Welcome to Indie Insights, a look at all the indie games I have somehow managed to play in the last fortnight. Nope, not that one.
However, the actual Fortnite has been in the news this week regarding the outcome of a lawsuit that aimed at the practices revolving around in-game purchases from Epic and the game. You can check out the full story here. $245 million? I don’t expect much Flossing is happening over there now.
This fortnight (still not that one), I had the opportunity to review Theatrhythm Final Bar Line, which was a lovely experience. On the flip side, I reviewed Bleak Faith: Forsaken, a game that has promise but is clearly not finished and has also been dealing with some asset-based upsets this week.
There hasn’t been much time for indie treasures this week, but I still had time to check out a few short experiences, so let’s get to it!
A free-to-play dating sim, Lovebirb comes from Anonymous Penguin Studio. Not only is it a dating sim where you are a bird trying to date other birds, but it is also a rhythm game and completely insane. You are Evercrumbly Finch, and after six months of wallowing in sadness after a breakup, your friend Russo is on hand to get you back in the dating game. This involves installing the dating app Bumbirb on your phone and guiding you through how to date.
Each date involves selecting a response to a question your date asks you and performing the correct sequence to the beat using your arrow keys. These are simple enough mechanics, to begin with. As you go on more dates and somehow convince other birds to go on more than one date with you, different mechanics, like holding other keys along with the arrows or holding them down, are introduced.
As well as being a fun rhythm game and a cute dating sim, every bird you meet is UNHINGED. There’s a Woodpecker called Scott who is on parole. Additionally, a duo of birds called Melon and Mona are obsessed with death and My Chemicaw Crowmance. There’s also a Communist penguin named Bobo who has an anarchy symbol tattoo and is 98 in human years. Incredible.
You can grab Lovebirb on Steam for free now.
Another off-kilter dating game, Necronomnomnom is a visual novel-style game. For some reason, you have decided to try and date an Eldritch horror from the deep. Unfortunately, the demo version from Pixel After Pixel only allows you to see a maddening glimpse of the potential Lovecraftian love you could experience.
Taking place in Café R’lyeh, you must first take a personality test to determine a good match for you. Do you wish to become a Deep One, forever languishing underwater? Perhaps you aim to become a Great Old One, existing beyond the cosmos and hungering to consume the world. Currently, any choices you make don’t actually make a difference.
Your only available match is green, tentacled nightmare Lil’y. Throughout your date, you must choose dialogue options and menu items to advance the evening and ultimately choose your fate. All the dishes and drinks are based on Eldritch creatures/lore with things like Kraken Stew and All Seeing Pie. As the night goes on, your date begins to talk more about the horrors you cannot see. Simultaneously, candles that chart your love and madness levels sit flickering in the gloom to your left and right.
The art is fantastic and detailed, and the concept is interesting. It’s not the only Eldritch-influenced dating sim out there. But the entwining of food and choice into the mix is promising. The short demo is currently available for free on Steam.
- Space-based bartending sim Startenders: Intergalactic Bartending comes out today, March 17, for PC, PSVR, and PS4.
- Hack and Slash roguelike Flame Keeper is also released today, March 17, on PC and Nintendo Switch.
- Open-world tropical adventure game Tchia will be released on March 21 for PC, PS4, and PS5.
- Roguelike Have a Nice Death is released on Nintendo Switch on March 22.
- Narrative-driven fantasy Saitou comes out on March 23 for Linux, Mac, and PC.
- The mysterious fishing game Dredge is released on March 30 for PC, PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X. Look for my review closer to its release!