Ones To Watch In 2014: Indies Part One

Having wrestled our way through several waves of cross-platform games over the last few days, it’s time to turn to crazy ones, the misfits and the octopus… octopi? Octopuses.

Oh, my mistake, that’s just a completely normal human being.


Octodad is such a weird concept for a game, that I’m not entirely sure how Young Horses, the developers, came to the idea. Basically you control an octopus who is pretending to be a human and trying to lead a normal human life. Octodad is a husband (though how his wife didn’t discover he was a sea creature in the bedroom is beyond me) and a father (which just throws up more questions) who must keep his true identity a secret.

I watched Teflon play this at EGX and somehow this looked like it could be an incredibly fun thing to play, even though Octodad was just trying to achieve doing mundane things like walking and carrying things.

Octodad is coming to PS4, PC, Mac and Linux next year.


Below was first announced during Microsoft’s E3 conference, and it was a bit of a surprise inclusion amidst the big titles. The game is being developed by Capybara Games, probably most famous for Swords & Sworcery. It’s influenced by classic roguelikes, will feature almost no dialogue and it will instead be up to players to piece together the game’s story, and the score is being composed by Jim Guthrie.

However, though it was announced at Microsoft’s presser, it turns out that Below is a timed exclusive for the Xbox One, instead of a full exclusive for the machine. Capybara have not announced any other platforms that the game will release on.


Coming from Jonathan Blow, who is best known for Braid, The Witness has been in development for a few years. The game is about exploring an uninhabited island that looks to be abandoned, and it is up to you to solve the puzzles and work out what has happened. Personally I find that it reminds me of Proteus, but with the added element of the island being stuffed with puzzles.

The Witness is a timed PS4 exclusive due to the size of the team and the timing of the decision to go next-gen, where the PS4 had already been confirmed. This exclusivity deal doesn’t affect a PC or mobile release, though it will stop the game from releasing on the Xbox One or Wii U for a time.


Rime was announced at this year’s Gamescom and is being developed by Tequila Works, the team behind Deadlight. The game is an open world adventure based about a boy who is trapped on a mysterious island, who, with the help of a strange artifact, must escape the place which poses so much danger to him.

The cel shaded artwork looks lovely, and quite reminiscent of Ico, while the game may be utilising the full scope of the DualShock 4, at least according to the description on the official PlayStation site which states, “thanks to the innovative control offered by the DualShock 4 controller, you’ll find that light, sound and touch are all essential in your bid to escape the island.”

A release date is yet to be announced, but we’re quite hopeful of seeing it in the coming year.


Supergiant Games made themselves known to the world with the critically acclaimed Bastion, a brilliant title that was one of my memories of the generation. Now they’re returning with Transistor, a Sci-Fi RPG which looks similar in many ways to the style of Bastion.

The story follows Red, a singer, who is the target of a mysterious group known as The Process that is getting rid of influential voices. She comes in to possession of a sword called Transistor that helps her in her mission to survive. The new twist on combat is that Red must enter a Planning mode during combat, where you can map out a series of quick movements and actions to take until her action bar is consumed. You’ll then need to dodge incoming attacks in real time before you can go on the offensive once more.

Transistor will launch on PS4 and Steam early in 2014.


Volume is Mike Bithell’s second title as an Indie, made possible by the success of Thomas Was Alone, and is a futuristic take on the classic Robin Hood tale. It is a stealth action game starring a returning Danny Wallace and Charlie McDonnell, taking plenty of inspiration from the likes of Metal Gear Solid, the first Splinter Cell, and another game called Headhunter.

I watched Blair and Teflon play this at EGX and it looked pretty challenging, though an interesting puzzler. We also got to speak to Mike about Volume, where he explained a bit more about the game, and the thinking behind many of the aspects of its development.

Volume is a timed exclusive for PS4 and Vita.

We’re taking a little break over the weekend, but will be back to take a look at a second load of Indie games at the start of next week.


  1. I saw Transistor on the PS4 launch build up way back when, I just thought it was going to be a launch title. It looked pretty interesting – I’ll be checking that one out.

  2. Rime, Octodad and (possibly) The Witness for me. I enjoyed Deadlight. Nothing monumental but still… a bit of fun. What impressed me the most – seeing as it was a 2.5D game – were the environments. They were so very well done considering it was a sub-genre that really didn’t need time lavished over them. Really looking forward to seeing what Tequila Works can do with Rime.

  3. Rime looks lovely. Just lovely.

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