For this year’s Day of the Devs: Summer Game Fest Edition, Double Fine and iam8bit partnered per usual to check out some of the hottest new indies coming to market soon.
In a collaboration between iam8bit, Double Fine Productions, and PlayStation’s “Indie Guy” Greg Rice, Day of the Devs: SGF Edition came through for another year with tons of incredible-looking indies to look forward to in the coming months and years. With announcements from Greg Lobanov (Wandersong, Chicory: A Colorful Tale), the return of a long-dormant indie, and an update from Heart Machine (Hyper Light Drifter, Solar Ash), the Day of the Devs: SGF Edition was eventful:
The newest title from Greg Lobanov and their newly-formed team Wishes Unlimited, Beastieball is a turn-based volleyball RPG where you coach a team of Beasties! With a huge open world and tons of different Beasties, challenge other teams and gain connections between Beasties to unlock different combo attacks—each unique to the combination of Beasties found. Coming in 2024 with a Kickstarter launching soon!
Hyper Light Breaker
The follow-up to Heart Machine’s Hyper Light Drifter, Hyper Light Breaker is a co-op rogue-lite adventure being published by Gearbox Publishing. Assume the role of a mercenary in an amazing overworld with lush environments and dense dungeons. Called “Breath of the Wild distilled into a rogue-lite like Dead Cells” by creator Alx Preston, Hyper Light Breaker can be wishlisted on Steam now before it enters Early Access later this year.
Transylvania-based developer stoneskip is creating Simpler Times with iam8bit Presents as the publisher. A chill, interactive experience, this meditative simulator has some Gone Home vibes, while letting the player “take a break and enjoy something meaningful.” With puzzles to complete and a deep story to uncover, Simpler Times is coming to PC and other platforms in 2024. Wishlight on Steam now!
Viewfinder from Sad Owl Studios and Thuderful Publishing has been making the rounds for its unique puzzle-solving gameplay where you take or find photos and make them into real 3D spaces. This first-person adventure game meshes the gameplay of Portal with the visual illusions Subliminal and the puzzles of games like The Witness or Manifold Garden. Coming soon to PlayStation 5 and Steam—Wishlist it now!
Discovered by the Day of the Devs team while scrolling Twitter and seeing a developer posted gifs of their upcoming title, Hauntii is a ghost story where, well, you haunt things. Utilizing exploration and discovery, this title lets you learn new abilities based on the things you’ve haunted. The team at Moonloop Games describes it as a twin-stick shooter, without the high-intensity moments, with a focus on using creativity to find solutions. Hauntii will release in 2024 on PC and consoles—Wishlist it now!
Cart Life was originally created in the early 2010s, winning several awards in 2013 at the Independent Game Festival, winning the Nuovo Award, Excellence in Narrative, and the Seumas McNally Grand Prize. Developer Richard Hofmeier then removed the game from sale in 2014, with AdHoc Studio jumping in now to give Cart Life a new release on Steam and consoles in Q3/Q4 2023. As a street vendor trying to achieve your dreams, try to balance your business with your personal needs in this retail simulator.
Co-found by YouTube personality Kwebbelkop, Phantom Coast is developing Helskate—a skateboarding action rogue-lite. With arcade-like skateboarding, Helskate is being made by the former Director of Tony Hawk’s Underground, and the gameplay shows it! Paired with the hack ‘n’ slash combat and you’ve got a unique combination of genres that bursts off the screen with its art style and soundtrack. Coming into Early Access in early 2024—wishlist it now!
From developer Lululu Entertainment and co-publisher popagenda, Henry Halfhead is one of my personal favorites coming from the indie space recently! With the ability to transform into literally anything he can reach, solve puzzles and go through “everyday life, with a twist!” Wishlist now on Steam!
From Geometric Interactive, led by founders Jeppe Carlsen, the lead gameplay designer of LIMBO and INSIDE, and the award-winning programmer/composer, Jakob Schmid, COCOON is an isometric adventure game where worlds are contained in small orbs. If you want to think of these orbs like the Microverse Battery in The Ricks Must Be Crazy episode of Rick and Morty, then you’d be on the right track. Using this mechanic, solve puzzles and power devices in order to reach a mighty guardian at the end of each world. Coming to Steam, Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo Switch later this year.
Developer Impossible is creating a relaxing, artistic exploration game in the vein of The Unfinished Swan, called Été [pronounced/ay·tay/, French for “summer”]. Every surface is a black canvas, gain experience points from coloring items to get new swashes on paints, and get art pieces commissioned by the people you meet. Coming to Steam in Early 2024.
The BAFTA-nominated team that brought you Alto’s Adventure and Alto’s Odyssey has started Land & Sea, a game development studio focused on folk games—and Summerhill fits the bill! Play as a shepherd and their dog in this story-driven puzzle game with pastoral landscapes and simple, herding gameplay. Wishlist on Steam now!
Coming in September of 2023 to PC, PS4, and PS5, Eternights is a JRPG, Hack n’ Slash, and Dating Simulation title… yes, really. Studio Sai is a one-person team “with some friends helping out” making this unique game where you’ll explore dungeons and fall in love. As awkward as dating could be can be found here in Eternights, so for those who enjoy a good visual novel, but also like beating the hell out of monsters, this one’s for you!
If you were someone who liked watching videos of people creating entire computers using redstone in Minecraft or if you simply enjoy tinkering with electronics, then Retro Gadgets will offer you something completely unique and super interesting! From developer Evil Licorice, build gadgets similar to Pico-8 or Shenzhen I/O’s format, and with community involvement, get crazy! Available in Early Access on Steam now!
Mars First Logistics
Also for those builders at heart, Mars First Logistics is an open-world physics sim set on a future Martian colony. Developer Shape Shop will have you carrying awkwardly-shaped objects across the planet with a Death Stranding-esque delivery service (not actually anything like Death Stranding besides the delivery part). Unlock robot parts and build bigger and crazier rovers in order to get your packages where they need to go. Mars First Logistics is launching into Early Access on Steam on June 22nd, 2023.
Saltsea Chronicles is a story-driven adventure game from the award-winning indie studio Die Gute Fabrik (Mutazione, Sportsfriends). The captain has gone missing and the crew must search for clues, where the player must decide where to go, who to use to explore, and what you’ll say along the way. Also featuring an in-game card game called Spoils, Saltsea Chronicles is packed with things to explore and do. Coming to PC, Nintendo Switch, and PlayStation 5 in 2023.
Started in 2012, Day of the Devs was created in partnership between Double Fine and iam8bit to invest in indie developers and highlight their creative works. The digital showcase format has run for four years, with all of these titles also available to play in person at Play Days.