Tonight’s Nintendo Indie World Showcase November 2022 featured no less than 22 games that can be classified as indie titles in one way or another. As usual, there are scattered showers in terms of genres, expressions and (above all) release dates. As usual, we at Varvat want to give a small summary of what the evening offered. This time we’re sorting it in release order, with today’s most recently released titles at the top.
Nintendo:’s presentations have always a surprise or two released in conjunction with the broadcast. This time it’s three.
Once Upon A Gestures
So brand new it’s not even up on GameFAQs yet. Once Upon A Gestures is a story-focused game with slightly less puzzles and reaction-based mini-games. The title was presented by a merry duo named Bonte Avond. Their previous games (Everybody Wham Wham as well as a couple of smaller titles) follow the same aesthetic and narrative style. The story is that you and your buddy are going to play musical theater and steal a royal diamond at the same time. It means keeping the mask and actually acting better than the other talents of the Royal Theatre.
Rogue Legacy 2
The sequel to perhaps one of the most appreciated roguelite games of all time. Rogue Legacy 2 was in Early Access on Steam and Epic for a long time, but since April of this year is a full-fledged release. The Switch release includes all previous updates, making this version (also available on Xbox One and Series X|S) a bit of a Director’s Cut.
A Little to the Left
Something for all people who find peace of mind in order. A Little To The Left was also presented by a cheerful duo (or trio, if we count the cat Rookie) and involves sorting and tidying – while a cat tries to “help”. Most cat owners (the undersigned included) will be able to identify with this title on some level. The question is whether it is enough to take a closer look.
There may be less than two months left in 2022, but there are still quite a few games coming before winter.
Woobledogs Console Edition (November 17)
A bizarre game where you take care of virtual dogs, with all that that entails. Gives some Chibi Robo-vibes and seems appreciated on PC and Mac, where it has been available since January 2021 and March of this year, respectively. Whether this “Console Edition” contains anything unique is still unclear.
Goodbye World (later in November)
A game about making games. A consummate layer upon layer story of trying to make ends meet while pursuing your passion. At least it sounded that way in the presentation. This genre is usually called pixel narrative and has masterpieces such as To the Moon among themselves. Soon we will find out Goodbye World is a story that can captivate in a similar way.
Inscription (December 1)
A popular entry in the line of card game battles – also a genre with liveliness. Encryption is at a stable 85 on Metacritic and has relatively recently debuted on other consoles. The publisher Devovler Digital rarely releases any mud crawlers and can be said to have found gold this time as well in the collaboration with creator Daniel Mullins.
Aka (December 15)
A French studio, Cosmo Gatto, lies behind this seemingly relaxed, completely open little world. As a spa not quite unlike the one in A Short Hikeis the world i Aka full of characters, puzzles and places to interact with and explore. The allure of being able to do it completely in your own order and pace provides Aka a very stress-relieving impression and really puts it on the undersigned’s radar.
Sports Story (December)
It’s been pretty quiet around Sports Storythe sequel to 2017’s Golf Story, since the game was unveiled in 2019. So now we know it’s coming this year, and with a trailer that suited fast pucks. The world and interaction possibilities are completely different from the predecessor. Sports story looks to be a smorgasbord of exploring, puzzling and mastering different sports, all with delicious pixel art.
Most games, 14 of the 22, are unfortunately further away than the turn of the year. But on the other hand, 2023 is not far away now.
A Space for the Unbound (January 19)
Asian media such as anime are completely obsessed with the genre term “slice of life” (I myself prefer the term pixel narrative). A Space for the Unbound is a post in this genre. It takes place in a village in Indonesia during the 1990s and is about two high school lovebirds who together end up in supernatural circumstances. The studio The Mojik has quite a unique style, and fans of anime, like the undersigned, will probably find a story worth exploring.
Blanc (February 14)
Naturally released Blanc on Valentines Day. And we wouldn’t want it any other way. This black and white little cuddly game will delight many a couple this coming Valentine – true to my word.
