Some TTRPGs I Liked This Month (December 2023)

After a bit of a break, I started playing tabletop rpgs again. It helped that I had some time off at the end of the year and didn’t want to spend that time working on projects. Here’s some that I enjoyed playing!

My First Fansite
My First Fansite is a short solo tabletop rpg where it is the year 2002 and you are creating a site for your favorite band. The Itch page for the game has a website generator in the browser that is optional but adds a lot to the game as you build your page. This was a wonderful tribute to this era of the web and I highly recommend it if you have any nostalgia for this time.

Record Shop
I think I mentioned this one in a previous indie game roundup but Record Shop is a solo ttrpg about digging through collections of albums at a record store and writing about what you find. Record stores are one of my favorite places to be so of course I would like this.

Ex Novo
Ex Novo is a GM-less game where 1-4 players generate a playable city. The game is easy to pickup once you get in the flow of following the prompts and is written so you can play while following along with the book. My friend and I weren’t trying to build a city for a future book or tabletop rpg session so we just had fun building a little city by the sea and seeing what comes up while we play. I am not posting my map here because I cannot draw maps with a mouse, but it was a fun time.

Together Among the Stars
I’ve been a fan of the solo ttrpg Alone Among the Stars for a very long time but didn’t make time for this two player version until now. It’s a fantastic variation of the game and adding a tiny bit more complexity is fun and allows for a greater amount of detail for the planets you discover.

Alone on a Journey
Speaking of Alone Among the Stars, I also read Alone on a Journey. It’s a zine compiling three games by the designer and notes for making your own version. I had already played Alone Among the Stars and Alone in the Ancient City (both are great) but didn’t play Alone Among the Shifting Trees, which I also had a good time with. It’s a beautiful zine.

Indie Game Roundup (Dec. 29, 2023)

Even though we’re in that weird liminal space between Christmas and New Year’s Day, where I have lost track of time and no longer know what day it is, a lot of great games were released this last week. If you recently released something that you want included, always feel free to send me an email or message me on social media (see About page) to let me know it’s out.

Winter sales!
Winter sales are still going on Itch and Steam. Go buy some neat games if you want.

top down view of santa walking around a dungeon

Who Took the Books
Your mileage on this one may vary on how much you want to play a Christmas game at this time of year but Tom Hall, creator of classic games like Commander Keen, has released a new game for the PICO-8. It’s a really cute puzzle game where you play as Santa and must find all the books in the game. It plays a lot like an adventure game where finding items will let you explore new areas. It’s also just fun seeing how much Tom Hall is involved with the PICO-8 community and is always organizing new game jams or rating PICO-8 games 5 stars on Itch.

Sewer Rave
Not a new game but Sewer Rave is now available for free/Pay-What-You-Want on Steam and It’s a game where you explore a rat infested sewer during a giant rave.

platformer gif of a woman turning on a bridge

Baby Time!
Baby Time! is a new game by Goloso Games to celebrate becoming a parent. It’s a Lost Vikings-style platformer where each of the three playable characters has different abilities and you use them all to solve puzzles. Congrats to Goloso Games on the baby.

Saṃsāra is an interactive poem created for the Kissinger is Dead jam. It’s a good poem and I’m also just happy that there was a jam about how awful Kissinger was and celebrating his death.

Hamayumishi: Chochin Challenge
Hamayumishi is a new side-view twin-stick shooting game by Nice Gear Games that’s playable in the browser. It’s a fun arcade game with some nice art and neat slow motion gameplay mechanic!

Against the Wind
Against the Wind is a new solo/coop fantasy tabletop rpg by Cezar Capacle that is focused on wilderness exploration and creating unique heroes. The game is technically in beta but I feel like it’s already a beautiful book and solid game, and with it blowing past its goal, will only become better. If you’ve never played a solo tabletop rpg before, I think this is a good one to start with.

gif of a snake in a mine cart

Snake on a Train
Snake on a Train is a cute endless runner made in PICO-8 where you are a snake riding in a mine cart. The game was created for the Toy Box jam which was hosted by Tom Hall and is playable in the browser.

gif of an alien offering you a business opportunity

Galactic Foodtruck Simulator 2999
Galactic Foodtruck Simulator 2999 is a game created in ZZT for the DOS Game Jam, hosted by me! I’m always impressed by what you can do in ZZT and this is no exception. In this game you have 40 weeks to establish a successful food truck business in space. Playable in the browser.

Indie Tsushin: Year 1
Indie Tsushin: Year 1 is a compilation of writing found in the first year of Indie Tsushin, a zine that covers indie games and interviews game developers from Japan. Picking it up is an excellent way to support indie games coverage and make sure projects like this can continue

screenshot from a spectrum platformer game showing Daleks and the Tardis

WOOT 2023
I only found out about this a few hours ago and I don’t really follow the modern ZX Spectrum too closely so I might be screwing up the details of this but WOOT 2023 looks to be a compilation of new ZX Spectrum and apps, with a nice variety of stuff. I got excited because a dev I do follow, Sloanysoft, seems to have a Doctor Who fan game in it called Blocktor Woot in the Sloanyverse of Madness.

image of a monster exploding into pieces

I haven’t played this one yet but it looks like something I’ll really enjoy. FREAKHUNTER is a dungeon crawler/rail shooter hybrid and I really enjoy the low-poly aesthetic it has.

Indie Game Roundup (Dec. 22, 2023)

I hope that whatever you celebrate this month, it has been a pleasant time. Here are some indie games from this last week that I enjoyed looking at. If you recently released something that you want included, always feel free to send me an email or message me on social media (see About page) to let me know it’s out.

Winter sales!
Winter sales have started on Itch, Steam, and probably a bunch of other places too. Go pick up some neat games if you want.

screenshot from Quiller's Code showing symbols on paper and letters underneat it

Quiller’s Code
This was a really fun puzzle game created for the Thinky Game Jam where you decode messages by dragging letters onto the symbols to figure out what the message is saying. The puzzles can be tricky but the game isn’t timed and lets you experiment with the letters without being punished.

gif from scrap book 1 of snow falling

SCRAP BOOK I – The Terrors of Ice and Darkness
SCRAP BOOK I is a very short (3 minute) game by the great Quinn K about mountain climbing and the pandemic. Really looking forward to future games in this series too. Read the content warnings before playing.

