It's not as cold in my parents' neck of the Americas as I'd like it to be. Perhaps it would be best if I curtailed this visit and drove north for less temperate pastures, maybe keep moving until the warm glow of a laptop beaming images of pretty indie games is all that keeps the bones from frosting. As it happens, projects in development, like a wound on the mend, produce the most heat. And a little community gallery called Screenshot Saturday produces a lot of heat.
DICETINY by Fakedice
"DICETINY is a Digital Tabletop Board Game with RPG & Card Collecting elements where Epic Fantasy and Humorous Parodies coexist." The land of Middle Board is in peril. Four heroes seek to save it and claim the one die. In this goofy title, your cardboard character rounds the board according to your roll, with each space holding the risk of a random event - monsters, traps, et cetera. This is where your deck comes in: your choice of race and class will equip you with unique cards with which to tackle a given obstacle. Upon meeting the board's victory conditions, its resident boss baddie will descend to challenge your party. Plan accordingly. But first, consider backing their active Kickstarter campaign!
Patchwork Empire by mkdir
Details on this nicely stylized city-builder have been sparse, but the team's Twitter account has been posting a steady stream of attractive images. They feature a mash of east-Asian themes and pastel clay that show off the various buildings and units up for production. Workers and craftsmen will roam amongst structures like this sawmill, and combat-ready units await recruitment into your defense force. My impression is that Patchwork Empire will lie somewhere between Age of Empires and the Anno series on the warfare-construction spectrum.
Hollow Knight by Team Cherry
Nail in hand, our tiny hero ventures into a sunken world of empty carapace, fossils, and near-monotone subterranean life. An affliction has struck the insects inhabiting this space, rendering those affected somewhat feral, yet leaving others oblivious to the encroaching danger. Wander through interconnected caverns, fend off tainted, bizarre bugs, and unravel mysteries in this 2D action-adventure. This one is tuned to be difficult and built to foster exploration.
Tales of Cosmos by Red Dwarf Games
Join a Russian monkey and a talking corgi on an adventure through the stars in this free-roaming point-and-clicker. These stranded explorers have taken it upon themselves to help a lone shuttle crew escape the pull of a widely dreaded magnetic anomaly, and will need to traverse the giant planet of Novaclad and its surrounding celestial bodies to do so. Some of the puzzles you'll face will span between these rocks or necessitate enlisting the aid of whatever strange creatures call them home.
Shiness by Ynnis Interactive and Enigami
In the style of a full-fledged Japanese RPG from the Wii's heyday, this ambitious indie title mixes floating islands, anthropomorphic mousey-eared people, and anime sensibilities. Fights stray from the turn-based affair you might expect, opting instead for a system closer to that of a regular fighting game. A band of light will delimit an arena around combatants and real time combos will chip away at your opponent's health bar as companions intercede from ringside. Quest, explore, level up, and do all manner of expansive third person role playing game things. Here's hoping Shiness can chew what it's bitten off.