The best PlayStation indies from E3 2021

By Kes Eylers-Stephenson,
In an E3 2021 that was a fairly low-key affair, it was the indie games that caught the eyes of many across the Guerrilla Collective showcase, Wholesome Direct, Day of the Devs, and the Future Games Show streams. You should also look for Axiom Verge 2, Sifu, Salt and Sacrifice, and Kena: Bridge of Spirits, which are all PlayStation console exclusives and have been featured on the site. Here is a little all-in-one article of the games that have caught our eye!

Harold Halibut

So, this was awesome. Slow Bros have made a stop-motion arthouse game mixed with a weird Wes Anderson vibes, wherein the premise is that at spaceship left Earth in the Seventies and crash landed on another planet. The stages have been handcrafted, the models have been handcrafted, and the game looks incredible for it. The voice acting is marvellously dry, too. We can't wait to get our hands on it!


We don't know if this is coming to PlayStation, but I want to believe. This game is like the lost cousin of Harold Halibut — it is also stop-motion but looks like it is a little less refined, in the good way. Made by Wired Fly Stop Motion, Kong Orange, and Morten Søndergaard, the game features two mute heroes how must adventure in order to learn how to speak and confess their love. It sounds good, looks good, and I want it.

Rainbow Billy: The Curse of the Leviathan

The Wholesome Direct brought us some out-of-the-known-realm imaginative games, but it is Rainbow Billy: The Curse of the Leviathan that makes that space feel comfortable. The Chinese dragon-looking creature known as the Leviathan has awoken and drained the colour out of the world! You will join Billy in his quest to solve puzzles and conquer trials in a land that is just itching to be explored. Succeeding in these mini-tasks will bring the former colourful world back out of the monochrome. Rainbow Billy will be out later this year.

Trash Sailors

Trash Sailors' trailer calls you a "bilge-sucking son of a seagull." So now you are going to buy the game, let me tell you what you are purchasing. The game is co-op, so you and your pirate crew will be collecting rubbish to create a raft to sail upon the slummy seas. Then you scallywags will compete with creatures aplenty using "trash technology" and pirate lingo. This makes up a little bit for the lack of Skull and Bones, doesn't it?

White Shadows

Shown off at the Guerrilla Collective event, the "cinematic platformer [...] drops you off in this huge, weird, ******* vertical world that is called the White City, even though it is really, really dark." The rats and the wolves are all at the top of the tree while the sheep and the pigs have to do all the work. Then you have the birds, "who are — or so they say — to blame for the big pandemic." Even getting to the bottom of what this means is tricky. "This game isn't so much a platformer... it's more of a trip," Monokel goes on to explain. "If you imagine Inside and Tim Burton having a really weird and mean little baby born in 1984, then you would have this game." This is the debut game for the studio and expects it to arrive in all of its strange glory on PlayStation at the end of 2021. It is certainly the game that is the most trippy on this list!

Serial Cleaners

Another gem from the Guerrilla Collective. In Serial Cleaners, you're going to be cleaning up murder scenes left behind by the mob. The developers, Draw Distance, describe the game as a single-player stealth action "crime story." Four main characters, each with their own skill set, meet in New York in 1999 for some beverages (it's not clear what they are drinking) and to "reminisce about their careers." Rather unfortunately, the liquid lubrication lets slip that "the details of their stories stop matching up [and] the ugly truth behind their cooperation begins to reveal itself." We don't know what consoles Serial Cleaners will come to, or when. As soon as we know, you will too!

Death Trash

We aren't entirely sure what is going on in this Crafting Legends-developed action-RPG. Death Trash is set in a post-apocalyptic world "where cosmic horrors crave humanity but meet punks with shotguns." The pixel art visuals are on point, the bizarre creatures are suitably mind-melting, and the atmosphere is dark and brooding. The came is also co-op compatible so you don't have to suffer alone. No release date just yet for Death Trash, so we will keep you in the loop!

BPM: Bullets Per Minute

The Guerrilla Collective Day 2 let us sneak another peek at the demon blasting, heavy metal goodness that BPM represents. Later this year, you will protect the halls of Valhalla from the invading forces of Helheim. But, wait, there's more! Every shot, reload, and punch will be performed the beats of the epic metal soundtrack. Sounds like a dream Vikings would be proud of. Summer is the current release timeframe, but we will obviously keep you rockers posted.

Arietta of Spirits

In wildly different news, the pixel action-adventure Arietta of Spirits is coming this summer. Your challenge is to unveil "the mysteries of the Spirit Realm." Arietta and their family travel to a cabin shaken by the loss of their grandmother. Here, Arietta can see the presence of spirits living on the island. It looks like we will be exploring the island and uncovering some deep mysteries. There will be inhabitants to chat to and, as the devs add, there will be "tight reaction-based combat." Another absent release date for Arietta of Spirits, but it should be on PlayStation this summer.

That's it, my friends! Quite a lot to browse and look forward to, methinks. Let us know what your favourites are in the comments, but know that the correct answer is Trash Sailors.
Kes Eylers-Stephenson
Written by Kes Eylers-Stephenson
Editor Kes is our resident expert in PlayStation and Sony news. He writes about PS5 exclusives like Horizon, The Last of Us, God of War, and Death Stranding 2 using experience from years of playing PlayStation games. He also covers PS Plus and trophy news, as well as his favorite games — The Witcher 3, Assassin’s Creed, and some indie gems — before an evening swim.
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