The Indie Houses is a new initiative from a collection of seven independent games publishers, working together to better support one another, and help gain greater attention for the games they publish. Last night they hosted their first ever Indie Houses Direct, an hour-long presentation featuring 35 game announcements.
Currently part of The Indie Houses are Raw Fury, Akupara Games, Fellow Traveller, Neon Doctrine, Those Awesome Guys, Whitehorn Games and Toge Productions. Among them, they’re the publishers that have brought us games like The Darkside Detective, Manifold Garden, Genesis Noir, Dandara, and Calico. The idea here was to surf the current wave of Directs, like the recent Wholesome Direct, to bring greater attention to interesting little projects that otherwise struggle to receive wider press attention.
The video, rather unfortunately only available in 1997's 360p, begins with an introduction of the Indie Houses concept, before moving on to each of the seven publishers’ forthcoming titles. Below are some of the highlights that stood out to me.
Glitchhikers feels like one of those amazing podcasts that tells creepy-ass stories that you can never find again after you listened. Following on from an experimental 2014 game made by developers Silverstring Media, The Spaces Between is going to tell an uncanny, surreal tale of peculiar journeys, and looks cool as hell in the trailer. It’s due out next year.
Set in Taiwan, The Legend Of Tianding is a side-scrolling platform beat ‘em up with a gorgeous-looking cartoon style, and all sorts of leapy-choppy action. It looks a little bit Streets Of Rage, but with some really interesting-looking combat techniques—most especially that red sash. It’s due out on October 27.
I’ve been looking forward to Beacon Pines for a good while now. It’s a cutesy-looking third-person narrative-led game, in which discovered charms can be placed in a book that rewrite the story as you play it. Which is pretty mindbending to experience, letting you play through versions where major characters die, then rearrange the charms to tell the story completely differently. It’s just signed to Fellow Traveller, after a successful Kickstarter, and is due out next year.
Disappointingly not a game about cultivating and marketing your own range of freshly grown princesses, this is instead a farming-cum-puzzle game about... befriending rabbits? Honestly, I’ve watched the trailer twice and I’ve still no clue what’s going on, which is possibly what I like so much about it. It’s due out later this year.
Much better viewed here, than in the super-low-def showcase where it was incomprehensible, Devilated is a super-brutal FPS, very clearly inspired by Quake, and looking all sorts of gruesome. It’s going to feature bullet time, of which there’s been far too little in games of late. There’s an Early Access build on Steam already, and console versions coming next year.
Boasting one of the co-creators of Tomb Raider, Lara Croft designer Toby Gard, Dream Cycle is to be a creepy first-person exploration of the Dreamlands, which says it’ll let you use stealth, traps and spells, alongside brute force, to approach the game in your own preferred style. It’s worth noting that the in-game footage shown in the main show was a lot more calmly paced than the frenetic action in the trailer above. It’ll be interesting to see Gard realizing a new vision after all these years (and after Galleon). It comes to Early Access next week.
Out of Early Access as of yesterday, Gone Viral is a roguelite brawler created by former AAA devs who worked on games like Wildstar and City Of Heroes. It looks completely manic, and is out on Steam now.
Despite being released in March 2020, this Japanese language learning game Kana Quest snuck into the show by releasing a demo for the first time. It’s a puzzle game designed to teach you Japanese letters, and is currently half price to celebrate the event.
Launching today, Lake is set in 1986, when a successful business women heads back to her small hometown to fill in for her father, a postal worker. It’s about the change of pace, getting to know the locals, and forming relationships. And, you know, delivering the mail. It’s a third-person adventure by Gamious, out on Steam this afternoon.