It is the middle of August, and AAA games are scheduled to arrive and overtake gamer’s attention spans any day now. For most, it’s time to finalize your backlogs, save up your funds, and dive into the new releases. Some will rejoin the Spartan program, some will wander the wasteland, and some will craft their own Mushroom Kingdom. For others, it’s time to look at indie games too. It’s always a good time to look at indie games, their developers, and the screenshots they put up every week on Twitter. Here are five of them that caught my interest this week.

Beard Blade. What a concept. A little man who uses his facial hair as a weapon and a grappling hook. Immediately I’m engrossed by the concept, as well as the excellent pixel art which showcases Beard Blade’s (which is also the character’s name) ability to shape-shift his beard into spiked iron balls and giant fists. Haven’t really seen a blade though. The developers must be saving that for closer to release. In any case, another game in the tradition of body-as-weapon platformers like Dynamite Headdy or Decap Attack is certainly welcome by me.

I’m a big supporter of STRAFE, the FPS rougelike which looks to bring gamers back to the Quake days with an ever-changing shooter playground. Other than Ziggurat, there haven’t really been many big games pushing that subgenre forward, and GIBHARD looks to give it a shot. It also knows that great FPS games have singular titles that are all capitalized. The green goo shown off in this screenshot and some of the graphics remind me a bit of Unreal Tournament, and I hope between this and the other random FPS games in development, we strike on another real winner.

We covered MegaSphere here on the Screenshot Survey way back in March, and I could honestly fill up several of these articles just with cool GIFs of this game in action. I figured it was time for an update, as the game now has a Steam page and is listed as going into Early Access very soon. It will be strange to soon see weeks without at least one new preview of the game, but I’m sure that actually playing the thing after so long will soften the blow somewhat. Here’s hoping that my prediction of having a sci-fi Rouge Legacy to play is somewhat true!

Here is a game that is rather early on in its lifespan, both in game development and social media presence. Vile is a Nuclear Throne-style top down rougelike where you play as a Van Helsing-style dude hunting your standard array of ghouls and/or goblins. All pretty typical so far, but the art style and the speed of the game both seem superb, and some of the enemy designs are rather unique, which is always welcome. As for this particular tweet, there are many ways to dodge bullets, but few ways cooler than cutting them in half with your blade. Certainly a game to look out for in the weeks and months to come.

Alright, we’ve highlighted a few too many rougelikes in this one, so instead let’s go back to the beginning and look at another 2D platformer that has already passed through Steam Greenlight. Here is Brock Crocodile, a game that harkens back to the many Genesis games of this ilk in the 1990s. In particular, the UI elements are straight out of old school Sonic titles, which might put some people off. Me personally, I think that style was underutilized in its day, and as long as the game has as much unique stuff as Freedom Planet, it should be fine. Someone has to make new Sonic games after all.

What games in development have you had your eyes on? Are you going to keep playing indie games this fall, or will you be sucked in by the AAA hype train? What weapon would you want your beard to turn into? Answer these questions below, and join me next week for another Screenshot Survey!

Alex Santa Maria

Reviews Editor

TechRaptor's Reviews Editor. Resident fan of pinball, Needlers, roguelikes, and anything with neon lighting. Owns an office chair once used by Billy Mays.

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