The Top 25 Dreamcast Indie Games... Voted by You! (2024 Edition)

At the beginning of the year, we put the call out to the community to vote for their favourite indie releases for the Sega Dreamcast, and, as always, you have all responded in a big way! We had more than double the number of respondents than the last time we did this vote way back in 2016, with 71 different titles receiving a vote and Dreamcast fans from 17 countries over five continents participating. Well, we've now counted up all your votes, and can finally reveal the results of the 2024 Top 25 Dreamcast Indie Games poll!

As well as our Top 25 indie game ranking, we also asked you to name your favourite Dreamcast indie developer, favourite Dreamcast indie publisher, and most anticipated future Dreamcast indie release, and these results too are presented below. As an added bonus, and because of the sheer number of replies we received, I've also been able to give out some regional awards for the favourite indie games in different locales - so we can present the US, UK, European and Rest of the World regional awards for best indie games alongside everything else... which is exciting if you're a bit of a nerd like me!

My thanks goes out to everyone who took the time to respond and share in our common love of the Dreamcast indie scene - it's been a really, really interesting period of voting, with positions shifting daily and some big surprises to announce!

Without further ado, let's head straight into the Top 25 - if you'd like to follow along with the Junkyard crew (along with The Sega Guru and a return appearance from founder Tom Charnock) as we reveal these positions in "real time", then you can check out episode 128 of the DreamPod podcast on your podcast platform of choice, or on Buzzsprout.

25. Fast Striker

2010 - NG:DEV.TEAM

18 places down on 2016 poll ranking

The first entrant in this year's Top 25 and the first real surprise. Fast Striker may be getting on a bit now (14 years since its initial release), but it remains a technically competent and good-looking vertical shooter that is both accessible for the novice, while also packing some challenge for the veteran shooter fanatic. Whilst it peaked at the number seven spot in the 2016 indie poll, it's never managed to break into any of our Top 200 Dreamcast games lists, and only just makes it onto this Top 25 indie list - which feels a little unfair for it, really. If you're looking to pick this one up you'll have to rely on eBay or other online sales, as copies are no longer able to be purchased new. Ripe for a re-release though, surely?

24. Rocketron 

2021 - Astro Port / JoshProd

New entry

A criminally low ranking for this one. Astro Port and JoshProd's epic sci-fi Metroidvania-style platforming adventure is a hugely enjoyable title that sees you flying around levels via a rocket pack, taking down an array of imposing enemies and exploring an expansive world. Unfortunately, it may be the case that this one was lost in the mix of other numerous JoshProd releases at the time, and despite reaching a very respectable position of 117th in our 2023 Top 200 games list, it struggled to get much attention in this indie poll. Those who have played Rocketron, however, tend to love it, so I will encourage anyone reading this to pick up a copy from the PixelHeart store and give it a try.

23. NEO XYX 

2014 - NG:DEV.TEAM

Just outside top ten in 2016 poll

The last of NG:DEV.TEAM's shooter quartet for the Dreamcast, NEO XYX missed out on a spot in the top 10 back in 2016 (although only marginally) and has never been in any of our Top 200s. Despite this, it clearly has some fans remaining a decade after its release. It's an enjoyable vertical shooter that inexplicably defaults to a horizontal perspective (which is not a good first impression), but boasts great visuals and exciting, fast-paced weaving gameplay. It's technically very well put together, but lacks a little bit of the novelty of the developer's earlier titles. 23rd best indie game for the Dreamcast is a pretty respectable position to be at, though. This is another game where you'll have to rely on online preowned sales to obtain a copy. NG:DEV.TEAM compilation re-release, anyone?

22. Flashback

2017 - Delphine (original developer) / JoshProd

New entry

The port of this classic, atmospheric and cerebral '90s platform adventure to the Dreamcast gained some much warranted attention upon release. Alongside Another World and Fade to Black - two more classics of French video gaming that were also re-released for the Dreamcast by publisher JoshProd - Flashback was brought to a new audience in a highly impressive and feature-packed way, with improvements throughout. A deep, immersive and mature science fiction tale which rewards patience, Flashback is just as enjoyable now as it was back in the day. 22nd is a little bit low for it, it has to be said, although its never ranked in our Top 200, either. This one is still available to purchase from the PixelHeart store.

