Sanctus Reach, Hive Jump, Death’s Hangover & more new indie games
Pictured above Warhammer 40,000: Sanctus Reach
I’m back with another batch of indie games that may have slipped under your radar this week. We had quite a few promising new releases, but as always I want to stress that I’m not personally recommending any of these games because I haven’t played them yet. Luckily, most of them have a decent amount of user reviews to help with your buying decisions.
Warhammer 40,000: Sanctus Reach
Sanctus Reach is the latest 40k-themed turn-based strategy game to be published by Slitherine. The game is loosely based on one of the tabletop game’s 2-player starter bundles and allows you to lead a company of Space Wolves as they desperately try to defend Alaric Prime from the massive green tide of Orks. Sanctus Reach features two Space Wolf campaigns with upgradable units that persist from mission to mission, assuming they don’t die horribly due to your tactical incompetence. While they don’t have a campaign of their own, the Orks are playable in AI skirmish maps and online multiplayer.
Urban Empire is a political city management game with a few interesting twists. Unlike most games in the genre, Urban Empire is less about building the city and more about leading a mayoral dynasty through 200 years of history. This means that the gameplay is focused more on outmaneuvering your political rivals, winning elections, and guiding your city and its citizenry through the laws and policies you implement. Unfortunately, Urban Empire seems to be the quintessential Kalypso Media game and is plagued with issues both technical and mechanical. The user reviews are pretty evenly split, but it might be worth following in case the game’s kinks can be worked out in future patches.
Retro Army Limited
Death’s Hangover is the latest game from the developer of the underappreciated isometric shooter Super Trench Attack! The game retains the dev’s signature retro aesthetic and oddball humor, but goes in a completely different direction in terms of gameplay. It’s more or less a cheesy horror-themed Breakout clone, complete with boss fights, puzzle levels, whacky power-ups, and branching paths throughout the story mode.
Cobra Mobile Limited
Red’s Kingdom combines sliding puzzle gameplay with combat, platforming, and Metroidvania elements. As with most games in the genre, your character will continue going forward in a straight line until you contact something, and all of the game’s puzzles are based around this concept. The game’s 17 levels are full of hidden areas to explore, many of which you’ll need to come back to after unlocking new abilities. You can also find Red’s Kingdom on iOS.
The Legend of Dark Witch 2
The Legend of Dark Witch 2 is the latest game in the series to make its way to PC. As with the previous title, The Legend of Dark Witch 2 is a fairly simple and straightforward 2D shooter-platformer featuring 8 cutesy characters with their own array of upgradable skills and abilities. Each of the game’s stages ends with a boss that, upon beating, grants you a new weapon based on their powers similar to Mega Man. The Legend of Dark Witch 2 is also on 3DS.
Hive Jump is a cooperative 2D shooter that recently exited Early Access. You and up to 3 friends must fight through hordes of aliens in procedurally generated missions throughout an ongoing strategic campaign to reclaim the sector. Hive Jump features an interesting take on permadeath, where players get unlimited respawns so long as they can keep the team’s transponder backpack operational. Rounding out the package are daily and weekly challenges to keep the experience fresh.
Siegecraft Commander is a bizarre RTS with precision aiming and physics-based construction/destruction. Players start with a central keep that they must protect by building a network of walls and structures. To do this, you fling buildings where you want them, gradually growing your base as its spreads across the map. While there are buildings that produce units, the primary way of destroying your opponent’s castle involves the use of manually-aimed projectiles. The game was built with VR and motion controls in mind, but it’s also playable via traditional methods.
Stars in Shadow
Finally we come to Stars in Shadow, a new sci-fi turn-based 4X strategy game. Choose one of 7 races and guide your faction from the early years of space travel into an intergalactic empire. Besides just technological differences, each race also has different environmental needs and default racial relations. Combat comes in the form of 2D turn-based tactical battles, and Stars in Shadow promises a variety of quality of life features designed to reduce the tedium of controlling even the most massive of armadas.
Not enough new games to play? Check out these other titles that released this week:
RED, a short and free 2D action RPG where you play as young werewolf girl with multiple forms.
I Am The Hero, a 2D brawler featuring local and online co-op.
Command & Colors: The Great War, a WWI strategy war game based on the board game of the same name.
She Remembered Caterpillars, a color-based puzzle game set in a surreal fungi fantasy world.
That’s all for this week. I’ll be back later with more weekly indie release highlights.