The PlayStation 4 has had indie games down since launch, with gamers being graced with titles such as Flow, Dead Nation and Don’t Starve, to name just a few. The Xbox One, however, has had Max: The Curse of Brotherhood … and … some game about a motorcycle? Either way, as an Xbox One owner, I want to see more decent indie games. That’s why I was over the moon with the recent announcement of ID@Xbox. This programme will allow any independent developer to create games for the Xbox One (much like the old indie game marketplace on the Xbox 360) with all of the benefits of a full Xbox One game, such as achievements, use of Kinect and DVR. These are exciting times for fans of indie games on the current-gen consoles, so I’ve trawled through the internets and created this neat little list of indie games that I think look most epic.
N++ (PS4, TBA 2014)
N+ was by far my favourite arcade game on the Xbox 360. The speed-run style missions gave me hours of fun as I ran up walls, hurdled enemies and glided across the 2D world. So the announcement that the sequel, N++, would only be on the PS4 broke my heart a little. Sure, it wasn’t a console seller and yes it was ridiculously frustrating at times. Still, I loved trying to get that springy little ninja to and from his objectives with a sense of style and panache, even if I did die a thousand odd times on the way. So if I owned a PS4 this would definitely be on my list, without a doubt.
Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty (PS4, Spring 2014)
If you’ve not played an Oddworld game, you clearly weren’t a gamer in the 90s. The Oddworld games were, well, odd. They followed the adventures of a little green/blue alien called Abe. Abe was once a slave working for a meat processing factory where he would have eventually become the meat being processed, but he broke free and vowed to save others like him. New ‘n’ Tasty will follow on in much of the same vein, though there will be new environments and levels for those die hard fans that might fancy something different. I’m glad that Abe is back in another adventure, not so glad that it won’t be coming to the Xbox though. The original games filled my childhood with joy and even whilst writing this, I can picture little Abe bumbling around the meat factory and saving his friends from certain doom.
Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number (PS4, Q3 2014)
We loved the original Hotline Miami here at IM PLAYIN, mostly for its quirky / gory nature, and the announcement of a sequel has more than just our interest. The game will be a pre/sequel, having levels taking place both before and after the first game. Hotline Miami was verging on the controversial for its scenes of violence and the sequel has already sparked controversy just from the demo. The original was a fantastic little game and if the sequel follows in its footsteps, PS4 owners are in for a real treat later on this year.
Starbound (PS4, TBA)
RPGs! OMGs! I think I’ve written “I love a good RPG” far too many times in my articles, so I’ll just have to come up with more whimsically articulate ways of portraying my love for the genre in the future. From what I’ve read up so far, Starbound definitely sounds like an RPG worth getting excited for. For me, it combines a love of classic 16bit games with space exploration and sandbox game worlds. You can play as a choice of seven different races, from Human to Novakid – a being made of solar energy. The game begins with the player’s home planet being destroyed in a cataclysmic event that sees your character fleeing the disaster in a beat up space ship, cast out into the voids of space. The universe is completely open to exploration and will combine main with side-quests to keep your interest. You can fully customise your ship and even build objects using a 3D printer that’s stored on board! It really does sound like my kind of game, I might even have to get it on my PC (and I’m really not that much of a PC gamer).
Super Time Force (Xbox One, Q2 2014)
We’ve covered Super Time Force a couple of times on IM PLAYIN, and not much has changed since I last wrote about it. From what I’ve seen, it looks like a crazy, crazy game. Bullets flying everywhere, explosions around every corner – my sort of title! I like a game to be packed full of action, especially if it’s a short indie game; STF looks like it’ll be just that. Check out an article I wrote a few weeks ago for more information on the game, here.
Wulverblade (Xbox One, Q4 2014)
I work in a museum, so I loves a bit of history (I’m far too cool for school). So when I heard the announcement of Wulverblade, a hack ‘n’ slash side-scroller set in ancient Britain around AD120, I was over the moon. This game seems to tell the story of the Roman invasion from the opposite side to Ryse: Son of Rome. The player will control a Briton warrior, Cradoc, in North Britannia as the Romans try to push up and continue their conquest of the island. Obviously, it’s your job to make sure that this doesn’t happen and, by using your barbaric strength and warrior’s mentality, Cradoc might just succeed. There are a few things that I already love about this game – it’s all in the press-release. Below is a nice little teaser trailer.
“Wulverblade is stooped in rich British history which forms the backbone of the game. Historical fact, historical theory and amazing ancient British folklore are mixed together to create a breath-taking and highly involving plot that underpins the roots of the game and its incredible features.” – I couldn’t have said it better myself. I love historical accuracy because a) I’m a massive geek and b) I’m a massive geek – so having a game that’s both historically accurate and combines British folklore is like someone handing me a triple choc-fudge sundae with extra fudge, and extra chocolate, and it’s also covered in M&Ms … because I love M&Ms. Not only that, but they’re promising full 1080p graphics for the Xbox One. If you can’t tell, I’m really excited for this game. So let’s hope that Fully Illustrated can deliver what they’re promising!
Hyper Light Drifter (Xbox One & PS4, Late 2014)
Definitely wrote more than I was expecting on Wulverblade there, but it does look like a fantastic game. Before starting this article, Hyper Light Drifter was the indie game that I was really looking forward to, that was before reading more on Wulverblade, so the jury’s out for now as to which game will receive the title ‘Alec’s Best Indie Game of 2014’. Still, Hyper Light Drifter looks like an immense game, combining RPG elements with 8/16bit graphics. Set in a dystopian futuristic world, the player controls the Drifter, a being able to harness forgotten technologies and energy. The game is fashioned in a pixilated style, similar to Superbrothers: Sword & Sorcery, and there will be no spoken words meaning that all dialogue will have to be read. Remember when we had to do that with games? Read them? It will really resemble the classic SNES games that relied on the soundtrack to help create an atmosphere and immerse the player in the world. Below is a quick video of the gameplay, and it looks fantastic.
Strike Suit Zero: Director’s Cut (Xbox One & PS4, April 2014)
Did you ever play classic space shooters like Freespace 2? Well, Strike Suit Zero really harks back to the old Arcade space shooter. You play as a fighter pilot during an ongoing war between Earth and the forces of the space colonies. The game combines its simple shooter style with some tactical gameplay to make one hell of a space ship fighting extravaganza. The best aspect of the game is that it gives you an idea of the scale of the conflict and, rather than playing as the entire fleet, you control one fighter in a sea of others. The PC version was met with waves of praise, so it’s great that this game is coming to the current-gen consoles.
It Draws a Red Box (Xbox One, Late 2014)
Last but not least is ‘It Draws a Red Box’. I know very little about this title, but the basic concept has really captured my interest. It’s basically a jetpack based ball game with up to eight players, either on or offline, and is a hark back to the old alternative sports titles. It’s been compared to Super Smash Bros. (which is enough to get my attention in itself), and the words ‘chaotic’, ‘jetpack’ and ‘ball game’ have been thrown around a lot to describe it. I like sports, I like chaotic games, and I like jetpacks, so this could be a doozey! Plus, it’ll be nice to have some more decent local co-op games for the Xbox One that aren’t shoot’em ups.
So there you go, just a few of the indie games that I can’t wait to play on my Xbox One and wish I could play on the PS4. It’s great to see so many indie developers being given the go-ahead for the current-gen consoles, especially on the Xbox One. There are lots of great developers out there that have some fantastic ideas for video-games, so it’s nice to know that some of these ideas might just come to fruition. One thing’s for sure, we’re going to be spoilt for games this generation.