The second Tokyo Game Dungeon was an indie game exhibition that took place on 2023 January 15 in Hamamatsu, Tokyo, and showcased around 165 games. Unlike other events, the kinds of games at TGD tended to be from solo developers or small teams, and thus the atmosphere feels less commercial and more like hobbyists and friends getting together to show off the cool projects they are currently working on.
The event is organized by Iwasaki, who makes smartphone games as a hobby. He also runs the Unity Mokumoku Kai (Silent Meetings), in-person gatherings where people can work on their own projects amongst their peers. These meetings foster community and counter feelings of isolation that can affect many solo developers. Likewise, Tokyo Game Dungeon was created with the intent to give hobbyists and developers of smaller games a place to show off their work and connect with others, and to counter the feeling that they are not "good enough" to appear in a show.
You can even check out a virtual walkthrough of the event on Unity Room in your browser, with all of the booths and their posters, plus links to any game trailers that were available.
Tokyo Game Dungeon was such a fun event with a lot of great memories. I only wish I'd had more time to check out more games! And on that note, here are twenty games we loved from Tokyo Game Dungeon 2. I cannot wait to play more of these, and I especially cannot wait for Tokyo Game Dungeon 3! And if you want to see these games in action, Daikon and I streamed some of these on Happy Hour!
🧟 7DAYS HEROES by studioBBQ
What is it? A side-scrolling action platformer with charming pixel graphics. Swap between your four party members with unique abilities to clear puzzles and challenges, collect nanomachines to power up your gear, and don't get eaten by zombies!
Where can I play it? You can wishlist 7DAYS HEROES on Steam and play it this March!
💃 亜電 (ADEN) by takayakata
What is it? A stylish dance-'em-up with side-scrolling action, flashy pixel art, and a cast of strange and colorful characters. Save the world from aliens with your sweet moves!
Where can I play it? You can wishlist ADEN on Steam and play it this December!
🌲 びはんとマルの森 (Bihan and Maru's Forest) by RirCreate
What is it? This is a cozy diorama game with adorable pixel art where you craft and collect furniture and other items to set up a small living area for Bihan and Maru.
Where can I play it? Bihan and Maru's Forest is currently in development, but you can play the 2018 Dejige demo at Unity Room.
🧊 BlockQuest Maker Remastered by Wonderland Kazakiri Inc.
What is it? BlockQuest Maker is like if you took the fun gadgets and simple drag-and-drop interface of something like Mario Maker, and used them to make voxel-art top-down dungeons. The Remastered version will include updated graphics and DLC packs from the original.
Where can I play it? You can wishlist BlockQuest Maker Remastered on Steam, and get the original on Steam or Switch!
🎸 Death the Guitar by トロヤマイバッテリーズフライド
What is it? An intense side-scrolling platformer where you zip around as an electric guitar! Launch yourself off of amps, shoot electricity to take out enemies from afar, and never stop rockin'!
Where can I play it? Death the Guitar is currently in development. Follow @toroyakun to see the latest updates.
🐟 ふりかけ☆スペイシー (Furikake☆Spacy) by よんとんトマチン
What is it? The visual novel equivalent of a high-speed gag manga! Follow the story of Saatan, an otaku demon who gets warped to neo-Showa. I am so in love with this hand-drawn animation. It is incredibly strange and obviously made with a ton of love!
Where can I play it? There is currently no set release date for Furikake☆Spacy, but you can wishlish it on Steam!
🤖 Gブレイバーバースト (G Braver Burst) by Pegass85
What is it? An online 1v1 battle game between giant robots! Choose your pilot and mech, then face off in turn-based combat. Read your opponent's actions carefully, build your strategy, and aim for the top!
Where can I play it? You can play G Braver Burst your browser or download it from Google Play!
🌾 モミボス (Momibosu) by Peng
What is it? A side-scrolling platformer with stunning pixel art, huge and surreal boss battles, and lots of different puzzles scattered throughout the levels. If you like games like Celeste, you should definitely keep an eye on this game.
Where can I play it? Momibosu is currently in development. Follow developer Peng on Twitter @KPgbUakosrrMcj1 to see the latest updates.
😈 魔物娘と不思議な冒険２ (Monster Girls and the Mysterious Adventure 2) by NEKOTOKAGE GAMES
What is it? As its name suggests, this is a roguelike dungeon-crawling action RPG in the same vein as Chunsoft's Mystery Dungeon series. Recruit monsters to your party by gifting them with their favorite items and explore vast maps full of loot. And when you need a rest, you can manage the town's shops and restaurants, and decorate your house however you want!
Where can I play it? You can grab the demo for Monster Girls and the Mysterious Adventure 2 from the official site, and buy the full game on Steam and Switch.
🛌 NeverAwake by Neotro Inc.
