Indie Roundup: March and April 2018

Game Workers Unite, drinking in hell and Switch ports.

Indie Roundup is a selection of indie games that have recently been announced, highlights such as Nindies Showcase or titles that are launching in the upcoming weeks.

March 29: Umiro

Publisher: Devolver Digital
Studio: Diceroll Studios
Platforms: Android & iOS

Both Android and iOS users will be able to take control of Tonino and Satura, the main characters of Umiro. They don’t know what brought them to that place, but they only have each other in an action packed puzzle adventure throughout over 40 levels. While the difficulty will only increase as players advance through the story, those who find alternative paths can retrieve a weird kind of crystals as rewards. Needless to say, the art style is gorgeous.

April 3: Minit

Publisher: Devolver Digital
Studio: A collaboration between Kitty Calis, Jan Willem Nijman, Jukio Kallio and Dominik Johann.
Platforms: PC, Playstation 4 and Xbox One

Have you ever wondered how it would feel to save the world in just 60 seconds? Well, Minit wants to attempt to answer that question. Think of it as a black and white zelda-like experience filled with secrets, peculiar people to help and a minimalistic art style.

April 3: The Adventure Pals

Publisher: Armor Games Studios
Studio: Massive Monster
Platforms: Steam, PS4, Switch, Xbox One

A boy whose father was “dad-napped” during his birthday and a giraffe will traverse through a kingdom of cute- looking fellows. Expect humour a la Adventure Time, which also resonates to something that Behemoth Games would do. Oh, it also features local co-op. “A story of love, giraffes and hotdogs.”

April 10: Masters of Anima

Publisher: Focus Home Interactive
Studio: Passtech Games
Platforms: Steam, PS4, Xbox One and Switch

I have been missing Overlord and Pikmin for quite some time now, but it seems like Masters of Anima might help to fill that void. Anima gives the main character the power to control magical Guardians, all with a different set of abilites to aid you both in combat and puzzles throughout the world of Spark. Ranking up victories will increase and add new powers for both the character and their guardians. If you miss leading units in real time combat, the latest from Passtech Games and Focus Home Interactive might be for you.

April 18: Healer’s Quest

Publisher: Rablo Games
Studio: Rablo Games
Platforms: Steam

After a successful Kickstarter campaign back in 2016, Healer’s Quest is soon to be released to the world. While labeled as an RPG, this isn’t your typical entry of the genre. First, you are commanded with the task of maintaining your crew alive as the healer, using different spells to overcome each challenge. Thing is, the party members are kind of idiots, which will require a bigger attention and effort to achieve victory. Pablo Coma, the solo-dev from the studio, has also put a lot of focus on both the customization of your healer (from their hair to their Karma alignment) and an extensive skill tree.

April 24: The Swords of Ditto

Publisher: Devolver Digital
Studio: onebitbeyond
Platforms: PC, Playstation 4

This charming adventure presents unique mechanics related to your actions, and how they will literally shape the world for generations to come. If you fail on your quest to save the kingdom from the evil forces that surround it, another adventurer will take your place 100 years in the future. The Swords of Ditto presents a level up system around stickers, throwable vinyl records and local co-op. Plus, kazoos.

Today, the studio announced a collaboration with SIE Studios Japan to get an exclusive LocoRoco quest on the game, including an unique dungeon, music and sounds from the series and, of course, tons of LocoRocos. You can watch the reveal here.

Reveal: Afterparty

Release: 2019
Studio: Night School Studio
Platforms: Yet to be announced

From the minds behind Oxenfree, Afterparty introduces the same gameplay formula that worked so well on their first project once more, but with a few interesting tweaks. First of all, we will now be in control of two characters, with even the possibility of long distance chatter thanks to the addition of smartphones. Only that this time, instead of getting lost in a strange island with a couple of friends, players will have to literally outdrink Satan to get out of hell.

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The characters can take part of classy drunk activities such as beer pong and karaoke, along with getting different abilities and dialogue options depending on which drink you choose from demonic bartenders. Sounds fun to me.

Highlight: Nindies Showcase Spring 2018

Shorter than expected, a new Nindies Showcase introduced some of the upcoming titles for Switch, including The Banner Saga 3 (1 and 2 will also be released ahead of the the new entry’s launch), Reigns: Kings and Queens (including both games with brand new local co-op), Bad North and remastered versions for Mark of the Ninja and Lumines.

What really caught all of us by surprise were some late announcements that were done on a Nindies conference in GDC, related to the newest addition of GameMaker 2 (which granted the possibility of porting Undertale to Switch). During that talk Hyper Light Drifter, Crashlands and Nidhogg II were also announced for the console.

Highlight: Game Workers Unite

Not only there were interesting talks, all nighter parties and announcements during GDC. A group of people used this opportunity to reveal Game Workers Unite, an anonymous pro-union organization focused on fighting and raise awareness of abuse, exploitation and crunch in the games industry. For more information, I recommend reading a handful of interviews: Allega Frank’s on Polygon, Matt Kim’s on USGamer and Jason Schreier’s on Kotaku. Also, make sure to visit the official site for more information and follow them on Twitter for the latest news.

By Diego Nicolás Argüello

Founder and EIC of Into The Spine. Probably procrastinating on Twitter right now. Talk to him about pinballs, Persona, and The Darkness. @diegoarguello66

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