The indie moniker is one that is used as an umbrella term for games that are made by small teams, and ones that just often don’t really fit into a predetermined genre. You get all sorts of games like ones that give you a world to explore, or ones where you’re definitely a completely regular dad, doing completely regular things with your family, and there isn’t an octopus in sight.
Young Horses’ Octodad is a game the features an octopus masquerading as man, and he somehow has managed to keep this going for so long that he has got married and produced children somehow. The game released first on PC in January with Stefan giving his views on the game in our review, scoring it a 7/10. The game then released on PS4 in April, featuring some level alterations and tweaks that might have nudged its score a little higher than the original review.
When it did come to PS4, the EU version was embroiled in a controversial moment as the game didn’t get a day one PS Plus discount, unlike the North American release. This was down to issues with the approval process at Sony Europe, and led to Young Horses apologising to prospective customers. Recently some new DLC titled Octodad Shorts were announced for the game, looking set to bring free new levels that would fill in more of the main character’s life as an ordinary man.
Since the original reveal back at Microsoft’s E3 2013 conference Capybara Games has been rather quiet about Below. What we do know is that the game is a timed exclusive for the Xbox One, and it could come to other platforms though there is still no news on that front. Another detail hinted at is that Below will have some form of multiplayer, though again there isn’t much detail.
The game will be very difficult and will punish players’ mistakes, with the gameplay itself being inspired by classic roguelikes. As such, the world will be procedurally generated so that no play through will be exactly the same. Hopefully we’ll hear something soon about a release date.
The Witness was first revealed five years ago by Jonathan Blow, and in the time since then, he and the rest of Thekla Inc have been steadily working on the exploration title. The main campaign is said to have between 25 to 40 hours worth of content, which means there will be a ton of puzzles to solve to unlock the mystery of the island. The Witness is also a timed exclusive for PS4.
Thekla Inc is aiming to get the game running at 1080p and in 60fps, and while the majority of the content is done some work is needed to touch it all up a bit. The game size is said to clock in at 2.7GB, with the audio taking up almost half at 1.2GB.
Another game that seems to have gone quiet is Tequila Works’ Rime, an open world title about a boy who is trying to escape an island. Originally pitched to Microsoft, Rime fell afoul of some of the publisher’s policies, which led to Sony picking up the game and securing the game as a PS4 exclusive. The game was then unveiled at Sony’s 2013 Gamescom conference, with a trailer that looked very colourful and hinted at the adventure within.
The game has hints of inspiration from Team Ico’s offerings, and it could be one to really keep an eye on. As Gamescom is coming up maybe we’ll get see more of Rime and maybe hear of a release date too.
The second and only other game that has been released at the time of writing is Supergiant’s Transistor, the studio’s second major release after Bastion, which itself released three years ago this week. Transistor’s story follows Red, and the sword the game is named after. Red is the target of powerful forces in the city of Cloudbank, and must do everything to escape them.
Stefan reviewed the game and gave it a solid 9/10 saying that the story was very engaging, that the isometric design led to some “visually arresting” graphics, and falling for the music of the game. One criticism was that for an action RPG it Transistor could be considered short at its 9 hour play time. I’m still to download Transistor and play through it, but it is certainly on my list.
Volume is the second game from the prominent indie developer Mike Bithell, and is a modern day take on the Robin Hood story. In this stealth title, Locksley will not be able to kill, so avoiding the guards across the hundred environments will be key.
The cast sees Danny Wallace returning to lend his voice to the character of Al, Charlie McDonnell bringing to life the main character of Locksley, and The Escapist’s reviews editor Jim Sterling voicing the character Tuck. That casting decision could be seen as a controversial one, and this fact was acknowledged by Jim who said he won’t personally have anything to do with his site’s review of Volume, so that it can remain impartial.
It has been confirmed as a timed exclusive for PS4 and Vita, though will be coming to PC and other platforms afterwards. However, a release date for Volume has yet to be confirmed and Bithell has previously stated a willingness to delay the game to 2015 if he sees the need.
That’s it for this first week of recapping the Ones To Watch in 2015 feature. We’ll be back next week, picking up with Indies Part Two.