A FISTFUL OF INDIES: MAY 2014


5.15.2014

Brandon Boyer

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Every month, as part of the regular monthly meetings of JUEGOS RANCHEROS, we do a very casual & chatty rundown of the ten or so games from the previous month for the audience, to give people — especially those curious onlookers from outside the indie community itself — a look at what they may have missed. The featured games are both local and global, and both indie and, on occasion, a bit-bigger-budget — what binds them together is simply that they’re all amazing.

In keeping with the tongue-in-tobacco-packed-cheek tone, we call these run-downs A Fistful of Indies, which are presented here for your reference, each fully annotated & linked up for your pleasure.

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Hitman Go

Developer: Square Enix | Platform: iPhone/iPad | Get it: App Store

“…a for real Hitman game from Square Enix, like this thing is canon, but pitched and spearheaded by a guy called Daniel Lutz, who’s been releasing indie iPhone games for years, including one called Colorbind which you might recall from the 2011 IGF, where it was one of the nominees for best mobile game. Go takes all of the stealthy assassination mechanics from the series and reimagines them as this super gorgeous tabletop board game and is amazing even just to look at in your hands…”

Architects EP

Developer: Various | Platform: Windows | Get it: Here

“…not one game, but a collection of games, music, video, and interactive music videos called the Architects EP. it was put together by a worldwide game collective and community called Braingale, which includes a few members from right here in Austin… I really like the idea of this as like documentation of a scene in the same way as you’d get a compilation CD or mixtape of local bands back in the day…”

Morning Coffee

Developer: Animal Phase | Platform: Windows/Mac/Linux | Get it: Here

“… the joy here is in exploring the space so I won’t spoil it too much, but they call it a sort of short-form poem about morning routines, and i can’t think of a nicer way to describe it than that…”

DRAANG

Developer: Team DRAANG | Platform: Web | Play it: Here

“…I totally have no idea what you actually do in DRAANG, but it’s totally speaking my language.. it’s sort of a dual-level board game, and all I know is I like.. I think I ate frogs? And then sometimes they gave me pizza or coffee, and sometimes I pooped, and sometimes there was a ghost in my poop. And I collected all the kinds of foods but the game didn’t stop, so there’s probably a whole bunch more to it that I didn’t even see…”

Lounge Lord

Developer: FlexRoman | Platform: Windows | Get it: Here

“…a tiny sequencer toy where you lay down some beats using your keyboard, and then drag your mouse around to drag that finger around there to play stupid melodies, and no matter what you do the crowd goes nuts and talks about how they’re gonna put it on their tumblr.

Most importantly though, is that big red button with the exclamation point is an airhorn button, so pretty much you know right away this game is after our one true heart.”

I Contemplated The Sun of Limbo

Developer: Titouan Millet | Platform: Web/Windows/Mac/Linux | Get it: Here

“I think this next game is called ‘I CONTEMPLATED THE SUN OF LIMBO’ & subtitled ‘THUS I MET THE VOID’ and show you this screenshot, and you know exactly what kind of thing this is, and you are totally correct, it is that thing, and it’s totally worth wandering around in.”

Wunderheilung

Developer: Konstantin Kopka | Platform: Web | Play it: Here

“…the premise here is that you’re a doctor and these patients come with various mysterious ailments that you need to use this magical magnifying glass to solve… because this was made in a weekend there are only two patients, but I super hope this gets expanded on further….”

Beachcomber

Developer: Mason Lindroth | Platform: Web | Play it: Here

“…next is a game by a guy called Mason Lindroth who I’ve been trying to find the space to recommend for the past couple months now — he’s been doing a bunch of these tiny games that all have this weird one-bit Macintosh meets claymation vibe, just like you see here —

His Ludum Dare game above is called Beachcomber, which starts out pretty much like what you’d expect, where you move around & try to find stuff in the sand to dig out with your dirty fingers, and then later moves on to a bit weirder of a space…

…and this is a game he did a few months back called Weird Egg & Crushing Finger, which is what turned me on to his stuff…”

Step

Developer: Tak | Platform: Windows/Mac | Get it: Here

“…a game about this little creature here wandering through the endless desert, trying to re-claim these little data disk objects you see at the bottom — it’s about getting lost, and being lost, and the relief of finding your way back home again…”

International Jetpack Conference

Developer: Adam Parrish & Rob Dubbin | Platform: Windows/Mac | Get it: Here

“…the first new best game written in proto-adventure-game-maker ZZT, this is exactly what it says on the tin — a game about going to a tradeshow for new and interesting jetpack technology and discovering a deeper adventure there, written by Colbert Report staff writer Rob Dubbin…”

Fract OSC

Developer: Phosfiend | Platform: Windows/Mac | Get it: Here

“…at its heart a first-person puzzle adventure very much like Myst, but where the entire world is more or less built out of synthesizers, which are the key to solving most of its puzzles — this thing is just like an audiovisual marvel, so definitely go dig into it as soon as you can…”