If you make a purchase after following a link on our site, we may earn a small commission. Learn more.

Spring Showcase: 10 Indie Games to Watch For in 2016

Old School Musical

Old School Musical-min

Synopsis:A Retro rhythm game with chiptune and pixels. Tib and Rob have been trained to become video game heroes. When their game gets corrupted by a bug invasion, they escape. Their mission: explore other game worlds, find their missing mother, and kill the bugs to save our childhood games! Old School Musical is a fun musical journey through video game history. Young team La Moutarde has rhythm games genes in their DNA. They grew up with Dance Dance Revolution, Space Channel 5, Gitaroo Man and many other crazy music games that inspired OSM.”

Perhaps the most satisfying experience of the day, Old School Musical’s a retro rhythm game that has you desperately smashing buttons to the beat, and aiming to hit those delicious button presses for euphoric flashes of “Super!”. It has a classic 8-bit art style that screams old school, and it all plays into the hands of its premise. Tib and Rob have trained to become video game heroes and when their game gets corrupted by a bug, they manage to escape. They then take it upon themselves to rid their favourite video game worlds from the spreading, buggy chaos. In the process they hope to save their mother who’s been trapped in a world wrought with glitches and freezes.

Old School Musical takes you into worlds and throws you into scenarios heavily inspired by the likes of Zelda and Metal Slug to name but a few. We played through a level where Tib and Rob fended off head crabs and hitched rides in boats through serene lakes; or so I think they did. I’m unsure because I was concentrating so hard on the chiptunes flying from the bottom, top and across the screen. Emily undoubtedly had a better idea of what was actually going on, whilst I put all my might into pressing buttons and bumpers in time with the beat that changed in tune to reflect whatever Tib and Rob had encountered. It’s got four game modes: Story, Arcade, Challenge and Bonus.

Levels increase in difficulty and there’s three difficulty levels: Easy, Normal and Hard. Towards the end I gave it a go on Normal and gallantly attempted the hardest level, which was exceptionally difficult, but proved to be exhilarating as the pace increased dramatically and a boss fight seemingly emerged out of nowhere. For fans of Dance Dance Revolution and Osu, Old School Musical is one to keep an eye on.

Crazy Pixel Streaker

Crazy Pixel Streaker-min

Synopsis: “A fresh and insane rogue-lite beat’em up brawler, with procedurally generated chaos and permadeath goodness! The story of Crazy Pixel Streaker starts with you right in the middle of the World Cup Final. Security forces’ inefficiency will end up making the army show up among the crowd, unleashing their fire power on you. For this, you’ll travel all round the world, jumping into all kinds of sports stadiums and facing all sorts of enemies and hilarious bosses.”

Before we know it, Emily and I are dropping plummeting from the sky as half-naked football hooligans. We’re moving to and fro, trying to collect as many coins as possible, whilst we grow ever closer to the World Cup game we’re about to ruin. Landing with a big thump we brandish our water guns and start spraying them in the eyes before knocking them over. With a deft click of the X button I kicked the football which careered through the security guards who’d started flooding onto the pitch. They set on fire instantly, and Emily backed me up by throwing Coke bottles filled with Mentos everywhere, which exploded as they hit the floor sending everyone flying.

The aim of Crazy Pixel Streaker is to cause as much damage as possible, whilst trying to survive for as long as possible. It’s a rogue-like in the sense that we could only take five hits before we hit the deck. And if you do, there’s a limited time period in which you can revive one another by rapidly rolling over to them and tapping the B button repeatedly; if everyone dies, game over. It’s insanely addictive as the waves roll by and the pitch quickly fills with army members, SWAT teams and a variety of extremely random weaponry. I recall using a flamethrower, laser-gun, shotgun, melon-launcher and throwing knives. You can also collect these cute looking bombs that follow you about, and you can press Y to unleash them in a certain direction. There’s local co-op multiplayer for up to four streakers, and we had a huge amount of fun in this surprisingly difficult, anarchic experience. With a bunch of mates, this top-down, pixellated frenzy is certainly a must-play.

Platform: PC and consoles
Estimated release date: 2016 (but currently available in Early Access)
Estimated price: $9.99/£6.99

1
2
3
4
5
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.