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Indie Games Spotlight — The Season of Love

Love (and lovebirbs) is in the air.



Indie Games Spotlight - Lovebirb

Indie Games Spotlight is Goomba Stomp’s biweekly column where we highlight some of the most exciting new and upcoming independent games. Love is in the air as this spotlight lands just in time for Valentine’s Day, so what better time to showcase some of the loveliest indies in the near future? Rhythm-based dating sims, stylish action games, and more await in this spotlight. Let’s make it a date for this week’s spotlight!

GIF: Anonymous Penguin Studio

Take Flight in Lovebirb

Do you love birbs? Do you love rhythm? Then Lovebirb is the perfect Valentine’s treat. This rhythm-based dating sim puts you in the role of an eligible bird bachelor (birbchelor?) looking for love on everyone’s favorite dating app, Bumbirb. However, managing to get a date on the app is just the beginning: to really impress your date, you’ll need to choose your words carefully–and to the beat of the music!

Each date is a miniature rhythm game, tasking you to time your movements to the beat of the music to maximize your eloquence and charm. Staying on rhythm is key to sweet talking all your romantic avian interests, but mess up too much at it’s back to the single birb life for you. Fear not, though–there are plenty of single birds in your area, so there are plenty of chances to find a tempo that works for you. Lovebirb is releasing on March 15 on PC.

GIF: PetalCatGames

Tell a Research Story

Think about the act of “research,” and you might imagine spending long nights at university libraries or hours of monotony studying scholarly works. In Research Story, though, research is all about fieldwork. When exotic plants and creatures appear near the town of Shimmerbrook, the player gets sent to the area to study the local developments, try and discover an explanation for the environmental changes, and maybe make some friends along the way.

Research Story has all the makings of a great life sim: you can explore your surroundings to discover new plants and animals, maintain a farm, raise creatures of your own, craft items to your heart’s content, and, most importantly, you can mix and mingle with a large cast of memorable, fantastical characters inhabiting Shimmerbrook. Research Story launches on PC on February 20.

GIF: Devolver Digital

Shine Bright with Bleak Sword

Many Apple Arcade exclusives have been making a welcome journey to new platforms, and now Bleak Sword is one of the latest to make the trek. This Devolver Digital-published lo-fi action game is set in a series of compact yet gruesome black-and-white dioramas in which players face an onslaught of ever more disturbing beasts. Bleak Sword was a hit back on Apple Arcade, and now with Bleak Sword DX, it’s getting even better.

Bleak Sword DX features the same gameplay loop as the original release, tasking players to take down twelve monstrous foes using hardcore physical and magic combat. This DX version also adds in a new boss rush mode, three brand-new chapters, a roguelike-esque “randomizer” mode that remixes the original campaign, and more. Bleak Sword DX makes the leap to Switch and PC soon.

Indie Games Spotlight
GIF: StarryStarry

Make Your Choice with A Guidebook of Babel

Ah, the butterfly effect–the phenomenon proving that there’s no such thing as a small decision. Even the most minor actions can have devastating consequences later down the line. That’s exactly what A Guidebook of Babel, a storybook-style adventure game, is all about. Set sail on the Babel, a cruise ship setting sail for the afterlife–and along the way, rub shoulders with your co-passengers to learn a little bit more about their stories. But this journey is no mere Point-A-to-B affair. Instead, you’re given the ability to fast forward and rewind the story, allowing you to make different decisions that can dramatically impact the outcome of the narrative.

A Guidebook of Babel is a whimsical tale at its core, but it promises not to shy away from serious storytelling and down-to-earth characters. The more you get to know each of the eccentric cast of characters also onboard the Babel, the more each disparate story thread starts to intersect in dramatic fashion. The voyage begins when the game sees its full release later this year.

GIF: Casus Ludi

See the World in Black and White in Blanc

Opposites attract, as they say, so perhaps it’s no surprise that a deer and a wolf could get along in Blanc. This poetic adventure game follows two unlikely friends, a wolf cub and a fawn, who embark on a journey to reunite with their families after a sudden snowstorm. Blanc has warmed hearts ever since its big appearance in a Nintendo Indie World Direct a few months back, and now it’s finally upon us.

Pictures speak a thousand words in Blanc, as the game tells its story without a single word of text: instead, the narrative shines through in its striking black-and-white color scheme and adorable cartoonish characters. Under the welcoming and endearing veneer, though, Blanc also promises to tell a powerful story of cooperation and determination through its 3D exploration gameplay. Whether you play the game alone or with a friend via local or online co-op, Blanc promises to be a colorful adventure–and it’s available now on Nintendo Switch and PC.

Campbell divides his time between editing Goomba Stomp’s indie games coverage and obsessing over dusty old English literature. Drawn to storytelling from a young age, there are few things he loves as much as interviewing indie developers and sharing their stories.

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