The Meaties 2023
This is a free zine where the author talks about their favorite games this year. It’s a great one to check out if you’re looking for some new tabletop rpgs to play and I also just really like someone putting their GOTY choices in a zine.

Coding History
Not an indie game itself but it is by an indie game dev. The second episode of Coding History is out and it’s about making a 3D engine and how it may not be as complex as it would seem.

gif from Benevolence of lighting hitting a bunch of red people

Benevolence is a little sim where you use your powers as a god to wipe out people for their souls. The look and concept kinda reminded me of something Molyneux would make but in the 90s when he was making good stuff.

Welcome to Lunary Greens
This is a system-neutral supplement for your tabletop rpg of choice of a magical neighborhood. It’s part 11 of 12 in a series and if you subscribe to their newsletter you get to claim it for free on Itch. It’s ok, it’s not a Substack.

A Musical Sheepy Xmas
It’s an album of nice retro-sounding Christmas music by a game developer I’m a fan of. The Itch page also has a Bandcamp-like player in the browser so you can listen to the music without downloading anything, although the album can be downloaded for free.

top down view of a room with a chicken saying to a horse "We got you out before thew elves broke in."

Christmas Horse 4
This is part 4 in a free compilation of Christmas-themed games. In this one you play as a horse in a classic Zelda-like setup and fight elves.

There’s also three games this week that I haven’t played yet but I think look really neat.

Mobile Suit Baba
Mobile Suit Baba is a tactical puzzle game inspired by Into the Breach by the developer of Baba is You. It’s available for free until this Wednesday.

Terminal is a surreal cyberpunk tabletop rpg for 3-7 players inspired by The Matrix. The art and layout look pretty great and the preview of it in Dicebreaker back in July was very positive.

gif of a first person view of a dungeon being navigated

Path of the Abyss
Path of the Abyss is a single-player, grid-based dungeon exploration RPG with real time combat that was just released in early access. The art in this looks pretty nice and the Steam reviews are positive so far. The reviews do give a heads up that the translation from Japanese to English was done with a machine and not a human translator. They said it’s not noticeable but still probably something worth noting.

Tabletop RPGs Based On or Inspired By Video Games

Here is a list for games that have official tabletop rpg adaptations, and unofficial ones that cite the game as the inspiration. I’m fascinated by adaptations of video games to ttrpgs and video games based on ttrpgs and wanted to see what was out there.

The title of each game links to a page where you can read more about the game or buy it. Eventually I’ll add games that would be a good fit for doing the tabletop version of the game and maybe also games that were based off tabletop rpgs. For time saving reasons, most of the descriptions just come from the Itch page they’re on. For the most part I’m not including D&D supplements on here aside from official ones just because I’m hoping this page will encourage people to check out new games. Also not including more broad inspirations and not that many supplements just because I have to have a cutoff somewhere, maybe in the future? If you’re just looking for the officially licensed rpgs, I don’t really have a good way to only show those in here. Just search for the word “Official” I guess, because I did mention it whenever those come up. For what it’s worth, I think a lot of the unofficial games are better than the officially licensed games so consider checking those out too.

It’s very likely I’ve missed a lot so please leave a comment if there’s a game you worked on or played that should be included.. Corrections are welcome too. If you see a game you made in here and think “It’s actually more like ____” then let me know!

AEGIS is a love-letter to looter-shooters like Anthem built with the LUMEN system

Armored Core
Apocalypse Frame is a game built with the LUMEN rpg system. You are an Ace – a highly skilled pilot referred from a Division in The Collective and assigned a humanoid combat vehicle known as a Frame. You and your Strike Team of fellow Aces must take on The Collective’s greatest threats, ensure its survival, and carve a path for its continued success.

cover for Apocalypse Frame, showing a B&W image of a mech

GUNBARE! is a power fantasy military-scifi TTRPG designed for 3-5 players. Inspired by the premise of Azure Lane, Armored Core, and the works of Tsutomu Nihei, play as a Fleetgirl, a living weapon onboard a generation ship currently running from a hostile alien empire.

Arx Fatalis
Arx ObsKura is a LUMEN game inspired by Arkane Studios’ 2002 rpg Arx Fatalis and old-school adventure tabletop roleplaying games. Using six-sided dice and Tarot cards, you and your friends will plumb the deep places between cities, braving Eclipse cultists, ratfolk, Ylsian Knights, and more as you find your way in the dark.

Assassin’s Creed
The Assassin is a solo game using the Wretched & Alone system where you are playing an assassin’s last mission

Atlas Reactor
Cyberrats was inspired by games like Atlas Reactor, XCOM, Shadowrun, and Band of Blades. Players will control two Operatives who have been genetically engineered, and/or a giant rat. Operatives go on missions, fighting the military, the invading aliens, or members of other megacorps.

Beneath a Cursed Moon is a Gothic fantasy game that uses a system based on the Apocalypse World engine. Take the role of monster hunters and slay vampires, werewolves, mermen, and more in a game inspired by Castlevania and Bloodborne.

GUNFUCKS is a tabletop roleplaying game inspired by games such as Borderlands and Bulletstorm that is built on the LUMEN system.

Boyfriend Dungeon
The official Boyfriend Dungeon ttrpg uses its own custom system based on Rhapsody of Blood and of the Powered By the Apocalypse design.

Callahan’s Crosstime Saloon
While it’s based off the book license and not directly from the game, Callahan’s did receive a GURPS supplement.

Captain Blood
BABY?! is a game where your soul has been scattered across an alien planet and you must retrieve the fragments with the help of a universal translator. The game is focused on exploration and players using images to communicate with each other.

A Castle Outside Time is a one page rpg has players exploring a dungeon and is inspired by Castlevania style exploration and has a Dark Souls style resting mechanic

Curse of Vengeance is a journaling roleplay game about monster revenge.

Escape from Demon Castle Dracula is a solo dungeon-crawling RPG designed for a dark and stormy night.

Huntervania is a Powered by the Apocalypse (PbtA) tabletop role playing game that explores the lives of vampire and monster hunters in a gothic setting.

Let’s Kill Dracula is a 2 player rpg about being trapped in Dracula’s castle and needing to destroy him.

Rhapsody of Blood is about generations of a bloodline fighting evil in an immortal castle. Rhapsody of Blood also received a solo game for generating metroidvania castles.

