Indie Game Roundup (April 20, 2024)

A lot of neat stuff has come out in the last two weeks and it’s the funny number day, so here’s another one of these indie game roundup things of things that I enjoyed. If you released a thing and I missed it, feel free to reply in the comments.

Craig Maloney
Craig Maloney passed away on April 2nd after battling cancer for three years. I never met him in person but enjoyed talking with him online and reading his posts on his blog. If you would like to see his writing or the games he made, there’s links to everything on his page.

https://decafbad.net

black and white photo of an arena with text describing what they're seeing

New Domino Club games!
A new batch of Domino Club games has been released. Domino Club is a collective that releases games anonymously. Each batch of Domino Club games features incredibly interesting experimental stuff. They’re the best!

Palestinian Relief Bundle
A charity bundle just came out today with all proceeds going to the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund. For $8 or more you can get hundreds of games. I’m happy to have my game MindExplorer in there.

New Husky Game Development Games
Husky Game Development is a game dev group at Michigan Tech University since 2004. They’ve uploaded some new games to Itch so go check them out!

Tiny Circumstance
Tiny Circumstance is a really cute and technically impressive Bitsy game.

Broken Roads
If you’re in the mood for some more Fallout after watching the new tv show (I enjoyed it!), consider checking out Broken Roads, a post apocalyptic rpg in the Australian Outback. Reviews for it are currently mixed but maybe you’ll be into it?

Crowdfunding

Here are some crowdfunding campaigns that I found interesting:

  • Devil’s Hideout is a new point-and-click adventure from the developer of games like Twilight Oracle and Blood Nova.
  • Free Stars is a new Star Control game by the original designers in everything but name. The game even includes all the aliens from those original games.

Other People Talking About Indie Games

Indie Tsushin continues doing fantastic work with their developer spotlights.

I liked this post from Lotus that’s critical of the Triple-I Initiative.

Self Promo Zone

Not much from me this time. I continue to play lesser known games on my YouTube and Twitch channels and a previous post discusses a game I’m working on. I also have a list on Itch that I update every day with games I really like

Microsoft, Pay Me to Remake King’s Quest

Had a crisis, started remaking King’s Quest with clay

animated gif of king graham from King's Quest made out of clay and walking around in front of a castle

I absolutely half assed this clay model and the photos and it still took hours to digitize. All for a 15 second shitpost gif. It was really more of a proof of concept for myself and even with the very ugly clay model (or because of it?), I think it’s an interesting look. I also just wanted to see what the process of doing something like this would even be like and now I know. Had a lot of fun learning this stuff. All it really was was photographing that King Graham model and then using Aseprite to clean it up and digitize it. I also used Retrospecs to make it look a little more like the VGA era. Even though I rushed the model and photographs, it still took forever to import into Adventure Game Studio because I didn’t photograph it against a green screen.

I do like working with clay though and kinda want to make a game using it, just maybe a tiny bit more effort put into the models. Picked up more clay yesterday so we’ll see what I come up with after more practice.

That said, huge “could a depressed person make this?!” energy* coming from this gif, haha.

*I’m doing fine

I’m still working out what to even make with this knowledge so if any friends want to make a weird clay game (I can probably do better art than this) let me know.

Indie Game Roundup (April 5, 2024)

After taking a few weeks off because I now have a baby to take care off, I am doing another post about indie games stuff that was exciting to me over the last month. These probably won’t be weekly again for a while but I’m excited to post on here more often.

New Releases

The Gender Constellation Bundle
The Gender Constellation Bundle is the second bundle run by GAME DEV GALAXY, a Discord server for game developers who are gender-/sex-marginalized. There’s a ton of fantastic work in here and it’s available for only $10 or more.

Indiepocalypse #50 and 51
There is a new issue of the indie game compilation zine Indiepocalypse so of course I will include that on here. And of course, as I was typing this, Indiepocalypse #51 was just released.

Barney Bear Joins a Harold Team

bear pointing at a chalkboard that says "yes and"

This is a game created in Adventure Game Studio that is a parody of the Barney Bear educational game series but this time you learn about improv. Possibly the most important game to come out this year?

Make a Zine!
I really enjoyed this free zine about how to make a zine. You should make one!

Sylvie RPG
Sylvie RPG is a fantastic short rpg with a bump combat mechanic like in Hydlide and YS. It’s available for free but if you pay $7 or more, you get a lot of really cool bonus stuff.

miniBOSSGAME

a monster and two smiling faces in the corners

miniBOSSGAME is a fan port of BOSSGAME: The Final Boss Is My Heart’s mechanics to the Pico-8 fantasy console. BOSSGAME was one of my favorite games from last year and it’s fun to see a demake of it with the original designer’s blessing.

BIG HEAD

zx spectrum screenshot of two people and a platform

BIG HEAD is a neat little platformer created for the ZX Spectrum by a 10 year old.

The Legend of Skye

woman in a cloak in a village

The Legend of Skye is a new fantasy point-and-click adventure with a verb system like Lucasarts adventure games.

Brain Hotel: Remodeled

guy saying to another guy "Aren't you that guy? From that movie?"

Brain Hotel: Remodeled is a remake of a Flash game from 2004 by Telltale Games alumni Mark Darin. I haven’t played this one yet but I’m a fan of his Nick Bounty games.

Picotron

desktop for the picotron showing a terminal window open

Picotron is a new Fantasy Workstation by the creator of PICO-8 for making pixelart games, animations, music, demos and other curiosities.

