Itch.io’s Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality, which was established to support the Black Lives Matter movement, has now surpassed its $US5 million fundraising goal. 481,934 people have donated to the bundle so far and that number continues to grow.
Also growing is the number of games available in the bundle, with 1,637 titles now part of the package deal. With that many games on offer, it can be difficult to wade through the list and discover real gems. So you don’t have to, we’ve curated all the best titles you can get with a minimum $7 donation.
Night in the Woods is a narrative adventure that captures the essence of feeling young and hopeless. Protagonist Mae is a college dropout questioning her place in the world and the game follows her journey towards feeling worthy and understood. The game is emotional, gorgeous and deeply relatable. I highly recommend it.
A Short Hike is one of the chillest games you’ll ever play. It features a gorgeous, pixellated open world filled with friendly anthropomorphic creatures. The only goal is to reach the top of a very tall mountain, but how you get there is up to you. A Short Hike lets you take your time and explore however you choose. It’s a genuinely heartwarming adventure.
Octodad is a silly physics game where players take on the role of a slimy Octopus father attempting to maintain the illusion that he’s human. Gameplay is ridiculous and very fun, making it constantly entertaining. Prepare to destroy many, many things with your hideous, flailing limbs before you reach the end of this whacky adventure.
2064: Read Only Memories is a cyberpunk adventure that explores genetic mutation, virtual intelligence and the limits of technology. It features gorgeous, pixel-heavy point-and-click gameplay and an intriguing story that absolutely keeps you hooked. 2064 is an insanely detailed, robust sci-fi narrative and one that’s certainly worthy of more attention.
Overland is a turn-based strategy game centred on a road trip through post-apocalyptic America. It features a beautiful, blocky aesthetic and gorgeous landscapes to traverse. With a variety of challenges to overcome, Overland is an engaging and beautiful game you should definitely check out.
If you’ve ever worked a retail job, you know the horrors Night of the Consumers is based on. This game takes inspiration from the PSOne era of gaming to create a zombie-like simulator set in a food store. It’s totally hideous, very stressful and perfectly sums up the retail experience. Play this gem if you want to relive some of the worst nights of your life.
Celeste is a madenningly difficult platform game where players must traverse dangerous ravines and mountains as they lead protagonist Madeline on a journey of self-discovery. It’s gorgeous to look at, but again, very difficult. It’s not a game for the faint of heart, but it is well worth giving it a chance. You might just surprise yourself.
Hidden Folks is another incredibly zen puzzle game. It’s basically a Where’s Wally-style find-em-all, but the art style and animation put it a step above the rest. Finding items requires looking deeply at intricate, beautifully drawn landscapes as well as lifting flaps, shaking trees and examining corners. It’s a fairly simple concept, but one that’s incredibly relaxing and fun.
The Rusty Lake point-and-click series continues with this standalone adventure. The White Door is a surreal tale that follows a man with severe memory loss. As he lives day-by-day in a mental institute, it’s your job to uncover his memories and find the reason for his incarceration. There’s multiple endings and many layers to the story, so this is one game worth diving into and exploring.
Speed Dating for Ghosts is a weird narrative adventure where you romance a variety of doomed souls. From ghouls to poltergeists, wraiths and more, there’s a range of poor creatures that deserve your love and attention. While the premise of Speed Dating for Ghosts might be a little strange, the writing and narrative is extremely clever and always funny.
Devolver Digital’s Pikuniku is an amazing narrative adventure that hides a criticism of capitalism and modern society behind a cutesy, child-like aesthetic. At its heart, it’s a classic puzzle platformer, but the deeper you delve into the game, the more the narrative opens up. With a variety of collectibles and puzzles to solve, Pikuniku has plenty to see and do. Also available from Devolver Digital is Minit, a game that plays out in 60 second bites.
Dujanah is an extremely interesting piece of art from creator Jack King-Spooner. It utilises a mix between glitch animation and claymation to tell a deeply effecting story of a young woman in mourning. The game itself can be disturbing with an aesthetic that invokes horror imagery and the trenches of the uncanny valley, but it’s well worth exploring. Years after playing it, I still think about it regularly.
Far From Noise is a gorgeous, minimalist game that features a person on the brink of death. Trapped in a car overlooking a cliff, the protagonist spends this adventure pondering existence with the help of various creatures that come to visit them. It’s a desolate and beautiful narrative experience and one that deserves time to tell its story.
If you own a cat or you’ve ever been around one, you know they can be massive arseholes. Catlateral Damage is a sim where you can be a cat, who is an arsehole. It’s massively fun to knock things around and even more so when you’re a cat. This adventure lets you go on a big power trip and smash everything you see, just like a real cat.
Loot Rascals is a card-based roguelike where you explore the deeps of space and attempt to survive on an alien planet. As you traverse unfamiliar lands, you collect various loot and equipment you can use to power up your attacks and defeat more powerful enemies. It also has online multiplayer so you can go looting with your friends.
This morbid narrative lets you take control of a mortician as they go about their daily tasks in a morgue. As you progress through the story-based narrative, you learn more about how morgues work, what to do with bodies and all about the strangeness of death. Overall, it’s a very information, funny and sombre look at death and dying in modern society.
ART SQOOL is an awesome project. In it, players can collect a number of brushes to complete over 200 drawing prompts and create whatever artwork they desire. While it stretches the limits of what a game can be, ART SQOOL is an incredibly fun and creative adventure. Even if you’re not very good at art, it’s still fun, hilarious and very inspired.
The Stillness of the Wind is another relaxing game with not much to do. It follows Talma, an old woman tending a broken down farm on the edge of the countryside. Each day, Talma completes a variety of chores and the narrative plays out further as she goes. It’s a game that requires patience, but it’s incredibly calming, atmospheric and emotional.
Remember that Carly Rae Jepsen TTRPG Kotaku Australia told you about last year? Well, it’s in the itch.io bundle. In fact, it might just be the most important game in there. So go on, what are you waiting for? Purchasing the bundle just for Carly Rae wouldn’t be crazy.
Outside of these games, there’s a fantastic lot of smaller indie adventures worth checking out. Not every creator has a high profile, but that doesn’t mean their work isn’t enjoyable. Everything included in the bundle is fantastic and represents the best of what indie games has to offer.
You can donate to the bundle here. A donation will give you access to every future game added to the bundle as well as everything currently on offer.
Have you discovered any gems in the bundle? Feel free to pop into the comments below and share it.