We published a fair number of previews and impressions from our time at Summer Game Fest in Los Angeles, but by and large most of those were devoted to the biggest games we got to see, since indie was for the most part just something we got to see in fleeting moments since The Mix was canceled. But we did get to see a few different exciting indie games, some just a few minutes at a time. Since this is the case, here is a collection of the most interesting indies we got hands-on with during SGF.
To kick things off, we have the incredibly striking indie project Été. Coming from developer Impossible, this is a relaxing painting game that combines exploration with creativity and story elements while being presented in a watercolor art style that really fits the tone of the game. Named after the French word for summer, the game is set in Montreal and is even fully voiced in Quebec French and allows players to freely explore neighborhoods in the city to meet artist friends.
This cute game has a rather disturbing undertone. The idea behind Moonloop Games’ Hauntii sees players making their way through Eternity, a place that exists outside of space, where all souls eventually end up. From here, you must explore the world as a minor spirit in hopes of reaching a central tower to rise to a higher level, while dodging and avoiding the corrupting souls that exist in the darkness. With a truly unique art style and a play style that is relaxing and slow, this twin-stick game is an interesting take on the afterlife.
Before Day of the Devs and SGF, Sad Owl Studios’ Viewfinder was already making waves, and now we know exactly why. Using perspective as the main tool for creating complex puzzles for players to solve, this ingenious title asks players to literally reshape reality while combining a range of unique art styles to create an experience that is truly unique and fresh. If you’re looking for a new puzzler to play next month, Viewfinder is definitely one to look out for.
Have you ever wondered what would happen if you crossed Pokémon with volleyball? Then Wishes’ Beastieball is just what you’re looking for. Combining sports with monster-fighting RPG elements, this game asks players to defeat opposing NPCs and wild creatures by actually defeating them in a game of volleyball. To do so, you must either take out opponents by hitting them with a series of volleyball-based attacks, or instead fake them and manage to make the ball hit the ground on their side of the court to score a point. With evolutions and a host of mechanics that made Pokémon so iconic, Beastieball is one to keep an eye on for 2024.
Coming from the indie studio that previously served Mutazione, Die Gute Fabrik, Saltsea Chronicles is an upcoming story-driven adventure game that sends players on a journey through an after-flood world. In the story, the player helps Captain Maja break his ship out of a seizure and then escape on the waves of the world of Saltsea, an empire made up of strange and beautiful communities and mysterious ruins, and gripped by a deep conspiracy. With the player in charge of where they adventure, who they team up with and more, Saltsea Chronicles is all about exploring in the way that suits you, with the game set to release sometime later this year.
Lysfanga: The Time Shift Warrior
Mythological ancient setting, time-based powers, announced at Summer Game Fest Live. You probably think we’re talking about Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown, but you’d be wrong, because this is actually the latest title from developer Sand Door Studio, Lysfanga: The Time Shift Warrior. Set in an ancient kingdom, this game puts players in the shoes of a warrior equipped with temporal powers as they are tasked with exploring huge cities, defeating hordes of dangerous enemies and doing so as quickly and efficiently as possible to achieve the best score possible. With the game recently announced, we are still waiting to hear when it will launch in the future.