Downpour
Downpour is a new app for making little games on your phone. I think it’s pretty fantastic and even made my own little game.

Passage: A Job Interview Simulator

person saying "Should I go over weird questions next? Or should I review basic questions again?"

Passage is a new visual novel from Emcat Games about navigating the corporate world. It’s from a local dev too so that’s always exciting for me. The publisher is Mangotronics, who also published the great Mangotronic Employment Collection.

Llamasoft: The Jeff Minter Story

screen showing that 21st March 1982 was the origin of the name Llamasoft

I am a massive fan of the rerelease work by Digital Eclipse so of course I would be thrilled when they announced a collection of games by Jeff Minter. It’s everything I hoped it would be and will probably be my Game of the Year.

Midnight Scenes: A Safe Place

guy in his room saying "what the hell is this?"

Midnight Scenes is an anthology of short horror point and click adventures and the newest entry, A Safe Place, was just released. Each game ranges from 15-90 minutes long and only costs a few dollars. Haven’t played this one yet but I really enjoyed everything else by the designer. A Safe Place is available on Itch.io and Steam.

The New York Times Simulator
The New York Times Simulator is a short browser game about how much the NYT shows their ass. Great game about an awful place.

Other Folks Talking About Indie Games

After a hiatus, Bobbins’ Olde Tomb of Videogames is back! It’s like these posts but better, and with more of a focus on arcade games.

I really liked this post from Autumn Rain on cohost about games she liked in 2023

I just found out about a nice fan zine for the Playdate called Uncrank’d.

Kickstarters/Crowdfunding

After ignoring Kickstarter for a long time, 3 crowdfunding campaigns popped up in two days that I had to back.

  • Devil’s Hideout is a point-and-click adventure by Cosmic Void, who I’ve always been a fan of. There’s a demo available that I enjoyed too.
  • That Rug is a supernatural ttrpg zine that uses children’s playmats that every parent has.
  • Street Wolves is a synthwave ttrpg using the Savage Worlds rule system.

Self Promo Zone

If you enjoy these posts, here’s some ways you can support me:

Indie Game Roundup (Feb. 16, 2024)

Hope you’re all doing well! I’m still getting over a cold that has actually been pretty mild but I’m a big baby so I’m acting like it’s the worst thing ever. For some of you it’s probably a 3 day weekend as well, so that’s a nice thing to look forward to. Despite my mild cold completely ruining my life, I still found a way to play some video games. If there’s something I missed, especially if it’s something you worked on, please reply with it in the comments or contact me (see About page) with a link to your thing.

Vaporwave Pinball

top down view of a pinball table with a statue and roman columns to its right

Vaporwave Pinball is an upcoming pinball game being developed by Mixtape Games UK. I played the demo as part of Steam’s Next Fest. I thought it was really neat. It’s got some quirks that should be fixed as development continues and I didn’t get to the more abstract tables that pop up in the screenshots. I feel like if a pinball table in a video game is not a 1:1 recreation of a real table, then it needs to get really weird, which is what this seems to do in later tables and something that I feel like Pinball FX needs to do more of with their fictional tables. I’m also learning how to do Let’s Plays and did one here.

Lost in Space

a boy, a man, and a robot around a space ship console

Lost in Space is an upcoming point-and-click adventure game based on the classic science fiction tv show. I played the demo and idk, it’s fine! They picked a weird spot for the demo. From watching the trailer at the end, it sounds like they use audio from the show for some of the other characters but not the player, which is the thing I was actually most interested in and how that’s pulled off. It’s a completely average adventure game, meaning I’m kinda just fine with it but would lose my shit if they made game at this quality level of a different IP, like a Farscape adventure game. So if you like Lost in Space then I would recommend it! (YouTube Let’s Play)

Lee Carvallo’s Putting Challenge 2

game boy screenshot of a golfer in bed saying "Mornin Morty! I bet you're as excited for the Springfield Cup as I am!"

Lee Carvallo’s Putting Challenge 2 is a point-and-click adventure for the Game Boy based on a joke at the end of an episode of The Simpsons back in season 7. It’s not too long or challenging, took me about 30 minutes to beat, but the jokes really worked for me and there’s a lot of hidden jokes I didn’t see but know I missed because of the achievement system. The game is also playable in the browser. (YouTube Let’s Play)

8BUTTERF.EXE

Gameplay footage of 8BUTTERF.EXE

8BUTTERF.EXE is a bullet hell game made for the TIC-80 fantasy computer where time only passes when you move. I really enjoyed this game and highly recommend checking it out. Elements of it almost make it feel like a puzzle game in that you have to manage your resources and plan your movements ahead. It’s playable in the browser here.

Kobold Quest
Just a very pleasant and short Bitsy where you’re a Kobold. (Itch.io)

Gelatinous
A solo tabletop rpg where you play as a gelatinous cube and eat things. Don’t know how I can sell it better than that. (Itch.io)

Advanced Fantasy Dungeons
A tabletop rpg available as pay-what-you-want that is strongly inspired by Advanced Dungeons and Dragons 2nd Edition and compatible with supplements as well. Despite that era being kind of clunky, it’s what I grew up with so I have a ton of nostalgia for it. I’m interested in seeing how that type of game is redesigned to be a bit more approachable. (Itch.io)

Arzette: The Jewel of Faramore

Arzette: The Jewel of Faramore is a spiritual sequel to the infamous Zelda platforming games on the Philips CD-i. Weirdly enough, I do sorta have some nostalgia for those games, despite being pretty awful, since I actually played them at a CompUSA when they came out and was confused why there were non-traditional Zelda games out there and on a non-Nintendo console. I always get excited when people do a spiritual sequel to something that wasn’t good and my hope with this is that the approach was “what if we did one of these but it was good?” Because why not? We have plenty of remakes and sequels to good games. Let’s revisit things that maybe had some good idea but the execution wasn’t 100% perfect.

