The Day Of The Devs showcases are always some of the brightest spots in the biannual trailer’thon gauntlets, and this year’s inaugural edition for The Game Awards is no exception. There were 20 fresh-faced indie games highlighted in tonight’s 90-odd-minute stream, and cor, there are some right old gems in here, too, with brand-new game announcements from the devs behind Genesis Noir, Kind Words and Tangle Tower to name just a few. We also got more in-depth looks at some of this year’s most intriguing indie games that previously only had an enigmatic teaser snippets attached to them. So come and join us below, where you’ll find a digest of all 20 announcements from this evening’s showcase, as well as the stream in full if you’d prefer to watch it all as it happened.
You can watch the whole Day Of The Devs stream above (as well as the Wholesome Snack show that follows on straight afterwards). Alternatively, we’ve got all the details on the announcements below, so read on for more!
Immersive sim Militsioner tells us more about its giant policeman
Surreal immersive sim Militsioner first caught our eye two years ago when developers TallBoys released a tiny two-minute gameplay trailer about a man trying to escape from an enormous policeman sitting in the centre of a town. It was an intriguing, strange and oddly alluring concept at the time, and now that we’ve seen an even larger chunk of the game in action, I’m more excited than ever to play it myself. The premise is exactly the same – you’re an “ordinary no one” who hasn’t done anything noteworthy, let alone committed a crime, but you nevertheless get arrested one morning (or rather plucked and hoisted unceremoniously up into the sky to be peered at and examined by the giant bobbie’s scary bulging eyes). Now, under his ever-watchful gaze, you must escape.
There are many routes you can take, but this new trailer reveals you can talk to the giant at any time, and maybe even become his friend if you give him a good enough reason. Some areas will only be off-limits if the policeman’s in a bad mood, too – and the devs say that every character has a “Tamagotchi-like mood system” you’ll be able to manipulate as they follow their individual daily schedules. “It’s basically like a dating sim,” they add – only, err, that you might also end up jail if it all goes terribly wrong. Militsioner still doesn’t have a release date yet, but the devs say they’re “deep into development”. For now, you can find out more on Steam.
Nirvana Noir is the next game from the Genesis Noir devs
Good news, Genesis Noir likers. Feral Cat Den are back with another musical odyssey in the form of Nirvana Noir. Set in a cosmic city where “alleyways dissolve into celestial voids” (isn’t that always the way?), you play a watchmaker living a double life, all set to the raucous jazz tunes of returning composers Skillbard. However, when those two lives collide unexpectedly, you get drawn into a conspiracy that brings your split existence together “in an explosion of colour and crime,” the devs say. I say: yes please and thank you.
It sounds like Nirvana Noir will be more interactive than Genesis was, too, with the devs mentioning “dialogue-based detective work” where you’ll need to read between the lines to uncover the truth and get into the mindsets of different characters. There will also be leads you can follow in your investigation that have more clues hidden inside them as well. It all sounds right up my cosmic alley, if you ask me, and Feral Cat Den say they’ll be launching a crowdfunding campaign to let players “leave their own mark” on the game, too. No release date yet, but you can find out more on Steam and its crowdfunding website.
Thank Goodness You’re Here! still looks great in new trailer
First announced at this year’s Gamescom Opening Night Live, this gorgeous hand-drawn “slapformer” made by Yorkshire-based duo Coal Supper is one of my most anticipated games of 2024. This latest trailer shows a little bit more of the demo I played during my Gamescom preview, as well as many more of the colourful inhabitants you’ll be encountering in the fictional UK town of Barnsworth. You play a salesman who’s arrived in town way, way, way too early for his appointment with the mayor, so what better way to kill time than by helping out the local townsfolk with their weird and whimsical quandaries? With each odd job beckoning you with a bellowing chorus of characters shouting the game’s title, this is a game that goes places, and it’s a trip I cannot wait to take at some point next year. Keep an eye on it over on Steam.
Flock tells us how its creature charming works
Hollow Ponds and Richard Hogg’s creature collectathon is very almost here, and this latest trailer finally shows us how its charming system works, and how you’ll go about identifying all the different species you’ll encounter during your journey. As hinted at during my interview with the devs earlier in the year, the giant bird you ride will need to sing to different creatures in order to charm them and add them to your eponymous flock. You’ll also need to maintain a steady distance between you and your new would-be pal in order to convince them to tag along, but some creatures are trickier to charm than others. Some will actively hide from you, while others can only be found in certain habitats.
