The recent wave of news from the big game companies makes me appreciate writing this column even more. It’s just nice to highlight the inventive work of people who aren’t, you know, a giant corporation being sued by a state in a giant sex discrimination lawsuit. For this, I chose Foster the apocalypse, a survival game that is part of the Shorter Games With Worse Graphics pack. It’s a sale for the benefit of the developers so they can – you get it – make worse games for more money. Hell yeah!
We have Foster the apocalypse and much more in Cool WIP, Polygon’s weekly roundup of eye-catching clips and screenshots of work in progress. Every week, the Polygon team scours the internet looking for the most promising projects, before they are ready to be launched.
This week’s games are particularly magnificent. One has an endless corridor with thousands of pillars. Another is black and white photography game with hand drawn style. There is also a hidden object game where you explore paintings by artists like Van Gogh. And finally, we will see a musically talented swordsman.
Let’s play shorter games with poorer graphics
Incisor Studios has created a storytelling survival game called Foster the apocalypse. And while I know this is on a list of games that are supposed to have “worse” graphics, its stylized MS Paint quality, combined with darker horror elements, really appealed to me. The game takes place in a world that has fallen into a demonic apocalypse. Screenshots from the game’s store page show snippets of its hellish landscapes, and honestly, that seems appropriate these days. You can download the game now from Itch.io, or check out the full list of games in this original bundle.
A living painting
Lots of games recreate a hand painted look, but what I like Cuccchi was how he put a pixelated flair on well-known artwork. It’s like trying to make paintings popular on a Game Boy Advance, rather than recreating them one-on-one. Developed by Julián Palacios, Cuccchi is a hidden object game that promises “maze-like” gameplay. The art is inspired by the works of Italian painter Enzo Cucchi and features a variety of artistic styles. You can pick it up on Itch.io now.
An endless corridor
This clip is from a game called Black somnia. The developer behind, Sleepdiver, shared that it was once a first-person shooter, until they switched genres mid-development and turned it into a cinematic platformer. This clip shows a little character running across a Gothic-inspired bridge with a glowing orange sky. And although I can’t imagine him as a shooter, he looks captivating the way he is. There is no release date for the game yet, but you can follow the the game’s Twitter page.
A little teaser of things to come. I went completely nuts and changed my genre. I just couldn’t find the fun in the fps version, so I decided to test a few things out and ended up with a cinematic platformer – which accidentally is my favorite kind of game!# ue4 #indegamedev pic.twitter.com/Ylnoy3bLzy
– Sleepdiver (@sleepdiverdev) July 30, 2021
This early development game does one trick: it plays music in time with the slashes of the protagonist’s sword. As the character chases the attacks, more instruments sound. Keep swinging and you’ll be treated to piano flourishes and a blazing brass section. The soundtrack – and the way it harmonizes with the sword – is nothing short of impressive. What’s more impressive is that one person, Stephen Ddungu, is responsible for almost all of the development here. The aptly named Symphony Sword doesn’t have a release date, but you can find out more on the game’s website.
A charming black and white photography game
Usually color composition is an important part of photography. However, Toem takes that away and instead his players take more old-fashioned black and white photos. A Recent GIF of the team showed something funny: a tripod! The little shark-like protagonist is able to set it up and capture himself inside a photo whenever he wants. Toem is being developed by Something We Made, which plans to release the game later this year.