Indie Spotlight: May 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 May.
Hundred Days - Winemaking Simulator (Broken Arm Games)
As GameGrin’s certified alcoholic, it would be very remiss of me not to include a videogame focused on the fine art of winemaking. Hundred Days follows the pattern we see so often in modern games. You have a boring office job, you’re given some land despite a clear lack of experience, before eventually using capitalism to monopolise the market. Hundred Days is a great mixture of creating the perfect wine, whilst also giving you a fairly involved narrative.
Platforms: Google Stadia, Mac, Nintendo Switch, Windows
Play if you enjoy: Stardew Valley, Animal Crossing, Cozy Grove
Weaving Tides (Follow the Feathers)
Stitch your way through Weaving Tides, a charming puzzle game in which you unravel a mysterious past. Weaving Tides received a lot of attention at gamescom last year, thanks in part to its charming visuals and creative concept. You’re likely to lose a lot of time in this beautiful world, plus you spend the whole thing riding a carpet dragon, taking the phrase ‘needs more dragons’ quite literally.
Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch, Windows
Play if you enjoy: Abzu, Pikuniku
Skate City (Agens, Room8)
Despite not normally being a massive fan of skateboarding games, I couldn’t help but be pulled in by Skate City. Similar to OlliOlli in the sense that this is a side-scrolling skater, Skate City does an an excellent job of creating a fluid skating system. There’s a challenge allowing players to prove their worth within a time limit. In addition to that, there’s a much more chilled freeplay mode, allowing players to chain together radical moves at their own pace.
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Windows, PlayStation, Xbox
Play if you enjoy: OlliOlli, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, Skate franchise
Distant Kingdoms (Orthrus Studios)
Mixing city building with social management and adventuring, Distant Kingdoms has players work to create a united and thriving kingdom. Distant Kingdoms is an attempt to shake up the city-building genre, without pushing traditional fans away. Currently sitting in Early Access, the game has built its core foundations acting as a good city-building simulator, with other features to become more fleshed out in future updates.
Play if you enjoy: Going Medieval, Surviving Mars, Banished
Very Very Valet (Toyful Games)
For the chaotic among us, Very Very Valet is a 1-4 player cooperative game where players have to ensure customer cars are parked and returned safely. Of course, the whole experience is bonkers and the mindset of “just park it anywhere” quickly develops. It’s hectic fun that everyone can enjoy and, in the dying days of the couch co-op games, it’s great to be able to add another fun title to the list.
Platforms: Nintendo Switch
Play if you enjoy: Moving Out, Overcooked, Gang Beasts
The Wild at Heart (Moonlight Kids)
Finally this month, we end with another game unveiled at the 2020 gamescom event. The mysterious world of The Wild at Heart was a show stealer during an often mundane event last year. Assemble your swarm of Spritelings (small magical creatures) as you descend in the mysterious realm found in the Deep Woods. With crafting and puzzle elements combined, The Wild at Heart offers not only an engaging gameplay experience, but a world enshrined with rich lore.
Platforms: Mac, Windows, Xbox One
Play if you enjoy: Don’t Starve, Pikmin, Cozy Grove