You’ll also need to identify and categorise new critters upon discovery to add them to your creature guide, which you can do by following the clues and notes left to you by a zoology professor called Aunt Jane to narrow down exactly what type of beast you’re looking at. We also get a long-awaited glimpse of the meadows you’ll be leaving your sheep to graze in, too, which will reveal further secrets about the world over time the more time they spend chewing the cud. I’m very excited to play Flock, and it’s coming to Steam in Spring 2024 (and hey, there’s a free demo you can play right now, too!).
Disclosure: Pip Warr, formerly of this parish, is a writer and narrative designer on Flock.
Kind Words 2 (Lofi City Pop) is official!
Well, this is a lovely surprise, isn’t it? Charming letter writing game Kind Words is getting a sequel. As you’ve probably already guessed from the new title, Kind Words 2 (Lofi City Pop) expands the universe of PopCannibal’s cosy note ’em up to include a whole(some) little town you can explore outside the bounds of your sunlit box bedroom. You’ll still be able to write letters to strangers from your desk at home, but step outside and you’ll find even more distinct areas you can visit to express your hopes and dreams.
From the trailer, it’s a little bit like social MMO Sky: Children Of Light, but also with a touch more Animal Crossing about it, too. You can go to the coffee shop to write poetry, for example, you can climb a mountain to wish on a star in the night sky, shout into the literal “wiggling void” stuff you don’t want recorded or kept, and you can also chat to all the other characters you see wandering about in the streets, typing out replies in real time. Heck, you can just sit on a bench and watch the paper airplanes fly by on the wind. It looks delightful, and you can sign-up for the upcoming playtest on Steam right now.
Hermit And Pig gets a fun(gi) new gameplay trailer
Hermit And Pig was one of my favourite EGX Highlights this year, and this latest trailer gives you a pretty good idea why. You play the titular hermit who lives in the woods with his truffle-hunting pig, and this turn-based RPG is all about foraging for mushrooms, fighting the local wildlife who come chasing after you with its fighting game-style attack combos, and maybe helping out some of the strange townspeople who you meet along the way. This new Day Of The Devs trailer gives a great overview of how all that works in practice, and you can find out more about it over on Steam.
I still don’t know what Dome-King Cabbage is, but heck, this is our best glimpse yet
Dome-King Cabbage is a surreal sort-of-RPG that’s been on my radar for a long old time now, but despite being utterly enamoured with its peculiar visuals and mix of real-world objects with virtual environments, I’ve also never been entirely sure what it is or how it plays, or even if it’s really much of a game at all. Happily, this latest trailer gives us a proper, long-awaited look at solo dev Cobysoft Co’s delightfully odd little game, and I now feel confident enough in what I’ve seen to confirm the following things: it is a) a short visual novel that is b) set in the world of a monster-collecting RPG. The RPG in question looks to be a retro, almost HD-2D kind of affair with lovely-looking pixel art, but it’s also revealed that this is merely a game within a game – the latter of which has much more realistic-looking visuals. I still can’t tell you exactly how these two halves intersect with each other (let alone how its trippy dream sequences fit in), but either way, I’m more intrigued than ever to find out. Cobysoft Co say they’ll “still be a while before I’m done with Dome-King Cabbage,” but you can find out more on Steam.
Trippy Metroidvania Ultros gets a February 13th release date
We’ve had a few looks at psychedelic Metroidvania Ultros already this year, and this latest trailer confirms that yep, this is absolutely something I would very much like to play. (Turns out, I have, and you can read my more in-depth thoughts right here). The best piece of news from this new gameplay trailer, however, is confirmation of its release date. Mark your calendars for February 13th, folks, as that’s when Ultros will be hitting Steam and the Epic Games Store.
Loose Leaf is a new witchy tea brewing sim from the makers of Boyfriend Dungeon
Move over Coffee Talk, it’s time for the world’s tea drinkers to get some much needed love in the increasingly bustling drinks-making visual novel arena. Not too bustling mind, as this latest project from Kitfox Games is very much at the cosy end of the simulator spectrum, giving you a top down view of your semi-circular tea-making station to boil and pour your kettle, steep your (naturally) loose leaf tea, and rustle through your various pots and jars of accompanying treats and flavourings. Kitfox say they’re making “the most in depth tea brewing simulation ever”, and watching the debut trailer, I can believe it. You’ll need to control the temperature, timing and select the ingredients of your tea, before serving it on a beautiful metal tray – so you better watch out for spillages, because this tea will slip and slop all over the shop (and your pots can clack and chnk together if you bash them into one another, too!).
