We here at Gamereactor love a good indie game, with their boundless creativity potential. It feels like each month another Overcooked or Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout comes along to steal our attention in new and exciting ways. To celebrate these small, but very special titles, we've decided to revitalise an old series called Indie Dependent, where we showcase the best of the genre over a month long period. Let's get started.
Mars Horizon - November 17 - PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One
First up on this month's list is Mars Horizon, a strategic space sim that was developed with support from the European Space Agency. Here, the goal is to explore the far reaches of the solar system and land on the surface of Mars. Players will need to make some crucial moment-to-moment decisions, as well as managing their crew and relationships with other space agencies. Kerbal Space Program 2 may have been pushed back to 2022, but we can see this one giving fans of the genre a fair amount of mileage until its eventual release.
Empire of Sin - December 1 - PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One
Empire of Sin is the brainchild of industry icons John and Brenda Romero and strives to be the ultimate gangster experience. It sees players climb their way to the top of the criminal ladder in 1920s Chicago by taking command of iconic mob bosses such as Al Capone and Stephanie St. Clair. Along with an intriguing premise, Empire of Sin also features XCOM-like combat and strategy mechanics, as you're in control of building your own criminal empire.
Worms Rumble - December 1 - PC, PS4, PS5
Fallout, Call of Duty, Battlefield, and now... Worms!? It feels like many of our favourite franchises have hopped on the battle royale trend lately, but no others have caught us more off guard than Worms Rumble. This unexpected spin-off features large-scale 32-player battles, and the action takes place in real-time, instead of the usual turn-based style. Make no mistake though, this is still a Worms game. The Monty Python-inspired humour is still intact, as are iconic weapons such as the Sheep Launcher and Holy Hand Grenade.
Phogs! - December 3 - PC, PS4, Stadia, Switch, Xbox One
Does anybody remember CatDog? You know, the bizarre Nickelodeon cartoon from the '90s. Well, our next entry Phogs is very reminiscent of that show, but it features a conjoint pair of adorable pups instead of nature's two biggest enemies. Just like Overcooked and Moving Out, it's one that seems born for local co-op, as players control both heads independently to solve puzzles and navigate themselves across the colourful environment. Expect plenty of laughter (and fall outs) as the physics-based gameplay can be hard to fully master.
Haven - December 3 - PC, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series
Coming from Furi developer The Game Bakers, Haven really is a window into how beautiful indies can look on this next generation of hardware. Launching for PS5 and Xbox Series, it follows the tale of two lovers who have left their old life behind and have ventured to a mysterious new planet. Unlike the studio's previous effort that saw you take on waves of powerful bosses, this one seems like a much more relaxing affair, as it's focused on exploration, cooking, and crafting. If you're looking for an accessible game to jump into with your significant other over the Christmas period then you should look no further than Haven.
Monster Sanctuary - December 8 - PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One
For fans of the monster-collecting genre, Monster Sanctuary looks to be pure pixelated bliss, and its Early Access stay was met with a Very Positive response on Steam. Perhaps best described as a Pokevania, this forthcoming indie blends together Metroidvania-like exploration, as well as Pokemon-esque creature collecting and turn-based battling. It goes one step beyond its biggest influences too, as it features stat-altering items, challenging boss encounters, and individual skill trees for all obtainable beasts.
Morbid: The Seven Acolytes - December 3 - PC, PS4 Switch, Xbox One
The sales pitch for Morbid: The Seven Acolytes is that it's the "most gruesome take on the isometric Souls-like genre yet." Looking at its trailer, it appears faithful to its claims, as its action is wonderfully gory, and it sports a similar gothic horror vibe to 2015's Bloodborne. Here you play as the last surviving Striver of Dibrom, and your goal is to locate and slay down the fiendishly-powerful Seven Acolytes. It may have more of a cartoonish look to it, but make no mistake, this one is still packed with plenty of depth, as it has many challenging bosses for you to conquer, as well as a perk levelling system, and over 25 melee weapons.
Drawn to Life: Two Realms - December 7 - Andriod, iOS, PC, Switch
The Drawn to Life series may have pretty much fallen into obscurity, but it was a hit on the DS back in the day with it even receiving a SpongeBob SquarePants spin-off. Two Realms is the series' first outing in over a decade, but it strives to retain the feel of the 2007 original, as it features the same composer and many of the same developers. The story this time sees you uncover the mysteries surrounding a recently-discovered human world, and returning fans will be pleased to hear that the full cast of Raposa make a return.
Alba: A Wildlife Adventure - December 11 - Apple Arcade, PC
Developed by BAFTA-Award winning studio ustwo games, Alba: A Wildlife Adventure is a gorgeous hand-drawn adventure that has been described by its creators as a Chillectathon. Here, you play as a young girl named Alba, and you're given the freedom to explore the calming Mediterranean paradise that you find yourself in at your own leisure. There are animals to save and document, residents you help through quests, and much, much more. Get your bags packed and ready, as this one is coming to Apple Arcade and PC on December 11.
That concludes this edition of Indie Dependant. Be sure to check back in a month's time, when we once again look to see what late December and early January looks to offer us in the indie world.
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