Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

WellPlayedWellPlayed

News

Guerrilla Collective 2021 Part Two Showcase Wrap

Now we’re cooking with fire!

What an exciting week it has been so far, and we’re not yet deep into the E3 heavy hitters. WellPlayed is proud to once again observe the midnight mass that is the second round of Guerrilla Collective’s 2021 showcase. With this next helping of indies to tease and tantalise us, hopefully with some resurrected titles and fresh creations to get us buzzing, allow us to crunch the best parts for your viewing/reading pleasure. Roll the tape.

Aragami 2

Once again players will be tasked with treading lightly in the soles of a ninja, executing targets and dashing between the shadows of rooftops while tracking a cure for a mysterious affliction that ails the protagonist. The acrobatic stealth on display recalls the classic ninja stealth title Tenchu, but with an expanded array of ‘shadow magics’ returning from its predecessor. These abilities give players greater agency in manipulating enemies with teleportation executions and invisibility, among others. Being able to zip between vertical vantage points in a puff of smoke like Nightcrawler means that creative vertical approaches to sneaky level navigation will be rewarded. Check the video below if you’re interested in scratching that Sekiro itch some more. Releases on September 17 for PC, Xbox One and Series S/X, PS4 and PS5.

Firegirl

Stop the show. What is this? Firegirl is a gobsmackingly cute melding of sprite-based 2.5D platformer overlaid on a stylised 3D world, and the aesthetic screams Octopath Traveller. The game follows a firefighter who can use their extinguishing tools to create a pressure jet that allows them to hover over obstacles, find hidden and hard-to-reach areas, and rescue civilians from the spicy clutches of fiery fiends. Between missions, you will recruit firefighters and employees to the fire station, which can also be upgraded. It’s early, but this is already my most anticipated game across the Guerrilla Collective reveals of the past week. Coming soon to PC and consoles.

Batora: Lost Haven

Stormind Games, developers responsible for the Remothered horror series, bring us Batora: Lost Haven. A very different flavour to their previous work, here is an isometric action adventure across what initially seems to be colourful alien lands, with an emphasis on narrative choice and consequences. The game boasts a karma system, showing off a dialogue system with unique and original creatures. Our protagonist can switch between a physical and ethereal form to solve puzzles and combat is fast paced and arcadey, with the trailer citing inspiration from hack ‘n slash and twin-stick shooter genres. Fans of Supergiant games like Transistor may want to bookmark this one. Coming soon to Steam, PS4 and PS5, Xbox One and Series S/X, as well as Nintendo Switch.

Grime

With a tastefully erotic opener gliding over the silhouette of what is assumedly intertwined alien lovers, Grime sets quite a different first impression. We are teased with the emergence of what is likely the player character being born from a dark void, and not much else. Check out the Steam page for some in-game shots of what appears to be a dark and primordial 2.5D souls-like Metroidvania. Coming 2021 to PC.

BPM: Bullets Per Minute

BPM debuted on PC last year from Awe Interactive, a rhythm-based roguelike first-person shooter that deftly blends Doom’s arcade extravagance with Crypt of the Necrodancer’s beat-driven combat. Coming to PS4 and Xbox One during Q3 2021. Fingers crossed we get a chance to review it this time around.

Akatori

TeamNora Games brings us a martial arts, sprite-based 2D Metroidvania in Akatori. The colourful Eastern aesthetic and characters, with its soothing and upbeat soundtrack, will make for what we suspect will be a very challenging action platformer title. Coming to Steam.

Archvale

If you’re going to come out of the gate strong and grab waning attention mid-showcase, developer idoz & phops’ has pricked our ears by bringing us Archvale to the sound of Verdi’s ‘Dies Irae’. Turning the drama dial to 11, Archvale is a sprite-based, isometric bullet hell RPG that looks like an absolute blast. Co-op is shown in the trailer also, meaning you can burn your retinas out from overstimulation with a friend. Coming 2021 to Steam and Nintendo Switch. Can’t wait.

No Longer Home

Delivering an all-too-relatable hit right in the feels, the team at Humble Grove is working on a story-driven branching narrative title with elements from point-and-click adventure games. No Longer Home centres on a theme rarely explored in-depth for video games; of post-University existential crisis and trying to find one’s place in an indifferent world. The team explains that the primary characters we follow are modelled on their lived experiences, with players getting a fly-on-the-wall insight into the daily lives of themselves and loved ones. The presentation alone needs to be seen for yourself. Coming to PC in late 2021.

