The world of indie games is an exciting one that I watch with even more fervor than competitive sports. It might be because I’ve been sick recently, and this summer has been working hard to turn my body into jerky, but I’ve found myself following the development of all kinds of great new indie games. Honestly, there are so many games scheduled for release in August, and I wish I could put them all on here. Alas, there is only so much room. Here are the ones that I’ve narrowed it down to as best as I could for the top picks.
Ninja or Die: Shadow of the Sun
I’m very critical of ninjas in media since they’re frequently depicted as superpowered beings, when in fact they need to rely on stealth for a reason. Mark of the Ninja pulled this off well and now it looks like Ninja or Die: Shadow of the Sun by Nao Games will do the same. I may be mistaken, but I don’t believe there are many rogue-type indie games with ninja themes. Here, not only is that the case here, but it’s also super fast-paced. It’s all about entering a flow as the ninja bounces quickly from wall to wall looking to land critical hits on every enemy while avoiding hits in kind. No matter what the story is, you’ve got a bunch of magical and folkloric elements to ninjatō your way through.
Ninja or Die: Shadow of the Sun will release on August 2 for PC and Switch.
You either love wrestling or you hate it… or fall somewhere else on the acknowledgement spectrum. It can definitely be quite entertaining to watch, but Mega Cat Studios is trying to make it an epic adventure with WrestleQuest. This was definitely enough to grab my attention, and I was pulled in by the color and pageantry of the pixel art and animation. I don’t even know wrestling, and even I recognized the famous names that are there to help your wrestlers become the best. You get to form dynamic teams with tons of personality and amazing costumes! Just make sure you have the moves and RPG skills to live up to the wrestling name.
WrestleQuest will release on August 8 for PC, Switch, PlayStation, and Xbox.
Monster Hunter World is a lot of fun, especially when you get the guys together to go kick monster posterior. The problem is that it can also be slow and almost too difficult, but Atlas Fallen by Deck13 may be offering an alternative. Once again, you’re in a large and fantastical land that appears to be mostly desert, mountain, and ruins. Luckily, you get powers and gears to easily climb, slide, surf, and soar across it free as a surfin’ bird. That is until you run into one of the many monsters living in the land. They make for a perfect target to try out all your moves and power whether you’re alone or part of a team. The main issue will be trying to get all the sand out.
Atlas Fallen will release on August 10 for PC, PlayStation, and Xbox.
Stray Gods: The Roleplaying Musical
Though my love of musical theater hasn’t led me to such a career, I still look for ways to enjoy it and at times participate. While I wait for the call, I can take out my desires on Stray Gods: The Roleplaying Musical by Summarfall Studios. This game appears to combine two of my favorite things: Theater and mythology. You’re playing as someone named Grace living in a world alongside Greek Gods. Things quickly turn when a muse gets murdered and you need to get invested in the story and characters to find the truth. And, just as a musical would do, you’ll also need to use music and song to influence characters and overcome obstacles. Maybe I’ll make callbacks after all.
Stray Gods: The Roleplaying Musical will release on August 10 for PC, Switch, PlayStation, and Xbox.
Despite how it sounds, the term “swashbuckler” is quite a positive label to receive, and not every character is deserving of it. That being said, the lead of En Garde by Fireplace Games seems like a very strong candidate. I’m a sucker for interesting swordplay which is why this game caught my eye. As Adalia, the fabled hero of the people, only you stand strong to oppose tyranny with a sword and the skills to boot. It’s all about challenging groups of official soldiers to fair and honorable sword fights. Even so, your acrobatics and abilities to make use of the environment can give your blade an even sharper edge.
En Garde will release on August 10 for PC.
Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew
With this heat, I’m constantly thinking of jumping into the sea which is probably why pirates are also on the brain. There’s no shortage of pirate games but Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew by Mimimi Games stands out. I like pirates and the supernatural and this game gives you a chance to play both. The hero is Captain Afia who in true carefree pirate fashion gets cursed but also gains command of a ghost ship. That means all your crewmembers are some variant of ghost with ghost power that will help both with stealth and combat. Pull off the most strategic haunt and get rewarded with treasure.
Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew will release on August 17 for PC, PlayStation, and Xbox.
There’s nothing wrong with nostalgia, but that shouldn’t be the only thing driving your game, it needs to still be good. Shovel Knight and Infernax do this well and Retroware’s Prison City looks like it’s got a strong first step. Once again you’re in a dystopian future as imagined and portrayed by the 80s. With its classic action-movie feel, the only concern is running out of action which doesn’t seem to be a problem. You’re a no-sleeve, short-hair tough guy who has to get from one side of a dangerous city to the other, punching and exploding everything and everyone that gets in your way. We can only wonder if the classic indie game difficulty is part of it as well.
Prison City will release in August for PC, PlayStation, and Xbox.
Sea of Stars
Chrono Trigger is a landmark game that every person who likes games (especially RPGs) should play at least once. Since then, many indie RPG titles have tried to capture the same magic, and Sea of Stars by Sabotage Studio is going to be another. As soon as I saw this project, I knew it was something special, but I’m also willing to acknowledge my bias. I do note elements from some of the best RPGs throughout the years like the aforementioned Chrono Trigger, Breath of Fire, Final Fantasy, and Golden Sun. It’s huge, mystical, animated, a tightly knit group of core characters, and giant intimidating bosses. I can’t wait to sail the sea… of stars.
Sea of Stars will release on August 29 for PC, Switch, PlayStation, and Xbox.