• Dive into Moon Hunters for exploration and hack-and-slash action reminiscent of classic Zelda games.
  • Embark on an adventure in Eastward, a charming game that offers hack-and-slash combat, dungeon-crawling, and a cozy world to explore.
  • Discover MINIT, an experimental adventure with a unique time limit mechanic that adds a twist to the hack-and-slash action.

It’s no secret that The Legend Of Zelda is one of the most iconic franchises in game history, with titles spanning from 1986 all the way to Tears Of The Kingdom, which was released in 2023. Many of these games are arguably some of the most influential in history, and a great number of them still hold up today.


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Because The Legend Of Zelda has been around for so long, it’s managed to capture the imaginations of several generations. Luckily, there are plenty of experiences like Zelda for fans to enjoy, particularly in the indie scene. While most of these games take inspiration from the older, top-down Zelda games, many of these games are likely to appease all kinds of Zelda fan.

1 Moon Hunters – An Exploration-Focused Hack-And-Slash

Steam User Rating: 80%

villagers in Moon Hunters

  • Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
  • Released: 2016
  • Developer(s): Kitfox Games

This exploration-focused hack-and-slash action roguelite isn’t entirely like Zelda, but takes clear inspiration from older titles in the franchise. The game’s top-down, pixel art aesthetic, focus on exploration, and hack-and-slash gameplay feel especially Zelda-like.

Moon Hunters is, however, a roguelite, and so it doesn’t always feel like a Zelda game. However, it’s not as punishing as traditional roguelikes, and the focus on meeting NPCs and exploring the various environments makes it a worthwhile experience for Zelda fans.

2 Moonlighter – Hack-And-Slash Dungeons And Shop Management

Steam User Rating: 82%

Fighting a boss in Moonlighter

May 29, 2018

Digital Sun

Adventure , Action RPG

This top-down combination of roguelite dungeon-crawler and shop management game is highly reminiscent of old-school Zelda dungeons. However, outside of the dungeon-crawling, Moonlighter doesn’t have much in common with the classic franchise.

Moonlighter is, first and foremost, an action-RPG with roguelite elements. The game sees players delving into dungeons in search of precious loot, then bringing it back to the surface to sell it at their store. Although players are unlikely to experience the awe and wonder of exploring a detailed world, Moonlighter still offers a solid action experience that hearkens to old-school Zelda.

3 Eastward – A Wholesome Adventure

Steam User Rating: 84%

Characters walking through a town in Eastward

September 16, 2021


Hack-and-slash combat, powerful abilities, dungeon-crawling, and a detailed world to explore make Eastward a charming experience from beginning to end. The gameplay, exploration, dungeons, and top-down perspective feel particularly reminiscent of old-school Zelda, though Eastward retains a unique charm throughout its entirety.


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Eastward’s visuals, narrative, and gameplay work together to offer a consistently cozy experience that, like Zelda, isn’t always challenging. However, similarly to Zelda, it’s this easy-to-learn, accessible nature that makes Eastward’s world so welcoming.

4 Nobody Saves The World – A Truly Unique Action-Adventure

Steam User Rating: 91%

Fighting enemies in Nobody Saves the World

Nobody Saves The World
January 18, 2022

Action RPG

This unique, stylish 2D action-adventure game features truly distinctive game design, exploration, and dungeon-crawling. Nobody Saves The World is mostly reminiscent of Zelda in its top-down, hack-and-slash combat, though it does a few things that stand out.

Nobody Saves The World was developed by DrinkBox Studios, the team behind Guacamelee, and their development prowess is on full display with this game’s look and overall level of polish. Although Nobody Saves The World features all the usual questing and dungeon-crawling, it also features a unique shape-shifting mechanic that has players experimenting with all manner of abilities.

