👑 Pickup! Tokyo Indie Games Summit

2023年 3月 08日
Indie Tsushin 2023 March issueThis article was featured in our 2023 March issue. Check out more articles and interviews in the full issue.
Tokyo Indie Games Summit 2023

Last Saturday was the inaugural Tokyo Indie Games Summit in Kichijoji! It was a full day of events with creator talk sessions running all day in the theater, and two floors packed with game booths. As always, I wish I had had more time to see and play everything!

Here are twenty of the games that stood out to us at the event. Please note that the TIGS lineup had quite a bit of overlap with January's Tokyo Game Dungeon 2, so please check that list out as well for even more games!

👊 ANTHEM#9 by koeda

What is it? A puzzley deck-building roguelite with a ton of style! Connect colored gems together to activate your skills and chain together combos. The art has a cool cel-shaded comic book look, and the music is upbeat and jazzy.

Where can I play it? ANTHEM#9 is currently under development and set to be released in 2024. Check the game website or follow the developer koeda on Twitter for the latest information.

🎷 Backbeat by Ichigoichie

What is it? A puzzle game where you lay down tracks for four characters to move along simultaneously. Each character moves differently, and you need that to your advantage to clear obstacles in the level. Everything about this game cracks me up, from the sing-along trailer to the charming Geocities-style covered in janky gifs.

Where can I play it? Grab the demo on Steam, PlayStation 4+5, Xbox, or Switch, and get it when it comes out on March 16!

💎 Crystarise by YUKIUSAGI Games

What is it? An open-world action RPG where you collect resources, craft furniture, and decorate your private sky island. The more you decorate your base, the stronger your character becomes and the further you can explore. Super cute artwork combined with Minecraft-like playstyle means I am definitely getting this at launch.

Where can I play it? Wishlist it on Steam and get it when it releases on April 28!

⚔️ Endless Samurai by Montblanc Hatch

Endless Samurai

What is it? An interesting turn-based, fast-action roguelike where you are a samurai mowing down an endless horde of enemies that come at you in a straight line. Watching this game in action, it reminds me a bit of One Finger Death Punch. Definitely one to keep an eye on!

Where can I play it? Wishlist it on Steam and get it when it comes out later this year!

🥕 幻想ガーデン物語 (Gensou Garden Story) by Chiyuudou

What is it? A chill Touhou Project farming simulator in the same vein as Harvest Moon. Story cutscenes use large and expressive anime-style portraits, and the game itself is 2D pixel art that's tilted on a 3D plane, if that makes sense. It looks quite charming and like a living picture book.

Where can I play it? You can download the PC version from the website for free, or buy it on Switch.

🏔️ GRAPPIN by Ahmin Hafidi

What is it? A first-person exploration game where you shoot your grappling hook out like Spiderman to climb up mountains and cliffsides. Zip around, solve environmental puzzles, and search every nook and cranny for artifacts. The environments look crisp and gorgeous, and flying around with your hook feels SO good!

Where can I play it? Grab the demo on Steam and get the game when it releases on March 24!

🔁 LOOP LOOP ROOM by DeSunoya

What is it? A 2D puzzle-platformer where you must rotate the levels around or scroll the screen by touching arrow blocks. Collect all the stars and find the exit, but don't let yourself scroll off-screen! It's an interesting mechanic that demands a lot of precise jumps and careful planning. As you progress through levels, new mechanics get introduced like warp portals and conveyor belts. Lots of interesting and creative level designs in this one.

Where can I play it? LOOP LOOP ROOM is currently under development. Check the game website or follow developer ですNO on Twitter for the latest information.

👹 Meg's Monster by Odencat

What is it? A short, story-driven RPG where you play a grumpy monster named Roy who must protect Meg, a young girl who is lost in the Underworld, and lead her back home. But be warned: if she cries, the world dies. If you are a fan of Odencat's previous titles or games like Undertale, this is definitely one to check out.

Where can I play it? Grab the demo on Steam and get it there, on Nintendo Switch, or on Xbox.

🍈 Melon Journey: Bittersweet Memories by Froach Club

What is it? A narrative-focused exploration game set in a melon-green world filled with quirky animals. Find your missing friend and uncover the rot eating away at this innocent-seeming town. The superb pixel art and GameBoy-style chiptunes really slather on the charm.

Where can I play it? Wishlist it on Steam and get it when it comes out on April 7! You can also download the original game for free Melon Journey on itch.io.

🙀 Nyaaaanvy by Team DigitalMind

What is it? A chaotic party game where you use your longcat body to sumo-slam your opponents off of the platform! Flop and bash your way around weird obstacles and try to be the last one on the platform.

Where can I play it? It is currently available on Steam in Early Access.

