Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime | Asteroid Base | website
I don’t deny I’m a Sci-Fi Nazi. As a result, I tend to like games which are scientifically accurate. Or at least, as scientifically accurate as possible. One of the very few exceptions is Lovers In a Dangerous Spacetime. Not only it’s the games with the longest name ever, but is the less accurate depiction of space battles ever made. And I absolutely love it! The game gives its best with two players, each one running up and down the ship to control different devices. LinaDS requires a great effort in verbal communication between the players, which is one of the best aspects of local multiplayer games. I’ve also been very pleased by the choice of its developers to keep the game as gender neutral as possible. There is no “He” and “She”, no blue and pink, no short hair and skirt: they’re both “Lovers” and that’s it. LinaDS has been in development for few years; I promise when you’ll see how polish it is you’ll understand why is taking Asteroid Base so long to craft this funky, little gem.
GNOG | KO-OP Mode | website
The guys are KO-OP are quite well known for creating games which are… bizarre. From Please don’t, Spacedog! to Gardenarium, they have been experimenting not just with visual styles but with the concept of game itself. GNOG is a good example of that. It’s a bizarre puzzle game which presents the player with different “heads”. Each one is unique and behaves in unexpected ways. When I had the pleasure to try GNOG at GDC San Francisco, I was pleasantly impressed with its level of polish. Despite music is not the biggest part of it, every little object you interact with will contribute to generate the soundtrack of the level. Similarly to what happens in Monument Valley, is your interaction with the world that completes the music. And despite you have no clue about how the heads work and what you should do, agency is a key aspect of GNOG: nothing happens if you do nothing.
PLANETER | Mattias Dittrich (Ditto) | itch.io
Mattias Dittrich, best known on the Internet as Ditto, is one of those developers who hasn’t compromised on what indie originally meant. Now that making games is for many a daily job, most of the charm of making crazy prototypes has vanished. Ditto, instead, has worked on a series of promising and innovative concepts, without getting sucked into the “and now let’s make it into a REAL game” black hole. Characterised by its brave usage of colours (and by the constant use of CAPS LOCK), Ditto has already made some interesting games such as DAGDROM and FARG. PLANETER, however, is the one he’s currently developing. Slightly inspired by Aether, PLANETER doesn’t really have an ending yet but this doesn’t seem to make the game less interesting.