More games come out each day than an infinite number of monkeys could play. As a simple chimpanzee, however, I’ve compiled a list of 14 recently released indie games that fell under the gaming press radar. With over eight billion genres represented, there is bound to be something you like.
I stress these are not games (with the exception of one) that I have played. Therefore I do not vouch for their quality. But after exposure a loud call for indie developers, to get in touch with games that they haven’t paid enough attention to, these are some that I was able to get out of the mountain of emails that soon devoured me and my whole family.
Just released in Early Access in the Epic Store, Against the storm is a “rogue city builder” who plays in a fantasy world where it never stops raining. This is not a fantasy world, this is England. Although admittedly we only have a few speaking beavers here. This is all about trying to upgrade a city as something called Blightstorm approaches
While I haven’t played any of the other games on this list, I have played Tux and Fanny, and it’s one of my favorite games of 2021. You why can you read herebut let me sum it up by saying this is a game about friendship, appeasing goblins, and insect existential crises. You can also play as a cat. It’s so dense with details, extras, mini-games, songs, dance parties, monstrous flies, and music that you should buy it right now. The link to Itch is above, however it’s on switch too, even.
Already out, for free via Itch, The one who fights is a game that consists entirely of a multi-phase boss fight. Which, if you are me, sounds incredibly daunting until you learn about the incredible difficulty options. You can decide for yourself how many lives you have, how many jumps you have, how much damage you cause, the boss’s HP. It can be as hard or as easy as you want it to be. “Why would you put these kinds of features in a game that you can complete in 15 minutes?” Asks developer DW O’Boyle. “Because I am very convinced that something like this should be in all games.” Amen.
A visual novel horror (I’m so lucky the genre is more than just romances these days) in which you play Nick, a recent high school graduate who is taken to a cabin in the woods for a winter break. Nothing can go wrong! Or different. In this case, there is murder to solve, along with a series of endings to be found.
A combination of Sokoban and line? That’s enough to convince me to take a look. Presented with some beautiful 16-bit graphics, it’s all about helping a magical giraffe find her stolen hats. You don’t want to help a magic giraffe find their stolen hats? monster.
Inkle, the tiny team behind huge hits like 80 days, magic!, and Pendulum, have just published a two-part novella of their most famous game, Vault of heaven. Written by Inkles Jon Ingold, they tell the story of Aliya Elasra, the translator of Ancient, that lost language of the fog. Coming out in both hard and paperback, they’re more stories than a new set of translation puzzles!
Do you know what’s wrong with chess? Not enough blood. Fortunately that was changed to Pfandbarier by j4nw. Creator Jan Wojtecki describes it as “a thoughtful roguelike puzzle in which you use chess moves to murder tentacle monsters”. That’s what I’m here for, right here. It came out on Steam recently and needs a lot more eyes on it.
A visual novel from Sugar Rush Studios, I’m intrigued because this isn’t a romance, it’s more of a horror. Inspired by Lovecraft (hey everyone, you can stop saying this now – you are inspired by a century of horror, inspired by Lovecraft, let the old racist be dead) the fate of your relatives.
Another unique approach to the visual novel is Handyman story. You play as the henchman of a super villain, but your boss is an idiot. But, you know, he offers health care. It’s all set to music in full, and you can see in the trailer above that this is a top notch voice work. Looks pretty fun too! That just came out last month and I’m installing it right now.
Closed hands has appeared on Itch for a while but only recently appeared on Steam. This is an interactive fiction about the lives of five strangers whose lives fall into each other after a terrorist attack. It was created by a team called PASSENGER Games, led by Dan Hett, who lost his brother during the 2017 terrorist attack on England’s Manchester Arena. You can find out a lot more about the game in an excellent article from. read EurogamerRob Purchese.
I love how Slide immediately thought of that newly published Exo One, but Mario kart. It’s all about cute animals having a race! But since they can swim, they can also dive while sliding. It has up to eight players local co-op (supported by Steam’s Remote Play Together and Solo modes) and looks just so cute and pretty.
As you probably know, the big problem with Tic Tac Toe / Noughts & Crosses is that any game will end in a tie between any two intelligent adults. So what’s the solution? To just drop all of your punches at once, at the same time as your opponent, and see who wins! That is the premise of Tic Tac together, a game for two players that turns the pointless paper game into a hectic and extremely silly digital game. But are you crying what happens when two players put their marker on the same space? Well of course a whole new game of tic tac toe starts to see who wins the place. And yes, that gets as recursive as you can imagine.
Rocket Jump Technologies King under the mountain just released in Early Access yesterday. Unlike me, don’t be intimidated by hugely elaborate simulation games in which you create huge kingdoms by asking your growing population to complete 90 million specific tasks. So there is a good chance that you are interested in playing this game. In the meantime, I’ll politely watch YouTube and wish I was better.
I watched the trailer for Peartree Games. Transparent borders, thinking, “OK, sure, yeah, but what …” and then the little cube you control stretched back in the air to move forward, then squeezed into a thin square with it he could drift gently to the next platform and I was sold. That just came out two days ago and not only does it look pretty, it’s something that I always yearn for in games: short. I look forward to trying this.