[This is an Indie Game Mixtape, based on the concept defined here by writer and game designer Zoe Quinn.]

The demonic invasion of earth has been a staple premise for video games, with pioneering first-person shooter Doom as the earliest lasting example. The prevalence of the trope makes sense because it uses familiar, recognizable iconography that plays off a nightmare doomsday scenario present in nearly all theist cultures -- the Norse Götterdämmerung, the Christian Tribulation, the descent of the Tzitzimimeh in Aztec mythology, among others. It’s been successfully codified in a variety of genres, from the obvious candidates (hack & slash in the Devil May Cry series; real-time strategy in Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos) to less intuitive uses, like Hell: A Cyberpunk Thriller, a point-and-click adventure starring Dennis Hopper, from the era of multi-disc “interactive film” adventure games.

Approaches may vary from merely averting the threat of a portal to hell -- the summoning of the Order’s eldritch God in Silent Hill being one prominent example -- to outright journeying through horrific post-infernal landscapes -- think Shin Megami Tensei. So it’s not surprising that independent devs want a piece of this concept -- budget constraints and limited resources notwithstanding. Here are five inventive examples of how to explore the Hell On Earth trope without AAA production support.

i. Apocalypse Later by Eric Weiss, Mladen Stambolija, and David Gallant
     (adventure - play online)
The only thing stopping the release of the infernal hordes is the laziness of an immature enfant terrible: your player character. 

ii. Candles by Mangy Gamez
     (survival horror - download)
It’s the demonic invasion at the most personal and intimate of settings: one’s own home. Light candles to ward off the threat of imps lurking in the shadows of your domestic haven.&nbsp

iii. Demonrift TD by Menara Games
     (tower defense - play online)
Ward off the hordes in this straightforward, effectively designed TD game from an up-and-coming Indonesian dev.

iv. Monster Detective by Pastel Games
     (adventure - play online)
Uncover the link between mysterious disappearances and a plot to unleash extra-dimensional horrors in a creepy urban point-and-click adventure.

v. Stygia by Kitty Horrorshow
     (interactive fiction - play online)
This Twine-based piece feels like a mashup of Beetlejuice and Mike Carey’s Lucifer. Wreak havoc on mortals, while negotiating the politics of the titular underworld.

BONUS: Will You Ever Return? by Jack Spinoza
(adventure - download parts 1 & 2)
This one isn't about Hell on Earth but it's worth noting for the infernal setting. A testament to the creative possibilities of the RPG Maker program, this adventure game features claymation characters and settings built from random objects d’art, in gorgeously brutal hellscape that draws as much inspiration from Discworld and Vertigo comics as it does from Dante and Paradise Lost.