The Best Indie Games From E3 2019
E3 2019 was loaded with fantastic new indie games. During the show, we did our very best to check out as many games as we could. We went hands-on, hands-off, chatted with developers and found ourselves engrossed in some innovative games that you may not have even heard of. In this feature, we decided to highlight 15 indie games that really stood out for us at the show. Each of us picked our best indie games and came up with the following:
Paul’s Best E3 Indie Games
- Follow Paul on Twitter: @yvr_paul
A monster movie come to life, except in this one the monster wins. Play this puzzle focused, fluid as heck bag of meat simulator as you escape from your hellish captivity and unleash justice on the legions of humans that tried to contain the beast. Everything looks stunning, including the heaving mass of flesh that is the surprisingly likeable main character, and the physics behind the monster’s movement are really impressive. I saw quite a few mechanics in my short play session, including the need to manage the mass of your fleshy self and the use of weight-dependent skills. If you’re into tentacles, puzzles, and the screams of your victims, Carrion is probably for you!
Conan Chop Chop
Mashup Rogue Legacy and Cyanide and Happiness with a squirt of Conan, and you’d probably get Conan Chop Chop. A 2D roguelike for up to 4 players, Chop Chop looks like a joke but plays extremely competently. The difficulty was surprising, given the way Conan and friend bop about the world and how cute the zombies look, and there seems to be at least some amount of depth with unlocks, weapon types, and charms that will help you along the way. It’s a shot in the dark for the franchise, but should be on your shortlist if you like this kind of punishing couch co-op.
Moons of Madness
A psychological horror game set on Mars? Sign me up! The developers were styling the genre as cosmic horror for my demo and features a kind of fusion of both alien and Lovecraftian themes. There’s obviously a mystery afoot and rarely do I find myself quite so intrigued by the minutiae in a game like this – especially right off the bat. Who am I? What is this place? All manner of questions were ripping around in my brain. Walking simulator? Sort of, but the environments all look great, and the one real jump scare in the demo got me. Hard.
Alex’ Best E3 Indie Games
- Follow Alex on Twitter: @AlexanderOfCOG
RE: Legend answers the question: what if you put Harvest Moon and Monster Hunter into one? You’ll play as an intrepid hero with a plot of land to grow crops, go fishing, and mine for ore, but that doesn’t mean you won’t also have an awesome little monster friend! You’ll be able to lure and tame monsters that can help you in combat, traverse the land in unique ways, and be used as a mount on your adventures. Your scaly friend can even be evolved into a huge variety of forms with their own unique powers. The art style is adorable and I couldn’t help but feel protective of my little dragon friend within minutes of meeting him for the first time. If you love JRPG’s and the joys of Harvest Moon, this title is for you.
Something we don’t often see – or at least that works very well – is a game with a clear and honest message. After winning a BAFTA for their work on Never Alone, E-Line Media was approached by the BBC to create a video game based on their Blue Planet documentaries, and with incredible attention to detail and respect for the source material, what they created was the upcoming title Beyond Blue. Set a short time in the future, the game is absolutely stunning as it explores the depths of the oceans. Using all the resources of the BBC and professionals in the marine research fields they accurately recreated the appearance and behavior of sea life with breathtaking accuracy. The game is serene to play and educates the player about our last unexplored frontier and how to respect our world.
With big budget RPGs, open worlds, and crazy adventures to be had, we sometimes overlook the game that approaches us from the heart. Lost Words is a beautiful narrative title that plays in a few hours – perfect for a rainy day – that follows the story of a young girl writing in her journal. The words as they appear on the page become the platforms for your hand-drawn avatar to navigate as you’ll interact with the words and use them to affect the world around you. An aspiring writer, our tale will then leap into the narrator’s imagination and become a side-scrolling platformer. The demo ended on a cliffhanger about devastating news and this is the kind of game to pull you in just like a good book, wanting and waiting on bated breath to continue this girls journey and see how her journal comes to an end.
The Stronghold series has always been about tactical combat and historical accuracy. The previous titles had you build a society and defend your forces, and while this may be reminiscent of Age of Empires the combat required a lot more thought and planning than simply sending an enemy force into the field. Stronghold: Warlords not only has incredible Asian influences in its art and design aesthetic but features an all new mechanic of hiring out neutral Warlords and their armies, earning your team buffs and asking for assistance in combat when needed. I didn’t get to see much of the game but what I did saw is intriguing and has loads of potential for the future.
Head over to PAGE 2 for James’ and Trevor’s best of E3…