Best indie game of the year: Deltarune Chapter 2

Deltarune Chapter 2 is the best indie game of the year at Nintendo Enthusiast in 2021, despite only being one part of a larger Switch game.

The Nintendo Enthusiast game of the year awards continue! The best indie game award goes to the best and most impactful Nintendo Switch game from a smaller developer without the backing of a major publisher.

Nominees

  • Deltarune Chapter 2
  • Loop Hero
  • Demon Turf
  • Unsighted
  • Death’s Door

2021 best indie game winner: Deltarune Chapter 2

Deltarune Chapter 2 is proof that sometimes the best things in life really are free. Developer Toby Fox released Chapter 1 back in 2018 as a proof of concept — a small taste of an ambitious spiritual successor to Undertale. Fox originally planned to drop the rest of Deltarune all at once but surprised us back in September with the free release of Chapter 2. Unlike his previous works, this was not a solo project. Fox spent the past three years recruiting and partnering with talented developers to build a fully dedicated Deltarune team. The result is our best indie game of 2021!

Deltarune feels comfortingly familiar to Undertale fans, but it’s not content to coast on past successes. This is more apparent than ever in Delatrune Chapter 2, which is bigger, bolder, and all around better than the already impressive first chapter. It’s packed with catchy tunes, hilarious cutscenes, shocking secrets, exciting boss fights, and a cast of unforgettable characters. It may have also won another award still to be announced here at Nintendo Enthusiast, thanks to its rich, emotional, and thought-provoking world and themes. It’s a joy to play from start to finish, and it sticks with you long after the credit roll.

The long wait in-between chapters would kill off the excitement for most games, but the cultural impact of the combined Undertale / Deltarune universe cannot possibly be overstated. Undertale is still tremendous six years after launch, and each new chapter of Deltarune reinvigorates and expands the passionate fanbase. Within days of Chapter 2’s release, YouTube was filled with theory and lore videos, and social media was overflowing with Deltarune memes. And although it didn’t win our award for best sound, those tunes live in my head rent-free. The characters, humor, and music of Deltarune are all endlessly infectious. It’s not hard to see why fans are willing to wait patiently for more.

Although Deltarune is not yet complete, Chapter 2 stands on its own as a fantastic experience worthy of our best indie game of the year award at Nintendo Enthusiast. It’s also a beautiful example of an indie passion project far exceeding all expectations. It’s amazing to see how far we’ve come since Undertale, and with five more chapters on the way, we’re excited about the future.

Ben Lamoreux
Nintendo Enthusiast's Managing Editor. I grew up on Super Nintendo and never stopped playing. Been writing video game news, opinions, reviews, and interviews professionally for over a decade. Favorite franchises include Zelda, Metroid, and Mother.