On The Radar: Scarlet Deer Inn, Pinni And The Lost Voice, Himbo Harem Homicide

One of the coolest things about covering indie games is that they can come at you in unexpected ways. Sometimes, I get a helpful email giving me a heads up on a cool project, other times I really just stumble over something while doomscrolling on social media. Whatever the secret of their discovery, here are three games that have earned a spot on my “to watch for” list!

Scarlet Deer Inn

Promising a moving narrative and folklore-inspired dangers, Scarlet Deer Inn has been on my mind for some time. That has a lot to do with the fact that the creators, Attu Games, developed one of the first games I ever previewed for Game Informer, Feudal Alloy. When I heard the husband and wife team were making a second game, I asked to be kept in the loop.

While there’s no release date in sight, the project just got a new trailer that unfairly preys on my love of hand-drawn art and wild concepts. If you look closely at things like sheep, geese, or even the red-haired protagonist (always a good choice), you may detect an eye-catching texture. That’s because all the figures in the game are embroidered. With a sewing machine. I can’t imagine the work that goes into making characters feel alive when you have to sew an entirely new version for every little movement.

Throw in some medieval music made on traditional instruments, and the cryptic hint that the only thing between me and an untimely end is a torch, and you have an intriguing indie recipe.

Pinni and the Lost Voice

Behold the revival of Yoshi’s Island’s art style and rejoice! On top of the bright colors, sunny landscapes, and an endearing canine hero, the developers also liken their project to Hollow Knight. And snippets I’ve seen of the gameplay seem to back up their claims, making it another project I can’t wait to try out for myself.

Oh, and there’s a giant chicken in charge of celestial bodies. If that doesn’t convince you to watch for this game, I don’t know what will. Trouble comes to protagonist Pinni’s world when the Great Great Rooster (yes, there’s two “greats” in this wonderous fowl’s title) falls under the weather. A sore throat means Day and Night are frozen in place, unless our goodest boi adventurer can find the ingredients for a “magical cough syrup.”

Basically, everything about this game’s concept is perfect. If the developers create a combat system to match, we have a serious indie contender on our hands.

Himbo Harem Homicide

Did you ever wish a game of clue looked a lot more like a dating sim? Well, I didn’t know I did either until seeing Himbo Harem Homicide. Amazing title aside, this detective experience by Mouse Potato Games sets the sands of the hourglass against you.

In a setup that would make The Bachelor green with envy, you start the game in a love-laden manor stuffed with a variety of doting, handsome men. But paradise goes up in flames when one of your paramours goes on a murderous rampage. As the creators explain, it’s “a classic whodunit – but with a harem of himbos.”

Can you catch the deranged killer before your fetching flock is sacrificed on the altar of jealousy? Interview characters like Bobby the weightlifting watercolorist or (my personal favorite so far) Tevin the MMA Baker while exploring an opulent mansion for clues to the perpetrator’s identity when Himbo Harem Homicide launches late in December.

Interested in other games coming later this year? Check out my indie release schedule here!

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