Caves of Qud
ASCII Delve is a solo game exploring and traveling through dungeons using ASCII symbols and using custom dice.

photo showing the ASCII Delve dice, which feature letters on each side

Citizen Sleeper
It’s not out yet but an official Citizen Sleeper ttrpg is currently in development.

City of Heroes
While it never got a full book, there was an official Quick Play ruleset for the game

Crypt of the Necrodancer
I Have Enough Training is a narrative adventure journaling game and a hack of “The Adventurer” by James Chip. It was inspired by Crypt of the Necrodancer

Necrocarta is a solo Carta game where players explore a mysterious dungeon on a quest to find the Heart of the Crypt.

Darkest Dungeon
Blades in the Darkest Dungeon is a hack of Blades in the Dark for Darkest Dungeon style games.

FUTILE LAMENTATIONS: DARK EXISTENCE is a pamphlet ttrpg inspired by Darkest Dungeon where you must face the horrors that afflict The Village, continue your Campaign knowing that you can die or fall into madness at any moment.

Dark Souls
There are actually two official Dark Souls rpgs. One that was released in Japan by Group SNE and one that is in English by Steamforged. The Group SNE game has unofficial English translations floating around online that I won’t link to here but are pretty easy to find.

Unfortunately the English version seems to be a 5E reskin.

There’s also lots of ttrpgs inspired by Dark Souls.

Bleak Spirit is a storytelling game where you and your friends create a brooding, cryptic tale about a stranger in a strange land.

Bonfire & Blade is a rules-lite tabletop RPG inspired by the setting and themes of Dark Souls, with a system based on the pamphlet RPG Vampires & Claymores. It can be run by one person facilitating the game as the Fire Keeper, with one or more players exploring the world, and a handful of 6-sided dice in two colors.

Dice Souls is a zero prep Souls-like dungeon exploration game for one or two players.

Exhumed is a pamphlet dungeon inspired by Dark Souls tutorial levels: short and somewhat linear, but meant to set the stage, give opportunities to learn the style of play, and offer hints of interesting things to come.

Fever is a tabletop roleplaying game for a Game Master and players where you play as Chosen struggling against a cruel world as you hope to rebuild the broken Sun.

Grave is a toolkit for soulslike fantasy TTRPG play built on the rules for Knave.

You Died is a solo game using the Caltrop Core system to fight through bosses.

Death Stranding
The Death Stranding Solo-RPG is a one player ttrpg where players control a Porter and explore outside of their starting City in search of Preppers, Distribution Centers, Cities, and the resources to connect them to each other.

Deep Rock Galactic
Bedrock Mining LLC is a push your luck mining game inspired by Deep Rock Galactic

Desert Bus
Bus of the Desert is a solo game based on Desert Bus, an intentionally boring mini game created for an unreleased Penn and Teller game

Desert Golfing
While it works with any form of Golf, the GOLF system was originally designed for play with Desert Golfing

LIGHT is an homage to Destiny. “LIGHT is a rules-lite, power fantasy tabletop RPG designed using an early version of the LUMEN system. It’s all about creating powerful characters, called Beacons, and feeling incredible badass as you take on dangerous missions and collect valuable loot.

ANGELSPAWN is a high-action combat game about humans with angelic lineage fighting an unending war against the tides of evil. It is a love letter to one of my all-time favorite games—Diablo—and is powered by the LUMEN system, created by Spencer Campbell. The game focuses on frenetic combat, waves and waves on enemies, randomized loot, and slowly improving your character towards a perfect killing machine.”

Diablo 2
Diablo 2 received a variety of official supplements for AD&D 2nd edition

Received an official TTRPG from Modiphius that included involvement from the folks who worked on the video games.

paKtbound is a streamlined tabletop role-playing game built with the LUMEN system and inspired by Arkane Studio’s Dishonored series. Take on the role of the Paktbound, poor wretches who have pledged themselves to the service of the Stranger, as they tackle heists and hits in the rotten city of light and mirrors.

Dogs Throwing Swords 2
Received an officially approved ttrpg adaptation in Spanish

MOURN is a fast paced rpg that has you using a variety of weapons to fight warriors from another planet

See You in Hell is a rules light game where players must stop an invasion from Hell.

Dragon Age
Received an official TTRPG from Green Ronin using the AGE system

Dungeon Keeper
RISE: A Game of Spreading Evil is a map drawing game that puts you in control of a monstrous dungeon as you seek to reach the surface and take over their puny kingdoms.

Dwarf Fortress
DELVE: A Solo Map Drawing Game is a map drawing game that puts you in control of a dwarven hold as you discover the horrors that lurk below.

Elden Ring
RUNE is a solo tabletop RPG inspired by the soulslike genre of video games, including Dark Souls, Bloodborne, and Elden Ring. In RUNE, you are a wanderer of the lands of Obron. The world is dangerous, but full of power if you are willing to reach out and take it.

The Elder Scrolls
UESRPG is a free unofficial game based on the Elder Scrolls series of games.

Elite: Dangerous
There was an official tabletop rpg created using a d10 system.

There is also After\\Burner, a tabletop roleplaying game focused on fast and positional starfighter combat and military sci-fi drama that was made with the LUMEN system.

Emperor of the Fading Suns
The official ttrpg was developed internally at the same time as the computer game

MindExplorer is a single-player tabletop roleplaying game inspired by the MindMaze game in Encarta and the aesthetics of educational materials from the 1990’s. You will explore a building constructed from your imagination during a dream you have one night and meet the characters that live inside it.

Cover for MindExplorer showing a collage of objects flying in front of a bright blue sky

Eve Online
Strongly inspired by the MMORPG Eve Online, Heavens of Khepri features characters that spend most of their time piloting space ships, but this time you’re playing as the NPCs in the MMO.

Received an official adaptation in 2002 using a d20 system from Sword and Sorcery Studios

Everquest 2
Everquest 2 had an official adaptation as well! It’s a book for your d20 game of choice.

Extreme Meatpunks Forever
Received an official Powered by the Apocalypse game in 2023 from Sinister Beard Games

Modiphius created an official 2D20 game

There is also After the Bomb, a free game inspired by the series that is focused on being more streamlined.

Wastoid is a post-apocalyptic rpg built on the Knave ruleset

There was also this fan game that was hosted on the No Mutants Allowed forums in the 00’s before Fallout 3 was released

Fatal Frame
GHOST-SHOT BOKE is a single-page mini tabletop role-playing game about ghost hunting inspired by Fatal Frame

FIST is a tabletop roleplaying game about paranormal mercenaries doing the tough jobs no one else can.

