Many indie games take inspiration from classic Top-Down Shooter Rougelikes like Enter the Gungeon and Nuclear Throne, but not many are able to carve out a unique identity for themselves. Voidigo, however, is riddled with personality and smart design choices that really push the genre forward in unique ways. Even in its Early Access state, this game from developer Semiwork is already incredibly fun to play.
The main difference between other games of its ilk is the boss design. Instead of being relegated to their own designated battle rooms, bosses in Voidigo are free to roam the whole map. There is a cat and mouse dynamic in play where you may end up swapping between being the hunter and the hunted multiple times as you make chunks of the boss’ health bar vulnerable to damage by activating beacons around the level. It makes for a fun challenge of chipping away at it while also having to run away and find more beacons to be able to finish it off. The art style is unique and embraces the weirdness of its world. The detailed and surreal character designs are still remarkably easy to parse amidst the chaos, as enemy attacks are very well telegraphed and readable. The animation is extremely bouncy and expressive. Weapons you can wield include a giant sword that swings a smaller sword while you swing it, a gangster goose brandishing a tommy gun, and an axolotl that spits bubbles. Overall, Voidigo is already pretty special, and its full 1.0 release is just around the corner.
Voidigo is currently available on Steam Early Access, but it seems like a good bet that the full release will come to consoles at some point in the future.
Lo-fi, PS1-inspired aesthetics have been gaining popularity amongst indie devs in recent years. One upcoming game taking advantage of the aesthetic that may excite fans of Dino Crisis is the FPS Compound Fracture, by Iteria Games. The game takes place in a version of 1996 where an energy company has illegally used time travel technology to harvest resources from a prehistoric world. You play as a health and safety enforcer who is investigating the situation and is forced into encounters with dangerous fauna from the past. The game is said to embrace open-ended survival horror mechanics, forcing you to make careful use of your resources and carefully plan your moves as you navigate the dangerous facility. The look and tone seem to capture a very 1990s flavor of creepy in an effective way. It’s even supposed to have an optional mode to make the textures wobble like a true PS1 game.
No release date is currently listed, but a new trailer was recently dropped in September 2022.
Alien Hominid Invasion
Developer The Behemoth has had several hit games in the past, including co-op brawler Castle Crashers, challenging platformer Battleblock Theater, and chaotic turn-based strategy game Pit People. Their next upcoming title is something of a reimagining of their first claim to fame. Alien Hominid Invasion returns to the Alien Hominid franchise that gave them their start after over 20 years ago.
You take control of a customizable alien in a run n’ gun sidescroller. In levels that can be played with up to four players, you battle through crowds of government agents while completing objectives. An overarching structure has you plot a course to the enemy headquarters, gaining new weapons and abilities as you go. The game retains The Behemoth’s signature cartoony art style and humor. If the enjoyable demo that was playable some time ago is anything to go by, the game should be a fun couch co-op experience.
Release date has not yet been finalized, though developer updates are regularly posted on the game’s Steam page and social media accounts.