Upcoming Indie Games to Keep an Eye On

Empire of Sin is so close to a great game but it just misses the mark. There's a bunch of systems in there that all kind of fizzle.

It wants to be XCOM but at least realizes it isn't so gives you an auto-resolve for the tactical battles. But then YOUR guys are controlled by the same dumbass AI too, so you'll take more hits that way.

I installed the CoG demo expecting to put into 20 minutes or so and move on, and that turned into 8 hours (though probably more like 5 or 6 hours of actual play time).

The tutorial is pretty long, but very thorough and really does seem to be teaching what you will do in a non-tutorial game. I think you can probably go and just keep playing after the tutorial is finished ... but I managed to die and decided to start a new game. It was a big weird that while in the tutorial your ethnicity is 'American', you can only choose 'Italian' in a regular game in the demo.

Higgledy wrote:

As an INSIDE fan I think Somerville looks up my street.

Yeah, I'm looking forward to that.

Whilst making a list of the things that interest me, I rediscovered this trailer. It also looks fantastic in a ‘little black and white figures running about’ kind of a way.

Tried out the Unsighted demo from the Summer Games fest, and really enjoyed the 40 minutes it took me to get through. Definitely worth checking out.

I do not know if this has been called out yet, nor do I know if this even counts as "indie". All I know is this scratches the cyberpunk itch in my eyeballs and thumb sticks.

With its ARPG elements, I do hope they've implemented some kind of end game or a modicum of replay-ability, even if it amounts to a frustrating grind for extremely rare drops.

This guy has gone into more depth with what we know about Sifu so far and has found extra footage of fights in gif form, etc.

To follow up my overly short post on Unsighted. This game is a top down exploration and puzzle based action game with engaging combat including basic attacks, guard, parries, simultaneous sword and gun use, dodging and sprinting, which all makes each encounter much more than just walk up to random opponent and swing at it combat. Timing is more relaxed than many other games, making the parrying, which seems almost a requirement, much more fun to use and lean into. I really found engaging all the mechanics to be rewarding. And I believe the trailer alludes to multiple paths. This makes sense as one opponent felt like I could either run or stand and fight. The only thing I don't like is the art style is a bit too low res pixel art for me in a way that feels like it doesn't help the game. Case in point, look at the artwork at the end of the trailer. It feels like the whole game would have been better presented in that style. I guess I think the pixel art affords is making some of the simpler animations feel ok.

EDIT: YT video link hopefully fixed.

I also enjoyed the Unsighted demo and plan to pick it up on release. I'm not crazy about what sounded like a game-timer for the overall quest, as I am usually one to grind on enemies and/or explore every possible side quest and area. Hopefully that particular element won't be onerous, or potentially circumvented in some fashion.

I agree about parrying being required as you get into how the game plays. The last enemy of the demo definitely did!

Another interesting thing was that the path-gating was mostly done with ranged weapon pickups you'd acquire while playing. It seems like this could present some forced menu navigation if your preferred loadout didn't include the weapon you needed equipped to hit a remote trigger or remove an obstacle.

Tyrian wrote:

Another interesting thing was that the path-gating was mostly done with ranged weapon pickups you'd acquire while playing. It seems like this could present some forced menu navigation if your preferred loadout didn't include the weapon you needed equipped to hit a remote trigger or remove an obstacle.

It seems like there was some path gating with jumping abilities, too. I did get one jump upgrade towards the end. It also looks like there will be some smashing of giant rocks walls. The rock smashing could definitely become a menu switching annoyance. Hopefully they execute better than the solution what we are envisioning.

mrtomaytohead wrote:
Tyrian wrote:

Another interesting thing was that the path-gating was mostly done with ranged weapon pickups you'd acquire while playing. It seems like this could present some forced menu navigation if your preferred loadout didn't include the weapon you needed equipped to hit a remote trigger or remove an obstacle.

It seems like there was some path gating with jumping abilities, too. I did get one jump upgrade towards the end. It also looks like there will be some smashing of giant rocks walls. The rock smashing could definitely become a menu switching annoyance. Hopefully they execute better than the solution what we are envisioning.

