This article was featured in our 2023 May issue. Check out more articles and interviews in the full issue.
Yesterday we went to the second Indie Games Connect! It is a free event hosted by Konami in Ginza, Tokyo. Along with exhibiting dozens of indie games, there were also seminars and contests. We mostly stuck to the games floor however, which was packed with people. In fact, there were so many people that when we left for lunch and came back, we couldn't get back in without waiting in line for over an hour! Since there was only about two hours left before the event closed anyway, we decided to go back home and participate remotely (read: watch trailers and download demos). It's too bad that we didn't get to spend as much time on the show floor as we had planned, but in the roughly two hours we were there, we still managed to get our hands on some fun goodies!
Here are fifteen of the titles that we checked out, either in person or from home! And as you might imagine, there was quite a bit of overlap with Tokyo Sandbox from two weeks ago and March's Tokyo Indie Games Summit, so be sure to check those out too if you haven't yet!
🛵 Back Alley Chronicle by 化け猫零々
What is it? A gorgeous adventure game through a nostalgic low-poly city with maze-like narrow alleys. Help lost souls and monsters and enjoy the charming atmosphere.
Where can I play it? Back Alley Chronicle is releasing this July in Early Access on Steam. Find more information on the game's website and follow developer 化け猫零々 on Twitter.
⚾ BATTING CARDGAME by Studio Shimazu
What is it? Super simple 1v1 card game where players take turns being the pitcher and batter, and trying to guess which card the other player will use and choosing the correct counter. We got the physical card game to go with it because it looked very cute!
Where can I play it? BATTING CARDGAME is playable in your browser at Unity Room. Find more about developer Studio Shimazu on their homepage and Twitter.
🎧 CASSETTE BOY by Wonderland Kazakiri Inc.
What is it? A very cool exploration puzzle game where everything looks 2D but are actually 3D objects and only things that are currently visible actually exist. Rotate your perspective around to expose or hide items in the world to retrieve more tapes and abilities. Charming GB-style graphics and music.
Where can I play it? CASSETTE BOY is coming to Steam in 2024. Find more about developer Wonderland Kazakiri Inc. on their homepage and Twitter.
🍞 El Panadero by Sketchy Ceviche
What is it? A side-scrolling beat-'em-up where you fight against man-eating aliens by flinging dough at them! Features some amazing hand-drawn character animations and backgrounds, two-player couch co-op, plus huge and creative boss fights. Really interested to see how this game develops!
Where can I play it? The demo for El Panadero is playable in your browser on itch and Steam, and is currently in development. Find more about developer Sketchy Ceviche on Twitter.
👹 Hell Hell by MONORYLLIS
What is it? A chaotic hide-and-seek game with up to four players. Team up with your friends to escape from Hell! Stealth past oni, collect items to disguise yourselves, and find the gate to Heaven! Great art and lots of game modes to keep things lively.
Where can I play it? Hell Hell is coming soon to Steam. Find more about developer MONORYLLIS on their homepage and Twitter.
🙃 Invercity by Marudice
What is it? A puzzle platformer where doing a headstand flips the planet's gravity! Push objects around, flip gravity, and try to clear levels in this cute and quirky puzzler. I loved the Unity1Week version from a couple years ago, and it's cool to see how much has been added for this updated release!
Where can I play it? The original Unity1Week version of Invercity is playable in your browser at Unity Room and itch. The updated version is now available on Steam and Nintendo Switch. Find more about developer Marudice on their homepage and Twitter.
🗿 じょうもんコメ太郎 (Jomon Kometaro) by koreishi
What is it? A super charming retro platformer set in the Jomon Era! Really catchy music and fun character designs. We picked up the guide book that comes with some great art, a walkthrough, and even sheet music for the game. It's obvious how much love went into this project.
Where can I play it? Unfortunately, I don't think this game is available online, only via code cards that you have to buy in person from the developer at these kinds of events. Follow かんにょ on Twitter to see if there will ever be a wider release.
🧙♀️ MAGIC CHAOS by SUPER STARMINE
What is it? Twin-stick multiplayer bullet hell battle arena! Zip around and shoot down your enemies before they can take you out! Looks like a great party game to play with friends.
Where can I play it? MAGIC CHAOS is coming to Steam later this year. Find more about developer SUPER STARMINE on their homepage.
🔥 OU by room6 and G-MODE
What is it? An adventure game set in a surreal hand-drawn world where all the plants have dried up, and your only companion is an oppossum with a flaming tail. The narrative is like a children's fantasy book with many different characters with their own backstories, and conveyed through the melancholic yet whimsical artwork. This game has been on my radar for years now, and I am so happy to finally get to play it!
Where can I play it? OU is coming to Steam and Nintendo Switch later this year. Visit G-MODE's homepage and Twitter, and room6's homepage and Twitter.
🚮 PixelJunk Scrappers Deluxe by Q-Games
What is it? Side-scrolling beat-'em-up where you and three buddies take out the trash! Beat up enemies, pick up garbage around the city, and throw them all away in your team's dump truck. Fun couch co-op game with that wonderful PixelJunk charm.
Where can I play it? PixelJunk Scrappers Deluxe is coming to PC and consoles later this year. Find more about developer Q-Games on their homepage and Twitter.
🧑🚀 Recolit by Image Labo
What is it? An adventure game with beautiful pixel art. You've crash-landed your spaceship in a perpetually dark town filled with people made of light. Talk to them, help them with their quests, and figure out what is going on.
Where can I play it? The demo for Recolit is available on itch and Steam. Find more about developer Image Labo on their homepage and Twitter.
🧗 TITANCLIMB by Sand Vehicle
What is it? A beautiful exploration game where you climb up big hulking Titans and just kinda chill out. I can't be the only one who wanted a non-combat version of Shadow of the Colossus, and this looks like that. The art has this distinctive high-contrast, cel-shaded look that make the world look fantastic.
Where can I play it? TITANCLIMB is currently in development. Find more about developer Sand Vehicle on their homepage and Twitter.
🌏 Toyforming by Toyforming Studios
What is it? A cool sandbox game where you draw stuff to populate your little planet, and the game's AI will try to decide what it is and have it behave accordingly. So if you draw a rabbit, it will hop around, and if you draw a carrot, your rabbit will try to eat it. It's really neat to see your drawings come to life!
Where can I play it? Toyforming is available on iOS and Android. Visit Toyforming Studio's homepage and Twitter for more information.
🔺 TRANSANGLE by MYOJO WORKS
What is it? An interesting puzzle platformer where you are a triangle who stabs into the sides of the walls with your corners when you jump, and can rotate the screen around you. Some really fun level designs that make full use of that gimmick.
Where can I play it? The demo for TRANSANGLE is playable in your browser at Unity Room. Find more about developer MYOJO WORKS on their homepage and Twitter.
🛸 ゆるゆる劇場 (YuruYuru Theater) by KaeruPanda
What is it? A cute and charming adventure game series that originally came out for Japanese cell phones but is being remastered for the Nintendo Switch. Lots of quirky characters and minigames, and a charming old school art style that just screams garakei.
Where can I play it? The first three of the original nine chapters of YuruYuru Theater has been released on Nintendo Switch. Find more about developer KaeruPanda on their homepage and Twitter.