Kardboard Kings (Solstice 2021)
It’s time to run a card store! In Kardboard Kings you run a shop that sells cards for the popular game Warlock. Follow predictions about price trends for particular cards or sets to choose what to buy and stock each week. You can purchase cards online or occasionally from patrons, and sell them either in the shop or to callers with special requests. You can also add them to your personal Warlock binder. As another layer of store management, you can purchase aesthetic changes to your shop that provide different bonuses.
However, store management isn’t the only thing you have to worry about. You also have social interactions with various characters that come to visit as the story goes. The Champion of Warlock may even pay you a visit!
Kardboard Kings has a demo available on Steam if you’d like to give it a go!
Undying (Summer 2021)
A survival crafting game. I love these! The game-play is a little bit similar to A Flame in The Flood. You have to keep track of your energy, health, and food and water intake, and you have a kind of base where you can sleep, create crafting stations, store items, etc. The unique mechanic here is that you are a mom trying to evacuate a zombie zone with your son. Cody can learn by watching you do certain tasks, and become more helpful/self sufficient over time. There are a variety of optional side quests you can discover, as well as an overarching plot line. I’m really looking forward to the final release. If you’d like to check out the demo, it’s available on Steam.
Sail Forth (2021)
A sailing game that takes place on a procedurally generated, endless ocean filled with islands, artifacts, sea creatures, and pirates. You can customize the appearance and gear on your ships as you fight pirates, Giant Enemy Krebs, and other enemies while sailing the high seas.
A promising point and click detective game that released a prologue chapter as a teaser. You play as a struggling raccoon detective in noir, dystopian Vancouver. You’re hired to investigate the disappearance of Mrs. Green’s husband. There appear to be multiple ways to solve certain puzzles, and your dialogue choices affect your progression. It's possible to miss leads or evidence if a conversation goes badly. If you want, you can insult every person you talk to!
Sam and John make their way across an apocalyptic landscape, traveling, as the name would suggest, eastward. An ambiguously related child and father figure traveling and fighting monsters is maybe a familiar concept, but the world of Eastward also has some of the most appealing pixel art I’ve ever seen.
Deltarune (As completed)
Everyone knows about Deltarune by now! A follow-up (though not a direct sequel) to Undertale where you once again find yourself in an unfamiliar world full of colorful characters. The first chapter was wildly popular and I really enjoyed it. I'd say I can't wait to see the final product, but I trust Toby Fox and his team to take however much time they need to make something they're proud of.
A Space For The Unbound (Coming soon)
A beautiful adventure game set in Indonesia. It follows two friends with magical powers who are writing a story together. Dive into others' hearts and interact with puzzles representing their thoughts and feelings to influence their behaviors. I highly recommend trying the prologue on Steam or itch.io.
Starstruck: Hands of Time (TBA)
Starstruck looks like a combination of a rhythm game and Katamari style hi-jinks, and I am so here for it. The player alternates between two children who play guitar and a time traveling astronaut. All the kids want is to perform and play music, but parents and mysterious circumstances keep getting in their way. Meanwhile, as the astronaut, your goal is to save the future by clearing obstacles for them and wreaking havoc with a giant hand.
The art style reminds me a lot of Gitaroo Man, a fantastic rhythm game for the PSP which you should check out if you haven’t. Possibly the most exciting touch is that Starstruck supports Guitar Hero controllers! Really looking forward to this one.
A co-operative game where you play as two kiwis (Jeff and Debra) who have to use a variety of assistive machines to process and send out the mail! You are assisted by mail-carrying emus and a helpful octopus. From the trailer, it appears that there are a variety of tasks; from addressing and sorting mail to feeding and cleaning up after your emus. There are also hazards to keep game-play from getting stale, including electrical storms, rogue emus, and sand flooding.
Season (Coming soon)
You play as a young woman exploring the world in its final season. The game describes itself as “a third-person atmospheric adventure bicycle road trip game”. Traveling on your bike or on foot, record sounds, video, and diary entries to collect memories before the end. I love that you can interact with the environment through the recording devices. In the trailer you appear to be able to choose what to record and interact directly with the buttons on the device. I think that’s a great decision that will make a beautiful game much more immersive.