Loose Leaf isn’t just about brewing a good cuppa, though. As the trailer reveals, it also has a visual novel, tarot-reading element to it as well. You are a witch, after all, so you’ll be reading customers’ fortunes and building relationships with them while they sip their freshly served hot drinks, using the cards to help them tackle and explore their personal problems and anxieties. It also sounds like humans won’t be your only clientele either, as the trailer concludes by positing that age-old adage: “What if monsters would like a cup of tea, too?” No release date just yet, but you can find out more on Steam.
Holstin pulls another neat perspective trick in its latest gameplay trailer
When we first clocked survival horror game Holstin a few months back, we were extremely taken with its unsettling pixel art. What looks to be an isometric game at first glance quickly reveals itself to have fully 3D sets with dynamic lighting that casts long, eerie shadows within each environment as you swivel the camera. And in this latest trailer, it pulls another clever perspective trick out of the bag, revealing that when you aim down sights with your pistol, rifle or shotgun, the game zhuumps down to an over-the-shoulder Resi 4 ’em up, bringing you up close and personal with its collection of cursed horrors and giving you a much greater degree of control over your shots. Yer man Tomasz even has a very Leon Kennedy-esque jacket to complete the picture. Developers Sonka aren’t ready to set a firm release date for Holstin just yet, but while you wait, there are currently two demos you can play on Steam right now, with a third one coming sometime next year.
Music-making roguelite Oddada gets an adorable new trailer
If you liked messing about in Nour: Play With Your Food, you’re going to love the music-making roguelite Oddada. Here, you experiment with musical machines, creating tunes of your own making by fiddling about with its levers, buttons, keys and, well, whatever else you’ve got to hand. It looks utterly delightful, and if you’re wondering where the roguelite element comes in, you’ll be pleased to hear that each playthrough will give you a randomised set of levels and instruments to use – and the more you play, the more you’ll unlock to play with on future runs. The goal of each level is to create your own little musical snippet that you can save and then record onto an in-game cassette at the end of your journey. These cassettes can either be kept to yourself or shared with others online, and you can, of course, customise the colour, look and label of each one, too. Coming to Steam sometime in 2024, Oddada is music to our ears.
Cryptmaster doesn’t want to get typecast in its new trailer
In the wordy, dungeon crawling puzzle RPG Cryptmaster, you must serve a creepy necromancer who’s raised you from the dead to do his bidding. He’s quite an odd bloke, in all honesty, as you’ll begin by helping him guess the names of objects hidden inside mysterious chests, typing in correct words such as ‘Helmet’ or ‘Sword’. A bit like demonic Wordle without the guess limit, if you will. Then, once you’ve guessed the correct item name, you’ll go on to use those letters to regain skills you knew while you were alive, such as ‘Hit’ or ‘Yell’, allowing you to explore newer, deeper areas of this godforsaken realm to unearth yet more chests and commands and new characters to engage in conversation. There are also plenty of other riddles and word-based puzzles to solve along the way, and honestly, I’m very much down for it. It’s coming to Steam sometime in 2024.
Llamasoft: The Jeff Minter Story announced from The Making Of Karateka team
After telling the story of Prince Of Persia creator Jordan Mechner through a mix of archive footage, game recreations and specially-compiled interview chats, the team at Digital Eclipse are back with their next interactive documentary project: Llamasoft: The Jeff Minter Story. Chronicling Minter’s 40-year+ development career through early design documents, vintage photos and all-new video interviews, this looks like yet another must-have for history buffs and arcade enthusiasts alike. It also has 42 Llamasoft games from across eight different platforms you can play directly, including Grid Runner Remastered, and the demo for Attack Of Mutant Camels ’89, which was produced for the never-released Konix Multi-System. Alas, no release date just yet, but keep your eyes peeled for more info next year.
Fighting game Drag Her! gets a new trailer
One of the highlights from this summer’s Xbox Games Showcase Extended stream, fighting game Drag Her! features real-life drag queens who have competed on RuPaul’s Drag Race and The Boulet Brothers Dragula -and in this new Day Of The Devs trailer, we get to see more of them in action. Its 2v2 round robin mode gets a showing, as well as its single player arcade mode. No release date yet, but you can find out more on Steam.
