Posted on Sep 20, 2011

Really need to apoligize for the lack of posts.  The new job turned out to be a lot of work (what new job isn't), the weather was nice, and TIFF only just wrapped up last week.  But now it's September, time to put our heads down and get back to being productive, right?

Well, not with this post, not just yet. :) I'll do some development-related posts in the future (I have about 3-4 in draft mode, just need to clean 'em up) but today I just wanted to point you towards some indie games that I've been following the development on.  They're not out yet unfortunately, but most have a lot of juicy screen shots and videos for you to enjoy in the mean time. (And yes, I was inspired by Mashable's article)

Monaco

Monaco screenshot

As the Monaco website says, this game promises to be an interesting mix of "Pac-Man meets Hitman", although given the "heist" background story in the game, I prefer Pac-Man meets Ocean's 11.  You run around each level, avoiding the security cameras, hacking computers, distracting guards and picking locks, with your team of up to 4 buddies, attempting to steal something of value.

Monaco has a lot of 8-bit charm obviously, but it has science smarts too: all of the level previews use steganography to encode the actual data for the level right into the image!  Read the blog post on Facebook, it can do a much better job of explaining it than I can, plus it has more pretty pictures.

Fray

Fray screenshot

Simultaneous turn-based games have seen a bit of a rising trend the last few years, at least in the indie world.  The most prominent examples I have an experience with being Steambirds and Frozen Synapse, and the mechanic has a long history in the PC world.  Still, it's the handmaid to its elder sisters, turn-based and real-time.  While Fray probably won't light the world on fire and change the situation anytime soon, it still looks like a promising, beautiful-looking entry into the genre.  I wasn't really that impressed with Frozen Synapse's graphics, but Fray is visually something I can get behind.

They Bleed Pixels

They Bleed Pixels screenshot

A little girl reads a book, grows blades for arms, and then needs to do some super tricky and dangerous-looking platforming in order to...well, we don't know just yet, but whatever it is, it does look like fun!  I think my favourite parts about They Bleed Pixels is the idea of a single-button combo system, and the enviromental damage that can be caused with said combos.  Have a look at the trailer, you'll get the idea.  Well worth your time.  And the developers are Canadian too!

Skull Girls

Skull Girls screenshot

From the videos, Skull Girls looks to take its visual influences from the Darkstalkers series - dark but cute B-movie and genre-influenced, slightly monster-fied (or sometimes completely monster-fied) females combo it up with over-the-top, fantastical moves, all beautifully hand-animated in 2D. Just like the old school, but in HD!  Combat-wise, it looks like there's tag teaming and some kind of insane combo system. (the team behind it has some members who worked on characters, development and game balancing for such genre greats as Blaz Blue)  I'm not so sure about the combat yet, but the visuals look amazing, and the animation looks super slick and smooth.

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