Ultros

I know nothing about this game other than it’s a metroidvania but look at this art! I think it’s lovely. (Steam)

News Tower

news tower screenshot of a side view of a tower

I haven’t played this one but the concept is really interesting to me and I heard good things about the demo. It’s a game where you run your own newspaper and looks pretty great. The game is available in Early Access on Steam.

Other People Talking About Games
There’s also lots of other people talking about indie games that you should follow:

And then finally on my YouTube channel I’ve uploaded footage of games I’ve played like Super Space Club, Glypha: Vintage, and Dead Petals Bliss.

Starting a YouTube Account

So a few days ago I’ve started uploading videos to my YouTube account, partially to share my experiences playing games, partially to spread awareness of indie games I enjoy, and also to document games that don’t have videos, either because they’re lost games or because they’re indie games that are just too obscure.

Since my interest is mostly in adventure games and interactive fiction, I guess my question now is: What is the ideal Let’s Play for an indie game developer’s game? The last thing I want to do is cost a sale of a game I liked because someone just watched my playthrough instead. Commentary or no? Just the first 30 minutes of a game and then I just play the rest offline? Does this differ if the game is free vs being paid? I’m guessing it’s fine to play through an entire thing if it’s a demo or free game. So what I may do is if it’s a new commercial game, I’ll play for 30-60 minutes and then do the rest offline? But I would love to know from game developers what they think in the comments or replies.

Indie Game Roundup (Feb. 9, 2024)

Here’s what I’ve been excited about this week. Let me know if you’re working on something that I missed!

two cartoon mice sitting at a table
Screenshot from Esther’s

Indiepocalypse 49
The newest edition of the monthly indie games compilation zine is out and features a lovely assortment of games. I recommend Esther’s, a really cute interactive fiction game.

Threes
Threes is now available on Steam! It’s probably my most played iOS game so I hesitant to fall down that wormhole again, but it’s really a great little game.

futuristic looking platformer
Screenshot from Q.P.I.D.

Q.P.I.D
Digital Eclipse has released another game in their Digital Eclipse Arcade, a series of small games inspired by 80s arcade games. Digital Eclipse is much more known for rereleasing old games but these are pretty neat too and this one is free.

3 characters climbing steps in a dungeon
Screenshot from Stairup

Stairup
Stairup is the newest game from the anonymous game dev collective Domino Club. It’s a very short turn based rpg made with RPG Maker MV where you climb a series of stairs and stuff happens. It’s got some very good writing and I thought it was funny. Playable in the browser on Itch.

Canabalt
The classic endless runner has been ported to HTML 5 and the source has been posted to Github. You can play it in the browser/download it for free on Itch.io.

TTRPG Bundle for Trans Youth
A game developer is raising funds for their local trans youth group Emerge and has put together a bundle on Itch featuring tabletop rpgs from a ton of different game developers. You can buy it on Itch for $5 or more.

Cookie Cat Grandma
A local game developer has started working on a chill platformer game and I think it looks really nice! Follow them on YouTube for further updates on the game.

(Per Person) Refillable
(Per Person) Refillable (playable in browser) is a very short and lovely interactive fiction filled with nice art about ordering too many lemon ice teas.

Nesterin Trail
We got a new text adventure for the Commodore 64! Available as pay-what-you-want, it’s also playable on modern computers.

person's face in a chair saying "welcome to ur internship"

Meatverse
Meatverse is a short horror adventure developed for a game jam about an office made from humans.

a pixel art cave with spiders and frogs

Mushroom Soup
Mushroom Soup is a new platformer for the ZX Spectrum 128. Available for free on Itch.io

man telling a woman "This hospital is strangely silent for a medical facility"

Devil’s Hideout
Devil’s Hideout is an upcoming horror point-and-click adventure by Cosmic Void. I’ve enjoyed everything else by this developer so I know I’ll pick this up when it comes out too.

Mops & Mobs: A Sweeping Dungeon Novel
Mops & Mobs is a prototype of a game where you have started working in a dungeon and helping the various creatures with tasks that need to be done. It controls a lot like your traditional dungeon crawlers like Dungeon Master but is essentially the opposite of those. Instead of walking around and murdering everything you see, you’re cleaning and decorating the dungeon, and talking to the creatures that have defeated previous adventurers. It’s a really good game and I’m looking forward to future versions of the game. I actually just started a YouTube channel to get footage of various tiny indie games and you can watch my Let’s Play of the game here, although the game is only 15-20 minutes long and I highly recommend it.

Other People Talking About Games

There’s also lots of cool people talking about indie games elsewhere. The Adventure Games Podcast has put out two videos this last week. The first video is about adventure games released this month and the second video is about games that aren’t adventure games but are very narrative focused.

On startmenu Kate Robinson hightlights some of the best sleeper hits Of 2023.

The Pixel Prophet has a regular newsletter that highlights indie games and other folks talking about indie games.

Adventure Game Hotspot has done a massive roundup of demos for adventure games in the Steam Next Fest.

The Museum of Screens regularly highlights browser games you should play as well as preserving browser games of the past.

Indie Hell Zone highlighted some demos from the Steam Next Fest.

