New Indie Games

New Indie Games

Pink Hour (Studio Pixel) There are only two words you need to see before downloading this game: Studio Pixel. The creator of Cave Story has been hard at work on the upcoming sidescrolling platformer Kero Blaster, but in the meantime, we get a free game! Pink Hour serves as a small taster for next month's big release, stuffing plenty of shooting, pixel-perfect jumps, and painfully high level of difficulty into its cute little package.

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Rating:

4.42

This game is rated :o for content, click through for an explanation
Cat Game When your beloved cat Toby goes missing, you scour the town for him, but little do you suspect you're about to take a strange trip and find out the stranger truth behind cats in this short but cute freeware adventure game.

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My Little Investigations: True Blue Scootaloo My Little P.I., My Little P.I., aaa-aa-aaa-aaaaaaahhhh... when Rarity's precious gem is stolen and the only suspect is one tiny Pegasus, it's up to Twilight Sparkle to solve the mystery in this gorgeous free Ace Attorney-styled visual novel adventure based on My Little Pony!

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Rating:

4.65

This game is rated :o for content, click through for an explanation
David David is a game, an arcade game, and David is a very unusual game. Our little polygon hero finds himself in a world of abstract shapes and giant evil beasts that are out to eviscerate him one angle at a time. His only powers are the ability to run away like a little yellow belly and fire slingshot-like blasts at his foes. Sometimes he feels powerful, sometimes victorious, but there's always nagging feelings of helplessness and hopelessness in this dangerous world that just wants David to go away.

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Rating:

4.30

This game is rated :S for content, click through for an explanation
Wizard Wizard The best wizard around may not know much actual magic, but he does have a fabulous double jump. Navigate treacherous landscapes and save the princess in this free, highly polished platformer for Windows and Mac.

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Rating:

4.36

This game is rated :o for content, click through for an explanation
Mimicry Man It's your job to take down the legendary hero in this quirky fantasy puzzle game. Who are you? Why, the lord of all Mimics, of course, those sneaky monster treasure chests! You'll need to gobble your way through people from all over the world, luring them in with the items others drop, in order to finally find the sword the hero is looking for to snare him in your trap!

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Rating:

3.86

This game is rated :o for content, click through for an explanation
Noir Syndrome Detective work isn't known for its shallow learning curve. Or for being the kind of thing you can do while standing in line at the post office. With Noir Syndrome, however, solving crimes has become quite a bit more casual. This pick up and play adventure game gives you randomly generated murder mysteries to solve, all you have to do is gather the clues and make the arrest! Oh, and pick a few locks, shoot a few baddies, and have a few snacks. Detectives gotta eat too, you know.

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Rating:

4.07

This game is rated :S for content, click through for an explanation
Goat Simulator Finally, a game which answers the age-old question, "what would it be like to be a goat?" This is Goat Simulator, the action sandbox game which parodies infamously "realistic" simulation games. Headbutt cars, do flips on trampolines or bleat at unsuspecting pedestrians... you can do it all!

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AErena: Clash of Champions Sail the skies and duke it out for supremacy in this colourful and engaging turn-based strategy RPG. With a fantastic steampunk vibe and easy to pick up combat, it's a fine addition to the genre you can even play on your mobile device.

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Pink Hour

JohnBThere are only two words you need to see before downloading this game: Studio Pixel. The creator of Cave Story has been hard at work on the upcoming sidescrolling platformer Kero Blaster, but in the meantime, we get a free game! Pink Hour serves as a small taster for next month's big release, stuffing plenty of shooting, pixel-perfect jumps, and painfully high level of difficulty into its cute little package.


Cat Game

DoraIt's weird. It's cute. It's weird. It's fun. It's really, really weird. It's amitie and halcy's free adventure game Cat Game, which, as it says on the tin, is about cats. Yours, specifically. Your distraught mother informs you that your beloved Toby has run away, and now you have to scour the town and the surrounding area to find him. Everyone is wrapped up in their own problems, so even if someone has seen your cat, you'll need to do a whole lot of favours to get answers. It's getting dark and it's going to rain soon, but hey, it's not like things are going to get craaaaaaazy or anything, right? Should be a piece of cake. To play, just use the [arrow] keys to move, [spacebar] to interact and choose options, and [ESC] to open the menu to save your game.

