Every week we roundup promising indie projectsfrom around the gaming scene. This week we take a look at the sci-fi noir, alternate reality adventure All Walls Must Fall; a simplistic survival sim about a fox trying to feed their family in Foxfolk; a browser game with an insanely clever premise in Windowframe; and Shuyan, a narrative adventure that seeks to capture the heart of Kung Fu with intense combat and art from China’s premier comic book artist.

All Walls Must Fall (In Between Games)

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An unusual premise breeds an unusual game. All Walls Must Fall is an alternate history game based in Berlin. But while many would be expecting the game to be set in an alternate universe where the Nazis won World War II (because no one’s ever plumbed that particular trope before), All Walls Must Fall tweaks history in a different way…by altering the outcome of the Cold War.

Berlin, November 2089 – For 150 years of Cold War both sides have used temporal technology to counter each other’s every move. But this deadly love is finally coming to an end as a rogue nuclear strike has both sides sending agents back in time to find out who did it and how to prevent it before everything turns to ash forever. Over the course of a journey that jumps and loops through a single night in the city, players will unravel the conspiracy keeping East and West locked in struggle and oppression. As lines between factions become blurred, choices become difficult. Which side to play? Who to side with? When both time and free will are an illusion – who can you really trust? Will your actions tear down the wall, bring stability, or perpetuate a cycle of war and terror? In the end all walls must fall.

Designed by In Between Games, which itself is formed from several industry veterans from YAGER Games – the developers behind the amazing Spec Ops: The Line– All Walls Must Fall is a “sci-fi noir,” isometric action tactics game expected to hit early release for PC and Mac this fall. The game features procedural levels that “play different every time”  The mechanics of the game revolve around time manipulation and the game utilizes a “simulation sandbox featuring crowd simulation and destructible objects” to add to the chaotic and unpredictable nature of every area you’re put in.

All Walls Must Fall promises a focus on player agency and the ability to play the game your way – whether that’s combat, hacking or “social stealth.”

Prevent nuclear annihilation. Bring down the Wall. Love, kill, and remix reality to explore the meaning of freedom in a parable reflecting upon current global issues in the mirror of a fantastic future past.

Foxfolk (Luke Frank)

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A game experience for only $3, Foxfolk eschews traditional digital distribution in lieu of simply being available on the above website for a nominal fee. Foxfolk is a game in which you, a  fox (imagine that) must provide for your fox family during a harsh winter. It’s a simplistic survival game in the vein of Don’t Starve.

You are the provider. The glue that holds this little family together.

Unfortunately winter has come and you have no way of weathering it.

Instead of hunkering down and riding it out. You must now go out into the woods and find what survival you can.

The mechanics are simplistic. You must find food by hunting birds, squirrels, and rabbits – each of which provides different nutritional needs to your family. But you can only carry one animal at a time, so you must choose wisely.

While you’re out, you must also consider your family’s warmth and seek out fuel for the fireplace. Along with your prey, you can carry either three sticks or a log, which burn for varying amounts of time.

Aside from food and warmth, the game also has a day/night cycle and weather, includes dangerous blizzards that will make navigating your hunting grounds all that much more dangerous.

As previously mentioned, Foxfolk is currently available for $3 at the website above.

Windowframe (Managore)

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Another smaller-scale project, Windowframe can be played by downloading a small, three megabyte file for free at following the link above. But despite its humble platform, it contains a game mechanic as fully refined as any triple A title – in Windowframe you can adjust the size of the window you’re playing in in order to help you navigate its various puzzles.

The premise is simple and the game is a perfect example of “easy to play, difficult to master.” Moving the window border will allow you to wall-jump off of it to access higher areas in each stage or even scroll various stage hazards off of the screen, since anything that isn’t on the screen at any given time doesn’t affect you. The game also contains tight but somewhat more basic platforming and is loads of fun for anyone who enjoys that genre, though playing it on a keyboard can be a bit trying at times.

You honestly have nothing to lose. Click the link above and play Windowframe now.

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Shuyan (Mark Media)

Webpage / IndieDB / Twitter

Last up this week we have a narrative game “that aims to capture the essence of Kung Fu”: Shuyan.

Shuyan is a 2-D and 3-D narrative action-adventure game set in ancient China. It tells a deep story about warring kingdoms and moral choices, and follows the story of Shuyan as she learns to take her place in the world. It aims to capture the ancient Chinese traditions of self-cultivation that are the essence of kung fu.

At its heart, Shuyan is an interactive story that focuses on giving you, the player, agency in the game’s many moral decisions. The gameplay is split between interactive cut-scenes and fighting sequences. Combat itself is split between “Arena Mode” in which Shuyan faces groups of enemies and “Focus Mode” where she will fight one-on-one.”

Shuyan’s combat system is divided between hard kung fu (force, hard strikes, etc), and soft kung fu (redirecting force, flowing around enemies, etc). On one side, it has a plenty of moves for those who want to take the path of hard kung fu, which plays similar to combat in the Batman games. On the other side, it has a challenging system of soft kung fu, which plays more on the ability of the player to focus and react.

One of the most intriguing aspects of the game is that its art and animation is being headed up by Daxiong, the “King of Chinese Comics.”

The game is being animated by Daxiong, the “king of Chinese Comics.” As China’s first comic book artist, his unique style blends the ancient brush art with modern comic book art, and the game will feature the epic battles, sweeping landscapes, and lively characters he’s known for.

Brienne Gacke
Writer, journalist, teacher, pedant. Brienne's done just about anything and everything involving words and now she's hoping to use them for something she's passionate about: video games. She's been gaming since the onset of the NES era and has never looked back.

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