June and July are notoriously known for being the "dry season" in the games industry, a period of time where the big publishers take a step back to announce what they have lined up for the rest of the year. It's not a great time for AAA releases, but indie developers use this time to release their more obscure titles without fear of being swallowed by the release of a massive blockbuster. Here are just five of the interesting, quirky, and unique indie games coming out this month, whether that be fully or just in early access.
Hokko Life - June 2 (PC)
First up is Hokko Life, a cozy little life sim developed by Wonderscope and published by Team 17. Right from the off, you can see that Hokko Life is clearly a game that wears its inspirations on its sleeves. Stepping off the train into a town full of anthropomorphic animals makes it impossible to avoid comparisons to the Animal Crossing series, but Hokko Life attempts to set itself apart by offering the player a seemingly limitless level of customization. You'll be able to build your own town to your own specifications, design your own furniture, and create your own clothes.
Yes, Animal Crossing: New Horizons allows you to do the same things, but Hokko Life will purportedly offer an incredible level of depth that allows you a level of freedom not seen in Nintendo's premium life sim. You can pick what fabric to make your chair cushions out of, and there's a full 360-degree placement system allowing you to place furniture wherever you want.
Then there's the bug catching, fishing, and requests for your neighbors to bulk out what is looking like a very calm and relaxing title. You never know, Hokko Life might just scratch that itch if Animal Crossing: New Horizons has left you unsatisfied. Hokko Life launches in early access today, so check it out on Steam to show support if you think it might be your kind of thing.
The Last Spell - June 3 (PC)
Another title hitting early access next month is The Last Spell, a very unique tactical RPG with roguelite elements from developer Ishtar Games. The reason why The Last Spell is so different from your average TRPG is that it attempts to merge several different genres into one package. Most TRPG's have you taking on a handful of enemies, but The Last Spell has you fighting hundreds of undead monsters at once in challenging turn-based combat. Basically, imagine a game like They Are Billions or Dynasty Warriors, make it turn-based, and then have waves of the undead charge at you until they're all vanquished.
Ishtar Games then complicates matters even further by adding a base-building section on top of everything else. During the day, you'll need to build up your defenses with limited resources, then try to survive the nighttime and the aforementioned undead hordes, and then asks you to go again.
The Last Spell launches onto early access on June 3, but a Switch port has been announced for release at some point at the end of the year. If you like the look of the game, you can go wishlist it on Steam to keep yourself updated on the game's development and make sure you don't miss the game's early-access launch.
Chivalry 2 - June 8 (PC, PS4, Xbox One, PS5, Xbox Series X)
Fans of the original Chivalry will no doubt be aware the long-awaited sequel is finally being released next month. Chivalry 2 has you and a bunch of other players team up in epic, large-scale medieval battles that take place in a variety of different scenarios. With a vast array of weaponry at your disposal, you and your team will storm castles, slaughter peasants, and engage in all-out warfare to ensure your team is victorious.
I won't go into too much detail as we have a preview of the game's beta if you'd like to know more. Chivalry 2 will be made available on June 8 for PC as well as every home console apart from Nintendo Switch, although be aware that Chivalry 2 is a timed Epic Game Store exclusive and won't be available on Steam.
Ender Lillies: Quietus of the Knight - June 22 (PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch)
Next up is Ender Lillies: Quietus of the Knight, a game that was recently showcased during Nintendo's indie Direct in April. Developed by Live Wire and published by Binary Haze Interactive, this curious indie Metroidvania caught the attention of many because of its similarity to other hit indie games such as Hollow Knight and Child of Light. You could also sprinkle in a little bit of Dark Souls as well, as the game promises challenging combat and a wide range of formidable boss fights to overcome.
You'll be able to play the game your own way with the use of abilities and hidden relics, and your actions will shape the outcome of the story. Ender Lillies: Quietus of the Knight is looking to be quite a promising Metroidvania, possibly one that could reach the heights of the games it is clearly influenced by. The game's first three chapters are currently available in early access, but the full game launches on June 22 for all systems. If you'd like to learn more about the game before jumping in, we recently published our preview of the game's early-access launch.
Phantom Abyss - June 2021 (PC)
Last but not least is Phantom Abyss from Team WIBY. Published by Devolver Digital, Phantom Abyss is likely going to be an experience like no other you've encountered before. Described on the game's Steam store page as an "asynchronous multiplayer game," your goal is to run to the end of procedurally generated, Indiana Jones-style temples whilst dodging all kinds of traps to recover an ancient relic. What makes Phantom Abyss unique is that you will also be running alongside several ghostly apparitions of other players who have failed in their attempt at recovering the relic.
To successfully navigate your temple, you'll need to use these ghosts to find hidden traps and avoid them. It's not about beating these ghosts to the finish line but using them to succeed where they failed. Recover the temple's relic and you'll then be given access to more dangerous temples and better rewards. Phantom Abyss currently doesn't have a release date but is expected to launch in early access in June. Devolver Digital does have plans to share more details about the game during this month's Summer Game Fest, but for now, you can wishlist the game on Steam to make sure you don't miss the release date announcement.
That's it for this list of great-looking indie titles coming out in June! By no means is this list definitive, rather it's a list of the more interesting and unique indie games coming soon. If there's nothing on this list that interests you, there'll likely be one or two indie games out there to tide you over until the next big release.