Here we are again, fair reader. You. Me. And a trio of fantastic and promising indie titles to tantalize your finely honed gaming tastes.
This week’s main course features a healthy helping of Lynn and the Spirits of Inao, a Metroidvania platformer with a unique day/night mechanic that draws heavy inspiration from the visual style of Hayato Miyazaki of Studio Ghibli fame; Colored, a similarly dualistic title that has you switching between a black-and-white world and a colored world to traverse the game’s clever puzzles; and YIIK, a “post-modern” JRPG that…pretty much defies description. You’ll just have to check it below out to find out more.
As always, check out these exciting projects and give those that are worthy of it your support. And be sure to follow Only Single Player on Facebook and Twitter (@Official_OnlySP) for more of that single player goodness you love.
Lynn and the Spirits of Inao (Bloomylight Studio)
If you pay much attention to indie games, you see a lot of games that draw from older, beloved titles as their inspiration. On Indie Roundup, we’ve seen plenty of these titles. But it’s rare you see one that draws its inspiration from modern cinema. In the case of Lynn and the Spirits of Inao, that inspiration is quite clearly Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli, best known for titles like Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke. And that inspiration can be seen quite clearly, even in the game’s early screenshots.
Lynn and the Spirits of Inao is a 2D Metroidvania title where you take on the role of Lynn, the apprentice to your village’s high priestess, as you go on an adventure accompanied by Aku, a “demon-like spirit” in order to unravel the mysteries of your home.
One of the central mechanics of Lynn and the Spirits of Inao is the day/night cycle of the island. At first, day and night will progress naturally, but as you get further in the game, Lynn will be able to progress from day to night and back again in order to access different areas of the island.
This divine power will offer you two different points of view on the world in perpetual motion around you, as some enemies or elements of the decor react differently by day and by night, and you will have to use this power with ingenuity if you do not want to miss anything.
While Lynn will also face enemies along the way, the game’s creators stress that the goal of the game isn’t to destroy these wayward spirits but to help them find peace. However, depending on the enemy in question, you will have to figure out how exactly that feat is accomplished.
During your adventure, you will have to face a wide range of enemies with various styles. You will be able to appease some by jumping on them, and later, by striking them with your powerful spectral blade or by throwing bombs at them. However, some enemies will require particular methods and it will be your task to discover which ones at your own risk! You might even be left with no other choice than to avoid some of them…
The game also features your standard assortment of platforming, puzzles, and clever boss monsters that will truly challenge your wits, all within the beautiful hand-drawn world of Inao, which comes alive with colorful characters and a dynamic weather system.
Every background is like a “living picture” with its elements being in perpetual motion, and this, by day as well as by night. You will get the chance to quench your thirst for exploration in those backgrounds inspired by Asia through the open-world system. At times, you may even have to retrace your steps in order to unblock new zones you could not access until then, by using newly acquired items. The world of Lynn is also filled with hidden places and treasures, such as caves, cellars or sanctuaries, which the most passionate explorers will look forward to discovering.
Lynn and the Spirits of Inao has raised almost $43,000 of its goal of $60,774 with 17 days left to go.
Colored (Team Polychrome)
Colored is a platformer with a unique premise that invites you to “explore mystical puzzles in two intertwined worlds.”
Colored is a 2D puzzle game about travelling between colored and monochrome dimensions. There are 5 worlds in the game, each with its own dimension-switching mechanic that allows the player to explore “What if…?”
The premise of the game revolves around being able to switch between “two interconnected worlds” with their own individual mechanics that you will have to take advantage of in order to solve the game’s platforming puzzles. The story of the game is told without any words, so you won’t be ejected from the gameplay experience by having to read any long-winded exposition.
Each puzzle has its own idea and is unique – there is no arbitrary filler content. Colored does everything it can to give a pure and interesting experience.
The game features beautiful, hand-drawn backgrounds and insidiously clever puzzles that take full advantage of the game’s dual-world mechanics.
Keep an eye open for Colored this year – the website says the release date is “when it’s done” but lists a possible 2016(ish) goal – for Windows, Mac and Linux.
YIIK (Ackk Studios)
YIIK is a game like no other. Selling itself as a “post-modern RPG” (for those of you who don’t know, “post-modern” is usually a pretty good synonym for “weird”…for a great read about how the game taps into post-modern influences, check out this post) with inspirations in post-modern literature like The Wind Up Bird Chronicle, YIIk is a JRPG – sort of – in that it focuses on a set narrative over letting you tell your own story. But the similarities between YIIK and other games ends there.
YIIK is a Colorful 3D JRPG set in the 1990s, about eight strangers, a mysterious woman who vanishes in an elevator, and weaponized Panda plushies.
When recent college graduate Alex Eggleston returns home from college, he finds adult life to be filled with mystery, strange friends from the internet, and other worlds that exist just out of sight. In YIIK, journey across an expansive flat-shaded wonderland, rife with with intricate puzzles, fast paced turn based 8 party-member battles, cat tossing, panda dropping, ladder throwing action. *Batteries not included*
While being a traditional JRPG in many ways, the game has a turn-based, active battle component much like those found in Super Mario RPG and its derivatives in which every character and weapon has unique timing for their attacks.
Complete with trippy, colorful visuals that look like something that usually comes accompanied with a dime bag of some questionable mind-altering substances, the first thing that comes to mind when I see YIIK is Earthbound, another game that dared to go so far from the beaten path that the path might as well not even exist. But the thing about games like Earthbound and its ilk is that they’re all so weird that they’re usually nothing alike. But it’s safe to say that if you liked the wacky weirdness of that classic JRPG, YIIK will probably be right up your alley.
The game is planning for a launch on PC, Linux, Mac, PS4, Wii U and PS Vita. It originally shot for a late 2015 release, but it has since been pushed back to this summer.
“There is something a little unusual going on here…”