Bobbins’ Olde Tomb of Videogames continues to do an excellent job highlighting new arcade games.

Anyone Can Make a Game with FMV

When the use of cd-roms for games became mainstream in the 90s, there was a massive explosion of people taking advantage of all that extra space by adding full motion video to their games. A lot of great games were released during this time but it became a short lived trend since there were also a lot of bad games released. Having grown up playing a lot of these games, I’m now (mostly unironically) a fan of FMV in games and love seeing what new games are using it on Steam and Itch. While FMV can limit what kind of games can be made, I think it also has advantages. Video of real people or things can possibly help players connect to the story being told and even low budget or bad FMV can be charming. While it sounds intimidating to record something for a game, it doesn’t mean it must be a big production and there are a lot of tools to easily add video to your game.

Adventure Game Studio
Adventure Game Studio is a free and open source game engine for making point-and-click adventure games. While most games made with the engine are 3rd person adventure games, the engine can be used in a variety of ways. This excellent tutorial by Space Quest Historian shows how someone who has never used AGS before can make a first-person game that uses FMV. Even if you have no interest in using AGS, there’s some good advice in here.

  • Anyone can record video for a game as long as you have a smartphone. Making FMV doesn’t mean you need to have massive camera, people doing makeup and lighting, and a cast of actors. I’ll talk about it later but last year I made a game with my cat and an iPhone.
  • Plan all the video you’re shooting in advance – Make sure you know everything you’ll have to film before you start shooting your game. It will be a massive headache to go back and get more video once you’re halfway through coding the game and realize that you forgot to film something.
  • Organize your videos – Make sure you have a good folder structure and naming scheme for your videos. If you have a lot of little video clips, it can quickly become overwhelming to figure out what videos are used for what.

Charles Engine for Unity
If you are more interested in doing a Choose Your Own Adventure/branching narrative game, I can recommend the Charles Engine plugin for Unity as an option. The Charles Engine was made by Charles Games, developer of games like Attentat 1942 and Svoboda 1945. I made a very tiny FMV game using this plugin with my cat last year and while I would maybe recommend having an actor less difficult to direct than a cat, making a game with the plugin was very easy and the engine provides an easy to use tool to plot out all the nodes and branching that your interactive story will use. But the plugin can do more than just interactive movies and the tutorial that comes with the plugin has you eventually creating a game set on a fake computer desktop, kind of like making your own version of Her Story.

a picture of my cat and asking if she stole my chicken nuggets
A screenshot of the game I made with Charles Engine

Narrat
Narrat is a lovely tool for making interactive fiction games, with a layout that seems to be inspired by RPGs like Disco Elysium. But that’s not all it can do. The creator of the engine also made A Walk Through the Forest, a short interactive fiction game where you walk on a trail through a forest while the narrator talks about their personal thoughts. Parts of the game can have you looking at video of parts of the trail. Narrat also has integration with Godot if you prefer to work in that engine. Hopefully one of the takeaways from this post is that your game doesn’t even need to have people in it, it can just be video of nature or animals.

screenshot from a walk through the forest showing a trail in a forest
A screenshot from A Walk Through the Forest

Twine
Even Twine can be used to play full motion video. Issue 36 of Wireframe magazine (RIP) has a tutorial on how you can do this. The article’s author also has two demos of this on their Itch page. One demo uses footage from the film Plan 9 from Outer Space while the other one recreates the dialog system from one of my favorite games The Beast Within: A Gabriel Knight Mystery.

plan 9 from outer space playing inside of Twine
Twine can play video like this clip from Plan Nine From Outer Space

Ren’Py
Ren’Py is the game engine of choice for Oh, A Rock! Studios, who has made a few games with video like Internet Court and The Awkward Steve Duology. The functionality to play video in games is built into the engine and from reading the official documentation, doesn’t seem too difficult.

a bearded man laying on the floor with the choices "Answer the Door", "Get in Box", and "Ask the internet"
Screenshot from The Awkward Steve Duology

GDevelop
I was recommended the tool GDevelop by game developer Damon L. Wakes. They added video into their golfing game Nine Hole Ninja because they felt it was the easiest way to add a story in the final hours of the game jam. What they liked about using GDevelop (link to Mastodon post) was that videos are game objects just like sprites or particle emitters: you drag them where you want on screen, and then there are events to start/pause/show/hide them based on conditions you choose. Nine Hole Ninja plays them over top of each level when it starts, then deletes them when they’re done.

I hope this post was useful and you’ll consider putting video in your next game, whether it’s a personal story or a total schlock fest. I also recommend this article that lists 10 tips from folks that have made games with FMV before. If there’s other tools that you use for this type of thing, please let me know in the comments!

Indie Game Roundup (Feb. 2, 2024)

Happy Groundhog Day. The groundhog has risen and said there will be 6 more weeks of video games. Does the weird Groundhog Day VR adventure game sequel from a few years ago count as an indie game? Anyway, if you recently released something that you want included, always feel free to send me an email, message me on social media (see About page), or just reply to this post with a link to your thing to let me know it’s out.

photo of two people tinted blue and someone saying "Come on over, let's head in"

Full o’ Beans
Full o’ Beans is a short visual novel on Itch where you help two researchers explore the world of humor by telling jokes. I really enjoyed the writing and music in this game and I will always get excited about photos of people being used in video games.