ONI: Road to be the Mightiest Oni (March 9)
A 3D action adventure where you play as a defeated oni with a desire for revenge. ONI: Road to be the Mightiest Oni somewhat reminiscent of Pokemon Legends Arceus, in most good ways. It could very well be a memorable journey through an ancient, demon-infested Japan.
Have A Nice Death (March 22)
Here you play as Death, and your workplace is falling apart. It is your task to clean up the trail, and that with the scythe at its highest. The combat system looks really robust, and if it weren’t for my aversion to randomness in rogue-like games, I’d be salivating at the premise.
Storyteller (March 23)
A somewhat odd combination of puzzle game and story where you seemingly have to piece together your own story. The description boasts the epithet “award-winning”, even though the game has not been released yet. Annapurna Interactive, which is responsible for the publication, however, has a portfolio of really interesting titles from the past. Maybe joins Storyteller to that crowd shortly.
Curse of the Sea Rats (early 2023)
A platform game with RPG elements and richly animated cutscenes. And a support for up to four players on the same couch. This might be the best thing I’ve read about since Rayman Legendsand I’ll be watching it with excitement for a release date closer than “early 2023”.
Desta: The Memories Between (early 2023)
From the creators of Monument Valley. Described as a rogue-like game where you have to play a metaphorical ball game in the style of ghost ball/killer ball. Desta: The Memories Between appears to feature an impressive amount of voice acting and an unexpected focus on story for a game that markets itself as turn-based ball sports. Considering the studio ustwos history, however, it may be worth keeping an eye out for. It is also released on PC, Android and iOS, with the latter being published by Netflix.
Japanese-style RPG with a wrestling theme. This sounds like something from the mind of Suda51, but is clearly more indie than that. If the pixel art feels familiar, it’s not just you, though; Mega Cat Studios is behind games that Coffee Crisis, Little Medusa and Bite the Bullet. Varvat didn’t give much for the former, but the style carries a certain respect with it.
With a name like Dordogne risks this title drowning among all the new games. After seeing it in motion, you really want to make sure it doesn’t. Dordogne is luxuriously illustrated in an unmistakable watercolor style. If the story of Mimi and her late grandmother is half as beautiful as this art form, that in itself is worth investigating.
Venba had to start the evening’s presentation. A somewhat unexpected, but welcome choice. The game is about an Indian family that moves to Canada and tries to keep an important part of their culture, namely the food. The way to someone’s heart is easily through the stomach, they say. Venba seems to capitalize (or rather relish) on this saying with a plethora of South Indian recipes complemented by a graphic style that seems to highlight the delights even more, despite its simple, children’s book-friendly illustration.
Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus & Butterfly (Spring)
The sequel on Coffee Talk from 2020 and the next in the line of visual novels set behind a bar (besides the mentioned Coffee Talk have we Necrobarista and VA-11 HALL-A). We can reasonably expect more of the same, i.e. even more supernatural stories from people who want to quench their coffee thirst and ease their hearts in the fikat’s promised facilities.
World of Horror (Summer)
Junji Ito meets 8-bit computers in this little horror game we wrote about earlier here at Varvat. Now it’s the Switch’s turn to get a dose of this low-res horror.
Pepper Grinder (2023)
Mr. Teasing and (perhaps most of all) Jill from Drill Dozer is joined by a new drilling protagonist: Pepper. It is not surprising Devovler Digital who undertook to publish Pepper Grinder. In the role of Pepper, you have to use your trusty drill to get through drill-friendly terrain and lots of puzzles to recover your stolen riches. A motivation as good as any.
Botany Manor (2023)
Botany Manor sounds a bit like the 3DS classic StreetPass Garden in first person view, but with a bit more puzzle aspects added. A solitary manor must be decorated with everything the plant kingdom has to offer and it is your task to do so. These word choices in and of themselves make it sound like an approaching horror game, but Botany Manor in all seriousness looks like a very calm garden simulator with a little extra bite.
There we have it all. The Nintendo Indie Showcase for November 2022 still offered some surprises, as usual. It also felt nice to receive Blanc‘s release date and a rough timeframe for Sports Story. What will you play out of these 22 goodies?