Pictured above: Corpse Party
There's a few ports I'd like to mention before getting to the main article. The Definitive Edition of Ori and the Blind Forest is now available on Steam, and if you already own the original game then this new version will only cost you $5. The quirky Japanese horror game Corpse Party has finally made it to PC, on both Steam and GOG. The digital adaptation of the card game Boss Monster recently exited Early Access on Steam. It's also on mobile, but I've heard bad things about that version of the game.
As usual, I can't personally comment on how good any of these games are. This is just a list of new indie releases that caught my attention. Luckily, all the games I'm highlighting this week have a decent number of Steam reviews to read through, and all of them currently hold fairly positive ratings. Should you find some games you like on this list, then remember to tell your friends about them.
Offworld Trading Company
First up on the list is Offworld Trading Company, a new economic RTS by the lead designer of Civilization IV and published by Stardock. Offworld Trading Company takes a huge departure from most RTS games by focusing on economic might over military force. You play the role of a CEO for one of several rival corporations that have set up shop on Mars to exploit the planet's resources for fun and profit. You'll need to establish mining and trading operations, manipulate the player-driven economy, and even make some backroom deals with the criminal underworld to put the competition out of business. The game is focused on its backstabbing multiplayer experience, but it does include a single player campaign.
Emerge: Cities of the Apocalypse
Emerge is a resource management and city building strategy game set in the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse. While there is a basic combat system where you equip survivors and use them to shoot waves of zombies in a mini-game similar to a million different free browser games out there, Emerge is mostly about rebuilding society. You'll need to explore decimated cities in search of resources, salvageable technology, and survivors to help you rebuild. Over the course of the game you'll turn deserted pre-outbreak metropolises into fortified safe havens for the last remnants of humanity.
Beast Mode Games
Special Tactics is a simultaneous turn-based squad tactics game where you and your opponent issue orders to your soldiers before watching how it plays out in real-time. It looks like Mode 7's 2011 strategy hit Frozen Synapse with the SWAT/counterterrorism theme of Door Kickers. There are five classes of soldiers, each of which can be customized with a variety of weapons and equipment in the single player campaign, survival mode, and competitive multiplayer. The 2v2 multiplayer mode gives each player control over half of a squad, forcing you to coordinate with your partner since you won't be able to cover every situation alone.
The developers of Crimsonland are back with Neon Chrome, a top-down cyberpunk shooter with rogue-lite elements. Before each run through a futuristic corporate building ripe for espionage, you'll choose from one of three randomly generated characters with their own set of skills, cybernetic enhancements, and weaponry. Between your weapons, gadgets, and cybernetic augmentations, you'll have access to a variety of ways to approach each combat encounter, including simply blowing up the entire room with high explosives by exploiting the game's fully destructible environments. Local co-op for up to 4 players is also available.
Demons with Shotguns
MindShaft Games, LLC
Speaking of multiplayer mayhem, Demons with Shotguns just exited Early Access. This multiplayer shooter puts up to 4 players against each other as they take on the role of various demons or angelic beings wielding shotguns and magic shields that allows you to briefly redirect attacks. In each level you'll also find environmental hazards and tarot cards that either bestow upon you a buff or hinder your enemies. This skill-based shooter also features a variant of rocket jumping to traverse the environments and dodge enemies. There's 9 modes and 40 arenas in all, including a co-op survival mode.
Wailing Heights is a musical point n' click adventure game featuring visuals and cutscenes illustrated by several well-known comic artists. You play as Francis Finklestein, the former manager of the British rock band The Deadbeats. You're invited to a mysterious town called Wailing Heights, but once you get there you are arrested for being a mortal in this town run by zombies, werewolves, vampires, and other ghoulish undead entities. A cellmate gives you the power to leave your body as a spirit. This allows you to possess others so you can use their unique abilities to solve puzzles and find a way to free your body from jail.
Cornerstone: The Song of Tyrim
Those of you waiting on the next Zelda game may want to take a closer look at Cornerstone, an action RPG looking to satisfy your lust for a cheery and colorful adventure. The Viking warriors of Borja have gone missing and it's up to Tyrim to set sail and find them. The game takes a very Windwaker-style approach by giving you a small ship, an open ocean to explore, and islands full of traps, puzzles, enemies, and loot. You'll be able to craft gear too, including new methods of traveling between islands. Also on GOG.
Finally we come to Pharaonic, the newest game from the developers of Ziggurat. This time around they have created a 2.5D side-scrolling action RPG based on Ancient Egyptian mythology. During your journey you'll need to seek aid from the Gods and disenfranchised citizens wishing to bring down Pharaoh Ahmosis and his army. Combat is loosely inspired by Dark Souls and places an emphasis on skillful blocks and parries, all while managing your stamina bar. In addition to more traditional weapons you'll find yourself in command of various magical powers granted to you by the Gods.
That's all for now. I'll be back next week with more overlooked new releases.
Frank is an aspiring game designer that currently writes for Indie Game Source and Bell of Lost Souls. You can follow him on Twitter @Frank_Gaming for updates on future articles and reviews.