This is a golden age of videogames. More than ever before, people from all backgrounds are making games using freely accessible tools that industry pioneers of the '80s and '90s could only dream of. The only problem now is information overload; with more games than anyone could ever process, what are you to do?
It's that time of the week again, and PCGamesN returns to help you cut through the noise, and tune your signal into some of the most intriguing experiments in the indie scene this week, one enticing image at a time. Check out the latest crop below, and check back next week for more. Plus check our our lineup from last week, October 15th, if you missed it!
Any or all of these games could be the next big thing. Here's some of the best indie hits of recent years.
By Nuclear Strawberry, out in Early Access
I've been carrying a torch for this oddball platform shooter for some time. Don't be put off by the lurid colour scheme and pre-rendered 3D sprites, because Copy Kitty is a game of shocking depth and replayability, inspired by the likes of Gunstar Heroes. The game's main gimmick is that you have three weapon slots to fill with attacks stolen from enemies (hence the title), and almost every combination of two or three weapons results in a unique combination shot, some of which are absurdly pyrotechnic.
While mostly complete at present and well worth playing as-is Copy Kitty is spending its last stretch of development on Steam as Early Access while the final few chapters and last few major features (Steam Workshop support is on the cards) are in the works.
They say imitation is the greatest form of flattery, after all.
Blazing Legion: Ignition
By Virtuoso Neomedia, no due date
Early days yet for this one, but I am a sucker for piloting huge-yet-twitchy anime mecha against overwhelming odds. So many enemies! So many speed-lines! I love a game that makes you feel like you're pushing human awareness and reflex to their limits. The sci-fi HUD isn't too shabby either, and you can see a little more of the game in action, as well as some stills of its mechs by trawling the #BLAZINGLEGION hashtag.
As a complete aside, I just found out that a young Bryan Cranston voiced mecha piloting hot-shot Isamu Dyson in Macross Plus. No wonder Walter White had nerves of steel.
Radio The Universe
By sixesixesixe, no due date
After a year of tiny GIFs and teases, the enigmatic developer of this brooding, atmospheric cyberpunk action-adventure goes and uploads 15 minutes of gameplay footage just a few hours ago. Watch it. Soak it up. It's worth your time.
Kickstarted long ago for a meager sum way back in 2012, Radio The Universe has been quietly bubbling away in the background, and this is the single best look we've had at it yet. It feels dark, lonely and dangerous, and that death effect - the sound of tearing flesh and a sudden cut to a black screen - is horrifyingly effective.
And the end came thus.
By Buckshot Software, no due date
Now that there is some delectable pump-shotgun action. Fitting enough, coming from a studio with a name like Buckshot Software. Project Warlock is a back-to-basics FPS deep in development, that looks like a hybrid of modern design, Doom-style combat, chunky Wolfenstein-ish levels and an almost EGA-esque palette that reminds me of the Catacomb Abyss series way back in when. It's nostalgic, but satisfying just to look at.
On their twitter feed, the developer mentions that rank-and-file 'grunt' enemies will often go down in one solid shot just like this, making for powerful, capable feeling weaponry. After far too many years of Doom, I can't help but agree.
By Crafting Legends, no due date
Death Trash isn't the friendliest of names for a game, is it? But it conveys the tone of this grungy, violent real-time RPG so very well. Themes of lovecraftian cosmic horror merge with general post-apocalyptic crudity. Trash-talking weirdoes living on a scrapheap world infested with pulsating fleshy growths and eldritch horrors. Fun!
The developers promise proper roleplaying here in the vein of the original 2D fallout games, but with a faster, more accessible central gameplay loop. Plus, gorgeous (if gross) pixel art. The above GIF shows off a new facet of the game - realtime stealth, complete with handy vision cones.
That's it for this week. Got any favourites you want to share? Post them in the comments below, and if you're a developer and want to see your game here? Tweet about it on #ScreenshotSaturday.