Without sounding like a broken record here, we at Gamereactor are huge fans of indie games and their seemingly endless amount of creative ideas. 2021 has already delivered several indie smash hits such as Valheim and Loop Hero and the goodness doesn't seem to be stopping any time soon, as April and May seem packed with several promising releases. From quirky party games to post-apocalyptic survival titles and unlikely genre hybrids, here are our top picks for the upcoming month:
Say No! More - April 9 - Switch, PC, Mac, iOS
Kicking off this month's list is Say No! More, a self-described NO!-Playing Game (or NPG for short). Here you play as an intern, who after being continuously bossed around finally snaps and learns the magic of the word no. With this new word in your vocabulary, you're truly unstoppable and nobody has the power anymore to tell you what to do. Along with its humorous mechanics, the game also has a really distinctive blocky visual style that really harkens back to PC games from the 90s.
Demon Skin - April 13 - PC
The recently-revealed Demon Skin is a 2D hack-and-slash that claims to be as brutally difficult as the Dark Souls series. The game has a very dark and foreboding atmosphere and it's said to be inspired by the likes of Castlevania: Lords Of Shadow - Mirror of Fate and Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate. The development process behind this one is pretty interesting too, as it was first dreamt up by project lead Denis Listov in 2014, long before he had any programming experience. Listov then dedicated his spare to teaching himself the skill necessary to make the game.
Knight Squad 2 - April 14 - PC, Switch, Xbox One
After six long years, the knights are back in town once more. Knight Squad 2 contains the same frantic 8-player party game action as its predecessor, but it's packed with plenty of new game modes and middle-aged weapons for you to get your hands on. Knight Squad 2 also supports cross-platform multiplayer, so you'll be able to squad up and play with a group of friends and battle it out regardless of what platform you own.
Ashwalkers - April 15 - PC
Arriving on Steam this April is Ashwalkers, a post-apocalyptic survival game that has been developed by Hervé Bonin's (co-founder of Dontnod) new studio Nameless XIII. Ashwalkers sees you manage aspects like your group's food and equipment just like other survival games, but it is also packed with choice when it comes to its story. There are pivotal decisions that you need to make around each corner that lead to 34 possible endings.
Smelter - April 22 - Switch, PC, PS4, Xbox One
The indie scene can feel a little saturated at times, but we can't say that we have seen anything quite like Smelter's hybrid of genres. This pixelated throwback is essentially two games in one, as it is part SNES-era platformer and part top-down strategy. One moment you're hacking apart enemies and dashing between platforms, and the next you're commanding an army of troops on the battlefield to take down enemy forces.
We Are the Caretakers - April 22 - PC (Early Access)
A great looking game with a good cause: We Are the Caretakers is a squad management RPG that sees you fight to defend species of endangered animals. It features tactical turn-based combat inspired by XCOM, as well as strategy elements, where you'll manage resources such as your funds, research, and relationships with other groups. What's especially great about the game is that 10% of its net revenue will be donated towards Wildlife Conservation Network's Rhino Recovery Fund.
Garlic - April 29 - PC
We've seen many platforming mascots take the spotlight within games over the years, but Garlic might just feature the most unlikely hero we've seen to date. Playing as an onion-headed boy, you embark upon a quest to scale the Sacred Tower to um...seduce the Cyber Goddess. It might not have the most heartfelt or child-friendly narrative under its many layers, but Garlic still looks to be a fun throwback to NES-era platformers and we're certainly a fan of the hilarious animation style that seems to be present in its cutscenes.
Subnautica: Below Zero - May 14 - Switch, PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series
Splashing out of Early Access this month is Subnautica: Below Zero, a game which has already generated a very positive response on Steam. The game takes place one year after its acclaimed predecessor, and it is this time set in an arctic region of planet 4546B. It looks to be more of the game that we fell in love with back in 2018, just with additional biomes for us to explore and more underwater life forms to encounter.
That's all the games we have time for within this month's edition of Indie Dependent, but be sure to check back soon for a rundown on the promising indies releasing in May and June. You can also check out last month's list here.
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