21. Feet of Fury

2003 - Cryptic Allusion / GOAT Store

Didn't place in the 2016 poll

Despite being 20 years old by this point, the dancing antics of Feet of Fury clearly still retains a fanbase out there judging by the number of votes this one received (although it's never graced our Top 200 polls). The only GOAT Store release in this Top 25, this is a professional, feature-rich game which is sure to still please those who enjoy dancing around in front of their TV screens (if you have a dance mat, at least), although you can play adequately enough on a standard controller. It's almost certainly time we had a re-release of this now.

20. Witching Hour

2022 - M2 Software / PRO Studio

New entry

Whilst it may "only" be a Wolfenstein 3D mod, this is a hugely impressive indie horror title that succeeds in delivering an oppressive, atmospheric experience unmatched in the current indie library (we need more horror!) It's available to download for free, but did receive a limited number of physical copies as well (which are unfortunately no longer available to purchase). I was surprised by how highly this ranked - clearly it wasn't just me that this struck a chord with. The Dreamcast indie version of some sort of found-footage movie, whispered about in dark corners of the community, Witching Hour is fully deserving of its 20th place ranking.

19. Finding Teddy

2019 - Storybird / JoshProd

New entry

Mixed reactions to this one. Whilst I'm really pleased to see this fantastical Burtonesque adventure appear on this list, I can't help but feel it deserved better. It's a bit unlike anything else in the library, a gorgeous, warm experience with a sedate atmosphere that entrances you with its pixelated style and charm. It initially saw a release back in 2013 on PC and mobile platforms, but it suits the Dreamcast just as well. As with many JoshProd titles, it may just have been slightly overlooked in the midst of their multi-title release waves, but I encourage you all, if you've not yet experienced Finding Teddy, to give this one a chance. Copies are still available to purchase from PixelHeart

18. 4x4 Jam

2017 - Invictus Games / JoshProd

New entry

It seems that time has been kind on 4x4 Jam - the first fully 3D Dreamcast indie release. This enjoyable off-road racing title has simple-but-fun arcade racing gameplay and a fair amount of depth, and signalled a potential new age of the indie scene upon release - one that it didn't quite manage to usher in. I criticised it upon release for a lack of multiplayer and its AI difficulty being set too low, but returning to it in recent years I can really appreciate how fun the racing here is - and clearly that's a sentiment shared by many others, judging by the number of votes this received. This one is still available from PixelHeart and well worth a purchase.

17. Andro Dunos II 

2023 - Picorinne Soft / JoshProd

New entry

I was worried that this shooter sequel from JoshProd wouldn't rank highly on this list, and whilst I believe it probably deserves to be a little higher, it's good to know that other Dreamcast indie fans appreciated this fun, vibrant and technically sound horizontal shoot 'em up. I was really surprised by how well this Dreamcast port held up against versions on contemporary systems; after spending an enormous amount of time with the Nintendo Switch version, the Dreamcast has some compromises but retains the excellent gameplay and attractive aesthetics. It's another game that probably missed out on some of the publicity that other indie releases see, but there's a fair few of you out there who clearly appreciate this game highly. You can purchase it on the PixelHeart store.

16. Ghost Blade

2015 - Hucast / JoshProd

Seven places down on 2016 poll ranking

Hucast's 2015 release finally removed the shackles of their many recycled Dux releases, but it was unfortunately the last time we would see the developers release a title for the console. If it is a swansong though, it's a good one - although not without some issues. An accessible, visually strong vertical shooter with solid game mechanics, Ghost Blade is probably the best entry point for anyone wanting to experience the genre's place in the indie library (with the exception of Sturmwind). It lacks challenge for the veteran player and could be accused of being somewhat generic, but that didn't stop the votes pouring in. It was ninth last time out in 2016, so has seen a pretty large drop in the ranking (although not surprising when you consider just how many games have came out in the last eight years). Still, 16th is a very respectable position, and coupled with its ranking of 164th in 2023's Top 200, it shows that the game has its fair share of fans out there. This one is still available on the PixelHeart store.

