Nintendo’s Indie Highlight presentation was definitely looking to promote games with eye-catching blends of genre. Indies have always been about unique experiences, but I have never fought off a zombie with metal or played cards in a steam-punk fantasy world. However hard these games will be to explain, it’s clear 2019 is going to be a good year for indie gaming.
The honor of the first revealed indie went to Double Kick Heroes, and, get this, it’s a heavy metal, high octane, zombie shooter rhythm game. Picture Guitar Hero, but with hordes of undead and you pretty much have it. Through the power of sick rifts, you fight enemies chasing behind your tour vehicle like a zombie T-Rex or a tank bursting to the brim with writhing tentacles. From what we saw in the trailer, Double Kick Heroes leans in hard to its over-the-top kick-ass premise.
Also, there are several pit stops for the weary road warrior that come with special mission objectives. One scene of the trailer shows a dilapidated jail block decorated with a body hanging from chains on the ceiling and pentagram graffiti. There is a shop tucked into the corner and the top right of the screen reads “Investigate the airport.” Double Kick Heroes will be coming out first on the Switch this summer.
From dark destructive to cheery construction, Forager looks like Stardew Valley and Minecraft had a baby, a top down open world baby. And, like a good parent, your job it to nurture it and watch it grow. Level up your home base, character skills, equipment, and friend network by harvesting resources and attacking enemies. Your little marshmallow blob can wield a number of different tools to get the job done. Use the pickaxe to break down the innocent sentient plants seen above and a sword to swirl through enemies in various dungeons. A quick glance at the bottom menu shows you can also equip bombs and a wand-like instrument, but maybe not from the get-go.
While many of these elements may seem familiar, you can solve puzzles and construct building like many other games of this ilk, Forager also gives you the ability to construct the open world around you. Connect chunks of snowy expanses, grassy fields, or desolate deserts to each other to widen the world and gain access to resources. Forager doesn’t have a definite release window, only a cryptic “coming soon,” but, since every other indie in the presentation was shooting for 2019, it’s likely the game will also come out this year.
CrossCode promised a gripping sci-fi story, which at first seemed at odds with the pastoral landscape in the trailer, but then hedgehogs sprouted helicopter blades from their back and started floating around. One of the characters, a red-haired young woman with a enthusiasm for punching things, seemed just as taken aback as me watching these pigs fly.
Her companion was less impressed, which makes me think the red-head’s not from around these parts. This 16-bit action RPG will probably begin with a stranger in a strange land hook, which I’ve always been a sucker for. CrossCode will be coming to the Switch in 2019 with a “host of exclusive content.”
Nintendo closed its Indie Highlights with a tease that turned out to be Image and Form’s new game: SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech coming to the Switch sometime in 2019. As a history/literature nerd, I loved the humorous play on words, so I was intrigued just from the title. The video revealed a card-based steam-punk fantasy game – an unusual mix that fit right in with the rest of presentation’s indie line-up.
The hand-drawn graphics are gorgeously rich, and the mechanics all revolve around your card deck, which you’ll build throughout the adventure. The game’s heroes embody its genre-melding spirit. True to archetypal fantasy form, you have a spell-caster, knight, and alchemist in your party, and they all just happen to be robots.