Latest News

Monday, February 22, 2021

Interesting games on itch.io: February 22


List by Matt S.
.  
I'm a big fan of itch.io for the freedom and open platform that it allows for developers to be creative, experimental, and directly canvas the audience for feedback for games that are not yet ready for primetime on Steam and its ilk. In addition, itch.io allows you to be transgressive, subversive, and downright dangerous. It's a true "art gallery" for game ideas and creative developers, and it should be celebrated for that.

What makes itch.io a little difficult at times is finding things that are interesting to play. Discovery is a real issue when great ideas are buried among high school projects and nasty little efforts to scam a quick buck from players. With that in mind, I thought what might be helpful to readers would be if I did a brief write-up of interesting games that I've come across on itch.io each week. In many cases these games will be unfinished or "in development," but I'm highlighting them because they promise something special and are well worth keeping on the radar.

Note: I also haven't played these games. I highlight them as interesting based on the itch.io description and concept. Where I find the time to do actual reviews or other coverage, I will compose separate articles on the game in question. These aren't so much an endorsement (or piece of criticism) as they are a head's up.

Naturally, if you want to pick up a couple of the Dee Dee visual novels while you're there on itch.io to support our work here, I would be eternally grateful! There's a new one that just came out, Sade!

Bloodmoon Church

There are two particular genres that are disproportionately represented on itch.io - the adult games (which makes sense since there are fewer platforms available for them) and then horror. I'm not sure what inspires so many micro-indies to work on horror games, but a lot of them do, and each week there's a new pile of them to work through. Bloodmoon Church caught my eye as one that might not be the most playable thing, but it certainly has atmosphere going for it.


As you can see, this game has a heavy visual filter over it, to the point that it might be headache to look at over the long term, but as a "found footage"-inspired game it looks like it's delivering on that aesthetic in a big way. Furthermore, at 30 minutes in length, it's likely to be an intense experience that is over before those headaches can set in. You're exploring a haunted old church to understand what's going on and... that's it, really. It's not the kind of game you would see anywhere but itch because of its scope, but sometimes these kinds of experiences are the most memorable, and on aesthetics alone this one is intriguing.

Minit Fun Racer

Minit was a bit of an indie darling when it released, and now the developers (and publisher, Devolver Digital) are back with another entry into the "Minit" franchise. It's a simple game in which you scoot around collecting coins to extend the time limit that you're working with. And it's got that lovely black-and-white aesthetic of the original Minit.



Perhaps the nicest thing about Minit Fun Racer, however, is that the developers have pledged every cent raised to charity, forever. It'll be a rolling series of charities (follow the developers on Twitter for more information), but every sale of the game is going directly towards a good cause. What a lovely way to turn a super-small scale thing, but something that people will want to play as fans of the "franchise", into something with a positive social outcome.


"Part shoot 'em up, part puzzles, all partical physics," is how Cyclotronica bills itself. If you ask me, the developers should add "and one hell of an acid trip" to the descriptor. Cyclotronica is almost overwhelming with the neon colours and energy, and this could go one of two ways; either it's impossible to actually enjoy it... or it's of of the most vivid games that you'll ever play.


What it most reminds me of, in terms of how it moves about the place, is Forsaken, and those other early-era 3D action games on the Nintendo 64 and PlayStation 1. It's got the same look about the level design and kinds of gameplay as that era, and that's not a complaint - I really enjoyed Forsaken back in the day. It looks like this developer has a bit of ambition about them with the scale (and price point) of this game, so keep an eye on them into the future.


If nothing else, this developer has gonads. Simgirls is, according to the developer "rated the best and most played dating sim of all time," which I find to be very difficult to believe, as I've never heard of it and as everyone reading this knows, I very much enjoy dating games. That aside, though, Simgirls Lovemore does look interesting, in the way that it's combining those dating simulation elements with RPG-like combat systems. 


With 25 locations to visit and seven characters to romance (including two men, so it's not so much "Simgirls" here as "Simpeople"), Lovemore seems like it's a full-scale thing. The art's quite nice too, with attractive character designs that resist being the kind of obscene over-the-top nonsense that can plague this particular sub-genre.

- Matt S. 
Editor-in-Chief
Find me on Twitter: @mattsainsb


Interesting games on itch.io: February 22
  • Blogger Comments
  • Facebook Comments
Top