Why do an indie games spotlight now? Well, there are a ton of huge games coming soon. Games like Cyberpunk 2077, Dying Light 2, Marvel’s Avengers, and more are all going to make a huge splash. However, with all of these juggernauts on the horizon, it could be easy to miss some really great games albeit from much smaller developers.
Whenever I go to E3, I always make a point to visit the Indie Cade booth for that very reason. If you’re unfamiliar, Indie Cade is an organization dedicated to helping small developers spread the word about their creations. Often, some of the most interesting games at E3 can be found at the Indie Cade booth.
I really admire what Indie Cade does so I’d like to do my part. With that being said, I’m going to highlight three of my favorite games from the Indie Cade booth this year. Each of these games are unique experiences that I think are definitely worth checking out. By the way, these games are not in any particular order. This isn’t about ranking; its about highlighting.
Between the eye-catching art, high energy chip tune EDM music, and unique gameplay, Dicey Dungeons was bound to catch my attention. Dicey Dungeons is a “deck building rogue-like RPG”. The story goes that Lady Luck herself has decided to put you through a trial that has you battling monsters, searching for treasure, and trying to get out alive. Unfortunately, your fate can literally hang on the roll of the dice. The numbers you roll determine the effectiveness of the cards in your deck. However, don’t be fooled. This is not a game of pure chance. A few moments in and you’ll quickly realize strategy is definitely the key here. There are six different characters to choose as your hero and each one has their own unique abilities which further depends that strategic element.
Furthermore, the dungeons are procedurally generated so each play-through will be different than the last. Additionally, the fact that this game was created by just 4 humans makes this game all the more impressive. Dicey Dungeons coming to PC via Steam. I recommend you check it out!
Imagine taking the best elements of Wave Race 64 and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater then combining them together with a splash of 80’s neon Miami Vice flair. Now imagine that instead of jet skis or skateboards, there are tiny speed boats piloted by teddy bears. That winning combination is what you get in Wave Break by Funktronic Labs. I didn’t get the chance to play a variety of modes but I did experience something of a “head to head” mode in which players are put in an open area and each person is trying to rack up as many style points as possible before the time runs out. The open environments in this game are beautifully done, the animation was smooth, and I didn’t notice any frame-dips.
Pulling off tricks in this game is nearly identical to a Tony Hawk game with other mechanics reminiscent of Wave Race 64. That makes the controls very intuitive and shortens the learning curve dramatically. Currently Wave Break is only scheduled to release for PC via Steam but the team behind the game is looking for a publisher to help them bring the game to consoles. I am definitely rooting for them as I’d love to play this game on my Nintendo Switch!
The Last Friend
The Last Friend does something I’ve never seen before. It combines a tower defense genre with classic beat ’em up attack mechanics. The result is a unique, fast paced experience. On top of all that, there are dogs! Lots of dogs! I’ll explain. In The Last Friend the object is to project a group of good doggo boys and girls from a horde of baddies. Like a traditional side-scrolling tower defense there are designated lanes that the baddies traverse. You can place turrets, barriers, and other weapons in those lanes to take the bad guys down. However, your character can also freely move within the play field and use beat ’em up melee attacks to take down any bad guys that your weapons miss.
Furthermore, each dog in the group that you’re protecting has special abilities and assists that the player can use to take on the horde. For example, the Newfoundler dog can heal near by turrets. Other dogs can enhance your combo moves. The dogs aren’t just there to steal our hearts, they also add some depth and strategy to the gameplay. Currently The Last Friend is not available but it will eventually come to PC via Steam and the developer Stonebot Studio is turning to crowd funding to aid in the game’s release and possibly see it come to other platforms.
Well, there you have it. Three great indie games that I think possess a ton of potential. Which one are you the most interested in? Can you think of some other indie games currently in development that you think are worth a look? Let us know in the comments!