Nintendo gave a presentation of upcoming indie games yesterday with barely 24 hours’ notice. The word “World” seems to have been the guiding light of the presentation; during the evening, in addition to English, we heard French, Spanish, Korean and German – all in one and the same broadcast when the creators proudly displayed their work. As usual, some are available already now, while a few others still have a release date shrouded in obscurity called 2021 (and even 2022 for a title). As usual, Varvat is prepared to list names and release dates and sprinkle with trailers. We’re driving on.
A game that focuses on the story and generates it as the player progresses sounds like a difficult thing to get together. This is especially true if the project is an indie game. That the glimpse we got to see Road 96 gave clear Life is Strangevibes, however, make one pull their ears to themselves. There are 148,268 ways through the story, but until we actually have it in front of us, it’s just a curious market figure. However, we do not have to wait that long, for Road 96 will be released already this year. However, we will have to wait a little longer for the date.
Aerial_Knights Never Yield (AKNY) looks like a neon colored .BIT TRIP RUNNER, which is a generally pleasant idea in itself. A music game that is basically a platform game on rails is not in itself revolutionary, but the mechanics look competent and also mix in the third dimension. After that, however, the most difficult piece of the puzzle awaits: to deliver a good soundtrack. Daniel Wilkins aka Aearial_Knight stands for the notes. The game will be released on May 19, but a demo is available now.
Indie label Anapurna Interactive presented two games: Last Stop and Hindsight. The double presentation comes from the fact that they both seem to be games where the story is at the top of the agenda. However, the styles they are presented in could be from different centuries. Both games will also be released this year; Last Stop coming to the summer (July) and Hindsight later in the year.
Skateboarding game OlliOlli is a real indie gem from the last decade, but has since the release of the second in 2015, the series has been relatively quiet (PS4 and Switch have each received a duo pack with both titles). Now the third part is on its way, and that with a new style and paint. The trailer gives some RPG vibes and the commentator mentions side quests. OlliOlli World released this winter and is officially on my radar.
Three games out right now
The Longing of Studio Seufz and There is No Game: Wrong Dimension of Draw Me A Pixel makes its Switch debuts today. Both have been available on PC since last year (with quite high average rating) and now takes the step over to console. The Longing is about wasting 400 days in real time while you wait for your king to be resurrected. There is No Game looks like a hefty dose of retrograph and promises experimental madness. Both titles sound pretty crazy in and of themselves.
In addition to these, we also learned at the end of the presentation that the indie classic Fez is available now.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredders Revenge
Finally we got a little more info about the new TMNT which was announced a little over a month ago. Unfortunately, we got no closer date than “later this year”, but instead a lot of gameplay and a good preview of the music. It simply looks like more of the good we got to see then, with a crackling color palette, awesome pixel design work and fantastic animation. And the soundtrack seems to be a real banger.
Dreams Uncorporated and Games mode GEM Cris Tales after delays now has the date of July 20. And it still looks absolutely amazing. The glass artistic direction they have chosen for the visual (which is reminiscent of the Tivoli attraction The Flying Suitcase in Copenhagen!) Together with the time system has aroused curiosity a long time ago. You can download one demo via Steam if you want to take a closer look right now.
Getsu Fuuma-Den: Undying Moon
It’s not just old Turtles from Konami which is being revived; now it is somewhat unknown Getsu Fuuma-Den back. An action platformer in an open world from the NES era will thus be translated into a hack ‘n slash with random elements á la roguelite in Getsu Fuuma-Den: Undying Moon. This is so insanely unpredictable that it would need its own article, but until then, the curious reader can look at e.g. this Longplay video. It’s time to Getsu Fuuma-Den takes the step outside Japan (other than as a curiosity in one soon stone dead Castlevania game, Want to say). However, we will have to wait until next year.
Aztech: Forgotten Gods
Aztech: Forgotten Gods looks like a natural sequel to God of War and Immortals: Fenyx Rising. This time, however, it is the Mesoamerican, Aztec gods who are at the center. The game will come sometime in the fall.
Hidden: The Hero Slayer
Korean Skûl is a 2D action game with rogue elements and a pixelated aesthetic. The question is whether it has what it takes to stand out in such a large market as its genre is. We’ll get to know it pretty soon, because Skûl: The Hero Slayer will be released already this summer. The game has been available on PC since earlier this year, but unfortunately has no demo.
An octagon of little news
Another eight smaller titles had to cut the catwalk at a fast pace (sorted by approximate release date):
- Fez (as I said out already now)
- Weaving Tides (released in May)
- Labyrinth City: Pierre the Maze Detective (released this spring)
- Beasts of Maravilla Island (June)
- ENDER LILIES Quietus of the Knights (21 June)
- art of rally (released this summer)
- KeyWee (released in August)
- The House of the Dead: Remake (later this year)
Oxenfree gets a sequel
If you like pixel-based horror, the latest news was probably a welcome one: Oxenfree 2 is on G, and it will be released already this year. Fun anecdote: The first Oxenfree is one of the few games this writer has ever managed to buy duplicates of in the digital world. These were purchased (or received as a gift) via Steam and GOG and are still unplayed. Maybe it’s time to fix now with a sequel around the corner.