15. The Textorcist

2021 - Gamefairy / Headup / MorbidWare

New entry

It's somewhat of a remarkable feat that MorbidWare's horror-themed "bullet hell typing game" The Textorcist manages to get to 15th place on this list. Not because it doesn't deserve it - this is a stylish, exciting mix of genres that sets out to merge a Cave shooter with The Typing of the Dead, and somehow manages to do so incredibly well - but because it had an appalling launch. The initial copies of the game were bugged, limiting any progression in the game with constant crashing and an inability to get past stage six. It took a while for publisher Gamefairy to acknowledge the problem, and longer still until we received free, bug-fixed discs for the game. This whole debacle could very well have ruined the title's reputation, but luckily for it, the Dreamcast indie fanbase could forgive the botched launch and recognise that the game itself is extraordinarily good fun. If there has been no initial issues, The Textorcist probably could have been a top ten contender. Gamefairy still have this game available on their store.

14. Arcade Racing Legends

2020 - Intuitive Computers / JoshProd

New entry

I was pretty savage on reviewing this one, and I have to be honest, I'm slightly surprised by its ranking, but clearly this indie racing title with lofty ambitions struck a chord with many of you. JoshProd had already conquered the indie scene with a wide range of titles that expanded the library immensely, so when they announced the development of a new Dreamcast racer, there was lots of attention. The idea of bringing some of Sega's arcade pedigree to an indie game, with various unlicensed but readily familiar cars and exciting, exotic tracks was a great one, and after a successful Kickstarter, the publishers were able to fulfil their plans. Sadly, for me at least, the end product was a tad underwhelming, with dull gameplay and poor AI, however my view doesn't appear to be universally shared as shown by the game's pretty impressive performance in this poll. There may be a little bit of "original game" bias at play - games that are brand new or developed solely/primarily for the Dreamcast have tended to do better in the votes than games that are ports - but regardless, Arcade Racing Legends has put on a strong showing to edge into the top 15. A sequel, dealing with some of the originals issues, would be a very, very exciting prospect indeed, and something I hope we will see one day. Head to the PixelHeart store if you want to purchase this one.

13. Völgarr the Viking

2019 - Crazy Viking Studios (original developer) / Marc Hall (Dreamcast port) / JoshProd

Seven places down on 2016 poll ranking

Tough as nails, Norse mythology-themed action-platformer Völgarr the Viking wouldn't see a full commercial release until 2019 from JoshProd, but it had been ported to the Dreamcast back in 2015 by Marc Hall with the full permission of the original developers, which is what allowed it to reach the heady heights of sixth in the last indie poll we held. Whilst it has dropped a few places since then, there appears to be a large number of fans of the game out there still. The game takes heavy inspiration from arcade platformers of the '80s, like Ghosts 'n Goblins or Rastan, and wraps all that up in a Norse cloak which gives it some uniqueness in the Dreamcast library. It is adorned with some gorgeous retro-style visuals splattered with lots of pixelated gore, and the difficulty level throughout is extremely high. True to its own inspiration, this is like the "Dark Souls of the Dreamcast", where you will need to make repeated attempts at progress and deal with dying an awful lot, but this is very much by design and will be a familiar concept to many. Clearly the challenge didn't put off everyone, as the game received a fairly substantial number of votes and wasn't that far away from retaining its place in the top ten. It can still be purchased from PixelHeart.

12. Postal

2022 - Running with Scissors (original developer) / Dan Redfield (Dreamcast port) / WAVE Game Studios

New entry

Released to some considerable acclaim in 2022, Postal may be a port of a controversial 90s PC kill 'em up, but it delivered an experience that we were largely missing on the Dreamcast, and did so in style. When Postal was originally released back in 1997, it was unfairly held up as an example of violent video games and blamed for everything wrong with youth culture, generating plenty of coverage and no doubt helping it sell more than it would otherwise have done. It was an okay game, but compared to the golden age of PC first-person shooters that it landed in the midst of, its more archaic-looking isometric visuals and simple gameplay would not have made much of an impression if it wasn't for the subject matter. Leaning into the perceived predilection of US postal workers to go on mass shooting sprees, the game sees you roaming around several "real life" locations, with your aim being to pretty much annihilate everyone living. The gameplay is always pretty simple, but the hand-drawn visuals, fun gameplay and nostalgia that the game conjures up adds up for a good experience.  

The Dreamcast port was handled by Dan Redfield - after Running with Scissors put a call out for someone to port the game to the console - and he did an exceptional job. Postal wasn't too far off grabbing a spot in the top ten, so it seems a lot of the Dreamcast fanbase quite enjoyed the rampant, mostly mindless violence the game delivers - which is fair enough! Head over to WAVE's store if you want to get your hands on this.

