Hello single players and welcome back to our Indie Roundup!

You may have noticed that OSP was having some sever issues last week. Well, as a result, last week’s Indie Roundup was lost into the ether of the internet, never to be seen by human eyes. So this week, we plan to make up for that with not three, not four, not even five excellent indie titles…but six! That’s right, we have six promising indie projects for you to keep your eyes on. So strap in and get ready for Klaus, Archaica: The Path of Light, Echoes, Seraph, The Church in the Darkness, and Pine.

Klaus (La Cosa Entertainment)

Website / Steam / Twitter / Facebook / Youtube

Billing itself as an “existential platformer,” Klaus has already been released for PS4 and thanks to Steam Greenlight, will soon make its appearance on PC and Xbox later this year.

Klaus is a game about a well-dressed man trying to escape from an unknown prison. He wakes up not knowing where he is and must pass through the game’s six insidious worlds, 34 levels, more than 100 rooms and three challenging boss fights in order to earn his freedom.

Klaus follows an office worker who wakes up in a basement with no idea of who or where he is. With his only clue being the word “KLAUS” tattooed on his arm. He is forced to escape the mechanical & constructivist world in which he finds himself a prisoner. Another playable character: K1, a friendly brute damaged by prolonged imprisonment, embarking on an existential journey, exploring the idea of the fourth wall and awareness of the player playing the game.

With tight platforming and a unique premise, Klaus aims to capitalize on the same love of challenge that draws players to games like Super Meat Boy and Mega Man while utilizing an aesthetic more akin to Limbo and Thomas Was Alone. If you’re a fan of challenging platformers, Klaus is already receiving avid praise from numerous sources and it’ll be worth a look when it hits PC and Xbox.

Archaica: The Path of Light (Two Mammoths)

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While utilizing “light” in a puzzle game isn’t anything new (the 2014 puzzler Talos Principle had numerous puzzles in which you had to aim beams of light with mirrors), Archaica: The Path of Light aims to do so in new and novel ways. The Polish brothers over at Two Mammoths are making a game that focuses solely on using light to solve its puzzles.

Every board consists of variety of devices such as mirrors, splitting devices, colour filters, teleports and more. Using only them player must illuminate all the crystals on the board. Laser beams can be merged together creating a new colour that is needed to illuminate some crystals. What matters in some situation is that it can run in opposite directions but in the same line. Some boards contain dynamic elements like elevators which make new tiles on a board available for playing after activation. 

In this way, the game almost seems like a board game, with the entire field visible from the start, rather than forcing the player – who takes the role of a “Chosen One” that must solve the game’s puzzles to save the world from destruction – to explore and find the mechanisms they’ll be expected to use to solve the game’s puzzles. The game features seven worlds – from the”Portal” hub world to the placid green tutorial “Hills” to the picturesque “Islands” to the dank, mysterious “Crystal Mines” – each introducing new mechanics and new ways for the player to manipulate light to solve the game’s more than 50 puzzles. The game’s scenery looks beautiful, giving you something pretty to look at while you’re undoubtedly hung up on this puzzle or that. Archaica also promises that you’ll be able to solve the puzzles in an order of your choosing, even skipping some of the more tricky ones, though “then you will not unfold secrets hidden within.”

Archaica’s world is full of secrets ready to be revealed: artifacts and devices that help you develop your Totem, mysterious ancient machines and their purpose awaiting to be discovered, and entire secret rounds where hint is not available.

As you progress, you’ll also unlock special totems which represent your progress through the game. These totems will allow you to unlock new abilities or get access to hidden places.

Echoes (Javanicus Studio)

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A unique game of dualities, Echoes sets itself in a world completely (well, more or less completely) submerged in water. As the game’s mysterious protagonist, you are able to traverse the game’s world by both walking on top of the water as well as upside down under water in a unique spin on anti-gravity mechanics.

In Echoes, the world is split in two different sceneries: the ones on the surface, and the ones underwater. Each one have distinct graphic intentions.

The underwater environments are an oppressive maze of vertical structures fading into the depths of the ocean. In these ruins reclaimed by unknown creatures, bioluminescent corals and fish are the only lights guiding the player.

The surface is more quiet and peaceful, with scattered structures emerging under a vibrant sky. Unlike underwater, there is no life on the barren ruins of the ancient civilization.

The game presents itself extremely well with gorgeous scenery in its early screenshots. It likens its above-water world as a “boundless mirror” and with the vast horizon changing with a day/night cycle (Echoes takes place over the course of a single day), it promises some breathtaking scenery.

Echoes is still in early development and is expected to be released on PC in third quarter of 2017.

Seraph (Dreadbit)

Website / Steam /  Twitter / Facebook / Youtube

Ever get sick of aiming? So did the developers over at Dreadbit (presumably), so their new game, Seraph, does away with the whole pesky business by creating a platformer that does all the aiming for you.

