Probably our favorite part of of IndieCade was this year's Digital Selects, they didn't quite make "nominee", but we love them anyway. A mighty collection of strange, weird, wacky and just even relaxing games to get lost in.
The first one I got lost in deep was one I scoffed at online, until I played it.
Kingdom: New Lands
This engrossing title had me watching a civilization I create be built right before my eyes with the simplest of actions, spending coins. You earn coins by finding treasure chests, being paid by your people and maybe being a nice B&B. Now it's simple at first, you drop some coins and you have unconnected peasants start doing your bidding and over time you can have them build a castle, build defenses.
You need defenses for monsters from some sort of a mystical portal. The monsters come out at night and you better have defenses up to stop the masked creeps. The game ends if these creeps knock off your crown and pick it up before you do. They'll also take down your defenses over time and turn your people back into poor hobo masses asking for some coin to be restored.
This is all fairly simple as you're doing this all from your horse that you never get off of.
The simple 8bit/ 16bit looks let's you just get lost in the game as you watch your civilization grow out from a simple fire. It's accompanied by some nice mellow music.
Truly, I got lost in the game, I didn't want to get up. I just wanted to play it for the rest of the cade.
Check out the game here.
Another game we wish we had more time with was
West of Loathing
This game was silly from it's doodles to it's writing, from the same people who made the internet favorite of The Kingdom of Loathing. It's creator, of both, Zack Johnson was on hand to tell us about his game that we hope comes out early next year. "So, "West of Loathing" is a cowboy stick figure RPG...it's the same sort of art style and set in the same universe as The Kingdom of Loathing, the art of which was what I was capable of drawing at the time." He continued, "It's basically about leaving the farm and going through a weird version of the wild west." And it is weird. When I played the demo a cactus man asked me for something to read because he was so bored.
I asked why he kept his doodle style. Zack told me, "I like doing it, it's a thing where I can do all of the assets myself. I still just draw everything by pen." That's right, no digital writing boards, no Wacom boards here.
Zack then told me how whatever he draws gets animated with silly results. In fact, because there was really no time to make weapons for the trailer the animator simply made the characters headbutt their attacks for lack of guns or swords.
He told me animation was such a key part of the game that there's even a book of silly walks you can unlock in the game somewhere.
Look for details for the game as it comes out early next year. Here.
The Average Everyday Adventures of Samantha Browne
This free download game, here, has you playing as a girl who just has high anxiety and just wants to make some oatmeal in her communal dorm kitchen. Just a fun short title going over the social issues of someone who just gets afraid of being around people.
When I was playing a platforming section with swinging ropes and swimming the cruel game master kept making the track longer for me to finish.
The design of DOTOBONE as a console is eye-catching, the games themselves looking like strange art pieces sometimes. I did not get the meaning behind the mini-game of putting the most skeletons in a toilet.
It's not smash or Jackbox it's DOTOBONE.
Read more about it here.