Hunt the Night

Foreboding, gothic, and disarmingly cute in its own macabre way, Hunt the Night is another retro-flavoured isometric action RPG from a team that has clearly clocked a few NG+ runs on Bloodborne. With player customisation and interactive NPC areas between dungeons, this is an exciting spin on the broody atmosphere synonymous with the Soulsborne games. Coming soon to PC & consoles.

Black Book

A mysterious and spellbinding deckbuilding action adventure steeped in Eastern European folklore, Black Book looks to entice players with stories and monsters rarely explored in the medium. Coming soon to Steam.

Demon’s Mirror

Proving that trends die hard, and gamers like to be brutalised by the heart of the cards, Be-Rad Entertainment brings us “a roguelike deckbuilding game” in the vein of Slay The Spire. Two genres that this writer is a sucker for, Demon’s Mirror sees players battling monster-on-monster with limited resource pools guiding strategic hand-plays and death sees the player’s adventure be reset. Basic defence and strike (attack) cards will start players off, with new cards that allow for greater abilities and versatility being added to the draw deck during the game. Nothing new. Except that, somehow, Demon’s Mirror also includes a PuzzleQuest tile-matching mechanic in combat. So that makes this a roguelike deckbuilding puzzler. That’s a lot of mechanically dense and defined genres to go through the blender, and an enticing combination indeed. Coming soon to Steam.

Neverwinter

Quite the unexpected title for this showcase, Dungeons & Dragons MMORPG Neverwinter is here to show off the new playable class – the Bard. For those in the community, one cannot deny the appeal of merrily skipping around combat encounters while plucking away at the lute to raise the party some upbeat buffs. No release window currently, coming soon.

Loot River

An isometric action-roguelike from Slovakian team straka.studio features a unique Tetris-like mechanic as a twist on the genre. As players leave town and explore dungeons, they will notice that there is rarely a straightforward path to navigate. Rather, in an imaginative and puzzling twist on the dungeon roguelike, players must move tetromino platforms about to progress and outflank enemies. Props for injecting this darling indie genre with some fresh innovation! Coming to PC, Xbox One and Series S/X.

Ghostrunner

Ghostrunner, the cyberpunk first-person shooter and arcade platformer that we gave a bloody fantastic 9/10, is on its way to Switch in just a few weeks on June 30th. Also announced earlier this month, it will be coming to PS5 and Xbox Series S/X in September.

The Light of the Darkness

Seemingly drawing from apocryphal Christian mythology, The Light of the Darkness is another 2D action platformer entry in this showcase. The fully 3D rendered characters and the world stands out from the typical retro-styled previews we’ve seen here, and the ability to fly freely through levels will hopefully add some twists on the exploration and combat formulae of the genre. Coming 2022 to Steam.

Slime Heroes

Slimes on parade! Slime Heroes is an isometric action-adventure that will see you as a slime capable of harnessing elemental abilities who can team up with a friend and fight bigger, meaner elemental slime monsters. Coming to Steam.

Demon Turf

Demon Turf is a stylish third-person action platformer with a slick presentation and a 2D cut-out protagonist who is animated like a Paper Mario character. Looking to keep gameplay fresh throughout, there is a significant variety of genre influences on display. Transform into a bird and play about stages to find shortcuts or turn into a tyre and burn some rubber as you head towards the next stage checkpoint. There is a LOT of variety with stylish to spare. Fans of 3D Mario titles and Psychonauts best keep watch. Now coming soon to PS4 and PS5, with Switch, Xbox, and PC platforms announced previously.

Arietta of Spirits

Yet another isometric retro-styled hack ‘n slash with the typical trappings. Not much is shown other than our spritey hero slashing at some enemy blobs in various locations, such as forests and caverns. Coming Q3 to PC, PS4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One.

UnMetal

“You saved my ass, literally!”

Versus Evil knows their audience well with this comedic homage to the classic Metal Gear titles, which sees the protagonist imprisoned in 1972 for “a crime he didn’t commit.” Time to escape by blowing crap up and embrace the cascading chaos of being terrible at stealth. Tongue in cheek and irreverent, this is a retro stealth action title that would make Kojima blush. Coming to Steam.

Wolfstride

Publisher Raw Fury brings us something of a mixed genre spoof from developer OTA IMON Studios. Wolfstride brings together various elements of Japanese mecha anime, presented in stylised, hi-res black-and-white comic panels and 2D sprites. Players will assume the role of the pilot as he goes about his day to day, taking care of their personal life as well as their oversized mech. Mechs are customisable outside of combat, being able to swap out internal and external components a la Armored Core. Combat is bombastic and over-the-top, with tactical 2D mech duels that involve throwing cars as well as punches. Coming to Steam.