Seraph features a unique, auto-aiming mechanic as well as an interesting premise in which you play an angel trapped on Earth in the body of a human.

Seraph is a skill based, acrobatic shooter… without aiming! Featuring an angel, known as Seraph, who’s fighting to restore her lost power and ultimately escape a prison infested with demons. However, dark magic has trapped the angel inside her human Vessel: if the Vessel dies, so will Seraph.

With your focus taken away from aiming at your enemies, you’re free to concentrate on the game’s acrobatic platforming. Seraph promises an incredible amount of freedom of movement and has a bevy of special attacks, spells, and finishing moves to boot. Enemies can be damaged by your ranged attacks, but some larger, trickier foes will need a more up close and personal approach to finish off.

Demonic flesh can be shredded by gunfire and physical attacks, but larger foes are only fully destroyed by using a very short range angelic attack called Smite. Enemies can be blasted at range but Seraph must enter the fray to finish them off – the ultimate in risk/reward gameplay.

The game aims to be replayable with an “easy to play, hard to master” approach by featuring a constantly-adjusting difficulty meter that changes as you’re playing. Add to that with random drops, weapons, enemies, bosses, character progression, and prcedurally generated levels and you have a gameplay experience that will be different every time you go back to it – and Dreadbit hopes you’ll go back over and over and over again.

Seraph is due out on Steam this month.

 

The Church in the Darkness (Paranoid Productions)

Website / Steam / Twitter / Facebook

Promising to be a game in which the story changes every time you play, Paranoid Productions’ Church in the Darkness is an isometric action/infiltration game set in the 1970s with a unique premise. Part Bioshock, part Heart of Darkness, it’s up to you to infiltrate a socialist “cult” that separates itself from the United States during the Vietnam War.

In the late 1970s, the charismatic Isaac and Rebecca Walker lead the Collective Justice Mission. Labeled radicals and feeling persecuted by the US government, they relocate their followers to the one place they believe they can create a socialist utopia: the jungles of South America. There they build Freedom Town. But relatives left behind in the US become worried: what exactly is going on at this compound in the jungle?

In The Church in the Darkness, you play as Vic, an ex-cop, who travels to Freedom Town to check on his nephew. You have unparalleled freedom in how you choose to go about pursuing this goal, however.

Play how you want – you can avoid detection completely, take on the guards using non-lethal methods, or kill anyone who gets in your way. But you’ll have to live with the consequences of those choices.

Featuring the voice talents of Ellen McLain (Portal‘s GLaDOS) and John Patrick Lowrie (Team Fortress 2‘s Sniper) as the charismatic leaders of the Collective, Church in the Darkness looks to deliver a thrilling and unique narrative with an amount of freedom rarely seen in games of its ilk – a game that will be truly different every time you play.

The Church in the Darkness is due out in 2017 for Steam, PS4 and Xbox One.

 

Pine (Twirlbound)

Website / Twitter / Facebook

Pine is still in early production, but the game has an ambitious premise: it is a game about adaptation and evolution, not just on the player’s part, but for the AI as well.

About a year ago the rather ambitious idea arose to build a game about evolution – thematically, mechanically and visually. It was immediately clear that our main challenge lay not in building a fun game, but in bringing such a high-level concept to entertaining gameplay, in whatever form.

The first concretization came from a mechanical implementation of adapting/evolving enemy behavior, something our programmer Marc had been working on for half a year as a research project. Those techniques somewhat resembled what is being used in fighting games to track your moves and to let the system form patterns, but we wanted to go deeper. We specifically wanted our game to be something more than combat – something of an adventure.

From these ideas came Pine, a game that explores how animals would evolve against their natural threats in the absence of humans.

In the world of Pine, we don’t handle any fantastic beasts or magical outlets – instead we look at potential instances of evolution in all living organisms. Creatures that would have evolved differently under certain circumstances, animals that would have thrived on the absence of human beings – we try to always keep things earthly and real, while staying true to fun and interesting characters.

The three examplesthat will be shown this year at Indievelopment in May are the Cariblin – a race of Caribou people who evolved to compete against the wolves that made them their prey – the Battops – “megabats” who fly through the forests of the Congo in large groups devouring everything in their sight – and litters – skiddish creatures that developed advanced hit-and-run tactics as well as a sticky spittle attack. The gameplay video shown off at this early state paints the game out to be a 3D hack-and-slash title, but more details will be revealed in the next month or so.

As mentioned before, Pine is still in early development, but you can check it out at the links listed above, and keep an eye on Only Single Player for more information about this auspicious project as it becomes available.

With Charles Darwin’s original work at hand, the latest of neural network technologies implemented and the reference window of the best games out there, we’re going full throttle to build an amazing experience.

You can check out a number of early gameplay videos from their demo (which you can also request a key for on their website) on Twirlbound’s Twitter account.

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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