| 6. Recently released Indies! |
7 Grand Steps
- $10-15 (PC)
You play with the mouse. The game is similar to monopoly, but not this much strategic. There are some options in the dialogue to create the storylines of your family. Every turn, you decide how to move the main character, help him/her find a partner, try to mate, collect tokens, invest in abilities for your children. It is a really strange game, but I ended up playing it for several hours during several evenings
- Free (PC, iPad)
In 18 Cadence, you can explore a century of living and assemble your own story from thousands of narrative fragments. Capture one life or juxtapose people from different eras. Slide, position, and recombine details like magnetic poetry. Decide what's worth telling, and what should be left out. What story will you tell?
- Free (PC, Mac, Linux)
Assembling the Void
You definitely shouldnt dismiss this game based on its simple looks.Its basically a mashup between breakout, roguelikes and adventure games. It has procedurally generated levels, and your task is to destroy the colored barriers to enter the next level, while every level pits some more dangers at you. This game is as tense as its graphics are simple.
- Free Demo (PC)
The main concept behind this game is puzzles and there are some good mechanics combined with that. The Battle System is strongly influenced by Secret of Mana and similar games, and it really works surprisingly well. Great respect also for making almost every single tile or sprite by himself.
- Free (PC)
Burn & Turn
Hard ass 2D platformer, but before you stop reading: Its worth it. I mean its free, so theres that, but its actually fun, especially due to the "narrative", which is very well integrated. I really laughed hard at a few points because the developer knew how the player would react in some cases and made comments in regard to that. Simple graphics, but quite imaginative game design in which the narration is an integral part of the player experience.
- Free (PC, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android)
Cities in Motion 2
The game seems to be getting all kinds of exposure, considering its basically on every platform ever and even Edge reviewed it. Crazy fun Arcade action game about saving princesses and grabbing loot. Give this game a try! Starts out rather easy, but the gameplay mechanics are very, very fun and more involved than what it might seem at first.
- $19,99 (PC)
Managing city transport systems with a depth that the newest SimCity can only dream of. Its not really a city management sim, so not that comparable, but its a very interesting game with lots of options and challenge to set up your own transport systems. Definitely recommended if setting up a bus/train company and everything that entails sounds interesting to you.
- $2,99 (PC)
Its an inexpensive (3 bucks?) Collectible Card Game without ANY sort of microtransactions, which allows for free deck building, SP matches and Online play! Take that you greedy wizards of the $$$ coast! (I still love you <3). I think I read that there are currently about 150 cards in the game and they plan on adding more over time. The game in its current state is already PLENTY deep with tons of stuff to take care of and lots of different cards abilities. Highly, highly recommended to check out for Card Game lovers.
- Free Demo/Currently on Crowdfunding (PC, Mac, Linux)
Eador: Masters of the Broken World
An indie PC Fatal Frame, where you wander about as a high schooler, lost on a trip, taking pictures of the various hauntings/ghosts/etc. It's crowd funding through IndieGoGo at the moment if any of you are interested.
- $19,99 (PC)
Masters of the Broken World takes elements from franchises like Heroes of Might & Magic, Total War, and Galactic Civilizations to turn it into a PC turn-based strategy fan’s wet dream. Unfortunately, no demo, but you can check out the prequel for $5,99 on GOG: http://www.gog.com/gamecard/eador_genesis.
- Free (PC, Browser)
[Quick note: Desura version doesnt work for me, try the flash version web browser link] Smart, smart. This looked like a normal card game at first with a real life background, but actually its an educational game with a pro rebel agenda in the syria conflict. The actual card game rules are rather simple, but the implications of the "game" concepts and the information conveyed are smartly presented to engage players with some deeper insight in the conflict that otherwise might not have come in touch with the subject.
- $5,99 (PC)
I originally dismissed it as "Just another 3D puzzle game", but its actually surprisingly clever and imaginative. You need to alter electricity, gravity, temperature and mass to solve the puzzles. One example is a gravity gun that allows you to pull blocks together or use the pull of the gravity center and a release at the right time as a sling shot. Falls into the category of games that let the player explore the mechanics, and due to that seems to allow for different player approaches.