Severed Steel

A stunt-driven first-person arcade shooter that encourages players to break its rules to find the most effective and impressive methods of slaughter. Developer Greylock Studio shows us how voxel-based destruction physics allow players to make their own way through the world, blasting open shortcuts wherever they please. The most wildly indulgent gunplay this side of Superhot, players can kick open doors with enough force to obliterate enemies on the other side. Throw weapons off enemies in slow motion while wall running and blasting enemies apart with their own guns, with your previously tossed weapon loaded and waiting at the other end of the corridor. Needs to be seen to be believed. Coming to PC in Q3, with PS4 and Xbox One soon after and a playable demo on Steam.

Sable

Like the previous title, we also caught a glimpse of Sable during the opening of the Summer Games Fest 2021 with a lovely performance. Little else needs to be said. If you’re not already buzzed about this, why not? Cel-shaded and utterly gorgeous, Sable is an adventure game set to rival Journey and its art and presentation are sublime. I don’t think I ever want to play this, content to simply indulge in sizzle reels and never open myself up to disappointment. Coming to PC, macOS, and Xbox Series S/X on September 23.

BATS: Bloodsucker Anti-Terror Squad

A veritable gore galore, BATS is entirely without subtlety and delighted to have players know that this will be one of the bloodiest games to get their hands on this year. A 2D sprite-based action platformer where players will harness the abilities of vampires, werewolves and more to spread as much viscera as these humble sprites will allow. Coming soon to Steam.

Death Trash

A post-apocalyptic dark fantasy that sees players salvage, loot, shoot and negotiate their way through a harsh and haunting world possessed by post-digital horrors. Death Trash isometric action RPG with a distinctly low-res and macabre mid-90s aesthetic. The visual worldbuilding on display hints at alien monstrosities and players may or may not have to align with to survive against the other survivors of this harsh world. Coming soon to Steam.

Serial Cleaners

Draw Distance has pulled a cheeky with the sequel to the satirical murder clean-up stealth-action title, Serial Cleaner (this time its plural!). Not content to simply add an “s” to the end of their title, Serial Cleaners has ditched the stylish minimalist aesthetic for an isometric 3D. Skating around on slicks of blood to avoid any prying eyes of police or bystanders, players arrive at the scene of grisly murders as the ‘cleaner’, or Quentin Tarantino in Pulp Fiction. Roll up the bodies in a rug, hoover up the blood, and leave no witnesses. Launching later in 2021 on PC and consoles.

White Shadows

German studio Monokel brings us White Shadows, an avant-garde cinematic platformer presented inside of a neo-noir industrial city seemingly operating on the backs of the community out of Animal Farm. At least that’s what I assume. The devs cite Tim Burton, Playdead’s Inside, and Orwell’s 1984 as inspirations, and they really are worn on their sleeve. The developers claim this game is humorous, but they are German and joked that audiences will likely disagree. Will Playdead finally have a rival in this humble studio? We’ll find out later in 2021 on Steam.

Raji: An Ancient Epic

Raji has been doing the rounds for a little while and remains as compelling as when it was first revealed. A somewhat straightforward platforming action-adventure that blends 2D platforming sections and isometric hack ‘n slash. Set in ancient India and drawing on Hindi mythology, this is a unique title that first arrived on PC last year. In Q4 2021, an enhanced edition will be coming to Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4 and Xbox One.

Despot’s Game

Self-described as a “roguelike auto-battler”, Despot’s Game channels the charm of stylised sprite-based chaos often seen in publisher Tiny Build’s portfolio. What seems a bit paradoxical initially, being a roguelike with permadeath seems an unusual fit for an auto-battler which is typically hands-off when things get heated. As though the devs are aware of this and said, ‘screw it’, gameplay will involve arming your squad of humans with whatever odd objects the game throws at you. Examples include guitars, pretzels, Kylo Ren’s lightsabre (pending cease-and-desist), coffins, kinky whips and more. Throw in fast food and genetic modification, and you have a recipe for…Whatever this game is. Coming soon to Steam.

Potion Craft

Potion Craft leaves one asking a baffling question, “What if Moonlighter, but in the Middle-Ages?” Tasked with picking your herbs in a 2D garden, grinding them up for alchemical application in the spirit of Cooking Mama, and then taking the fresh brew off to the market for profit. Players will haggle with customers, watch their bottom line, and generally simulate the vocation of the peasant snake-oil salesperson. Coming soon to Steam with a demo available now.

