Saturday, June 26, 2021

June 26, 2021

Steam had it's annual indie dev showcase recently, which brings to light some nice (and less nice) upcoming games by indie devs. There's some real gems out there, and it's always worth being reminded that there's more than evil corporations out there who are just after your money.

Below are some views from out members at GGPlayers. If you want in on the action, just visit us on the GGPlayers Community discord.

Disclaimer: Not, not all reviews are be positive, all games are early release versions/demos and a work in progress. Reviewed games are not representative to the final product and opinions may change over time. That said - enjoy the list and keep an eye out for potential gems to release in the near future :)

Smythe's reviews

Day 1

Spent my lunch (and some of the afternoon) playing more demos. If you haven't realized yet, I'm not very positive with my evaluations! Just one wish list addition in here.

The Crackpet Show - Looked nice but actually animations are bad and couldn't get controller to work. Terrible with keys. A poor person's Nuclear Throne.

AK-xolotl: Wars - seems to be multiplayer only. For the demo at least, possibly the full game. A sociable person's Nuclear Throne.

Treasure Drifter Nian - Controller didn't work, keys - no fun. Looks cute. Simple concept but has potential. Half translated, half Chinese, some unnatural English.

Super Magbot - Novel idea but bit dull. No jump, use magnets instead. M&K controls suck. No controller in demo probably wouldn't play even with controller.

Ember Knights - Nothing Special. Play Bastion instead, basically a better version of the same game mechanic. May be better MP co-op.

Super Dungeon Maker - Looks alright. Again, pretty simple. Probably more fun if you enjoy building,  I didn't find playing the dungeons very exciting.

Golf Club Wasteland - Liked this one! Nice concept, simple controls but tricky game. Radio station in the background is nice. Wishlisted, will get if it's a good price.

Day 2

Captain Bones - Needs a lot of work, but has potential. Unless the developer spends a lot of time on this, I'm probably gonna be disappointed. Following.

Defend Till Sunshine - Looks nice, plays sluggishly, feels like running thru mud. Mini game controls are bad. Funny voices. Needs work, not too hopeful! Following.

Haven Park - Less managerial and with more exploration but similar idea to Bear and Breakfast. Restore and manage a resort. Cute, has potential. Following.

Glitched - problems with controller again but was ok with keys. RPG that breaks the fourth wall. Looks a bit like Stardew, game reminds me of Undertale. Following.

Road 96 - Choices matter type game, which is not my cup of tea. Mostly responding to people, very little action. Check it out if you like that kind of game.

Death Trash - Strange story. Looks okay for rpg fans but didn't hit the spot for me.

Lake - Dull. Delivering mail around a lake. I did the first day thinking that more story would develop in day two and I was just given a lot more things to deliver. 

They Always Run - Liked the art style, but didn't like the controls. Worth a try, if a bit rough around the edges.

Bear and Breakfast - Menu system is a bit awkward but great otherwise. Take control of a bear and manage a bed and breakfast resort.

Sable - Tatooine style landscape. Looks great, plays okay, story has promise. The animation of that art style or something made my eyes go funny though.

Rainbow Billy: The Curse of the Leviathan - A kids game? Waited for a dark twist, never came. Simple, looks nice although the mix of 2D and 3D is strange.

Seixas' reviews

Day 1

Played for about 30 minutes each maybe less.

Len's Island: is a survival game with MOBA controls (mouse for movement and QWER for abilities) that has jumping sections that just don't work with mouse in my opinion, your usual survival mechanics that work well, combat might need to improve and the only dungeon on the demo seemed too much linear, it does have potential though.

Selfloss: Puzzle platform I liked the art but felt like every other puzzle platform out there, you have a mechanic that I believe they are gonna over abuse to do puzzles.

There is no Light: Best looking game i played probably, a top down action RPG, seem like it has cool gameplay mechanics, a good focus on story but the combat right now is pretty meh and spoils a otherwise excellent game.