In case you forgot Braid existed, here’s another trailer for its Anniversary Edition
Remember Braid? Braid’s coming out again next April thanks to its new Anniversary Edition, which comes with shiny new artwork, support for high resolutions, remastered music and sound, and 15 whole hours of developer commentary. Is there more to say about Braid than what’s already been said? Probably not. It’s Braid! The little guy in the suit!
Open Roads is coming out on February 22nd
Open Roads hasn’t had the smoothest of rides to release, but now that it’s under new management with the Open Roads Team, this mother-daughter road trip mystery adventure finally has a launch date. Coming to Steam on February 22nd and starring Keri Russell and Kaitlyn Dever as its central pairing, you’ll be delving into the forgotten family history of Opal and Tess as they seek out the truth about their family’s murky past. As well as navigating tricky conversations, you’ll also be exploring places in first-person, and rooting out clues and secrets that have been lying dormant beneath the surface. Think of this latest trailer is a welcome pitstop while we wait for the full thing.
Racing game Resistor shows off its RPG gameplay trailer
And now for a very different kind of mother-daughter road trip, Resistor is a racing game attempting to coin the somewhat terrible phrase “CaR-PG”. Set in a grim, wasteland dystopia where the only way to get your ailing mum the proper hospital care she needs is to compete in high-speed, turbo-charged death races, Resistor combines the frantic and chaotic racing of games like F-Zero with musical rhythm challenges. As well as coming in first in pole position, you’ll need to time your tricks and takedowns to the beat of the backing track so you can score maximum style points to win over the baying punters. It’s not just your fancy gear stick changes that can help win you a loyal audience, though. By exploring locations on foot, you can also chat with the locals to build up your reputation (*cough*complete some sidequests*cough*) and make a name for yourself that way. Still no release date for this one, but you can check it out over on Steam in the meantime.
Home Safety Hotline is an extremely cursed Hypnospace-like and I’m 100% here for it
In Home Safety Hotline, you play a phone operator tasked with figuring out the strange goings-on of your call-in customers. As you browse your delightfully Windows 95-esque software system for answers, the subject of your calls just start getting weirder and weirder – as this latest Day Of The Devs trailer shows to great effect. This is the first time Home Safety Hotline’s been brought to my attention this year, and I’m immediately sold by its text-based horror thrills.
At first, you’ll be dealing with everyday pests and household hazards, such as bats, bed bugs and black mold, but the curiously marked ENTRY INACCESSIBLE options hint at much stranger things lurking in the database. You’ll need to diagnose customer problems accurately or let them “suffer the consequences,” according to developers Night Signal Entertainment, but luckily you can place them on hold for as long as you need. Happily, there are also phobia toggles you can enable that break the database photos of the threats in question, so it should be reasonably approachable, too. There are also cryptic messages to solve, and lost archives to sort through, and yep, I need this game immediately. Luckily, it’s coming to Steam in early 2024.
Janet DeMornay Is A Slumlord (And A Witch) gets a new surreal and spooky gameplay trailer
Landlords are often scary and mildly haunting creatures at the best of times, but Janet DeMornay fits that description to a tee, being both a literal slumlord and a witch in this first-person horror game. To be honest, her tenants should have known something was up just from the neon ‘Live, Laugh, Lease’ sign visible above her desk, but that’s not even the half of it. As the trailer shows, there are lots of other sinister and surreal things going on in this rented flat, and you’ll need to get to the bottom of it (in your underwear, no less) in order to survive. A big part of the challenge comes from simply navigating the house itself, say developers Fuzzy Ghost, and working out how Janet’s strange collection of mechanical memorabilia can help you solve the flat’s deepest conundrums. It looks suitably spooky, and I can’t wait to find out more when it releases on Steam in 2024.
Tangle Tower sequel The Mermaid’s Tongue announced (and there’s a demo!)
Rounding out this year’s Day Of The Devs: Game Awards Edition showcase is the best news of all. There’s a sequel to Tangle Tower in the works, and there’s a demo you can play right hecking now over on Steam. The Mermaid’s Tongue picks up the story of Detective Grimoire and his excellent assistant Sally as they attempt to solve the locked room murder of Captain Magnus Mortuga aboard a mysterious submarine. Once again, fingers are being pointed every which way between members of the submarine’s crew, but could the curse of some “vague paranormal entity” also be responsible for the slash across Mortuga’s throat? All will be revealed when The Mermaid’s Tongue comes out in full in 2024, but you can bet your blood-drenched knives I’ll be hoping over to Steam right now to go and play its first look demo. Come on now, off you pop. That murder isn’t going to solve itself, is it?
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