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Kicking off Double Fine & Iam8bit’s Day of the Devs showcase was Axiom Verge 2 by Thomas Happ Games, and what a way to start. Unlike the first game, the new main character Indra is melee-focused, as well as being a proficient hacker to alter enemy behaviour, so there’s a lot to shake up the acclaimed Metroidvania gameplay of the first Axiom verge. You can expect to see Axiom Verge 2 on PC, Switch, PS4 and PS5 soon.
Following up Axiom Verge 2 is no mean feat, but TOEM: A Photo Adventure manages to stand its own ground with a stunning black and white hand-drawn aesthetic. Playing as an amateur photographer on their way to see the titular TOEM, you get to take photos of the brilliant stylised world while helping out the folks at each bus stop and it looks fantastically adorable. The photographing guild will test your skills in TOEM: A Photo Adventure when it releases on Steam later in the year.
Team WIBY’s Phantom Abyss was next up to take the Day of the Devs show in another fresh direction, with a temple plundering platforming roguelike. In procedurally generated dungeons that are only available until someone completes them, this asynchronous multiplayer lets you learn from past adventures mistakes, and you’ll have to learn fast if you want to stand any chance of winning the race to the finish.
Day of the Devs steam next brought us more of Picogram’s new game Garden Story. Despite its name, Garden Story isn’t all about gardening, as it’s got a bit of everything for you to enjoy. To go along with farming, there’s also fishing, combat, questing, exploring, and managing to do, all while you play as an adorable sentient berry. The cute stylistic Garden Story is coming to PC and Switch later on this year.
As someone who played the Nintendo DS classic What’s Cooking? with Jamie Oliver, Soup Pot speaks to my very soul. Not only does Soup Pot let you cook recipes with no fail states similar to Cooking Simulator, albeit with a little less chaos, but you can try each one of Soup Pot’s recipes for yourself at home, so it’s as much cookbook as it is game. Soup Pot will have over 100 recipes for you to try in-game and in real life when it releases on PC and Xbox in August.
Glee-Cheese Studio’s A Musical Story tells its story without words as it instead goes all-in on the power of the music. In A Musical Story, you play in time with the music in this rhythm-based adventure to unlock memories and it’s no wonder it works with such great sounding 70’s funk to enjoy. With stunning stylistic visuals to match the funky tunes inspired by Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, and Jimi Hendrix A Musical Story is a fresh immersive take on storytelling that looks and sounds superb.
After reaching its crowdfunding goal recently, Vokabulantis took to the Day of the Devs livestream stage to show off more of the visually stunning stop-motion platforming. On top of the simply sublime stop-motion characters, this latest look at the game showed off more glimpses of the story as well as the dual character platforming which will have Vokabulantis being more than just a pretty face. Only just out of crowdfunding, there’s no sight of a release date yet, but it’s definitely one to watch.
With thousands of miles between you and the border you’re trying to reach, Road 96’s story, much like its roads, can take a lot of twists and turns along the way. With a bounty of colourful characters you can meet on your journey, you can end up in thousands of scenarios from just going for a pleasant hitchhike to ending up in a gunfight with the cops out the back of a truck. Road 96 has a huge amount of promise with its expansive story, but we’ll have to wait until later this year when it releases on Steam and the Switch to see if it’s as deep as it is wide.
As if building a city wasn’t hard enough on its own, in The Wandering Village, you have to do it on the back of a giant moving creature. This city builder from Stray Fawn has what you might expect from the genre, with resource gathering and buildings to create aplenty, while also having you fight the spread of a toxic fungus on the back of the Onbu. This giant creature will bring you to different challenging biomes for you to overcome as an adorable little colony when it releases on Steam Early Access in Q4 2021.
Music is illegal in this anime-inspired rhythm adventure game, but that’s hardly going to stop you, as after all you are Unbeatable. With just two buttons for up and down, Unbeatable is deceptively simple but D-Cell Games manage to do a lot with just a few inputs. With eating competitions to win, darts to play, and monsters to fight in rock concerts, there’s certainly a lot to do, and the rocking soundtrack makes it all sound utterly incredible. With stunning looks to boot, we can’t wait to play it and if you can’t either, then there’s a free demo on Steam and itch.io.