💀 Path of the Abyss by Suzuki Suzuzou

Path of the Abyss

What is it? A moody first-person dungeon-crawling game with real-time combat, and set in a dark fantasy world. The artwork is evocative and moody with its black-and-white ink drawings and flat papery textures laid over the 3D environments.

Where can I play it? Wishlist it on Steam and get it when it comes out on December 22! Be sure also to watch the developer playthrough on Twitch to see the game in action.

🦠 Petit Petit Petit by MOSS Co.

What is it? A bullet hell survival game where you control a white blood cell taking out hordes of invading viruses and pathogens. The hand-drawn art has this great '90s comic book aesthetic, and it has the catchiest theme song I've heard in a good long while.

Where can I play it? Petit Petit Petit is set to release in Early Access on Steam sometime this month, with a full release also planned for the Switch.

🧙 Primland The Magus by D.S.W.Games

What is it? A side-scrolling action platformer where the level layout changes depending on which element is currently in effect. For example, if you start an ice level, some areas may be blocked off. Hitting a fire orb will melt the ice, but create new barriers to progress. The large chibi sprites look great, and the controls feel great.

Where can I play it? Primland The Magus is currently under development. Check D.S.W.Games' website or follow KohakuPV on Twitter for the latest information.

🃏 Project_∀ by Project_∀ チャンネル

What is it? An action game where you play a YouTuber who is playing the game. (Yes, it's very meta.) Jump quickly around the platforms and tie together the playing card enemies from Alice in Wonderland to explode them. The higher your combos, the more your viewers will support you, which unlocks various skills and perks. It's a high-paced game that is frankly a lot to take in, but dang it looks so cool.

Where can I play it? Project_∀ is currently under development. Follow the Project_∀ YouTube channel for the latest information.

🐸 Rabbitoad by うどんぱ

What is it? A simple and sweet platforming game where you play as the titular Rabbitoad. Click and hold to build up power and aim, then release to jump. Collect all of the stars to clear the level. The sprite art is very nostalgic and cute, but don't be fooled: some of these levels are quite tough!

Where can I play it? You can get it on Steam.

Raindrop Umbrella by Kabocha Renga

Raindrop Umbrella

What is it? A 2D Metroidvania with beautiful pixel art, set in a ruined world besieged by endless rain. Your main weapon is an umbrella, which you use to, in the developer's own words, "kick the crap out of your enemies." Explore the world and collect more umbrellas to unlock more abilities, and search for your friend Ame.

Where can I play it? You can wishlist it on Steam and play it when it comes out later this year! It is also coming to itch.io.

🏥 Rakuen and Mr. Saitou by Laura Shigihara

What is it? Both Rakuen (originally released in 2017) and Mr. Saitou (releasing this month) are 2D adventure games set in the same world. These games feature wonderful pixel art, heartwarming storytelling with funny and quirky characters, and fantastic music. The Switch release will contain both games, as well as an animated series, Farmer in the Sky.

Where can I play it? Rakuen is already out on Steam, and Mr. Saitou has a demo out and will release on March 24. Rakuen: Deluxe Edition will release on Switch on March 23, and will include both games and the aforementioned Farmer in the Sky.

🏨 Reso-Seeker by R太

What is it? A 2D side-scrolling puzzle platformer where you explore a strange resort with your friends! Find tools like alarm clocks, umbrellas, and toy cars to solve puzzles and open up new areas. It's very sweet and reminds me of what it's like being a kid in a hotel and wanting to explore every inch of it with my friends.

Where can I play it? Reso-Seeker will release in 2024 on Steam and Switch. Check the game website or follow developer R太 on Twitter for the latest information.

❤️ ルカちゃんのハートバルーン (Ruka-chan's Heart Balloons) by RucKyGAMES

What is it? A comfy and cozy puzzle game with beautiful embroidered graphics and soft watercolor backgrounds. Click connecting tiles of the same color to clear them from the board, and try to clear the whole screen as efficiently as possible.

Where can I play it? It is out now for the Nintendo Switch!

🧚 東方覚醒珠玉 (Touhou Fan-made Virtual Autography) by Northern Mind

What is it? This game looks very overwhelming at first and it is a bit long to explain, but if you play it, it makes a lot of sense. Basically, you have two games going on at the same time: a vertical shmup (the center area) and a party-based deck-building battler (the two sides). As you shoot enemies and collect their power-ups, you are building up your party. Once you've built up enough power, you can unleash attacks on your opponents' team. You want to make sure that neither your shmup character nor your party take too much damage. It's quite fun and an interesting twist on the genre!

Where can I play it? It's out now on Steam and Switch! There is also a demo on Steam so you can learn the ropes before buying!