Trigon: Space Story: Literally a copy of FTL, believe me a real copy everything works the same, it has more modern graphics but the UI is horrible compared to FTL, I'll be honest I rage quit because it forced me to do the tutorial and I could not proceed at one point it bugged.

Swarm the City: I would call it a create a zombie horde simulator, not the best looking game for me but it works pretty well and I do want to see how it turns out when it releases.

My Time at Sandrock: Sequel to My time at Portia which is basically a 3D Stardew Valley, same game as Portia but different vibe I liked it and if you liked Portia you're gonna probably like this one.

Trash Sailors: You control a raft made of scrap and basically need to keep it afloat,  no doubt best demo I played it may become boring after a while in single player but multiplayer is much more fun.

Day 2

My opinion on some demos I played today and I think I hit gold finally xD (3 times I believe)

The Lightbringer: Zelda-like adventure game it still needs improvements on the animations but besides that there is not much I can say.

The Legend of Tianding: A clone of Guacameele (which is one of my favorite indie games) it has awesome combat, nice animations and the art is beautiful straight out of a comic book, from the demo I can't really tell if it is a MetroidVania but I bet it is, I gave it the Seixas' seal of approval.

Greak Memories of Azur: I believe another MetroidVania heavily inspired by both hollow knight and ori where you control not one but three characters, which opens up new ways to solve puzzles, a bit of Trine in that aspect I believe, also got Seixas' seal of approval xD

Nimoyd: A Pixel art Isometric game that seems a lot like Minecraft. Didn't play much, I got stuck because of a bug and I just moved on to the next game.

Kraken Academy: A very weird game with a focus on humor, the demo is so short I can't really tell more.

Cristales: beautiful game a RPG with Japanese influences it has turn based combat where if you press buttons in a certain timing you do extra damage but the art and the mechanics is where it truly shines not long before it releases seems like it is gonna be a gem, try it out.

Day 3

I don't think anyone mentioned dodgeball academia before, I was really happy to find that one, if you have time tomorrow try it out

I've been playing about 20 minutes each demo from the steam next fest, unfortunately since it ends tomorrow I'm not gonna be able to play every demo I wanted to play but still I'm very happy so far because there have been quite a few gems and a lot of unpolished gems in my opinion, a common complain of mine is the UI/UX but that is probably gonna be worked on before release in most of them

Stolen Realm: Basically a action RPG like diablo but it's turn based and I don't think they found the right pace to make it work with this combat system.

Wardens: It's just chess with a makeover and because of that I can't tell my units apart 

Okinawa Rush: Another Gem in my opinion, think of it as Metal Slug but with martials arts, it has the same arcade feel and everything is on point, try it out.

UnMetal: A really funny parody of Metal Gear had a lot of fun with it, they do need to improve the inventory systems because it's a hassle. 

Faerie Afterlight: Cute platformer with a cute character, it didn't wow me for some reason but it looks pretty good overall I might play in the future.

Wolfstride: A mecha turn based fighting game with a noir aesthetic, it still needs some work on gameplay and especially on UI but besides that it has potential

Tiny Thor: A Pixel art platformer that is very well made, was expecting something a lot more raw but it surprised me so go test it out yourselves xD

RogueLords: A game very similar to Slay the Spire, with many interesting additions, maybe too many because it wants to do so many things at the same time but even so a good game.

Spire of Sorcery: A very gorgeous game that I still to this moment have no idea how to play, so much confusion and overall terrible pacing.

Dodgeball Academia: What a gem! I think humble is going to deliver us another masterpiece with this, imagine Pokemon but with dodgeball somehow, yes like that xD it works really well and the art is so good I love it.

I'm really loving to try out these games even the not so great ones but I also need to sleep xD I might have a couple of free hours tomorrow morning, most likely I'll end up doing something else but I'll try to play some more and leave my feedback.

Nora's reviews

Unpacking - very cute game that would be relaxing for me! I enjoyed the demo.

Catie in Meowmeowland - Game for kids I think. Seems like Alice in wonderland. I don't like it. You start by being kicked down a hole, being swallowed by a cat and then pooped out... WHY??

