The Game Developers of Color Expo, aka GDoC Expo, was an absolute blast this year, with great events, panels, people, and games. It was a joy to attend, and there are so many awesome games to look forward to. That said, there were a few games that especially caught our eye — and even games that some we’ve long since had our eye on. While the expo itself had a mixture of digital and tabletop games, this list will only include digital games. Here are 15 indie games to watch out for from GDoC Expo 2021, listed in alphabetical order.
Peranakan culture takes center stage in this retro-inspired Metroidvania 2D Platformer. Meet ghosts with a lot of personalities, and gather food and stickers for your personal journal, as you discover there are some hidden secrets within the mansion you are exploring.
Is it a sporting sim? Is it a dating sim? Yes, and yes! Romance is in the air at a dating event hosted by your local bowling alley. Hit pins and hit up cuties, virtual and real, through solo, PvE, and local 2-player multiplayer. Bowl your heart out and play a selection of other minigames.
Play as Dorothea “Dot” Hawkins, a young Black woman who discovers a magical key that allows her to travel through time. The key takes Dot to major moments in her family’s history that happened in and around her grandmother’s home, and Dot will have to make some hard choices along the way.
Think outside the box, inside a box, with the upcoming puzzle-adventure game Epiphany City. Play as a girl named Lily, and rotate, move, and repurpose objects with a magical picture frame, in order to solve rich puzzles and play through a story of finding hope and saving the world.
In a cyberpunk future where all music has been banned, play as B0B0, a singer who has formed a band and will use her music to rebel against the world’s authorities. This turn-based JRPG is a two-in-one type deal too, because it is also a rhythm game.
Recent college grad Robin Lam is spending some time at their grandmother’s house only to find that there is an entrance to the spirit world in their basement. Suddenly, they’ve become a guardian of the spirit world in this dungeon crawler full of adventure, conquering evil, and meeting ancestral spirits of the past.
Play in 2D and 3D as this half cat, half-ghost cat in Neko Ghost Jump. At any time, you can shift between a 2D view and a 3D view to navigate through levels in different ways. Transform into ghost form to fight against all kinds of enemies, and make it to the end of each puzzle-filled level.
In modern day, finding a hero to save you from your tower isn’t as easy as just waiting around. Take love, and your fate, into your own hands, as this princess wields a wondrous power: online dating. Pursue a knight, a witch, and even a dragon, to find love, and freedom in this queer dating sim.
The only virtual reality (VR) title on the list in RUNNER. RUNNER is a love letter to the future and the past, as it is an anime-adjacent, arcade-inspired sci-fi title. As the player character Mina, players can ride a motorcycle, customize their bike, shoot weapons, escape a hot pursuit, and fight off enemies.
Dreams can say a lot about reality. In this surrealist RPG, play as a comatose woman named Thalia, who finds herself in a strange dream world. If she ever wants to wake up, she is going to have to confront and conquer the nightmares and her anxieties that are eating away at her.
Slimes. They are usually the weakest enemies you fight in an RPG. But this time? Slimes get to be the heroes. Collect gems, find weapons, learn magical abilities, and explore a world full of unique flora and fauna. Take down enemies and discover the type of hero you want to be.
Join the futuristic dark web in this dark comedy sci-fi horror strategy game all about buying, selling, and trading organs on the cutthroat organ market. Trade hearts, eyes, livers, and more, all while competing against other traders with unique personalities and appearances.
Adventure through danger-filled and monster-ridden puzzles in this top-down retro-inspired dungeon crawler. Play as Marza the mage in single player, or also as her sidekick Pan in two-player co-op. Explore over 30 levels and unlock more game modes along the way.
We couldn’t be more stoked for Spirit Swap, and it’s definitely the game we are most hyped to see hit the virtual shelves. With a bop in their step and a song in their heart, play as the witchy and fashionable Samar through Match-3 puzzles and fun queer friendships and romances.
Disclosure: This author is a Kickstarter backer of the project.
Single life can be a struggle. Play as one of 13 characters in the busy and bustling fictional Jercy City and follow over 60 different routes. Make a range of different choices, navigate the pitfalls of a capitalistic society, fall in and out of love, and maybe even find your ideal happy ending.
What are the release dates for these games?
None of the above games are currently out, but many can already be wishlisted on Steam. You check out all of these games, and more, on the Gradient Convergence Steam page. For the Steam page of an individual game, click the name of the game in our list, as it will take you directly to the game’s Steam page. Some titles have projected release date, while others do not. For information on console releases and any other platforms, please refer to each game’s individual page or developer website.