Little Indie Games Worth Knowing About (Probably)

Ooooh that might be the ticket! What’s been tricky to me is that I haven’t come close to internalizing what the options are for building on the different planet types. So I have to keep clicking on empty planets over and over to try to plan out my actions. Since everything is interconnected I have to click through the same 5 planets two or three times to make sure I choose the right thing on the right planet.

I tried a few videos for this and Despot’s Game. I’m still a little confused. Is the battle like Orge Battle where you don’t have control of your guys but set an AI? Sort of like Baldur’s Gate AI scripts for the NPCs?

I’m trying to figure out what Autobattler and Idle games are. I thought they were the same thing initially.

In Astronarch you have pretty much no ability to affect how your team fights, it’s completely automated. Your only power is changing their squad positioning, which affects special ability procs (adjacency, etc) and changing the items they carry.

Your individual dudes have a passive ability and an active ability. They have a stamina bar and mana bar, respectively, which fill progressively when the battle starts. When the stamina bar fills, they attack normally (which may or may not be affected by their passive). When the mana bar fills up, they attack with their active ability.

You have some influence over who they attack based on where you position them, just like Despot’s game, and this is often incredibly important with Astronarch. Astronarch has a staggering amount of depth compared to Despot’s game, though, between the class synergies, items, and the ability to upgrade items and skills.

Honestly, Despot’s game just isn’t that interesting to me. But Astronarch is a whole different thing.

You can’t attack back lane before clearing the front though, can you?

Not generally, no. The assassin can. And there’s an item that makes any character equipped with it target the back. Much of the time it’s easier to spread poison or fire from other targets. Splitting damage up can go very poorly.

I think I understand. It really does sounds like Ogre’s Battle which I love. This might be my first autobattler.

From that, the “afro-futurist” We ae the Caretakers:

and Potion craft:

popped out, not least because I am a fan of old school demos. :)

Also, I have just come across Epistory

and Nanotale (early access):

Potioncraft was one game mentioned in the RPS article, and I am definitely going to check it out later.

I can corroborate that the Minute of Islands demo is good. Really gives you a sense of the odd, creepy-but-colorful setting and the style of exploration and light puzzle-solving. Seems like the game is very linear, and the puzzles ultimately simple, but the point of the game is really to experience the wild setting through the incredible hand-drawn art. I think this is going to be a great game, if you like adventure games.

Timberborn is set in a world where humans have pissed their society up the wall and beavers have evolved to take their place. So, like, 20-30 years in the future.


That reminds me. I got a free key for Epistory along with the almost embarrassingly expensive new keyboard I got myself. I should try it! It probably won’t hold a candle to Typing of the Dead, but I can let y’all know what I think.

(It was a Moonlander. I love it.)

And now I’m left to wonder if your comment was an intentional reference or not.

Omg that’s how I heard about the game, because someone doing the same course as I am went and got one of those expensive split keyboards.

Played this years ago, enjoyed it a fair bit. I remember it alternates gentle typing with increasingly challenging bum-rush assaults on your typing skills, and the aesthetic is just lovely. I stopped playing it when something else came along, and never got back into it, but it hung around on my hard drive for ages until I realised it wasn’t going to happen without a restart.

So I finally played the demo of Loop Hero and I’m sold. I’ve not played anything like that before but it quickly got its hooks into me with the deck, tiles, unexpected synergies, enemies and gear. Very cool and I feel like there are going to be many more layers and surprises beyond the demo. I love the presentation too. What a unique experience.

Glad you enjoyed it! Yeah, it really does seem like a neat and unusual blend. I hope it’s just a taste and the real thing has a lot more in store.

So is the auto-battler the new thing? We’ve got Astronarch, Loop Hero and Despot’s Game (I’m sure there are many others) all occupying a similar space at the same point in time. Auto Chess, Underlords and… (checks Wikipedia) Battlegrounds released in 2019 so we’re probably feeling the ripples from those.

@cliffski’s Gratuitous Space Battles came out 11 years ago.