Maybe it's okay for kids games but it's just too bizarre and 'stupid' in my opinion.

Greak - Only played a tiny bit because I want to keep it more of a surprise since I wishlisted it :P
It's so pretty and it looks like a fun game where you control two different characters. They work together to get further and the bit that I played was fun.

Cats in time - It's a puzzle game where you need to solve puzzles to find the cats that have been lost in time.`It are pretty simple puzzles. Could be fun, but not for everyone. It's okayish, but I'm not sure if it's a buy or not.

Little witch in the woods - A super cute game that I loved playing and have wish listed. It looks cute, it has relaxing music, it has funny characters and it just seems like a game for me!

La Volpe's reviews

Day 2

I think I'm done with demos for now, because backlog :) My experience so far:

Unpacking - Lovely, neat, relaxing! Good idea and execution. I like how the game tells its story, through environments and items! Can't wait for release. ^^

Doki Doki Ragnarok - No relation with "Doki Doki Literature Club", other than being a visual novel. Not my kind of games, but it's funny! You conquer villages by dating them :p Funny writing with standard visual novel features. 

No Longer Home - A semi-autobiographical game about the devs and their post-educational life. Made for a game jam in 2016 at first in a way to stay connected with each other, now a complete game, complete story. Not much gameplay here, everything is in favor of characters and story, and that's not bad. It's a bit sad obviously ;( Also waiting for the release ^^

Starless - Survival horror game with stealth and some puzzles. Personally I didn't like it as much as I expected, but it's not bad. See if you like it. (also the main character(s) look like Ellen Ripley :p)

Unmetal - I like it! Parody of classic and stealth games, mainly Metal Gear (first ones). It's nice, better play yourself!

TOEM - Go on a journey to see a fantastic phenomenon, Toem! Cute and wholesome photography game.

Cris Tales - As the devs say: "A love letter to classic JRPGs", and so far, they are correct! First things first: Fantastic art style and animation! Looks pretty great, but story is kind of generic, I expect more in the full game!

Little Witch in the Woods - Live the daily life of a witch apprentice! Could not play much because resolution problems, but I like it! It's cute :3

Letters - a written adventure - Some mix between Haimrik and Emily is Away. Promising! There is also a minigame where you make your Emo Sweetheart, what it didn't tell me is the game saves a picture for you! So yeah... here is my Emo Sweetheart :P

Day 3

I'm done with demos! For real this time. My experience with 5 new demos I played today:

Himno - The Silent Melody - Sequel/Remake of Himno, now with combat, crafting, more exploration and lore! Not much story in the demo, but it introduces the mechanics new to the game. It's still a bit vague about story, lore and overall purpose. First game is also free in case you're curious about its atmosphere and exploration, it's more or less same. Watchlist for now!

Golf Club: Wasteland - Thanks for suggesting this Smythe! I like it! Beautiful environment and scenery, good soundtrack and overall chill experience. I like the game's storytelling (radio, environmental storytelling, diaries, start-of-the-level narration) and obstacle courses are nice. Wishlisted!

Greak: Memories of Azur - Thanks for recommending the game Seixas and Nora! Also like it! It's like a mix between Hollow Knight and Trine :smile: Lovely artstyle and animation, soundtracks are good and characters are different and well done. I had some minor problems though, like combat is easy (especially combining both characters attacks), some items are not automatically picked (I missed some because of it) and holding down a button all time to keep characters together becomes tiring. Other than that, it's great! Wishlisted! 

Kitaria Fables - This one is a bit hard to describe, so let's say it's a ARPG Starmeow Crossing, farming, crafting, fighting, cat, whatnot.
It also has coop! Not sure about this one yet, Watchlist!

NORCO - wow, this game is weird! Point and click adventure game with the kind of storytelling you see in Choice of Games games, more close to Werewolf Heart of the Forest. didn't play it much because I knew I spend a good hour or two reading stuff :P Wishlist for now!