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!
This month’s collection includes: Decay (a game where the world is falling apart, but you have to go to work and pay rent anyway), Late to the Party (a visual novel about interrupting your friends), The Attendant (a game about a flight that has a jammed landing gear and you need to figure out how to solve the crisis before the fuel runs out), Explobers (a Lemmings-ish puzzle platformer), Ritual Quest (an “angsty tongue-in-cheek response to settler-colonial views on rituals), and so much more!
It’s a bunneh game! Just a few short months after the delightful Bunhouse, another developer has been inspired by the wonderful, next-tier animals that rabbits are, and so here we have another relaxing, chill-paced game about bunnehs being bunneh. Video games can be so wholesome and good (sometimes).
In Rabbit Meadow, you get to explore a gorgeously-rendered meadow, while finding and collecting rabbit toys. There’s nothing pressing in this game, no combat or timers (thank God for that), and you can customise your bunneh in whatever way you like. You’ll also get to meet other, friendly, animals in the meadow, such as squirrels and frogs. You can even swim with ducks (note: rabbits don’t like swimming and are terrible at it, so don’t do that at home, folks). This game just looks so warming. I love it.
Upfront warning – I’m pretty sure that this one is an adult game that goes well beyond just fanservice, but the art is so lovely and the general premise seems to be so… elevated… that I’m going to recommend people look into it anyway. It was previously released on Nintendo Switch in February (minus the adult scenes, of course), but if you want to play it on PC, you’ll need to invest in the itch.io – the game is one of those ones that Steam has denied approval for (good old Steam!)
The game tells the story of a student artist, Ema, and teacher-in-training, Konami. Ema surprises Konami with a kiss, and then Konami discovers that Ema is actually her favourite artist. That kicks off a relationship between the two which, in addition to the romance, involves both girls helping one another to achieve their dreams. It’s a proper yuri romance story, in other words.