My Little Investigations: Case 1

DoraThere have been a lot of My Little Pony games, but few are as ambitious as Equestrian Dreamers' Ace Attorney-style visual novel adventure game, over three years in the making. In the first finished installment, My Little Investigations: True Blue Scootaloo, you play pre-Alicorn Twilight Sparkle who decides to take matters into her own hooves when a certain pint-size Pegasus is accused of a crime. Explore Ponyville and the surrounding area, clicking on ponies and things to interact, and build a case file of clues and profiles that updates as you combine evidence and learn more information. When you talk to ponies, you'll occasionally have to interrogate them, which involves pressing them for information on statements you're suspicious about, and presenting evidence to back your statements up or catch them in a lie. Need some extra help? From time to time throughout the story, you'll team up with various ponies who have abilities that can help you in special situations, from greasing the wheels in conversation to some actual magic.


David

JohnBDavid is a game, an arcade game, and David is a very unusual game. Our little polygon hero finds himself in a world of abstract shapes and giant evil beasts that are out to eviscerate him one angle at a time. His only powers are the ability to run away like a little yellow belly and fire slingshot-like blasts at his foes. Sometimes he feels powerful, sometimes victorious, but there's always nagging feelings of helplessness and hopelessness in this dangerous world that just wants David to go away.


Wizard Wizard

JoelyBeanThe princess has been turned to stone by an evil man in red, and it's up to the most skilled wizard in the land to save the day! This wizard's no slouch. He's got a powerful weapon in his repertoire, one which allows him to bend the rules of space and time itself! That's right; not only can he jump into the air with poise and elegance, but he can double jump too. Hold on to your hats, kids. This is Wizard Wizard, the action-packed platforming game where you can move with the [arrow] keys, double jump with the [up] arrow, and... well, not much else. What did you want, magic spells or something? Even wizards aren't invulnerable to giant spinning buzzsaws.


Mimicry Man

DoraWhat's in the booooooooooox?! In Issa Norakumo's puzzle game Mimicry Man, translated by vgperson, you're on the side of eeeeeeevil. In your case, you're the titular Mimicry Man, leader of those annoying sentient snapping treasure chests who attack unwary heroes, and your job, granted by the Dark Lord himself, is to set a trap for the chosen hero with the legendary Solar Sword... ! Too bad you stink at your job. See, you need bait to lure the hero in, and he may be a doofus, but that dirty stick you had in your chest was obviously not the Solar Sword. Turns out you don't have to be the brightest crayon in the box to control an army of mimics. Now you've got to go on a journey to find the Solar Sword to lay your trap, but it's going to be a long road, because you've got to work your way up from that humble stick by trading with people all over the world. And by "trading" I of course mean "offering them their desire so they come close enough to devour". Obviously.


Noir Syndrome

JohnBDetective work isn't known for its shallow learning curve. Or for being the kind of thing you can do while standing in line at the post office. With Noir Syndrome, however, solving crimes has become quite a bit more casual. This pick up and play adventure game gives you randomly generated murder mysteries to solve, all you have to do is gather the clues and make the arrest! Oh, and pick a few locks, shoot a few baddies, and have a few snacks. Detectives gotta eat too, you know.

Goat Simulator

JoelyBeanWhat's this?—a majestic billy goat in its natural habitat. It emits a gentle piercing shriek before charging gracefully through the glass walls of a nearby greenhouse. After executing a very impressive backflip, the goat explodes a gas canister, scattering a crowd of protestors. Finally, the goat latches its long adhesive tongue onto a passing truck and tumbles away with dignity. Truly, this sublime beast is a sight to behold. If this description has you confused, you haven't yet had a chance to play Coffee Stain Studios', ah, unique new simulation game, Goat Simulator. Described by the developers as "small, broken and stupid," the game employs abstract humour, open-ended sandbox gameplay, and a tone of indulgent silliness to craft an experience enjoyable for nearly anyone.


