The Indie Game Website March Newsletter
This month we have a brand new columnist—Waverly—to liven up the March Indie Games Newsletter. Check out the bumper crop of indie goodness, as introduced by from some of the best writers in the industry:
Seek Magician Lets You Get Rowdy – Waverly
I’m tired of RPGs where I wake up in my bed after a peaceful nap, learn from my father that I have to go to magicians school, and then find out my best friend was my arch-nemesis. For one, I don’t sleep, so that isn’t very relatable. For two, I cannot process that beginning to a story in a piece of new media anymore because it’s so stale.
You know what I want instead? Frogs in magician hats.
You know what I want even more than that? Games where I can drink piss.
In Seek Magician I can do both of those things, which makes it perfect.
Seek Magician is a game full of authentic vulnerability through ironic tensions. This comes out many times, in blunt responses to cliches that may normally occur in games. For example, in the beginning area of the game I went into a rave cave where skeletons were all having a party. At the entrance a skeleton told me, “watch out for the next skeleton, he is getting kind of rowdy”. I walked up to the skeleton which promptly said, “fuck you” and sent me into a battle with a recomposition of “Born to Be Wild”.
Seek Magician is an RPG, if RPG stood for Rowdy Party Game. It isn’t aiming to do anything grandiose or metacritical, but it just wants to invite you to feel good wandering around. The stakes aren’t that high, I just want my little frog and demon imp friend to run around the world slurping piss together while skeletons throw “fuck yous” with their red solo cups.
Leaving Notes and Memories Behind in Dear Future – Jay Castello
I’m not entirely sure whether I left something useful behind in Dear Future.
The game invites players to explore a ruined island, with only a camera for company. The good news is that the camera has a few tricks up its sleeve, like letting you see ghostly thoughts and reassemble destroyed artefacts. The bad news is that you only have a few minutes, and when that’s over you’ll be asked to leave just one photo behind for the players who come after you.
You can leave behind other things, too, like notes and fixed bridges, which might nudge people in the future closer to figuring out exactly what happened and how to stop it from happening again. One of my first discoveries was a bridge built by a player called Bowsette, and then another by Gianluca that helpfully read “time for Bridge.”
I didn’t find anywhere to leave a bridge behind. I left a few notes, but none of them seemed like they might point towards a breakthrough. But I was constantly thinking about one of the photos in the log, left behind by an earlier player. It looks like the full moon in a dark sky, but you have to leave the island before sunset so – unless I missed something, which is always possible – it must have been done by taking a shot of the sun and playing with the camera’s filter settings.
I don’t think that picture was strictly useful. If anything, it might have been misleading. But it kept me curious and experimental as I explored, and I hope that what I left behind might do the same.
Loop Hero wants you to attack and dethrone god – Ty Galiz-Rowe
It becomes apparent that something is amiss in the world of Loop Hero pretty quickly. In fact, the wrongness of the world–or lack thereof–around you feeds into its main conceit. Each loop, you are rebuilding the world piece by piece, through what you can remember of it. The darkness of Oblivion may be encroaching, but The Hero and other survivors can fight back, and are adamant about doing so.
Spoilers for Loop Hero Boss 2
When you finally face Loop Hero’s second boss, The Priestess, you once again hear mention of a mysterious “him.” Turns out, that him is god. Like literally god. At least according to The Priestess. God has grown tired of his creation and has decided to retire it. Thus, the slow decimation of reality.
Upon explaining this, The Priestess expects our hero to lay down his arms (or skeletons) and give into the will of his maker. But The Hero has other plans. In their first encounter, he mostly doesn’t believe what she tells him. After all, if God wanted everything gone, wouldn’t it just disappear? He proceeds to give her the same treatment he gave The Lich and continues on his cyclical journey.
Once you face her again, she confronts him about why he won’t submit. After all, she’s convinced him of at least the potential that she’s right. If this is God’s will, how can he refuse? The Hero essentially says “fuck that.” The Hero, his allies, and even their enemies will not lie down and disappear. They are more than the whims of their maker.