Every indie game featured at the Day Of The Devs Digital Showcase, November 2022
Day Of The Devs is back for round two, with even more indie games to wishlist and watch. Back in June for Summer Game Fest, 15 games were given the showcase’s coveted spotlight, and now a couple of months on Tim Schfer and his crew have given another group of indies the attention they deserve. There are many games! It’s also the showcase’s 10th anniversary, so let’s all get our party poppers on and jump right into the indie list.
As always, the variety this year has been exceptional with contributions from different developers from around the world. Curating the list is a group effort from both Double Fine Productions and iam8bit. Specifically, Double Fine’s Tim Schafer and James Spafford, iam8bit’s Jon Gibson and Amanda White, and PlayStation’s indie master Greg Rice.
The indies shown were a mix of world premieres, games that have already been announced, and a handful that have already been released. We’ve listed each of them that were featured below, so take your time and have a nice browse of indie bliss.
Mina The Hollower
Keeping its blue mascot busy with the recently released Shovel Knight: Dig, the Yacht Club has turned the sails for a new adventure. Mina The Hollower is the game, and it wears its retro influences on its sleeves. It’s a gothic action adventure inspired by Castlevania that sees you play as whip-smart Mina on a mission to restore a cursed island’s generators and beat up some bad guys along the way. A cool combat feature is that Mina can burrow under her enemies, breaking through the surface of the earth to strike from below. It’s a useful skill that will also come in handy for some top-notch puzzle solving. No release date for Mina yet, unfortunately, but let’s hope it’s soon.
Snuffkin: Melody Of Moominvalley
Anyone who says the Moomins are scary is a heartless liar, but they’ll also be happy to know that this Moomin-centric game isn’t actually about the Moomins at all, but their nomadic friend Snufkin. Snufkin: Melody Of Moominvalley honestly looks so lovely – it’s a musical adventure where you get to run around as the green-capped scamper restores harmony to the valley after the Park Keeper takes it away. It looks like a light-hearted and breezy game with (and this was a surprise) music from Sigur Rós, which is pretty amazing. They must be big Tove Jansson fans.
Escape Academy: Escape From Anti-Escape Island
Ed rather enjoyed the locked-room brain teasers of Escape Academy when it was released earlier this year, so escape room fans will be pleased to know that developers Coin Crew Games are releasing a DLC titled Escape Academy: Escape From Anti-Escape Island. There is a lot to escape. In the DLC, you are thrown out of the cramped halls of the academy and marooned on an unknown island
what a lovely holiday to break out of five new handcrafted levels. Grab a pina colada and some mates for this one, out November 10.
Frog Detective 3: Corruption in Cowboy County
They are back! I missed this cute frog detective and this latest entry in the trio of games has only made me stronger. Corruption At Cowboy County may be the final adventure in the Frog Detective trilogy, but it goes out with a bang (get it because, like cowboys and stuff). This time, our favorite amphibian must solve the mystery of Cowboy County’s stolen hats that have disappeared from the heads of the locals. It’s quite a mystery, and along with its silly humor and a cast of socially awkward animal characters, it’s a perfect finale for the iconic series. It’s out now on Steam and Game Pass.
Dead pets are released
Dead Pets Unleashed is an adventure about a 30-year-old who has a quarter-life crisis. Is it too close to home? That description alone was why I picked up the demo last August and had a riot playing it. You play as Gordy, a bassist for the punk rock band Dead Pets who have their last stint at fame before giving up on their guitar thrashing dreams. You must help Gordy get her life together through story choices and mini-games, including working with money, going on dates, appeasing pushy parents and not annoying your bandmates. No release date yet, but you can play the free demo on Steam and itch.io.
We’ve been talking about the Terra Nil Steam Demo for a while now, and that’s because it’s awesome! In this “reverse city builder” you must bring life back to a desolate wasteland that has been destroyed by humans (well done humans, typical stuff). To reconstruct this ecosystem, you must plow down a series of machines that filter the water, clean the air and cultivate the land, leaving the surrounding environment untouched. It also looks gorgeous, and when you manage to clear an area, a wave of green will ripple out across the landscape – oh-so-satisfying.
A game where you get to beat the crap out of your exes? I am with. Thirsty Suitors from Falcon Age developers Outerloop sees you play as Jala, a young woman with a complicated love life who decide to change their past romantic mistakes by battling their exes via overwhelming turn-based battles. It’s very Scot Pilgrim Vs The World, but with a wider scope, as Jala also has to deal with family melodrama from her demanding parents and figure out her own insecurities (aka trying to get her shit together). I played the demo in July and was surprised by how heartfelt the tone was underneath all the thirst jokes. There’s no release date for this one, but the demo is still available on Steam if you want to check it out.
