The recent wave of news from major gaming companies makes me even more grateful to write this column. It’s just nice to highlight the inventive work of people who aren’t, you know, a huge corporation being sued by a state in a huge sexual discrimination lawsuit. For this I have chosen Promoting the apocalypse, a survival game part of the Shorter games with a poorer graphics bundle. It’s a sale to developers so that – you get it – they can make worse games for more money. Hell yes!
We have Promoting the apocalypse and much more in Cool WIP, Polygons weekly summary of eye-catching clips and screenshots of ongoing work. Every week, Polygon staff scour the web for the coolest emerging projects before they’re ready to get started.
This week’s games are especially nice. One has an infinite corridor with thousands of pillars. Another is a hand-drawn style black and white photography game. There is also a hidden object game where you explore paintings by artists like Van Gogh. And finally we see a musically talented swordsman.
Let’s play a few shorter games with worse graphics
Incisor Studios has developed a narrative survival game called Promoting the apocalypse. And while I know this is on a list of games that are supposed to have “worse” graphics, I was really drawn to the stylized MS Paint quality combined with the darker horror elements. The game is set in a world that has fallen into a decayed demon apocalypse. Screenshots from the game’s store page
A living painting
A lot of games create a hand-painted look, but what I love about it Weather in Cuccchi was as it was said pixelated flair on well-known works of art. It’s like trying to render popular paintings on a Game Boy Advance instead of recreating them one-on-one. Developed by Julián Palacios, Weather in Cuccchi is a hidden object game that promises a “labyrinthine” gameplay. The art is inspired by the works of Italian painter Enzo Cucchi and offers a variety of art styles. You can grab it now on Itch.io.
An endless corridor
This clip is from a game called black dreams. The developer behind it, Sleepdiver, announced that it was once a first-person shooter until they switched genre in the middle of development and turned it into a cinematic platformer. This clip shows a little character running over a Gothic-inspired bridge with a bright orange sky. And while I can’t picture it as a shooter, it looks as addicting as it is. There isn’t a release date for the game yet, but you can stay tuned Twitter page of the game.
A little foretaste of the things to come. I went crazy and changed genre. I just couldn’t find the fun in the FPS version, so I decided to test a few things and ended up with cinematic platformer – which is by accident my favorite genre of games!# ue4#indegamedev pic.twitter.com/Ylnoy3bLzy
– Sleep diver (@sleepdiverdev) July 30, 2021
Musically driven attacks
This early development game has a nifty trick: it plays music in time with the blows of the protagonist’s sword. When the character chains attack, other instruments switch on. Keep swinging and you will be spoiled with piano flourishes and a blazing brass section. The soundtrack – and how it harmonizes with the sword – is just impressive. What’s more impressive is that one person, Stephen Ddungu, is responsible for almost all of the development here. The aptly named Sword of the symphony has no release date, but you can learn more about it on the game’s website.
An adorable black and white photo game
Usually color composition is a big part of photography. However, Toem takes that away and instead lets its players take more old-school black and white photos. ON current GIF from the team showed something funny – a tripod! The little shark-like protagonist can build it up at any time and hold onto a photo. Toem is being developed by Something We Made, which plans to release the game later this year.