Little Indie Games Worth Knowing About (Probably)

As I just learned, Black Skylands has finally left early access.

The best description would probably be a top-down steampunk Zelda-like with airships, cuddly moths and plenty of combat. I played it during early access and found it pretty fun, I just regret that with the crapton of current releases I’ll like have that one sitting in the pile of shame for quite some time.

En Garde! is out today! Did we talk about it in this thread? Some gave dev students have turned a super-impressive student project into a full game.

I picked it up on Xbox yesterday, but as I mentioned in one of the threads around here, I had to jump through some hours to do so- their store is being weird.

I played the demo they had last month and really enjoyed it, picked up the full release on the strength of that. I haven’t actually started playing But looking at the Steam forums/reviews this morning, it seems like they overhauled the whole ship-building portion for 1.0, simplifying it greatly? I haven’t actually seen for myself, but that seems like a big last-minute change.

That reminded me of this delightful video:

image

Been wanting more ever since the demo!

Holocure came out on Steam today as a free game.

Really good and diverse Vampire Survivors clone, and looks like they added some additional content as well.

Also, not free, but interesting: Cosmic Wheel Sisterhood also came out yesterday.

Shadow Gambit is out, and there’s a demo. From the studio that made Shadow Tactics and Desperados III. QT3 thread is here.

Cultist Simulator semi-sequel Book of Hours is out. QT3 thread is here.

Just saw a Splattercat video on Microcivilization, which the developer describes as a mix of Cookie Clicker, Civilization, Rome Total War, and Diablo. He said it, not me!

Regardless, it’s not a simple mindless clicker and looks like it’s a lightweight and entertaining game. Plus, there’s a demo available if you wanna give it a go.

Here’s Splatty’s video on it:

Bomb Rush Cyberfunk is out. Jet Set Radio clone by the developers of Lethal League.

So there’s a demo out on itch.io for a game that’s based on Twin Peaks. By which I mean, it actually is a Twin Peaks game, where you play as Special Agent Dale Cooper investigating the murder of Laura Palmer, using the likenesses and names of actors from the TV series. I’m not entirely sure how that works, for one thing they are planning to give the game away for free when it’s done so maybe that makes it legal? Anyway, you can try the demo while it’s available at least:

PUNKCAKE Delicieux’s latest little game is a dungeon manager that looks a lot like Holy Invasion of Privacy, Badman! What Did I Do to Deserve This? on the PSP.

Ah, they’re actually in the process of porting all their previous games over to Steam from itch (and if you own them there already you’ll get free keys). I hope it makes them plenty of extra money because they deserve it! There’s a bunch I’ve not played yet, including Wratch’s Den, and I’m looking forward to some of these being more accessible on Deck too.

The description of Islands of the Caliph calls out Might & Magic as an inspiration, but since it’s real-time I feel like Dungeon Master might be the closer comparison? Intriguing anyway, especially if the Middle Eastern setting is not all bad Arabian Nights stereotyping!

If I leave my grin behind, remind me
that we’re all mad here
and it’s okay.

From the renowned developers of Ace of Seafood and NEO AQUARIUM - The King of Crustaceans - comes another another shellshocking game that will flip you over and leave you struggling on your back!

Introducing:

(And yes, this is even sillier than it looks like, if Fight Crab 1 is any indication. Goat Simulator meets Dark Souls PVP meets those funky mushrooms you’re not supposed to eat.)

Also has a trailer with big EDF energy. Or maybe it’s just the giant bugs.

OOoh I noticed the Fight Crab 2 has a potentially huge change - looks like you are now controlling a human (in full plate armour? mechsuit?) that is controlling the (giant) crabs by of course riding on the back of the shell!

I’ve put 17 hours into this Early Access Autobattler over the last week.

Splattercat likes it, but he’s biased about dwarves.

I’m not very good at these types of games, but I enjoy just watching the dwarves smash against the orcs. If you want more than that, you have a multitude of weapons, armor, items, classes, multiclassing and choosing the right enemy to fight at the right time.
Seems like the biggest gripe, that I kind of agree with is a slow metaprogression, but it would be faster if I wasn’t so bad at the game. I do like the concept of weight and strength struggling to hold or break the front line. Before too long, you’ll be outnumbered by your foes, and it will be up to your heavy warriors to hold the line against the horde. Even they can be pushed back though by the mass of the green horde, opening your healers and mages to melee attack on top of the barrage of arrow fire and magic. That is, until the warhammer dwarves’ mana reach a level where they’re able to explosively throw back a half dozen or more enemies with a special attack. The newly disorganized opponents now are wide open for your speeding assassins to fly forward to unleash critical strikes and poison upon all before them.
Unfortunately, most of the gameplay videos are of the early game, so you really don’t see how the real strategy kicks in for later battles. Formations are very powerful, but dependent on having the right combo of dwarves to start using.
Getting that formation is complicated by the random weapon drops or those you find for sale. The class of the dwarf is dependent upon his weapon type. Give a dwarf a dagger and he’s an assassin, capable of dual wielding, a higher crit chance and increasing the chance of loot drops. He’ll gain a point of dexterity at every level. Give a dwarf a healing staff and he becomes a priest, able to heal his fellow dwarves and gaining a point of wisdom at every level. All dwarves accrue mana (except one-hand weaponed/shield carrying knights), so you may want to take a now wise priest, give him a warblade, and have a warrior that quickly gains mana kicking off the warblade special attack which is several seconds of being able to Parry and reflect the foes attack back upon it. They are also the heaviest weapon (at least that I’ve come across), so they can hold that front line, parry a barrage of enemy attacks deal out decent damage in turn based on their strength. Strength can be elevated by making them a knight, who gain one point of strength every level.

Seems it’s one a week at the moment and this week it’s Rush for the Ages:

I haven’t played that one yet. However, I did fit some Antecrypt in on my Deck and…

…bloody hell. On first blush it looks like another Robotron type retro arcade game, and it’s not far off, but it’s also got a very clever and unique aiming/reloading system that totally transforms how you play as well as an upgrade system that I don’t think I’ve ever seen before. I fired it up and… couldn’t stop. It’s fantastic, once you wrap your head around the mechanics that is.

Their next port will be Damocles Gaze, which, as a fan of Nuclear Throne I’m looking forward to:

I hear very good things about about The Turgenev Study. No idea when this is coming though:

I love Punkcake.

Rush for the Ages is the one I’ve played the most, by far. It’s both light but clever as a card game. I wouldn’t call it super-balanced exactly. But it has been my fall-back to play while half-watching a YouTube video. There’s a kind of built-in achievement system (unlocking the bonus card for every civ) and an extended gauntlet mode, so for a small game it has some nice long-term play features.

Here’s a trailer for Thank Goodness You’re Here, which I’m quite taken with. I’m not sure I’ve seen a comedy platformer so… northern. (England’s north, specifically.) Some excellent art direction, but I’ve no idea how it will actually play…

Due 2024.

The studio’s name is Coal Supper. I assume that’s also very northern England-y. And it’s published by Panic (highly selective publisher of Goose Game and Firewatch).

FTFY.