September’s cream of the crop.
Did you know that September wasn’t originally the ninth month of the year? Before January and February came about, September was the seventh month of the old Roman calendar – ‘Septem’ is Latin for seven. Why am I boring you with this? Because it’s a tenuous excuse for me to introduce seven exciting new games releasing in September! Without further ado, here are the best new indie games vying for your cash this month.
Let’s first address the stegosaurus in the room: we’ve just had a new dinosaur park sim, Jurassic World Evolution. Our very own Andrew thought it was pretty solid in his review, albeit with a few flaws. Either way, there’s always room for looking after more prehistoric pals in my books.
Parkasaurus not only has a cute name, but a cute aesthetic too. Its world is saturated with colour and constructed from playful, abstract geometry. Even the dinos themselves are bright shades of pink, purple and green, and can don top hats and shutter shades – historically accurate this ain’t. But it sure looks like a ton of fun.
Parkasaurus evolves out of Steam Early Access on the 25th September.
They say that there’s a fine line between a friend and an enemy. If anything will prove the truth in this old adage, it’s Light Fingers. With roots in classic board games, you’ll roll dice, pick cards and explore a gorgeously animated clockwork board. But as a band of self-serving thieves, expect you and your friends to turn on each other quickly in your quest to bag the most loot.
With sneaky card plays, you’ll be able to scupper and misdirect your ex-chums. What should keep Light Fingers varied is how this traditional turn-based gameplay is fused with real-time action sequences, like every-man-for-themselves races through treacherous dungeons.
Keep your wits about you when Light Fingers skulks onto Nintendo Switch on September 20th.
If anything should encourage space exploration, it’s that maybe one day we might find worlds amongst the stars as beautiful as Planet Alpha. This eye-watering platformer takes the player on a wondrous extra-terrestrial journey. One minute you’ll be hiking through dense, colourful fauna as giant alien creatures fly above. The next you’ll wade through lush swamplands, or vast deserts. It’s a world of remarkably varied biomes, each more awe-inspiring than the last.
Better not stand around admiring the scenery for too long, however: Planet Alpha is as dangerous as it is beautiful. The trick up your sleeve? You develop the ability to manipulate the day/night cycle, which can alter the world around you to solve puzzles or save your spaceman skin.
There’s something distinctly Alice in Wonderland about Another Sight, at first glance. A Victorian girl finds herself in a mysterious fantasy world – and meets a cat along the way. But the comparisons end there.
The girl, Kit, loses her vision and has to resort to her new feline companion, Hodge, as her guide. Through controlling the two characters with their different abilities you’ll tackle a variety of puzzles. A fascinating addition to Another Sight is cameos from Edison, Monet, Tesla and other great minds of the era. More than purely shaping the narrative, these historical figures also alter your perception of the world around you.
Keep an eye out for Another Sight as it releases on Steam on the 6th of September.
Can we really have two theme park sims with rad puns on the same list? Uh, damn right we can. Megaquarium is, to my knowledge, the first of its kind: a fully-fledged aquarium management sim. I’m not sure how many people were asking for such a thing, but come to think of it, it ain’t a bad idea.
For aquatic aficionados, Megaquarium boasts around 100 different types of sea creatures, from goldfish to sharks and turtles. With income numbers to crunch, in-depth staff management and all sorts of factors affecting the happiness of your guests, this should be a real marine min-maxer.
Megaquarium splashes onto Steam on the 13th of September.
The Gardens Between
Taking place across beautiful dreamscapes, The Gardens Between is set to be a surreal but touching adventure. Two old friends, Arina and Frendt, fall into a magical realm littered with their old childhood toys. From Jenga to playing cards and even retro game consoles, these nostalgic belongings come to life as obstacles or tools they can use to traverse platforms.
Each level of The Gardens Between is in bitesize form, an almost diorama-like island to explore and solve. The power to rewind time adds an extra layer of depth to the proceedings. I can’t wait to experience this laid-back puzzle platformer and the heartwarming story it has to tell.
Lamplight City is a trip back in time in more ways than one. Harkening back to the Industrial Revolution, you play as a PI disgraced from his previous job as a detective. And the format you play in? A delightfully faithful classic point-and-click adventure.
There are several notable departures from its spiritual predecessors in Lamplight City, however. Gone is the inventory and the infamously convoluted puzzling one could often entail. Voice acted dialogue is a welcome addition that makes encounters more engaging. And in what is a typically linear genre, here you’ll make choices that influence the outcome of cases you investigate and how the story unfolds as a result.
Lamplight City is open for investigation on PC on the 13th of September.
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.