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summer game fest indies tenjutsu cairn theater of the idols
Images via Nightdive Studios/The Game Bakers/Vermila Studios, Remix via Dot Esports

6 indies from Summer Game Fest we can’t wait to play

The indie scene is exciting this year.

The AAA scene is moving slowly, but the indie scene is full of excitement. 2024’s Summer Game Fest had trailers galore with lots of indie titles worth getting excited over.

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If you’re an indie game fan looking for the next big thing in the scene or want to know the biggest creative reveals of Summer Game Fest, keep reading.

The most exciting indie games at Summer Game Fest 2024

The six games we picked for this list all represent different genres and art styles that are sure to intrigue you. From point-and-click mysteries and mountain climbing adventure to terrifying dolls, there are lots of indie trailers to go around.


Cairn wants to be the first mountain climbing simulator, and French developer The Game Bakers seems intent on using realistic climbing mechanics to make the game as adrenaline-inducing as climbing in real life. It’s a story-driven title that sees you “managing pitons and resources to survive the unforgiving Mount Kami.” This is the same developer that made Furi, so you can trust it knows how to make movement feel fluid and satisfying.

Cairn has a release 2025 release window and is available to wishlist on Steam.


The former lead designer at Dead Cells developer Motion Twin went rogue and is now working on a new pixelated roguelike called Tenjutsu. The speed and difficulty of combat and diversity of weapons seem to rival Dead Cells, and the story seems equally as engaging, with Devolver writing that you “play as a renegade yakuza hellbent on defying her former associates and loosening their grip on the Secret Garden City.”

Tenjutsu has no set release date but is available to wishlist on Steam.

Karma: The Dark World

Karma: The Dark World is the first game from Chinese developer Pollard Studio and it dives fully into psychological terror. The premise seems to be “Imagine if David Cronenberg wrote Inception.” You play as the agent of an oppressive corporation tasked with jumping into people’s minds to discover the truth behind various events. Things take a dark turn, and many of the scenes shown in the trailer are bone-chilling.

Karma: The Dark World is coming to PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X|S with no set release date.

Anger Foot

Anger Foot is the kind of game you hear about and say “Why would you want to play that?” Then, you see the gameplay footage and say “I want to play that.” It’s a wacky first-person shooter that puts as much value into kicking your enemies as it puts into shooting them. The trailer shows off a variety of shoes that each have different combat and movement abilities, from explosion resistance to higher jumps. Anger Foot comes from South African developer Free Lives, who notably also made Genital Jousting.

Anger Foot is coming to PC on July 11 and a demo is currently available on Steam.

Phoenix Springs

Phoenix Springs is a point-and-click adventure that looks as abstract as it is stylish. It’s the first game from developer Calligram Studio, which describes itself as an art collective more than a game dev. The trailer certainly reflects that, as the visuals of Phoenix Springs look more like a series of paintings than video game graphics. You play as a reporter trying to find your brother and must “reveal the truth about the place, the myths, and, ultimately, yourself.”

Phoenix Springs has no set release date, but it is currently available to wishlist on Steam.

Crisol: Theater of Idols

Blumhouse Games assembled a fantastically frightening lineup of small-budget horror titles by various indie developers to publish. Crisol: Theater of Idols is an obvious standout from Spanish developer Vermila Studios. The horror game is set on the aptly named island of Tormentosa and features FPS combat where you use your blood to fend off nightmarish living theater puppets. The setup sounds similar to Lies of P, with gameplay that seems closer to Resident Evil.

There’s no release date, but Crisol: Theater of Idols is already available to wishlist on Steam.

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Image of Nickolas Davis
Nickolas Davis
Freelance writer at Dot Esports. Covering all topics gaming, travel, politics, and music-related since 2021. Also occasionally writes music and fiction under the pen name Saz. Published in Madness Heart Press, The Chamber Magazine, and The NoSleep Podcast.