5 MINIT – An Experimental Adventure With A Time Limit

Steam User Rating: 91%

Minit - Gameplay

April 3, 2018

JW, Kitty, Jukio, Dom


This hack-and-slash action game is unique in both its visuals and its gameplay. MINIT features several nods to the top-down Zelda games, but differentiates itself with its unique time-limit mechanic that gives players a mere minute to explore before dying and starting the day over.

While this won’t be for everyone, it certainly makes MINIT feel unique. Furthermore, the hack-and-slash combat, variety of characters to meet, and world to explore make MINIT a short-but-sweet experience that’s great for Zelda fans looking for a unique experience.

6 Hob – An Underrated Action-Adventure

Steam User Rating: 88%

Hob - Screenshot

September 26, 2017

Runic Games

A strong art style, focus on exploration, and variety of puzzles make Hob a great game for fans of Zelda. The 3D environments are a joy to explore, thanks to a charming, colorful aesthetic, and while combat encounters are sparse, it’s consistently rewarding.


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Hob’s puzzles aren’t particularly difficult, but they’re satisfying to complete and, for the most part, well-designed. Hob’s narrative is certainly intriguing, but equally vague, thanks to its lack of text or dialogue.

7 Unsighted – A Unique Metroidvania

Steam User Rating: 94%

Exploring the world in Unsighted

September 30, 2021

Studio Pixel Punk


Although Unsighted also draws comparisons to Metroidvanias, it draws clear inspiration from classic Zelda games, particularly with its hack-and-slash combat and focus on exploring. However, Unsighted also features mechanics that take inspiration from the Dark Souls games, specifically with its parry and unforgiving enemy encounters.

Unsighted also features a unique narrative wherein all the NPCs of the world are dying, and the player is under immense time pressure to complete their objectives. However, for players that don’t enjoy being rushed, this feature is optional.

8 TUNIC – A Nostalgic Adventure That Combines Dark Souls And Zelda

Steam User Rating: 92%

The fox posing for the camera in Tunic

March 16, 2022

Andrew Shouldice


For some, TUNIC may be too far removed from Zelda for them to enjoy, but it is clear that TUNIC’s development was influenced by the Zelda franchise. Its world, combat, puzzles, and dungeons all evoke a similar look and feel to that of Zelda.

However, TUNIC is still a unique game. It shows similarities to the Dark Souls games with its variety of challenging bosses and combat that relies on stamina-management and well-timed dodge rolls. Furthermore, TUNIC’s world is a joy to explore, packed with secrets and impressive vistas that make the most of the game’s art style.

9 Death’s Door – An Isometric Adventure With Visual Flair

Steam User Rating: 93%

Death's Door - gameplay

Death’s Door
July 20, 2021

Acid Nerve


This isometric hack-and-slash features a fairly straightforward combat system that, while serviceable, leaves a lot to be desired. However, Death’s Door more than makes up for this with its well-crafted world, visuals, music, and narrative.

Death’s Door tasks players with venturing through a handful of unique Kingdoms, each with their own visual flair, battling through gauntlets of enemies and solving puzzles. Overall, fans of Zelda are likely to enjoy exploring the beautiful world of Death’s Door, even if the combat is relatively undemanding.

10 Hyper Light Drifter – A Unique Love Letter To Old-School Zelda

Steam User Rating: 94%

Hyper Light Drifter gameplay

Hyper Light Drifter
March 31, 2016

Heart Machine

Action RPG

Hyper Light Drifter features a vague narrative told through abstract storytelling that won’t be for everyone, but its neon-fantasy world, depicted by crunchy old-school pixel-art, is consistently rewarding to explore. Hyper Light Drifter features solid but unforgiving hack-and-slash combat that’s fun to master, but the game’s visuals, world, and atmosphere are arguably its greatest strengths.

For those that can push past, or even enjoy, its lack of hand-holding and vague storytelling, Hyper Light Drifter is a visually-striking experience that’s reminiscent of the top-down Zelda games. With a sequel on its way in the form of Hyper Light Breaker, there’s never been a better time to check out this indie classic from 2016.


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