Hush, all the adults are distracted. The real Kotaku employees all left to do whatever Americans do on Independence Day, and in a terribly ironic act, allowed a Briton to take over the site. So apart from leaving cases of tea everywhere and graffiti “Long live King George III!” On different walls, I’m launching a complete takeover of indie gaming. It’s Indie-Penance Day!
I am not much of a George III fan. As with most sequels, the law of diminishing returns meant everything was blown away and little contained. Nice graphics, sure, but the ending didn’t make much sense. I’ve always preferred the goofy original and the antagonistic sequel. But that’s not what we’re here for. Today it is your James Francis Edward Stuarts and Bonnie Prince Charlies, your unestablished independent switches.
So let’s start with a first round of indie game news, as determined by the indie developers who contacted me. when i asked.
patron is a “survival city builder” – which has already intrigued me – is slated for release on PC next month. Although now I stop to think about it, aren’t all city builders survival games? Hmmm. Let’s all stop and think … Okay, let’s get back to it. Here, alongside your usual resource gathering and city building, the danger comes when you deal with “complex social tensions before they reach boiling point.” These will include class struggle, immigration, religion, health, security and loyalty. It sounds easy!
Iron tales comes from Odd Bug Studio and has the most ridiculously cool animated trailer above. This is an RPG adventure and seemingly features “Souls-like, punitive brutality-inspired combat” which seems a bit too much for the rats. There’s a new trailer coming soon, with a more specific release date than “2021”. And indeed, yes, it’s Doug Cockle’s gritty voice all over the trailer.
Already seen is a minimalist puzzle game for Xbox and PC, not the Mindscape Adventure of 1986. It’s by Eric Freeman and Danielle Yoseloff, and it’s been out for about a year, but it’s 50% on Steam until at the end of today. I had a play, and it’s a really nice little puzzle, sweet background music as you push squares to make paths through the levels. As you play the levels get more inventive, with new ideas popping up frequently. It’s just five dollars if you catch it today.
Series cleaners is a sequel to, well, Serial Cleaner, a 2017 game from Draw Distance that let you clean up the mess left behind by the crowd. Kotaku spotted at the time, and found it “surprisingly fun”. The sequel, which is set to release sometime this year, was featured on an obscure website called Games pot last month, which you can see above. It’s in 3D this time, updating it for the ’90s, as they say.
normal_fantasies.exe is a Facebook simulator, in which you play as Lynette Johnson, a college-aged woman exploring her sexuality, using the “AI Girlfriend Add-On” on her FB feed. You shouldn’t be surprised to learn that it is aimed at over 18s and contains explicit handwriting – think, sexting. It’s out already, so I played it quick – it’s certainly a little easy with the intimidating aspects of its script, but the romance is better approached. Although it may end a bit abruptly, and I wish there were more ways to click on the fake-Facebook layout. It’s free on Itch, and can be played right on the site (and as always with Itch, if you like it you can pay the developers what you thought it was worth).
End light is a procedurally generated flight game, which looks absolutely confusing. Hopefully in a good way. We’ll find out next month. Although it doesn’t matter how good it is, because you should buy it anyway to support the developer, just because they called themselves Bigpants. You you haven’t created a development studio called Bigpants, have you?
Mid autumn will be a rogue-lite pixel-me-do dungeon crawler, teeming with tales and evil spirits. I am completely captivated by the combination of pixel art and weird special effects. It’s created by Team Midautumn, a fully AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islander) team, who are creating a game about AAPI representation, which they say will be part of an “upcoming wave of indie titles influenced by Hades.” . This one is still far away, with a Kickstarter due in September.
Vespers aims to evoke the feeling of the old Abe games, but with many more Limbo atmosphere. Looking at the trailer above, I’d say there was a fair amount of Or I influence there too, which is not a bad thing. I’m interested to see how glitchy business is all about the trailer and what makes it part of the game. We’ll find out at the end of this month! And there is a 20 minute demo on Steam at present.
Scarlet hollow has already released two episodes of its planned seven, and I don’t know how I missed it. It sounds amazing, kind of a horror-meet-sim-adventure. It is written and illustrated by Abby Howard (Junior Scientist Power Hour, The Last Halloween), a diverse cast and apparently a “dynamic relationship system”. I’ve grabbed this one already – it’ll all be done playing by some point in 2023.
Bang On Balls: Chronicles clearly thinks he can sneak a four month old Early Access game to me just because his name makes me chuckle like a schoolboy. Uh, so yeah, good job. Granted, this one completely passed me, and yet he looks the right kind of bonkers. Developers Exit Plan Games are planning a long late development period for this one, with the intention that the EA will last until the end of 2022, but it already looks pretty impressive and garners top-notch reviews on Steam.