11. Flea! 

2020 - Lowtek Games / WAVE Game Studios

New entry

The adorable Flea! may not be a Dreamcast exclusive, but its itchy little protagonist should still be a poster boy for our indie scene. Whilst it couldn't quite reach the top ten in these rankings, it has a sizeable support and an impressive number of votes (it also reached 147th in our 2023 Top 200 Dreamcast Games poll), so its 8-bit charms clearly struck a chord with many in the Dreamcast community. Flea! is a lesson in how a simple concept can be realised whilst still retaining plenty of charm and enjoyable gameplay. Originally published by the developer Alastair Low himself, Flea! would later receive a special edition courtesy of WAVE which would form part of their early Dreamcast publishing onslaught. With promises of a sequel coming soon and Lowtek Games' continuing output of really well put together and enjoyable titles, the adventures of this little star may have only just begun. You can still purchase this one from WAVE's store.

10. Wind and Water: Puzzle Battles

2008 - Yuan Works / RedSpotGames

Five places down on 2016 poll ranking

The first entry in our top ten is also the oldest title, first released 16 years ago and reaching the heights of fifth in our 2016 poll. Wind and Water Puzzle Battles is an accomplished puzzle game that is chock full of content, with great visuals. There's an element of adventure, with an overhead map, and a full story mode to deepen a genre which often doesn't expand into those areas. The puzzle mechanic itself is pretty simple (colour matching diamonds) and packs a real challenge, but there's so much here (including mini-games and a museum mode) that you'll be playing this one for ages - which clearly seems to be the case when you look at just how many votes this one received. It's great to see that the "classics" of the Dreamcast indie scene are still getting the recognition they deserve, and this one thoroughly deserves its position in these rankings.

9. Gunlord

2012 - NG:DEV.TEAM

Six places down on 2016 poll ranking

Claiming third place in our 2016 poll, Gunlord has been a Dreamcast indie staple for more than a decade, and has appeared in our Top 200 Games lists for 2013, 2016 and 2023 (reaching 56th, 149th and 143rd positions, respectively). Therefore, it's no surprise to see it appear in the top ten this time out, although slipping a few places down to ninth. A run n' gunner modelled after the sub-genre's '90s glory days; this is an explosive, graphically rich blast 'em up with a thumping Euro soundtrack, amazing level design and a high difficulty which rewards repeated plays to master the subtleties of the mechanics. NG:DEV.TEAM's highest ranked entry is definitely a high point for the developer, and at the time of release its arrival amidst the abundance of horizontal and vertical shooters felt fresh and much needed. Time has been good to the game - whilst there have been similar titles released since, nothing has quite managed to beat Gunlord at its own game.

8. Pier Solar

2015 - Watermelon

Seven places down on 2016 poll ranking

Pier Solar won our 2016 indie poll, a result which was mildly controversial judging by the amount of messages I received, but this RPG deserved its accolades both from a uniqueness point of view (the genre is still very rare in the Dreamcast indie library), and for its professional, polished production and story. It made it onto the last two Top 200 rankings as well (123rd in 2016 and 162nd in 2023), and judging by the votes it received this year, its charm has not diminished in the eyes of many gamers. It's an accomplished game built on a foundation of traditional, old-school RPG mechanics and some quite beautiful aesthetics, as well as throwing in some puzzle elements and a decent if unspectacular battle system. Whilst it leans slightly into "generic" at times, I found the story and character design to be solid and overall the game is an enjoyable experience. This year it made it into the top ten with ease, and at one point looked like a real contender for a top five spot, however it slipped down the rankings towards the end of the voting period.

7. Rush Rush Rally Racing / Rush Rush Rally Reloaded 

2009 / 2017 - Senile Team / RedSpotGames / JoshProd / WAVE Game Studios

Three places down on 2016 poll ranking

Seventh place goes to the top-down racing excellence of Rush Rush Rally (a combined vote for both the original and Reloaded versions, as they're basically the same game, and most votes were simply for "Rush Rush Rally"). It reached fourth place in our last indie poll, and 123rd in our Top 200 poll back in 2013, rising to 103rd in the 2023 Top 200, so it's no surprise to see it doing well here again. The original Rush Rush Rally Racing delivered great visuals, intricate track design and the sort of multiplayer fun that I've loved ever since the days of Micro Machines on the Mega Drive. It was bloody tough though, an issue that the improved Reloaded version addressed whilst also adding in some extra content (including expanding the single-player experience) to make it the definitive version of the game. Senile Team have gone on to even bigger things in the indie world, but this remains a highly enjoyable game that is well worth a pick up (it's still available to purchase from WAVE).

