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 recently came out, Sade!
We’ll start the last itch.io summary for the year with what looks like an absolutely fascinating game, especially given the global social climate right now. Cursed Kingdom is a game about a pestilence that has broken out, and your job is to try and protect people and stop them from dying via a combination of isolation and healthcare. Sound familiar?
BafWorld also looks like a simple little game that could be really challenging. In Bafworld, you need to build up a city on a little island, protect it from invading pirates, and rescue cats(?). In other words, it looks like it’s part Sim City, part strategy game, and all indie heart and soul.
We have even more strategy to share this week! Seems like Christmas time is the time to release indie strategy games. No Crossroads looks like a hyper-indie take on Advance Wars, and that’s a great thing indeed. As the description goes: “No Crossroads is a turn-based strategy game focused on resource management and small-scale turn-based combat. You are tasked with establishing a new colony on a hostile island where resources are limited and the enemies are at your doorstep. Explore the island, protect and expand your territory, and level up your heroes.”