Indie Spotlight: March 2021
The GameGrin Indie Spotlight aims to give attention to videogames that the independent scene has offered us over the past month. Whether it be due to quality, success or creativeness, these are the independent games that stood out to us over the month of March.
Our first title this March was a game given away by Sony, as part of last month's PlayStation Plus giveaway. Maquette is a puzzle-adventure game, in which the player can manipulate the world around them by placing items on a table in the centre of the game world. Despite its puzzles sometimes being a bit simplistic, Maquette has a charming narrative that deserves your full attention through to the games end.
Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows
Play if you enjoy: The Talos Principle, Anti-Chamber, Superliminal
Leaving the recursive world of Maquette sees us flashback to the 1980’s when players hop in to the world of Narita Boy. A 2D platformer with some lite Metroidvania elements, the eponymous hero is forced to save the Digital Kingdom when it comes into danger from the Stallions. Having raised over £136,000 on Kickstarter, Narita Boy finally made its way to us last month, as well as finding a big market after arriving on Xbox Game Pass.
Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
Play if you enjoy: Hollow Knight, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, Ori and the Blind Forest
As a sucker for Monty Mole, it was only plausible that Mail Mole burrowed its way onto our list this month. On the surface, Mail Mole looks to be a fairly generic 3D platformer, but it comes with an interesting quirk - you spend most of your time buried underground whilst navigating the levels. It’s an interesting design choice that affects the way you approach an otherwise fairly simple looking game. Don’t be put off by the game’s basic visual design, Mail Mole is an excellent attempt at making the 3D platformer genre that little bit more original.
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
Play if you enjoy: A Hat In Time, Alba: A Wildlife Adventure
A cinematic, first-person narrative about a pig farmer doesn’t sound all that engrossing on the surface. Of course, this is no ordinary pig farmer. This pig farmer disposes bodies for the mafia - and he’s about to ask for it to stop. As your friend, the mafia’s hitman, arrives to discourage you, the pair of you complete mundane tasks around the house, both of you well aware of the fact that no one simply leaves the mafia. Upon the conclusion of Adios’ story, the game’s narrative will leave a much deeper impression than you first envisioned.
Platforms: Windows, Xbox One
Play if you enjoy: Outer Wilds, To the Moon
For the second consecutive month, we find another rhythm game streaming into our steam accounts. Everhood is an adventure-RPG, where the player uses rhythm to dispel their foes rather than the standard turn-based gameplay we would usually see. Players have the option to either dodge or deflect them back to their enemies as they attempt to retrieve their arm from a Gold Pig.
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Windows
Play if you enjoy: Undertale, Delta Rune, Crypt of the Necrodancer
Our final game this month is the excellently received Loop Hero. Released to overwhelming praise and commercial success, Loop Hero is a game about completing the same loop over and over again. As your deck expands, you can place buildings, mobs and terrain to help push yourself towards each loops boss. The game is essentially endless and, for the price it’s listed, you can find good value in losing your life to Loop Hero, as you attempt to rebuild the world.
Platforms: Linux, Mac, Windows
Play if you like: Slay the Spire, Lemmings