Here's the second batch of miniature reports on indie games I saw on the floor at Tokyo Game Show. Check out the first batch if you missed it.
A typical sandbox game gives the player a procedurally generated world to explore and shape as they please. But The Tomorrow Children puts players in a town in the center of a vast nothingness into which the player can sink and die.
Islands pop up occasionally, though, and remain long enough for players to harvest resources that can be used to build. There's also a multiplayer element, though other players are only visible when taking action, popping in and out of view.
One thing that came across well in the demo is a strong Soviet Russia vibe. The voice acting is a key part of this. Q-Games had dialogue from the game translated into Russian, then chopped and mixed it up before giving it to Russian voice actors to speak to get Russian-sounding gibberish. They also sent their artist to the Czech Republic to do research, and the characters are all modeled after their traditional puppets.
Agartha (JP link)
This pixel-based 2D particle physics sandbox title is scheduled to come out in time for the next Comiket, where Windows copies will be distributed physically to attendees. When I asked the developer if he had any plans to release the game as downloadable software, he said that he's had better reactions from westerners than Japanese people overall, so he does want to try to get it on Steam. That would come later, though.
This is a scrolling shooter with two different dimensions side-by-side on screen. The player's ship exists in one or the other at any given time, and can flip into the other at the push of a button, popping in at the same relative location.
It starts simple, but ramps up the difficulty later, with the addition of obstacles and harder enemies. It feels like an adventure game in some ways, requiring a combination of forethought and quick reflexes. You can try their public alpha for yourself. Developer 2Awesome Studio expects to release the game on Windows, Mac, and Linux later this year.
This game is already out in the west for Windows and Mac, but the developers are preparing to release "Spud Tales" DLC with new weapons, new smiths, new legendary heroes, and a completely separate storyline. Of the new heroes they've announced, my personal favorite is Kacarrot, pictured above.
New development studio Digixart is entering the scene with a music game that director Yoan Fanise hopes will be to games what Disney's Fantasia is to animated film.
The game is a story about a boy and a girl on a journey together, with a selection of music from many genres (including some collaborations with songwriter Wyclef Jean) that represents their feelings and their growth as people along the way. Its look is inspired by the works of Hayao Miyazaki, and I think it has the potential to be magical. I'm really looking forward to it. Gamasutra recently published interview about the game that talks about the goals Fanise has for the game.
This is an upcoming puzzle adventure game from Telehorse, the developer of point-and-click adventure game Steampunker. Steamville takes place in the same setting but is not the same kind of game. In each level, the player is being chased by a giant robot and must use the environment to damage it until it is destroyed. It's headed to iOS and Android later this year.
This game caught my attention with its subtitle. It's a turn-based JRPG that centers on a liberal arts graduate who just finished college. Having returned home, he and his friends hang out on a forum about conspiracy theories, and go out questing to take care of the conspiracies in the world around them. As they go, they find that all the conspiracies they tackle are more connected than they appear.
The graphics are bright and colorful; the developers are sticking to plain colored 3D volumes as much as possible. The battle system is more interactive than those of most JRPGs, with minigames for every attack. It's expected to hit Windows, Mac, Linux, PS4, PS Vita, and Wii U later this year.
Check out the first batch of indie games impressions from TGS.