Indie Game Highlights Worthy Of Your Time

By Mike Herauf on October 19, 2018 | Indie Games Featured Stories

Hey GeForce fans!  We’ve been highlighting new indie games all year long.  We highlighted Frostpunk back in April, Mothergunship in July, and FAR: Lone Sails in May.  The past few months has seen some solid indie releases, so let’s take a deeper look at Distance, Planet Alpha, Phantom Doctrine and Graveyard Keeper.

Distance
Publisher: Refract Studios
Developer: Refract Studios

Distance is an atmospheric racing platformer. Fusing futuristic arcade racing with parkour, survive a deadly, mysterious, neon-drenched city by jumping, rotating, and flying.

In Distance the roads are treacherous with obstacles around every corner. Instead of doing laps on a loop, survive to the end in the quickest time. The cars have abilities that not only allow them to drive on the track, but upside down and on buildings and walls. Players can also fly to discover new shortcuts and paths. Take on the roads alone, or in multiplayer with friends.

Distance features a campaign mode, several arcade modes, multiplayer, a level editor, and support for VR.  

Tight, responsive controls are key to the Distance racing experience. Distance plays great on GeForce so you can consistently achieve a high FPS for the smoothest gameplay.

Distance is enjoying a Very Positive user score on Steam with over 3,000 reviews. Both players and reviewers have found something to enjoy:

The Young Folks gave it a 8 out of 10 and said: “The most absolutely insane vehicular cyber-horror game you never knew you wanted.

Distance is available now on Steam and the Humble Store.

PLANET ALPHA
Publisher: Team 17
Developer: Planet Alpha ApS

Stranded on a mysterious alien planet. Injured and seemingly alone. With nowhere else to go… you press on into the unknown. PLANET ALPHA, a world of mystery, wonder and unimaginable beauty unfolds before your eyes. Your journey is filled with intricate puzzles, hostile creatures and deadly robots. Every step bringing you closer to uncovering the secrets lurking deep within, whilst putting you even deeper in the midst of peril.

PLANET ALPHA is a 2D platform puzzler, offering players a unique and visually enchanting journey through an alien world. It’s easy to become helplessly captivated by the strange creatures, luminous plants and ancient structures which surround you. However, in a heartbeat this world can change, revealing the danger which lies within. Quick reactions and pin-point precision are essential to traversing your way through the unpredictable terrain, without falling victim to PLANET ALPHA.

However, you are not left unequipped to survive your new surroundings…Bestowed with the remarkable power to control the solar system, players will manipulate day and night to reveal new paths, solve puzzles and experience the world in a new light. Players can enjoy the seamless blend platforming, stealth and puzzle solving, whilst embarking on a resounding journey filled with wonder and mystery around every corner.

The stunning visuals of PLANET ALPHA have not gone unnoticed, with an extremely positive Steam score of 87% and a Metacritic score of 72%, players and critics are finding themselves entranced by the beauty and mystery within.

GameSpace.com gave PLANET ALPHA and 8.5 out of 10 and said: ‘There’d be moments where the foreground would fly by in a blur, and I’d be captivated by majestic sky-whales or neon flying mantas. The lush, verdant landscape is literally brimming with moments of wonder’

GameSpew.com gave the game an 8 out of 10 and said: “It’s colourful, vibrant and incredibly varied. Every screen of the game feels like a work of art.”

PLANET ALPHA is available now on Steam.

Phantom Doctrine
Publisher: Good Shepherd Entertainment
Developer: CreativeForge Games

Phantom Doctrine is a strategic turn-based espionage thriller set at the peak of the Cold War. Drawing on a wide variety of influences and capturing the subtle intrigue of classic spy films, the game thrust the player into a mysterious world of covert operations, counterintelligence, conspiracy, and paranoia.

Starting out as either a CIA wet work specialist or a KGB spy hunter, players learn that something doesn't add up. While the Cold War is definitely real, their superiors aren't telling the whole story. Getting closer to the truth has a price, and soon their protagonist ends up running a rogue intelligence operation, outlawed by their own nation and naturally hunted by the other side. The real enemy: a sinister conspiracy with a global reach and no scruples about fanning the flames of the international conflict for its purposes.

