Pictured above: Metagal
We had another pretty busy week in indie game releases, to say nothing of the games I didn't get to cover from last week. I'll need to remedy that situation in the next few days. As usual, I'm not endorsing any of the games in this list, just highlighting some promising titles you may not have heard of. Luckily, most of the games on the list this week have a decent number of user reviews that you may find useful.
Chronicle: RuneScape Legends
First up on the list is RuneScape Legends, the latest effort from a big franchise attempting to capitalize on the digital card game craze. The feature that makes Legends standout from the Hearthstones of the world is the increased focus on RPG-style progression and PvE content. While standard competitive play against others is a big part of the game, Legends also features questing, dungeon crawling, and boss fights in a lengthy adventure mode. You'll build up your character as well as your deck along the way, with RPG-style leveling and various items and gear to loot. Like most games in the genre its free-to-play, so why not go see if RuneScape Legends is the card game for you?
Buddy Cops, LLC
OmniBus is the latest quirky indie title to be picked up by Devolver Digital and involves driving "the most powerful bus in the universe." Inspired by the classic action movie Speed with the insanity taken up to 11, this physics-based arcade driving game places you behind the wheel of a bus that steadily accelerates to ludicrous speeds, with aerial tricks being the only way to slow down. Modes include a story campaign, a freestyle mode where you can practice tricks and stunts, and demolition derbies with local multiplayer support. OmniBus is also on GOG.
Feeling blue about the frequent delays, shady business practices, and insultingly terrible trailers surrounding Mighty No. 9? If so, then you may want to check out Metagal, a new retro-inspired action platformer that takes more than a few cues from Megaman. You'll battle through 8 stages in total, each of which ends with a boss fight that gives you access to a new weapon or ability. I've heard some complaints about the controller support and English translation, but Metagal otherwise looks like a solid and inexpensive Megaman clone.
The Simutrans Team
Speaking of cheap games, Simutrans has finally hit Steam for the low price of absolutely free. This completely open source transportation management game has been in active development since the late '90s, and features tons of mods and custom content to dig through. It's quite similar to OpenTTD, though with an admittedly clunky UI, steep learning curve, and vague mechanics that aren't really explained well. Still, if you're looking to become a transport tycoon millionaire without breaking the bank, then you could certainly do worse than trying out Simutrans. The fact that it's open source also means that you can freely customize your experience however you want.
Lumo is a new platformer that seeks to revive the long-dead style of isometric adventure games popularized on the ZX Spectrum in the '80s and '90s. Put your platforming and puzzle solving skills to the test in over 400 rooms across 4 zones. Lumo's many rooms are also packed full of secrets to discover, including six mini-games. It's definitely not a style of platformer we see any more these days, and quite the departure from the typical dime a dozen retro-inspired platformers currently flooding Steam. You can also grab Lumo on GOG and PS4.
WizardCraft is a retro-style 2D fantasy RTS that takes its inspiration from many classic games in the genre. It sounds a bit lacking in features, with only one faction and no multiplayer, but it does include 30 campaign missions, 50 skirmish maps, and a map editor. WizardCraft may not be the most fully featured RTS on the market, but it's inexpensive and the developer is promising to add new content later on.
Shrouded in Sanity
Games with mechanics inspired by Dark Souls and Bloodborne are becoming increasingly common, and Shrouded in Sanity is no different. This 2D action RPG features challenging combat mechanics loosely inspired by From Software's popular series, with a bit of old school survival horror thrown in for good measure. Set in an alternate 1897, you are sent to investigate the source of an unnatural fog enveloping the Berelai Manor. The inhabitants have been driven mad by unknown powers, and you must search the depths of the manor to figure out how to stop this ancient evil.
Hit the Crow
Finally we come to Sunken, an action RPG with some rogue-like and survival elements. Set in a dark dungeon with an oppressive atmosphere, Sunken features randomized monster spawns, loot, and permadeath. You lose your levels and gear upon death, but retain your skills and abilities. Crafting also plays a big part of Sunken, and you'll find tons of miscellaneous junk and recipes that you can turn into useful gear and items to help you survive.
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.