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Spring Showcase: 10 Indie Games to Watch For in 2016

Who Must Die

Showcase - who must die-min

Synopsis: “You are replacing a doctor, charged to find who among the three patients is the one contaminated. To do this, you can use a whole range of experiments to be performed on the sick. You can also ask the guard to do the dirty work for you. You must choose just one patient to kill or… maybe this job is too hard for you and you will take the last option not to choose…

Made for the Epic Game Jam 2015, Who Must Die is a very impressive student project that took two days and five people to make. Whilst the game is still in development, the sample we played at the showcase was promising and as horrific as it is well made. With two healthy subjects and one infected, you have to use the information provided and a small array of different tests to figure out which one is the most likely victim – and it’s not as easy as it sounds. Not all test results are obvious and sometimes the game can be misleading as I found out in my preview of it. Clearly I would make the worst doctor ever.

Though the version I played isn’t particularly long and is still a little bit buggy, Who Must Die has a lot of potential to be a great puzzle game. Again, similar to Frog Climbers, not an awful lot of information has been released about it, but it’s still a while from full release.

Splasher

Splasher 1-min

Synopsis: Splasher is a 2D Platformer in which you are tasked with unleashing the power of paints to rescue the Splashers. These little fellows are trapped in their workplace, Inkorp, a giant paint factory ruled by a nut and evil boss : Le Docteur. While water is your primary weapon to defeat weak enemies and activate mechanisms, paint is where your true powers come from. Thanks to the differing colours and their properties, you will be able to stick to walls and roofs, to bounce high in the air, and to trick your opponents to reach Inkorp’s top levels.”

This 2D platformer stole the show for me. Marrying bright, colourful visuals and a charming, cartoony art style – I was excited before I’d even picked up the controller. Adding a unique twist to the running and jumping we’re all used to, your character wears a contraption on his back that allows him to shoot jets of water and paint. You’ll be jumping across platforms but you’ll also rely heavily on your tools to make it through each level. Spraying water at machinery might cause it to spring a number of platforms out of the ground, serve as a way to lower or elevate platforms and even destroy nasty robots looking to ruin your run. We started with only a water jet but later got the ability to shoot pink paint on surfaces so we could scramble up and around them. We also encountered sections dripping with yellow paint that mimicked rubber, causing us to rebound off on impact.

With these elements, Splasher becomes a brilliantly dynamic platformer that encourages you to think creatively. I was impressed by how fluid it felt to traverse the environments, and how the paint wasn’t an over used novelty, but an integral part to a game that couldn’t have been more fun to play. It was the star of the show for me, and with boss fights, time attacks and ‘run for dear life’ modes and moments – I can’t wait to play it again.

Platform: PC
Estimated release date: 2016
Estimated price: $9.99

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This Queen of the button bash was first christened by the Mega Drive back in the 90s, playing games such as Golden Axe and Primal Rage which lead to her somewhat unhealthy obsession with video games. Now she's a monster, spending more time gaming and writing than she does eating or sleeping. Emily loves daiquiris and games that make you scream - or leave dents in your controller from a crushing white-knuckle grip.