Zine Month
It’s zine month in the world of tabletop rpgs, meaning tons of people are launching crowdfunding campaigns on a variety of platforms. I’ll probably do a post later listing some of the campaigns I’m interested in but take a look around and see what people are looking to fund, or see what ttrpg folks are talking about on social media.

gif of someone on an alien beach with a floating fish

Twilight Oracle
Twilight Oracle is a new point-and-click adventure by the creator of other fun adventure games like The Corruption Within and Blood Nova. I’ve only played the demo but it’s really good and I’m looking forward to playing through the whole game now that I got my key from backing the Kickstarter. The game is available on Itch.io and Steam.

top down view of boats on water

Waterworld: a New Expansion for Barren Planet
Barren Planet was a new turn based strategy game for DOS that was released for free last year which I really enjoyed, so it’s nice to see that it’s receiving big updated as well. You can download the game for free on the developer’s site but it’s also on Itch.

3D view of Celeste and floating platforms

Celeste 64
Celeste 64 is a free 3D platformer take on Celeste by (I think?) the developers of the original. It’s in the style of early 3D platformers and it’s great. I’m awful at it, as I always have been with 3D platformers, but it’s a very good version of one of these.

toes being tickled by a feather

Teddy Typtoes Tickle Tower
Teddy Typtoes Tickle Tower is a new typing game playable in the browser where you type and tickle someone’s toes. I don’t know what else to say about this one other than it’s a GOTY contender.

gif of a space person peeking from a wall

Under a Star Long Cold
Under a Star Long Cold is a new stealth action game with perma death where you have 30 minutes to loot a place before the planet is destroyed. I haven’t played this one yet but I’ve enjoyed previous games by Merlino Games like The Chameleon and Luckily, My Arm is a Shotgun.

The Forever Labyrinth
The Forever Labyrinth is a new browser game created by Inkle in collaboration with Google. I actually know nothing about the game since I haven’t played it yet but it’s an Inkle game so I’ll probably enjoy playing it. The YouTube trailer (which also has a link to the game) was interesting. I don’t know how Inkle keeps secretly dropping games like this.

Other People Talking About Video Games

There’s also other people who are much cooler than I am who are talking about all the cool things coming out. You should follow these folks

Bobbins’ Olde Tomb of Videogames has a weekly post rounding up various games that have come out in the last week, with more of a focus on arcade games and remakes of retro games. The same person used to run a site called Retro Remakes 20 years ago and holy cow, I used to spend so much time on there playing remakes of old video games. It was the best. So it’s great that I’m still finding about remakes of old video games from him.

LotusLovesLotus has a very nice video on YouTube of 24 indie PC games that she’s looking forward to. I didn’t even know of most of the games in the video.

Indie Tsushin is still regularly streaming indie games from Japan on their YouTube channel. They also post about all the games they streamed, with links to the games, if you want to check them out yourself.

Nathalie Lawhead has a great post on their blog about liminal spaces and indie horror games.

Indie Game Roundup (Jan. 19, 2024)

Despite losing my power one day this week and my internet going in and out over the weekend, I still had time to play video games. If you recently released something that you want included, always feel free to send me an email, message me on social media (see About page), or just reply to this post with a link to your thing to let me know it’s out. Or even if you didn’t make it and you just think it’s neat, let me know!

little person on a platformer

Sylvie Miniature
Sylvie Miniature is a short challenging platformer that is playable in the browser. The source code is available too if you wanted to see how it was made.

Pinochio inside a castle

The New Secret of Pinocchio
For the 30th anniversary of the Russian ZX Spectrum game “The Adventures of Buratino” its creator released a Windows remake of it and extended it with new material. It’s available for free on Itch.

Music Maker 95
Music Maker 95 is a little synth playable in the browser on Itch where you play with some retro sounds in an interface resembling a program from the 90s.

robocop flying and shooting at the Predator

Robocop Vs Predator
Robocop Vs Predator is a free game inspired by Game Boy games that were weird crossovers like Robocop Vs Terminator or Iron Man And X-O Manowar. It’s a very silly and challenging action platformer.

view outside of clouds and a giant tower

Slave Zero X: Episode Enyo
Slave Zero X: Episode Enyo is a free prequel to Slave Zero X, which was a recent 2D action game which itself was a prequel to Slave Zero, a 3rd person action game from 1999. I have played neither of those games but I’m excited about people making free Quake episodes to promote their game, which is what this is. It’s a lot of effort too. The 6 level episode features new guns, enemies, and soundtrack.

Boyfriend Dungeon: Life On the Edge
Boyfriend Dungeon: Life On the Edge is an official tabletop rpg based off Boyfriend Dungeon. I was a fan of the original game and also have a fascination with official tabletop rpg adaptations so I hope to play this soon. I’m also relieved that it’s not another 5E reskin and it’s a unique system based on Rhapsody of Blood and Powered By the Apocalypse.

cartoonish person in a kitchen

Day of the Sandwich
Day of the Sandwich is a cute little adventure game about making a sandwich, inspired by Day of the Tentacle and made in Adventure Game Studio and playable in the browser. I didn’t even know AGS games could be playable in the browser so that alone was exciting to me. It was made for a 14 day game jam and you can watch them develop it on their Twitch stream. If you would like to make a point-and-click adventure in the free and open source engine Adventure Game Studio, I highly recommend this tutorial by Julia Minamata, who is currently developing The Crimson Diamond.

Rise to the Commander of the Wolf Triad
Rise to the Commander of the Wolf Triad is a browser game made in PICO-8 where you climb a tower and throw bombs at Commander Keen? It’s a late entry to the Toy Box Jam, which is hosted by Tom Hall (Commander Keen, Wolfenstein 3D, Doom) every year on Itch where developers must make a game using the collection of assets that are provided to them.

