Published on January 26th, 2015 | by Craig Forshey1
Friday Night Indie Game Round-Up #68 – Monday Edition
Back by popular demand it’s the Super Game Droid Friday Night Indie Game Round-Up, your weekly guide to the latest and greatest indie games available on the Android platform!
Each week our dedicated editorial team spends countless hours scouring the depths of the internet in order to bring you the best new indie Android games we can find. We then take our absolute favorites for the week and compile them all together in this handy dandy round-up so you’ll always have an easy way of discovering some awesome new indie games to play on Android!
Whether you’re looking for a challenging new platformer, an action packed shooter, or even just a good old fashioned puzzler SGD has got you covered so check out all 25 of the awesome new indie games below and make sure to vote for your favorite on the poll at the bottom of the page. As always, the game with the most votes as of Thursday morning will be declared our indie game of the week and will be featured on our front page!
Finally, in addition to the Friday Night Indie Game Round-Up resuming its rightful place as a regular SGD staple we’ll also be going over all the games we missed during the holidays in a special “Lost Edition” of the round-up due sometime this week so keep your eyes peeled for that as well.
Around The Wire from Outdoor Video Games
Indie developer Outdoor Video Games’ Around The Wire isn’t your typical platformer. At first I had a little bit of trouble getting used to the control scheme and wrapping my head around its unique premise, but once I finally understood what Around The Wire was trying to accomplish I found it to be immensely enjoyable. Like the eccentric cousin of 360 degree platformers like They Need To Be Fed, Around The Wire challenges players with completing its levels using only their momentum to swing from platform to platform via an intuitive gesture scheme that works with the touchscreen rather than against it.
Barrel Bash: Smash & Dash from Infinity Core
It takes a lot for a new endless runner to get noticed nowadays, which is probably why indie developer Infinity Core’s wacky new isometric chase game Barrel Bash stars a burly barrel riding strongman rolling down the highway as he rescues kittens and punches cars out of the way. It’s clear there’s been a bit more thought put into the gameplay here too since this is the first runner i’ve seen where the police will actually pursue your character ala GTA if you do something bad(i.e. blow something up) in front of them. You’ll need to be on your toes to excel at this game due to the sheer amount of stuff to avoid or collect on screen that at times reaches Katamari levels of craziness.
Bit Bit Love from 82 Storks & Blue Pill Games
This charming new co-production between indie studios 82 Storks and Blue Pill Games tells the tale of two star crossed lovers, who just so happen to live inside a computer chip. It’s solid turn based puzzle gameplay would be reason enough to give Bit Bit Love a whirl but it’s also got gorgeous visual design, groovy music, and a meaty campaign that will provide a challenge for even the most prolific of puzzle game veterans. In other words Bit Bit Love has the whole package of everything you’d expect out of a finely crafted DS game bought off a retail game store’s shelf.
Blob Climber from Good Goblin Games
A terrific new 3D physics platformer that follows in the steps of Super Meat Boy with at times rage inducing but always fair gameplay, Blob Climber takes the “sticky protagonist” school of sidescrollers to inventive new heights. Players take on the role of a sentient blob escaping from a secret government science facility as they jump, swing, and fly their way to freedom while avoiding certain doom by colliding with the many ongoing experiments. It’s fun wall climbing gameplay and smart level design make Blob Climber one of the best in its genre.
Blockadillo from Game Loop Lab
I think it’s safe to say that everyone loves brick breaker type games, i’ve certainly never met anyone who hasn’t. So I feel confident in saying then that Blockadillo, indie game developer Game Loop Lab’s addicting new puzzle adventure spin on bricker breaker, is going to be a hit. That’s because in Blockadillo you don’t just break bricks, you break bricks inside an ancient hidden temple filled with traps and cunning conundrums that require quick thinking to solve. So basically, Indiana Jones meets Arkanoid.
Bunny Goes Boom! from SnoutUp Games
The folks over at indie developer SnoutUp Games have made some great games like Shurican and Crisp Bacon that have earned themselves a spot on the round-up in the past but they’ve really stepped things up with Bunny Goes Boom!, a zany new dodge ’em up with addicting gameplay that is both simple and polished. As a poor hapless bunny rabbit riding the back of a giant rocket it’s up to players to steer him out of harms way while all sorts of deadly obstacles that could easily reintroduce said bunny to the ground race by. Just make sure you don’t stay in one place too long as there are all sorts of little gags hidden around like a giant eagle that will come and snatch your bunny for dinner if you’re not careful.
Chesslike from Moore Interactive
You’d think that the rogue-like genre has been crossbred with every other game type imaginable by now already, but think again because you’ve never seen anything quite like Moore Interactive’s Chesslike before. This ingenious twist on the classic game of kings is a hybrid SRPG where the rules of Chess have taken on a more tactical dungeon crawling direction and introduces all sorts of new gameplay mechanics while still staying true to its classic Chess roots. If Dungeons & Dragons and Chess had a baby, they’d name it Chesslike.
