Each and every year the hype train calls for passengers as the latest AAA titles near their release. Subsequently, the higher profile indie titles are starting to get a cult following, with passionate fans willing them on towards their release dates.
Here are five indie titles that should be on your radars for 2013.
Monaco | Pocketwatch Games
Monaco has been in development for a little over three years, but that doesn't mean it hasn't garnered much attention in that time. In 2010 the game beat out Super Meat Boy and Fez in the IGF Awards and Andy Schatz has been working on it ever since.
A rather exclusive beta is available right now if you ask Andy on Twitter, super dooper nicely, but otherwise you can pre-order the game at 15 percent off until release in March, and gain instant access to the 2010 prototype that started all the buzz.
Did we mention that Grammy Award nominee Austin Wintory of Journey fame is composing the soundtrack? Yeah, it's kinda a big deal.
Mew-Genics | Team Meat
Super Meat Boy could be considered as one of the first "mainstream" indie platformers. To its credit, it is still one of the best years after it made its debut on the Xbox 360.
While Edmund McMillen has churned out another hit since then with The Binding of Isaac (Kero, we know you love it, you don't need to tell us again), Mew-Genics will be the first game that Team Meat has released since that boy of meat stole our hearts. It's got something to do with cats, it will feature a cast of insane characters, and the soundtrack is going to be stellar.
We're not exactly sure how the game will play out, but we're certain it is going to be a hit amongst indie aficionados.
SpyParty | Chris Hecker
has been making waves for a few years now, but Chris Hecker seems determined to give fans a taste of his super sneaky, two-player multiplayer spy 'em up this year.
Two players compete - one plays as a Spy who has to complete a set number of objectives within a time limit, all while blending in with a room full of AI-controlled partygoers. The other fills the shoes of a sniper, viewing the guests of the party through binoculars in an attempt to find the spy and take them out without harming civilians before they complete their objectives or the timer runs out.
It's ridiculously fun, challenging and unlike anything else you will play this year. Check out our full preview here.
Don't Starve | Klei Entertainment
When the guys who made Shank and Mark of the Ninja release a new game, you pay attention. Don't Starve is a point-and-click survival adventure game where players must survive for as long as possible in a mystical forest. You will need to use crafting abilities and research in order to stay alive and defend yourself against the creatures of the night, and ensure you have enough food in your belly to stay alive.
It's not as easy as it seems, particularly because unlike most modern games, the developers don't hold you hand or explain much at all. A wonderful art style makes Don't Starve feel like a Tim Burton movie, and that's certainly not a bad thing. Those who pick up the game on Steam now at a discounted price get instant access to the beta, along with a second copy to share with a friend. Hot tip - go halvies with a mate and this will be the best $6 you spend this year.
The Witness | Jonathan Blow
Love him or hate him, you have to admit that Jonathan Blow knows how to make a compelling game. There is a reason why years after release, Braid is still one of the highest rated Xbox 360 games of all time!
The Witness is a game shrouded in mystery set on an island, but you don't need to know anything else - just get damn excited!
By Stephen Heller