Gex Jam 2024
Do you miss 90’s platformer mascot Gex? Well there’s a jam coming up in a month where you can make anything featuring the guy.

Posts About Puzzle Games
There were two recent posts about indie puzzle games that I really liked. Thinky Third Thursday is a monthly roundup of puzzle games by the designer of puzzle games like A Monster’s Expedition, Cosmic Express, and A Good Snowman is Hard to Build. There was also this post on Cohost highlighting A TON of puzzle games.

top down view of a knight fighting monsters in a dungeon

Rogue Declan
After posting about Amiga games last week, someone mentioned this very nice looking Amiga game that was released last year. It looks like its got a boxed copy available for pre-order too.

Games I’m Looking Forward to in 2024

Last year I wrote a list of the game I’m looking forward to in 2023 and had a lot of fun so I’m doing it again. If you don’t see your game on here, don’t be weird about it! It’s just a blog where someone that is still waking up is trying to remember games they’re looking forward to. It is not a serious games site. I once posted a recipe by the guy from Ernest Scared Stupid. Come on. Some of these are repeats of last year’s list, because it turns out making games is hard and it’s a miracle anything gets released. If you think any of these games look cool, consider adding them to your wishlist so you can help with whatever algorithms are used to get.

If there’s a game you’re excited for that isn’t on here, let me know about it! This can include stuff you’re working on.

The Crimson Diamond

screenshot of a wooden cabin and two women inside

The Crimson Diamond is a point-and-click adventure game strongly influenced by Sierra’s 1989 adventure game The Colonel’s Bequest. I’ve been following the development of the game for a while now through the developer’s weekly dev streams and the demo on the game’s Steam page and everything indicates this should be a great mystery to solve. This was on last year’s list but from watching the dev streams, it looks like development is getting close to the end and I’m confident it will come out this year.

Exophobia

first person view of a gun shooting at large bugs

Exophobia is a Metroidvania FPS inspired by FPS from the 90s. I enjoyed my time with the demo when it came out. I don’t know if the Blake Stone series was an inspiration for this game but it reminds me of that era of FPS instead of most of the retro FPS revival shooters that seem to be inspired by ID Software and Build-engine games. This was also on last year’s last but the release date lists 2024 so I’m hopeful that I’ll get to play it soonish.

Princess Peach: Showtime!

princess peach holding a sword

Not an indie game but I’m mostly excited for this one because my kids are excited. Princess Peach is their favorite character and it’s nice that we’re getting a game focused on her. I generally enjoy Nintendo’s games so I’ll probably have a good time with it.

She Dreams Elsewhere

a combat screen showing a variety of strange looking foes

She Dreams Elsewhere is a surreal RPG with a stunning art style. The art and creature design look wild and I’m looking forward to exploring this world when the game comes out.

Super Cucumber

aardvark with a cape shooting a fireball at a platform

Super Cucumber is a 2D platformer where you play as an aardvark superhero. I liked the dev’s previous game Down the Drain and have had fun playing the beta of this too.

Twilight Oracle

guy standing outside of a cave entrance

Twilight Oracle is a fantasy comedy point-and-click adventure by the developer of games like Blood Nova and The Corruption Within. I’ve enjoyed playing all the other games by this dev and the demo for this was solid too. It comes out at the end of the month so I won’t have to wait very long to play the final version of this game.

Kitsune Tails

an enemy being kicked into other enemies

Kitsune Tails is a 2D platformer that looks like is inspired by Super Mario Bros. 3. I really like the previous platformers by the studio and I think this one looks really cute!

The Last Exterminator

first person view of a gun pointing at an alien who also has a gun

The Last Exterminator is a FPS inspired by games from the 90s like Duke Nukem 3D and Blood where you fight alien cockroaches. Sure, I’ll play another one of these. There’s a demo I should probably try first but I do like that it looks like the 90s Duke Nukem Forever that we never got so assuming that demo is fun, I’ll probably pick this up too.

Harold Halibut

man satanding inside of a storage room filled with boxes

Harold Halibut is an adventure game life on a city-sized spaceship submerged in an alien ocean. I really love the stop motion aesthetics the game has.

Tactical Breach Wizards

a wizard shooting lightning at two people

Tactical Breach Wizards is the newest game by Tom Francis, designer of Gunpoint and Heat Signature. It looks to be a fun tactics game with a fantasy influence and the screenshots showing off dialog indicate that it has the same humor his earlier games had.

Acronia

person shooting a rocket to the upper right while on a platform

Acronia is a queer DOS game inspired by Apogee-era shareware games such as Duke Nukem 1 and BioMenace. It’s been fun following the studio on social media and seeing the game come together and get a soundtrack. I loved the alpha version of the game that is available on their Itch page and hope that we see a full version released this year.

Gobliins 6

the logo for Gobliins 6

Last year’s Gobliiins 5 was a surprisingly good revival of the series and it’s exciting that a new one has already been announced and is currently in development. There’s not much that we know about it other than what I covered in my post here but it makes me happy that the series is back.

Wonky Works

a little blue guy shooting fireballs at green guys in cloaks

Wonky Works is the newest game in development by ondydev. I don’t know much about it but I’m a fan of the developer’s previous games like Tres-Bashers and Binky’s Trash Service.

Captain Disaster and The Two Worlds of Riskara

guy in spaceship with slug people in cells

This year we should see the third game in the Captain Disaster series. The first two games were fun sci-fi adventures and I’m really impressed by the improvement in art style in the screenshots that have been posted so far.

