E3 is right around the corner, and IndieCade is presenting a showcase of 30 projects from the top up-and-coming developers in the industry. Some of the trends include abstract and transcendent games about the human experience to games that dip their toes into the current political climate. Past IndieCade showcases have included many now-beloved indies, such as Hyper Light Drifter, Night in the Woods and That Dragon, Cancer, so there’s no doubt that these new titles are worth playing.
Where Water Tastes like Wine
Presented in an art style reminiscent of Van Gogh, Where Water Tastes Like Wine is a bleak American folktale about storytelling, travel, and survival, against the backdrop of Manifest Destiny and the American Dream.
Developer: Dim Bulb Games
Stifled is a Mic-Enabled Sound-Based Stealth Thriller. Like in the game Perception, sound is the only way the player “sees” and how the enemies hear the player. To survive, you will have to tread the line between physically making sounds to see, and remaining quiet to stay hidden.
“The lone teenager, the ominous campus, the unbearable truth.” Detention is a 2D atmospheric side-scrolling horror game set in 1960’s Taiwan under martial law. The game unveils unique and alluring graphics, OST and looks truly horrifying on many levels, from the overpowering military to psychological horror elements.
Burly Men at Sea
Set in the waters of early 20th-century Scandinavia, Burly Men at Sea creates a story that branches through a series of encounters with creatures from old folklore. You play as storyteller and Wayfinder, shaping the narrative around three ungainly heroes as they set sail for the unknown. The art style in Burly Men at Sea is charming, unique and simple with complimentary story components. The game also looks incredibly cute.
Virtual, Virtual Reality
Virtual, Virtual Reality is exactly what it sounds like, a virtual reality game about virtual reality. In the near future, most jobs have been automated, so what is the point of humanity? “Activitude, the Virtual Labor System, is here to help. Your artisanal human companionship is still highly sought by our A.I. clients. Strap on your headset. Find your calling.”
RIOT – Civil Unrest
A crowd control simulation-based game presenting realistic crowd intelligence and a high degree of gameplay variation influenced directly by the player. The idea for RIOT was born as a way to express and tell the stories of the fights and unrest happening all over the world.
From tiny pets to enormous abominations, create fantastic creatures in an open-world sandbox game like no other. Explore, craft, and survive with the help of your very own creations. Gamers who are into open world sandbox games love this gem, claiming that CHKN is the first of its kind to take a risk outside of something like Minecraft.
A political pixel art game that portrays the dangers Mexican immigrants face crossing the border, where each death is permanently recorded within the game’s world. What’s fascinating about Borders is that the game is inspired by the stories of the artist’s parents crossing over into America and began as a public art installation.
A racing RPG set in a dusty world where the player’s only friends are a vintage hoverbike and a packet of instant noodles. The developers describe it as “it’s the rags-to-riches story of a broke-ass young racer who fights through gangsters, bounty hunters and pancake cravings to enter the Grand Prix and get off Earth before it E-X-P-L-O-D-E-S (metaphorically). The player begins their story on a ruined Earth, with just a few days to get enough money to get to Mars.”
An adorable fairy game until you see that it’s published by Adult Swim.
Additionally featured will be:
A Case of Distrust
A 2D, story-driven adventure game set in 1924 San Francisco where a female private investigator is determined to uncover the truth behind a mystery fueled by deception.
Developer: The Wandering Ben
Platform: PC, Mac
The Cat and the Coup
The Cat and the Coup is a documentary video game where you play as the cat of Dr. Mohammed Mossadegh, the first democratically elected Prime Minister of Iran, during the CIA’s orchestrated coup in the summer of 1953. The Cat and the Coup tell the story in an absurdist style, using visual elements you wouldn’t normally find within a game.
Developer: Peter Brinson and Kurosh ValaNejad
Platform: PC, Mac
Everything Is Going To Be Okay
An interactive zine exploring humor in “dark times” to bring forth a shameless discussion of alternative views of power from a survivor’s standpoint.
Somewhere in the South
A survival-horror experience taking place on the Underground Railroad through which the player must navigate the vast network of barns, covered wagons and safe-houses that funneled slaves to freedom.
Platform: PC, Mac
A collaboration with fellow Tehran-born electronic music artist, Ash Koosha, whose compositions are transformed into an immersive virtual-reality experience for HTC Vive.
Developer: Ali Eslami
Platform: HTC Vive
The Big Journey
The story of Nina Samay, a cañari young boy who must face the invasion of the Inka Empire, an historical event that took place in what is currently known as Ecuador.
Developer: Civel Games
An educational alternate reality game inspired by the pioneering investigative journalism of Ida B. Wells in the 1890s. Players uncover Ida B. Wells’ crusade against lynching and use her strategies to investigate police and vigilante killings today.
Developer: Tracking Ida Team
Platform: Physical installation
One Way Trip
A psychedelic sci-fi visual novel about death, mortality and consciousness. The story is that you, the player, has six hours left to live, and those six hours are a completely drugged out trip.
Developer: Beret Applications
Platform: PlayStation 4
Herald: An Interactive Period Drama – Book I & II
An episodic point-and-click, choice-driven visual novel set in a fictional 19th century colonial empire illustrating the struggle of living in an oppressive society divided by race, class and culture.
Platform: PC, Mac, Linux
Vampire: The Masquerade – We eat Blood and all our Friends are Dead
A seamless interactive horror fiction novel reflecting contemporary issues and aesthetics that simultaneously signals a return to classic Gothic-Punk settings in the digital medium.
Developer: White Wolf Entertainment
Platform: PC, Android, iOS
A non-profit game of distinguishing political fact from fiction in which guesses are anonymously saved online to show how a player’s political awareness compares to others and to help identify the stories people most often get wrong.
Developer: Cinq-Mars Media
A real-time strategy game set in an alternate universe where players lead a team of unique individuals against the corporations that control society and will stop at nothing to maintain the status quo.
Developer: Beyond Red Wave Arts
Platform: PC, Mac
The heartfelt story of a bear being asked to dance again, this short, ten-minute long experience sees players assume the role of Bear, an expert dancer, as shenanigans, and possibly some heartache, unfold around him.
Developer: Brian Handy & Katie Pustolski
Platform: PC, Mac