- $9,99 (PC, XBLA)
Fortune Winds: Ancient Trader
An enigmatic puzzle disguided as a cutesy platforming game. I dont want to spoil anything here, but its safe to say that Fez is one of the most interesting Indies that ever graced our hobby.
- $9,99 (PC, Mac)
The style of this game, based on 16th century cartography, is simply amazing. In this game you need to travel around trading commodities while fighting of oversized crabs, starving leviathans and a legendary Kraken. Its really unfortunate that this game seems to be missing a bit of depth and is more meant for casual play, but I feel that it definitely deserves a spot here nonetheless.
- $6,99 (PC)
Unfortunately, its a tad expensive for a non-demo game, but the 2 people who actually tried this downward action platformer so far liked it. Very polished, interesting narrative and great controls. Planned leaderboards soon, highly recommended.
- $2,99 (PC)
Future Development Company
Inexpensive (3 bucks?) rhythm game. This game has a neat art style, an interestingly told story, good music (a rhythm game with good music, hooray!), a good amount of polish, a free soundtrack with the purchase of the game and I overall really enjoyed the game. Only issue: Its was over way too soon.
- Free (Browser)
Gretel and Hansel
It's a mix of corporate management sim and tower defense. It's in Flash like many of NIGORO's other games (Rose & Camelia, Mekuri Master). You essentially are given an objective depending on the map you undertake, and build buildings and pipelines to research and build what you need. I actually wish it was a bigger game with more content. Really well executed concept in a bite sized format.
- Free (Browser)
Adventure game inspired by the fable with the same name. The art style is really, really interesting and the puzzles are surprisingly competent. The game lives a bit off the style and background story it revolves around, but for free you should definitely give it a whirl.
- Free (Browser)
Humans must answer
An intriguing Horror Adventure game in which the task of the player is to find out how to survive the experience. Lots of trial and Error, but the game actually has quite a few interesting interactions.
- Free Demo (PC)
The game is still in development, but thankfully the kickstarter was succesful in getting the humble amount of $5000. Its simply a pretty PC shmup with different paths and good replay value via Highscores that definitely deserves to get made. The demo is free and definitely convinced me that the full version of this game is something to look forward to.
- $7,99 (PC)
Kairo is a place where nothing is left to chance or at least in unintentional way. Every little piece is constructed to deliver a clues to decipher the logic that lies behind the creation of this world and, with one small exception, it never uses text in any form to do so. That's the beauty of it, it tells a rich story not by randomly scattering audiologs in the most absurd way possible – like Bioshock for example, but with its architecture, sounds, details peeking out the cracked walls, etc., and of course puzzles.
- Free (PC, Mac)
An exploratory horror game without cheap scares and unnecessary mechanics, which only drive you away from the core of the experience. Even though, there's no typical gameplay, through this journey in search for your lost son, I've never felt bored, not for a second.
- Free Demo/ $13 (PC)
A mix between RPG and RTS, where you spend your time building up a character and recruiting for a squad that you can individually control, training each member, and you can continue playing as long as any member of your squads survive. You can build your own base, raise an army, join an army, become a trader or whatever you'd like. Currently in early-access on Steam, it's in alpha, but definitely worth playing.
- $15 (PC)
Legend of Dungeon
A very challenging "Archaeological Ruin Exploration Action Game" held to highest acclaim. Art, music, breadth of content, game length -- La-Mulana gets the highest marks.
- $10 in Beta (PC)
A 4 Player Co-op Rogue-Like-like Beat'em'up with Dynamic Lighting on AWESOME Pixel Art by the awesome dev Robot Loves Kitty (Tiny Plumbers). Definitely worth a look if you have a few friends interested as well.
- Free (PC)
Memory of a Broken Dimension
Super awesome sidescrolling action game. The focus on bunnies being the source of all evils takes some getting used to, but tight controls, weapon variation, an overall very fun feeling and it being free make this a game you NEED to check out this month.
- Free Demo build (PC, Mac)
Whoever said this game is melting your brain was right on the mark. This game is... something else entirely. Best to just check out the old build linked above, since its easier to show than to explain this glorious madness.
- $14,99 (PC)
Music of the Spheres
Its an arcade style light stealth game that focusses on the player using the skills of different character classes to successfully infiltrate and escape several locations. Lots of content and replay value.
