We’re getting weird with time this week as we recommend two pre-release games (and one that’s already out). Think of how cool you’ll be when these games get huge and you will have already been playing them for months. Read on for all the indie cred you’ll ever need.
At this point I feel the story of PT has passed into gaming legend. Superstar game developer Hideo Kojima stealth launches a playable demo for a new Silent Hill, it’s obtuse and brilliant, and then the demo’s publisher Konami cancels the game and pulls PT from distribution. In the wake of this strange saga several developers have attempted to rebuild PT and make it available to the public once again. These are usually pretty straight-faced remakes, but the team at Happy Snake Games have taken things in a more adorable direction in QT.
The typical marks of a PT inspired project are all here, looping hallways, changing elements between loops, but QT breaks with tradition by filling the hallway with happy new friends. If you’ve played any of the other Happy Snake Games, you’ll immediately recognize their trademark wiggly-cute art style. It’s a great juxtaposition against the realistic PT style that the game invokes and it plays out delightfully.
I didn’t know you could use both “relaxing” and “cosmic horror” to describe the same thing, but Ode to a Moon has done the impossible. The newest game from the folks behind 0N0W, Ode to a Moon is a sort of walking sim that integrates the surreal and investigation elements to genre conventions to build something interesting.
Ode to a Moon is an explosion of lights and color inside of the darkness of a still night. It’s the familiarity of a town you know but have never been to. This alpha is a teaser for a team that has come into their own-- a taste of what’s around the corner, but hasn’t arrived quite yet.
Ode to a Moon is great.
That’s right, this week we’re recommending two unfinished games this week, but trust me it’s worth it. This one is another take on a well-trod genre with a visual twist: a gorgeous survival sim.
First up let me get some things out of the way. Yes this game really leans into the hunting, foraging, and farming of survival sims. Yeah it’s really early on. No, there’s not a full game’s worth of content, but I mean it when I say this: Among Trees has a visual style that if the team can maintain it will make it one of the prettiest games I’ve ever played. The environments are serene and relaxing, exploring feels like a hunt to find something even more beautiful than the last, and if you’re anything like me you’ll be taking screenshots every 30 seconds.
I know that $20 is a big ask for a game that’s this early on, but if the team behind Among Trees can stick the landing this has the potential to be one of the best games in the genre.
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