Though all the commotion has been for Geoff Keighley’s Summer Game Fest showcase, any viewers who stuck around after the show on Thursday would have found that it was actually Double Fine and iam8bit’s Day of the Devs 10th anniversary showcase that provided some of the most interesting gaming spotlights so far.
Now the longest running independent games festival, Day of the Devs is a celebration of independent developers—the show shining a spotlight upon some of the most creative names coming up through the industry currently. From small dev teams to games made solely by one person, these spot-lit games are a testament to a simple love of gaming and the power of digital creativity.
With 16 games shown off in total, we provide a quick rundown of the best of Day of the Devs Tenth Anniversary!
Planet of Lana: An Off-Earth Odyssey
Developed by Wishfully, a small indie studio in Sweden, Planet of Lana: An Off Earth Odyssey is a beautiful looking sidescroller about companionship and adventure. Wishfully describe it as a cinematic puzzle adventure framed by an epic sci-fi saga that stretches across centuries and galaxies.
For fans of Inside and Limbo, Planet of Lana looks to have a similar eery style with monsters and horrors in abundance, and yet a hopeful and loving streak to it too. Your adventure takes you through wonderful hand painted environments in the midst of an alien invasion. Your quest to find your missing sister puts you into companionship with a mythical creature known as Moa, and in this pairing you will be faced with puzzles and challenges along the way which will require the two of you to succeed.
Planet of Lana will be coming to Xbox and PC later this year.
Time flies when you’re having fun with a videogame, and it flies even quicker when you are simple house fly with the life-expectancy of around 80 seconds.
Developed by Michael Frei and Raphael Munoz, Time Flies puts you into the life of a fly, and all the excitement that entails. The purpose of Time Flies is to highlight the limited time we all have on this world, and so to make that point your fly with live for the average life expectancy of your home nation paired down from years to seconds. This determines how long your fly has to achieve a number of bucket list items before death inevitably comes.
Your bucket list might be to play an instrument, or get drunk, get rich, etc, but of course each of these tasks comes at the risk of death. Want to get drunk? Well unfortunately for a fly that comes at the risk of drowning in whatever drink you plunge yourself into.
It’s simple looking, but a cute, fun idea with a clear philosophy behind – live each day like you’re a fly! Or maybe that’s not quite it…
You can find out for yourself next year on Switch, PlayStation, PC and Mac.
Choo Choo Charles
And now for the source of all your sleep paralysis nightmares for the next year. Developed solely by Gavin Eisenbeisz (studio: Two Star Games), Choo Choo Charles is an open world horror that sees you facing off against an evil spider train called Charles. Yes, you read that right.
As mental as Choo Choo Charles sounds, the reality is no less bonkers. With Choo Choo Charles your sole goal is to ride your train and face off 1v1 against the evil Charles in a fight to the death. To be ready for this ultimate combat however you will need to explore the island, completing quests and finding resources along the way which will help you to upgrade you train and stand you in better stead for your fight. You’ll ride around the one track on the island, taking daring stops to venture out and hope that Charles doesn’t find you alone and defenceless without your train.
The game looks like a tonne of fun with some mental ballistics action and heart stopping chases, as well as just being perfectly terrifying and creepily atmospheric as you explore the island too. If this is the next evolution of our Slender type games then frankly I am all aboard!
Coin Crew Games were previously known for creating real life escape rooms; now they’re building them digitally too with Escape Academy – a puzzle and escape room game where you are learning to become the ultimate escape roomer.
With Escape Academy you are a student at, well, the escape academy where you will be put through your paces in increasingly difficult escape rooms where the stakes are always being raised. A narrative will build as you progress, and you’ll be able to explore the academy too and speak to fellow students and your teachers who will also help to guide you through you time at the academy.
The rooms look like they are a lot of fun, founded on the ideas of real escape rooms and heightened to slightly more unrealistic scenarios that are only possible in a digital space. The result? Some truly wacky rooms for escaping.
Escape Academy comes to Xbox, PlayStation, and PC July 14.
From another sole developer, Naiad is a tranquil puzzle adventure game in which you float through rivers as a magical water nymph repairing the human damage left upon the natural world. Developed by Elwin (studio: Hiwarp) in Spain, Naiad is a simple commentary upon the environmental crisis we currently face, as the game makes very clear that it is the human vehicles and industry that are destroying Naiad’s world.
Despite its subject matter, Elwin made clearly in his segment that the adventure of Naiad is intended to be peaceful; a serene, wholesome experience that can be enjoyed at the players leisure. Like a river he just wants players to explore and flow with elegant fluidity. The art style also confounds on this as it is presented beautifully with a vibrant water-colour quality.
Naiad will be coming to PC later this year.
Ewoud Van Der Werf and Nils Slijkerman of the Netherlands have been working on SCHiM—a minimalist 3D platforming game in which you jump from shadow to shadow. You play as a Schim—the soul and spirit of an object, thing, or living being. Everything in the world has one, but unfortunately you have been separated from your person and must find your way back.
To do so you can jump from shadow to shadow in a very minimalist, abstract world that has life moving all around it. You’ll be timing jumps with moving and stationary shadows to traverse the world in what is a really unique game style. Along the way you’ll also find small stories of other objects and people that have lost their schim’s, which you can help to put right.
I love the look of this game and the platforming style looks very enjoyable. Unfortunately, no date is set for release but you can currently wishlist it on Steam
Fox And Frog Travellers: The Demon of Adashino Island
Fox and Frog Travelers: The Demon of Adashino Island is still some years off from completion, but the brief peak we got at it from Rias and Asobu Hub has us very intrigued.
Fox and Frog Travelers is a 3D action adventure set in Japan. You play as Fox, travelling with your Frog companion and exploring the Torii gates, stalls and neon glazed streets of Adashino Island. However not all is quite as it seems as a dark demonic force seems to be stalking you too, hungering for your flesh.
It’s hard to get a read on quite what the game actually is based on the very limited information the showcase gave us, but nonetheless the art style and the eery atmosphere to the trailer had me excited for whenever it may come.
If you wish to support any of these games check out dayofthedevs.com and wishlist any titles you are interested in on Steam.