With so many sweet indie titles playable this year, it was incredibly hard to curate a list of the best games at WASD x IGN 2023. However, I finally managed to narrow it down to my top 5 favourites. So without further ado, let’s get into it!
This wonderfully adorable creature-raising survival game from Moon Lagoon LLC features an interstellar custodian tasked with cleaning up a vast alien ocean. The demo I played was very chill and cozy, a vibe far removed from one of the inspirations of this game: Subnautica! Along with Abzu, Tamagotchi, and the Chao Garden, it’s easy to see the influence.
To be honest, I was half expecting to see a Reaper Leviathan sneak its way through the distant kelp forest that was just visible outside the playable area. Rather than being a derivative of those games that came before, Loddlenaut seems to have its own identity. The demo is now live on Steam and the full game is set to release on November 16th.
A favourite from the last WASD event, GladiEATers is a creature collecter-type game where Master Chefs must make their own teams of food-themed monsters. Said monsters are then pitted against each other to solve international conflicts. And as each battle is to the death, all GladiEATers must be created again and again using a variety of mini-games.
This adds an element of strategy even before battles begin. The concept and design of each creature just seem really inventive and the game has a heap of charm baked into it. GladiEATers isn’t out until 2024, but whilst you wait, stay tuned for the interview I did with the studio behind it, Milk Bubbles Games.
Set in the same universe as Cloudpunk, Nivalis is a neon-tinged slice-of-life simulator. The player is handed ownership of a small noodle shop and then left to their own devices. Plenty of things to do include fishing & farming your own ingredients, and rearranging furniture around your shop. After a while, new business ventures make themselves available as well.
The demo itself was honestly pretty janky. The framerate seemed to suffer constantly and the UI definitely needs some work. I accidentally teleported some chairs and tables to my personal apartment and didn’t know how to get them back. It sounds like I wasn’t the only one either, so I’m sure these unintentional features will be fed back to the developers. Looking past that though, it is a game I’m looking forward to hearing more about.
Sorry, We’re Closed
I’m gonna to be honest, Sorry, We’re Closed wasn’t even on my radar until I sat down to play it at the show. So important to try out new things! Once sat down the creepy atmosphere and low-poly graphics dug their claws into me hard. A great blend of unsettling locations, fixed camera angels and some very inspired character designs really elevate this title through the ranks of retro-inspired horror games.
Alongside Sorry, We’re Closed, Pocket Bravery is another game I didn’t have a clue about. Until sitting down and playing it of course. As soon as I started the first fight, I fell in love with the slick pixel art animation immediately. Each move is expressive, and when coupled with the diverse character designs, makes for something very special. As many successful fighters are known to be, Pocket Bravery is fairly accessible for new players. Although that didn’t stop me from getting my ass handed to me by the staff at the PQube booth.
And there you have it! The best games of WASD x IGN 2023! In my humble opinion at least.
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Best games of WASD x IGN 2023