Pictured above: Hacktag
We had another surprisingly busy week of new indie releases, so many that I'll have to come back in a few days with a bonus article. As always, I'm not here to personally recommend any of these games; I'm just highlighting some recent releases that you may have missed. Remember to check out reviews and videos to find more information on each game.
All Yes Good
Octogeddon is a two-button shoot 'em up made by some of the original developers of Plants vs Zombies. You play as a rampaging octopus bent on punishing humanity for eating his fellow cephalopods. The gameplay involves attaching animal-based weapons to your tentacles, then rotating your octopus to direct your attacks at incoming enemies or blocking projectiles. Buy new weapons during your campaign with coins, then use shells you've collected at the end of your run to unlock new items that can appear in future missions.
Crossing Souls is a retro-inspired adventure game published by Devolver Digital. Set in California in 1986, a group of five friends have their summer turned on its head when they discover a mysterious pink stone that grants them the ability to travel to another realm. They soon find themselves wrapped up in a government conspiracy, and must use their unique skills to fight enemies and solve puzzles. You can also find Crossing Souls on the Humble Store, GOG, and PS4, with a Vita version coming soon.
Swaps and Traps is a puzzle-platformer with a really unique gimmick. Each deathtrap-laden puzzle takes place on a single screen, and the objective is to collect all the keys. The gimmick that makes Swaps and Traps special is that each time you grab a key, a portion of the screen flips in some bizarre way. The level becomes increasingly jumbled as you collect keys, forcing you to relearn its set-up on the fly.
DYO takes a similar approach to puzzles as Swaps and Traps, but with a co-op element. Two minotaurs are trapped in different halves of a split screen, and will have to work together to shift the screen around to open up paths for each other. There's 30 labyrinthine levels in all, which the developer says equals out to around four hours of content. The game is designed in such a way that you can technically play it solo by controlling both characters, but it was obviously built with co-op in mind.
Piece of Cake Studios
Speaking of co-op games, Hacktag is a stealth game set in a high-tech world of anthropomorphic animals. Players control mercenaries working for different corporations on stealth espionage missions for the highest bidder. One player is a field agent that sneaks around an isometric map, while the other is a hacker that supports them by unlocking doors and infiltrating computer systems. This asymmetric approach extends to the story, where each player gets their own narrative with different NPCs. You can play it alone like with DYO, but you'd be missing out on a big part of the experience.
Dead Maze is a 2D MMO set during a zombie apocalypse. Work together with other players to restore civilization by scavenging for resources, food, and water. Craft hundreds of different items and weapons, including modular player housing. Plant seeds to raise crops and breed livestock to build your own little self-sufficient oasis in a dangerous world.
Create your own dinosaurs in Fossil Hunters, a paleontology-themed puzzle adventure game. Choose one of four fossil hunters and dig through underground levels to find fossil tiles. Connect the tiles together to create complete skeletons and further your scientific research. Join forces with your friends to create the ultimate dinosaur skeleton, or betray them at the last minute and hog all the glory for yourself. You can also find Fossil Hunters on the PS4, Switch, and Xbox One.
Finally we come to Deep Sixed, a new space exploration roguelite. You are a prisoner unwillingly working off the rest of your sentence as an interstellar cartographer exploring the far reaches of uncharted space. Chart new regions and try to survive the many unknown alien creatures you are bound to encounter on your journey. Manage disasters as parts of your rickety old starship break down through battle damage or old age. These parts will stay broken until you can figure out how to repair them using whatever scraps you can piece together.
Which of these games caught your attention?