6. Shadow Gangs

2022 - JKM. Corp / WAVE Game Studios

New entry

Shadow Gangs delivers a nostalgic trip back to the '90s and the age of the classic beat 'em up, and does it with a really professional, polished touch. It plays superbly, looks great, and is excellently designed, allowing players of any skill level to enjoy the adventure. Controls are tight throughout as you progress through the game's levels, kicking ninja arse and enjoying the wonderfully evocative stage design that is a love letter to the era which clearly influenced the ideas present. Shadow Gangs' "new retro" aesthetics give it a crisp visual look which is really appealing, and there is both enough challenge for those with quick reflexes, and enough accessibility for the more casual fan. This is a hugely enjoyable side-scrolling beat 'em up which fills a gap in the Dreamcast indie library. Shadow Gangs can be purchased from WAVE.

Shadow Gangs had a phenomenal response in our voting, and was only marginally outside of the top five. This righted the wrong of the game not appearing in our 2023 Top 200 Games listing.

5. Xenocider 

2021 - Retro Sumus / WAVE Game Studios

New entry

Now we're into the real high fliers. Breaking into the top five and with a considerable number of votes is Xenocider, a 3D indie release which promised a lot and delivered just that. Its into-the-screen shooting action is reminiscent of the Sega classic Space Harrier at times (indeed, there is an entire mode of this game which leans into that inspiration in quite a spectacular style), but utilises elements of modern gaming design as well to deliver something both new and nostalgic. It's an exciting, science fiction spectacle, and one that had a great reception upon release. We'd been following Retro Sumus' progress with the game for some time before release - the developer deserves some major respect for their interactions with the community and their constant updates - so it's great to see how the finished product ended up. It also has impeccable presentation and more depth than nearly any other indie title, with unlockable modes, achievements, mini-games and even movie sequences. Reaching a very respectable 135th in our 2023 Top 200 games list, Xenocider was only marginally edged out of fourth place here and saw a massive amount of support from our European voters in particular. Xenocider is available to purchase from WAVE.

4. Driving Strikers

2023 - Reality Jump / WAVE Game Studios

New entry

The highest-ranked release from last year, Driving Strikers soars into fourth position with strong support from the Dreamcast's online community. The headline grabbing feature of the game is of course the fact that it is the first Dreamcast indie release to have online-enabled multiplayer and it delivers that with style. Playing like a retro-styled version of the immensely popular Rocket League, it is the perfect game to experience the more social-side of Dreamcast gaming with. Driving Stikers' mix of driving and football forms a combination that results in exciting, nail-biting contests, spectacular goals and laugh-out-loud moments as your opponents catastrophically concede another own goal. The final release dealt with some of the issues the earlier demos exhibited (mainly awkward controls) and whilst the solo player whose Dreamcast remains offline may not have much content to experience alone, you can still gather some friends for a spot of local multiplayer fun. Driving Strikers is certainly a milestone release, and perhaps represents the ushering in of a whole new era for the indie scene. Its support in the voting for this poll was immense - indeed only one game received more nominations for the "what is your number one favourite indie release" question that we asked, which is quite remarkable. We await what Reality Jump do next with some considerable anticipation. In the meantime, head over to WAVE's online store if you haven't yet got yourself a copy of Driving Strikers. 

3. Xeno Crisis

2020 - Bitmap Bureau

New entry

I've made no secret of my love for Xeno Crisis; my own personal favourite indie game and an immensely gratifying alien arse-kicking multi-directional shooter that deserves all the accolades it has received. It looked for a while as if this was to be a real contender for the top spot - building on its 64th spot in the 2023 Top 200 with a strong and consistent number of votes throughout the duration of our poll - but third place is still a fantastic place considering the quality of the Dreamcast indie library. Xeno Crisis is a gloriously exciting and supremely playable romp with super-tight controls, excellent aesthetics and plenty of challenge; a nod back to the pixelated gameplay of  yesteryear whilst still retaining modern-day sensibilities and production values. You can even dust off the twin sticks to play the game with, and this is probably the best way to experience the game (and arguably the best use of the actual twin sticks!) As the highest ranked game from a UK developer, it was also great to see the response the game received from British voters - who collectively ranked it as their favourite indie release. Bitmap Bureau still have this one for sale on their website.

