The Moon Is the Ocean Brain by Yames – https://www.patreon.com/yames_games
Here it is if you need additional reasons to support Yames on Patreon. I won’t spoil the experience, but this is beyond brilliant game-making; this is the future of horror literature.
Far Solita: [Think/Again] by Lucas Ângelo / Ahopness – https://ahopness.itch.io/far-solita
Get territorialized by barebones game mechanics. Get deterritorialized by your need to scream. An object to make you think.
Cyberia by phasein – https://phasein.itch.io/cyberia
Speculative insights on how to conceptualize a liminal architecture for future raves.
A Most Important Night by tober – https://tttober.itch.io/amin
If the aesthetic doesn’t induce a panic attack, the vicarious connection to the failings of your interpersonal interface will.
SUM by Plastic Bag Hand Man – https://lcivita99.itch.io/sum
A tale of speculative evolutionary biology told through a collage of various gaming mechanics. Hilarious no-holds-barred insanity.
Truth Loop 2 by 616 Games – https://616games.itch.io/truth-loop-2
War is hell, especially when haunted by the recursive curse of P.T. The Medal of Honor (1999) PSX era aesthetic is exceptionally well crafted and enhances the uncanny of the experience. I especially enjoyed each loop’s brutal conclusions.
Future Racer 2000 by Tim Oxton – https://oxblud.itch.io/future-racer-2000
I won’t say much, as I don’t want to spoil the experience, but this is some clever marketing right there.
Last Signal by Desolation Studio – https://desolationstudios.itch.io/last-signal
A concise game jam experience where the narrative acts as a pretext to present an exquisite landscape where architectural ruins are grafted with minimal bio-horror.
Hendecad by claufiersoft – https://claufiersoft.itch.io/hendecad
claufiersoft took the LSD formula and created something very unique out of it. The level design and care for details are impressive, encouraging you to explore every nook and cranny to find little hidden setups. This game left me with a broad smile on my face.
Branded by The Cheshire Cat – https://the-cheshire-cat.itch.io/branded
This minimal occult beat ’em up offers exquisite 2D aesthetics, especially the tarot cards. Neverending loop of brutality and soul absorption.
An Empty House by organzola – https://organzola.itch.io/an-empty-house
It’s tag with a shotgun – and a very dark story unfolding every time you survive in the arena of domestic horror. Cursed.
World Annihilation Operations: Space Manipulation by JesseAidyn – https://jesseaidyn.itch.io/world-annihilation-operations-space-manipulation
Outlandish, flamboyant, extravagant, and bombastic are a few adjectives to describe this game. You will need a computer from the future to run it as intended, as this is an excessive abuse of raymarching – but hey, this is the future of impossible worldbuilding. So tag along for a hell of a ride.
Decimate Drive by Some Random Designing – https://somerandomdesigning.itch.io/decimate-drive
Inverted Carmageddon, where you are the hunted. A highly efficient blend of Trucks (the Stephen King novel, more than the cocaine-fuelled Maximum Overdrive) and X Marks the Pedwalk by Fritz Leiber. There’s some potential for a full-size game here.
Kill the Man in the House by cannibal – https://cannibalfuckface.itch.io/kmh
The aesthetic Cruelty Squad comparisons are unavoidable, but this blueprint shows potential for accelerated ultraviolence and dumb steam letting. No strategy, just pure massacre. Necessary and welcomed.
Water Wheel by hiromu656 – https://hiromu656.itch.io/water-wheel
More Covid lockdown-inspired horror (with a vibe similar to F.…. mentioned above) proposing interesting lore and surprising twists. A strong PSA that we are only meat.
Meteor Strike by tobyo – https://tobydo.itch.io/meteor-strike
Glitching Counterstrike with some beautiful scenes.
Troisième personne du singulier by Meteor Strike by Leon – https://leon.itch.io/3me-personne-du-singulier
Broken FPS are the best FPS. An explorable Geocities website of dreamy ruined HTML.
Neo City Express by saint11 – https://saint11.itch.io/neo-city-express
An inspiration to all game developers: exploit irresponsible behaviors in game mechanics. Having to juggle between a typing game, Frogger obstacles-dodging, and substance abuse reflex games is the best way to promote safe driving habits.
Drone Delivery Despair by KenForest – https://kenforest.itch.io/drone-delivery-despair
Universal Paperclip from the point of view of the drones? The worldbuilding here, from the level design to the UI, screams the aesthetic of the end of the human project.
null by HexRae – https://hexrae.itch.io/null
Always a sucker for new approaches to interactive fiction, and this is a great one. The lack of context leaves all the space for the implied emotions, which leaves me with unexplainable melancholia. Also, great music.
Liminascent by Teagher Studio – https://teagher.itch.io/liminascent
From the team that brought you Just More Doors; the haunted pool comes back with a vengeance, and you’ll see it often, falling and failing to try to ascend this vertical maze. Frustrating (I suck at first-person platformers), but well worth the experience as there are some great design ideas.
Lighthouse of the Dead by Skinner Space – https://skinner-space.itch.io/lighthouse-of-the-dead
The proof you can make a House of the Dead-inspired on-rail shooter and inject it with personality.
OTHER GAMES PLAYED
Metroid Prime Remastered (Switch) – I didn’t play the game back in the Gamecube era; reviews mentioning frustrating control delayed my FOMO concerning this title (and I’m not much of a fan of Nintendo’s aesthetic in general). However, my perspective here is not tainted by nostalgia, so what a frustrating game. The useless backtracking is ludicrous, and at the half-point, I succumbed to punctually using walkthroughs – a few hints here, and there wouldn’t have been too much to ask. BUT. The music and the architectural storytelling are brilliant and ahead of their time even now. The exploration (aside from the backtracking) is the core pleasure of this game, as the combat is more of a hassle than anything else. It’s a game showing its age, but a time-travel well worth visiting as a tourist.
Dredge (Switch) – Lovecraftian fishing game with little horror and little fishing but tons of soul. I especially appreciated the lack of narrative exposure, letting the player piece the puzzle of this world by exploring, capturing aquatic aberrations, and reading various archives (the fish description are fantastic). Highly recommended.
Joe & Mac Returns (Switch) – I don’t know if the pervy cutscenes or the extremely cursed and terrifying implications of the final level drove the extreme discomfort I had playing this game. Also highly recommended.