Five indie games to look forward to this summer


Bethany Berg, Photo Editor

Over the course of this year, I’ve reviewed various titles that I believe were fantastic games which challenged, inspired and intrigued players, including myself. These are the titles I’m looking forward to this summer that I hope will continue the same effect.

Set in pastel-colored “Donut County,” the player controls a mysterious hole which grows in size each time it swallows something. After reading through reviews, it seems to be very similar to the adventure-style and puzzle-solving ideology of “Portal,” which only fuels the nostalgia for physics-inspired games. Back in 2015, it won the IndieCade Story/World Design Award and was an independent games festival finalist.

After being in development for two years, it seems like it’s almost time to discover a “hole” new world.

Out of this entire list and all of the other titles I’ve come across in research, “Night in the Woods” is the game I am looking forward to the most. Since learning about it last fall, I found it easy to fall in love with its art style, story premise, and slightly supernatural essence. In game, you play as college dropout Mae Borowski, who returns home to find things aren’t exactly the same. Strange things are happening, and there’s something ominous in the woods. Reviewers have called it everything from sleek and complex, to simple and an example of the kind of realness that resonates with you long after the game is finished.

The snippets of the game I’ve seen from screenshots at PAX, to the Kickstarter and Twitter pages and its own website, make “Night in the Woods” something I can’t fully wrap my head around yet, and something I am very excited to play.

After being a Steam Early Access and Xbox One Game Preview for two years and selling over 550,000 copies, “The Long Dark” is scheduled for the first part of its long awaited “story mode” to be released Spring 2016, and the rest continually released throughout the remainder of the year. “The Long Dark” is a first-person exploration survival title, where the player is pitted against mother nature in a brutal winter wasteland. In “Sandbox Mode,” available when you buy the game currently, you have to survive on the barebones of necessary survival materials, avoid bears and wolves, and try to survive for as long as you can.

My recommendation? Early bird gets the worm; buy it now before the price goes up and get the first release of story mode for free.

Imagine something along the lines of “Alien” mixed with “The Walking Dead,” and you’d find yourself with the brilliant, soon-to-be-released “Overland.” It’s not your usual, run of the mill post-apocalypse survival game. “Overland” is a board game inspired, turn-based 3D adventure, where you control a group of survivors following a post-apocalyptic event on their cross-country journey over land (get it?). Visually, the game is stunning and smooth. Gameplay wise, it relies on thought out strategy in advance of each turn, which reminds me of games like “Faster Than Light,” and “Risk.”

Made by the same studio as “Night in the Woods,” this is definitely a game to keep track of.

This title is the most complex out of the group. I say that in a good way, because “Paradise Never” is a cumulation that mashes the aspects from many types of popular games into one. It’s an action role-playing game (RPG) set on a remote island, where you play as the leader of a crumbling revolution, who is forced to relive the last three days when cursed by a goddess. Talk to characters, learn new uses for objects, combat strategically, explore the new world you regenerate in every time you die and, of course, don’t forget your phone.

The developer, Calvin French, has been working on “Paradise Never” for about 3 years, alongside other games. His current twitter title is “GAME IN FEW WEEKS!” Even if it turns out to be postponed, “Paradise Never” is a title to keep on your radar, but you never know, so make sure to sign up for the mailing list!