Indie Roundup: May 2018
Published on May 31, 2018
It’s the end of the month, and that means it’s time for another installment of Indie Roundup! Here are a couple of indie games that the viewport team had the chance to check out.
Disclaimer: All games in this article have been provided to viewport for free by the publishers.
Animal Super Squad
Release Date: May 18, 2018
Platforms: Windows, Nintendo Switch, iOS, Android, PS4 (Played on Windows)
Previewed by Tristan
Developed by DoubleMoose partnered with Revelmode (a media company owned by Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg), Animal Super Squad is a quirky action adventure game with a fair bit of challenge. With a polished UI and smooth-as-butter engine, the game is akin to Trials Fusion, complete with a level editor.
In Adventure mode, you start by taking control of Ruthie, a fearless chicken that is exploring the world. As you progress, you’ll unlock different pilots, such as Ethan the Sloth or Corndog the Pufferfish. These choices are only cosmetic changes, as all the characters play the exact same. The premise of all levels is simple: get to the end. What stands in your way are mines, spikes, waterfalls, and complex ramp designs that will try to stop you at every opportunity. Your pilot will die from a single hit from any obstacle, but restarts are quick, and checkpoints are plenty to minimize frustration while keeping a high level of challenge.
To help your pilot, the game has various vehicles that they can use. This is where the game introduces different types of gameplay, and almost a puzzle-like experience as each contraption has a unique “boost” the help navigate the levels. You start with the “Flush Master” a toilet that provides a nitrous-like boost when you flush it. But you’ll quickly unlock others as you progress, such as the “Flame Flower,” a fire extinguisher with wheels that boosts when you hold down the spacebar. Or there’s the “Bike + Kopter,” a flowerpot with rotors that will provide directional thrust depending on your orientation. There are certain portions of the game where you will be locked to playing with a specific type of vehicle, but in general, the game does well to provide freedom in experimenting in different situations.
The physics engine that’s employed in the game is reasonably respectable: each object has its own hitbox and mass, and the vehicles you drive have different components that are destructible that affect the way it moves. For instance, each axle can be destroyed separately, and handling is affected by which one comes off. Flight and momentum are generic enough to feel familiar to most players but isn’t detailed enough to create frustration.
Aside from adventure mode, Animal Super Squad also features a full level editor and custom playlist. There are already some unique levels that the community has created, with entirely different experiences than the A to B gameplay. I fiddled with the level editor for a bit and found it reasonably intuitive to use and provides a lot of features that allow creators to push the boundaries.
Overall, Animal Super Squad is an enjoyable game that acts as an accessible alternative to games such as Trials Fusion or Trackmania. The developers definitely have spent a lot of time refining the game, and it results in it one of the better indie games I’ve played in recent years. I would definitely recommend checking it out as the community continues to evolve. You can check out Animal Super Squad on Steam.
Release Date: April 6, 2018 (Early Access)
Platforms: Windows, Mac (Played on Windows)
Previewed by Tristan
Developed by EvilCoGames, TERRORRHYTHM (TRRT) is a cyberpunk rhythm action beat ’em up game where you play as a rebel against a totalitarian world.
The gameplay is relatively straightforward, with your character standing in the middle of the screen, with enemies running at you from the left or right edges. The controls should feel familiar to anyone that has played One Finger Death Punch, with arrow keys controlling your attacks on either side. You can power up your attacks to take out multiple enemies at once or deal additional damage to bigger foes.
Where TRRT is able to set itself apart is with two unique features. First, being a rhythm game, all your moves must be made to the beat of the current song. Failing to do an action or trying to move offbeat will cost you a “turn,” letting the enemies close in on you while your move is thrown away. Next, your character has a limited range that they can attack in, and will decrease every time you hit an enemy. You can increase your range by pressing down during a beat, but this will leave you vulnerable to damage. With these two points, TRRT is able to show that it’s more than just a pure rhythm game.
Although the controls are simple, the game does well to add layers of complexity to the game. There are a variety of enemies that are slowly introduced to the player that require different approaches to beating them. Since the levels are randomized on every playthrough, memorizing the sequence won’t help, and you’ll need to be thinking on your feet to make it through alive.
Another great feature that TRRT has it the ability to play the game with your own songs. You can upload any song on your computer, and the game will automatically detect the BPM and load up a level. There’s 4 difficulty settings you can play on and the option to double the BPM if you want to slash your way through a slower song.
A ranking system and a global leaderboard round out the game nicely to keep players coming back. If you’re looking for a unique rhythm game that requires more than muscle memory and reflexes, TERRORRHYTHM might be the game for you. You can grab the game on Steam.
Release Date: May 25, 2018
Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux, Nintendo Switch, iOS, Android, PS4, Xbox One (Played on Switch)
Developer/Publisher: Goblinz Studio
Previewed by Tristan
Dungeon Rushers by Goblins Studio is a tactical RPG that combines dungeon crawling and turn-based fights. Initially a mobile game that released back in 2016, it recently hit the Switch this month.
You’ll spend the bulk of your time traversing through the different dungeons that litter the world map. You and your party of up to 4 different characters will explore and battle the enemies that inhabit these maps. Each member is unique and comes equipped with different abilities for both in and out of battle, and a skill tree to spend points on. A full inventory system also exists, with the option to min-max the perfect build depending on your playstyle.
Unfortunately, the game feels a bit overloaded with features that don’t have the room to be fully fleshed out. Weather effects, crafting, bonus challenges, party member set-up and heroic modes all compete for your attention. Although all of them are good on paper, none of them feel fully utilized and don’t feel satisfying. For example, the crafting system is great on paper, but there’s no consistent way to get the items you want to farm, and it feels far too grindy.
This is not helped by the fact that the game is somewhat buggy, especially on the Switch. It doesn’t support the Pro Controller, UI elements feel tossed all over the place with button prompts blocking other essential icons, and it’s easy to soft lock your game. I’ve had to restart the game multiple times, and every time I did so, it would nullify by progress in the current dungeon, requiring me to play through it again.
Although the intent of the game is admirable and ambitious, its execution and implementation miss the mark. We recommend waiting for a couple fixes and updates before trying this out. If you still want to dip your toes, you can check out the game on the Switch eShop.
If you are a developer/publisher and would like your game previewed by viewport, please reach out to Tristan (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more details.