Sam & Max Season 3 Remaster

It’s not really a new game but I’ve enjoyed the remasters of Telltale’s Sam & Max games by Skunkape. They make the games look like how I remember the game looking and not how they actually looked, and are generally hands off with the content of the game, only making small changes to parts where the humor has not and other small enhancements. The Sam & Max series got better with each season so I’m looking forward to revisiting the best one Telltale made. It sounds like this one has taken longer to do due to all the technical changes Telltale was making to the engine at the time but it will be worth the wait since this was also the best entry in the series.

The Drifter

a group of homeless people in a tunnel

The Drifter is a point-and-click adventure by Powerhoof, developers of games like Crawl. This is their first commercial adventure game but they’ve done a few short, free adventure games that I’ve enjoyed. It’s developed with their Unity plugin PowerQuest and it’s nice seeing another tool pop up for adventure game developers as well.

Rosewater

3 people standing outside a large building in the old west

Rosewater is the next point-and-click adventure by developer Grundislav Games. It’s a western set in the same universe as their previous game, Lamplight City. I’m excited for the diverse cast of characters, focus on multiple solutions, and love the rotoscoped animations.

Neyyah

view of a very tall metallic building surrounded by water

Neyyah is a first-person point-and-click adventure inspired by Myst and Riven. The game looks absolutely amazing to me and it will be fun playing one of these types of games that isn’t by Cyan.

Nivalis

view of a very tall cyberpunk city with flying cars

Nivalis looks to be a business simulator set in a cyberpunk city, but looks to have some narrative elements as well. It’s by the developers of Cloudpunk, which I really enjoyed, so this is one I’m looking forward to.

Ghost Bike

two people riding bikes in a city

Ghost Bike has you riding around in a semi-open world on a bicycle so yeah, of course I’ll be interested in that. I think it looks nice and the music should be good too, even if the record label advertised in the trailer turned out to be a bunch of buttholes when news came out that Chromatics broke up. Plus it’s by the developers of Nidhogg, so that’s neat.

Fiend’s Isle

sword pointing at a low poly skeleton

There’s not really a whole lot known about Fiend’s Isle but it’s a dungeon crawler inspired by 90s game which is absolutely a thing just for me.

Agent 64

shootout on a staircase

Agent 64 is a new FPS inspired by Rare’s classic N64 games Goldeneye and Perfect Dark. I think it emulates the style of those games perfectly and the demo, which is available on the Steam page, was a lot of fun.

Still Ridge – A Supernatural Adventure Game

a man standing inside an office in a low poly environment

Still Ridge is a point-and-click adventure game with a retro-aesthetic set in a West Virginia town. You play as a dream traveling therapist investigating a murder he witnessed in his dreams. The developer of this one previous did some stuff in the HauntedPS1 community and from the little bit I’ve followed of this game, it seems to be made with a lot of love for older adventure games.

Loco Motive

people talking on a train

I loved the original version of this game that appeared in the 2020 AdventureX game jam and this looks like a nice remake of that game with improved graphics. I’m interested in seeing how they expand the story as well.

Riven

view of a bridge inside a mountain

Hell yes, cannot wait for this one. I don’t even know if it’s coming out this year but it still deserves a mention. Their remake of Myst in 2021 was very good so I’m excited to see what they do with this. It sounds like they’re expanding and reworking parts of the game too so it’s not a straightforward 3D remake like their Myst remake was. Even if the remake was just a 3D version of the game it would be a massive project, so I’m not going to be surprised if it takes another year to come out. I’ll miss the great FMV in the original game but the few screenshots they have look great.

Zid Journey

cartoon drawing of two dinosaurs on a trail

Zid Journey is the sequel to Zniw Adventure, a wonderful cartoon adventure game inspired by classic Humongous Entertainment adventure games. Since this looks like more of that, I will be happy to play this as well.

Dream Settler

view of a website called Settler's Park

I will play absolutely everything in the Hypnospace Outlaw universe. Loved that game and loved Slayers X, so I will be buying Dreamsettler on day 1.

Duppy Detective Tashia

a woman asking "Why is this boy intent on trying my patience? How may I help you today?"

Duppy Detective Tashia is a choice-driven adventure based on Caribbean folklore. I think the artwork looks very nice and I liked the puzzle game that spritewrench released last year, On the Peril of Parrots.

Phoenix Springs

two people in front of projection screens

Phoenix Springs is a point-and-click adventure where you are searching for your missing brother. I think the artwork in this looks beautiful, especially when it’s in motion.

Stunt Derby

cars driving over a track while a tower of blocks is falling

Stunt Derby is Noclip’s first video game. It’s just a very goofy multiplayer game where you drive around on tracks and have fun with the physics. The demo was a lot of fun and I think it’s supposed to be a lower cost game too. It reminded me a little of the DOS game stunts in how simplistic it is, but in a good way.

Hauntii

black and white art of someone walking through the woods on a trail

Hauntii is a twin-stick shooter/adventure game. I don’t know a whole lot about the game but I think it looks really nice and it’s supposed to come out in Q2 2024.

Tachyon Dreams Anthology

person walking outside and text saying "pick berry"

Tachyon Dreams Anthology is a collection of three games that were previously released on Itch but with some minor tweaks and new content added. They’re all inspired by Sierra’s 80s parser graphic adventures. I really enjoyed those games so I’ll happily play them again.

