Play NYC is on the horizon, still a ways off but fast approaching, and IndieHangover is an official media partner for this year’s show! As part of this partnership, we’ll be highlighting as many indie games as we can manage, from as many different genres and backgrounds, in the form of a weekly series.
This week, I wanted to focus on a few games that really captured my attention with there visuals, both in simply how they looked, but also how those visuals are being used in the game, either as a mechanic or a tool.
0°N 0°W is…an entirely non linear experience through multiple open worlds where everything you see is accessible. The focus is a meditative adventure apt for all ages with the sole objective of discovering beautiful environments. Additionally a randomized level progression system provides a different journey each time you play!
0°N 0°W, or ZeroNorthZeroWest, has actually been on my radar for a little while. However, I haven’t had the chance to truly dive into it and experience it since it’s release on March 1st. The bizarre, trippy neon graphics instantly grabbed my attention, promising a surreal experience.
More than that though, I think the visuals actually serve the purpose of 0°N 0°W pretty perfectly: the game is meant to be reflective, medatative and relaxing. The surreal mixture of bright neons, geometric shapes, and criss crossing lines might sound like a riotous cacophony, but once you’re watching them go by, they do lead you more to a zen place.
I’m eager to finally have a chance to play the game at Play NYC, and more importantly to pick the brains of it’s developers and learn more about how this came to be!
Spice of Life is an rpg arcade where you play a robot chef who is desperate to become a human.
Spice of Life looks like an incredibly unique game, being an RPG Arcade game (Something I’m not sure I’ve ever seen before) mixed with a cooking game. That’s not initially what captured my attention though. It was the graphics of the game that did that, wither their mix of cartoonish charm with something sinister mixed in.
All of the characters are done in shadowy forms, with silent, unblinking eyes as they approach, looking for food. It’s an intriguing choice, particularly when the game is about a robot trying to become human and gain humanity.
I missed Spice of Life at last year’s Play NYC, so I’m eager to get a chance to catch it this August.
Monsters and Sprites (working title) is a narrative puzzle game in which the player has to navigate a world in which they can only interact with objects while their character matches the item’s color.
Finally, Monsters and Sprites is a puzzle game that reminds me a bit of Hue, but unlike Hue, lays everything out in front of you, choosing to double down on a sense of whimsy as opposed to a sense of minimalist mystery. While Monsters and Sprites is still very much early in development, I love the idea of tying color to the mechanics of a puzzle in a game. It’s a tried and true mechanic that has been used on everything from Red Doors to Blue Keys, but Indie games continue to reinvent this and re-imagine it in many ways.
The other thing I hope that Monsters and Sprites chooses to maintain as it is developed is the pallet it is using. Many of the other games I have seen using color as a mechanic tend to go for bright, bold, primary colors, but I love the muted, softer pallet at play in the early images of Monsters and Sprites.
Stay tuned, as we’ll have many more previews of the indie game’s you can expect to find at this year’s Play NYC!