Nintendo's Indie World Showcase March 2020: Exit the Gungeon, Baldo & The Eldest Souls News
If you’re anything like me and you’re a giant fan of indie games, you probably set your alarm to go off with the sole intention of watching this month's Nintendo Indie World Showcase, and then wondered why you bothered in the first place. My take away from this is a few titles that grabbed my interest and a new drinking game to play whenever we get an Indie Showcase: drink whenever the host says the words “timed exclusive” (seven times, if you were keeping count)
Don’t get me wrong, there were some great-looking titles in this showcase, but there were significantly fewer games I was interested in this time around as well as a complete lack of information regarding a certain upcoming Metroidvania. I'll save you the time of looking desperately for Hollow Knight: Silksong: it wasn't a part of this direct. I know, I'm crying too. Still, the showcase wasn’t a total waste of time; here is what we got to see.
Baldo - Release Date: 2020
An action-adventure RPG title by NAPS team from Italy, it draws heavy inspiration from The Legend of Zelda series and has an art style in the same vein as Studio Ghibli. As a fan of both Studio Ghibli and the Ni No Kuni games that use the same art style, this one has been on my radar for a while.
Blue Fire - Release date: Summer 2020
When I saw the character models for Blue Fire, it immediately reminded me of Journey and that was enough to cement my interest in this title. This action-adventure platformer sees you fight your way through the world of Penumbra while taking part in quests and, if I interpreted the footage correctly, leap around like a flea high on cocaine.
I Am Dead - Release Date: 2020
I Am Dead might be one of the strangest games from this Indie Direct. A puzzle game with some kind of X-ray vision mechanics, you play as Morris Lupton, museum curator for the little island of Shelmerston, and his dog Sparky as you uncover the mysteries of their town to prevent a natural disaster from wiping it off the map. The twist? They're both dead. I got some Flipping Death vibes from this one, but time will tell if it's as enjoyable as that title.
Bark - Release Date: Late 2020
This one was probably the weakest title in terms of getting me hyped, but I'm also not a huge fan of this genre of game. Bark is a 2D side-scrolling shooter where you and up to three others play as animals piloting spaceships to take down enemies, with some competitive elements as part of the experience.
Cyanide and Happiness: Freakpocalypse - Release Date: Summer 2020
I'm a huge Stick of Truth fan, so seeing Cyanide and Happiness come to life as a video game while keeping it's cartoon aesthetic has piqued my interest. A puzzle adventure game, not much was shown in the way of gameplay but if we should expect anything from Cyanide and Happiness, it's going to be both weird and funny.
Summer in Mara - Release date: Spring 2020
Recently released on Steam in February this year, Summer in Mara is being ported to the Switch this spring (HUGE missed opportunity there). You play as a young girl named Koa as she explores the islands dotted throughout the ocean she calls home. This one looks to be an adventure game in the same vein as Animal Crossing and Stardew Valley, so fans of those games should look forward to this one.
Quantum League - Release Date: Late 2020
This competitive FPS title was released on PS4, Xbox One and PC back in 2018 and is being ported to Switch this year. The hook of this shooter is that matches are played either 1v1 or 2v2, and you use a time-rewind mechanic to create clones of yourself. I'm not the biggest competitive shooter fan, but this one seems like a fun time, and you can check out our opinion of the closed beta here.
The Good Life - Release Date: 2020
This title's Kickstarter page may describe it as a "debt repayment daily life RPG", but I think that doesn't give the game enough credit. You play as Naomi, a journalist from New York who moves to the country town of Rainy Woods to pay off her crippling debt, where things aren't as they seem. I think you really need to see this one for yourself to get a full idea of what's on offer here, but I will say this: your main form of transport is riding on the back of sheep.
The Last Campfire - Release Date: 2020
Controversial opinion time, I think Hello Games, and by extension No Man's Sky, are an example of how to treat a game right following release backlash, so I may be one of the few people who played No Man’s Sky on release day and don’t want to ignore everything Sean Murray brings out in the future. The Last Campfire is the newest title by Hello Games, an adventure platformer that, if the music is anything to go by, is going to hit me in the feels throughout my inevitable playthrough.
PixelJunk Eden 2 - Release date: Summer 2020
This is a weird one. The main hook is that the levels are created around you depending on where you move and what items you pick up. It reminded me a bit of Flow and Flower, a pair of games you could just relax to.
Faeria - Release Date: March 2020
This card-based strategy game originally came out on the PC way back in 2017, where you collect cards that produce different effects to build your deck and complete the challenges. What sets Faeria apart from similar games like Hearthstone and Thronebreaker is that you also have to build the board that you place your cards on, adding another layer of strategy to gameplay. I’m a big fan of card-based games like Steamworld Quest and Slay the Spire, so this one went on my watch list almost immediately.
Eldest Souls - Release Date: Summer 2020
It has Souls in the name, so I’m pretty sure you know what to expect here. Eldest Souls is a rogue-like/Souls-like action game with a pixel-art style that looks and sounds fantastic. This game takes the Sinner: Sacrifice for Redemption angle of Souls games and opts for a boss-rush experience rather than your typical “struggle through the cannon fodder” style combat. While the commentary was cringeworthy, the game itself grabbed my attention.
Exit the Gungeon - Release Date: Surprise! It's out now
As always the Indie Direct saved the best title for last, and as always it didn't disappoint. A sequel to Enter the Gungeon, the aim of the game is printed right on the metaphorical box as you are tasked with fleeing the very Gungeon you spent hours trying to complete in the original game. Exit the Gungeon retains its bullet-hell gameplay, but switches the perspective from isometric to side-scrolling and looks to keep the hard as nails combat.
We also got a short montage of a few games with almost no information about them, as is customary for the Indie World Showcase.
Sky Racket - Release Date: Out Now
Shmup block-breaker game where you use a tennis racket as the main weapon. I couldn’t make this up if I tried.
Subliminal - Release date: Summer 2020
First-person puzzle game where perspective is used as part of the puzzle solving process.
Wingspan - Release date: Spring 2020
Card-based game revolving around birds and bird watching.
Dicey Dungeons - Release date: 2020
Looks like a card-based strategy game, but the cards are dice. It’s like the developers watched only the Dungeon Dice Monsters filler arc of Yu Gi Oh and wanted to make it a real thing.
Bounty Battle - Release date: Summer 2020
A Smash Bros. style game that uses indie game characters, with characters from Guacamelee!, Blasphemous, Eitr, Dead Cells, Owlboy, Steamworld Dig, Axiom Verge and a bunch more I don’t recognise. Let’s hope it does better than Brawlout.
Moving Out - Release date: April 28 2020
A puzzle game by Team 17 (the guys who made that moderately successful game franchise, Worms) that looks a lot like Overcooked!, but where the aim is to move furniture across levels and pack a moving van.
Blair Witch - Release date: Summer 2020
First-person horror survival game with puzzle elements. I am tentatively excited that this may turn out to be good.
Ghost of a Tale - Release date: Spring 2020
What looks like a stealth adventure game in the same vein as Styx, but you play as a mouse surrounded by rats. The level designs here gave me serious Skyrim flashbacks.
Sky - Release date: Summer 2020
The newest title by thatgamecompany and the one that made me squeal with excitement when it came up on my screen for all of four seconds. I’ve been waiting for this one for a while.
While this Indie World Showcase wasn’t as amazing as some past ones have been, there were still a few decent indie titles announced that will put a dent in my wallet for the foreseeable future. Now get your shot glasses ready for the next showcase and keep your fingers crossed for Silksong news.
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