Indie Game Roundup: Cakewalk

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

Ever get the feeling that something, by all rights, should be easy, but the moment you try it on for size you get completely stumped? It’s awesome, isn’t it? Don’t get too discouraged when it comes to these games – they’re simple from the outset and nefarious beneath the surface.

6180 the moon

By Turtle Cream, PokPoong Games

When it comes to simple-looking, 6180 the moon takes the cake. Everything you see on screen is a combination of squares, triangles, and circles set to backgrounds that change colour and occasionally twinkle. You play as a nondescript white ball, and you have a range of movement restricted to forwards, backwards, and jump.

Or so I thought. 6180 the moon has one major mechanic – a top-to-bottom screen-wrap allows you to fall off the map only to reappear above. Granted, this isn’t totally revolutionary, but the key is in the execution. The game’s puzzles are designed in such a way that really puts this mechanic to test. Conventional platforming goes out the window once you start to see the ball as a moon and the infinite looping as part of a larger orbit.

Puzzle-platformers are notorious for taking gimmicks and either succeeding with them or failing miserably in the implementation. And while it’s more common to see flops, 6180 the moon managed to offer more than expected. It was a pleasant surprise to find this clever little title amongst the sea of average.

Flockers

By Team17 Digital Ltd

Of course, we can’t talk about simple without at least mentioning the classic game Lemmings. The whole idea was to lead a train of creatures from one point to another, sacrificing units here and there to accomplish this goal. I can’t say I was mighty interested in seeing a reboot, but Team17′s modern take on the genre caught my eye.

Instead of lemmings, we have sheep (because sheep are known to follow one another almost as much as lemmings do), and the concept of sacrifice hasn’t diminished in the slightest. In fact, Flockers positively revels in the destruction of cute animals. It’s the kind of dark humour that puts people into two camps. The amusement is there, but I can’t help but feel somewhat guilty making sheep chew on dynamite.

I don’t know what kind of hellscape these poor creatures fell in to, but I do know it’s your job to save them. The least you can do is try, right?

Reassembly

By Anisoptera Games

To round things off, here’s a spaceship-building combat game with a little over a week left to go on Kickstarter. The thing that sets it apart is its aesthetics and mechanics for putting ships together.

Instead of modules that model real components of vehicles, Reassembly uses ordinary polygons to represent complex parts. It’s all triangles and hexagons which would be totally boring were it not for the comprehensive ship editor (you can find a playable version on the campaign page). One triangle quickly becomes two, and two pairs put together turn into a wing. It’s wonderfully artistic, and the finished ships look good enough to use as icons, backgrounds, and t-shirt designs.

It’s also gloriously flashy for those that like to sit back and watch space entities duke it out. Colours are bright, and everything from the unobtrusive background to the clean UI is made to put what matters at the forefront – the ships themselves. If nothing else, it’s beautiful.

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!