The second annual Mini Indie Showcase aired on Wednesday last, which means many fans keeping their eyes on GDC might have missed this brilliant event. The forty-six-minute runtime is stuffed with thirty-three indie games that range from thoughtful adventure titles to a laser-filled, spaceship-flying roguelite. The show highlighted hotly anticipated games along with, my favorite for events like this, surprising new projects to watch. Here’s a cheat sheet of everything you might have missed.
Are you ready for a wild pitch? The Cub’s creators call it: “The Jungle Book meets the armageddon.” And they’ve captured that vibe. I got my hands on this title in my Game Informer days, so I’m surprised to see it still doesn’t have a release date. However, it continues to look delightful, and there’s a demo up on Steam.
Introducing the roguelite section of the show, Spiritfall boasts some eye-catching, hand-drawn art and action. This one is right around the corner with an April 3 Early Access release date.
Antipaint looks like off-the-wall fun about painting all over the walls. On top of squaring off with the art world’s most famous works, like the Mona Lisa with a moustache and Jacques-Louis David’s Napoleon, every level you beat becomes its own masterpiece.
Beyond The Long Night
Coming April 17, this game has a lot going on. It’s a roguelike, twin-stick action title with time-loop elements. Additionally, you’re trapped underground with a mysterious “corrupting force.” Good luck.
Just to creep out the audience, Six One Indie slipped in a prime example of Nope. Backrooms Exploration promises nine levels of atmospheric psychological horror, and you can jump in to the full game right now.
The Star Named EOS
This one is a can’t-miss. I went hands-on with The Star Named EOS a few months ago, and you can read my preview here. But the TLDR is you play as a photographer looking to solve the mystery of her mother’s disappearance.
A story of jazz and passion, the adventure rhythm game puts you in the shoes of musician trying to get through the daily ground while finding time to experience the joy of playing. The prologue is up on Steam for anyone that wants to see more.
Unwording is a game I feel in my soul. Bouncing back and forth between simplistic drawing and fully 3D graphics, this is a game about struggling. Set over three days, your goal is to view the world in a more positive light.
Cook Serve Forever
More than one person I take seriously played this during the most recent Steam Next Fest and came out impressed. This showcase’s trailer is brief, but its unusual mix of naturalistic-looking food paired with fantastical characters has my attention.
Plushie From The Sky
I have a decent number of video game plushies, but I’ve never thought of them as a boss-fighting tool until now. With undeniable personality, Plushie From The Sky throws you into a Souls-like world with only your teddy for protection. Can you survive? Find out with the demo up now!
It’s hard to tell exactly what’s going down in this adventure game, but I can tell you it’s not good. Dive into the mystery yourself with the currently available demo.
You may have noticed a theme for the last few games. For all of you who like to get scared, it’s been a buffet. Luckily for me, Pneumata’s haunting screams and grisly murder mysteries marks the last of the creepy titles in the showcase.
I love everything about this game. First, it wasn’t on my radar and discovering new, amazing titles is the highlight of any showcase. And the premise is irresistable. A world where robots rose up and destroyed humanity only to find their psychological needs still unfulfilled. I couldn’t add Robotherapy to my wishlist fast enough.
Fall of Porcupine
Fall of Porcupine is shaping up to be a real gem when it releases later this year. In my preview, I appreciated its stylized look, wall-breaking humor, and heavy themes.
Point of Mew
It’s just not an indie showcase until there’s a game about cats. In this feline-focused adventure, you play as the cuddly creature, exploring the environment, solving puzzles, and making the world a better place for your human companion.
Gourdlets is great. I played an early build of the game not too long ago, and already the developers have added more to the stress-free experience. Though the city-building genre tends to intimidate newcomers, Gourdlets offers a laid-back and engaging introduction. Try out the demo!
Already out for Steam and consoles, Romancelvania let’s players fill the well-tailored boots of Dracula looking for love. It’s bizarre in all the best ways.
Introduced by my favorite gag of the showcase, this retro-inspired platformer puts Mjölnir in your hands. The youthful version of Norse’s mighty thunder god is taking out mythical monsters and traveling through Asgard’s beautiful realms.
Fortune’s Run’s trailer came prepared. First, it hits you with an undeniable beat, then socks you with its old-school shooter visuals. Though it’s set to release in September, a demo currently on Steam is letting fans get their hands on the game early.
The show’s retro fever breaks with this NES-esque title. It’s time to bring down the Techno-Terrorists as former cop Hal Bruzer. So, strap on your headband and futuristic holster.
From neon dystopia to dark fairy tale, the showcase turns to Ravenwatch’s illustration-like trailer. Ravenwatch is a group made up of folk tale heroes tasked with defending a land of dreams being flooded by nightmares.
Shadows of Doubt
Another star of the Steam Next Fest, Shadows of Doubt throws you into a fully realized, immersive sandbox. Your job as a private investigator is to catch a killer before they strike again but the bustling city is vast and the game won’t lead you to your objective.
Albert Wilde: Quantum P.I.
“All six of my nipples are tingling” is not a sentence I expected to hear, let alone become the most memorable of the showcase. But here we are. Still firmly in the noir section of the evening, this title is definitely offering up some humorous takes on the serious genre.
Read Only Memories: NEURODIVER
If this title sounds familiar to you, it’s probably because it’s another story set in the 2064: Read Only Memories universe. Players who have already visited Neo-San Francisco will recognize the colorful cyberpunk world and its cast of equally colorful characters.
Die in the Dungeon
Get it? Die. As in the singular of dice because the dungeon hopper is all about rolling damage. Instead of more typical deck-building, Die in the Dungeon has its players collecting dice to place on a board that determines how the battle unfolds.
We Took That Trip
“Embark on a relaxing road trip with your closest friends. Maintain your beloved van, deal with its innovative systems, and give it a personal touch by customizing it. Enjoy the journey and discover the emotional story of your group of friends,” explains the developers. It sounds like my kind of game.
Surmount was ready to show up at GDC this year. Aside from this showcase, it also appeared in the Day of the Dev’s show floor. I was lucky enough to get some time with it, and you’ll hear more about that soon.
There is a demo available now for anyone looking to see what the gameplay for this ethereal-looking title feels like. We didn’t get a release date for emotional, color-restoring tale, but we can hope for it soon.
Whisker Squadron: Survivor
It’s got lasers. It’s got jams. It’s got spaceships. What else could you want from a game? Taking its cue from games in which vulpine star pilots do barrel rolls, Whisker Squadron is a shooter with survival roguelike elements.
According to the creators, ZOE is a “frenetic shooter combining the run-and-gun mechanics of Metal Slug with the infinite loops and shmup-ing of Resogun, wrapped up with old-fashioned drawn-on-film style animation.” And the trailor lives up to the description. Hopefully the demo will too.
Return has a harsh and evocative feeling. From its fog-filled forests to the bloody and varied combat, the trailer paints a picture of one intense experience. My wishlist is growing unwieldy in the wake of this showcase, but I can’t not add Return to it. There’s a demo I hope to try out soon, but the full experience is slated to come in Q2 of this year.
Silly downhill sliding and sick stunts await players in Slopecrashers. The demo is up on Steam, so you don’t have to wait until a release date is announced before finding out what it feels like to be a snowboarding capybara.
I’m happy to say Sclash is another game I got to try out during GDC, and I’m excited to share more as previews roll out this week. For now, I’ll simply suggest you keep an eye on this distinctive, painterly title.
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