I get far too excited about indie events, but today I’ve logged into the Gamescom Indie Arena Booths exhibition, and my eyes have exploded. 185 indie games from 50+ countries and the entire exhibition space is an online digital game all of its own, where you can download demos, watch trailers, chat with each other and the dev teams via twitter or Discord. There’s games within games within games, all set to a chill lo-fi atmosphere. Though I recommend checking out the virtual games event yourself and having an explore for a few hours, we’ve also gone to the trouble of curating a list for you – just 10 games that caught my eye, no other criteria. So if you don’t have time to explore, but you need that sweet indie goodness, we’ve got you covered. Read on.
Rough Justice 84
So this one is brand new, and there’s not much info about. Its a private security management game where you send out your faceless hench to bodyguard celebs, solve crimes, investigate, find and chase fugitives, and repo people’s TVs. I don’t see how you make money, because private investigating never pays – just ask Philip Marlowe – but the idea of running a Rough Justice company in 1984 sounds right up my street. Wishlist here.
Beautiful pixelart animation and a vibrant wild world usually do it for me. You play as Itorah, and it’s your job to save Nahucan, the land of masks, from the corruption of a plague, as the only human in this world. Check out the beautiful video below, but also you can play it this weekend if you’re quick. Demo and wishlist here.
A Space for the Unbound
Rural Indonesia in the 90s, and a pixelart slice-of-life game about a boy and a girl trying to overcome anxiety, depression and the trials of life, oh and they happen to have superpowers. 2D side scrolling, narrative heavy, and you can pet every cat in town. I’m in. There’s a demo available and a prologue chapter already – wishlist it here.
Described as a 16bit fantasy RPG with mechs – I’m in. Chained Echoes is a narrative-heavy RPG in the tradition of the best from the genre’s 90s heyday, and not just fantasy but mechs as well. Xenogears and Final Fantasy combined. A group of heroes travels around the vast continent of Valandis to bring an end to the war between its three kingdoms. I love a good old school RPG and this has come out of nowhere for me – and there’s a demo and everything here. Let’s hope it has a great story!
Land of Screens
I love the concept for this – it’s irony 101. A game played on a screen, about a girl trying to go screenless after a breakup. It’s got a cute art-style, a great idea, soft humour and it’s pretty original. It’s something we all think about from time to time, going screenless, going cold-turkey from facebook or twitter, or even trying to get off the grid entirely. In our constantly connected world, a breakup is all too public and I can totally get behind a heroine who just wants to unplug and work through her feelings without the whole world getting involved. Hey, maybe she’ll even find herself, or someone new, while she’s disconnected. Wishlist it on Steam – it’s coming in 2021
So this comes from a team of devs, some of which were behind Night in the Woods and Celeste so it’s on my radar already, but there’s a demo all of a sudden on the Indie Arena and I need to play it. Celeste had one of the best soundtracks in indie game history, and the composer, Lena Raine is going to be crafting her incredible music for this too. Paint your way through the game and a journey of self-discovery. It also reminds me a lot of Okami with that paintbrush affecting the world around you. Give it a wishlist and check out the demo.
Weaving Tides looks gorgeous! Re-weave an unravelling world, not with a needle and thread, oh no, with a dragon! Attach a cord to your dragon’s tail, and fly your carpet dragon around these beautiful weaved worlds and reknit the places together. Gather stitch patterns, fight bosses, solve cross-stitch puzzles and experience a unique anthro dragon story. Give it a wishlist here, and try out a demo this weekend.
Looking like a sort of natural world version of Dead Cells, Foregone is a 2D Metroidvania-style action-platformer oozing with beautiful animation, fast combat and a vibrant world. The weapons and abilities on display look fantastic, bows, guns and melee, like a modern remake of Metroid, combined with the post post apocalyptic world of Horizon Zero Dawn. I’m all in, and it’s only a month to wait. Foregone is coming to PS4, Xbox One and Switch on October 5th, with PC following next year – wishlist here.
Endling is cute little side-scrolling puzzle platformer starring a vixen and her cubs. The aim of the game is to transport your cubs across country to a new home far away from the horrific encroachment of man across the forest. I am always one for climate-change/environmentally aware games and this looks a treat. Again, there’s a demo available right now, and give it a wishlist.
Definitely the madest flying dog Shmup you’re are going to see today. Check out the video below, if you are not already convinced, and listen to that throwback vaporwave. Love it. This looks to have everything you could want from a madcap shmup, full of cute animations, multipliers, and a bark superweapon. For the last time, demo and wishlist here. You owe it to yourself after that long week.
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