In a way, it’s already June, which means it’s time for the Indiescovery team to shake off our existential fears of the transience of existence and take a look at our favorite indie games from the first (almost) half of 2023. No Don’t worry, we quickly realize that June has such a tricky lineup that we can probably give you a Best Games episode to make up for the fact that we touched on this topic a bit earlier.
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I start by talking about Birth, a delightful puzzle game about natural decay and the bonds between people, and then revisit pixel art life sim Tiny Life now that it’s available in Early Access. Rachel hosts the emotionally charged open-world cycling mystery Season: A Letter To The Future, and Liam can’t get enough of the retro shooter Slayers X: Terminal Aftermath: Revenge Of The Slayer, which is (a)thrillingly launching today and (b) it deserves to win some sort of award for most subtitles in a video game name, seriously, Kingdom Hearts can only dream of. We also all love Dredge, but decided that we’ve talked enough on the podcast, and that you should go back and listen to Episode 8 if you want to hear our thoughts on why he’s most likely a GOTY competitor.
In the second half of the episode, we summon the Ghost of Games to Come and list some of the indies we’re still hoping to see by the end of 2023. Liam can’t wait to get his hands on El Paso Elsewhere, the From An action shooter. the Dusk Till Dawn style we never knew we needed so much; and Knuckle Sandwich, a colorful turn-based RPG where combat takes place through WarioWare-style minigames. I opt to sing a list of upcoming games with a release date to be confirmed as something of a protective spell for all the hard working indie developers out there, before naming the recently delayed Goodbye Volcano High as one I’m still hoping to see sooner than later. The Year’s Over Meanwhile, Rachel is sending out good vibes to the developers working on the dimension-bending storybook platformer The Plucky Squire and the nostalgically radical skate/bike/parkour adventure Bomb Rush Cyberfunk, the which aim to launch later in 2023.
Finally, and as always, we delve into our current hyperfixations. Following his secondment to cover The Legend Of Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom for some of our sister sites that recognize the console, Liam discovered that this hidden gem from Nintendo is a really good game, actually. I’m back to playing the visual novels (surprise, surprise) and enjoy the contrast that comes from continuing the decidedly non-indie Paranormasight: The Seven Mysteries Of Honjo with the extremely indie fangame Love Is Strange. And while Rachel never expected to talk about Kylie Minogue on an indie gaming podcast in 2023, she just can’t get the new single Padam Padam out of her head!
The gang is also excited to announce that we’re a member of the jury at Indie Cup UK ’23, an online festival celebrating indie developers, so be sure to check out our friends at IndieCup.net to see what we’re up to!
Indiescovery is a RockPaperShotgun.com podcast. All music is by Dylan Sitts; the songs are Tahoe Trip, Pool Sticker and Express Check-in. Thank you for your time!