From Titan Souls developer Acid Nerve, Death’s Door has you playing as an adorable crow with a sword as you reap the souls of the dead. In a world where nothing dies naturally anymore, it’s on you to make sure things still do in this fantasy action adventure with intense fast-paced punishing combat. On top of the brilliant looking combat in the trailer, you’ll have to explore the world and discover the world’s secrets to unravel the mysterious story. Thankfully we don’t have too long to wait, as Death’s Door should be out on PC and Xbox this summer.
After the brief opening cinematic, Behind the Frame looks like it’s going to be a gorgeous painted point and click adventure game… and then the camera moves. It might still be point and click, but the 3D environments, quite deservingly, took our breath away as Silver Lining Studio more than achieved their goal of making a game that looks like an anime. If the graphics don’t have you captivated enough already, then hopefully the art-focused puzzle gameplay will shine on its own in this journey to become a professional artist.
Japanese developer lighthouse Asobu took to the Day of the Devs stage next to show off a trio of indies that they’ve helped to create. Asobu’s aim is to nurture developers and foster a community of talent that can let the voices of Tokyo shine, helping to provide facilities and promotion for their talented developers.
As a tiny electrified robot, it’s up to you to bring back light to the world in this solo developed platforming adventure. With power running through you, every platform you touch gets electrified which can activate traps and platforms for you to navigate through. Being able to throw your electrified head to avoid or activate specific things, Elec Head has the potential to be fiendishly difficult as well as adorably charming.
Demolition Robots K.K.
In Demolition Robots K.K. you play as a giant robot destroying buildings to earn as much cash as possible, so what’s not to love? This chaotic multiplayer game has an extra twist, as it can be influenced by Twitch viewers who have the power to choose items or actions on screen to shake up the gameplay. Hopefully, it’ll be plenty of fun to play without Twitch integration, and we can find out when it releases on PC and consoles later this year.
In a change from the wonderfully pleasant games so far, Walk is a survival horror game inspired by PlayStation 1 classics which is downright horrifying. Playing as a defenceless schoolgirl trying to get home before dark, you’re pursued by a nightmarish static monster that can tear you to shreds if caught, so it’s best to not let that happen. Walk is planning to launch as a Kickstarter later this year, so keep an eye out for it if you want it to become a reality.
After a dose of horror, Bunnyhug delivers their debut game which is a delightful return to calmness in Moonglow Bay, a slice of life fishing RPG. Set in 1980’s Canada, Moonglow Bay is a wonderfully quaint adventure, fishing in a town that has long since been afraid of it due to stories of monsters in the bay. Monsters or not, Fishing is at the heart of this adventure and it looks to have quite a bit of depth to it. If you’ve longed for more fishing action, then keep your eye out for when it appears on Xbox, PC, and Game Pass later on this year.
With Miro Straka from Straka.Studio asking us to “Imagine if Diablo and Tetris had a baby” it’s clear where the inspiration for Loot River comes from. This island shifting action roguelike lets you rearrange the wooden subterranean waterway platforms for a new dimension of freedom in gameplay as you dodge and attack with more than just standard strafing movement. With a roguelike hub to fill up with useful NPC’s, Loot River should have a lot of replayability as well as promise for when it releases on Xbox and PC later this year.
In another of the Day of the Devs’ most visually striking games, developers Julian Cordero and Sebastian Valbuena tell a story about Ecuador in 2001, and the important role football played in its culture. Despite being about football, you don’t actually play a match, “because to be honest, it’s just way more fun to kick it around and annoy the people in the park.” With plenty of characters to interact with and annoy, Despelote is an interesting semi-autobiographical slice of culture that we don’t often see in gaming so it’s definitely one to watch.
Last up is Last Stop, a supernatural adventure throughout London and the other side of the galaxy. Developed by Variable State Last Stop appears to be a narrative adventure but the trailer doesn’t give away much. However it plays, it’ll be out on July 22nd 2021, for PlayStations, Xboxs, Nintendo Switchs, and PC