Maybe it’s just me, but there seem to be quite a few indie games coming out right around now and in the next roughly month-long period. Maybe they’re always coming out these days, but right around now I’m seeing the current or imminent release of quite a few I’ve either been tracking for a while or recently caught my interest. I think I’m just gonna highlight a few here to make sure they don’t get forgotten. They’re mainly games I’ve seen get almost no coverage at all.
Environmental Station Alpha — I did a blog post about the demo a few months ago, and the game should just be unlocking on Steam around the time of this writing. The demo also has its own separate page right now. I have a feeling it could get buried under all this talk of Axiom Verge. Both games are Metroidvania’s with old Nintendo-style graphics but Axiom seems to be getting all the love, probably due to coming out on a console first. I felt pretty good about the ESA demo and I really like the visual style of the game overall, so whenever I’m able I’m probably going to take the plunge on it (along with quite a few other similar indies).
Solarix — I don’t know an extreme amount about Solarix but I know just enough to intrigue me, and probably anyone else hungry for a System Shock or Deus Ex-style game. The promotional material says it’s a stealth game with open-ended elements that’s all about cyborgs and whatnot. I think a few PC-oriented publications are following it but not much more than that. It’s got decent production values too. Overall it looks like it might be one of the better kickstarter projects to come out this year. It launches April 30th.
Star Crawlers — This hit Steam Early Access in March, and to be honest the only thing I really know about it is that it’s basically a classic grid-style dungeon crawler, but on a space station. It’s Might & Magic or Legend of Grimlock but sci-fi instead of fantasy. For some reason that alone is enough for me to at least follow its development and think about jumping in when the time is right. A difference in setting alone I imagine can change a lot about how this type of game is played.
Spirits of Xanadu — This one also came out back in March I believe. It’s another game that get’s compared to System Shock, though not with the same production values as Solarix. At least we’re getting to a phase where indies are trying to resurrect the classic immersive sim, even if many of these attempts have the same graphics that System Shock 2 had in 1999. In any case, Xanadu seems to be a space horror game that has earned the proper credentials from people who are into these sorts of games.
The Charnel House Trilogy — This game has definitely gotten the most attention out of all the ones I’m talking about right now. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a classic-style point n’ click adventure game about a train and I believe some mysteries. An unusual perk is that it features voice acting from and characters based on several personalities in gaming journalism. I’m also told Charnel House is actually entirely narrative-based, focused more on telling a story than making you solve puzzles. Personally I think there is more room for such games. Call then western visual novels or whatever you want. At the very least you can download the demo on the Steam page.
Maybe 2015 represents a turn in which we’re finally starting to see a lot of these kickstarter projects and other indie dreams come to fruition. Maybe this is the start of some kind of Summer of Arcade cycle. Maybe it’s a sign of the new normal as meaty but cheap indie releases like these continually pop up for the foreseeable future. In any case, this might not be the last post I make of this type.
- The 1985 Vampire Hunter D is getting a new dub. http://t.co/CW8EKWyMSL
- 1979 profile of George Lucas. http://t.co/LsEkrxIxD0
- Another good thing on George Lucas. http://t.co/tU7uLlwphi
- The argument for the singular use of “they.” http://t.co/wpQ2KmpcHR
- Very good 2013 video explaining what ArmA is and what sets it apart. https://t.co/tyDEjodghP
- How the Super Win The Game developer simulated its CRT look. http://t.co/0VQC5a4VXQ