Dr. David's Indie Roundup: BitSummit, Jazzpunk, Rain World, and more
So many independently developed projects, so little time. It's that time of the week when we take a look at some of the bigger stories on the indie side of the gaming spectrum. If you're looking for upcoming games to get excited about, you'll find a few suggestions here. There's also a new release, and news on the indie dev scene in Japan, which is one of the more untapped regions as far as smaller games are concerned. All that and more on this week's Indie Roundup.
Alrighty then, let's talk indie games!
BitSummit returns to Japan
Japan isn't exaclty know for its thriving, bustling indie game scene. Sure, you've got your offbeat and just plain weird games, but these come mostly from bigger publishers. In Japan, it's hard for smaller studios to craft a legacy the likes of, oh, Team Meat and Jonathan Blow. That's why it's great to know that at least there's some activity going on in that spectrum with BitSummit. For the unaware, BitSummit brings together devs, media types, and even bigger companies like Valve.
Last year, BitSummit was introduced to Japan and was considered a success. Now, the second annual event will hopefully raise awareness and shed light on smaller projects from Japan that you may not have heard of. You can get more information about BitSummit on the official website.
Jazzpunk launches next month
Last time we took a look at Jazzpunk on the Indie Roundup, we weren't sure when the game would launch. Developer Necrophone Games' Luis Hernandez took to Twitter to announce that the game would launch on February 7. That's great news, and if you've kept up with the game, you're likely stoked about its forthcoming launch. If you've yet to look into Jazzpunk (shame on you), check out a trailer of the game below. It's so blissfully weird!
Jazzpunk is an adventure game that features an emphasis on cool gadgets. It's totally like one of those old detective shows! If actually playing it is anywhere as crazy, endearing, and charming as the trailer, we're in for a fun experience.
Nidhogg now stabbing fools on Steam
Designer Mark Essen has officially launched his lovely project Nidhogg. The game features two-player sword-based dueling gameplay across pretty pixelated lands. It's all about the local multiplayer here, which is pretty great considering that's something we don't see nearly enough. Of course, if you're a sad, friendless person — or if you want to play with some friends online — you can always jump into the game's online multiplayer component.
Nidhogg is currently available on Steam for $14.99, though you can snag it at a discount for $11.99 until January 20. You can also purchase the two-pack (because yay friends!) for $26.99 ($21.59 during the launch sale). If you dig local competitive gaming, get stabby and enter the world of Nidhogg.
Outlast wants to scare PlayStation 4 owners for free next month
Do you own a PlayStation 4? Do you have a PlayStation Plus subscription? Do you also enjoy scary games? Furthermore, do you like free stuff? If you meet all of the extensive criteria I just mentioned, then you're in luck (if you don't, I can't help you) because Outlast from developer Red Barrels is coming to the PlayStation 4 next month. The best part: it's going to be free for Plus members.
Outlast became notorious for scaring the crap out of people (figuratively only ... hopefully) when it launched on Steam last year. It looks like PlayStation 4 owners are in store for that very same jump scare-heavy experience come February.
Rain World is a beautiful-looking Kickstarter project that stars a slugcat
Do I even need to elaborate? I mean, I said “slugcat.” That should technically be enough to send chills down your spine, a shot of blood to your eyes, and froth out of your mouth. Seriously, slugcats may be the most awesomely adorable things since Mario's Cat Suit. But since you insist on me explaining the concept in more detail, I'll do exactly that.
Rain World has been in development for three years now, and the dev team has taken to Kickstarter to help fund the rest of its creation cycle. Funds will go to hiring an experienced C++ contractor, testing and quality control, art design, AI tweaks, and more. Just looking at the GIFs provided, Rain World definitely looks like a potentially magnificent endeavor. The animation is already plenty fluid, but the developer wants to make sure everything is just right.
Check out the Rain World Kickstarter for this endearing project, and if you're interested, why not give the devs a few bucks? In addition to the crowd-funding campaign, the game has been submitted to Steam Greenlight, so give it your vote if this endeavor is something you'd like to see on Steam.
Want to talk about indie games, Kirby, or cheap pizza? Follow me on Twitter @dr_davidsanchez.