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27 Features

The A to Z of next generation indie games

By Iain Wilson on Friday 21st Jun 2013 at 2:26 PM UTC

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D4 (XO)

D4 is an episodic murder mystery from Deadly Premonition creator Hidetaka "Swery65" Suehiro, and promises to be just as weird as his previous offerings. The name represents the full title, Dark Dreams Don't Die, and also time as the fourth dimension, with main protagonist David travelling back and reliving past memories to try and solve the murder of his wife. Although you'll be able to use a controller the game is designed primarily for Kinect, but rather than relying on wild arm gestures it will instead utilise voice controls and smaller movements, so it can be played while sitting down and relaxing.



Waking up in an abandoned hospital with only a mobile phone to provide light, this psychological survival horror game sees players exploring the institution's dark past while trying to escape from it. It may sound like a familiar set up, but what sets Daylight apart from similar experiences is the procedurally generated world it takes place in, meaning no two playthroughs will be the same and players can never get comfortable in their surroundings. There are plans to use the PS4's PlayStation Eye camera to capture players' reactions to scares, which can then be shared on social networks if you feel brave enough.



Intrepid gentleman scientist Wilson finally completes his work on a new machine, only to find it has been possessed by a demon that transports him off to a strange wilderness. In this frightening new land there is only one goal - staying alive - which means gathering resources to craft items and build structures, avoiding dangerous creatures and, of course, finding food so you Don't Starve. With no levels, point scoring or loot involved, the game is instead focused on the intrinsic reward of seeing how long you can survive, while exploring the mysterious randomly generated world to uncover its secrets.



With Galak-Z, developers 17-BIT are aiming to take the classic 2D space shooter genre and combine it with the combat offered by modern FPS games. Rather than facing waves of brainless ships serving as bullet fodder, your enemies now have a high level of AI to give you a real challenge. You'll need to plan your tactics when you find enemy patrols, as they work together to provide covering fire and call for backup. PS4 juice is harnessed by giving physics to most objects, asteroids bouncing off your craft and enemies smashing into each other in procedurally generated explosions.



As a collaboration between artist Richard Hogg and developer Honeyslug, who previously worked together on Frobisher Says, Hohokum intends to subvert the usual aims of a videogame to offer an altogether more relaxing experience. Players guide a flying snake-like character through abstract worlds, and although there are goals and secrets to discover the game is intended more as a playground to explore and experiment with. The whole thing is unlocked from the start, meaning you can go wherever you like and quickly lose yourself in the soothing mixture of colourful visuals and music.



Twisted Pixel must have whipped out the funny cigarettes when dreaming up the story to this one: a sentient motorcycle named I.R.I.S. is manufactured and trained in martial arts, then becomes self-aware after being struck by lightning and escapes to seek her freedom. But, wait: her mechanic Pablo gets dragged along for the ride, except as her translation module has been fried she can't understand his Spanish. Er... yes. Gameplay is a mixture of street racing and combat, with Pablo pitching in to assist in shooting, jumping and kicking.

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