After a surprise announcement on Wednesday April 13th, Nintendo put out it’s Indie World Showcase; giving gamers an exciting look at some of the upcoming new games, from a collection of talented indie developers from all over the world.
Kicking off the showcase was an extended look at French studio: Digixart’s Road 96—which was initially announced during the 2020 VGAs. The game is described as a “procedurally generated road-trip” where players take on the role of different teenagers, setting out on an adventure where they’ll meet several different characters along the way—some friendly, and some fearsome. Road 96 looks to combine several different forms of gameplay, with a strong focus on choice-driven narrative. While no release date has been set, Road 96 is set to release “later this year.”
Following Road 96 was a game by Neil Jones, a.k.a Aerial_Knight titled Aerial Knight’s Never Yield. The game puts players in the role of Wally, who discovers secrets that can change the future of the game’s, “futuristic Tokyo style Detroid” forever. Aerial Knight’s Never Yield takes the form of a runner-game, mixing parkour elements as players jump, slide, and dash to avoid obstacles; and an absolutely banging Hip-Hop soundtrack—if the music in the trailer is any indication. Aerial Knight’s Never Yield releases on May 19th, 2021.
Following that, we recieved the announcement two new games published by Annapurna Interactive: Last Stop and Hindsight. While the trailer didn’t provide any clear gameplay details, it appears both games will have a heavy focus on emotional storytelling and puzzle-solving—the trailer made a point to mention Florence and What Remains of Edith Finch, which were also published under Annapurna. While Last Stop is set to release in July 2021, Hindsight is set to release, “later this year.”
Next out of the Indie World Showcase as the announcement Roll7’s newest entry into the 2D Skateboarding phenomenon: OlliOlli World. The game is described by Creative Director, John Ribbins as “a game that’s all about going on a road trip with your friends, finding crazy spots, and of course, skating everything in sight.” Unlike previous OlliOlli games that had a more arcade-style, pixel aesthetic; OlliOlli World is taking a more artistic approach, with a vibrant, cell-shaded 3D aesthetic, and a more laid-back, but still challenging, skateboarding experience. While no specific release date has been set for OlliOlli World, but it is slated to release “this winter.”
Probably the most unique game to be announced from the Indie World Showcase is The Longing. Coming from German studio: Studio Seufz, the game follows a creature called a Shade who has to wait 400 days for his king to return. The game plays out in real time, so players must find interesting ways to fill each day while progressing the story. The Longing initially released for PC on March 5th, but launched for the Nintendo Switch at the end of the Showcase.
While the Indie World Showcase did feature several interesting glimpses at new game—such as the comdey game There Is No Game, which looks to resemble Baba is You in terms of outside-the-box puzzle solving; the hack n’ slash, rouge-lite that is wholly inspired by Japanese art: Getsufumaden: Undying Moon; and a July 20th, 2021 release date for Cris Tales—what might have been the standout moment of the Showcase was the extended look at Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge.
Taking inspiration from the classic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Beat Em’ Ups that defined the arcade experience in the 90’s; Shredder’s Revenge combines old school arcade action with modern day gaming evolution. Each turtle looks to have a unique playstyle and abilities. Coming from the same studio that brought us the incredible Streets of Rage 4 and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game; there’s no doubt Shredder’s Revenge will be lovingly crafted and insanely fun.
But the Indie World Showcase didn’t stop there. We saw the announcement of Aztech: Forgotten Gods—an intense 3rd person action platformer set in a futuristic Mesopotamian world; Skul: The Hero Slayer, a unique 2D Rouge-lite where you play as a little skeleton, swapping heads to gain new abilities in order to free you evil master; and a host of others including:
- art of rally by
- KeyWe by Stonewheat and Sons
- Labyrinth City: Pierre the Maze Detective by Darjeeling
- Weaving Tides by Follow the Feathers
- House of the Dead Remake by MegaPixel
- Ender Lilies: Quietus of the Knights by Adglobe and Live Wire
- Beasts of Maravilla Island by Banana Bird Studios
- FEZ by Polytron
However, in typical Nintendo digital event fashion, there was one last surprise before the end of the Indie World Showcase. Fans were treated to the initial announcement of Oxenfree II: Lost Signals, which looks to build of the strange, surreal atmosphere of the first game with some strange, radio signal interaction.
If that wasn’t enough for Indie fans, the showcase precedes a massive indie game sale on the Nintendo Switch eShop, with such indie classics as Hotline Miami Collection, Enter the Gungeon, Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove, Castle Crashers, Hades all at a significant discount.