Drancia from Urara-Works
Anyone who’s ever played the Ys games is going to love Drancia. This mobile remake of the 2008 arcade style PC action-RPG has players going around to various pixelated locales to kill monsters and level up their skills by engaging in addicting horde based combat where players need only ram into their enemies to attack. Thanks to its solid gameplay and nice variety Drancia is one game you’ll want to keep playing over and over again.
Fisherman’s Horizon from Eduardo Dal-Ri Faraco
I’ve never been one for Fishing games, maybe I just never got my sea legs, but one tackle-and-pole game I can get behind is indie developer Eduardo Dal-Ri Faraco’s charming new arcade take on the sport that plays like an expanded version of The Legend Of Zelda fishing mini-games. Players will travel around a beatiful island catching exotic sea creatures using a ton of unlockable items that can be earned by reeling in some of the harder to catch fish. Rather than use some convoluted attempt at simulating real life fishing however, Fisherman’s Horizon takes the far smarter approach of turning fishing into an addicting one tap affair with a surprising amount of nuance.
Johnny Scraps: I Tap & Slash from Immersive Douro
Following up on its time traveling pork based beat ’em up Johnny Scraps: Clash Of Dimensions Immersive Douro is at it again with a new tap and slash arcade game called Johnny Scraps: i Tap & Slash that keeps the kooky characters from Immersive Douro’s previous outing while taking things into a whole different genre. Blending together elements of Missile Defense and Fruit Ninja, Johnny Scraps: i Tap & Slash charges players with defeating an invading army of evil robots so as to both save the world and gather enough scrap to save the protagonist’s junk yard. Thanks to a wide variety of power ups and enemy types i Tap & Slash sports a lot of replay value, helping it to arguably reach even higher levels of enjoyment than its spiritual predecessor.
Memo Bash from Tim Rachor
It’s easy to get the impression that there’s no more room left for innovation in the RPG genre nowadays but in the indie scene developers are always experimenting with cool and exciting new ways to make dungeon crawling feel fresh again, developers like Tim Rachor who has struck creative gold with his unique new memorization based role playing game Memo Bash. Unlike TCG based RPG’s Memo Bash instead uses a combat system that is designed to test a player’s memory by only allowing them to directly affect the course of battle through matching card types that depending on their function will either buff the player, debuff the enemy, or restore stats. It’s a novel approach that is sure to be loved by everyone who fondly remembers the puzzle houses in Super Mario 3.
Merchant from Bearface Games
Although it’s also a re-appropriation of the RPG genre Merchant takes things in an entirely different direction from Memo Bash. The twist here is that instead of taking on the role of a brave adventurer on an epic quest players must go to work as the “in-game” merchant whose job it is to outfit world saving warriors and keep the items shop stocked at all times. Just because their stuck in town behind a desk doesn’t mean its all bad though, far from it as players also double as the eponymous quest giver and are able to recruit heros that can then be sent off on quests of varying difficulty. This mechanic works surprisingly well and is part of why Merchant is already developing a rabid fanbase.
Pixel Sword from HomeWorld Arts
If Drancia is the honorary Ys of this round-up then the honorary Legend Of Zelda II: Link’s Adventure would be Pixel Sword, indie developer HomeWorld Arts’ homage to 16-bit action sidescrollers of the past. It’s old school sword based combat does a fine job of recreating what made Link’s Adventure feel so epic with an army of undead skeleton warriors and vicious monsters presenting unique challenges to the player as they attack in a variety of different ways. Anyone who wants to relive the glory days on the NES will definitely want to check out Pixel Sword.
Polygon Run from Kainano
This stylistic new dodge ’em up is like the classic Tunnel game on steroids, a tough as nails exercising of one’s twitch reflexes that will bring out the inner masochist you never knew you had. The object of Polygon Run is simple, don’t crash into a wall, but unlike most of the more rudimentary Tunnel games it employs hypnotic visuals and a shifting camera to add a psychological element to the action with great success. Those players that consider themselves to be pros at Tunnel games should seek out Polygon Run for a true test of their mettle.
Rock, Paper, Wizards! from Zebrafox Games
From the makers of previous round-up winner Dr Sweet Tooth comes a bizarre new arcade puzzler called Rock, Paper, Wizards, that takes the classic playground game to fantastical heights. As a down on his luck children’s magician who’s become disillusioned, players will embark on a wacky quest for redemption as they compete for ethereal glory in the local wizards and magical creatures tournament which in this case takes place in the form of a rapid fire rock, paper, scissors tournament. In order to survive players need to react on a dime to the moves their opponent makes with each progressive magical foe upping the challenge even more.
Skullz from Feliks Balzer
Despite the undeniable legacy classic adventure games like Space Quest, Loom, and The Secret Of Monkey Island have left behind the old school pixel filled adventure genre has seen an unfortunate decline in recent years. Chalk it up to today’s rapid fire gaming culture or just simple lack of awareness but people seem to have forgotten just how immersive an experience a game like Kings Quest can deliver using only the simplest of gameplay and visuals that would be prehistoric by today’s standards. That’s why it’s been such a trip to play indie developer Feliks Balzer’s unique new MS-DOS inspired horror adventure game Skullz, a blast from the past that will keep you enthralled from beginning to end with a surreal story chock full of crazy meta moments.
