Get ready for adventures, mysteries

Danial Norjidi

Nintendo held its Indie World Showcase on March 17, providing a sneak peak at a selection of indie games coming soon to the Nintendo Switch. The 19-minute showcase kicked off with Graffiti Games’ Blue Fire, where players “embark on a journey through a long-forgotten land filled with deadly adversaries and collectibles aplenty, and face 3D platforming challenges in a strange place called ‘The Void’”. The game is a timed console exclusive for the Switch and will be available in Summer 2020.

The next title featured was Baldo, an action-adventure RPG being developed by Naps Team, a small team of two based in Italy. Baldo was introduced in the showcase by the team’s Art Director Fabio Capone. “Being fans of all great action-adventure RPGs and of iconic Japanese anime, we always had the dream to create something that unified both things,” he said.

“We wanted a game that would be a journey to a magic world full of fantastic characters, complex dungeons to face and puzzles to solve; a journey we would love to start ourselves. So, we really hope Baldo will thrill you and touch your hearts as it did with us.”

Baldo is set to release first on Nintendo Switch as a timed console exclusive this summer.

Next in the showcase was puzzle-adventure I Am Dead, another timed Switch exclusive set to release later this year. Developed by Hollow Ponds, the game centres on Morris Lupton, the recently deceased museum curator of the tiny island of Shelmerston who, along with the ghost of his dog Sparky, work to uncover ancient mysteries and save his beloved island from a disaster.

The presentation continued with B.ARK (Bio-Interstellar Ark) a timed console exclusive for the Switch by Tic Toc Games, set for release in late 2020. As Producer and Marketing Lead Melisa Kocarslan explained, “B.ARK is a 2D side-scrolling co-op space shooter where you play as one of four ferocious animal astronauts trying to liberate the earth from crazy robots.”

Director of Production Heather Beliveau said, “This is a family-focussed game that builds a cooperative spirit while still encouraging competition. We hope you enjoy playing this title as much as we enjoy making it.”

Another timed console exclusive for the Switch is Cyanide & Happiness – Freakpocalypse, which will be available in Summer 2020. Freakpocalypse is an adventure and puzzle game set in the Cyanide & Happiness universe that sees you play as an unpopular student in high school who tries to save the world.

Summer in Mara. PHOTO: CHIBIG
The Last Campfire. PHOTO: HELLO GAMES
Baldo. PHOTO: FROM NAPS TEAM

The showcase continued with Diego Freire and Abraham Cozar from Chibig, an indie studio from Valencia, Spain, who introduced their game, Summer in Mara. The game tells the tale of Koa, “a kid who has to leave her home in order to find the secrets the ocean keeps”.

As they explained, the story is one about growing up and protecting nature.

“In Summer in Mara, you’ll have to take care of your own island by farming it and explore the ocean with your boat.

“With over 30 islands to discover and more than 20 characters to help you, you’ll be very busy.”

The game sees you makes friends, explore, farm and craft in a vibrant world with weather events and a day/night cycle. Summer in Mara is another timed console exclusive for the Switch, and will be available in Spring 2020.

Balthazar Auger from Nimble Giant Entertainment in Buenos Aires, Argentina then introduced their next game which is set to release in late 2020, Quantum League, which he explained is “a first-person shooter with a unique time loop mechanic that allows you to team up with your future and past selves in 1v1 and 2v2 online battles”.

“In this game, causality isn’t fixed and you can change the outcome of a round each time it rewinds. It’s like your favourite time-travel movie mixed with a highly competitive FPS.”

Next was The Good Life by White Owls from Osaka, Japan. Set for release this year, The Good Life is described as “a debt repayment RPG”, which sees players take on the role of Naomi, a journalist who moves to a rural British town called Rainy Woods to pay off her massive debt, taking pictures of happenings in the town and reporting on them.

Hello Games’ Sean Murray and Steven Burgess then introduced their upcoming title, The Last Campfire, a puzzle adventure game set to release this summer.

As Burgess said, “It’s a game about Ember, who has become lost and is searching for a way home. The game means a great deal to me and the team, and we’re trying to make something about compassion, empathy and finding hope.”

Next up was PixelJunk Eden 2, a game set to launch this summer and which is described on its official game page as “an exploration of life, colour and collaboration”. The showcase highlighted that in the game, stages generate in real-time based on the player’s actions, as you guide an inquisitive little creature called a Grimp on a journey to save its fellow Grimps and restore their gardens.

Set for release this month is Faeria, a strategy card game by Belgian developer Abrakam SA which sees players build decks and shape a battlefield as they fight epic battles, raising mountains, building forests, filling lakes or harnessing the sands of the deserts.

Another timed console exclusive for the Nintendo Switch set for release this summer comes in the form of challenging pixel-art boss-rush game Eldest Souls by Fallen Flag Studios. In Eldest Souls, players take on the role of a lone knight on a quest to restore balance, going through brutal encounters and explore an ancient citadel, while unlocking new talents and abilities to use in combat.

The presentation then continued with a montage showing various upcoming indie titles set to release in 2020. Those launching in springare: SeithCG’s action-RPG Ghost of a Tale; and Monster Couch’s Wingspan, a strategy card game about birds.

Titles from the montage set for release this summer are: Bloober Team’s psychological horror game Blair Witch; social adventure Sky, the newest title from the award-winning creators thatgamecompany; first-person puzzle game Superliminal by Pillow Castle; and Dark Screen Games’ Bounty Battle, a 2D fighter featuring heroes from various Indie games.

Also showcased in the montage was deck building rogue like title Dicey Dungeons by Distractionware Limited, which will release late 2020; Devm Games and SMG Studio’s Moving Out, a physics based furniture moving simulator to be released on April 28; and Double Dash Studios’ Sky Racket, a game available now that mixes the classic genres of shoot ‘em ups and block breakers. The showcase concluded with Dodge Roll’s bullet hell dungeon climber Exit the Gungeon, which is available now.

A sequel to dungeon crawler Enter the Gungeon, this new title sees players try to ascend and escape via a unique route of increasingly perilous elevators.

The game features shifting rooms, enemies, bosses, bizarre weapons and items.