Pictured above: Oh...Sir!!
We are now well into the annual pre-holiday flood of AAA releases. It's a time full of high profile games like Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Titanfall 2, Battlefield 1, Dishonored 2, and Watch Dogs 2 dominating the release charts, but gamers would do well not to forget all the cool indies out there released on a weekly basis. With that in mind, I'm back with another big batch of recent indie releases that you may or may not know about.
Probably the biggest indie release of this week is Owlboy, a retro-inspired adventure game with light Metroidvania elements that was 9 years in the making. You play as Otus, the owlboy in question, on a high-flying adventure through massive ruins crawling with ancient secrets and danger. Instead of directly fighting enemies you'll recruit gun-toting allies to carry around that will shoot at any enemies in your path. I haven't played it yet myself, but everything I've heard so far indicates that Owlboy is an adventure that was well worth waiting for, so go check it out on Steam or GOG.
House of the Dying Sun
Another pretty high profile indie release this week is House of the Dying Sun, a space shooter that just exited Early Access. Heavily inspired by space sims from the golden era of PC gaming, House of the Dying Sun puts you in the cockpit of the most advanced starfighter in the galaxy on a campaign of terror and revenge against the traitorous dogs trying to bring ruin to the Empire. You won't just be shooting apart enemy ships in your customizable fighter though, as the game also features an active pause system and tactical overview that allows you to issue orders to the rest of the dreaded Harbinger Fleet. House of the Dying Sun has full VR support for that extra immersion factor, but be aware that flightsticks aren't officially supported and that the campaign is apparently quite short.
Iron Tower Studio
Dungeon Rats is a new party-based tactical RPG set in the same world as Age of Decadence. While AoD is a lengthy adventure of political intrigue in a crumbling Roman-inspired empire, Dungeon Rats strips the experience down to a more traditional dungeon crawler full of tactical turn-based combat. That isn't to say that Dungeon Rats is simpler though, and features an extensive array of skills, weapon types, companions, alchemy, and crafting systems. Sentenced to life in the world's most deadly prison mine, you must navigate your way up the prison's gang hierarchy and eventually find a way out of this deathtrap. You can also find it on GOG.
Grimm: Dark Legacy
Licensed games can always be pretty hit or miss, but Grimm: Dark Legacy looks like it might have some potential. This action RPG with roguelike elements is inspired by the Wesen journal in the NBC series and has you take control of the ancestors of the Grimm. The goal is to hunt Wesen for as long as possible, before you eventually die and pass your knowledge on to the next generation of monster hunters. Grimm: Dark Legacy also features online co-op for up to 4 players.
Clockwork Empires is finally out after several years of Early Access. This latest game by the developers of Dungeons of Dredmor places you in control of a budding frontier colony of the Clockwork Empire. Bring industry and civilization to the wildlands as you build a thriving town with a fully simulated population where each worker has their own needs and hidden desires. Your colony will face many challenges, including cults, mysterious creatures, and Lovecraftian horrors. While the game is out of Early Access, you may want to hold off a while as a number of issues still seem to linger from its beta days.
Another recent release from Early Access is Dead Age, an interesting new take on the zombie survival genre. The game features many of the elements you'd expect from a survival roguelite, such as a customizable base camp, crafting, and rival gangs to contend with in addition to the zombies hordes. The twist is a turn-based combat system inspired by classic JRPGs, like Final Fantasy back when the franchise was still decent. You'll also make important story decisions that can lead to one of six possible endings.
Versus Game may have a generic name and premise, but there is a powerful pedigree backing up this top-down zombie shooter. Versus Game is the latest title by the developers of Nation Red, one of the best horde shooters ever made. Versus Game features many of the same concepts and power-ups from Nation Red, with the biggest new addition being a pre-match sandbox mode where you get to design your own defenses before being assaulted by thousands of shambling dead. Versus Game seems a bit barebones now, but bear in mind that Nation Red was getting free updates some five years after release.
Orwell is an episodic investigation game that tackles some all too real issues in today's political climate. You play as an investigator for the Orwell project, a security and monitoring program that would give the NSA wet dreams. You are tasked with tracking down those responsible for a series of terrorist attacks in a Totally-Not-America country referred to as "The Nation." You'll need to scour social media, hack PCs, intercept private chats, phone calls, text messages, and more all in the name of national security. The information you find will be sent to your superiors, and any choices you make can have significant consequences for those you are monitoring.
The Deep Paths: Labyrinth of Andokost
Finally we come to The Deep Paths, a new first-person, grid-based dungeon crawling RPG inspired by classics from the '80s and '90s. Lead a band of adventurers into a dark labyrinth full of monsters, traps, and puzzles on a quest to save their city.
Need more games? Here's a few other releases of note:
Rusty Lake: Roots, the latest entry in the surreal Rusty Lake adventure series.
Meadow, a pseudo-MMO set in the Shelter universe where players explore the vast wilderness as animals.
End of the Mine, a 2D shooter-platformer featuring 8 upgradable weapons and 5 vast levels.
Blackfaun, a top-down action RPG with roguelike elements where you play as a faun on a quest to prove her worth as queen.
Rencounter, a turn-based, party-based RPG featuring roguelike elements where you control a squad navigating a vast network of procedurally generated tunnels.
Bye-Bye, Wacky Planet, a side-scrolling shooter inspired by games like Alien Hominid.
Vulture Island, the PC port of a highly acclaimed retro platformer originally on mobile devices.
Oh...Sir!!, the premier verbal assault simulator of elaborate insults.
Behold!, a cheap 2D twin-stick shooter where you play as a beholder-like eye monster.
I'll be back soon with more indie new releases.