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Indie Roundup 5.23 – Heat Guardian, Beard Blade, Guinea Pig Parkour, and Lost Ember

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Hey! What’s that over there? Oh yeah, it’s an Indie Roundup!

This week we’ve got four very different games for you to look at. To start off, we have a dark, atmospheric top-down shooter in which you must guard your fire in a cold post-apocalyptic world; a 2D platformer reminiscent of SNES era Mario and Kirby; a sill and beautifully hand-drawn platformer starring a guinea pig; and a game where you take the role of a wolf that can control other animals.

As always, if you enjoy our coverage, please consider supporting us on Patreon. And be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@Official_OnlySP) if you haven’t already.

Heat Guardian (Denis Rudoy)

Facebook / Twitter

A top-down, atmospheric shooter, Heat Guardian is all about exploration and keeping your own, personal fire alive.

The gameplay of Heat Guardian, as seen in the trailer below, is quite claustrophobic and tense. You’re a soldier with a variety of weaponry fighting what appears to be a bunch of wriggling, crawling maggots (it’s unclear at this time whether other enemies are involved). While that may sound like a bit of an unfair fight, the combination of needing to constantly find fuel to feed your fire and the limited sight your gun-mounted flashlight (as well as your own eyes) affords you makes it much more nerve-wracking than it seems on paper.

Most of the game’s information is in Cyrillic (Russian, I assume), but thanks to handy-dandy Google Translate (what a time to be alive!), it appears that your character is seeking out some sort of sanctuary, a “promised shelter” and must transport the fire on his back in a world plunged into a cold apocalypse.

Check out the gameplay below and follow the game on Facebook and Twitter to find out more as it becomes available.

Beard Blade (Glovebox Games)

Devlog / Twitter

A game in the vein of ye olde platformers of yesteryear, Beard Blade aims to recapture the feel of SNES classics like Mario WorldSonic the Hedgehog, and the more recent Shovel Knight. The gameplay detailed on the game’s devlog (linked above), however, reminds me more of the Kirby games than anything.

In Beard Blade you play the titular main character, Beard Blade, who, true to his name, sports a spectacular and quite useful face of fuzz. You see, old Beardie can use his beard in a number of novel ways, from pummeling his enemies to climbing and even twirling around like a fuzzy helicopter to slow his falls. The character can pick up powerups from the local barber that change how his beard functions as well, making his attacks faster or allowing him to make it rock solid to fall like a…well, like a rock.

Beard Blade uses a visual style reminiscent of the games that it emulates with bright, vivid graphics that will bring you right back to 1990. The character designs, from Beard Blade himself to his dog companion to the enemies that will stand in your way, are all bright colorful and goofy and, frankly, look great in the aesthetic.

If you miss the old platformers of your youth, Beard Blade should be a great way to recapture some of that nostalgia.

Guinea Pig Parkour (Guinea Something Good)

Webpage / Facebook / Twitter / Steam / Tumblr / YoutubePatreon

Yes, you read that right.

Guinea Pig Parkour is a parkour game starring a guinea pig. At its most basic level, it is a platformer with a unique, hand-drawn aesthetic and an adorable, pudgy protagonist.

Guinea Pig Parkour is an upcoming comedy parkour platformer featuring rich, hand-drawn animation, painted backgrounds and a guinea pig with moves!

Really, what more do you need to know? The animations are beautiful and fluid and the hand-drawn style really pops. Patreon supporters (link above) can play prototype builds of the game, complete with monthly challenge courses from the creators.

Check the video below to see some gameplay from their most recent build and to see a bit of the game in action. And be sure to go to the creators’ Youtube page for more gameplay videos and some ridiculous hand-drawn guinea pig videos.

Lost Ember (Mooneye Studios)

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Devblog

“As much an experience as a game” boasts Mooneye Studios about their upcoming game, Lost Ember. In Lost Ember you take control of a wolf who can control other animals.

Discover the beauty of a world where nature has reclaimed its place from mankind.

As a wolf with the power to control other animals and a determined companion on your side you’ll discover ruins of old cultures and remains of long forgotten civilizations that tell you a story of hope, loss, ambition and failure.

As a wolf, your main character is “majestic, fast, and agile” and able to travel quite proficiently through the heavily-wooded environments of the game and hunt down other animals. But hunting other animals isn’t necessary for food. You must seek them out so you can add their repertoire or abilities to your own.