Phantom Doctrine's tactical missions play out in a familiar turn-based, grid-based format, albeit with interesting twists: from replacing RNG chance to hit with an additional resource called Awareness, to evade incoming attacks and activate combat abilities. If shooting it out is not your preference, Phantom Doctrine fully supports stealth gameplay: from lockpicks and suppressed weapons, to hand to hand takedowns, you can be the unseen menace.

The strategic part of the game is just as impressive, letting you recruit, manage and train a team of uniquely skilled operatives. You'll dispatch them on missions to all corners of the world, sabotage the enemy's actions and maintain your hideout, a temporary base which must be kept hidden or risk a hostile raid.

It wouldn't be proper Cold War without spy gadgets, weapons from the era and shady espionage techniques, complete with an MKUltra facility, where agents can be interrogated, brainwashed, flipped against their employers or even fitted with a tracking device to lead us to their base. The twist is that the enemy can do the same thing to your team!

With a positive rating on Steam and a good selection of excellent press reviews, Phantom Doctrine is a fresh take on a beloved genre and setting.

IGN gave Phantom Doctrine a 7.4 out 10 and said: “Whether you’re reading classified documents, wracking your brain over whether or not pursue a lead that could lead to an ambush, or plotting every step a spy takes on their way to assassinating their target, every move you make in Phantom Doctrine carries an urgent tension. That’s a hallmark of every great spy novel, movie and TV show you’ve ever seen. “

Gamespot gave the game an 8 out of 10 and said: “There is a lot to admire, with a single-player campaign taking about 40 hours to complete, full of varied and interesting mainline missions and procedurally-generated side content.”

Strategy Gamer gave the game a 5 out of 5 and said: “To say this is essential strategy gaming is an understatement.”

Phantom Doctrine is available now on Steam and GoG.

Graveyard Keeper
Publisher: tinyBuild
Developer: Lazy Bear Games

Graveyard Keeper from Lazy Bear Games is a dark humor cemetery management sim where you have to make a profit by any means necessary.

The protagonist dies in a car crash and wakes up in a medieval cemetery. When you wake up, you learn that you are now the graveyard keeper. Apparently the old graveyard keeper left, so now you must run the show.

As the graveyard keeper, players will be faced with many interesting tasks. Things like selling blood and body parts, creating hot dog meat out of “questionable” items, gathering skulls for ritual sacrifices, using human fat to make candles, and using human skin to make paper.

All of this happens in your standard dungeon crawl and area exploration style of gameplay. You’ll manage the graveyard, manage a farm and church, and you’ll mine and dig for resources. You will fish and craft, nap, bee-keep, and research all sorts of different tech. Basically, you’ll never run out of things to do. Oh, and don’t forget the dead bodies. They’re dropped off each morning, you don’t want to leave them by the curb...

Players have really taken to Graveyard Keeper. It was quite popular upon its release and it hasn’t slowed down much since. 

Graveyard Keeper is available on Steam, GoG, and at graveyardkeeper.com.

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Here are some other games that have recently released:

  • Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age - the first of the long time console RPG series to come to PC, and it supports NVIDIA Ansel.
  • Dead Cells - this rogue-lite, metroidvania inspired, action-platformer has players exploring an ever-changing and sprawling castle.
  • Guacamelee 2 - the sequel to the smash console Metroid-vania style action-platformer set in a magical Mexican inspired world, now available on PC!
  • Deathgarden - in this 5 vs 1 multiplayer game, players either take on the role of Runner or Hunter. The Runner’s work together to survive while the Hunter will try to execute them all.
  • The Universim - manage an entire planet in this Early Access god-simulation game.
  • The DRG Initiative - this 3rd person team shooter recently released out of Early Access with NVIDIA Highlights support.
  • Dirty Bomb - this extremely popular team based shooter recently added support for NVIDIA Highlights.
  • Switchblade - arena-based 5v5 vehicle action game that combines high-octane combat with an ever-shifting selection of strategic choices.

We’ll be featuring many more indie titles over the coming months as we get closer to the holiday season. In the meantime, make sure you check out the games we’ve featured this month and let us know what you think in the comments.

Several of the above games were part of our indie game developer program, NVIDIA Indie Spotlight. If you are an indie game developer, apply today!

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