies the imagination can conjure up, like a mask that possesses people to kill their friends or a ghost girl that will haunt one player before taking their life.

But what makes Lethal Company such a memorable experience is how much it puts into letting players have fun in multiplayer and how those stellar monster designs can tear apart entire groups of unsuspecting victims. Players can use their funds to buy boomboxes, squishy toys, shovels, and an inhaler laced with drugs. While some of these items will have an in-game reason to exist and help you with enemies, often in multiplayer sessions, they're just used to having fun with.

The monsters, in comparison, can add to the fun through their unique mechanics, like how one kind of monster is scared by loud noises, while another is attracted to loud noises. However, these monsters are also more than capable of terrorizing an entire group of players, like through a haunted mask. All in all, the unique monsters and its foundation for silly fun allow each run in Lethal Company to have a unique layer of entertainment surrounding it, whether it's creepy sounds you hear in the dark, or if your friends just want to mess around for the next few minutes.

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