With E3 coming up in the next few weeks, June might be populated with many major game announcements, but that doesn't mean there aren't any indie releases to get excited for. With the likes of card-based roguelikes, Harvest Moon-like farming sims, and voice-controlled platformers coming up, the months of June and July have plenty to look forward to. Here are our most anticipated picks:
Backbone - June 8 - PC
Kicking off this month's list is Backbone, a self-described post-noir detective adventure that takes place within a pixelated world filled with anthropomorphic animals. Here you play as Howard Lotor, a racoon detective, who has just been swept into working on one of the most defining cases of his career. The game is said to play like a classic point-and-click adventure and it also requires you to interrogate characters, solve puzzles, and investigate for clues. We're a big fan of this one's style and setting, so we hope that it can live up to expectations.
One Hand Clapping - June 10 - PC
Outside of rhythm games like Rock Band, SingStar and their many shameless copycats, we've not really seen the microphone play a vital role in gaming. One Hand Clapping, however, is a 2D platformer that requires you to use your voice when solving puzzles and navigating your character across its colourful landscape. We really like the philosophy behind this one, as it is designed to help players build their confidence with their singing.
Summertime Madness - June 17 - PC
We're changing gears with this next one just slightly. Summertime Madness is a puzzle game that is set within Prague towards the end of the Second World War and it has a pleasing visual style that is very reminiscent of Firewatch. Here you play as a painter, who has been trapped inside one of his canvases after making an unknown deal with the Devil. To prevent your soul being trapped inside the painting forever you must solve a series of creative puzzles inside a world that you created with your very own brush strokes.
Roguebook - June 17 - PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series
Developed with input from Magic the Gathering creator Richard Garfield, Roguebook is a card-based roguelike that has a striking visual style. It sees you trapped inside the Book of Lore of Faeria, and it's your job to try and escape and take on the threats lurking within its pages. The game is said to feature 200 different playable cards, 20 different difficulty levels and six different hero companions, so there is plenty here for you to sink your teeth into.
Out of Line - June 23 - Nintendo Switch, PC
Also releasing this month is Out of Line, a gorgeous hand-drawn 2D platformer that really does blur the lines between art and gaming. Its gameplay appears very similar to Limbo as there are many puzzles that you'll need to solve that can end with fatal consequences. Many of these puzzles revolve around a spear that protagonist San carries with him. This can be used as a platform itself and as a tool to activate levers and break objects. If you like what you see then a demo for the game is now available to download on PC via Steam.
Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX - June 24 - PC, Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series
Coming right off the back of the release of Wonder Boy: Asha in Monster World is another remake of an old SEGA classic. Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX is a reimagining of the 1986 Master System original that has been developed by indie studio Junkenteam. Along with its modernised cartoonish look, this reworked version of the game also includes several new levels and a new challenging 'Boss Rush Mode'. If you're feeling nostalgic, there's also a 'Classic Mode,' which enables you to experience the game as it was originally released.
Monster Harvest - July 8 - PC, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PS4
Playing like a hybrid between Harvest Moon and Pokemon, Monster Harvest is a delightful pixelated adventure that is launching at the start of July. The game sees you develop your own farm by raising crops and tending to several different monster companions. It also features a game-altering season system that contains three different seasons (Dry, Wet, and Dark), and these impact aspects such as the crops you can grow.
Where the Heart Leads - July 13 - PS4
Launching exclusively for PlayStation platforms (at least for now), Where the Heart Leads is an emotionally-gripping adventure game that spans across an entire lifetime. During its story, you find yourself pulled into a sinkhole after searching for the family dog and this transports you to a realm where you are able to experience moments from your past, present, and future. Whilst witnessing these key parts of your life, you are tasked with making pivotal decisions and each of these have their own consequences and lead to different endings.
That's all we have time for this month, but be sure to stick around as we will soon be counting down our most anticipated indies for the months of July and August.