Indie Game Roundup: Piece of Cake

Thursday Triple is a weekly roundup of Indie Games from around the Net.

I cannot begin to describe the amount of beer present as I walked into my local supermarket. In a way, I was inspired by the nationalism displayed and my musings of incredibly drunken people and thought to myself: what games would be best played to take advantage of this social phenomenon?

Floating Point

By Suspicious Developments

Need something quick to pass the time while you’re loading up E3 videos or waiting on a World Cup stream? This fantastic little indie game is a great example of how a simple concept can expand to make an enjoyable experience. Using a grappling hook, you can swing through randomly generated areas to a chilled soundtrack meant to keep you relaxed through the whole journey.

Your only objective is to collect points by maintaining a smooth trajectory. It sounds plebian, but the beauty is in the execution. The game feels good, and the gentle arcs you draw against the geometric backgrounds double as modern art. Looking for an abstract desktop background? Screeshots will do.

And it’s free on Steam! Go try it out.

Pulstar

By Concave Studio, Colorful Media, Emagica

Slightly less relaxing is the arcade, twin-stick shooter Pulstar that’s every bit as bright, colourful, and violent as you’d expect of a dying star. It’s like Geometry Wars all over again, though with smoother lines and (arguably) more bloom.

There’s no question that this was put together cleanly with a nice array of weapons, but have we already seen our fair share of twin-stick shooters? Is there much more to iterate on? There’s a function to slow down time, letting you pull off some pretty close calls, yet it’s not blowing my mind here. Of course, it doesn’t have to (blow my mind, that is). I put it on my list because it’s a genre with mass appeal, so if you’re like me and craving some good old arcadey nonsense, this wouldn’t be too bad of a pick.

On Steam for $4.99 is maybe a bit high, but I’d take it at a sales price.

Twilight Struggle

By GMT Games

To round-off our Thursday, here’s a board game hoping to find new life as a video game. It’s a card-driven strategy game covering the Cold War era, where each card and flavour text touches on historical events. Nuclear warfare is a very real possibility, and it’s up to the players to wrestle the influence of nations from each other.

The narrative is compelling (and fresh in the minds of many), and the board game that’s the foundation of this digital venture has seen success since publication in 2005. Their Kickstarter still has 21 days to go, though it’s already managed to raise $200k of its $50k goal.

A strong community stands behind this one, which is a huge vote of confidence in my books. I can see it being entertaining and educational, or at the very least spark a conversation about how close we were to blowing this planet up. Making a concept like that more accessible by digitalising it? Count me in.

the author

Executive Editor of ManaPool. A student of game design, Amber is currently writing from the frozen north that is Canada. She has a penchant for tactical team-based games and a particular taste for theorycrafting. Want to discuss community and player experience? Talk to her!