Interesting games on January 24

8 mins read

List by Matt S.

I’m a big fan of 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, 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 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 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 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 to support our work here, I would be eternally grateful! There’s a new one that recently came out, Sade!

Please, Touch The Artwork

I want to start this week by highlighting what might just be the most colourful puzzle game I’ve ever seen. Please, Touch The Artwork is, as the name suggests, inspired by the world of art, but behind that  is a zen-style puzzle experience with a slick jazzy soundtrack and around 160 puzzles of colourful delight. 

As the game’s description reads, those 160 levels are split up across three separate, narrative-driven games. One tells the origin story of abstract art and challenges you to add colours and lines to recreate paintings. One is the story of Boogie & Woogie – two squares that just want to be together in a rapidly growing and alienating world. The third is about moving to the big city and being overwhelmed by the experience. In that one you’ll be collecting letters to form a poem. It’s an eclectic mix, to be sure, but one that looks different, dynamic, and interesting.


Luckitown is one of those concepts that, in hindsight, seems so obvious that you’re amazed that you haven’t played a dozen examples of it yet. This is a dice game, mixed with turn-based tower defence strategy. In the game your goal is to build structures that will produce more dice, and those dice can then be used to defend your town from incoming hordes of enemies. The game looks humble (in an aesthetically appealing way), and seems fully featured, with 13 different resource types to collect, four different boss battles, and 40 different buildings or actions available to you.

You just know that this thing is going to go places, because despite landing on just four days ago, it is absolutely filled with comments from people having a great time with it. It has clearly been designed for replay value, so don’t let the “two-four hour play time” fool you into thinking you won’t get a lot of play out of this. It’s also worth mentioning that the developer, Sokpop Collective, has dozens and dozens of quirky, indie, artsy games to their name. This is very much the kind of developer that was built to support.

We have a lot of hyper-indie JRPG and RPG projects. Thanks to the likes of RPG Maker, it has become quite easy for people that don’t necessarily have much experience with coding and creating a game from scratch to build those kinds of experiences. Tactics JRPGs are more difficult, however, so we don’t get too many of them. This is why Conviction is so interesting. It does very much come across as an “RPG Maker, but tactics” project, and I mean that in the most positive way. It looks like it’ll be a lot of fun.

Despite being the work of a tiny team (if not a single person), the game does have all the features you’d expect; 12 main characters and 40+ classes, multiple endings, multiple battle scenarios, and a 40-hour play time. It did get a release on Steam around this time last year, but landed without making much of a splash – there are just 118 reviews, but it does have an 81 per cent positivity rating, so people do like what they’ve seen. Perhaps it’ll get a better run on Steam.
1001 Arabian Nights remains one of my favourite fantasy settings, and we just do not see enough of it. Genies and magic carpets, wind-swept dunes of sand and oasises. And harems, of course. It’s magic-and-adventure gold, but the aesthetic and setting puts off a lot of people (I don’t think I need to say what kind of people), and so it’s hard to commercialise. Anyhow, Islands of Caliph looks like a pretty darned good effort at applying the fantasy to a retro-style first-person dungeon crawl.
The game is under active development by a one-person studio, so for now there’s nothing you can actually download and play. This is a placeholder page on itch. The developer hopes to have a playable version in the coming months, and a broader “this game is finished” goal of a year or two down the track. Bookmark and watch this one, because my Spidey-sense is telling me it has legs. 
– Matt S.
Find me on Twitter: @mattsainsb

This is the bio under which all legacy articles are published (as in the 12,000-odd, before we moved to the new Website and platform). This is not a member of the DDNet Team. Please see the article's text for byline attribution.

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