Striker’s Story is a solo ttrpg inspired by the career mode in FIFA games

Final Fantasy
MEGALOS is a game for telling stories about adventures in the clouds, fighting evil empires, and dueling ancient gods.

Unofficial Final Fantasy Roleplaying System is what it says in the title and available for free.

FFRPG is another free rpg that’s been built by fans and has been ongoing since the 90s.

Final Fantasy VII
Into the Glacier is a solo journaling game inspired by the glacier sequence in FF7.

Final Fantasy XIV Online
An official ttrpg is currently in development

In the LUMEN system game Crystalline, players are Heritors, the bearers of Soul Stones- mnemocite gems which record the deeds and powers of the great heroes who once bore them. Players embark on adventures to topple the Empire, face the Shadows, and extinguish the fires of war which threaten to burn all to ash.

Final Fantasy Tactics
Arma Fantasia Tactics is fantasy adventure roleplaying with an emphasis on character & loadout customization and tactical action. 

FTL: Faster Than Light
Faster Than Light is a solo Wretched & Alone game inspired by the video game FTL, a solo journaling game about perseverance and about being the AI that controls a spaceship warping through the galaxy in order to save humanity.

Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers
Accomplice is inspired by the Gabriel Knight series. You play as a research assistant for someone like Gabriel Knight as they investigate supernatural cases.

Game Genie
I suppose technically it’s not a video game and more of a cheat device for them, but there’s a couple of adaptations of the Game Genie for TTRPGs. Game Genie Apocalypse is a set of 23 moves for PBTA games inspired by video games.

RPGenie is a method of integrating cheat codes and game alterations to tabletop gaming by sharing your favorite ephemera with your friends.

art for the RPGENIE hearder, showing two NES systems and a green explosion

LOOM is a game that tries to emulate the frenetic feel and player-driven advancement of the video game Hades and is made with the LUMEN system.

Heroes of Hammerwatch
GRIT is a rogue-like inspired dungeon crawler inspired by Heroes of Hammerwatch where the aim of the game is to send in waves of ’20-minute’ mercenaries to loot gold, gain glory, and vanquish enemies.

Heroes of Might and Magic III: The Restoration of Erathia
Champions of Power and Dread is a dark fantasy strategic roleplaying game where you command legions of fell beasts.

Modiphius has created an official ttrpg using a 2D20 system

Hyper Light Drifter
An official ttrpg is currently in development. Quick start rules are available for free

Hypnospace Outlaw
Alone in Cyberspace is a solo tabletop game about exploring the archive of a defunct network of webpages from decades ago.

In Other Waters
In Other Waters: Tidebreak is a supplement for the horror ttrpg Mothership that is set in the In Other Waters universe. The supplement is playable in either as a group or solo and designed to be less stressful than the typical Mothership adventure.

screenshot from the In Other Waters book showing various fictional sea creatures

Incremental Adventures
You Cannot Kill Me in a Way That Matters is a solo ttrpg where you fight monsters in the forest, deal quick card layouts for yourself and the forest, resolve the round, and do it again.

Jet Set Radio
Disposable Heroes is a fast paced tabletop RPG set in a near-future fantasy world city named Neo-Francisco. You play as package delivery people with incredible abilities, doing their best to survive and get that 5 Star rating that means they can eat that week.

Underground Broadcast is a micro-RPG about nimble graffiti punks kicking off the rebellion against a tyrannical organization.

The Journeyman Project
Project Hypaethrus: Windows To Time has players create create unique Travelers to explore the past. Time-Travelers need to hide their existence to the temporal locals, so they take on new Personas while in the past. However, relying too much on their Past Persona can Bleed into their own identity.

Kingdom Hearts
Interstitial: Our Hearts Intertwined is a tabletop RPG about our connections with other people, the power we draw from those connections, and traveling to different worlds.  It runs on the Powered by the Apocalypse engine. The game is built to allow players to combine characters from various properties.

Knockout City
Received a free official ttrpg in 2023 by Adira Slattery & Eric Feurstein

The Legend of Dragoon
Chain Attacks is a system-agnostic combat mechanic for emulating Additions from “Legend of Dragoon”

The Legend of Zelda
Courage is a solo RPG using the Carta System to create a dungeon-crawling experience inspired by games from “The Legend Of Zelda” series. You’ll play as the recently awoken Hero of Courage, exploring Dungeons and gathering power for your final confrontation against evil incarnate.

The Nostalgia for Norull is a fantasy adventure game for 1-4 players, based on the Push SRD.

Forgotten Ballad is a minimalist Adventure Game – TTRPG, if you prefer – heavily inspired by The Legend Of Zelda series and the OSR movement.

Loom is a fan fiction game based off the classic Lucasarts adventure game of the same name. It’s a solo journaling game where you explore the game’s world using the mechanics described in the book and write about what happens.

The Wizards of Many Hats is a game of swords and sorcery where players can cast spells by evoking the eight fundamental elements: Water, Life, Barrier, Cold, Electricity, Arcane, Earth & Fire.

Mega Man X
METALUMAN is a ttrpg built with the LUMEN system as its engine and foundation for fast-paced action inspired by Capcom’s MegaMan X series.

Monster Hunter
There are a lot of indie ttrpgs inspired by the Monster Hunter series. Monster Guts is a game using the LUMEN system.

Apex Predator is a single-player game inspired by Monster Hunter, in which you explore an ancient forest, tracking down and fighting titanic monsters. Along the way, you’ll face peril and find that the natural world may just be on your side.

After the Great Beast is a monster hunting game using the Breathless system

Monster Rancher
In Raising Hell, a solo TTRPG based on Monster Rancher, you’ll help your Devil grow from a baby into an adult, training it all the while so it can be a proper Devil and win one of the numerous Tournaments available in the underworld!

Shopkeeper Showdown is inspired by Moonlighter and has you running a shop and looting dungeons

Mortal Shell
Beast Souls is a tabletop role-playing game for 2 players set in a dreamlike / virtual / metaphorical / alternative world (for the most accustomed to the world of anime, an “isekai”) where the hero is the spirit of whoever has put their body at stakes to get something special from a world other than their own.

