This year has been an absolute mess, and as we trudge into December, we can’t help but feel that it’ll be a while until the world settles. For the gaming community, video games have been a very welcome escape and thankfully – unlike toilet paper – they haven’t been in short supply.
This week in our indie games roundup, we’ve got a story about lovers trapped on another planet, a multiplayer adventure sandbox to mess around with, and a story about 1920s gangsters. It’s definitely a fun mix of games, and it should make for one of the best weeks for indie games all year. So, let’s take a look at our selection.
Haven tells the story of two lovers who’ve escaped to another planet in an attempt to live out their lives in peace. As you would expect, things don’t exactly go to plan. While the narrative unfolds, you’ll begin to learn more about the protagonists, all while squaring off against various monsters.
You’ll get to shape the couple’s relationship as you go by choosing different dialogue options and taking different actions. You’ll have to control both characters at the same time if you want to succeed in this game, and the relationship is integral to the game itself, which makes for a very interesting concept.
You can even play the game with your significant other too, if you want. Well, you can play it with any other person, as long as it’s local co-op. It’s a cool idea, and the combination of emotionally-affecting story and brutal battles is one that we’re really excited to get stuck into. Plus, Haven features an astoundingly pretty art style, and just watching videos of it is likely to be enough to make you want to get it.
Out December 3 on PC, PS5, Xbox One & Xbox Series X, with PS4 and Nintendo Switch planned for Q1 2021.
There are lots of cute pixel art games which promise freedom and infinite adventure, but they don’t always deliver. Tinkertown is only just coming into early access, but it already shows a lot of promise. For starters, you can play it with up to three people, which automatically gives potential to become one of those games that you can just get lost in with your friends.
As a giant sandbox game, there’s just an absurd amount of stuff that you can do in Tinkertown. Generally speaking though, you’re going to be building up your town and going out adventuring. There’s a great big world out there for you and your friends to explore, and that means lots of monsters to fight, weapons to use, and things to discover.
The key thing about Tinkertown is the ability to build your own narrative, which just plays into its infinite potential. Whether you choose to be a lone ranger exploring the woods or community of hunter-gatherers trying to survive the elements, Tinkertown just seems like a lot of fun, and we all need a bit of simple joy in our lives these days.
Out December 3 on PC.
Empire Of Sin
Let’s take things to somewhere a little closer to home, and a bit more realistic now. Empire Of Sin, made by Romero Games, is set in the 1920s – specifically Prohibition-era Chicago. In this strategy video game, you’ll have to navigate a seedy underworld filled with characters inspired by the likes of Al Capone and Stephanie St Clair as you attempt to build and manage your own criminal empire.
There’s a lot of customisation here, and as you shape your own personal gangster you’ll get to decide what matters the most to them and mould your own organisation as you go. It’s a really interesting idea, and alongside the management aspect you’ll also have to take out other gangs in turn-based strategy combat.
This is a game that really stands out as something special. It’s not often we get to manage a criminal empire, and the prospect is definitely an enticing one. In a recent review, NME’s own Jordan Oloman gave the game a three-star rating, describing it as “addicting but unpolished”.
Out now on Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC and Mac.