Editorial

Indie Highlight Reel – May 13, 2017

Indie

Welcome back to the Indie Highlight Reel, where OnlySP introduces some of the most promising indie games to break out each week. This time around, the selections are a tactical shooter, a new-age shmup, a 2D RPG, and an unsettling horror experience.

READY OR NOT

Ready or Not will be the first game from VOID Interactive, and will task players with taking control of an elite SWAT unit to defuse a range of situations, with the drawcard being the realistic and highly-tactical gameplay of the title.

The game will be split into a number of different missions that can be played either alone or with up to eight other people. Each of those missions will begin with a tactical analysis phase, wherein players will be able to choose squad loadouts and other strategic elements, such as entry points. Even with this apparently minute level of control, however, Void Interactive is promising an intensely realistic experience, featuring ballistic dynamics (allowing bullets to ricochet and deteriorate), a damage system based on where players and enemies are struck, and a high level of control over movements such as leaning and opening doors.

At present, the developer has not expanded on the storyline, if one is to be included, although the setting is described as “a nondescript modern America, where an income disparity between the classes have become unsustainable and the country has been plunged into havoc.” This description opens the door to in-depth social commentary, though whether the developers take that route remains to be seen.

The game has been in development since June 2016, and currently has no announced platforms or target release date. More details on Ready or Not are available here.

DRIFTING LANDS

Drifting Lands promises a new take on the age-old side-scrolling shoot-’em-up genre by adding RPG elements to create a much more customisable experience.

Players will begin their journey by choosing from one of three ship types, before being able to tailor the ship by choosing from more than seventy different active and passive abilities and buffs. Although the moment-to-moment gameplay appears highly reminiscent of the likes of Galaga or Resogun, the developers at Alkemi promise that Drifting Lands is “first and foremost an action-RPG.”

With a hundred levels of difficulty to work through and randomly generated missions, Drifting Lands is shaping up as one of the most replayable games of recent times, and looks like a lot of fun to boot.

The game has been available in Steam Early Access since January, and has recently been confirmed for a full release on June 5.

STARFLINT

StarFlint is billed as a 2D point-and-click RPG that began a Kickstarter campaign this past week. The game comes from debut studio Stunmason Games, which is seeking €35,000 to bring the project to life.

Following in the footsteps of the classic LucasArts adventures, StarFlint will feature a mature story, blending seriousness with humour. The game will bring together smuggler captain Flint and government agent Trixie as they travel the galaxy and try to start up a business while attempting to solve a galactic mystery. The maintenance and growth of that business is one element of the gameplay, while others include puzzles and traditional point-and-click gameplay.

Exactly how the developers will marry these various gameplay and story elements together into a cohesive experience is unclear at present, although a demo of the game is currently available on the official website for anyone interested to download and trial.

StarFlint is currently targeting a release in late 2018 for Linux, Mac, and PC, with an Xbox One version to follow later and other platforms under consideration.

RAIL THEORY

Finally, Rail Theory is an ambitious action-RPG from the debut team at Tryconic Studios. With combat inspired by Resident Evil 4 and level design ripped straight of the rulebook of Dark Souls, the project looks and sounds amazing.

Story details are light on the ground at present, but the developers are making a systems-based adventure unlike any that has come before. At the heart of the package is a randomisation system that will give each enemy a unique appearance and properties, as they are cobbled together from various different pieces. Working alongside this mechanic will be a dynamic difficulty setting that will affect the randomisation system. Furthermore, the game’s environments, enemies, and bosses will change depending on the order that the player works through the experience.

Another interesting feature is the health system, which comprises three separate variables that affect each other in various ways: armour, trauma, and stamina. The attacks of different enemies will affect these variables in diverse ways, and the character’s status will also have a tangible impact on gameplay. For example, having a high trauma level will affect aim and reduce the character’s movement speed.

For a game made by a development team of just two people, Rail Theory is almost singularly ambitious, and shaping up to be quite spectacular. A demo of the current build is available at the developer’s website. Meanwhile, Tryconic Studios are planning a Kickstarter campaign to begin on July 18, 2017, though neither target platforms or a crowdfunding goal has yet been announced.

As ever, these are just a few of the projects announced and uncovered over the past week, and many more exist that have not been covered. If you are an indie developer just starting to market your game, get in touch with us here at OnlySP to bring your game to our attention.

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