Aerena

drstrosyReady to sail the seven skies, engaging in honorable combat in your battered but serviceable airship? You'll do just that in Cliffhanger Productions' new turn-based strategy game, Ærena: Clash of Champions, currently playable in early access Alpha on Steam, and available on your computer and to play cross-platform on your Android device, with iOS support coming soon! Artistically a mashup of steampunk and WWII pinup art, the story drops you into a world of noble battle between sky pirates. In many ways, it plays like a steampunk chess game, if chess had bombs and rocket launchers (which, face it, we'd all love to see). Like all turn-based RPGs, you choose your team, in this case, the crew for your airship, and as you level up and earn coin, you can hire new crew members, purchase bomb packs, and even upgrade to a better ship. Once you enter battle, you place three of your team members on the board and move them to attack either the opponents on the board or the rival ship itself.


No more Bullets

JoelyBeanRemember how difficult Edmund McMillen's The Binding of Isaac was? No way to know what you'll encounter next, hordes of enemies charging at you, and nothing to defend yourself but your salty tears. Well, now you can experience a horror-based roguelike which gives you no weapons at all! Such is the premise of No more Bullets, currently playable in beta and Orangepixel's entry for the recent Procedural Death Jam. Using the [arrow] keys to move, your objective is to find your way to the glowing white beacon without dying at the hands of a proverbial army of monsters.

No more Bullets You won't find any powerups, hidden switches, or boss battles here. This game is as simple as they come. It focuses not on gimmick, but on getting the most out of its game mechanics, and there is something very admirable about that. With the ability to move quickly and not much else, you'll quickly find ways of baiting the monsters—who incessantly follow you like they're under a love spell, even if it means getting themselves stuck on corners—into going where you need them to be. Saying much else would take away from your own experience playing the game, but I will leave you with this. There are ways to recover your health. With more developments to come, this beta has a lot going for it already. It's too bad that the sound doesn't seem to be in operation yet, but it's impressive that Orangepixel managed to create such an eerie atmosphere even without it. Maybe in the next update, we'll learn more about those freaky disappearing heads...

Play No more Bullets


Fingerbones

DoraWARNING: This game contains themes you may find disturbing. Consider this a potential trigger warning for things implied. Please see my author's comment below for more detail hidden behind spoiler tags if you are concerned.

Despite its sunlit appearances, David Szymanski's Fingerbones is one of those horror games that sets you on edge right from the beginning. It's just you in a hushed, mostly empty room, dust motes dancing in the light filtering in through the windows... and the knives driven into the table next to the note left atop it. The only direction you're given is the most basic... use [WASD] to move, and the mouse to look around and interact. Progress depends on having a keen eye for detail, on spotting clues, sometimes hidden in plain sight. There's no save function, so be sure you have the time to commit before you sit down, although once you figure out what to do, Fingerbones is on the short side. Oh, and be sure to have your sound turned up... that's absolutely crucial.

A lot of horror stories talk about a feeling of "wrongness" to a place, but few games have managed to capture that as easily and as quickly as Fingerbones. It's the way its soundtrack is more than just music, audio that subtly changes as you move and explore. The still and silent environment, broken only by moving shadows and dust motes... and... of course... the notes. Fingerbones is, more than anything else, a sort of abstract psychological narrative, and the way just a few sentences will start making your skin crawl the more you explore is remarkable. All that being said, however, Fingerbones is definitely not a game you want to play if you're at all adverse to human horror. It's the sort of thing that can make your heart feel heavy the longer you play it, as you start to get an idea of what you're going to find at the end. Most of it is implied rather than outright stated or, thankfully, shown, but the themes here are definitely dark in a way that goes beyond the blood and violence in most horror games. Whether you feel that makes it out of bounds is entirely up to you.

On the gameplay side of things, however, though Fingerbones is relatively straight-forward, there can also be times when it's unintuitive. That buzzing sound from the computer, for instance, isn't actually a "wrong code, sucker" tone, and having to s-l-o-w-l-y trek around to see what else has been activated or to revisit an area to look for something you might have missed can be very tedious. Codes wind up making up for the bulk of any sort of puzzle solving, and some of them can be quite sneaky in the way that they're stated. Fingerbones is best approached as a sort of interactive short story, and the ending may leave some people confused, but if you relish some disturbing atmosphere and masterful use of sound, this is well worth the creepy-crawly feeling you'll be left with at the end.

