10 indie games to look out for in 2014

Sword fighting, retro hacking, rioting… if you're looking for something other than military shooters and fantasy RPG, start here
Riot game
Civil unrest simulator, Riot, seeks to explore the dynamics of public disorder PR
Welcome! Come through to the parlour of 2014, sir, madam, and taste of the finest delicacies and morsels this year's small developers have to offer. There is much in the way of cyberpunk, horror, and sparking neon, and would you care for a canape of David Lynch with a little Burroughs perhaps? Ah, maybe you are into feeling nihilistically bummed out? Or, you'd rather have this hors d'oeuvres containing a whole crowd rioting?… I see.
There were so many games I didn't manage to fit into this list, so don't feel bad if I didn't include your favourite: 2014 is going to be knuckle-crackingly pleasurable for small budget developers; we'll see less known developers break through and known developers do their best work. And all for only a tiny slice of the cash you'd pay for a big budget shootfest. What a time to game in, my friends.
Well. Let's start with the world's most thrilling sword fighting simulator shall we? No, it's not a rude joke, I promise.

Nidhogg (Messhof, PC)

At laaaaaaast! In fluid movements of skill and half-breath decisions, you swipe your épée low-mid-high at your opponent across clouds, mines, castles and wilds. This long-awaited local multiplayer indie game is an intricate, flowing game of fencing, in which you kick as well as slash opponents through long grass and hallways. It's out on 13 January with a Daedalus soundtrack.

Routine (Lunar Software, PC)

A slowburn cyberpunk horror game where you must find what caused the disappearance of everyone on an abandoned moon base. First-person exploration, permadeath, deadzone aiming, no HUD: it's all full-eyed horror. The game will also be available on VR device Oculus Rift at launch, adding an extra sense of horrible dread. Atmospheric. Futuristic. Dank. Full of tension. And it's the prettiest suitor at the prom. GIVE IT TO ME.

Tangiers (Andalusian, PC/Mac)

David Lynchian stealth game Tangiers is described by its creators as, "a love letter to the avant-garde of the 20th century… set in a world built from the broken prose of Burroughs and the social dystopia brought about by Ballard's architecture." Inspired by classic PC game Thief, it applies Burroughs' 'cut-up' technique to constantly rearrange the environment based on player decisions. I love this game because it seems to emulate old ideas and create new ones, integrating some of the most interesting concepts of literature and art. Strange and dark, it comes to PC, Mac and Linux this year.

The Witness (Jonathan Blow, iOS, PC, PS4)

Whatever you think of philosophising Braid-developing leaf-on-the-wind Jonathan Blow, his next game looks set to reinvent my childhood favourite, Myst, by exploring something Cyan Inc's classic title only dabbled in: the realm of three dimensions. An atmospheric exploration puzzle game on a remote island is promised. I bet it will be good, and everyone will be upset because it will be good.