This year’s Day of the Devs marks the showcase’s tenth anniversary and treated us to no shortage of cool indie games as a refreshing dessert after the Not-E3 Summer Game Fest stream. Hosts Double Fine Productions and iam8bit have curated a list of fifteen (and a bonus!) upcoming indie games; from debuting solo devs to well-known indie studios, and from complex topics like grief and loss to the spawn of satan in the form of a train, there was sure to be something to please any and every indie fan.
Hold on to your seats as we delve into the roundup of this year’s exciting lineup:
From production company Playables, best known for their surreal games Plug & Play and KIDS, Time Flies is a short game that deals with the mortality of life as told through the brief lifespan of a fly. Play as the buzzing bug as you fly about a room and tick off items from your bucket list. The game lands on PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, and PC sometime in 2023. Visit timeflies.buzz for more information.
Planet of Lana
Follow Lana as she embarks on a mission to rescue her sister in this side-scrolling puzzle adventure. Work alongside an adorable creature companion to solve puzzles as you traverse the gorgeous hand-painted environments of a lush planet that has been invaded by a robot army. The game will be launched on Xbox and PC in 2022.
Fight for your life in this open world horror game where you navigate an island in an old locomotive while being chased by the eponymous Charles. Explore the creepy terrain to obtain weapons and resources for upgrading your train, all while avoiding the hellish, scuttling spider train and shotgun-wielding cultists. Choo-Choo Charles chugs its way onto PC this year.
Described as “like Hogwarts but for escape rooms”, Escape Academy is developed by Coin Crew Games, who has a history of building real-world escape rooms. Train to become the ultimate Escapist in this escape room adventure game that will include lots of unrepeated puzzles, a co-op option, and the ability to pick up a rat. The game breaks out on Xbox, Playstation, and PC on 14 July.
A Little To The Left
Arrange things just right with A Little To The Left, where you solve puzzles hidden in everyday messes at home. Organise items in specific ways to complete levels, which may have more than one solution. Just keep an eye out for your cat (which you can pet!) who may shake up your work from time to time. This cosy game falls into place on Nintendo Switch and PC in 2022.
Bear and Breakfast
Play as Hank, a curious young bear living in the woods, as you flip abandoned buildings to become Bed and Breakfasts by gathering materials, building rooms & crafting furniture. Make sure your guests are satisfied in this casual management sim which boasts a linear narrative and Definitely No Creepy Subplot (probably a lie), as claimed by developers Gummy Cat. This B&B opens to the public on 28 July on PC.
Animal Well is a pixel art Metroidvania in which you journey through a labyrinth full of enigmatic creatures that may or may not want to harm you. Unravel the secrets of its surreal, treacherous world that contains hidden items and puzzles. Even the trailer is a puzzle, and solving it could possibly net you a copy of the game. No release date has been announced, but you can wishlist the game on Steam.
Swim through zen rivers in this vibrant exploration adventure game. Play as a newly born water nymph and flow through rivers, overcome obstacles, and make friends with aquatic critters. Unfortunately, humans are polluting the peaceful waters and it is up to the nymph to sing to restore nature. Naiad will float onto PC in 2022.
Roots of Pacha
Roots of Pacha is a civilisation sim set in the stone age. Grow a village from the ground up by finding plants and resources, and develop ideas that shape humanity and society such as farming and domesticating animals. As the village advances, players can expect various minigames, interactions with your clan, and even romance. The demo is out now on Steam, and the full game will be released sometime this year.
Desta: The Memories Between
Brought to you by the developers behind Monument Valley, Ustwo Games, Desta: The Memories Between is a turn-based roguelike game about loss and finding oneself. The titular Desta slips into a world between worlds when they dream, where they explore memories and solve puzzles through a ball game to find the right words to say to others. No release date has been announced, but more information can be expected in the coming weeks and months.
Jump from shadow to shadow in this minimalistic platformer where you play as a Schim, a creature that lives in the shadows of people and objects, who has been separated from their person’s shadow. Assist other lost Schim characters in finding their shadows as you skip and hop through shadows to navigate the world. The release date is still unknown, but the game can be wishlisted on Steam.
Fox And Frog Travellers: The Demon Of Adashino Island
Explore a Japanese-inspired world full of torii gates, food stall lanterns, and neon signs in this 3D adventure game. Things aren’t as tranquil as they seem though, a terrifying demon lurks in the shadows and follows you as you walk about the town. Not many details have been released regarding this adorably eerie game, which can be expected to release in a few years.
Goodbye World is a narrative adventure game interspersed with puzzle platforming sections which follows the life of two indie game developers, and the passions and struggles that come with game development. This game mixes influences from comics like Ghost World and games like The Beginners Guide and Mother 3, alongside a retro aesthetic reminiscent of the Super NES or Game Boy Advance. It will be released later this year on PC.
Both Fox And Frog Travellers and Goodbye World were showcased by Asobu, a community hub for indie game creators which helps Japanese developers apply to overseas events, like Day of the Devs, out of a slew of other stuff. Interested fans can expect an indie event from them later this summer.
Quell your loneliness by creating a creature friend out of bones and organs in this point-and-click puzzle game about living alone in a large city. Find spare parts by exploring the hand-drawn city and get to know fellow residents by foraging through their personal belongings. There are also optional hidden tokens that can unlock secret areas and treasures. Birth will be out on PC this August.
How To Say Goodbye
Inspired by illustrated children’s books, this charming narrative puzzle game is about a recently deceased ghost who helps to guide other quirky ghosts to the exit by reorganising the tiled terrain. Follow various characters as they learn how to move on and accept their own death while escaping an evil wizard who doesn’t know how to let go. A demo of the game is available on Steam, and the full game is set to be out sometime in 2022.
Little Nemo And The Guardians Of Slumberland
In a bonus afterparty to round off this year’s Day Of The Devs, we were treated to a bop from platformer game Little Nemo And The Guardians Of Slumberland, which has a recently launched campaign on Kickstarter and has a target release date of end 2023. This game is inspired by Winsor McCay’s Little Nemo comics, and will feature an original soundtrack by Peter Berkman from chiptune-based band Anamanaguchi.
The final announcement comes in the form of another indie game showcase, this time from indie game publisher Annapurna Interactive who will be holding their summer showcase this 28 July.
This summer is only heating up, with many Not-E3 events on the way. Before that, don’t miss out on this refresher on this year’s Summer Games Fest.