Play Fingerbones

WindowsWindows:
Get the free full version

Mac OS XMac OS X:
Get the free full version


Moonchild

SatoriIt's comforting to contemplate that everyone has rough days, even if you're royalty. In the midst of a sumptuous dinner Princess Moonchild asks if she may please be excused in order to get a surprise for Queen Calypso, swearing that it will only take a minute. When a few minutes have passed, the princess hasn't returned, and a loud crash is heard from her room, it's probably time to investigate. Either that's a gargoyle carrying her off through her bedroom window, or the princess still needs a bit of refinement when it comes to planning tasteful surprises — not to mention keeping to her commitments. I'm sure this must all be just a big misunderstanding... right? Right? Queen Calypso certainly seems to have her work cut out for her in Aldorlea Games' epic 20+ hour indie roleplaying offering, Moonchild.

MoonchildIt's all enough to prompt Queen Calypso on a major quest, scouring the countryside and dropping the regional horrific wildlife like so many sacks of potatoes — could she have been awarded her title in a championship fighting tournament? — in the search for her noble daughter. First up, it's a visit to the pointy-eared Elves of Dilldel to cure the only witness to the apparent abduction who — in a colossal fit of cosmic convenience — has developed amnesia. How did that happen? He's not quite sure. Touch of amnesia, you see. Yep, something probably should be done about that. Questing awaits! Move with the [arrow] keys, interact with the [spacebar] and bring up the menu with [ESC]. You can also navigate using the mouse if you'd like, clicking on locations around the screen to set destination after destination like some gleefully cackling digital overlord.

Crisp and colorful landscapes provide beautiful environments to quest through. Rich systems of inventory and skills keep things interesting, and level advancement happens frequently enough to keep things from feeling too grindy. Monster encounters happen in their own mode, preserving the feel of a classic roleplaying game. Like Book of Legends, another popular RPG by Aldorlea's team, Moonchild features several different characters to play, and provides a party switcher feature which enables you to swap them out at will to form the party you'd most enjoy playing — or the one with the skills necessary if surviving your next quest is your pleasure. The characters are well-written and almost come alive with their own character traits and motives, and in addition to the main storyline there's a substantial amount of sidequests as well. Moonchild is a substantial and intricately-developed indie roleplaying game on par with releases from more conventional studios. With plenty of content and even a strategy guide on offer if you need it, Moonchild will draw you into its lush realm and immerse you in its classic roleplaying feel.

WindowsWindows:
Download the demo
Get the full version

Mac OS XMac OS X:
Not available.
Try Boot Camp or Parallels or CrossOver Games.


Windforge

JohnBWindforge is going to blow your mind. On the surface it sounds like a garden variety Terraria or Minecraft clone with a steampunk coat of paint. Spend an hour with the game and you'll realize it's so very much more than that. Windforge is a sidescrolling role playing game that lets you build and fly an airship and craft tons of items, weapons and parts. Everything in the environment is destructible, giving you a tremendous sense of freedom and making just about every other exploration game look restrictive by comparison.

Cube and Star: An Arbitrary Love

JohnBCube & Star: An Arbitrary Love is the kind of game you fire up when you know you want to play something but aren't quite sure what you're in the mood for. The delightfully abstract experience from Doppler Interactive puts you in a gray world and says "now go out and do stuff". That "stuff" involves bumping into trees, painting the ground different colors, knocking corners with other shapes, collecting some of the many strange items hidden throughout the environment, and just generally rolling around to see what you can see. Somehow, it's bizarrely entertaining.

Cube and Star: An Arbitrary LoveThe world of Cube & Star kind of does its own thing. Other creatures walk around, trees and pyramids spring up, night falls, strange structures pop out of nowhere, and so on. There are some achievement-like goals to work towards such as collecting ancient relics, money tokens and journal entries, but otherwise you're not shoehorned into doing anything in particular. There's a simple language you can decrypt, or you can focus on painting everything and subsequently burning it to the ground. Whatever your strange sandbox desires happen to be, Cube & Star will probably accommodate you.