Colossal Cave – Reimagined by Roberta Williams
Announced back in March, Colossal Cave is a remake of the classic 1970 text adventure game of the same name, and it’s being recreated by gaming pioneer Roberta Williams. She and her husband Ken are behind Sierra Entertainment, the game company behind retro classics from the 1980s such as King’s Quest and Phantasmagoria. In Colossal Cave you will play in a magical cave in search of treasures and encounter trolls, dwarves, bears, snakes and apparently a very lost pirate. No release date yet, so expect something in 2023.
The showcase’s first world premiere was for Surmount by Jasper Oprel and Indiana-Jonas. This physics-based climbing game is published by Popagenda and tasks you with climbing Mount Omn, the highest mountain in the world. As you’d expect from a physics game, it’s always fun to watch your ragdoll body flop around as you struggle desperately with the controls, but with items and upgrades, Surmount looks like it’ll make you weep with happiness instead of frustration. No release date for this one either, but you can check out the official game page here.
Graham described Gunbrella as a game that refers to you as “a murderous Mary Poppins” and I couldn’t agree more. This platformer sees you slide around the world with the eponymous gunbrella, a powerful piece of kit that lets you slide, dash and zipline through the levels. It also doubles as a powerful shotgun, which you’ll be using a lot in this dark, post-apocalyptic world. Playing as a nameless gruff protagonist, you’re tasked with investigating a local cult that has kidnapped the mayor and the townspeople. This is another one that I’ve played the demo of (and absolutely loved), and you can read more about it in my October Steam Next Fest demo roundup post.
Evolutis: Duality looks like the very definition of a cyberpunk game: lots of violence, guns, drugs, neon streets, murder and revenge. Tick, tick, tick. The story follows three characters. The first is Damon, a guy looking for his pregnant wife, the second is Erick, who seeks revenge for the death of his cousin, and finally there is Chelsea, a wrestler trying to keep her father alive. The strange, choppy animation in the trailer certainly gives Evolutis an edge, but let’s hope that developers Poke Life Studio bring more nuance to the genre than what we’ve already seen before.
Atari 50: The Anniversary Celebration
This game collection takes you through 50 years of Atari history, all in one neat package. The collection is pretty tough with 100 Atari games (plus six new ones) to dive into, including Asteroids, Tempest 200 and Yar’s Revenge. I’m not into retro gaming myself, but the fact that the pack comes with mini-documentaries and interviews with designers and developers is quite appealing. There are also product design documents and high resolution Atari artwork which is a nice touch. If you’re an Atari fan or just like retro gaming in general, Atari 50: The Anniversary Celebration looks really cool and you won’t have to wait too long to check it out since it’s coming out on November 11th.
Day of the Devs also put the spotlight on two games supported by the non-profit organization Black Voices In Gaming, the first being Slime Heroes. I’m tired of wrangling slimes in Slime Rancher; I actually want to be an adorable slime. Pancake Games knows what I’m on about with the new game Slime Heroes, an adorable soul that sees you explore a living world as a tiny ball of slime. The slime may be small, but they have pretty impressive powers, like forming a sword with their body and chopping up enemies, or blasting them with… slime breath? Ice breath? Some breathing, anyway. No release date yet, so let’s hope it’s sometime in 2023.
The second game in the Black Voices In Gaming segment was Samurai Zero. This PvP hack and slash is set in a world where samurai have been granted supernatural abilities through ties they share with ancient animal gods. The trailer is light on the story, but we did get to see some bombastic battles, which look fast-paced with lots of wall jumping and surprise. The characters include a mysterious automaton named Ryder, the purple-haired, clan member Luna and ex-mercenary Wraith. You can find out more about Samurai Zero on the game’s Steam page.
Another world premiere for Day Of The Devs was Sunshine Shuffle, a game about a group of animals playing poker on a boat. This game is not just about trying to win one against your friends at the table, but about hearing the player’s stories about how the group robbed a bank in the past and how they are now wanted by the mob. Oops. You’re actually playing real poker with the group, so if you’ve always wanted to learn, Sunshine Shuffle is the game for you.
What the bat?
One morning you wake up and go to the bathroom to freshen up, but when you go to turn on the faucet, you catch yourself in the mirror and see that your arms have turned into baseball bats! How? When? Why? None of that matters in What The Bat?, a goofy VR game from the developers of What The Golf? The game is chock-full of mini-games about navigating life with a pair of baseball bats for hands, and it looks fun. Nor should we have to wait long to experience this usually nightmare-inducing experience as What The Bat? coming out sometime in 2022.
Sea of stars
Last, but certainly not least, is Sea Of Stars, a turn-based pixel RPG that looks, quite frankly, super cool. Right off the bat, you can see echoes of Final Fantasy and Chrono Trigger in the art style, but with a lot more detail, and the story sounds like it came right off the pages of a Square Enix game too. The story follows two ‘Children Of The Solstice’ who, with the combined powers of the sun and moon, are on a mission to defeat an evil alchemist who is a jerk. Sea of Stars was a great game to close the show on, and we can look forward to its release sometime in 2023.