2. Sturmwind

2013 - Duranik / RedSpotGames / DragonBox Shop / The Bit Station / JoshProd

Same rank as 2016 poll

Poor Sturmwind. A true indie legend for the Dreamcast, it has ranked highly in our last three Top 200 rankings - 36th in 2013, 96th in 2016 and a record 35th in 2023 - but was beaten in our last indie poll by Pier Solar in mildly controversial circumstances (at least to those who messaged me suggesting that Sturmwind was robbed). This time round it has been beaten to the top spot once more but its support throughout the voting period was astounding. It received the most "number one favourite indie release" votes and was the most popular game with our American voters, but lost out by a single vote to our eventual winner. Alas, it wasn't to be - but that does not take away from this masterpiece. An epic and beautiful space opera shooter, it was way ahead of its time in adding extras, employed a rewarding and satisfying weapon upgrade system, accessibility options for players of any experience level, and a thumping soundtrack. As immensely enjoyable as the gameplay was, it was the eye-popping visuals that were most well received. Sturmwind is a thing of absolute beauty, an intricately designed journey through a wonderfully realised universe with countless "wow" moments. A decade on, it is still setting a bar for the indie library that is near-impossibly high... but there is one game which has managed to just pip it to the first place...

1. Intrepid Izzy 

2021 - Senile Team / WAVE Game Studios

New entry

Our number one, leading the voting since pretty much the first day, and with an astonishing 75% of all respondents voting for it, is the impeccable Intrepid Izzy. Senile Team's return to the Dreamcast fold was highly anticipated, but even the most hopeful among us would never have thought that the result would be so amazing. Polished, high-quality visuals and a hugely enjoyable gameplay style that merges platforming and light beat 'em up elements are the headline topics when discussing this one, but it goes even deeper than that. It's an expansive, thrilling adventure with loads of variety - even including some simple arcade titles as games within the world - and a non-linear and intricate "metroidvania" design which rewards and demands exploration. It has a great soundtrack, a slick, modern style presentation, and some of the most astonishingly colourful, crisp and clean visuals of any indie game - so much so that you genuinely forget it is running on a Dreamcast at times. Intrepid Izzy only reached 62nd overall in our 2023 Top 200 games poll (although for context, it still beat some amazing games), and received slightly less "number one favourite indie release' votes than its top three compatriots, but there were so many of you who voted for the game that this victory seemed set early on in the process. A triumph for both Senile Team and WAVE, Intrepid Izzy is a thoroughly deserving victor.

Games that just missed out...

Whilst I wanted to stick to the Top 25 as originally intended, we could have easily managed a Top 50 with just the games that had multiple votes - which is a big difference from our initial indie poll eight years ago where the lower reaches of even the top ten struggled to get more than a couple of votes! 

Several worthy indie releases came within just a couple of votes of the Top 25, and so it's only right that we give these a shout out here as well:

Beats of Rage - by far the highest-ranked non-commercial release, Beats of Rage only marginally missed out on the Top 25 in the last day of voting. This brawler which has spawned dozens of homebrew conversions clearly still has a place in the heart of many in the community.

Dux / Redux - one of the earliest headline-grabbing indie shooter releases, Hucast's Dux (as well as its darker incarnation Redux) saw a fair few votes but couldn't quite reach the Top 25. Dux has been surpassed by various other examples in the genre, and the original incarnation is especially showing its age (and has its fair share of issues, some of which were never totally dealt with in subsequent versions) but these are still games which deserve some attention.

Leona's Tricky Adventures - this puzzle adventure romp is a real hidden gem in the Dreamcast indie library, and missing out on the Top 25 is a harsh result for a game which deserves way more respect. 

Alice Dreams Tournament - if you love Bomberman, you'll love Alice Dreams tournament, and with a great reception upon release and some really neat ideas, it's surprising to not see this reaching the Top 25 - although it did see a surge of late votes which left it very close indeed.

