Geoff Keighley’s big Summer Game Fest showcase might be over, but there are still plenty of announcements where that came from. Indeed, those that stuck around once Keighley had done his thing this evening would have immediately been greeted by a slew of intriguing new indie titles, courtesy of this year’s Day of the Devs showcase – and if you missed it, the whole thing can be perused in one convenient, easily digestible round-up below.
Time Flies is the work of Michael Frei and Mario von Rickenbach, the developers behind the acclaimed Kids, and explores the limited time we have on Earth from the perspective of a fly. After entering your location, you’re allotted a set amount of time (based on your country’s average life expectancy) to explore the inside of a house and puzzle out ways to complete a bucket list of activities, ranging from getting rich to making a friend. Time Flies is coming to Playstation, Switch, PC, and Mac next year.
Planet of Lana
Developed by Wishfully, this one follows the adventures of a girl named Lana as she embarks on a quest to save her sister from the clutches of an invading robot army, with the help of a friendly companion. It’s an absolutely gorgeous cinematic puzzle adventure that draws inspiration from the likes of Inside and Little Nightmares, albeit with a notably different vibe to those games, and it’s coming to Xbox and PC later this year.
One man developer Two Star Games’ Choo-Choo Charles caused something of a stir when it first emerged last year, in large part thanks to its deliciously weird premise – in which you pilot and upgrade an ageing train in a bid to escape and ultimately kill a sentiment spiderwebbed train with the face of a horrifying clown. Today’s showing revealed more of the game’s questing in action, including a look at how things play out when you’re forced to leave the relative safety of your vehicle (and avoid shotgun wielding cultists) to locate key items around the open-world island map. It all looks wonderfully atmospheric and is coming to Steam some time this year.
Escape Academy, from Coin Crew Games, serves up a colourful blend of escape room puzzling and fully fledged first-person adventure in which players attempt to solve challenges set by the titular (and seemingly not entirely trustworthy) educational establishment. Online and local co-op is supported for those with big brain friends and it’s coming to PC, Xbox, and PlayStation on 14th July, with a Game Pass release the same day.
A Little to the Left
Developer Max Inferno’s A Little to the Left is a “cosy” puzzle game about sorting, stacking, and tidy up a house. By exploring the environment, players can find puzzles hidden among regular household objects and solve them by arranging them in particular ways – with solutions requiring players to use their imagination in order to find patterns. And if that wasn’t enough to pique your interest, it also includes daily puzzles, “fun” badges, and a cat that’ll occassionally show up on the periphery to thwart your tidying work. A Little to the Left is out later this year on Switch and Steam, and a demo is available now.
Bear and Breakfast
We’ve encountered Gummy Cat Studio’s Bear and Breakfast on a number of occasions before, but today brought a fresh look at the game’s blend of story and laid back management, which sees players taking on the role of a bear attempting to run a bed and breakfast in the woods for human visitors. That involves a variety of tasks, from doing up rundown buildings to cooking and crafting new furniture, and those suitably intrigued by its action will be able to play it from 28th July when it launches on Switch and Steam.
Animal Well is a pixel-art Metroidvania from developer Shared Memories that sees players exploring a surreal and dangerous labyrinthine filled with secrets and animals. Some are friendly, some are not, and to proceed, players will – in time-honoured genre fashion – need to seek out new abilities to solve puzzles. It all looks wonderfully striking, with the likes of fluid simulation and dynamic lighting giving its pixel art a distinctive aesthetic, and it’s promising to deliver a “layered experience” too. At one level, there’s the core game, designed to be accessible to all players, but it also features puzzles for the considerably more dedicated, which might go unnoticed for years or might require community collaboration to solve. There’s no release date for Animal Well yet but it’s coming to PS5 and Steam.
Naiad is a colourful top-down river exploration game from developer HiWarp that sees players traversing a peaceful world in the guise of a water nymph – swimming, diving, dashing, and making friends with animals to help them find their way. Its various environments, from creeks to sun dabbled forests and shadowy caves, look beautiful, but as the game continues, humanity will be begin to encroach on the world, requiring players to sing to restore life on the river. Naiad should be out on Steam and consoles by the end of the year.
Roots of Pacha
Roots of Pacha, developed by Soda Den, takes the life and farming sim action of Harvest Moon and its ilk, but catapults it back to the Stone Age. By exploring their surroundings, players will be able to discover plants, resources, and the ideas that shaped humanity – tools, farming, the domestication of animals, and so on – putting them to use in order to transform the world. As your discoveries grow, your community will transform, and you might even find a special someone along the way. This one’s coming to PlayStation, Xbox, and Switch later this year, and a demo is now live on Steam.
Desta: The Memories Between
From Ustwo, the developer behind the acclaimed likes of Monument Valley and Alba: A Wildlife Adeventure, Desta: The Memories Between follows the adventures of its titular hero after they return home following the death of their father. Relationships with their friends and family have broken down since their last visit, but help is at hand in the form of an old ball that sends them to a world between worlds when they fall asleep – where they can find the right words they need to heal their connections. Desta is described as a game of loss, finding yourself, courage, and reawakening, and will be a PC and multiplatform title when it eventually releases.
SCHiM is an unusual platform game in which players take on the role of a tiny creature that can only move around the world by hopping between its shadows. It’s viewed from an isometric perspective that can be rotated to reveal new shadows, whether they be static or cast by moving objects, with the ultimate goal being to track down your creature’s human, while also helping fellow shadows reunite with the objects from whence they came. There’s no word on when SCHiM might release, but it’ll be making its way to Steam.
Fox and Frog Travelers: The Demon of Adashino Island
Developed by Japanese creator Rias, this 3D action-adventure follows a girl called Fox and her frog friend as they journey across the strikingly designed, Japan-inspired Adashino Island, attempting to evade shadow monsters along the way. This one’s still some way off, however, and will release in “a few years”.
Next up is Yo Fujii’s Goodbye World, a narrative game about two young indie game creators that draws inspiration from the likes of Daniel Clowes’ acclaimed graphic novel Ghost World and games including The Beginners Guide and Mother 3. It’s a story about the passion and struggles of game creation, and will be coming to Steam later this year.
Madison Karrh’s Birth is an adventure about quelling loneliness. Played in the style of a point-and-click puzzle game, it sees players attempting to build themselves a friend by exploring a large city – from museums and post offices to cafes and strange apartments – collecting bones and organs along the way. This involves rifling through the personal belongings of the creatures they meet to uncover puzzles – some physics-based, some pattern-based, and others more abstract – in order to complete their task. It’s out on Steam this August.
How to Say Goodbye
Last up is How to Say Goodbye, a narrative puzzler about a recently deceased person embarking on a journey of accepting their death. That requires helping fellow ghosts discover why they’re still here so they can move on – a task build around a sliding tiles mechanic that enables players to manipulate the environment, shunting characters and items about the level in order to progress. Described as a kind and gentle game about loss and grief, How to Say Goodbye is due to release on Steam later this year.