This “Games Like Undertale” Guide is full of games most Undertale fans will enjoy. Undertale has a special place in my heart, one where it has become a permanent fixture of the heart itself.
When I first played Undertale, a lot of my original play time was me taking breaths. I’ve played plenty of RPGs before, but I never had a game make me question if what I was doing was “right” or “wrong” so intensely. It wasn’t just about defeating enemies and getting stronger or saving the day. It was about making choices that would affect everyone around you forever.
As I browse the Internet, I’m delighted to find that I wasn’t the only one embracing this seemingly new experience.
Undertale is a phenomenal showcase of what makes a good Indie title. When I finished my first playthrough, not only did I want more, I was actively searching out other Indie games. Undertale had done more than draw me into its own world. It opened up my desire to experience the works of other creators.
While Undertale is a prime example of a superb Indie game, it is not the only game out there with a powerful narrative or unconventional gameplay. More gems are hiding in the land of Indie games. Many similar to the unexpectedly deep themes that make the RPG title, Undertale, shine so very brightly.
This is our comprehensive list of other games like Undertale.
Also read: How Long is Undertale?
These are the areas I’ve chosen to compare each game to Undertale in.
- Gameplay: Are they similar genres, combat systems, overworld moving, and character interactions? Will you need to learn new controls?
- Story: Is the story also deep? Is it charming yet still dark? How surreal is it? What elements are similar between the games?
- Originality: Undertale is a one-of-a-kind game in how it is delivered overall. Do these games hold that same standard? Do they also challenge the normal gameplay we expect from RPGs or puzzle games?
- Reception: It’s good to know how each title stood on its own feet. Average reviews and critic scores, where available, will be noted.
In Heartbound, like Undertale, you traverse a world as a single character, have to solve puzzles, and each battle is unique. The delivery method in this title is something that I found captivating and reminiscent of my Undertale experience. That is, being thrown right into the adventure with a clear goal and little need for a long backstory.
While, like Undertale, more and more story unfolds as you play; it lacks much of the levity that made Undertale so disarming. There is a somber mood as you attempt to rescue your best friend, and it never really lifts. That best friend you’re looking for? It’s your dog.
In the game, you are a boy dealing with depression and anxiety but determined to find Baron(your dog). You go into the world with that one true and understandable goal. What you are or aren’t willing to do in search of that goal is the morally ambiguous ground this game travels.
- Gameplay: Moving along the map, interactions and even the combat system are all similar. The combat system has unique mini-games for each fight, and you only fight each enemy type once. The combat is similar, but the creator adds his own touches to the mini-battles.
- Story: I think they differ regarding how your main character and world are presented, specifically the inherently darker tones being so omnipresent. However, they are similar in how strongly your actions affect the results of your tale.
- Originality: It’s so inspired by other games I can’t say it is the most original title on the list. However, I will say it is very unique how each mini-game in the fights fits with the enemy being faced.
- Reception: Overwhelmingly Positive, with early Steam Reviews at over 1000 as of Jan 2023.
- Where You Can Find It: Early Access on Steam
*This game is still in early access.
This game is on the Nintendo DS exclusively. That being said, it went under the radar of many gamers. This is because it was released along with the final part of the Earthbound series. Both games shared a similar style, but Earthbound 3 had far more fanfare and anticipation behind it, leaving Contact to fall swiftly out of the public eye.
In Contact, you control a character named Terry. Terry is helping a Professor locate “cells” for his ship. In this way, Terry can get home. Much like in Undertale, your choices begin to affect how the world Terry travels in treats him. The people in cities will either welcome you as a hero, become distant or even get to the point where they will attack you on sight. This was an extremely uncommon game mechanic when Contact was released, and it made it feel unique.
- Gameplay: It has RPG elements similar to Undertale. For example, the equipment, item use, and how you move around the map. However, Terry auto-attacks when you initiate combat. You can use things to help him in battle but don’t control Terry in the fight.
- Story: The story is a bit sad when you think about how The Professor is using the boy who just wants to get home, but otherwise, it is mostly a dungeon crawl without much depth.
- Originality: Quite original, but ultimately a dungeon crawler in nice clothes. It was very uncommon for an RPG title to break the fourth wall. The Professor often talks to you, the player, and comments on what you are making Terry do. In addition, the different skills you level up via Terry’s costume were quite innovative. Though the battle system isn’t my favorite, it utilized the DS screen well.