With Myst being one of the best-selling games ever, it’s not surprising that it has inspired a few tabletop rpgs. Unwritten: Adventures in the Ages of MYST and Beyond is a game that uses the Myst license and uses the FATE core system for the foundation of its rules. The game is strongly influenced by Uru/Myst Online and has players exploring modern or historical D’ni and the ages connected to it. The game has received a few smaller supplements as well as a larger sourcebook that was recently Kickstarted and focused on the reconstruction of D’ni

There’s fan games too. Bring the Page With You is a free one-page ttrpg where there is no GM/DM and is focused on players collaborating together to create Myst ages.

Myth: The Fallen Lords
Received an official GURPS supplement in 1999

cover for the Myth book, showing a monster attacking a man on a hill

NieR: Automata
For Humankind
is a tabletop RPG made with the LUMEN system for two or more players. You play as Answer units, specialized androids tasked with reclaiming the planet from an alien threat.

Outer Wilds
Pale Dot is a collaborative storytelling game for 2-5 players about a crew of non-human cosmonauts leaving their planet to explore a strange solar system, finding threads to unravel the unknown along the way.

cover for Pale Dot, showing an alien in an astronaut suit

Test Kitchen is a co-op time management party RPG for 3 to 5 players inspired by the Overcooked! series

Paper Mario
Doodle Adventures
is a TTRPG with a 2d platforming battle grid inspired by Paper Mario and Bug Fables

Path of Exile
Path of the Tainted is a LUMEN game is inspired by “Path of Exile”, players will slay hordes of monsters to acquire powerful loot and abilities. But most importantly they will be able to create their own Powers by combining them with upgrades.

Inspired by the Persona series, Voidheart Symphony is a tabletop roleplaying game about mundane people diving into a demon-filled labyrinth to save the ones they love.

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
Ace Attorneys is a TTRPG built with LUMEN for 3 players. It heavily relies on improvisation for all three players and is meant to be played for 30 – 60 minutes.

Justicar is a game inspired by the Ace Attorney series. Players each embody a unique key Role as they collaboratively tell the story of a crime and its mysteries.

In the unofficial Phoenix Wright ttrpg, players are divided into prosecution and defense parties, and then each performs its own DM led investigation of a crime scene.

photo showing a stack of Justicar books

Beauty in the Grid is a ttrpg where the main mechanic involves creating pictures in a grid

Pillars of Eternity
An in-development version of the game by Pillars of Eternity designer Josh Sawyer is available for free

Planetside 2
PLANET FIST is a Powered by the Apocalypse narrative wargame of satirical scifi skirmish storytelling and a hack of CLAYMORE’s FIST, and winner of the SUBSTANCE award in the FIST: Ultra Jam. PLANET FIST is inspired by Starship Troopers (1997), Battlefield: Bad Company, and most of all, by Planetside 2.

ForeverDex is a game played by mail where you generate new magical creatures through another players zip code

Pokemon Dungeon Crawler is an unofficial Pokémon dungeon crawler. You play as a Pokémon in a world after humans. You get a dungeon delving class (cleric, fighter, magic-user), you get a backpack, a weapon, and you head out on an adventure.

Pool of Radiance: Ruins of Myth Drannor
This is kind of an odd one to include since it’s a D&D computer game, which is not really something I want to delve into too much but I thought it was interesting that this game launched with a D&D 3rd edition tie in

Project Zomboid
Superesse Mortuus is a d100 system game about surviving in a world full of zombies

GRIM is a fast paced rpg where you fight eldritch horrors

Resident Evil
The Mansion Incident is a solo dungeon-crawling RPG and a hack of Escape from Demon Castle Dracula by Rob Hebert. In The Mansion Incident you take on the role of a member of the Investigation and Rescue Implementation Service (I.R.I.S.) – an elite group of detectives tasked with finding, and in some cases liberating, missing persons in the sprawling mountains of the Midwestern United States – as you recover your team from a sinister, labyrinthian mansion that hides secrets and danger behind every door.

Biocalypse is a minimalist, Resident Evil-inspired adventure game for 2—6 players.

Resident Evil 2
Escape: Outbreak is an escape room-style ttrpg inspired by Resident Evil 2

Resident Evil: Village
It turns out there are a bunch of games inspired by the tall vampire lady. Tall Vampire Ladies is a one page hack of Lasers and Feelings about trying to get a guy out of your castle

So You Want The Tall Vampire Lady To Catch You is a solo game about wanting her to catch you

Tall Lady Castle Game is an 8 page single player (or small group) TTRPG about being an ancient monster that’s really bad at expressing its feelings.

The designer of that also made a companion game called Oh Do Not Find Me In This Castle Please, a solo game where you are the intruder wanting to get caught

UMBRA: A Solo Game of Final Frontiers is a map drawing game that puts you in control of a sci-fi colony as you struggle against starvation, the void, and the many threats that will assail you from above and below.

Rocket Jockey
raptor 2057 is a fast-paced racing RPG inspired by the wip3out series, the hectic F-Zero series, the classic romp Rocket Jockey (1996), and John Harper’s Wildlings (2015).

Of That Colossal Wreck is an open-world exploration TTRPG set in a post-apocalyptic setting for 1 to 4 players. Using a deck of cards, players will explore a wasteland, and build card house Ruins to explore.

Pocket Full of Stars is a cozy two-player ttrpg inspired by Samorost where the players have the roles of an Astronomer and the Storyteller and work together to tell a story about a giant jumping from planet to planet and meeting people.

Sea of Thieves
Received an official ttrpg from Moongoose Publishing

The Secret of Monkey Island
Blood Mountain Resort & Spa is a free download for fantasy ttrpgs. Inspired by the Monkey Island series, players explore a pirate themed resort. The NPCs are statted for DURF but the rest of the supplement is built to be system neutral.

screenshot from the Blood Mountain Resort & Spa book showing a skeleton pirate having a nice drink

Shadow of the Beast
The Shadow & the Beast is a two-player roleplaying game inspired by the classic video game Shadow of the Beast. One player controls the Beast as it fights its way toward the Shadow, the evil overlord that stole its life and forced it to carry out terrible acts of violence. The other player serves as the Gamemaster (GM), controlling the Beast’s adversaries and any other characters while also setting scenes for the action.

Shadow of the Colossus
On the Shoulders of Colossus includes rules for running colossal games as well as stat blocks for every colossus from the game

Shin Megami Tensei
An official ttrpg has been released in Japan and will be released here soon

Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri
Alpha Centauri received an official GURPS supplement

Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus
Honor Among Thieves is a tribute micro TTRPG (for 3+ players) about the thievish activities of a group of honorable master thieves who seek to only steal from other criminals.

