Anyone who knows me or listens to the podcast knows that I may be a colossal fan of pixel art. For a gamer like me, it’s the epitome of retro nostalgia. Like soft crackle of a Vinyl record to an audiophile, retro pixel art is my slice of nostalgia. It takes me back to those early Saturday mornings watching colored points of light dance across the warm glow of the tube TV in my living room. Long before the polygon we had the pixel and it truly was an art form. Trying to portray brutal boxing matches, intense car chases, and colorful new worlds with little colored squares was a true art form. Using pixels to animate was such an art because of their technical limitations which forced developers to come up with new and interesting ways of showing movement, actions, and emotions in games.
Now that those kids have grown up and are making games of their own, we are seeing the market flood with retro pixel art based games, and I should be happy about it. But I’m not. The problem is not that we have too many pixel art games, it’s that we have a lot of imposters that fake the pixel look and we have others that just use it as cash in on a style. This ultimately leads to gamers turning their back on this art form and dismiss it as a fad that they hope dies out soon. Luckily, there is definitely some pixel Picasso’s out there who have made some amazing looking titles. Take a look at how good a proper pixel art game can look.
Pixel art can look truly amazing if it is done by an artist that cares about the art form. Games like these prove that you can have an amazing and robust experience without having ultra HD realistic graphics or a top tier PC. Now I could go on about my undying pixel art love, but we need to get to this week’s indie games!
What exactly is a slugcat? It’s damn cute, that’s for sure. And after years of waiting, we almost have our hands on Rain World. In Rain World, players will take control of the cute little slugcat as they attempt to traverse a ruined ancient civilization in search of their lost family while facing a torrential downpour. Players will also have to focus on stealth to stay out of the deadly jaws of ravenous creatures that are trying to hunt and kill them at every turn. Players will be able to sneak, climb and pounce their way through 12 diverse regions with over 1600 rooms filled with platforming and stealth gameplay! From the beautiful 16 bit inspired art to the gorgeous animation and world building, Rain World is looking to be one of the best indie titles of the year. For more info you can check out their website here.
If it’s one thing I look for in my racing games, it’s a sense of speed. And the best sense of speed always comes from futuristic anti gravity racing. Being a huge fan of the Wipeout and F-Zero series, I am always looking for the next big thing in future fast. Antigraviator looks like it could be the next big thing. Unfortunately there isnt’ much info on this title as it’s still in alpha stages, but it is looking extremely promising. And hey, its got local multiplayer! Antigraviator has already been greenlit on Steam and they have a free demo you can go try here right now!
Gorgeous pixel art? Check. Hard boiled 80’s future cop vibe? Check. Local co-op shooting goodness? Double Check! This is shaping up to be my ultimate wish list for an indie game. This is Huntdown. In this hard boiled arcade shooter, players will run, jump, and take cover in the mayhem filled streets of the future. The game will revolve around bounty hunters aiming to take down the next big target by any means necessary. This 2D shooter looks to have all the makings of a classic with multiple uniquely themed gangs, levels, weapons, and mechanics. And the best part is you can take on these bounties with a friend in local couch co-op to double down on the punishment. Unfortunately we still don’t have any release info on the game, but with a fresh trailer at PAX East this weekend, I have a feeling we’ll be seeing it sooner than later. We’ll definitely keep you posted when we hear about it and until then you can learn more about the game and sign up for chance to play it first right here.
And, as always if you have any indie topics you’d like to see covered or if you know of an indie game that deserves a shout out, please contact me and we’ll try our best to feature it. Until next time, keep it indie