Crafting planets, planting seeds, and playing Russian Roulette

Crafting planets, planting seeds, and playing Russian Roulette

The best new indie games out this week, April 11, 2024.

Another week, another slate of great indie games! Last week it was my 37th birthday, and my parents are still buying me video games as gifts. In a final last “irresponsible” gift before we have our child, they were gracious enough to gift me a PlayStation 5 along with Like A Dragon: Infinite Wealth, The Last of Us: Part II, and Spider-man: Miles Morales. While I haven’t had a huge amount of time to dive into these games, I am very excited to get reacquainted with the PlayStation system, and I am not going to lie… it is kinda nice to have a hefty console again.

But most of my playtime this week has been spent with Pepper Grinder. I mentioned it in last week’s dispatch, and the folks over at Devolver Digital were kind enough to hook me up with a code for the Switch. It’s a fun little game that demands a lot of platforming prowess, in a similar vein to Super Meat Boy. I like that about it, but there is just… something lacking that I cannot put my finger on.

I will be posting up my thoughts next week, first on Ko-Fi and Patreon, and then a review next week here on Pixels for Breakfast. What I will say though - it looks DELIGHTFUL on the Switch OLED. Makes me wish I had a Steam Deck OLED at this point.

Anyway, let’s get into it!

What came out this week?

Planet Crafter

Developer: Miju Games 
Steam rating: Overwhelmingly Positive 
Store page

Crafters and good vibes chases will want to check out Planet Crafter this week, as it hits version 1.0 after a stint in Early Access. This space survival simulator throws you onto the surface of an inhospitable planet, and allows up to 10 players to craft and build systems to terraform your new home.

Generate oxygen, warmth, and develop new biospheres as your squad turns the barren planet into a delightful paradise. You will need to build everything from scratch - your tools, your shelter, your base, and your terraforming gadgets. If that sounds overwhelming though, Planet Craft has several difficulty modes from relaxed to hardcore, so you can create an experience you are totally comfortable with.

In a world of hardcore and gritty survival sims, Planet Crafter seems to be leaning a little closer to the colorful whimsy of Astroneer, and I am here for it.

Yellow Taxi Goes Vroom

Developer: Panik Arcade 
Steam rating: Very Positive 
Store page

If you are one of those sickos that loves games like Banjo-Kazooie and other N64 collectathons, you may want to check out Yellow Taxi Goes Vroom which launched this week.

Despite being control of a car, Yellow Taxi Goes Vroom is a platformer where you actually don’t have a jump button! You will need to string together moves and make use of the environments to reach the far corners of the world to find all the collectibles.

Featuring such loveable characters as Pizza King, Morio, and Ultra Chad, Yellow Taxi Goes Vroom has a bit of a narrative unfolding in the background too, which sounds like some silly fun.

This game has done the rounds at conventions in the past, and has walked away with some nods. If you’re looking for a retro-inspired adventure, this one should be going on your wishlist.


Developer: Shiny Shoe 
Steam rating: Very Positive 
Store page

The folks behind the wildly successful Monster Train are back at it again, dropping version 1.0 of their turn-based tactical roguelike, Inkbound this week. Featuring co-op and solo play, Inkbound will have you creating unique builds to take on a wide variety of baddies spread out across Antheneum.

Inkbound employs a pretty unique turn-based system where players can move and act simultaneously while playing in multiplayer, and can rapidly use abilities. This allows you to smash through the easy fights, but also allows you to slow down when you need to strategize and consider your actions. I haven’t seen anything quite like this.

Monster Train is right up there as one of the greats, so I am excited to see what Shiny Shoe has created here. It survived Early Access and has dropped with some good buzz in the Steam reviews, so if you are looking for a tactical fix, this could be your jam.

Children of the Sun

Developer: René Rother 
Steam rating: Very Positive 
Store page

Devolver is at it again, dropping this puzzle-based sniper game Children of the Sun. The gimmick is you have one bullet, one shot, so you need to explore the environment and play your angle before pulling the trigger.

You will need to plan your approach with care, taking into account traps and other factors to make sure that you can take out your targets with your single bullet. Thankfully your bullet can curve around obstacles, accelerate to break through armor, and other powers to make your shot count.

And there is a dark story to uncover as you take down THE CULT, and attempt to take out THE LEADER, while learning more about the atrocities they have committed in the past.

Botany Manor

Developer: Balloon Studios 
Steam rating: Very Positive 
Store page

If you planted the seeds of The Witness inside a Victorian home, you would eventually sprout Botany Manor, a puzzle game where you need to figure out the perfect growing habitats for a collection of forgotten flora.

You are Arabella Greene, a botanist who is trying to complete her botanical research book, “Forgotten Flora”. You must explore the gardens and rooms of the manor to learn new clues on how to create the perfect environment to grow those plants, and finish up that book.

The plants that you are growing are slightly fantastical, however the game claims that each one is inspired by real phenomena in nature, and that you will need to think outside the box to make the perfect conditions, and that honestly sounds neat. If you want to literally watch the grass grow, and enjoy a head scratcher, check this one out.

Buckshot Roulette

Developer: Mike Klubnika 
Steam rating: Overwhelmingly Positive 
Store page

Look. I kinda don’t really know what to make of this game. It has a HEAVY Inscription vibe, but instead of a deck of cards in a murderous cabin, you have a 12-gauge shotgun and you are playing Russian roulette with a mysterious dealer.

The game is broken up into intense 15-20 minute sessions. You enter the arena, and go three arounds against the dealer. Will you walk away with your life? Or will something unfortunate transpire?

It looks moody and mysterious, and it’s about the same price as a 7Eleven latte (at least in Japan) so I might take a punt on this one. The steam ratings are certainly glowing.

There you have it, another slate of cool indies. Did I miss something that you want to gush about? Please let me know in the comments, I want to know more. Don’t forget to come back next week for some thoughts on Pepper Grinder, and as always please tell a friend about the Dispatch. Let’s get this thing up to 100 readers!