I met Steve Swink at last year’s E3 IndieCade showcase. Not only was he one of the most interesting guys I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet, but his game Scale was something else entirely. The concept is pretty simple: You have a tool that allows you to scale up (or down) the size of objects in the game. From there, you’re asked to navigate levels in a Portal-esque fashion, solving puzzles to advance through the level. One puzzle asked you to find a way across the Grand Canyon, with no objects around. The solution was simple enough: scale down the Grand Canyon. Stepping over the Grand Canyon like a crack in the sidewalk is one of those moments that makes gaming such an amazing medium. Look for Scale sometime this year.
6. Among the Sleep
So get this – you play as a toddler. No, shut up, I’m not messing around. You play as a toddler walking and crawling around your house at night. But of course, the mind of a two-year-old doesn’t process things like our more mature and able bodied minds can. Naturally, this means the game looks scary as hell, as everyday objects turn into the stuff of nightmares. The sound design alone gets me all excited about the game, let alone a fresh take on the horror genre. While no release date has been mentioned, 2013 looks to be the year we get to play this wonderful looking indie.
Like horror games, stealth games seem to be going through a bit of a renaissance in the indie realm, especially 2D stealth games. I never really imagined 2D being a viable perspective to play a stealth game from, but Mark of the Ninja sure changed that. And this year’s release of Gunpoint looks to further prove to me that 2D might be the best way to play stealth games. Hear me out.
The main gist behind Gunpoint is to sneak into a building and steal whatever goods your client asks of you. Pretty standard stuff, really. But the coolest aspect of the game is the rewiring mechanic. See, you’ll have this tool that’ll allow you to rewire rooms’ electrical systems. That means if there’s a huge electrically wired door blocking your way, you could rewire the light switch next to you to open up that door. Neat, right? That’s only the tip of the iceberg. Later levels become a mind boggling combination of rewiring and avoiding detection. The game is slated for a PC release initially, with Mac, Linux, and iPad versions maybe coming later.
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