You’d be an April Fool to miss out on these.
April’s here! We’ve got a pile of Easter eggs to tuck into, brighter evenings now that the clocks have moved forward and a load of April showers to avoid. Hmm. Probably best to stay indoors, to be on the safe side. Good job that there’s a bunch of great indie games on their way to keep you entertained. Here’s what you can play this month whilst working on that chocolate-induced diabetic coma.
Double Kick Heroes
“They just wanted to play heavy metal… but the apocalypse was on the rise.”
It never ceases to amaze me that new genre-blending combos keep appearing. Double Kick Heroes is a heavy metal rhythm action shoot ’em up. If that isn’t rad as hell, I don’t know what is.
You’ll join a band of crazy rockers on the road in ‘The Gundillac’, blasting away hordes of pursuing zombies with the power of metal. Double Kick Heroes promises not only 18 unique tracks but the ability to import your own music and download community levels, so the show never has to stop.
Double Kick Heroes enters Steam Early Access on the 11th April.
UPDATE: Read our Double Kick Heroes Early Access review!
When you think of a city-builder, something like SimCity or Cities: Skylines likely comes to mind. The joy of watching a bustling metropolis grow, its miniature inhabitants happily going about their days. Frostpunk turns that merriment on its head.
This is a post-apocalyptic hell, in which hell has frozen over. As ruler, all that stands between your people dying in the bitter, unrelenting cold is the Steampunk city you build and the choices you make. Not so much where to place your casino or what type of trees to plant in the park, mind. More like whether to permit child labour or if you should leave the sick to die for the benefit of other survivors. Yikes.
If you like your city management with a heavy dose of bleakness and despair on the side, Frostpunk should be right up your alley. It comes to Steam on the 24th April.
The Adventure Pals
The Adventure Pals has it all.
A pet rock. A giraffe in your backpack that whirrs its tongue round like a propeller. An anthropomorphic slice of toast NPC.
If you hadn’t gathered, there’s little regard for restraint here. This irreverent platformer features drop-in, drop-out co-op play across worlds ranging from the lost city of Crablantis to the moon. All in the name of putting a stop to a crazy scientist turning innocent citizens into hot dogs.
UPDATE: Read our Adventure Pals review!
The Swords of Ditto
We’re not lacking for charming co-op adventures in the coming month. The Swords of Ditto brings classic Zelda vibes but with a vibrant cartoonish design that gives it a character all of its own.
In a nod to Majora’s Mask you have just three days to save the world from the nefarious Mormo. Fail, and you restart with a completely new hero a century later. But in pseudo-roguelike fashion, your past endeavours leave a legacy behind. Not only is it possible to recover your old gear; the world is shaped, for better or worse, by how much evil you thwarted last time round.
I know it’s against the true spirit of a roguelike but I do like the sound of every attempt giving some progression towards the end goal. We can look forward to the recurrent adventures of The Swords of Ditto on PS4 and Steam on April 24th.
UPDATE: Read our Swords of Ditto review!
Masters of Anima
Pikmin was a grand ol’ series, wasn’t it? But it always felt cruel to be the bulbous-headed Olimar, using those cutesy little guys as pawns to save your own skin. Enslaving them to do the heavy lifting. Making them fight your battles. Outright exploitation, I’d say.
Masters of Anima looks to follow a similar tack, employing hordes of minions to do your bidding. But the guardians here aren’t quite so adorable, so maybe it’ll keep the guilt at bay. There’s a lot at stake, too, with Otto needing to save not only his fiancée from the clutches of a golem lord, but the entire world.
With the ability to command armies of up to 100 underlings in battles against giant golems, Masters of Anima is set to bring a dazzling level of chaos. It arrives on Steam, PS4, Xbox One and Switch on the 10th April.
UPDATE: Read our Masters of Anima review.
When it comes to online multiplayer murder simulators, one of the industry’s favourite past-times, they’re all quite similar at heart. Sure, one might be set in WWII, another in the distant future. And I know everyone’s digging those battle royale murder simulators right now where you get to murder even more people – ninety-nine of ’em! But it’s still just a load of shooting people in the face.
Which is great, don’t get me wrong. But there’s a little more finesse and intrigue involved with the murderous pursuits of upcoming, err, Murderous Pursuits. Set aboard a ship, you’ll have a specific target to track down and murder. Crucially, however, you have to do so while playing it cool and not drawing the attention of the guards. Not to mention the anonymous hunter who’s trying to do the same to you.
Murderous Pursuits stalks onto Steam on the 26th April.
Tower of Time
I was looking forward to Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire, originally set for an April release. Then it was pushed back by a month. The good news is that another CRPG can pick up the slack: Tower of Time, which makes its exit from Early Access this month.
Promising over 50 hours of gameplay, Tower of Time is packed with all the good stuff you’d expect: seven classes with deep skill trees, heaps of loot, and item crafting and enchanting.
What’s really piqued my interest, however, is the ability to draw your spells with gestures, summoning walls of fire or a path of arrows. Also unique is the absence of a typical XP system. Instead, you’ll level up and unlock skills by uncovering ancient knowledge.
The product of a mere ten-man team, Tower of Time looks to be an ambitious fantasy adventure. It embarks into full release on Steam on the 12th of April.
UPDATE: Read our Tower of Time review here.
What’s on your wishlist for April? Will you be playing any of the above? Let us know in the comments!
Disclaimer: Our features editor Neil has worked with one of the lovely people at Blazing Griffin in the past, but he wasn’t involved in this piece and we didn’t feel comfortable posting his fanfic-esque nepotism anyway (it was gross)
James loves a deep action-adventure game, RPG or Metroidvania. He can often be found in The Indie Game Website’s review section casting his critical eye over the latest indie games.