Another World - This classic cinematic platforming adventure suffered the same fate as many of JoshProd's ports - a lower number of votes compared to non-ported games. It wasn't far away from the Top 25 however, and is definitely worth a pick up if you haven't already.

Breakers - whilst only really a semi-decent port of a pretty average Neo Geo fighter, Breakers still managed to get a fair number of votes and was close to breaking the Top 25.

Fade to Black - whilst praised at the time of its original release in the mid-'90s, time hasn't been kind to this early 3D action adventure sequel to Flashback. It's still a novelty to see a 3D indie release however, and Fade to Black nearly broke into the Top 25.

Tapeworm Disco Puzzle - this cool puzzle game set in the Flea! universe has suffered from having less exposure than that game due to only seeing a release from Lowtek Games itself (at the current time at least) but deserves far more recognition. Only just missed out on a Top 25 spot. 

Escape 2042 - the highest ranked Orion-developed game surprisingly did not reach the Top 25 - perhaps another sign that we deserve a retrospective collection of the developer's titles released to a wider audience. A fantastic dystopian platforming adventure.

Extra Top Ten List - Ranking just the Number One Favourites

As part of the voting process, we asked you to name a single Dreamcast indie game as your absolute favourite. Whilst this was conceived as a tie-breaker originally, I've used it as the basis of some further results to give a broader picture of how the indie community thinks. If we took those single votes alone, the top ten “favourite” indie Dreamcast games would be:

10. Andro Dunos 2 
9. Rush Rush Rally Rally / Reloaded
8. Witching Hour 
7. Shadow Gangs 
6. Pier Solar 
5. Xenocider
(Joint) 3. Xeno Crisis and Intrepid Izzy 
2. Driving Strikers 
1. Sturmwind
Sturmwind finally tops an indie poll at the ‘Yard! The game received a fair amount more favourite votes than any other game, showing that even though it's one of the older titles in the top ten, it still has many fans. Driving Strikers did well with the online contingent of fans, narrowly beating Xeno Crisis and Intrepid Izzy. The top ranked title of the 2016 indie poll, Pier Solar, still had a lot of support, plus there were two surprises in this top ten - a lot of love for indie horror Witching Hour and JoshProd's (really rather good) Andro Dunos 2.

Best Indie Publisher Vote

2. JoshProd
1. WAVE Game Studios
This was a much tighter contest than I had expected. With several of the most publicised indie releases in the last couple of years coming from WAVE Game Studios, and many of those games making the Top 25, you would have thought this would be a foregone conclusion. However JoshProd / PixelHeart pushed them all the way to the end, despite that publishers lack of recognition (relatively speaking) in the upper reaches of our rankings. WAVE have started a new age of indie games on the system and revitalised the scene, and with much more promised from them in the future, this is a deserved recognition for their work. JoshProd started the previous “new era” of Dreamcast indie titles and are largely responsible for the massive surge in the number of releases we have to choose from, so it is only fair that they too were highly ranked here. NG:DEV.TEAM were a surprise third place for me here, and, although some way behind the top two, it's clear their series of releases on the console remain highly regarded.

Best Indie Developer Vote

3. Duranik
2. Reality Jump
1. Senile Team
I was expecting a bit of a battle here between some of the more established, multi-release developers, but it was a clear margin of victory in the end. With two titles in the top ten and one just outside the Top 25, Dutch developers Senile Team soared to this award off of the back of a proven track record and their highly successful release of Intrepid Izzy. Rather than sticking to one genre, these veteran developers have covered three mightily well, and we are very excited indeed to see what they do next. Reality Jump - made up of Luke Benstead and David Reichelt - may only have released Driving Strikers so far, but they are at the forefront of the current indie scene and thoroughly deserve their ranking here. It was a tight scrap for third place with NG:DEV.TEAM, Bitmap Bureau and Duranik separated by only a couple of votes, but it was the latter who triumphed - despite their sole Dreamcast release being over a decade ago.

Most Anticipated Indie Release

3. Shadow Gangs 2
2. Paprium
1. HarleQuest!
This one wasn't even close. Whilst Paprium and Shadow Gangs 2 received a fair number of votes, no other title received more than the all-conquering HarleQuest! It seems the Dreamcast indie community are frothing at the mouth to play this dungeon-crawling brawler, as it received more than 80% of the total vote. We'll definitely be keeping an eye on this one, as will a lot of you, it seems!

