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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Set in the Wild West, Secret Ponchos is a top-down twin stick shooter where gamers fight each other online in frantic player versus player duels to gain reputation and notoriety. Battling across five individual maps, players can choose from a number of characters that each have their own unique play style, weapon and secondary item, such as dynamite, adding variety to different match ups. Perform well in these fights and you'll receive a bounty on your head, encouraging other players to pursue you and even team up against you to improve their own reputations by taking you down.



Tiny Brains is a cooperative puzzle game in which players control one of four quirky animal characters, each with their own special ability, as they work together to escape from a mad scientist's laboratory. Although the focus is on four players working together you can swap between the characters if fewer participants are available, and if you're on your own the levels may dynamically change so the puzzles can still be solved. Each trial can be completed in a variety of ways using different combinations of the characters' powers, and there will be over a dozen challenge maps to take on at launch.



Bastion creators Supergiant are back with this isometric sci-fi action RPG, centred on a singer named Red who is being pursued by a group of assassins. After surviving an attack from these mystery assailants she takes control of a large blue sword, the titular Transistor, which then speaks to the mute character and suggests the attackers have taken her voice. Gameplay will be a mix of real time exploring and strategic combat, dodging enemies and charging up the Transistor before using a tactical view of the area to queue up a series of commands, which are then executed at high speed.



Warframe is a free-to-play third person shooter with an emphasis on cooperative play, as up to four players can team up and take on missions together. As well as rifles, pistols and melee weapons you are also equipped with powerful exo-armour, and all of these can be levelled up and modified by earning XP. Maps are generated procedurally to create a new setting for every match, and in addition to the various mission types available there will also be an Alerts system linked to a companion app, giving players access to tough missions for a limited time with bonus rewards for completion.



Gaijin Entertainment are bringing their free-to-play military MMO franchise to PS4, allowing players to take part in epic World War II battles using hundreds of highly detailed planes, tanks and ships. With the new hardware available the developers are promising intuitive controls for Dual Shock 4, and an improved head-tracking system that will presumably utilise the PlayStation Eye camera. There are over 1.5 million players already taking part in the open beta on PC, and Gaijin are currently working with Sony to see what cross-platform interconnectivity options they can offer in the future.



Braid creator Jonathan Blow's new project The Witness is a puzzle game set in the open world of a mysterious island, which needs to be explored to locate and solve its various conundrums. Right from the start there will be a number of different paths to take, and this non-linear approach means that if you get stuck in one particular area you can just move somewhere else. The island itself is compact and the whole thing can be crossed in a little over a minute, but according to Blow they've still managed to fit over 25 hours of unique puzzle gameplay into it without any filler or repetition.

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