One of the great draws of consuming the products of tiny independent groups is the ease with which you can sample strange and interesting things without much investment. It's certainly true of the bizarre foods my visit to Portland, Oregon has exposed me to, and it's assuredly safe to say about independent video games. While I won't shipping meal worm doughnuts, bone marrow icecream, or pig skin chocolate across the continent, I can totally show you some unique games. Courtesy of the indie image repository over at Screenshot Saturday, here's a few of the titles you might be tasting soon.
Afro Rangers by Afro Team
Its creators describe this game as an "Afro-futurisco-crazy beat-them-all". It's a side-scrolling brawler that may not have revealed much of its mechanical under work, but its unusual aesthetic is on bold display. Images show an almost giddy fondness for all things Afrocentric filtered through the lens of modern kind-of-cute cartoons. The shadow monster above channels Louisiana voodoo and a smoky Baron Samedi, while tribal mask designs adorn doorways and storefronts or lend their countenance to gooey cat-possessing monsters. Very cool.
Plague Mark by (unknown)
This one's character designs remind me of The Banner Saga's, which I regard as a capital lettered Very Good Thing. All we know is that it's a single player non-fantasy RPG set in a Black Plague ravaged Poland, and that it's a party-based affair of the roguelike persuasion. From the looks of the grid laid out in this single released shot of the game, I'd imagine some twist on a turn based style of play. We'll be in for a harrowing treat if Plague Mark can tap into the emotion of the Stoic game it resembles.
Shattered by Triggerbox Studios
We've featured Shattered before, but information (including a title) was tragically sparse at the time. The developers appear to have since generated a fresh Twitter account, but (ugh!) seem to be comfortably in the throes of heavy development and unconcerned with the trivial whims of some excited writer. In addition to nailing down a name and posting under a development banner, they've... mentioned launch pads and revealed that puzzles will be involved. Yeah. It's pretty enough to flaunt twice, but don't expect it again before we know significantly more.
Heart&Slash by aheartfulofgames
I'll admit, the television-robot's similarity to a certain frenzied piece of animation is what caught my eye, but there's enough here to keep one around after the jump. You play as Heart, an errant machine fighting for its individual identity amidst sweeping standardization. Initially a single man's weekend hobby project, this difficult rogue-like brawler now sports a suite of full time developers, 75 different weapons, and 60 different interchangeable body parts - each of which will appear in new sequence each time you fail an attempted playthrough.
The Detail by Rival Games
Detective Reggie Moore is frustrated by the lack of justice in his city. Joe Miller, a one-time informant drawn back into the world of crime he escaped, isn't exactly helping matters. In this gritty crime drama, graphic novel styling and themes recalling HBO's The Wire accompany players as they click these characters through police investigations, interrogations, and the pitfalls of life in a criminal underbelly. If depictions of eye-gouging are anything to go by, The Detail harbors no intentions of softening its adventure game blows.