The International Festival of Indie Games celebrates indie games on all platforms, from all genres, all around the world. And it’s now just two weeks away! Featuring over 100 new games from all over the world, the festival takes place October 11th-13th in Santa Monica, CA.
The IndieCade jury – comprised of past festival finalists – has announced the initial list of festival nominees. We’ve put together a list of our favourites but you can visit the IndieCade website for the complete list.
A Memoir Blue by Kevin Zeng & Shelley Chen
A Memoir Blue is a single player magical realist narrative told through transformative movements of water. We follow Miriam a young champion swimmer as she reflects on a mysterious day from her childhood when her mother took her on an unexpected trip to a neighbouring city. Experiencing the day from the split perspective of her present & younger selves, Miriam realizes that her mother’s motivations for this journey were not what they seemed. Plunge into this astonishing journey by helping the young swimmer Miriam solve dreamlike click and drag puzzles that bend reality.
Accounting+ by Crows Crows Crows
A collaboration between William Pugh of The Stanley Parable and Rick and Morty co-creator and voice actor Justin Roiland, Accounting+ is a VR-exclusive comedy adventure. It’s a nihilistic acid trip through bizarre realities where you meet a host of ridiculously absurd characters… who mostly shout at you to go away and get out of their world, or recruit you into their cool kid gang and convince you to do crimes. Expect lots of dark comedy in this cartoonish satire of corporate finance.
The Distance by Team The Distance
A two-player cooperative puzzle platformer that tells a story of a broken relationship in a dual-perspective and introduces innovative multiplayer interactions between a pair of players. The game is played on two devices that are connected through a local network. In the game, players take the role of two characters and are invited into two mysterious and distinctive worlds where they only see each other as an abstract representation. As they navigate this dreamlike environment, their goals are to collect memory fragments that tell a story about a broken relationship from two different perspectives, working together.
Fire Escape: An Interactive VR Series by iNK Stories
Through the fog of the city peer into the private lives of eight diverse New Yorkers from your fire escape to discover suspicion and deception—all unfolding in real time. Set against a shadowy backdrop of contemporary gentrification where disenfranchised tenants become twisted in a string of dark mysteries and a murder. Inspired by Hitchcock’s anxiety driven storytelling, from the moment Fire Escape’s action begins, audiences will have free range to seamlessly select apartments, spy close-up and hear the the intimate conversations of the residents—the dilemma becomes—who do you watch—and what does this tell you.
Forgotton Anne by ThroughLine Games
Released via the Square Enix Collective (the Japanese game publisher’s relatively new indie games branch), Forgotton Anne is a gorgeous platformer/adventure that’s two parts Studio Ghibli film and one part the animated household objects from Beauty and the Beast. The Forgotten Lands is a magical world inhabited by Forgotlings; creatures composed of mislaid objects longing to be remembered again. You are Anne, the enforcer who keeps order in the Forgotten Lands, as she sets out to squash a rebellion that might prevent her master, Bonku, and herself from returning to the human world.
Guildlings by Sirvo Studios
Wizards, Wi-Fi and Smartphones oh my! Guildlings is a JRPG episodic adventure that focuses more on navigating friendships than on slaying bad guys. You play as Coda, a homeschooled teen who’s had the unfortunate luck of activating a cursed smartphone. Now you must recruit your friends to become Guildlings, using their extraordinary powers to free yourself from the curse.
Just Shapes & Beats by Berzerk Studio
4 player co-op musical bullet hell, yes please. The entire gameplay revolves around the music, as all the geometrical enemy patterns are orchestrated to it. It’s what it says it is, just shapes, and beats.
Little Bug by Buddy System
A surreal and bittersweet platformer, Little Bug stands out for both its narrative, based around a little girl navigating a bizarre dreamworld, and its telekinesis mechanic, which employs a simple control scheme in service of some unexpectedly complicated environmental puzzles. Nyah is walking home from school when she’s suddenly cast into an uncanny world where dangerous spirits linger restlessly in bottomless canyons, icy caves and moonlit deserts. Play as Nyah and her spirit light in tandem as you immerse yourself in this foreboding, atmospheric landscape.
Losswords by Local No. 12
“In a world where books are outlawed, only outlaws read books”. Colour me intrigued. Losswords takes hundreds of literary classics and has players unscrambling passages from Pride and Prejudice to Pirates of Penzance in this unique word puzzle game. There are dozens of different kinds of word puzzles, from filling in blanks to rearranging lines of text.
Mulaka by Lienzo
We reviewed Mulaka when it came out back in March. It’s based on the stories of the Tarahumara (orRarámuri) an indigenous tribe of North Mexico. You’ll undertake this journey as a Tarahumara shaman traditionally called Sukurúame, on a quest to prove his worth to several deities, in order to recruit their help in defeating an evil force that wants to destroy all life and start over. From solving puzzles in environments inspired by real Sierra Tarahumara locations, to heated hand-to-hand combat with creatures pulled from the region’s mythology, find out why the Tarahumara have earned a reputation for being superhumans.
Nishan Shaman by NEXT Studio
Nishan Shaman is a rhythm game. The storyline follows an ancient tale passed down by ethnic minority groups in Northern China. You control Nishan, a character from Chinese folklore – a female shaman, beating her drum to ward off evil spirits and monsters that plague the world. She delves into the underworld to rescue the soul of a young boy in her perilous quest of a musical journey.
Pixel Ripped 1989 by Pixel Ripped Inc.
Follow the life of computer gaming addict Nicola as she battles through the ages to play her favourite game (that’s right, a game within a game), called Pixel Ripped. Pixel Ripped is a combination of video game nostalgia and cutting-edge VR implementation; an AR game within a VR game. You’ll take on the role of a little girl with a portable game device; when her game’s monochrome pixel art world spills into her own, she’ll team up with its protagonist to save both realities.