20. The Messenger

The MessengerThe Messenger
Publisher: Devolver Digital / Developer: Sabotage
Release Date: 19th Mar 2019 (USA) / 19th Mar 2019 (UK/EU)

This retro-flavoured action game was inspired by Ninja Gaiden, but it throws in a multitude of fresh ideas that give it a unique identity. The Messenger is an expertly crafted side-scrolling adventure about a young ninja tasked with saving humanity from a demon takeover. It mixes 8 and 16-bit art styles to great effect, gameplay is tight as a drum, and it has a lot of personality. This is one 2D pixel art platformer that's absolutely worth your time.

19. Velocity 2X

Velocity 2XVelocity 2X
Publisher: FuturLab / Developer: FuturLab
Release Date: 2nd Sep 2014 (USA) / 3rd Sep 2014 (UK/EU)

This action game from FuturLab is a relentlessly pure gameplay experience. Velocity 2X is a mix of platformer and shooter, deftly weaving the two genres together into a highly compelling whole. Playing as space ace Kai Tana, this is a frenetic action title that rewards skilled play, keeping you coming back for more.

18. Shovel Knight

Shovel KnightShovel Knight
Publisher: Yacht Club Games / Developer: Yacht Club Games
Release Date: 21st Apr 2015 (USA) / 23rd Apr 2015 (UK/EU)

A retro style platformer, Shovel Knight exceeds the genre's usual expectations with its imaginative characters and cool story moments. It's a colourful and rock solid adventure, and developer Yacht Club Games just keeps adding to it. Free updates have brought co-op play, new playable heroes, and more, making Shovel Knight an easy recommendation if you're looking for an old school adventure with modern sensibilities.

17. Celeste

CelesteCeleste
Publisher: Matt Makes Games / Developer: Matt Makes Games
Release Date: 25th Jan 2018 (USA) / 25th Jan 2018 (UK/EU)

From the makers of TowerFall Ascension, Celeste is a pure platformer that provides a stern challenge. Using a straightforward set of moves, it does a lot with very little, but it's not just gameplay where it impresses. Madeline's climb up Celeste Mountain is both literal and metaphorical as she struggles to overcome her inner demons. Wonderfully pairing a touching story with rock solid platforming, this is one indie adventure that'll stay with you.

16. Gone Home

Gone HomeGone Home
Publisher: Midnight City / Developer: Fullbright
Release Date: 12th Jan 2016 (USA) / 12th Feb 2016 (UK/EU)

Gone Home manages to pull off one heck of a switcheroo. Initially framed as a sort of horror experience, the hauntingly empty house you navigate slowly reveals a sad, touching narrative. It can be beaten in less than an hour, but soak in the details and the ending will hit you hard. An excellent example of less is more, Gone Home is an understated adventure you shouldn't ignore.