Pictured above: Hearts of Iron IV
Before I begin this (very late) edition of Overlooked Indies, I want to remind everyone that Hearts of Iron IV came out last week. This latest installment in Paradox's long-running WWII grand strategy series has received a lot of praise from fans so far, and is sitting at over 1,700 positive ratings on Steam. Also of note is the recent PC port of Nippon Ichi's Stranger of Sword City.
As usual, I'd like to remind my readers that I'm not endorsing any of these games, merely highlighting some promising new releases from last week. Hopefully you find something you like, and if you do, remember to tell your friends.
Image & Form
After releasing several months back on 3DS, SteamWorld Heist has finally made its way over to PC. This new game from the developers of SteamWorld Dig may feature a similar art style, but is a drastic departure in terms of gameplay. This turn-based strategy game places you in command of a marauding band of steam-powered robot space pirates out to rob starships of their most valuable cargo. While combat is turn-based, it plays more like Worms or Valkyria Chronicles, and rewards precision aiming and skillful trick shots.
Ghost 1.0 is the latest game from the developer of the cult indie hit Unepic. Much like Fran's previous game, Ghost is a 2D Metroidvania RPG, but trades the meme-laden fantasy setting for a sci-fi story where you play as an android infiltrating the Nakamura Space Station. While you have an arsenal of weapons and gadgets at your disposal, you biggest asset is the ability to leave your body as a digital ghost. This allows you to reach new areas and temporarily possess enemies, acting as both a combat ability and a solution to various environmental puzzles. The campaign comes in two flavors, and can be played as either a traditional Metroidvania RPG or a more punishing quasi-rogue-lite where you lose your gear upon death.
Adult Swim released a new game this week as well, the so-called "pub crawling" rogue-lite Wasted. Set in a post-apocalyptic world where only the dumb survived, Wasted is an FPS where you search for booze and toilet paper (the currency of the wasteland) in underground bunkers called Coolers. You'll gain new perks and abilities by drinking irradiated alcohol and getting hangovers. Between runs you'll have a chance to return to your home, which acts like a hub area and contains upgrades that can help you in future raids.
Broken Bots is a multiplayer-focused twin stick shooter where up to twelve players blast each other to bits with customizable killer robots. Keeping in line with the title, one of the key features of Broken Bots is the ability to cause enemies to malfunction, inflicting various glitches like reversed controls or weapon defects. Conversely, you can bestow power-ups on nearby allies to improve their performance. Unfortunately, the game seems to be suffering from a lack of players online, but it does have offline matches against bots and local multiplayer.
Death Goat is a twin stick shooter I remember rather fondly from the Xbox Live Indie Games section on the 360. It's a very simple wave-based shooter with decent action, but what really makes the game shine is its great soundtrack featuring songs from 21 indie metal bands. If it had more weapons and power-ups it'd have more lasting appeal, but it's still fun in short bursts and is a good way to discover some metal bands you might not know of. You can get the soundtrack on Steam for $14.
Tick Tock Bang Bang
Dejobaan Games, LLC
Tick Tock Bang Bang is the latest title from the developers of AaAaAA!!! and is a spin-off of Drunk Robot Pornography. In fact, it essentially is Drunken Robot Pornography with a SUPERHOT-style time manipulation gimmick. What sets it apart from SUPERHOT is the much wider variety of enemies, obstacles, and environments, many of which will be familiar to fans of the developer's previous games.
Fans of Terraria may want to look into Crea, the latest 2D sandbox building, crafting, and exploratio-focused action RPG to leave Early Access. Much like Terraria, you'll explore a massive, procedurally generated world, gather resources, construct home bases, craft items and gear, etc. Where Crea differs from Terraria is the expanded combat, more RPG-style leveling system and skills, and quality of life tweaks like the ability to create a "combat" and a "gathering" loadout that you can easily swap between without digging in your inventory. There's a discounted 4-pack available if you're interested in exploring Crea with friends.
Last Days of Old Earth
Finally we come to Last Days of Old Earth, a new sci-fi 4X game published by Slitherine. Set in the distant future, Earth has become an inhospitable arctic wasteland as the Sun slowly withers and dies. Lead either the last remnants of humanity or the robotic Automata through the final days of life on Earth as you scavenge for resources, rebuild ancient ruins, discover lost technology, and clash with marauders and rival factions. Army construction consists of building a deck of cards that become units and abilities in the game's turn-based battles. Last Days of Old Earth features a story-driven campaign, randomly generated skirmish maps, and full online multiplayer.
That's all for now. I'll return shortly with more indie game highlights.
Frank 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 general Twitter ramblings.