January 5th, 2012 | By Chris Priestman
Considering the epic scale of the indie gaming landscape, it’s quite obvious that there are a lot of great games out there that have not yet been discovered. We set off to unearth as many gems as we could and bring back some of the finest indie creations that the world has not seen yet and we are quite proud of our findings. Ten little trinkets from all across the globe are now on display for your perusal – some to be released in the coming months, others may not ever make it to a proper alpha stage. Even so, they all remain as impressive entries into the indie gaming world and are certainly worth at least a peek from each one of you.
Cradle is a gorgeous looking first-person sci-fi quest involving the story of a hero and a mechanical girl. The hero finds himself mysteriously alone in a tent in the middle of the deserted hills of Mongolia. The player’s task is to restore the lost functions of the mechanical body of his companion and then work together with her to solve the mystery of an abandoned amusement park located near the tent. The team behind the game include ex-developers of games such as S.T.A.L.K.E.R., Heroes of Might and Magic 5, Allods Online and Ascension to the Throne.
If you’re on the hunt for a fantastic roguelike this year, look no further than Robot Acid’s Red Rogue (working title). It is already playable in its Alpha stage and shines for its imagination, variation and exciting yet subtle touches. Exploring the randomly generated environments is always a thrill – especially as you descend to the lower depths, but also when you find a hidden passage by knocking a wall in. Combat is the traditional shoving competition but you have a trusty companion to help you out with that as long as you look after him! There is also a very versatile casting and enchanting system to complement the expanse range of items to assist your journey.
StarDrive is bound for greatness. Not merely because it is a vast 4X action-strategy game, but also because of its incredible ship design and combat engine. Both of which work together and allow the player a lot of freedom. Ship design is approached via modules, allowing the player to create custom ship designs where the composition and placement of ship parts really matters to the performance of a ship in combat. With arcade-style action in space and along the ground when taking over enemy planets, collectible alien artefacts and a whole politically charged choice system; StarDrive is bringing one hell of a package to the fray.
If you’re a sucker for cute puzzle platformers then So Many Me will dazzle you with its charm. Playing as the very malleable Dave, the goal is to traverse the environment with your little mates by transforming into different objects – Clone Stone, Gelastic Ball, Glow Globe and plenty more. With 50 levels to work through, we just hope that there is enough variation to keep us going. However, with a presentation like that, we will be smiling all the way despite any repetitiveness. So Many Me is scheduled to come out in March.
Yaaargh! Avast ye scurvy cur! Pirates of New Horizons has been in development for a good couple of years now and the updates are still being laid upon us thick and fast. Every time we are presented with more gameplay footage we are stunned at the vibrancy. Pirates of New Horizons has looked nearly complete for a while now but the developers seem to be warming up for a release this year. We hope! We cannot wait to explore this sci-fi pirating adventure as the acrobatic Annha, armed with her range of gadgets to fight off the aliens and robots in search for the New Horizons treasure.
Pineapple Smash Crew is a fast-paced, tactical blast-em-up which features tight squad formation shooting, aliens, robots, zombies and lots of very cool-looking explosions! You control a team of heavily armed mercenaries and set out to destroy, well everything in your way basically. It’s essentially an arena shooter with an amazing range of weapons, great retro music and fast-paced action to keep you happy. The list of weapons and power-ups is all you need to hear to know that this is a must-buy when it comes to Steam sometime soon. These are just some of the unlockables in the game: rockets, laser grenades, machinegun grenades, suction grenades, mines, teleporters, holo-bait and bullet shields! The rare power ups also rock: speed boost, bullet time, armour and super-laser!
Described as a platform adventure with point-and-click and puzzle elements, Bottom is one of the finest looking games we have seen at such an early stage in development. Unfortunately, at the current moment in time things are not looking particularly good for Bottom. The developer, Pedro Pitéu, has been working on it for over a year but has been forced to halt development until they have funding to continue on the game full time. It’s a real shame because Bottom looks absolutely stunning in every way – of course what we can see is mostly artwork and level testing, but that is enough to get our full support behind it. We hope the developer can find the funding they need and get Bottom released this year.
Daring to tread territory that no game has yet touched, The Kite is a pertinent and emotional tale of a young woman trapped in the dire conditions of a post-Soviet city. With a son that needs feeding and a drunk, abusive husband; Mary finds herself only just being able to sustain the will to carry on. Things suddenly take a turn for the worse when her son’s life is at risk and so Mary sets out to save him but must struggle through the harsh reality of her surroundings face-to-face. With an incredible story and a moody atmosphere, escalated by the game’s unique art style and edgy soundtrack; The Kite is worth investing your time into when the English version releases later this year.
Be Stiff! many have a dodgy title but the gameplay is absolutely solid. The artwork may not look too impressive in that video but the developer has let a professional artist go to work on the game and the updates are yet to be seen. Not too distant from Gunpoint, Be Stiff! involves breaking into heavily armed buildings and taking out the thugs one-by-one. It’s not made easy though as bullets are as deadly as they should be and a realistic field of vision means that you cannot always keep an eye on the enemy. The focus here is straight up action – with a handy grappling hook, a gun and an awesome kicking mechanic – we are expected to become the ultimate break-in assassin when Be Stiff! makes its way to our Xbox this year (hopefully).
Bioshock Infinite is not the only game coming out this year that features a flying city! Terminus is a 2D platform adventure set in a dystopian world that mixes retro-futurism and a dieselpunk/vintage graphic style. It’s striking in its stylistic presentation and the details that the developer releases once a month slowly give the game a more interesting personality. Steam airships glide over barren wastelands, the odd soundtrack adds a sense of mystery to the game and the protagonist moves in a weird, vacant fashion. It’s just a wonderful project to watch steadily evolve into something spectacular.