Enoch: Children of Fate

woman standing outside of a building in a cyberpunk world

Enoch: Children of Fate is a cyberpunk point-and-click adventure. I don’t know a whole lot about it or the developer but I think it has some nice pixel art so it’s going on my wishlist.

Dome-King Cabbage

hand modeled creature wanting to thank you

Dome-King Cabbage is a visual novel set in the world of a monster collecting rpg. Man, look at that art.

Midnight Margo

cartoon people sitting inside a bar

Midnight Margo is a new adventure game by the developers of Whispers of a Machine. I really enjoyed that one and I know the art style for this game is divisive but I’m really into it.

Ashbury Pines

a man talking to you while showing a grid of people in a table

Ashbury Pines is an idle game where you solve a murder in a small town. I haven’t played that many idle games but I’m so curious how a Twin Peaks-inspired murder mystery game works in the format.

Roman Sands RE:Build

view of a dark night club

Roman Sands is a surreal mystery game by the developers of Paratopic. Really enjoyed that game and I’m into the Y2K aesthetic this one has.

Llamasoft: The Jeff Minter Story

screenshot of a spaceship shooting lightning at ships in an arcade game

Llamasoft: The Jeff Minter Story is the one that will probably end up being my game of the year in 2024. I really love what Digital Eclipse has done with their previous releases like Atari 50 and the Making of Karateka, and now they’re doing a compilation on one of my favorite game designers. I don’t know how they’ll ever be able to top this.

The Legend of Skye

woman in a cloak outside of a village

The Legend of Skye is a fantasy point-and-click adventure game inspired by games from the 90s. Sometimes I just want a cozy adventure game and that looks like a well made version one of those.

Twinsen’s Little Big Adventure

isometric view of a man outside a house

Twinsen’s Little Big Adventure is a remake of the game from the 90s. I was really impressed with the beta version I tried. Having controls that aren’t frustrating definitely changes the game, but I think the spirit of the original is still there. The new art is a nice update of the original’s too.

The Ape Painting

isometric view of a room with a painting crushing a man

In The Ape Painting, your date’s hideous painting has fallen off the wall and killed him, leaving you trapped in an apartment of nightmares. I really liked Cain’s previous interactive fiction game WASTE EATER and I’m looking forward to playing something bigger.

Heir of the Dog

a man in an 1800s laboratory

Heir of the Dog is a new point-and-click adventure by the developer of Lucy Dreaming. Really like what I played of that one so once I finish that, I’ll have this to look forward to.

Vaporwave Pinball

a pinball table with a vaporwave aesthetic outside of it

I enjoyed the demo I played for Vaporwave Pinball so as long as the full game is more of that then I’ll be happy.

Broken Sword – Shadow of the Templars: Reforged

a man digging through garbage outside of an exploded building in Paris

I like that first Broken Sword, although probably not as much as most adventure game fans seem to, so any excuse to revisit it is fine with me. The updated visuals look nice and it seems to remove the stuff that was added in the “Director’s Cut” of the game that kinda ruined the pacing, so this will probably be the version I end up recommending to other people.

Broken Sword – Parzival’s Stone

a man walking through the streets of Paris

We’re getting two Broken Sword games this year! It sure looks like another Broken Sword so sure, ok, I’ll play this one as well.

BlueSuburbia

white butterflies in the sky at night over a stream

BlueSuburbia is a first-person interactive fiction game that is currently available for free but in Early Access form. I really like what I’ve played and I’m looking forward to seeing how this game continues to grow.

Dread Delusion

sword pointing at a weird blue monster

Dread Delusion is another game currently in Early Access. It’s a fantasy rpg heavily inspired by Morrowind. I haven’t actually picked this one up yet but I will sometime this year and I get to look forward to it growing and having more weird things added to it.

SKALD: Against the Black Priory

top-down view of people outside a castle

SKALD is a party-based rpg inspired by 80s CRPGs. I haven’t played the demo yet but I really like how it looks, I’m interested in the setting they’ve been showing off so far, and as a fan of the era of games that inspired it, I’m looking forward to seeing how they modernize that style of game.

Old Skies

two people sitting in a futuristic cafe

Old Skies is the newest game developed by point-and-click adventure game studio Wadjet Eye Games. While they’ve produced other adventure games in recent years like The Excavation of Hob’s Barrow, this will be the first they’ve developed since Unavowed. The time travel premise sounds like a lot of fun and it features great art by Ben Chandler.

Nighthawks

Nighthawks is a RPG written and designed by Richard Cobbett (Sunless Sea/Sunless Skies) with art by Ben Chandler (Technobabylon, PISS), and produced by Wadjet Eye Games. From following the Kickstarter updates, the worldbuilding seems like a lot of fun and it should be a pretty lengthy game.

Little Nemo and the Nightmare Fiends

two people riding a bed with long legs

Little Nemo and the Nightmare Fiends is a 2D platformer based on the Little Nemo comic series. I think the art is fantastic and as a fan of the character ever since I played the NES game many years ago, it’s nice to see another video game being made starring the character. 

Alone in the Dark

man in an old, empty house

Being a fan of Alone in the Dark is the video game equivalent of being a Weezer fan. There hasn’t been a good entry in the series since the first game and even that one gets harder to recommend to people because of the gameplay mechanics aging poorly over time. However, this one is a remake of the first game, set in the early 1900s, and has two playable characters again so could this finally be another good Alone in the Dark game? Maybe?

Are there any games you’re looking forward to that haven’t been mentioned here? Please let me know! It can also include games that you are working on. I want to know about everything!