The handlebar. The whiskers. The villain. Balancing a dead slug on your upper lip. For some, ludicrous facial hair is an all year round kinda deal. But if you don’t wear horn rimmed glasses, bowties and have ironic tattoos then you are probably just adopting messy facial fuzz in aid of Movember – and we salute you for it.
But why stop at poor hygiene practices? We at Byte This encourage you go full hipster this November, so here are 5 great indie games you can say you played ‘but yeah, you probably wouldn’t get it.’
Before we get going, Movember do fantastic work and support great initiatives globally to combat cancer, support mental health causes and suicide prevention. If you want to know more about what they do or support their causes, please take the time to visit their website.
Platform: PC, MacOS
Best for: Having friends over for a few drinks
But Byte This, why didn’t you cash in on that sweet SEO by covering a monster-filled game before Halloween? That would have been a great idea.
Notwithstanding our marketing failures, we are big fans of Monster Prom. Starting off as a Kickstarter Project, the visual novel game by Beautiful Glitch released on Steam in early 2018 to little fanfare, but has found a cult following among the casual gamer with its funny, easy-to-play group content.
The game revolves around monsters, from sexy ghosts to jock-like werewolves who, you guessed it, have to make it to the Monster Prom. How does one do this? Well just like in real life, by trying (and often miserably failing) to get the girl, guy, ghoul or robot that you were going for in the first place.
Aside from hilarious writing and a “drinking game mode” which makes this perfect for parties, we really appreciate the LGBTQ-friendly nature of the game, which allows you to chat up any other character regardless of their gender, race or mortality.
Also, Monster Prom 2 is launching on Kickstarter as we speak – so check that out!
Moustache Rating: four young Frankensteins.
We Happy Few
Platform: PC, PS4 and Xbox One.
Best for: Some evening gaming (if you don’t scare easy)
Keeping in with the spooky theme (we really need to get better at this), We Happy Few by Compulsion Games was quite hotly anticipated ahead of its August 2018 release. The survival horror is set in an alternate 1960s allegorical England, plagued with an authoritarian government and a drug-riddled population.
The player will control one of three protagonists, each attempting to escape the city, while dealing with their own issues at the same time. Not least of all, the twisted inhabitants and law enforcement who grin madly at you whilst horror and violence rage all around don’t help.
We mentioned it was hotly anticipated, however the game suffered from some technical issues and less than stellar gameplay at launch. Microsoft bought out the studio in 2018 and helped improve it, but as the majority of the development was with an indie studio (Kickstarter funded no less!) we are putting it in the indie bracket.
In any case, despite its flaws, there is no doubting the quality of the story and themes of We Happy Few. It plays more like an Orwellian Novel than an action game, which at times can get a little stale, but if you want something a bit more sophisticated on your couch, we highly recommend this off-kilter experience.
Moustache Rating: Two V’s
Red/Yellow/Blue/Black by BartBonte
Platform: Android and iOS
Best For: A quick bit of gaming on the train or bus
Console and PC gaming is so 2018. We were actually into mobile games before they were cool.
There are quite literally thousands of these mind-bending puzzle games out there for mobile, but we are quite big fans of the colour-themed series from developer Bart Bonte. Unlike most puzzle games, which can feel one-dimensional in their approach, the games (Blue, Black, Red and Yellow are their names on the Google Play and AppStores) feature genuinely interesting logic puzzles, with a different logic each time.
Quite how they manage to achieve this with such a simple but pleasing aesthetic is what really catches our eye. The entire game is more or less two tone, with a very low graphical impact, whilst retaining enough smoothness to please the eye.
If you are looking for a new game for your commute to show just how damn intelligent and sophisticated you are, we really recommend you give this one a go.
Moustache Rating: seven Albert Einsteins
!Platform: PC, MacOS, PS4, Xbox One
Best for: A long Sunday of relaxed gaming
If Groundhog day was in space… When Mobius Games finished Outer Wilds, they must have had a fair few challenges – on top of thinking that Outer Words could make differentiation a real pain.
Because Outer Wilds doesn’t really belong to just one genre. There is exploration, adventure, action, mystery, and more than a fair bit of drama, all in a game which on paper lasts at maximum, 22 minutes.
You heard us right, one play through all of Outer Wilds lasts until the game world’s Sun goes supernova (or you die), barely half an hour after you start. And then you go right back to the beginning.
The point is to use this looping ability to explore the game until you find out just what is going on in this galaxy. A plot? A time machine? A mystical loop only broken by becoming a better person and falling in love with Rita?
We won’t spoil the big surprise here, but we really would suggest giving this game a go. Aside from the intrigue of the plot, it’s a simply designed yet stunning game, with smart visuals and a score which compliments the exploration very well.
Moustache Rating: 3 Will Rikers
Platform: Nintendo Switch, PC, MacOS
Best For: Actual proper gaming, like with button mashing and such
2D action neon ninja platformer. That’s all we need to say, right?
Developed by Askiisoft, this side scroller manages to be both an 80’s call-back and beautifully crafted story driven game, combining bonkers action with its neon theme and electro soundtrack. We are particuarly impressed with how much depth the game manages to pack into a fairly limited genre; achieved through smart writing and surprisingly intuitive game design.
The story isn’t bad either. You play as an assassin in a neo-noir dystopic future, plagued with hallucinations, dosed with drugs and used as a weapon against all comers. Throughout the game you fight mobsters, infiltrate organisations and uncover secret plots that reveal more about your character – as well as finding out more about the world around you.
Katana Zero may not be quite as innovative as some of the other entries on this list: but it does stand out in a crowded genre – well worth a go if you are looking for a new story driven game to get stuck in to.
Moustache Rating: A solid Pai Mei if we ever saw one
What did you think of our list? Any cool indie games you wanna recommend? Leave them in the comments below, we will take a look and feature them in one of our future blogs!