What is it? Described as a "nightmarish" twin-stick shooter, you play as a comatose girl plagued with dreams of enormous wasabi, school supplies that belch homework at you, and dogs with too many eyes. The hand-drawn animation is wonderfully grotesque and detailed, like a picture book gone wrong.
Where can I play it? You can grab the NeverAwake demo and buy the full version from Steam, or get it on Playstation 4+5 or Switch.
🥷 Ninja or Die by Nao Games
What is it? An ultra fast roguelite where you slingshot around the levels and take out enemy ninjas. Every screenshot of this game oozes style, and the level designs are challenging but snappy due to the billiards-style controls.
Where can I play it? You can grab the Ninja or Die demo from the official site, and wishlist it on Steam.
👁️ PARRY NIGHTMARE by KAKUKAKU GAMES
What is it? A bullet-hell where you don't shoot, you parry! Wait for enemies to fire at you, then repel their bullets back in a huge burst. How long can you survive in this nightmare?
Where can I play it? You can wishlist PARRY NIGHTMARE on Steam and play it when it releases later this year!
🔫 QUESTER by Thousand Games
What is it? A stylish dungeon-crawling RPG set in a retrofuturistic world, with story and character designs by Hagiwara Kazushi (mangaka for Bastard!!) and game design by Kato Hironori (Dark Souls TRPG). It has a turn-based battle system with lots of skills and systems with which to build the perfect party, with an evocative old-school UI that instantly brings to mind the classics like Wizardry and Rogue.
Where can I play it? You can grab the demo on Animate Games. QUESTER is currently in closed beta, so check the official site for the latest information.
🐸 里山のおと (satoyama note) by nyacchu and 美智
What is it? The newest Fox and Tanuki visual novel by nyacchu and 美智! This one features three branching story tracks for Fox, Tanuki, and Frog; and as always, it has Michi's charming hand-drawn art and traditional Japanese flute playing. If you liked Tanuki's Spring Walk, you're going to want to check this one out too!
Where can I play it? satoyama note is currently in development. Follow @onyacchu for the latest updates.
👹 SONOKUNI by DON YASA CREW
What is it? The nation of SONOKUNI is dying, and it is up to you to protect it in this killer action game that combines biopunk futurism with Japanese mythology. You can slow down time, parry shots, and mow down enemies as you search for the quickest route through levels before you get one-shotted. Both the jaw-dropping visuals and energetic soundtrack are done by DON YASA CREW, a Japanese hip-hop group.
Where can I play it? You can wishlist SONOKUNI on Steam and play it in 2024!
☕ 東京珈琲パンデチカ (Tokyo Coffee Pandechika) by Heaviside Creations
What is it? A simple cafe simulator that captures the uncertain mood and atmosphere of early 2020. Make coffee, play cards, and listen to customers talk through their anxieties in this simple but impactful slice of life game. This is not a game for everyone, as it can get quite heavy at points, but it is a fascinating time capsule of a very weird and stressful time.
Where can I play it? Tokyo Coffee Pandechika is currently in development. Follow @Heavicre for the latest updates.
🦑 ツキササリーナ (Tsukisas Arena) by 超OK
What is it? A simple 1v1 fighting game where you control a cute little squid. Jump and dive to get below yolur opponent, and try to poke them before they can get you! There is offline multiplayer, as well as a single-player story mode.
Where can I play it? There is currently no set release date for Tsukisas Arena, but you can wishlist it on Steam!
👊 UCHU MEGA FIGHT by uchuzine
What is it? A fighting game made in the PICO-8 fantasy console, with clear influences from Nintendo's Japan-only Joy Mech Fight. In this game, you not only choose your character, but also one of three fighting styles (Normal, Joy Mega, and Choy Mega) that changes your appearance and moves. It's a super fun game that is easy to pick up and play with friends!
Where can I play it? You can play UCHU MEGA FIGHT in your browser!
🇫🇷 Violet Wisteria by KaniPro Games
What is it? A side-scrolling platformer with an art style that reminds me a lot of Genesis-era beat-'em-ups. Switch between your tri-color attacks to take out enemies with the unique rock-paper-scissors combat. The levels are tough but fun, the kind that leaves me burning for just one more go!
Where can I play it? You can get Violet Wisteria on Steam!
🍲 闇鍋人狼 (Yaminabe Jinro) by uracon
What is it? A social deduction game where you must work with your fellow chefs to make a delicious hotpot. But, oh no! One of you is a saboteur who will try to ruin the hotpot with some disgusting ingredient! Root out the saboteur and stop them from ruining the stew; or, if you are the saboteur, try not to get caught as you sneak in something gross! This game is a ton of fun to play with friends, but there is also single-player campaign. The pixel art is very cute and the different cards and skills shake up each run.
Where can I play it? You can get Yaminabe Jinro from the App Store or Google Play!