Sonic the Hedgehog
Radical Spin is a micro-RPG about melodramatic action animals for 2-5 players.

Rainbow Runaways is a Sonic-inspired TTRPG based on the Caltrop Core system, and is played with D4s and a deck of cards.

Soul Sacrifice
Sacrifice arcane objects, blood, and limbs to cast spells in Soul Sacrifice, a TTRPG based on the PSVITA exclusive. Requires a tarot deck.

Space Quest
24XX Unlikely Heroes – Space Questing is a rules-lite sci-fi RPG hack of the 2400 system. Inspired by the old-school Sierra adventure series “Space Quest”, and its bumbling space janitor hero Roger Wilco, UHSQ can be used to run a no-prep sci-fi game that is more on the humorous, light-hearted side.

Star Control
Capax Astra is a vaporwave space opera RPG inspired by Star Control, about exploring sectors full of strange alien people. It uses the Fate RPG system.

Wizards published an official game based on the Alternity rule set in 2000.

There is also this free unofficial supplement created by fans for playing in the StarCraft setting with the Genesys ruleset and another one that uses a d20 system.

cover for the official Starcraft ttrpg with text saying "Tabletop RPG: No Computer Required"

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
An official campaign book for the d20 Modern System was published in 2008

Street Fighter II
White Wolf created an official game using their ttrpg storytelling framework in 1994

Streets of Rage
Justice Sworn is a solo ttrpg by Sandy Pug Games that is inspired by brawlers like Streets of Rage and Final Fight

Water Landing is a Carta-powered scenario for the Cast Away RPG. To play, you need the Cast Away rules

PHOTON is a tabletop roleplaying game for 2 players about fighting back an all consuming singularity, based on the LUMEN system by Spencer Campbell. Inspired by games like Hyper Light Drifter and Sundered, it aims to bring eerie exploration and lightning fast battles to tabletop.

Super Smash Bros
Smash & Brothers
is a one page hack of John Harper’s Lasers and Feelings for having two unrelated characters fight each other.

ERROR is a Play Out Loud text adventure where you control a robot that must fix a city’s mainframe and references Infocom designer Michael Berlyn

Scraps is a feel-good game about sharing, about harmony with nature, about bewilderment and curiosity. Inspired by Minecraft and Tetris, it uses polyominoes as part of the crafting aspect of it.

Thief: The Dark Project
Blades in the Dark is an incredibly influential tabletop role-playing game about a crew of daring scoundrels seeking their fortunes on the haunted streets of an industrial-fantasy city. The book cites Dishonored and Thief: The Dark Project as influences. It’s maybe a stretch to say it’s based on those games but whatever, I’m putting it here.

Tomb Raider
The Temple of Karthis is a solo dungeon crawling game using cards and dice and inspired by Tomb Raider.

Untitled Goose Game
Sneak Honk is a hack of Honey Heist inspired by Untitled Goose Game

Frame is a ttrpg using the LUMEN system that was an homage to Warframe. The Warframe community got really weird and harassed the creator of the game so it was briefly made free and then changed to $5000.

The Witcher
Technically it was a book first but all of these are based on the video game series. R Talsonian created an official ttrpg using the game’s license from CD Projekt

The Path Of The Wolves is a simple hack of Charge to play within the Witcher universe.

On The Path is a hack of Honey Heist by Grant Howitt, where players take on the roles of Monster Slayers investigating a mystery after receiving a strange letter.

The World Ends With You
Heartbeats in Perfect Sync is a tabletop RPG inspired by the shounen battle aesthetic in games like The World Ends With You, Kingdom Hearts and Under Night In-Birth. Play as a group of ordinary people who fight monsters with ridiculously over-the-top weapons.

Vibe Check is an illuminated by LUMEN tabletop role-playing game for 3-6 players inspired by The World Ends With You.

World of Warcraft
An official ttrpg was released in 2005 using a d20 system

XCOM: Enemy Unknown
INTRUDER: EARTHLY ENTITY is an action rpg Illuminated by LUMEN. Inspired by the XCOM series, players are the last survivors of an Earth taken over by extraterrestrial forces and must Establish contact with other resistance cells, Free nations from the control of the ALIEN ENTITY, and rescue Earth.

T-DEF is a GMless game that comes in two 8-page mini zines: the Tactical Handbook that contains the rules for character creation and taking actions; and the Operations Manual, that contains everything you need to create missions for your troopers. T-DEF also has a sequel game.

cover for T-DEF showing two separate plain books

Xenoblade Chronicles 2
Blades of Ether is a tabletop roleplaying game for three to six players. Guided by the Architect, the GM who gives life and voice to the Cloud Sea, you’ll set out on unforgettable adventures in a world unlike any other, changing Arlest forever with the wake you leave in the clouds.

BAKA MITAI is a city pop, Yakuza-inspired playset for the PARAGON system from the AGON roleplaying game.

Parsely is a collection of games where a group of players control one character by telling one player, known as the Parser, what they would like to do in the form of text adventure commands and the Parser describes what happens next. The collection even features a trilogy of Zork-like games known as Action Castle. The creator of Parsely has a few games in the series on their Itch page.

They’re not the only one to develop group text adventures. Goldfinch Games has developed a couple Out-Loud Text Adventures as well, with one in an abandoned amusement park and one at an abandoned spaceship.

Uresia: Grave of Heaven is a system-neutral setting book by S. John Ross that is strongly inspired by the Zork series, with there even being a section explaining how it influenced the book and why they love the series so much. The book is now available for free here. Check it out and then consider hiring him for book or map design if you’re a ttrpg designer. The author also wrote a Z-Machine text adventure game that ranks as Polite on Andrew Plotkin’s cruelty scale. This game is also available for free.

cover of the Parsely book, showing an 80s computer and boxes of computer games

Indie Game Roundup (Dec. 15, 2023)

Well, it’s Friday so here’s a bunch of recent games and games-related events that I thought were pretty cool. If you recently released something that you want included, always feel free to send me an email or message me on social media (see About page) to let me know it’s out.