- Reception: A Metacritic score of 73/100.
- Where You Can Find It: It is available on the Nintendo DS.
#8. The Stanley Parable
This was originally developed and released as a free modification for Half-Life 2. It eventually got a full makeover with love from its creator. Davey Wreden and William Pugh went their own way and have even released The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe in April of 2022.
You control Stanley through a puzzle-like office environment, following instructions from a Narrator. You can choose to ignore these instructions and, in doing so, affect the game’s outcome. Each choice leads to a unique branch and a new storyline opening. It is in this way it is most similar to Undertale.
- Gameplay: Besides being in control of the main character, the gameplay is far different from Undertale. If you are looking for an RPG, this is not the game for you. It is more of a first-person-style puzzle game akin to the Myst series or Portal.
- Story: With fourth-wall-breaking elements similar to Undertale, it arguably tackles existentialism in a new way. While not as emotionally draining, there is a quiet sadness and understanding when the game talks of not knowing what it is without you. Existentialism is incredibly difficult to tackle without hitting yourself. The creators did an excellent job here.
- Originality: The gameplay is very much like older puzzle-style games, Myst being the first that comes to mind. It doesn’t challenge these classic dynamics. The story stands out, but the game is a typical puzzle solver.
- Reception: A Metacritic score of 88/100 and Hardcore Gamer gave it a 4.5/5.
- Where You Can Find it: It is available on Steam, Nintendo Switch, PS4&5, and Xbox One.
Rakuen is charming. The graphics are not incredible, but the story more than makes up for it. That story can really get at those heartstrings, so watch out for that.
You’re in the hospital, just a boy, and your mom brings a book to read to you about a great forest. She reveals to you that the story is real, and you ask if you can go there to get one wish granted. Thus, your adventure begins.
Music is really the center of this story, and the tasks the boy completes for his new friends are out of kindness. Meaning the only reward is thanks. No experience or levels. A very novel concept, a good lesson, one might argue.
- Gameplay: There is no combat in this game, so the only real similarity is in the puzzle-solving and the way you traverse the world map. Interaction with things is the same, and you can make dialogue choices.
- Story: This story captures you pretty effectively. There’s a childish charm with the deep undertones of something more intense, and it will likely hit you in the feels. I felt big Undertale vibes from this.
- Originality: It’s ultimately a puzzle game using an RPG maker-style system, not the most original gameplay-wise. How it is visually presented, and its story is pretty original stuff.
- Reception: A Metacritic score of 84/100, and Polygon ranked it #32 on their best games of 2017.
- Where You Can Find It: It is available on Steam.
#6. To the Moon
This game has an emotionally powerful story from the moment you begin to play. In it, you control two doctors, and your job is to help a dying patient fulfill his last wish by going into his memories and helping him achieve something he can’t physically do. That’s heavy.
The game is a lot like Rakuen and The Stanley Parable. There is no combat system because there are no enemies to fight. It is another puzzle-style game where you must decipher information from the patient’s life in order to progress. The patient, Johnny, will be your main map. Going through his memories and hopefully giving him one last wish before he dies.
- Gameplay: As Rakuen before it, this mostly shares similarities with movement, over-world map interactions, and puzzle styles. The gameplay in this game is probably the least interesting on the list.
- Story: Freaking heart-wrenching for me from the outset, but there is something in it that really resonates. Like Undertale, there is a deeper meaning to exploring the maps and puzzles. As you learn more about Johnny, it is a unique dive into life, regrets, and how similar we are as individuals.
- Originality: A puzzle game like before makes it hard to call it too original, but the levels and maps being memories are nicely done. Moreover, losing doesn’t affect the characters you are playing, only the character you are trying to help. That is pretty original.
- Reception: Metacritic gives the Switch release 84/100, and RPGFan gave it a 90%.
- Where You Can Find It: Available on Steam, Google Play, and the Nintendo Switch.
#5. Lisa: The Painful
This title was a passion project of Austin Jorgensen, who wrote, designed, and composed the whole thing. Much like Toby Fox, he was inspired by the Earthbound series.
Every major decision in this title is harrowing, leading to the death of a friend or even the loss of a limb. Yet, the game is a well-crafted RPG with a good leveling and battle system. It plays in many ways as a more brutal older brother to titles like Undertale. Be warned that this game touches on subjects like rape and intense abuse. It is clearly intended only for mature players.
