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Off Topic > Video GamesJun 16, 2021 2:00 pm CT

8 indie games showcased at E3 we’re picking up because they’re gorgeous

These indie games have unique art styles, and they also seem like they will be very fun to play — is there a more killer combination than that? Sometimes it’s beautiful pixel art that caught our eye — sometimes with carefully-crafted animation, other times with a high definition look that pushes the envelope of the genre — or hand-drawn environments directly converted into videogame graphics without losing their majesty. The aesthetics run the gamut from bright, colorful and wholesome, to dark, gritty and unsettling.

These eight games have one thing in common: their art styles took our breath away.

So here are eight hand-picked indie games that were presented on the 2021 edition of E3 which we are definitely keeping our eyes on — and will likely keep both our eyes on even after they’re out, as we marvel either at their stunning art.


Akatori is a Metroidvania / slasher featuring a girl and a bird. You need to help Mako save the world, fighting things with a stick, and apparently also shifting between two parallel dimensions.

This is one where you need to see a few videos of it in action to get a real grasp of how beautifully-animated those pixel graphics are. And let’s not forget that the gameplay also looks fun as heck.

Book of Travels

Book of Travels is an RPG that leans heavily on the “RP” part of the term. It’s also a Multiplayer Online game, but not a “massive” one — rather, the developers are calling it “tiny,” or a “TMORPG.”

The art style is beyond gorgeous, and this game seems like it will potentially be a paradise for players who crave immersion into a fantasy world.

Death’s Door

Devolver Digital brings us Death’s Door, which looks like Diablo in many senses. It features action gameplay from an isometric view, a darker aesthetic, catchy music, and what looks like very fun gameplay. Oh, and you play as a crow. A crow!

This is another one where a mere screenshot doesn’t do it proper justice, so make sure to watch the trailer.


Dordogne might be one of the most breathtaking games I’ve ever seen (it’s the game on the header image of this article, too).

It looks like it came straight from the pages of a beautifully illustrated book. The bright watercolor-style art aesthetic tells the tale of a woman trying to uncover what is on the letters left by her grandmother, and solving puzzles on the way.


Grime is a beautiful 2D side-scroller, with what looks like very fun gameplay that combines action with exploration and platforming elements. A promising Metroidvania where the graphics are dark and surrealist — perhaps even unsettling. The atmosphere is tremendous on this one.


Hoa is set to be a very relaxing experience, with its beautifully hand-drawn backgrounds that evoke a sense of peace, and puzzle-based gameplay.

Just look at the screenshot above: it’s almost like you’re playing a movie from Studio Ghibli.

Planet of Lana

Did I already mention that there are some absolutely gorgeous indie games being developed right now? I did? Well, too bad, because Planet of Lana is another of them. It combines the dazzling art style with platforming adventure and puzzles, set to a sci-fi backdrop.

This one fights toe-to-toe with Dordogne for the title of “most beautiful game” from this list, in my opinion.


There is a new trend emerging in video games right now, and that is of creating high definition 2D pixel art — or HD-2D, for short. I’d be remiss not to mention one of them, so here is Replaced. This art style (perhaps initiated — or, at least, popularized — by Octopath Traveler) fits this cyberpunk universe very well, where you must take an AI trapped in a human body through combat and platforming.

So, did any of these games catch your fancy? Is it for their art, for their presentation, or for how intriguing their gameplay sounds? Are there any other gorgeous-and-probably-fun-too indie games showcased in this year’s edition of E3 that you’re looking forward to?

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Filed Under: E3, Indie, Indie Games

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