The Queer Games Festival
The Queer Games Festival just announced its shortlist for the year, meaning you can check out a great collection of games right here.

screenshot from Heal Slime of a bunch of slime blobs grouped together
A screenshot from Heal Slime

Vextro Slime Wave
A Vextro game jam just ended. I think it’s a games collective, maybe? Anyway, here’s a bunch of games about slime on Itch.

DEAD END Holiday Demo
I really like holiday themed versions of video games and AERIFORM just released a Christmas version of their top-down Metal Gear-inspired stealth game DEAD END.

screenshot from pareidolia of the angel dressup screen
Screenshot from pareidolia in █▄██▄▄

pareidolia in █▄██▄▄
Created for Yuri Game Jam 2023, it’s a game where you design and dressup an angel and walk around a city. Really cool art style and it sounds like it will continue to get updates too.

Holiday Bundles
A couple of indie game bundles have recently launched. For the price of a AAA game you could get almost two hundred instead through the Christmas Indie Game Bundle and the Holiday Indie Super Bundle.

New Games from Michigan Tech University Students
Husky Game Development, the game making club at Michigan Tech University, released their games for the semester. You can play games like Iridos, Monstrous, and more on their Itch page.

black cars driving down a road
Bahnsen Knights

Bahnsen Knights
LCB Game Studio just launched their latest visual novel on Steam. All of their games have an incredibly cool art style and something creepy going on, this one being about a religious cult. So consider checking that out if that’s your thing.

Videotome ADV: Modded
Videotome:ADV is a really nice engine for interactive fiction and it looks like it just got its first commercial game on Steam as well as the developer of that game releasing a modded version of the engine.

Polygon’s Favorite TTRPGs of 2023
Polygon just put out their list of the best ttrpgs they played this year and there’s some really nice stuff. If you’re looking to try something that isn’t D&D or just want to find out what you possibly missed, check the list out. It features a nice variety of tabletop rpgs.

Blog Post Grab Bag

Here’s a bunch of recent blog and website posts that I really enjoyed. I doubt this is a thing I’ll be doing every week. There’s just been so many posts I’ve enjoyed lately and didn’t know where to talk about it. As usually, these are places I follow through Inoreader, a free RSS feed reader for the web, and I think they’re worth adding to your RSS feed reader of choice.

Did you know there’s a lot of RPGs? Deep Hell lists 50 of them

Over at A Critical Hit, Kate Willaert goes into how a Popeye game became Donkey Kong and the origins of Mario.

Misty talks about getting Classical Cats to work in ScummVM’s Director engine.

Indie Tsushin has a nice interview with Japanese indie game developer HesoRider.

Bobbins’ Olde Tomb Of Videogames has another post highlighting great games this week. The highlight for me was the Joust remake since I feel the need to play every version of Joust that I can find.

If you liked this post, Critical Distance does a much, much better version of it. Follow them and check out their most recent roundup of posts about games.

Christmas Adventure Games

If you’re looking for Christmas themed games to play this month, there’s quite a few point-and-click adventures that are a good fit.

screenshot from Watch Over Christmas of the player in an office looking at a book on a desk

Watch Over Christmas
I already mentioned this one in my winter games post but Watch Over Christmas is a nice one to check out if you’re looking for a family friend adventure game. It’s a longer game but not too difficult, features nice 2D art, and has quality of life features like hotspot highlighting.

Last Christmas
Last Christmas is a darker, short adventure game where you are playing Frankie and have to prepare Christmas for his girlfriend at a cabin and features multiple endings. The original version of the game was created for Adventure Jam 2022 but has been expanded into a full game. Make sure to read the content warnings on the Steam page before picking it up.

Azazel’s Christmas Fable
Azazel’s Christmas Fable is a comedic game inspired by 90’s adventures. You play as Azazel, an imp, and must track down the “source of joy” originating from the North Pole and destroy it. It’s a really charming and cute retro-looking adventure game that’s pretty family friendly. The game isn’t too long, but not too short either, and it has some fun post-game material where you can spend time looking for collectibles and talking various characters from the game.

screenshot from Lake of a mail carrier walking through a snowy town

Lake – Season’s Greetings
Season’s Greetings
is a DLC prequel to the game Lake. You play as a mail carrier that explores a town set in the 80s and talks to various people living there while delivering the mail. I was a big fan of Lake and its relaxed pace and looking forward to revisiting the game in this DLC.

Parsely: Kringle Krisis
If you’re looking for something a little different, this Christmas version of the Parsely series has players going through a text adventure in tabletop rpg form by having one player be the parser and give responses to the commands the other players are giving.

Finding Indie Games

Since I do a weekly roundup of indie games I get excited about and have seen a couple people express frustration at discovering new stuff, I thought I would list all the ways I hear about new games. In no way is this meant to be the “best way” to find them, it’s just my current process. Hopefully you’ll discover a couple of neat things from it and add it to whatever you do to discover cool games. Please don’t get mad if I left your thing out, this was all off the top of my head and there’s way better uses of everyone’s time that being mad at a blog post. But if you do know of other neat things, please leave them in the comments so I can follow along too!

Every once in a while there’s discourse online about indie games coverage and how there’s not enough people talking about them on sites but there really are a lot of places putting in the work and covering them despite it often meaning that the page gets less views than if they were to talk about the big releases. So if you’re one of those people, actually support the places doing the work! Share their posts when they cover indie games on social media and discord channels and if you can afford to, give them money on ko-fi or patreon. They can’t keep covering these games if their articles and videos just go into a void.


Blogs are still alive and well in 2023! Every morning I check my RSS feed reader to see what people have posted in the last day. It beats the hell out of constantly checking social media to make sure nothing has been missed too. I use Inoreader, which is a free online reader that tracks what I’ve read no matter what machine I use.

Bobbins’ Olde Tomb Of Videogames is a weekly indie game roundup with more of a focus on arcade games and remakes of retro stuff but it covers it all really. It’s incredible stuff and is what inspired me to pick up my regular blogging about indie games again after taking a break from it.

Indie Tsushin is a blog focused on indie games from Japan. It regularly posts about games I never heard of and also has a lot of great interviews with game developers. Lots of great videos by them playing these games too!


cover for indie mixtape podcast, showing a rainbow coming out of a mixtape

Indie Mixtape is a podcast where the host Ty and a guest discuss what indie games they’ve played lately. The episodes are about 30-60 minutes long and cover a variety of games. It was originally a part of the site Uppercut, which I dearly miss, but I’m glad that Ty is keeping the podcast going. It’s available wherever you download podcasts.

