Indie Round-Up Oct 5-11
Another week, another exciting slew of indie gaming news. As the launch of the next generation of consoles looms over the industry, indie developers have been letting players know what they’ll be bringing to the table amidst an onslaught of AAA releases. A few developers have also been making sure that those who aren’t upgrading just yet aren’t forgotten about. Let’s take a look!
Bithell Games Has a Big Week
The developer behind Thomas Was Alone has had a busy week after launching their latest “shorts” title, The Solitaire Conspiracy last Saturday. It’s been a great success for the indie team as it’s sold more copies in its first 9 hours than any previous game the studio has put out at launch and has overall reviewed pretty well (it currently has a 76 on Metacritic). It’s currently available on Steam and the Epic Games Store – but wait, there’s more! Bithell Games revealed this week that not one, but two of their previous titles will be coming to consoles later this year. First, John Wick Hex will be coming to Xbox, Nintendo Switch, and Steam (which I know is not a console but the game was previously only on Epic Games Store for PC) this December 4th. It’ll even be getting its own fancy boxed version for its console release, including for the PS4, where it landed shortly after its EGS release last year. The new box art is also super stylish, and I would like a poster for it with my physical copy, please. The game is currently $22.79 CAD/$19.99 USD on Epic Games Store, and it’s looking like the retail price may reflect that (although according to GameStop the Switch version as retailing for $29.99 USD so, we’ll find out!)
Secondly, the studio’s aforementioned breakout title Thomas Was Alone will be coming to the Switch in the first quarter of next year. It doesn’t look like this one will be receiving a physical release, but at least it will join the unending list of demanded and fulfilled Switch ports. Here’s hoping this bodes well for a Solitaire Conspiracy port to consoles in the future!
Hades Developer Discusses a Ton of the Game’s Behind-the-Scenes Happenings
Supergiant’s Hades has been one of the year’s biggest hits, and as someone who was skeptical at first (I just don’t like roguelikes), sleeping on this game is a big mistake. A personal favorite moment I’ve experienced in my time with it has been bumping into Eurydice on my way through Asphodel, where you’ll find her singing a soothing tune – a stark contrast to the epic combat metal blissfully pounding my ears for the previous hours. It’s a nice moment of levity amongst the chaos and the song she sings is, as the kids call, “a banger.” Hades’ composer Darren Korb released a video this week showing fans how to play the song, complete with sheet music and tabs. He also explains that for the version used in the game, he used a Turkish instrument called a bağlama, instead of the acoustic guitar the tutorial here is for. I must insist, if you haven’t played the game, don’t check out the video just yet – hearing the song in the context of the game is a really nice moment and I wouldn’t want it spoiled for you.
Additionally, the team recently showed off a breakdown of each of the game’s visual effects for environments and weapon power-ups over on Twitter. One of the game’s designers also broke down how each of the rooms in the game are designed, and it’s a particularly interesting approach for level design in a genre where so much of the novelty hinges on it constantly changing. On top of that, the Hades team also released a test-branch on both Epic Games Store and Steam for players to get a glimpse into the game’s next update, which is said to include balance changes, a new decorative theme, new voice lines, fixes, “and more.” The team also mentioned on Twitter that the promised cross-saves for Switch should be available sometime later this month, which I will surely use as an excuse to buy the game again.
Bundle of Bugsnax Info Released
Speaking of games I can’t scrub out of my timeline, Bugsnax developer Young Horses dropped a ton of new information about the game this week, including confirmation of its release lining up with the launch of the PS5 as it has already gone gold. It’s set to release the very same day the PS5 drops on November 12th, when it’ll also launch PS4 and on PC through the Epic Games Store. The game’s voice cast was also revealed and includes some pretty recognizable names including Spider-Man’s Yuri Lowenthal, Jedi: Fallen Order’s Debra Wilson, Sonic the Hedgehog himself Roger Craig Smith, and industry guy-who-is-in-everything, Fred Tatasciore. The game will retail for $29.99 CAD/$24.99 US when it drops, and currently has a 15% discount on the Epic Games Store if you’d like to pre-order.
Additional Indivisible Content Canceled After Lab Zero Closes
In the ongoing fallout of Lab Zero Games reports of poor work culture and the dissolving of the studio, additional content for their most recent release Indivisible has been nixed. This is particularly unfortunate for backers of the game on Indiegogo, as there were several characters created by backers and from other indie games that were set to be included. As our own Clayton Cyre reported, publisher 505 Games released a statement regarding the decision, including confirmation of an update for the Switch version of the game on the way. A planned North American physical release of the game has been canceled as well, but fans who bought that version of the game are eligible for a refund. 505 did promise to still release the campaign’s last physical reward, which is a figurine of the game’s main character Ajna. The publisher says the figures are entering production soon, and backers will receive info on their availability within the coming weeks. There was no mention of the Indivisible TV show that was announced earlier this year. It’s a shame that things are ending like this for both the people who worked hard on the game (and surely all those unreleased content drafts sitting on a hard drive somewhere), but also for all the fans who were looking forward to more of a game they love. At least the game did have a full release and is currently available on PC, Xbox One, PS4, and Nintendo Switch. You can check out our review for it right here.
Official statement from 505 Games.
— Indivisible (@IndivisibleRPG) October 9, 2020
What do you think of this week’s indie gaming news? Are you picking up Bugsnax on Day 1? Have you been making your way through the underworld in Hades? As always, let us know what you think of this week’s roundup in the comments, and be sure to keep it locked to COGconnected for all your gaming news!
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