Little Indie Games Worth Knowing About (Probably)

Can’t seem to find a video, but there’s a SoundCloud of this marvelous Eddie Izzard bit at least…

I was thinking of Izzard when this came up. He does it a couple of times, but this one is the best.

Yes, it’s the bee’s knees.

Aeon’s End has more interesting decisions than other deck builders that I’ve seen. Mana Aether is not only used to purchase cards, but also
to power up the special abilities of the mages (up to 4) cooperatively trying to defeat the Nemesis. Also used to open breaches, which is important since a spell can’t be cast unless it’s been parked in a Breach for at least one turn.

The two mechanics that really set it apart are turn order and how the discard pile. is handled. The pile is never shuffled. Instead, after a hand, the player determines the order in which cards are discarded, allowing you to set up the combos your want in upcoming hands.

More important, in every round, which consists of each mage and the Nemesis going twice the actual turn order is randomized, so a particular mage going twice in a row can do some serious damage. OTOH, when the Nemesis goes twice in a row is can be devastating.

There are some very interesting and novel ideas at work here.

Disclaimer for @tomchick: don’t get excited, it’s early access!

Ha, you know me so well. I was just about to click on that, thinking, “Hmm, I bet it’s early access.”

Fortunately, I’m not really crazy about Aeon’s End. Mechanically, I suppose it’s serviceable enough as a deck-builder, although unexceptional. The overall format is just punching away at a big bag of hit points. But thematically, it’s really week. A bunch of generic wizards and their generic spells and generic mana stones. I’ve enjoyed the legacy version by virtue of its legacy progressions, but as an actual game design, I can think of a dozen deck-builders I’d rather play.


Well at least it’s not fortnight!

Not sure if anybody else has tried Burned Land, but I’m giving it a reserved recommendation. It is a pretty rough game, both in terms of UI and difficulty. The UI will hopefully get some polish from this one-man dev team, and perhaps the difficulty as well, but the difficulty certainly needs the polish a lot less. The dev is still pushing out regular updates, thus my recommendation for this Early Access game.

I made it to Turn 194, after narrowly dodging a very early game defeat. The early game near-defeat came about as my village almost starved due to a famine brought on by the gods. The entire point of this game is that the larger you grow, the more interest the gods have in stopping you from growing.

So, the gods first backhanded swipe at me was a meteor that fortunately struck just outside my growing city. Other than turning a few tiles into a No Mans Land, it did no damage.

Their next effort was a famine, and I really had to scramble to develop fields and mills to keep my populace fed. After the famine had run it’s course, I did pretty well for quite some time. The plague of Giants weren’t so bad as they mostly milled around randomly and weren’t too much trouble as the few that found my city were easily dealt with.

The Orc Uprising was another matter entirely. Thousands of orc warriors and hundreds of orc shamans do not just mill around. They know their target and they march straight to it. I desparately raised troops and defenses. In the end, I was able to destroy all of them, but they did a lot of damage. Unfortunately, the Underpeople also chose that time to surface from their underworld.

They were much weaker than the orcs, but much more numerous. Like the giants, they were more aimless in their onslaught, but between them, a pack of giants, and a couple of angry elfen refugee groups they destroyed enough of my city that I couldn’t afford to maintain my few remaining troops. After they deserted my city was helpless and the game was over.

I really like the core of the game. You get to take one civil action each turn, except in the summer when you get to take two. If you can accrue enough stone, you can build a castle that will allow you to take an extra action every turn. Civil actions are generally to build a structure or raise some troops. Scouts are critical for exploring and finding the resources (primarily stone) you will need to fuel your expansion.

There are ways to reduce the gods’ interest in you, but I never tried any of them. I’m not sure their is a win state for the game, but perhaps that is an apt philosophy when it comes to dealing with angry gods.

Voxel Tycoon was mentioned here in May 2017 because it had just gone up on Greenlight (remember that?). Now it’s gearing up for an Early Access release. What is it? Imagine Transport Tycoon in a Minecraft-like world:

Oh, also:

If you’re not sick of survival games yet, this one looks REAL pretty:

You can buy into the alpha on or wait for the Early Access release on Steam later in the year.


Nowhere Prophet is out of beta!

Please somebody tell us it’s as good as it sounded.

RPS gave it a solid “eh.”

Another game where the AI hasn’t be taught the game. Tom will love it!

There was a stream on Steam going on by the publisher, and the host was trying to go for a pacifist run. I guess there was more to it than a simple showing of various ways to play the game. But I see evil everywhere!

Forgot to see if there was a thread on this, and there is:

Starting EA on Steam in a few days:

I bounced off of Darkest Dungeon hard, but this looks awesome. You play the bad guys, trying to reach the surface to bring on the age of undeath (or something). Combat plays out like Darkest Dungeon, but exploration is on a sprawling map with different routes to pick from ala Slay the Spire. You loot body parts (and other treasures) from enemies and use them to construct new minions. Minions gain levels and have upgrades to choose from, Iraqis has skill trees that provide various benefits, and there’s a hub to build out with different facilities that heal minions, etc.

Darkest Dungeon is a game I really want to like but don’t play because I find it too stressful. For whatever reason, this looks less so to me (though it definitely looks challenging).

Do we have a thread, yet, for…

I searched on “Deck of Ashes” using the site’s search function, but nothing came up. If we don’t have one, we should, because I’m enjoying it more than Slay the Spire. Come at me!

You are obviously dangerous. I’m not coming at you.

This is high praise! I love Slay the Spire. But… this is Early Access =(

Looks like BAD NORTH got an update / rebalance / free expansion.

It is a much better game now! I especially like that leaders come with some kind of pre-installed bonus, and that there are checkpoints.