Party of One is a tabletop rpg podcast where the host Jeff and a guest sit down to play a tabletop rpg in one session. The show dumped Dungeons & Dragons a while ago for much better games and it’s truly the best place to discover indie ttrpgs. I can’t imagine people have time to listen to every episode, but consider looking through previous episodes and checking out the ones where the games sound interesting.

It’s also very likely that there’s a podcast or two for your favorite genre of games. Since I am an adventure game enjoyer, I’ve discovered a lot of great games through the Adventure Games Podcast over the years. The show highlights a lot of great indie point-and-click adventure games and interviews with the people who made them. I don’t really follow strategy games much anymore but Three Moves Ahead is a show that has been covering them regularly for over a decade now.

Social Media

Even after deleting my Twitter account, I still find social media to be a great place to hear about various games. There’s game devs across all the places I use (Mastodon/Bluesky/Instagram/Tumblr/Cohost) so it doesn’t feel like I’m missing anything by not using Twitter anymore. And if a dev is only posting on Twitter/X, which is now a far right hate fest, we’re probably better off not being aware of them anyway. Obviously your mileage may vary on this one since social media is incredibly exhausting and most people probably only have the capacity to be on one or two platforms.

One account I’ve enjoyed following is Indie Games of Cohost, which is an account that regularly posts about recently released indie games and interviews with game devs. I believe you can follow Cohost accounts using a RSS feed reader but I’m not completely sure about that so you’ll have to dig for that answer.

Discord has also been a place where I’ve heard about many games. Obviously it’s not for everyone and it’s barely even for me, but I’m in a few game dev communities for people local to me and this has been the only way I’ve heard about the games being made in my area. There’s plenty of general indie game focused discord channels too.


cover of an issue of indiepocalypse with some animals playing a bord game in a forest

I’ve posted about it so many times now but Indiepocalypse has been a great way for me to discover games and developers I would never hear about at bigger games outlets. It’s a monthly compilation zine with 10 games per issue. Even if you cannot afford to buy any issues, the Itch pages for each issue list all the games and link to the developer pages. There is also a podcast called Indiepocalypse Radio where the host talks to different game devs every week.

Obviously an indie games store is going to be a way I hear about new games, but the best way I’ve discovered games through there has actually been by following lots of game devs and then regularly checking the feed. The feed will show me anytime a dev has published a new game, and it also shows me when they rate a game 5 stars or add a game to a collection. I can then check the collection to see what games are similar to it.


Of course there are people on YouTube and Twitch that play indie games. I don’t follow as many as I should but two that I enjoy following are LotusLovesLotus on Twitch and Dirigitive on YouTube. Both are great folks that have introduced me to a lot of cool games and don’t have the stereotypical Twitch streamer energy where they yell a lot, which I am not into.

So that’s everything I do at the moment to discover new games, or at least what I can think of. Let me know of other neat outlets in the comments!

Indie Game Roundup (Dec. 8, 2023)

Finally, the awards that people have been looking forward, the most interesting indie games releases and news this week, at least to me.

This delightful tool made in Decker, a Hypercard-inspired designer, lets you create drawings that remind me of the squigglevision in shows like Home Movies and Dr. Katz. I absolutely cannot draw but it’s so much for anyway that I don’t care.

my attempt at drawing Jim Walls, the designer of the Police Quest series

Indiepocalypse 47
A new Indiepocalypse is out, which means I am required by law to post about it. This issue is another great collection of games and I recommend the one commissioned for the issue, Touhou Lonely Lovely Bonfire by Lily Valeen, the designer of BOSSGAME.

Technically it came out last week but I forgot to post about it. A new trailer for Rosewater is out. It’s a western point-and-click adventure game coming out next year that I’ve been waiting for since last year and I think it looks great

Llamasoft: The Jeff Minter Story
Digital Eclipse announced that the next game in their retrospective series will be focused on Jeff Minter and his games. I was a massive fan of their Karateka one and I love Jeff Minter games so this will probably end up being my 2024 game of the year. I absolutely cannot wait.

The University of Michigan/Eastern Michigan University Student Game Showcase
This is a bit more local but every semester the students in the game development programs at both schools do a showcase of their games. Yesterday was their latest and there’s another great batch of games to play so go check them out.

Adventure Games for Winter

I was going to write a post recommending adventure games to play during winter but it looks like the Adventure Games Podcast has done a series of episodes doing just that and doing a much better job than I ever could have. I highly recommend the series, which is still going on, that recommends games based on regions. I’ll link to each episode below. Each page has a link to the podcast audio but also lists all the games mentioned and links to their pages.

Winter Odyssey: Journeys Through the Cold Part One – Arctic and Alaska

Winter Odyssey: Journeys Through the Cold Part Two – Canada

Winter Odyssey: Journeys Through the Cold Part Three – Scandinavia & Nordic Countries

Winter Odyssey: Journeys Through the Cold Part Four – Eastern Europe

Winter Odyssey: Journeys Through the Cold Part Five – USA

There’s only a couple of games I’d like to add to this list. It’s possible they’ll come up on the podcast too since the series isn’t done yet but I think they’re worth a mention.

Heroine’s Quest is an adventure rpg inspired by the Quest for Glory series and my favorite of all the ones that have come out since that series ended. Like Quest for Glory, you choose between one of three classes, with each class giving you different solutions to puzzles. The game also adds some survival mechanics since you are in a snowy climate, but these can be turned off with the difficulty slider. It’s a really nice game and best of all, it’s free. I’m glad that the Steam page basically has tip jar DLC though because it’s a really impressive and long game and I felt like I should give them some money while playing it.

Watch Over Christmas is a nice one to check out if you’re looking for something with a Christmas theme. It’s just a solid adventure game that’s family friendly and never felt too frustrating since it had some nice features like hotspot highlighting and the puzzles weren’t too difficult.

The Puzzle Agent series is a great one to check out if you’re looking for something focused entirely on puzzles, without the exploration elements. The games feature fantastic artwork by Graham Annable and a wide variety of puzzles that always felt fair to me. It’s unfortunate there aren’t more games in the series but at least Graham is still creating a lot of great art on social media and through his shop.

If you have a friend to play adventure games with, the We Were Here series is a nice choice. You and a friend must talk through walkie talkies as you work together to explore a frozen castle and solve puzzles. The first game is free and short so it’s a nice way to try this style of game out before buying more.