The rock wall smashing can be accomplished in the demo if you find the gun that can do it. There was at least one path I also didn't fully explore.

Side-scrolling action-game with gorgeous art Itorah releasing on Steam later in 2021.

A nice Death’s Door preview.

Also a few more very interesting seconds of Sifu.

The forgotten city

This was really good. Just came out. Originally a Skyrim mod turned into a full game. Good writing and unique time loop gameplay. Probably won't get all the endings but still I've enjoyed it.

Annapurna Interactive just dropped a 30 min showcase of upcoming stuff (starts at ~17:30):

Highlights include Stray which is scheduled for early 2022:

Also Karla Zimonja (Gone Home, Tacoma) & Davey Wreden (Stanley Parable, Beginner's Guide) are starting a new studio though they didn't have anything to show yet.

As expected, some really fascinating stuff in the Annapurna showcase.

One trailer that especially piqued my interest was Storyteller - a kind of puzzle game where you have to complete frames in a storybook to match the title of the tale. Might end up being quite limited, but there is a demo on Steam that, apparently, already showcases a lot of variety.

Cyberpunk double bill:

What if Snek, but also Dungeon? "Temple of Snek", now in Early Access on Steam. I have a sneaking suspicion this one is going to be a hit...

Looks like a lot of fun and I adore the name. What’s Snek refering to, I wondered, Is it some old game type I’ve never heard of that was a hit for a while back in the ‘80’s?

Higgledy wrote:

Looks like a lot of fun and I adore the name. What’s Snek refering to, I wondered, Is it some old game type I’ve never heard of that was a hit for a while back in the ‘80’s?

Snek is redneck speak for Snake. Snake is a classic mobile game.

Pretty sure Snake was around on systems in the early 80s.

I thought the origin of snek was from memes? That'd be more in line for why ot would appear in an indie game, too. Not sure where the "redneck" origins would come from, but would love to know more.

Unless this is yet another meta joke that I'm somehow missing? Seems to be happening a lot lately.

CptDomano wrote:

Also I thought snek originated from internet speak? Not sure where the "redneck" origins would come from.

Eat is pronounced ‘ett in redneck. So I made the giant leap to snake could be sneck. And I assumed that people here would know what I meant even though I gave little context. And I’ve been listening to John Steinbeck novels in audiobook format, yet the rest of you haven’t been and I took that for granted. It’s my bad.

Oh yeah. In Slay the Spire there is a mob called a Snek. Right?

In my experience, Snek is Leetspeak for snake. As for the game, I am sure Broederbund sold it way back when.

My family is full of Southern rednecks (in a good way) and they all say “snake” with a looong “A”, not with an “eh”. Same is true for “plate”, “table”, “plane”, etc.

Is it wrong that I read that as plet tebul and plen?

"Snek" is cutesy "i can has cheezburger?" speak for snakes.

https://knowyourmeme.com/memes/this-...

IMAGE(https://www.dictionary.com/e/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/snek.jpeg)

Sorry, I was thinking of 1982's "Snake Byte" from Sirius Software, which I played for years. I think that was the first one with the features we know and love. Apple ][e and Atari, I think.

Cross-posting since I realized this is super niche game made by two people.

Conquest of Elysium 5 is a really unique strategy games that leads to funny stories. I once lost a game to a deer, because I left my only base defenseless and it just walked in. Another time I was moving into an abandon city. Except it wasn't. My army of demons got ambushed by some massive invisible cthulic horror which promptly started warping around the battlefield eating the demons. Right before we took it down the thing ate my leader...

Last thing I did was running a religion trying to kick start the apocalypse. Broke the third seal and released the first horsemen of the apocalypse, but then my last opponent got eaten by the wildlife winning me the game.

Fun stuff. Really unique races/factions. All of them can play wildly different from each other. Graphically it's complete unimpressive. But for certain people this sort of game is amazing. They also made the Dominions series of games. Which is basically this game but as a full 4x.

Conquest of Elysium 5

Wow, had no idea that was coming out.

Unfortunately I'm perpetually in the camp who can't ever get over the UI hump and enjoy Ilwinter's games.