📰 2023 December-January Zine Issue and Wrap-Up!

2023年 12月 29日

Lots to get through today, so let's just get to it! First up is the インディー通信 Indie Tsushin 2023 December-January zine issue!

インディー通信 Indie Tsushin 2023 December-January Issue

Get the 2023 December-January zine on itch!

The zine is viewable in browser, and available for download in PDF, ePub, and MOBI formats. We also have digital postcards (PDF and PNG) and the インタビュー特集 (Japanese interview edition) for download. Our zine is on a pay-what-you-want system so anyone can read it! We really hope that you will check it out!

🍂 2023 Autumn Collection

インディー通信 Indie Tsushin 2023 Autumn Collection

Next up, we have collected the 2023 October, November, and December-January issues into the 2023 Autumn Collection! It contains no bonus content, but is a way to support the site for a minimum of $10 and get all three issues in one convenient itch page.

📖 インディー通信 Indie Tsushin: Year 1

Title card for インディー通信 Indie Tsushin 2022: Year 1

We are pleased to announce インディー通信 Indie Tsushin: Year 1, a digital book that includes all of our material from 2022 to 2023. The gorgeous cover was done by none other than Ruby May Valentine! The book is available on itch and Ko-Fi.

☃️ インディー通信 Indie Tsushin Winter Sale on itch

To celebrate all of these releases and our one-year anniversary, we are running a winter sale on all of our zine collections on itch! Get them for 25% off, or all of them in a bundle for $30!

And without further ado, let's see what's in this month's issue!

2023 December-January インディー通信 Indie Tsushin Zine Issue

🎮 闘う受験生 Entrance Exam (Fighting Test-Taker: Entrance Exam)

Title screen of 闘う受験生 Entrance Exam (Fighting Test-Taker: Entrance Exam)

We played through 闘う受験生 Entrance Exam (Fighting Test-Taker: Entrance Exam) by HesoRider! It's a horizontal shooting game against personified school subjects. Can you pass the exam and get into the school of your dreams, or are you doomed to spend another year as a rōnin?

🎮 Dramatic Road: The Origin of Wind

Title screen of Dramatic Road: The Origin of Wind

Daikon wrote about the high school strategy RPG, Dramatic Road: The Origin of Wind by Alaska Ohdanbu! Join together your school's myriad clubs with their unique strengths and traits and relive the burning days of your youth!

🎮 Retro Game Aliens

Title screen of Retro Game Aliens

Daikon reflects on the importance of preserving the culture of retro games along with the titles themselves while playing Retro Game Aliens by qbert. It's a set of '80s-style Japanese adventure games, and comes with accompanying zines that go in-depth on the real-life games that inspired this collection! Includes Daikon's original Japanese essay.

🎤 Interview with Toshimichi Kuwahara

Party of five characters exploring a dungeon in QUESTER. The pause menu is open showing icons along the bottom for the player to choose. On the left are the portraits of the party members, and in the top right is the top-down view of the party moving through the dungeon.

We got to speak with Toshimichi Kuwahara of Thousand Games about producing the gritty post-apocalyptic dungeon crawler QUESTER alongside veteran analog game designer Kato Hironori and legendary manga artist Kazushi Hagiwara!

🎤 Interview with HesoRider

The English Listening phase of Entrance Exam with a giant ear to the left side of the screen with tons of damaging letters funneling into it. The player is shooting pencils at a blond personification of the English subject.

We had the pleasure of speaking with Tottori University student HesoRider about passing the cutthroat and hazardous school entrance exams, both in real life and in their bullet hell shooting game, 闘う受験生 Entrance Exam (Fighting Test-Taker: Entrance Exam)!

🎤 Interview with Ekoda Bucho

Namiki Kenichi saying, 'If it's come to this, there's nothing to do but go for it! You will know the power of Namiki Kenichi!' before starting a battle.

We spoke with Ekoda Bucho of Alaska Ohdanbu about making doujin games in the 2000s, and working on the turn-based high school club SRPG, Dramatic Road: The Origin of Wind!

🎤 Interview with Giichi Totsuka

Girl from Retro Game Aliens with her head cocked to one side with a mischievous smirk on her face.

We were delighted to be able to speak with Giichi Totsuka of the doujin circle qbert! We discussed their coverage of PC and video games from the 1990s up to now, as well as the care and love that went into the development of Retro Game Aliens!

Other Announcements

🫙 リブートジャム // Reboot Jam

リブートジャム // Reboot Jam

Did you start working on a game in the past but gave up before you could finish? This is your chance to reboot your game and give it another chance! The リブートジャム // Reboot Jam is all about picking up something you set aside in the past, finding out what worked for you and what didn't, and giving it another shot! The jam runs through the entire month of 2024 January. Start off the new year by rebooting an unfinished project with us!

🎍 Winter Holiday

We are having a bit of a winter break in January! We may still update the blog, but if we do, those articles will go in the February issue.

🥳 New Year's Eve Marathon

Just like last year, Daikon and I plan to ring in the New Year on stream! We're planning a marathon stream on the evening of December 31 and lasting until whenever we pass out in the wee hours of January 1. Subscribe to our YouTube channel to see when we start streaming!


📮 Newsletter moved to Buttondown

You may have heard that TinyLetter is going away. I have migrated everyone's addresses over to Buttondown, which is what I'll be using to send out the monthly e-mail digest from now on.

📰 2023 November issue

インディー通信 Indie Tsushin 2023 November Issue

Check out the 2023 November issue and its games if you haven't yet. And be sure to look through our full catalog for more great stuff!

🍸 Happy Hour!

Nice Gear Games presents Happy Hour!

Subscribe to our YouTube channel and tune in every Thursday from 9PM for Happy Hour, a bilingual show introducing some indie games!

And now, a word from our sponsors

Just kidding! インディー通信 Indie Tsushin is ad-free, does not (and will never!) run sponsored content, and is mostly made by two people in their spare time. We write the articles, buy the games out of pocket, conduct and translate the interviews, lay out and edit the website and zines, pay for hosting and recording equipment, and so on. We do all this because we are gigantic nerds and hope that more people can play and appreciate Japanese indie games and their developers. We would gladly do it even if we never made a single yen from this.

BUT! If you enjoyed the zine, please consider buying our zines! Any amount would be more than enough, and would go a long way towards boosting our morale and keeping us going. Not only that, it lets us pay guest writers to appear in the zine! If you can't afford to donate, don't even worry about it! Indie Tsushin will always be available to read for free and will never go behind a paywall. You can help us a ton just by sharing our articles and videos, or rating and reviewing our zines on itch.io. Thank you so much for all of your kind support!

We also have a Ko-Fi where you can make a one-time donation or sign up for our ¥‎300/month tier.

Support Indie Tsushin on Ko-Fi!

Support Indie Tsushin on Ko-Fi!

🙏 Thanks for reading!

That's all for now, but be sure to check the インディー通信 Indie Tsushin blog for the latest articles, subscribe to the RSS feed, and sign up for our monthly e-mail digest so you don't miss anything! Hope you enjoy the issue and games!