Extra: Regional Favourite Indie Games

Due to the number of votes cast, I was able to compile a little something different to end this poll. Taking into account the single choice of best indie game and a complicated series of calculations from the other votes (not really that complicated if I'm honest), I've pulled together a top five for each "region". The US and UK had plenty of votes, and therefore have a top five to themselves, whilst the ten nations from Europe also had enough votes to group them together into their own region. Finally all the other nations (six, plus any vote with no country indicated) are together in a "Rest of World" region.

America's Favourite Indie Dreamcast Games

5. Shadow Gangs 
4. Pier Solar 
3. Driving Strikers 
2. Xeno Crisis 
1. Sturmwind
These regional top fives are very interesting indeed. Voters from the USA left out Intrepid Izzy completely (it actually comes in at the seventh spot), which saw games shifting around a bit from their Top 25 positions. To be honest, the top ten was nail-bitingly close, and a couple of votes for any game in the top ten would have changed these rankings significantly, but it's the phenomenal Sturmwind which wins the award for America's favourite indie game, closely followed by Xeno Crisis and Driving Strikers. Pier Solar still has an above average level of support Stateside, whilst Shadow Gangs also clearly ticked the right boxes with our American readers. Shout out to Postal and Feet of Fury which were marginally outside the top five.

The United Kingdom's Favourite Indie Dreamcast Games

5. Wind and Water Puzzle Battles
4. Sturmwind
3. Driving Strikers
2. Intrepid Izzy 
1. Xeno Crisis 
It was pretty much a dead heat at the top of the UK vote but homegrown heroes Bitmap Bureau scored the victory with their alien-crushing shooter Xeno Crisis, taking the top spot from Intrepid Izzy. Driving Strikers was a little way back but retained strong support from the UK voting contingent whilst Sturmwind scored a surprisingly low number of votes compared to the other regions. Also making an appearance is the underrated Wind and Water: Puzzle Battles. Just outside this top five we saw Xenocider and Andro Dunos 2 score highly but just miss out by the narrowest of margins.

Europe's Favourite Indie Dreamcast Games

5. Intrepid Izzy
4. Witching Hour 
3. Sturmwind
2. Driving Strikers 
1. Xenocider 
The European vote was quite a surprise. The top three from the main vote was upended, with Intrepid Izzy slipping to fifth, Sturmwind to third, and Xeno Crisis missing out completely. It was the Spanish-developed 3D shooter Xenocider which secured the victory here, with a very strong showing in the votes. Driving Strikers was marginally behind (in fact the top five were all pretty close), whilst the indie horror of Witching Hour secured an incredible fourth place - a massive sixteen places up on their Top 25 rankings. Just outside of the top five was the winner of the 2016 best indie poll, Pier Solar.

The Rest of the World's Favourite Indie Dreamcast Games

5. Völgarr the Viking
4. Xenocider 
3. Xeno Crisis 
2. Intrepid Izzy 
1. Sturmwind 
The "Rest of the World" voting category covers no less than four continents and had some really interesting final results. Sturmwind's victory was secured at the last moment, edging out Intrepid Izzy and securing itself a second regional award. Völgarr the Viking scored a big improvement over its Top 25 ranking, whilst Xenocider and Xeno Crisis scored decently in this widest of regions.


Congratulations on all the games, developers and publishers recognised in these results - it has been a blast compiling these results and seeing the love for the indie scene from across the Dreamcast community. Did your favourite game make the Top 25? Sound off in the comments below or via one of our social media pages.


Lewis Cox said...

The community voted for a really eclectic selection of indies here. It's crazy how far the scene has developed since the last vote in 2016. Personally very chuffed Izzy won and Finding Teddy got some recognition!

OneStar said...

Excellent write up! Glad to see Sturmwind still getting the praise it deserves. I really hope Midsummer and Duranik itself are not gone from the DC scene. In the last 5 or so years we have seen a lot of stuff just dumped onto the DC that really soured me on the indie DC scene a bit. But this lists shows there is still a good chunk of indie games actually made FOR the Dreamcast that really shine. Senile team especially is an absolute treasure to the DC scene and I hope we never lose them!