Highlights: Day of the Devs (Summer Game Fest 2023 Edition)

Indie games at their finest.

5 mins read
The artwork for Double Fine and iam8bit's Day of the Devs Summer Game Fest Edition, which aired June 8, 2023. There is a skull logo on a retro pink and purple background.

For most, Summer Game Fest was the big event of the day. I watched it, but didn’t even bother covering it as a whole: there were like two things I was interested in. But following that is Day of the Devs, which is far more focused on artistic indie games and less on the shooty-bang-bang ones. I’m super excited for this showcase, so let’s get to it! (But first, if you’re interested, here is my recap of last year’s show.) I’ll include the description of a few of my favourite featured games, as well as a full list of the games shown off.

Game highlights

Simpler Times

Sheds light on the beauty of the ordinary. Go through a woman’s memories as she prepares to leave her childhood home. Slow down. Savour the present moment. Delve into her past and uncover her authentic self. Each puzzle brings her closer to adulthood. You’ll hold objects that have sentimental value. Take a break, slow down, and enjoy something meaningful. It’s like the opposite of unpacking: packing. PC + “other platforms”


Viewfinder is a puzzle game built around a camera mechanic. The game gives players a lot of freedom. Take photos or find photos, then make them into real 3D spaced. Use a camera and photos to reshape the world around you. You can even rotate reality. It’s like the gameplay of Portal plus the visual illusions of Superliminal. It’s a puzzle game, but also a sandbox game. Viewfinder will be released for PC and PlayStation 5.


Hauntii is beautiful, hand-drawn ghost story. The main mechanic is the ability to haunt things and gain access to their abilities. There’s a lot that can be haunted. It a twin-stick shooter that focuses less on high-intensity moments and more how to use it to create new gameplay. It starts with one ghost and expands to many. Collect stars that give you access to pieces of the ghosts’ past lives. Hauntii will be released for PC, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series, and Xbox One.

Henry Halfhead

Henry Halfhead is one of the more creative games I’ve seen in quite some time. Players take on the role of Henry, who is simply the top half of a head. Henry can possess and control and object within their reach. Discover each object’s unique abilities and combine them to progress through Henry’s not-so-ordinary life. Despite Henry being only half a head, he is customizable… at least, he can wear many hats on his shiny bald head.


Play a painter with a watercolour brush and the world at his fingertips. Été (“ay-tay”) means summer in French, and the game is set in Montreal during the summer. Play as a budding painter as you explore at your own pace, following your curiousity and discovering secrets along the way. Use watercolour to paint the world in 3D. Befriend fellow artists and help them out in a storyline that is fully voiced in Quebec French (yes, it’s a thing; I can’t understand a darned word of France French). Create artworls with total freedom using the items you touched in the world. These items can be rotated and resized at will. Été will be released in early 2024. Platforms were not announced.

The full list of games

  • BeastieBall (2024)
  • Hyper Light Breaker
  • Simpler Times (PC, “other platforms”)
  • Viewfinder (PC, PlayStation 5)
  • Hauntii (PC, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series, Xbox One)
  • Cart Life (PC)
  • Helskate (launching this year in early access for PC)
  • Henry Halfhead (PC)
  • Cocoon (PC)
  • Été (Early 2024)
  • Summerhill PC
  • Eternights (launching September 2023 for PC via Steam/Epic, PlayStation 5, and PlayStation 4)
  • Retro Gadgets (available now in early access for PC via Steam)
  • Mars First Logistics (launching on June 22 in early access for PC via Steam)
  • Saltsea Chronicles (coming soon for PC, PlayStation, and Nintendo Switch)


Lindsay picked up an NES controller for the first time at the age of 6 and instantly fell in love. She began reviewing GBA games 20 years ago and quickly branched out from her Nintendo comfort zone. She has has developed a great love of life sims and FMV titles. For her, accessibility is one of the most important parts of any game (but she also really appreciates good UI).

Previous Story

Highlights: Guerrilla Collective Publisher Spotlights 2023

Next Story

Recap: Devolver Direct (Summer Game Fest 2023 Edition)

Latest Articles