It’s a late night shift and things are quiet. That nosy journalist who always says she’s working on a book took her espresso and sat down in the corner. A dapper looking elf wanders in with his literal succubus of a girlfriend. It’s gonna be a slow night in Coffee Talk, but that’s fine.
Clever game design can take advantage of even the most limited resources. Celestial Hacker Girl Jessica is a marble-rolling game set in abstract space, which is made using mostly Unity assets. For some people, that might be infuriating, but sitting down to play it shows off what smart level design can do for a game.
One Hand Clapping is a experimental project from the University of Southern California’s games program. It mixes music and puzzles—the player needs to hum or sing to create walkways and raise platforms to proceed through a colorful world. It’s short but memorable.
I scroll through itch.io every week to see what games…
Shape of the World is an exploration game that weaves colors into breathtaking landscapes. The shifting pastel horizons create one of the best game worlds I’ve ever explored, capturing both the thrill of hiking and the colors of a solid psilocybin trip.
OK/NORMAL is an experimental arcade game by Toni Kortelahti that embraces the visuals of early PlayStation games. The game, which captures the strange and abstract worlds of mid-90s 3D, is one of several new indie titles that embrace a new form of “retro” aesthetics. It’s an oppressive, bizarre, and overwhelming game…
Settling a bet with Rock, Paper, Scissors is nice but it’s even better when you can read the future. In Fortune 499, you use fortune-telling cards to predict your opponent’s move and win battles against the demons attacking the human resources department. Fun combat and a unique twist on magical bureaucracy make it a…
In Quarantine Circular, a plague is ravaging humanity, destroying cities and pushing our existence to the brink. As extinction looms, a mysterious creature from the stars appears, their motives unclear. It’s up to you to navigate the situation and hopefully save humanity.
Spartan Fist is a first person brawler where you have to punch your way through randomly generated maps. Along the way, there’s tons of special attacks and silly upgrades that turn each new playthrough into a hilarious beatdown of hapless enemies.
The Wisdom and/or Madness of Crowds is an interactive game by Nicky Case all about how ideas and trends spread. Short puzzles teach the player how popular perception changes as groups grow smaller or larger. It’s an important lesson wedged between devious brain teasers and a perfect Indie Pick.
Sometimes, you just want to hit the road. Photon Highway takes cues from games like Audiosurf and Temple Run to create a randomized highway through the stars. It’s great for those times you want to sit back and cruise away from life’s problems.
Lucah looks like it leapt right off a chalkboard, with a distinct hand drawn style somewhere between wild scribblings and hallucinations. It mixes tense combat and exploration into a wild action-RPG.
Beat the Art Breaker is a game about dashing around and punching folks. It’s not done yet, but a new playable demo gives a glimpse at an indie game that has a fast and exciting take on hand to hand combat.
Duck Jam mixes WarioWare style mini-games with a touch of absurdist comedy to tell the story of a bunch of ducks trying to make money. Bills, you could say. The fast-paced change from one game mode to another means you need to always be on your toes if you want to avoid begging for bread crumbs on the street.
Danmaku Unlimited 3 is a bullet hell arcade game that came out for PC last year but was recently released for the Nintendo Switch. The laser-filled shoot ‘em up is exciting, with tight dodges and massive beam blasts that make for a good time.
Bleed 2 initially released last year for PC, Playstation 4, and Xbox One, but was ported to the Switch this month. It’s a relentless action game full of air dashes, bullet deflecting, and tons of bosses that feels freshly sprung from the mind of an eight-year-old on a sugar high.
Paratopic is a horror game about cursed video tapes and horrible monsters lurking in the woods. Following an assassin, a smuggler, and a photographer, it’s a slow-burning tale of violence that uses film editing techniques to ramp up the tension. It’s a perfect, moody Indie Pick.
Uurnog Uurnlimited feels like a knock-off Super Mario Bro 2. It’s a blocky platform puzzler where you pick up and throw everything, from enemies to bombs. It’s a bit rough around the edges, but its freeform approach to puzzle design means that you’re able to come up with your own solutions. It’s a sneaky little game…
Capturing the feeling of early AOL chats can be difficult, while crafting an engrossing LGBT narrative can be ever harder. Secret Little Haven nails both, transporting players to the earlier days of the internet and telling a story that is both empathetic and believable. It’s intriguing and a great choice for this…
Enviro-Bear 2000 is an arcade driving game about a bear frantically careening through the forest to grab fish and berries before winter comes. Awkward controls and loose car physics turn foraging into a dizzying affair of hairpin turns and rabid possums. It’s a classic game and perfect Indie Pick.
Ambition of the Slimes is a tactical roleplaying game where the player wrangles an army of vulnerable slimes. By themselves, these cute critters are squishy and easily defeated but they have a trick up their sleeve: they can possess enemy units.