The more we talk about Cube & Star the less there is to discover. It seems a little aimless at first (which isn't necessarily a bad thing), but as you play you uncover some more traditional game-like features, so stick with it. It's easy to get frustrated with Cube & Star, but it's easy to get lost in it, too. Just keep telling yourself to relax. There's no right or wrong way to play. If you're a cube and you're standing there, you're doing it right. Now just start hopping around and see what you bump into.

WindowsWindows:
Get the full version

Mac OS XMac OS X:
Get the full version

LinuxLinux:
Get the full version


Roommates

DoraPlease note that this game received its rating of O for a gory Halloween costume, profanity, (non-explicit) sexual content, and a lot of alcoholic consumption.

Winter Wolves tends to go big with their visual novel games. Saving the world from ancient evil, surviving a shipwreck, even solving a murder... but with Roommates, they get back to basics... college life. Depending on what version of the game you choose to buy, you'll play as either Max or Anne, both freshmen with their own hopes and agendas. Whoever you're playing as, the basic gameplay remains the same. The game will take you through the daily life of campus, allowing you to make decisions that influence how people look at you and the way things play out. You'll be able to create your schedule for each day, choosing what to do and where to do, which influences your money and energy levels in addition to improving your grades and your character traits. Rather than traditional statistics, Roommates uses things like Rationality, Spontaneity, and more, which are important when it comes to getting along with your fellow students. And I do mean getting along, wink wink, say no more, say no more!

RoommatesIt wouldn't be a Winter Wolves game without romance, of course, so naturally there are four romantic options for both Max and Anne, including female/female and male/male. While it's disappointing that there's only one gay option compared to a straight player's three (is one choice really any choice at all?), Winter Wolves has always stood out from the pack by making an effort to begin with, especially with Loren the Amazon Princess, which offered multiple gay and straight options for players to pursue. As for the characters themselves, they're a diverse and extremely likable lot in many ways, and the different personalities liven the game up considerably. They have a lot more depth than it may seem at first impression, from Isabella's unexpectedly earnest and generous charm, to Rakesh's mad fits of occasionally dangerous artistic fancy... well, I mean, of course the best way to decorate is a hacksaw! Everyone is very well-written, and Roommates might be the first Winter Wolves game that really made me want to scour every single path to see all of the content with all of the characters and scenarios. Both Anne and Max's storylines offer a lot of different content and interactions to boot. At the same time, however, it did lead to some inconsistencies... at one point, Anne was asking Max to play guitar for her while saying she'd never heard him before, when just a few days ago I'd played a scenario where she'd helped him busk in the park.

RoommatesBy keeping the overall story comparatively drama-free, Roommates delivers a mostly light-hearted tale with some seriously funny dialogue and endearing moments... mayonnaise bath anyone? The gameplay is going to be extremely familiar to anyone who's played a Winter Wolves sim, right down to the grinding for grades and statistics, but the little colour commentary your character offers for each activity provides a lot of charm that breaks things up. That the game also clearly displays what traits each romance option looks for, and at what values, allows you to focus your efforts without flailing around in the dark. It's the sort of relaxing yet engrossing experience that seems to manage putting you in a good mood with ease. Roommates doesn't drastically shake up the life simulation visual novel formula, but it is proof positive just how much fun a simpler storyline can be when done right. Roommates is warm, funny, and definitely replayable... all the earmarks of a genuinely fun visual novel that will make the time fly. Though its stories aren't as complex or dramatic as others, Roommates is certainly my favourite Winter Wolves visual novel to date, and maybe one of my favourites in the genre, period.

WindowsWindows:
Download the demo
Get the full version (Anne's Story)
Get the full version (Max's Story)

Mac OS XMac OS X:
Download the demo
Get the full version (Anne's Story)
Get the full version (Max's Story)

LinuxLinux:
Download the demo
Get the full version (Anne's Story)
Get the full version (Max's Story)

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