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Indie Games Spotlight – Spinning Up War

Looking for new indies to get excited about? This week’s Indie Games Spotlight has you covered with a diverse array of upcoming projects.

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Indie Games Spotlight is Goomba Stomp’s biweekly column where we highlight some of the most exciting new and upcoming indie titles. This week we have hands-on impressions of a new shoot ’em up, a glimpse at an enticing Zelda-like, a playable cartoon, and more. No matter your tastes, there’s sure to be something that speaks to you out of this bunch!

Indie Games Spotlight; Galaxy Warfighter

Defending the World in Galaxy Warfighter

With all the complex mechanics often involved with modern gaming, there’s something refreshing about going back to the simple arcadey action of yesteryear. The newly-released Galaxy Warfighter fits this bill perfectly, and after going hands-on with it for a few days, it quickly became clear how valuable experiences like this still are.

The premise is simple: Players pilot a ship through the cosmos and take down hordes of side-scrolling enemies (and a stage boss) in a barrage of bullets and particle effects. Each destroyed ship either drops power-ups or large green coins that can be used to buy upgrades like more health, shields, extra firepower, drones, a shockwave, and more.

The twist is that instead of focusing on high score chasing, Galaxy Warfighter features over 100 levels of steadily increasing difficulty. Thus, its loop revolves around grinding stages for coins to upgrade your ship, beat the stage boss, and gradually complete all the levels. It’s simple yet addicting, and the relatively mindless nature of the gameplay lends itself perfectly to playing while listening to podcasts or watching TV. Though it just came out for Switch and PC, I highly recommend picking it up on Switch if you can; its pick up and play nature pairs perfectly with handheld mode.

Minute of Islands

Taking in the Scenery of Minute of Islands

Story and art-driven adventure games have become quite popular in recent years, and for good reason. Right on the heels of our coverage of Welcome to Elk, Minute of Islands is also launching this year with a stunning art style most comparable to Adventure Time. The titular islands were once inhabited by an ancient race of giants that left behind machines vital for survival. Now that the machines are starting to break down, it’s up to a young mechanic named Mo to traverse the islands and find a fix before it’s too late.

Clocking in at just around four hours, Minute of Islands is pitched as an emotional journey best experienced in one or two sittings. Players will divide their time between cracking environmental puzzles, performing some light platforming, and scouring the islands for hidden collectibles and secrets. All will be revealed when Minute of Islands releases for PC and consoles later this year.

Indie Games Spotlight; Undungeon

Undungeon Your Expectations

For as bad a rap as Kickstarter games can get, there are always a few gems that originate on the platform. Undungeon has separated itself from the pack by having a particularly interesting narrative hook: as a Herald, players will have to move between timelines and dimensions to battle evil entities and restore order in the multiverse. From a gameplay perspective, this means that changes made in one timeline will extend to others. If you destroy a forest and then hop to a different dimension, you’ll see a desert and different NPCs where that forest used to be.

The real-time combat system doesn’t seem to be a slouch either. Players will have both melee and ranged attacks to work with alongside a variety of buffs and debuffs to sway the tide of battle. Weapon variety and gems (akin to Final Fantasy VII’s materia system) promise to further the mechanical depth when Undungeon launches for PC in Q4 of 2020 and consoles after that.

Searching for The Almost Gone

Mobile has seen a wave of minimalist puzzlers over the years, but few seem as narratively cohesive as The Almost Gone. This is a mystery narrative exploration game where you play as a young girl’s spirit as it looks for a way to the afterlife. Stuck between life and death, players need to dig through all manner of gorgeously rendered rooms to find pieces of their past and discover how their fate came to be.

Carefully inspecting beautiful dioramas for clues sounds perfectly suited to the quick sessions the mobile platform favors, and having a story with emotional payoff attached is just icing on the cake. With five chapters to play through and twists that promise to shake things up, The Almost Gone should be well worth investigating when it releases for mobile and PC platforms later this year.

Harassing Chickens in Spindle

Of all the games in this Spotlight, Spindle is by far the earliest in development. It’s a small Zelda-like adventure game that stars a Death look-alike named Dengel and his pet pig. The classic Zelda inspiration is heavy, from the interactions with the chicken (shown above) to the grass cutting animation. That said, Spindle’s quirky writing and willingness to experiment with different abilities–Dengel can turn himself into stone, and the pig can inhale objects and shoot them out like Kirby–gives it a personality all its own.

It’s been almost exactly three years since development went public on Spindle, and its official Twitter page has since become one of the best high-level devlogs out there. If you want a clear example of the stages of indie development without the technical jargon, I can’t recommend this Twitter account enough. As for when the game actually releases, we’ll just have to wait and see.

Brent fell head over heels for writing at the ripe age of seven and hasn't looked back since. His first love is the JRPG, but he can enjoy anything with a good hook and a pop of color. When he isn't writing about the latest indie release or binging gaming coverage on YouTube, you can find Brent watching and critiquing all manner of anime. Send him indie or anime recommendations @CreamBasics on Twitter.

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