Great news! There's never been a better crop of indie games available for a pittance of the price of a premium title.
But bad news! The selection is so large, it can be a tough job working out which of the many new wonders is actually worth your time.
Fortunately, we've spared you hours of agonising labour and scoured Steam for the latest and greatest indie games on offer. We'll be adding the cream of the crop from the world's largest game delivery platform each month, ensuring you never have to endure going outside into the glaring sunlight again.
Prepare yourselves for long-term vitamin D deficiency as we keep you locked to your screens for the rest of time.
Dear Esther: Landmark Edition (£7.99)
Before Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, there was Dear Esther. Much like the former, this narrative adventure shrugs off generic concerns to do its own thing. Walk, listen, look: these are the only concerns of Dear Esther. Players need only soak in the game’s story, one piece at a time.
And what a story it is: you’ll struggle to find a contemporary game with such resplendent monologues and, when absorbed alongside the game’s sedate island locale, any listener is in for a treat. The Landmark Edition migrates the original source game to Unity 5, and adds improvements to developer commentary. Dear Esther isn’t a-thrill-a-minute, but it’s important, influential, and wholly unique. .
Compatibility: Windows, Mac
Hidden Folks (£5.39)
Where’s Wally meets Dark Souls meets Monty Python: say hello to Hidden Folks. This new-age evolution of the hidden figure book has arrived and it’s rather delightful. You'll scan sprawling screens for the items and people on your checklist, methodically picking your way through cityscape and jungle alike.
Hidden Folks adds extra spice to the traditional format, though, by making certain objects intractable. Poking the tree, for example, might dislodge a monke, while rolling up a tent wall may reveal a reveller. It’s a relaxing experience that can be taken at whatever pace you see fit. Even better, all 900+ sound effects are ‘mouth-originated’ and will keep you smiling as the difficulty soars upwards.
Compatibility: Windows, Mac
Sword with Sauce (£1.99, early access)
Sword with Sauce is an orgy of violence against stick men. The concept couldn’t be simpler: kill all the guards patrolling each level. For this morally ambiguous purpose players are afforded an arsenal of weapons, each of which is customisable as they continue on their rampage.
It’s a physical, sometimes slapstick affair involving a hoard of gadgets and blood, but Sword with Sauce also possesses subtlety by supporting multiple play styles. You can run through any given level like a maniac, knocking your foes out with spinning blades, or choose to lure them into a den of traps and bombs, before watching the ensuing massacre.
Avorion (£13.59, early access)
Mining and exploration in a splendorous ocean of star systems: on paper Avorion sounds a lot like No Man’s Sky, but the meat on this game’s bones lies in complex, customisable ships rather than procedurally generated worlds. Players construct vessels of their own design from materials that they mine, before populating them with the relevant crew and pootling round the galaxy.
The depth of the systems on offer is impressive, with construction tools allowing for completely unique designs - not to mention plenty of number crunching to keep fans of stats and efficiencies amused.