April 2023 Indie Game Roundup

There were a lot of really cool indie games in April! Here’s some things you might be interested in! I hate writing intros!

The Aching

a person falling into a pool of green stuff

One of the games I was most excited for this month is The Aching. It’s an adventure game inspired by 80s Sierra adventure games but without the things in those games that annoy me like frequent softlocks, poor parser, and hugely problematic writing. I don’t mind deaths in adventure games but this doesn’t have those either and it actually has some fun puzzles that involve great harm happening to your character. I love the art and how it runs on basically everything, including DOS. It started as an entry in the DOS Games Jam I organize and it’s cool seeing how far it has come. It’s the first game publisher by DOS games publisher Hadrosaurus Software and hopefully many more will follow.


a bird and text saying "I get that in some regions they are an invasive species, in direct competition for resources with the"

Breathe is a relaxing walking simulator (their words, not mine!) by PRINCESS INTERNET CAFé. I was a huge fan of one of their previous games about a dying MMO, Running Back to You. I was impressed how this was made with a heavily modified version of Bitsy. It’s fun seeing how much people have changed Bitsy and I’m curious what they’ll do with it next.

Barren Planet

top down screenshot of two space armies fighting

Barren Planet is another DOS game that came out this month! I love seeing games come out for platforms that are supposed to be dead but people continue making exciting things for them. Barren Planet is a turn-based strategy game where two corporations battle on another planet. The campaign starts off pretty simple but introduces new mechanics and units with each level. I also got to beta test this one too!


two women french kissing

LesbiAnts is a rpg for the Game Boy with erotic elements. You play as a colony of ants investigating mysterious seed pods and fighting mutated insects. Not only do I love seeing games for “dead” platforms as stated above, it’s exciting to see queer games that Nintendo would never approve of being made for their platforms. The Itch page also has a playable demo in the browser if you want to try it out.

DOMINO CLUB Dream Gallery Jam

a computer desktop that looks like it's from the 90s

We also got a batch of new DOMINO CLUB games this month! DOMINO CLUB is a collective of game developers who anonymously create experimental games during jams that occur 1-2 times a year. Each jam has games doing really exciting and new things and there’s always a couple games in each jam that I absolutely love. If you’re looking for a place to start, why not try im doing better now or TRAUMAKT~4.SEXE

Making Niche Games Popular

I keep seeing a post on one of the social media sites that instead of trying to make niche genres like Interactive Fiction more mainstream and financially viable, people should just focus on the craft instead. And since people keep sharing this weird take that I strongly disagree with, I guess I have to explain why I don’t like it.

I really don’t think it’s unreasonable to want interactive fiction to be more mainstream and commercially viable nor do I think it’s an unobtainable goal. A lot of people read so why couldn’t reading with some interactivity be commercially successful too? It was a financially viable genre for like, 10-15 years, and could still be considered one if you’re talking about companies like Choice of Games and games like Lifeline being huge hits. Depending on your definition of the genre, visual novels are a part of IF and are massively popular.

Obviously capitalism is bad and there’s more to making games than if they can make a lot of money but why shouldn’t we push for more visibility of games that are only considered “niche” because don’t pander to some bro gamer culture. If we’re talking about games made with Twine and Ink, it’s one of the most approachable ways to make games and one of the genres where I see the most queer stories. I really think that the thing that keeps IF from being bigger, especially with non-parser IF, is that a lot of people who love to read just don’t know about it.