It is common for indie games to be announced where they are at a very early stage. Sea of Solitude, instead, appeared out of nowhere showing some extremely polished content. From Kill Screen Daily to Rock Paper Shotgun, all the major indie gaming websites covered Sea of Solitude. What makes this incredible is that the game has achieved this level of popularity just with a bunch of screenshots and few GIFs. From its initial announcement, no other content has been released, but the hype is still high. Despite all my attempts, I didn’t manage to meet the developer, Cornelia, during GDC. But that’s understandable knowing how many meeting she was attending. It’s a shame I didn’t manage to play an early build, but I’m sure the final game won’t disappoint me.
When a game is on TIGsource, there’s a good heuristic for its future success: the number of pages its devlog has. The original post about FEZ, for example, counted 127 pages. Rain World, on the other hand, is getting dangerously close to 200. When a game is able to generate so much discussion, is hard to imagine anything but success in its future. Set in a post-apocalyptic future, Rain World asks you to accomplish a simple task: to survive. The eerie world is surrounded by glowing lizards and skeleton vultures. The developers or Rain World have been open about the different techniques they’re using in the game, including the secrets behind the super smooth movements of the main protagonists: the slugcats. Yes slugcats: agile creatures with bodies as flexible as slugs, simulated with real physics and rendered as meshes. A very early demo of the game has been made available to the backers who helped Rain World being funded on Kickstarter.
Some games are insta-buy from the very moment you see the first frame of their trailers. Shape of the World is one of those games. The game doesn’t really have a clear purpose. As described by its developer, is a “world that grows around you”. Compared to similar games such as PROTEUS and Journey, Shape of the World has a stronger focus on interactivity. Everything reacts to you, as if your only presence brings life to the world. The trailer showed a huge variety of biomes and events, which will hopefully keep players entertained in their wander.
When an artist reaches the level of mastery necessary to make a game, we can only expect great things to happen. And this is exactly what Relativity is all about. Developed solely by Willy Chyr, this is probably the one and only game which could be labelled as the successor of Antichamber. While the mind bending aspect of Antichamber was in its logic-defying puzzles, Relativity keeps its own mechanic as clean as possible. From the very beginning of the game you know what you can and what you can’t do, and the game never tricks you into believing otherwise. The game is not only amazing for its clever puzzles, but also for the incredible architectural structures that Willy has built. There is no up, down, left or right: the notion of direction itself in Relativity is, indeed, relative…
There are games you know are destined to be a massive success. And Routine surely is one of them. Developed by a very small team, this survival game is set in an abandoned facility on the Moon. Which turns out to be not so abandoned after all. I’ve been a big fan of retro technology since… well, since it wasn’t retro at all. So you can imagine why I love Routine: floppy disks and CTR monitors are everywhere. I never had the chance to play Routine, but the closest game I can compare it to is Alien Isolation. Themes such as (guess what!) isolation, constant fear of being chased and inability to escape seems to be common in both. Replace xenomorphs with humanoid robots, sprinkle that good ol’ indie vibe and you here you have it: my most anticipated space game.
A couple of years ago I met Eliott and Matthew at London Indies. They were going around the pub showing a brief demo of their mysterious game. It took me five seconds to realise how much potential was there. A Light In Chorus is one of the most beautiful games I’ve seen so far. What makes it unique is its engine: everything is rendered out of particle clouds. Even if the gameplay has been changing a lot in these months, its aesthetics keeps improving from build to build. I had the chance to play it and I can ensure you that the video compression doesn’t do justice to this beautiful game.
It’s not a mystery that I’m attending every game event I can find. Unfortunately, not all the developers are so lucky. Some of the best looking games I’ve seen so far have never been presented to a game event yet. And this is the main reason why I hope, with this series of posts, to help some games reaching out to a broader audience. So, without further due …this is the list of my three most anticipated pixel art games!
MegaSphere is “a sci-fi themed action platformer with a big shiny gun“. The game brings back action platformers, adding all the imaginable improvements and visual tricks. Rope physics, 2D normal maps, volumetric lights, …you name it, MegaSphere has it.
One of my most important design principles is elegance. And I cannot think about any other game which beautifully achieves it such as Mini Metro. Initially developed during Ludum Dare, the game has gone a long way. Yet, it has always remained faithful both to its mechanic and its style. Mini Metro really has, in a nutshell, everything a 2D game can ask for. Including one of the highest score on Steam and and audio experience designed by Disasterpeace. Now the real question: why didn’t I thought about something so simple and ingenious myself? :p