Rawmen: Food Fighter Arena

From the team at Animal comes Rawmen (noodle pun intended…), a “food fighting arena game”. A variety of modes will make for different variations of edible chaos. Meatball mode will have players competing for an oversized meatball that needs depositing in a ‘goal hole’. Launching the player’s underwear-clad ‘meat chassis’ into said meatball, they roll around like a Katamari. Careful, opponents will launch soup at you from their oversized ladles with the goal of knocking you free of the meatball. This is a different kind of splat fest to Splatoon. Rawmen does not yet have a release window.

Happy’s Humble Burger Farm

There’s niche, and then there’s niche. Here is a game that tasks players with operating a burger joint. Not interested yet? What about if said job took place within a PlayStation 1 abandonware first-person game? Still nothing? Okay, the developers figured that might not sell and decided to inject their fast-food simulator with a dose of Silent Hill and Five Nights at Freddy’s growth hormones. Delicious and well worth the traumatic acid trip. Coming soon to Steam.

Hello Neighbor 2

The latest entry in the Hello Neighbor franchise sees you assume the role of an amateur investigative journalist looking to investigate a series of child abductions, assumedly at the hands of your neighbour Mr Peterson. Developer Eerie Guest touts Mr Peterson’s advanced learning AI as the spooky hook in this first-person survival horror title, with the character AI developing on the back of the wider player community’s experience. This will inform and develop the AI to surprise players and rule out obvious evasion tactics, keeping the tension high. Coming soon to Steam and Xbox.

Trash Sailors

With a band of merry shite pirates surviving on a raft at sea, Trash Sailors has up to four players working together to salvage rubbish from the ocean around their makeshift vessel. This can then be repurposed into structural reinforcements, weapons, and ammunition to keep you afloat in these wild seas. Coming soon to PC, Xbox, PS4, and Switch.

Among Us

In an interview with developer Innsersloth, the team disclosed that they’re working on six new character colours and an expanded roster of personal cosmetic additions.

Blooming Business Casino

Anthropomorphised animals running a casino, just the kind of rebranding that might salvage the image of Packer’s Crown empire. Business management sim with a sprinkling of zany satire akin to Two Point Hospital,  place your bets on these barnyard beauties soon on Steam.

RoboDunk

What I can only describe as a four-player, Basketball RPG with mechs, RoboDunk features a Roguelike campaign with extensive skill trees and customisable battle mechs duking it out on the court. Coming soon to PC and unspecified consoles.

King of the Hat

A comical and irreverent competitive party brawler. It features a playable washing machine, although how serious one can take this trailer, who knows…Coming soon to Steam.

Venice 2089

A side-scrolling adventure set in a future Venice almost drowned by the effects of climate change, … features a clean cartoon art style and rotating 2D world that players traverse on a hoverboard. Think Night in the Woods’ melancholic slice of life narrative but with the rotatable world of Fez. Coming to Kickstarter on June 20, with a demo available on Steam.

Behind The Frame

A gorgeous Ghibli-styled point and click narrative game, Behind The Frame puts players in the perspective of an artist. By selecting inspiration from the world around them, players can then move the cursor to their sketchbook and bring that inspiration to life, telling a story in the process. Coming soon to Steam, Android Play Store, and iOS App Store.

Kitsune Tails

A colourful, Super Mario World-inspired platformer that features fox girls that can drill through obstacles and cast elemental spells to freeze enemies into platforms. Coming to Kickstart in Q4 2021, for PC, Linux, Switch, PS4 and PS5.

Whitewater Wipeout

Unleash your gnarly inner criminal on some rad waves, dude. One of the last surprises of the showcase is a surfboarding parody for the upcoming Playdate console. Get cranking for some sick air.

Arcade Paradise

“Play, profit, purchase.”

Judging from the baffling trailer, Arcade Paradise is another first-person satire sim involving remodelling a laundromat into a cabinet arcade emporium. Beyond that, you be the judge. Coming 2021 to PC, Xbox One and Series S/X, Switch, and PS4 and PS5.

There we have it, folks. Guerrilla Collective 2 is done and dusted for the year. Huge shout outs to the endearingly sweet and jovial hosts, and an all-around impressive showing throughout. Getting a bit tired of typing sprites, but the quality of indies on display more than made up for it. Did you pick any winners or discover something new that’s dropped your jaw? Let us know in the comments.

WellPlayed will continue to weigh in as the tasty news continues to drop through Summer Games Fest 2021. David has certainly made a worthy challenger to Goliath with this stunning showcase, though.

Written By

Comments

You May Also Like

Feature

Thrice the heat in the kitchen

Advertisement