These other animals – once caught by the wolf – can be controlled as well and their special abilities are vital in some situations. Fly through the tops of the tree with a parrot, dive into the depths as a fish or dig your way to otherwise inaccessible areas as a mole – your ways of getting around are numerous.

And you’ll need all that mobility in order to discover the game’s secrets amidst the ruins of Machu Kali and the old capital of Inrahsi, which now lie in ashes. You’ll discover the reason behind the great civilization’s fall and learn more about the characters that live there as you explore the game’s beautiful environments in various animal forms.

Writer, journalist, teacher, pedant. Reid's done just about anything and everything involving words and now he's hoping to use them for something he's passionate about: video games. He's been gaming since the onset of the NES era and has never looked back.

Editorial

Three Single-Player Games to Watch Out for in May 2019

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May

May offers no respite from the big, bold games that have released so far in 2019, bringing with it a host of games almost certain to appeal to gamers of every stripe.

Close to the Sun

Release Date: May 2, 2019
Platforms: PC, consoles later in the year

May’s first major release may also be its most intriguing. Close to the Sun has regularly attracted comparisons to BioShock for its art style and premise, though the relationship between the two titles is, at best, spiritual.

Players take the role of journalist Rose Archer as she steps aboard Nikola Tesla’s ship, the Helios in 1897. Like Andrew Ryan before him (or after him, depending on perspective), Tesla has created a microcosm in which scientific freedom is unrestricted, with disastrous outcomes. Rose’s first impression is of a quarantine sign at the entrance to a still, dead ship, but she presses on regardless in search of her lost sister.

With Close to the Sun, developer Storm in a Teacup aims to provide an intense horror experience. The Helios holds none of BioShock’s shotguns or Plasmids. Instead, players have no means to defend themselves, with gameplay focusing on hiding from and escaping the threats on board.

Check out OnlySP’s final review of the game here.

RAGE 2

Release Date: May 14, 2019
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

For anyone to whom the slow, meditative approach does not appeal, Bethesda is busting out the big guns with the long-awaited, little-expected sequel, RAGE 2.

This time around, id Software has tapped Just Cause and Mad Max developer Avalanche Studios for assistance in developing an open-world game. The result, if the trailers are any indication, is a breakneck, neon-fuelled experience that focuses on insanity and ramps up all the unique aspects of the earlier game.

One focal point of development has been ensuring the interconnectedness of the game’s structure, and the teams have promised a greater focus on narrative this time around. Perhaps in keeping with that, RAGE 2 is being distanced from its predecessor, taking place 30 years later with a new protagonist and a whole new story, though some callbacks will be present.

Although id’s legendary first-person gunplay is a driving force throughout the game, it will be supplemented by some light RPG elements, robust vehicular combat, and post launch challenges and support (though the developers deny that RAGE 2 is designed with a games-as-a-service model in mind).

A Plague Tale: Innocence

Release Date: May 14, 2019
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Out on the same day as RAGE 2 is the vastly different A Plague Tale: Innocence. A historical adventure, the game challenges players with overcoming obstacles with brains rather than brawn.

Players become Amicia, an orphan girl struggling to survive in a plague-infested medieval France while also keeping her younger brother safe. With the landscape rife with rats and members of The Inquisition, one of the core tenets of gameplay is reportedly the need to use these threats against each other. As such, though Amicia has a sling to use, the gameplay is designed more as survival puzzles than combat ones.

Developer Asobo Studio is not a household name, though it has a lengthy history of adaptations and support on major titles, including Quantum Break and The Crew 2. Furthermore, even though A Plague Tale is yet to release, publisher Focus Home Interactive has displayed remarkable confidence in the project by extending its partnership with Asobo.

Honourable Mentions

Although RAGE 2 is the incontestable action-blockbuster of the month, gamers in search of another kind of frenetic may want to wait until May 21, when Curve Digital drops American Fugitive, which has a more than passing resemblance to the earliest Grand Theft Auto games. Alternatively, PlayStation VR owners may want to look into Blood and Truth come May 28.

Sega also shines this month, dropping Team Sonic Racing on May 21 and Total War: Three Kingdoms two days later.

Anyone looking for an RPG has indie’s answer to The Outer Worlds, Within the Cosmos, to look out for on May 30, while those looking for slower stories get the latest episode of Life is Strange 2 on May 9, Observation on May 21, and the fjord-noir Draugen at a yet unspecified date.

Have we forgotten anything that you’re excited for? Let us know down below or on our Discord server.

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