Skyward from Aya Games
Thanks to games like Back To Bed and Monument Valley the “M.C. Escher art aesthetic as game design” approach has seen a bit of a resurgence in recent years, but what would happen if this concept were applied to something other than the introspective puzzle genre? That’s exactly the question a mindbending new platformer called Skyward purports to answer by switching out the plodding methodical pace of other Escher homages in favor of simple but surprisingly deep one-tap twitch action design that revolves around clever use of perspective. Indie developer Aya Games and publisher Ketchapp have teamed up once again to deliver this addicting new platformer that proves fast paced action and an ambitious art aesthetic aren’t mutually exclusive concepts.
Spinner from Perishtronic Studios
The brainchild of indie developer Perishtronic Studios, Spinner may look rather straightforward at a glance but this deceptively deep dance of polyhedrons and precision timing will push players reflexes to the limit as they attempt to overcome its digital onslaught. As a needle spins its way around a psychedelic warp field of sorts players need to tap and gesture at a cacophony of varied obstacle types in order to score points and keep their combo going. This starts out simple at first but soon escalates to progressively more preposterous levels of difficulty as players reach certain high score milestones.
Super Rocket Plunder from Arukari Arcade
This fantastic new hybrid shoot ’em up combines addicting bullet hell gameplay with a unique loot based gameplay mechanic that will have players strategically planning their attack patterns so they can be exploited in reverse. That’s because, while like a lot of shooter Super Rocket Plunder has players riding a rocket into space as they blast away at an alien army, in this game the rocket eventually runs out of fuel and begins plummeting towards the earth. By riding the contrails of their upwards path players can gain extra speed to smash into the ground and collect precious crystals that can be used to unlock upgrades and new ships.
Tel And Aitch from Red Penguin
Although still in active development and listed as a beta Tel And Aitch is already looking very promising. This artistic platformer evokes visions of The Lost Vikings with its character swapping mechanics that has players selecting the best protagonist to fit whatever situation they’re facing. While one character is good for killing stuff with a big sword, his partner can leap much higher in order to get the pair out of any tight jams or over any especially tall obstacles. If you’re looking for an oldschool platformer with unique gameplay take a gander at Tel And Aitch.
The Deep Cave 2 from JiJa Productions
The sequel to the hit Xbox 360 indie game The Deep Cave has arrived complete with a graphical overhaul, old school platforming along the lines of Ghouls & Ghosts and Super Mario Bros, and some truly astonishing setpieces that will have players running for their lives from nightmarish monsters. You might think the object of The Deep Cave 2 is to escape to the surface but actually the protagonist is a bit of a foolhardy adventurer so instead players will be spelunking down as far as they can go even if it means dodging cave ins or hopping over pits of molten lava. The Deep Cave 2 delivers a rich sidescrolling experience filled with oodles of nostalgic callbacks through unique design.
Twin Cobra from Ideatory
Sometimes the simplest ways are best as evidenced by this great port of the classic 1987 arcade shooter Twin Cobra. Everything you knew and loved about the original quarter muncher is here, reworked with a mobile friendly control scheme that makes it feel much closer to its original arcade version rather than trying to struggle with a virtual d-pad as some mobile ports do. Regardless of whether you’ve ever played the original or not Twin Cobra is a worthy addition to any shoot ’em up fans game library.
Twitchy Thrones from Once A Bird
This hilarious new pixel strategy game from indie developer Once A Bird is a parody of Game Of Thrones, Risk, Galcon, and more all rolled up into one delicious digital matzo ball. In Twitchy Thrones players will set out for an epic war in a fantastical battleground filled with deadly intrigue, a healthy dose of humor, and excellently designed strategy gameplay. As players complete missions they’ll be treated to silly cutscenes that are sure to get a chuckle out of anyone who isn’t Joffrey.
Twin Rabbit Battle from Dino Merguez
The indie developer behind Noah Should is back with an addicting new card battle game called Twin Rabbit Battle that is both easy to learn and surprisingly deep. As one of two arguing rabbits duking it out via card game it’s up to players to rise up the ranks and expand their rare card set by defeating opponents with superior card strategem. Card game fans that have grown tired of all the Magic The Gathering clones will find a refreshing change of pace in Twin Rabbit Battle’s intuitive high number based gameplay mechanics.
Zig Zag Boom from Mudloop
From the folks behind indie gems like Blitz Racer and 1-Bit Hero comes a challenging new twitch arcade game called Zig Zag Boom that will push your reflexes to their limit. A flashy lateral avoidance game, Zig Zag Boom challenges players with staying on the race track when the only directions they can move are 90 degrees either left or right. At first this is an easy feat, but the further you get in this endless runner the more zen-like concentration you’ll need in order to safely navigate its pixelated hallways of doom.