You play Brad Armstrong, a martial artist who searches for his adopted daughter, Buddy. The world he is searching for her in is Olathe. It is full of terrible men. As Brad, you can recruit other decent human beings and fight through the horrible world of Olathe. Still, the reality of what fate his adopted daughter is facing is not something I personally enjoyed.
- Gameplay: Classic RPG-style combat, and you can even put in commands during fights to combo punch. You can collect allies, however, so you aren’t fighting alone. There’s a leveling system and equipment. The map is completely 2D side-scrolling. In that way, it is different.
- Story: Certain choices change the outcome you receive. In this way, it is similar. Where it differs significantly is the dark theme from the very first moments of the game is laid on heavily and never lightens.
- Originality: I can’t say I’ve ever played a game quite like this one. In its overall delivery, it compares well to Undertale. The main theme has been used similarly quite often in revenge films. While intense, it isn’t a groundbreaking way to approach the topic.
- Reception: A Metacritic score of 77/100 and overwhelmingly positive on Steam with 11,000+ reviews.
- Where You Can Find It: Available on Steam
#4. Earthbound Beginnings/Mother
I’m suggesting the trilogy, but I’ll focus on the first one. Mother. Known as Earthbound Beginnings outside of Japan. This is the series that inspired Toby Fox to make Undertale.
Mother hit shelves in 1989 for the original NES. Ninten, later known as Ness, the infamous Smash Bros character, is the main character of this RPG. Like Frisk in Undertale, he is a child with a striped shirt about to go on a fantastical adventure. Unlike Fritz, he is gifted with psionic powers and will recruit friends to help him.
You start the game by immediately getting attacked by a lamp! Much of the game is light-hearted and comical. In this, it and Undertale both catch you off guard. Neither prepares you for their more profound and darker story that hides just below their narratives. It’s a very clever game and earns its cult following well.
- Gameplay: A lot of similarities in movement and map interactions. You get in fights, a more traditional JRPG, turn-based system. You level up and get equipment to increase your stats. You can consume food items to replenish your health.
- Story: Equally as disarming in some aspects. While not as deep, it feels like a kid’s game but underlines a very mature topic and theme all kids will also face one day. A story older players will not be able to miss.
- Originality: For its time, it was very similar to other JRPGs. It added a lot of unique elements, such as not needing to fight to win every battle and being set in modern times. Also, it really turned anything into an enemy, making for some of the most memorable and hilarious foes in RPG history. Ultimately its story and how you defeat the final boss make it one of the most original games to ever come out on the NES.
- Reception: Famitsu gave it a 31/40, which is a silver medal, according to sources.
- Where You Can Find It: It should be available (they change inventory from time to time) online via the Nintendo Switch store on the NES system.
The game tackles heavy topics. Depression and suicide are among them. Your character’s emotions greatly affect how well they do in combat. Causing status effects specifically.
In both gameplay and depth, it is similar to Undertale. However, the subject matter is more on the sleeve. While the concept is clear, it is still delivered very well. The emotions and dialogue written to discuss the serious nature of the topics, as well as the player’s choices, make this game a psychological work of art.
- Gameplay: It has a similar map system. The battle system is traditional RPG style for the most part, selecting skills, attacks, items, and so forth. You play two parties in two different areas and must utilize their skills to solve puzzles. It is slower-paced than Undertale’s gameplay in these regards.
- Story: Equally deep. It is witty and dances between light-hearted humor and serious topics very well. Certain subjects are clearly approached by a writer who experienced them or is intensely open-minded and empathetic.
- Originality: While the gameplay doesn’t scream too much originality, the concept and use of skills and puzzles based on real-world emotional issues like anxiety and stress set it apart. The delivery of the story keeps it on par with games like OneShot and Undertale.
- Reception: An 87/100 on Metacritic and an 8.5/10 on Destructoid.
- Where You Can Find It: It is available on Steam, the Switch, PS4, and Xbox.
*I experienced this game secondhand, watching the well-known YouTuber Jaiden Animations play it live during her subathon. It was well-liked by myself, the YouTuber, and her audience.
OneShot’s playstyle and setting are endearing. While, like most games, you control the main character, Niko, you are treated as a different entity. Occasionally, you are kicked out of the game completely, only to load it back up and learn that it auto-saves everything you do and recognizes when you leave! In fact, you exist in the game to some extent as yourself, directly conversing with Niko and only Niko.
