— Krankenheit (@KrankenheitGame) September 1, 2018
My laptop is what some people would call “A potato”. For those not familiar with the term, it means a computer which is pretty damn poor. There aren’t many quality games that can run on my laptop (at least at any reasonable graphical standard) but Krankenheit is a first person shooter that’s made on potatoes, for potatoes. Taking inspiration from the likes of Quake I & II, Shogo and SiN, this shooter is fast paced, blocky but most of all, fun. It’s a run and gunner, keeping you on your toes (and hopefully off your back) and is looking to launch onto early access on PC soon with a full launch next year. My laptop is squealing at the possibility…or is that the fan?
If you dip in and out of the indie games community on Twitter, you’ll have likely seen a gif of Dead Static Drive going viral from developer Mike Blackney. They all seem too. Beneath the bugs and funny clips that Mike posts though, there’s a truly tense survival road trip game in Dead Static Drive that’s being coined as “Grand Theft Cthulu”. Set in a nostalgic yet rundown version of a fictional America, you’re set to drive around, explore towns and landmarks but as the trip continues, you’ll meet creeping horrors in which you have to escape. The more I see of this game, the more questions I have and the more enticing it becomes.
KINE is a game about 3 adorable machines that dream of becoming musicians. To achieve that dream, these machines need to collect sheet music which are located in difficult to reach places. Fear not through, the maestro machines can extend, roll, turn and otherwise puzzle their way through the games levels, making a racket while they’re at it. Mechanic wise, KINE is part “Stephen’s Sausage Roll” and part shape puzzle, tasking you to find a way to the end of each level, manipulating the robot’s instrumental appendages to do so without falling to your demise. Don’t worry if you do make a mistake though, you can rewind moves too. Solo developer Gwen Frey has a tonne of industry experience, having worked at Irrational Games on Bioshock Infinite and then co-founding the studio behind The Flame in the Flood, and that experience is certainly shining through with KINE, due out on PC’s in 2019.
Ancient Enemy is being developed by an all-star team of British indie game creators. Grey Alien games’s – the makers of the excellent Shadowhand and Regency Solitaire games – are teaming with Big Robot’s Jim Rossignol – Signal from Tolva and The Lights Keep Us Safe – and illustrator and artist Jen Pattison – Steam Marines 2, Quest For Infamy – all with the backing of Mike Bithell’s – Do I really need to tell you what Mike made? Oh, go on then. TWA, Volume, Subsurface Circular – Bithell Games. It’s an insanely talented line up of developers making a game that’s about romping through British mythology to the tune of card battles in order to face a…wait for it…Ancient Enemy. Sign. Me. Up.
There’s a bit of a running joke here at Finger Guns because each and every time I wrote Below in an “Upcoming indie games to look forward to” list, it would get delayed shortly afterwards. I apologise if the curse is real and game is delayed again within the next week. Let’s get real for a second though – back in April, Below resurfaced after being put on hiatus so that developers Capybara Games could finish off their other project, OK K.O.! Let’s Play Heroes for the Cartoon Network. Back then, it was given a “2018” release window and with little over a month to go before 2019, I think it’s fair to say that Below is going to miss that window. It has now been more than 5 years since the game was showcased alongside the Xbox One back at E3 2013 – but despite the large development cycle, there’s still a real thirst out there for the game. I managed to grab a short play with Below at EGX Rezzed 2018 and despite it being the kind of game that doesn’t show it’s best light on a busy showroom floor, it was still damn impressive. Here’s hoping we don’t have to wait much longer for below (but take as much time as you need Capy. It’ll be done when it’s done).
It’s insane to believe that isometric action-adventure game Tunic is being built by just one person – Andrew Shouldice. Having participated in a number of game jams and seeing some excellent results, Shouldice decided to quit his 9-5 game dev job and dedicate all his time to building his own solo game – and when the results are looking this good, who can argue with that decision? With a clean art style, accessible play and obtuse puzzle solutions, Tunic is adapting the tried and tested Zelda structure for his game about “a tiny fox in a big world”. It’s certainly a charming and handsome game that’s hitting PC and Xbox One in 2019.
The World Next Door
That art style. Have you seen that art style though? It’s gorgeous, right? The World Next Door is a game that’s combining narrative-driven visual novels, where you’ll be befriending an eclectic cast of characters, arena based combat and world exploration into a seamless package. And did I mention the art style? Already picking up some award nominations from industry shows, The World Next Door is coming from Rose City games and will be arriving on PC, Mac, Linux and Switch in “Early 2019”. (THAT ART STYLE!!!)
Have you played Oxenfree? Did you finish it? I mean *really* finish it? Then I’m going to presume you enjoyed it (I’ve yet to meet a person who didn’t). Well, the studio behind 2016’s most underappreciated gem is back with Afterparty and ho boy, it sounds fun. In this game, you play as the recently deceased pairing, Milo and Lola. Instead of heading up to those pearly gates however, they went straight to Hell. Their only hope of returning to Earth is to beat Satan in a drinking game. Sold. Combining an international remix of commonly held afterlife beliefs, Afterparty is part paying respect too while simultaneously poking fun at the concept of Hell in various religions. Night School Studio want this game to feel like those memories that almost every person (over the legal drinking age, of course) has of a wild night where anything goes and stupid things happen for reasons no one can quite remember and everything we’ve seen of Afterparty is certainly delivering on that. Keep an eye out for this one in 2019.
— Jamie D (@uk_resistant) November 12, 2018
How many times have you been playing a first person shooter, merrily blasting everything in front of you, when you’ve been suddenly and annoyingly hit from behind by a hellspawn/monster/other thing? I’m guessing everyone who has played a FPS has experienced that at least once. Well, in Hellscreen, that’ll become a thing of the past because…*drum roll please* it has a rear view mirror. I know, right? Hellscreen is the first FPS game to ever incorporate such a mechanic (which is pretty incredible when you think that the genre is more than 30 years old) but it’s not the only appealing aspect of this game. There’s the art style, which utilises cyan and red to great effect to give this a surreal look, and transforming weapons which allow alt-fire modes. Lastly, each death in Hellscreen will allow you to become stronger, unlocking new abilities to enable you to progress further into the game. Follow developer James Degan or the game itself on twitter to keep up to date on progress.
The Last Night
Since being showcased at the Xbox E3 2017 briefing, The Last Night, originally a Game Jam winner turned full project, and its designer Tim Soret have had their fair share of controversy. What’s undeniable, however, is how visually appealing this game is and how interesting the futuristic alt-reality game world it is set appears. The balance of neon lights and rain slick darkness portrays this Blade Runner/Cyberpunk environment in astonishing pixel art that looks anything but at times. In this world you’ll be able to talk to other citizens, explore, solve puzzles and get into gunfights. Originally scheduled to release in 2018, it looks as though the release of The Last Night has slipped into 2019 without an official confirmation.