Monochromatic squids, Coyote bikers, and Civilization-lite

This week on Indie Release Dispatch we talk about the long-awaited monochromatic roguelike World of Horror, and other indie games out this week.

Monochromatic squids, Coyote bikers, and Civilization-lite

Written and hosted by Steve Heller

Hello everyone, and welcome to a very belated Indie Release Dispatch! This weekly newsletter has not been so weekly. I would like to start by apologizing for that. I had some health concerns which took away a lot of my attention, and then Tokyo Game Show was an incredibly busy time. That meant that I had to put this project on the back burner for a short while, but I am incredibly excited to be back. As a way to say sorry, enjoy this amazing cosplay photo I took of the Like a Dragon gang while I was on break from my booth at TGS, and a sneaky box that some of you might recognize.

Cosplayers dressed as characters from Like A Dragon (Formerly known as Yakuza)
Majima and the boys!
A cardboard box that says "Metal Gear Solid" on it, and "Live Snakes Inside".

For those who prefer listening rather than reading, make sure you check out the podcast version of this dispatch, which includes the gameplay trailers and is over and done in ten minutes or so. This is a format I think is pretty neat, and you can subscribe to the podcast on all of your favorite providers.

So with that out of the way, let's get into it!

Want to watch/listen instead? Here's the new IRD podcast!

What came out this week?

Laika: Aged Through Blood

Developer: Brainwash Gang
Steam rating: Very Positive
Store page

It may feature anthropomorphic animals, but Laika: Aged Through Blood isn't messing around. This hand-drawn western-inspired Metroidvania tells a brutal story of an oppressed tribe, and the mother who is compelled to take vengeance to reclaim what her people lost. While the story and animation certainly have my attention, it's the fact that you are racing through this world on a motorcycle that really makes it stand out. Imagine if Klei's Shank had a baby with Sons of Anarchy, and peppered in an irresponsible amount of violence, and that seems to be what Laika is going for. Bonus points for the marketing team who cheekily decreed this as the first... MOTORVANIA. Get it? Coz of the bike, you see.

Wizard with a Gun

Developer: Galvanic Games
Steam rating: Very Positive
Store page

Devolver Digital seems to once again have another certified banger on their label, having just pushed out Wizard with a Gun. Much like their last release Gunbrella (check out our review here), the name succinctly describes the vibe of the game. You are a wizard, who happens to have a gun, and you need to survive in the magical wilderness that is filled with arcane mysteries and baddies. Thankfully you can play the entire game with a friend, as you explore, design new weapons, and build a home base. It has some big Don't Starve energy, but with more focus on fluid combat and wizard tricks. The Steam reviews are strong for this one, so if you like co-op survival games, this one might be worth checking out.

World of Horror

Developer: panstasz
Steam rating: Very Positive
Store page

I have been following the progress of the monochromatic World of Horror for what feels like a millennia. The Apple II style art style paired with the horrific inspirations of Junji Ito (seriously, if you are into horror look into their work) and H.P Lovecraft's collection of Elder Gods make for some truly inspired art. This roguelite features 14 playable characters, 20 investigations to solve, and a bunch of randomized madness for you to face off against in turn-based battle. What's more is that all the art for the game was drawn in Microsoft Paint! You know, the software you probably drew a lot of coloured squares and stuff in back in the day!

I have wanted to play this for so long, but I was waiting for the full 1.0 to release after a lengthy Early Access. To show my true believer status, here is a backer pledge portrait that my old boss Chris from Fellow Traveller had commissioned back when I was VERY COOL and had a mohawk.

Monochromatic 1-bit portrait of the writer of this article, sporting sunglasses and mohawk.
It was a phase...


Developer: Main Tank Software
Steam rating: Very Positive
Store page

Do you like deckbuilders? How about 4X strategy games? Fancy hex-based board games? Well now you can have all three genres mashed into a finely sculpted game that promises a easy to learn but deep strategic experience. Build your deck and use your cards which will help you build cities, raise armies, discover wonders, and develop improvements. Other civilizations and the map are procedurally-generated, which means that no two games will be quite the same. Hexarchy supports up to 10 players, and an entire game plays out in 30-60 minutes according to the Steam page. So if you're busy like me and can't spend an entire weekend playing Civilization with friends, maybe this could work for your group.

Cavern of Dreams

Developer: Bynine Studio
Steam rating: Postive
Store page

If you are often sitting around on a Saturday morning, you coffee going cold as you try to fill the void in your heart that is left by the absence of a new Croc game, then maybe Cavern of Dreams could tide you over. Said to be a surreal 3D platformer with collect-a-thon elements, created in the style of Nintendo 64-era platforming gems, it is immediately apparent right down to the frame-rate in the trailer what these developers are cribbing. It doesn't look half as polished as Yooka-Laylee, but it could be a nice way to spend a weekend.

Agatha Christie - Murder on the Orient Express

Developer: Microids Studio Lyon
Steam rating: Postive
Store page

Murder on the Orient Express is the only Agatha Christie novel I have read, and it really left an impression on me. I really wish in general we got more detective games that are more than cheap hidden object games, and it looks like Microids Studio Lyon is trying to do that with this modern reimagining of this classic tale.

This time the legendary tale takes place in 2023, and it introduces new elements and characters to proceedings, so even if you have read the book, or seen that movie with Depp (side not, I have not seen it. Let me know in the comments if I should give it a go!), there will be new things for you to discover. There are not many Steam reviews for this game, but they ARE positive, and the trailer does look decent. Maybe I will try and see if I can get a key for this one, and report back next week.

Here's some things we did this week

Launched a brand new website

The front page of the Pixels for Breakfast website.

As I mentioned at the top of the newsletter, life and health have been getting in the way of Pixels for Breakfast, which has made me a little sad because I really do love running this site. I've been talking a lot with my long-time collaborator Blue, and we decided that we want to go back to basics, and make it more sustainable. So I took a look at the server costs, and the bloated Wordpress software, and decided that we were spending too much money for not enough benefit. So we have move the entire site across to Ghost, a platform that is specifically made to host writing.

So now when you visit you will be greeted with a responsive and fast website, that also lets you sign up for weekly newsletters. Ghost actually encourages us to ping you every time we post a new article, but we feel that is a little overkill, and under the new plans we are most likely only posting a new feature every 1-2 weeks, which means we can just include it in this dispatch. So please come and check it out, and subscribe - it's totally free. That also allows you to comment on any article, and start some conversations.

There are still some kinks to work out, and design things to sort out, but it is there and it is running strong!

Beneath Oresa is on top of it's game - Review

Blue put together a review of deckbuilder Beneath Oresa. I haven't seen that many people talking about this game, but it actually has a lot of really fun ideas. The art is pretty great, and it is the first deckbuilder since Griftlands that I really want to dive into the world and learn more. Check out their review on our brand new website!

Well, that's it for this week. Thanks so much for following this newsletter. If you enjoy it, share it with a friend. Jump in the comments, and let us know what we can do better. We want this to be valuable to you, not just something that we mindlessly push out every week.