- $4,49 (PC)
Out there somewhere
A puzzle game which deserves more than the 7 rating it has currently, where people are being put off by graphics. Once again. RPS said it best: "There’s a beauty in the apparent simplicity of the design, which like much that is contemplative is far more complex than it first appears. It’s somehow reassuring to play a puzzle game that is entirely disinclined to frustrate, hoping to create mindful, soothing spaces instead."
- Free Demo/ $4,99 (PC)
This is a fast paced puzzle-platformer incorporating many of the design and aesthetics from 16-bit games. It is centered around the use of a teleportation device, that sends you to wherever your bullets hit.
- Free Beta (PC, Mac)
It's a turn based exploration game with some RPG elements where you lead a party of pioneers each with different professions, skills and attributes. You start out in a town where you first have to assemble your party from the tavern, plan out and buy equipment you need from the supply store and get yourself a ship. Or two. Then by conversing with different people you get quests, which may be to follow the steps of the previous explorers that never came back and find out what happened, find treasures, compose an accurate map, find contact with unknown native tribes and 'export' religion or simply be the first to disover a piece of the world.
- Free Alpha/$10 for full version on release (PC, Mac, Linux)
Basically an 3d adventure/platformer that revolves around exploration of the world which you can see by "sound". Anything that makes sound is made visible to you, basically like how echolot would guide you. I am glad they managed to secure their funding via Kickstarter, unique concept.
- Free (PC)
Very radical and minimalistic execution. The visuals are used only as an entry point for what's happening in the sound space. It's interesting how much power those audio samples contain. Pretty cool experience, just be sure to change the controls to mouse only – forward to LMB and interact to RMB – it's much better this way.
- $4,99 (PC)
Risk of Rain
A genre bending rhythm shmup! I didn't know shmups and rhythm games could go well together. Knewing the songs (In the Groove) helps, but the concept mix feels pretty unique overall.
- Free Demo (PC)
Sidescrolling Action roguelike with tight controls and Metroidvania style progression. Others might not have been able to warm up to it yet, since there is still some variety missing in the content, but I am very glad to see that it already got funded, because I really like the demo.
- F2P + ingame purchases (everything)
Another TCG game, this one however is financed with in app purchases, unlike Draconian Wars which has no IAP. Its an engaging execution with the major advantage of already releasing expansions/cards. Draconian Wars is way deeper, but Shadow Era still manages to be a fun game in its own right, even though it seems very simple initially. Shadow Era is also probably the better choice for newcomers to the genre.
- Free Beta (Browser)
This is a pretty interesting sidescrolling Action Adventure taking cues from Zelda style puzzles and Diablo style inventory management. Unfortunately, they dont have a download installer and the browser version takes ages to "download". (Ignore the "0%" thing, its still loading)
- Free Prototype (PC, Mac, Linux)
SoundSelf is a sensual exploration game about the intrinsic pleasure of playing instead of the rewards of winning. You use your voice to explore a hypnotic world of sounds and visuals that feel like they are emerging directly from your body. Each tone will navigate you through strobing tunnels-of-light, impossible shapes, and into a meditative trance.
The Aurora Wager
Souvenir is about growing up and leaving home. The disorientation of becoming an adult is reflected in the surreal M.C. Escher-inspired world with multiple gravities. As the player delves into the fragmented world of her childhood memories, she chooses certain "souvenirs" to take with her to adulthood, to form the narrative of her coming of age.
- Free (Win, Mac, Linux)
Entry for the 7DRL, where the devs didnt go for a literal roguelike concept, but instead were inspired by the rough and solitary nature of these games as the concept for their game. Its a small exploratory game where the player embarks on an completely unknown adventure.
- $5 in Beta (PC)
Instead of digging down, this game makes you climb up. The procedurally generated levels offer a bigger challenge than what a simple screenshot might show off at first. Climbing is VERY satisfying and managing your potions and skills will need some training. Really, really fun game. 50% off in Beta.
- Free Demo/$15 for full version on release (PC)
Absolutely amazing atmosphere. This is a contemplative journey through the afterlife, incorporating puzzle design akin to the Zelda series, with emphasis on environment like Dear Esther and Myst. The story of XING is told through gameplay and poetry. There is no dialog, no subtitles, only elegant poetry and cryptic messages etched into stone monuments.