Niko is the cat; it is your job to help them escape. To bring light to a dying world that is not their own. Unlike most puzzle games, this one feels like an action game because of its incredible pacing, even though it has no battles to speak of. The way the game speaks to you and challenges you personally, while you also have to control Niko on their quest, will please any Undertale fan.
It makes your choices feel real. You question yourself and what you are doing not based on if it’s the best way to win but if it’s the right thing to do.
- Gameplay: Movement is practically the same as Undertale. Inventory usage is a bit more nuanced, being able to combine items. You also have a screen outside of playing Niko, where you interact with fourth-wall-breaking elements. It is otherwise you solving puzzles. *Wait until you see what happens when you take a nap!
- Story: Brilliant. This and Undertale have my utmost admiration.
- Originality: Equally original. The way it interacts with you and even scares you at times is beyond the usual fourth-wall stuff. While it comes off as another puzzle-solving game, it stops feeling that way at your first encounter with another character. I genuinely forgot there was no combat.
- Reception: The Nintendo Switch version scored 92/100 on Metacritic, while over 30,000 Steam reviews remain overly positive.
- Where You Can Find It: You can get it for the Switch or on Steam.
This is the next game by Undertale creator Toby Fox. It feels like a sequel in many ways. The “Bullet Hell” box returns, having to move the heart around to dodge attacks. In addition, instead of random encounters, you can see the enemies and try to avoid fighting. Unlike Undertale, you get more members to your party and even have access to magic. This makes it feel more like some classic JRPGs.
You are Kris, a human, and tour teacher Alphys (sound familiar?) sends you and another student named Susie to get chalk from the closet. The closet holds a surprise, however, and upon going inside to search for the chalk, you and Susie get transported into a place called The Dark World. It’s there where the game begins.
It’s here the game dances with fantastical elements and real-human-like issues in the same vein as Undertale. While it is a standalone title, and you don’t need to play Undertale to enjoy it, if you liked Undertale, this will certainly be a great follow-up choice.
- Gameplay: Many of the same elements remain while new things have been added. The most notable addition is a tension bar that builds up and allows characters to use special moves.
- Story: In the same vein as Undertale, it is light-hearted but with deep themes.
- Originality: It can’t claim to be too original, as it is that similar to Undertale. It adds unique elements, with choices being more difficult in some situations. Still, even the tension point bar is similar to the Limit Break gauge used in other RPG titles. It’s still an original tale and the best follow-up for an Undertale fan to play.
- Reception: Screen Rant gave it a 4.5/5.
- Where You Can Find It: Available on PC, Switch, and PS4.
You can play chapters one and two on Steam for free! Type Deltarune into your search bar on Steam, and you should be good to go!
*This game is still in Early Access.
You may want to give a gander at games that almost made my list.
- Yume Nikki: Intense Puzzle Solver with a gut-wrenching finale(not for children).
- Pony Island: Trippy Fourth Wall Breaking Adventure Game
- Cave Story: Charming and fun game with a high rating. The gameplay is like being constantly in a Bullet Box in Undertale.
This entire list is full of games that challenge the conventional methods of most mainstream titles. Each one cares deeply about its story, and every aspect of its gameplay is crafted to help deliver its tale to you. While Undertale holds a special place in my heart, games like OneShot, which I highly recommend, deserve room to move into yours.
Take a chance on a new game, browse random titles, watch for sales, and find something you can open another person’s eyes to. There are plenty of stories out there, don’t be afraid to make your own by living, and don’t be hesitant to try enjoying a new story waiting to be shared with you.
Good luck and good gaming.
Question: Does Undertale Have a sequel?
Answer: No. Though Deltarune possibly takes place in the same Universe.
Question: Where Can I Find a Game Like Undertale?
Answer: A lot of great Indie Titles, very story-driven, with original game mechanics, are hiding on Steam. You can use this list to easily start browsing similar titles.
Question: Is Heartbound a copy of Undertale?
Answer: No. Okay, no more than Earthbound is a copy of Dragon Quest(dated reference?). No more than Call of Duty is a copy of Battlefield. They’re just the same genre and have some similar mechanics. Which is normal in the gaming world. Only be worried when the story is a rip-off, and these two tales are quite different.