It's always a great time to highlight indie games that celebrate women and their accomplishments. All of the games discussed in this post employ compelling women protagonists. Furthermore, the developers capitalized on opportunities to emphasize the protagonists' best qualities: intelligence, compassion, strength (physical and mental), and independence.
This is the first of seven posts to commemorate the 1-year anniversary of Indie Game Atlas. Thank you for your support, and please consider reading the other posts as they are published!
1. Paradise Killer
I originally posted about Paradise Killer in an upcoming games post from last year. In that post, I expressed interest in buying the game because of the beautiful screenshots that had been released at the time. After playing it in 2021, I regret not buying it at launch because it would've been in the running for my 2020 Indie Game of the Year.
As I mentioned in my review of Paradise Killer, Lady Love Dies is a compelling protagonist with a stunning character design. She reflects on her mistakes but also expresses pride in her strengths. Throughout the events of Paradise Killer, she proves her resilience, cleverness, and spunk. Above all, she was born to investigate.
2. Assemble with Care
As Maria, a fixer of objects big and small, you must help people repair their broken possessions. Maria uses her smarts and kindness to make life a little brighter for the residents of Bellariva. Not only is Assemble with Care cute and aesthetically pleasing, it is perfect for new gamers. The storybook style also makes it an ideal option for children.
Eliza explores mental health and ethics in the tech industry, and it weighs both the value and morality of using technology to meet the population's health needs. Evelyn, the protagonist, is intelligent and highly skilled in her field. As she becomes more and more invested in her work as an Eliza proxy, you must help Evelyn weigh decisions that either uphold her ethical sensibilities or promote her happiness and wellbeing.
In case the perfect score given in my review wasn't indication enough, I think this game is phenomenal. In summary, it's a beautiful story about a young woman's efforts to cope with pain and loss.
5. Hazel the Plant Witch
I've already published a full review of this game, but here's the short version in case you missed it. Hazel the Plant Witch manages to be clever, fun, and free to play. It touches on motherhood and the importance of listening to others.
6. Sayonara Wild Hearts
Sayonara Wild Hearts has one of the strongest aesthetics of any game I've ever played. In terms of style, it's somewhat comparable to Persona 5 (instead of reds, black, and white, imagine purples, teals, and pinks). The protagonist takes a backseat to the game's music, mechanics, and style, but her heartbreak still drives the plot. As she becomes The Joker (again, think Persona 5), she fights and rides her way through the pain of her past so that she may focus on the future. The story begins as a portrayal of one woman's struggle to manage a history of heartbreak, but it eventually becomes a tale of empowerment as she finds herself through the process of coping.
I hope that you will try the games listed above. Each boasts different strengths, but all of them are worth playing. Feel free to connect with Indie Game Atlas on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook if you want to recommend your favorite indie games with women protagonists. As always, thanks for reading!
Image 4. "AwC_Key_art_Logo." Created by ustwo Games. Retrieved from: https://www.assemblegame.com/.
Image 9. "Hazel The Plant Witch." Created by Mini Bunnies. Retrieved from: https://minibunnies.itch.io/hazel-web.
Image 10. "Sayonara Wild Hearts." Created by Simogo. Retrieved from: https://simogo.com/work/sayonara-wild-hearts/.
Image 11. "Sayonara Wild Hearts." Created by Simogo. Retrieved from: https://simogo.com/work/sayonara-wild-hearts/.
Image 12. "Sayonara Wild Hearts." Created by Simogo. Retrieved from: https://simogo.com/work/sayonara-wild-hearts/.