In a blog post penned by Head of Indies Shuhei Yoshida, PlayStation revealed their brand new “Indie Initiative” project. The program, which has been in development since the fall of 2019, seeks to highlight exciting indie titles available for PlayStation platforms, including both the PlayStation 4 and upcoming next-generation PlayStation 5 consoles. Yoshida explained that players may not be aware of these offerings because the video game market is so crowded already, so the goal of the Initiative is to provide a space to share information about indies which might otherwise slip through the cracks.
Yesterday, July 1st, was the first official day of the “Indie Initiative”. Sony kicked things off with a bang – an eye-popping nine new indie titles were revealed throughout the day! These ranged from action shooters to brain-twisting puzzlers to heart-breaking narrative adventures. There’s a little bit of something for everyone coming to PlayStation 4 and 5 this year!
These indie games, which will all be available for either PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5 or both, are as follows:
Worms Rumble, the latest entry in the popular Worms action shooter franchise from Team 17. Released to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the series, Rumble represents a move away from traditional turn-based gameplay and will instead be the first Worms title to feature real-time combat. As a result, the worm characters will be able to move faster than ever before, crawling and rolling around the arena at crazy high speeds.
Worms Rumble is currently planned to release later in 2020. The title will support cross-platform multiplayer and will feature extensive customization options as well as a brand new survival mode called “Last Worm Standing”.
Haven is a relaxing open world exploration game developed by The Game Bakers. It takes many traditional RPG and adventure game elements – such as weapons, skill trees, task checklists, crafting, and more – and either simplifies them or eliminates them entirely. The creators’ goal was a game which would feel like a relaxing adventure, without all the numbers and stress which often come with a modern day gaming experience.
Haven tells the story of a loving couple, Yu and Kay, who explore a mysterious planet by gliding around its surface and collecting energy and other resources. Co-op play will also be supported.
Puzzle adventure Carto was developed via collaboration between Sunhead Games and Humble Games. Players will travel to different worlds and across vast new lands to recover pieces of a missing map. Rearranging these pieces can lead to the discovery of an entirely new land. With unique, colorful art and tons of worlds to explore, the game will focus on the experience of meeting new people and experiencing their cultures and ways of life.
Currently, Carto has only been announced for release on the PlayStation 4.
Announced as a PlayStation 5 exclusive, Phigames’ Recompile combines platforming, puzzles, and third-person combat. Players take on the role of a sentient virus who must hack their way through a virtual realm called “The Mainframe” in order to avoid deletion. Along the way, the player takes actions and makes choices which lead to the development of the world’s first truly self-aware AI.
Recompile will offer extensive replay value as the player can progress through the game in multiple ways to create vastly different Artificial Intelligences.
Releasing in winter 2020, Where the Heart Is by Armature Studios will debut for the PlayStation 4. The narrative adventure follows main character Whit from childhood to adulthood as he experiences all the triumphs, failures and mysteries of a full life. Players will switch between grounded “real world” locations and surreal settings based on characters’ mental states, hopes, dreams and fears.
Where the Heart Is will feature multiple routes and choices depending on how Whit interacts with other characters and the kind of relationships he builds with them.
Maquette, developed by Graceful Decay, combines puzzle and story elements within a unique recursive world. The world is nested inside itself, allowing players to manipulate everything from the sizes of objects to the very rules of the world itself. Solving puzzles will require truly “outside the box” thinking, but each creative solution will leave the player feeling satisfied and proud.
In addition to a wealth of puzzles, Maquette will feature an intricate story based around recovering and traversing the memories of a couple in love.
F. I. S. T., which stands for Forged in Shadow Torch, will be making its way to the PlayStation 4. This exploration platformer from TiGames takes place in a dieselpunk-inspired world where animals and machines are at war with each other. Players will take on the role of an adorable but rather angry anthropomorphic bunny who wields a giant metal fist as a primary weapon.
In addition to an exciting platform-filled world to explore, F. I. S. T. will also feature arcade-style combat and a variety of weapons to collect and use.
In Heavenly Bodies, developed by 2pt Interactive, a courageous cosmonaut is tasked to repair and maintain a space station. The player must complete various tasks by manipulating their arms and legs within a weightless, gravity-free environment. Gameplay centers around adapting to the depths of space, using the tools at your disposal, and learning how to function without the gravity us Earth-bound humans instinctively rely on.
Although it will be releasing for both the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5, Heavenly Bodies will make particular use of the PS5’s unique features. Haptic feedback will allow you to feel every shake and rattle of the spaceship, while adaptive triggers assign distinct feel and density to objects within the game.
Amanita Design’s Creaks, coming to PlayStation 4 this summer, tells a story all about ambiguity. Players will explore a mysterious mansion filled with seemingly sinister, dangerous creatures. However, exposing these creatures to light and taking a closer look might just reveal them to be nothing but simple, harmless furniture and junk. The entire environment can be manipulated and explored by the player in order to defeat the strange “creaks” which inhabit it.
Creaks also features a stunning, one-of-a-kind aesthetic which combines the gorgeous and the sinister. The different areas of the mansion can be terrifying, but they will also contain great beauty and a whole host of secrets.
To learn even more about these new indie titles, you can check out the individual entries for each one on the PlayStation Blog. The writers, designers and developers from each of the nine indie studios have stopped by to share more about the process of creating their games.
The PlayStation Indie Initiative is scheduled to continue throughout the rest of 2020. Many more new and exciting indie titles from a whole host of developers will be revealed for both the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 (as well as some games which will be debuting for both!) Keep an eye out right here on GameLuster as we keep you up to date and cover each of these awesome new announcements throughout the year!
Which of these newly announced indie titles are you most excited for? What other sorts of indie games do you hope to see revealed as part of the Indie Initiative? Let us know!