It’s rare to see a major development studio make a drastic shift in the genre/type of game they produce from their first game to the second, yet independent developers are afforded a few more opportunities and face different constraints than those developers that fall under the protective wing of a major publisher. Take, for instance, Cadenza Interactive. Their first title, Sol Survivor, was an action tower-defense game to which I lost countless hours playing its cooperative modes. Retrovirus, their upcoming six-degrees-of-freedom shooter, is a radical departure from this. What’s more, it’s attempting to revitalize a particular gaming genre that was considered to be “dead.” From what I played of the alpha back in August of last year, they’ve done a good job of recreating the 6 DoF feeling and co-op play would definitely enhance the overall gameplay experience.
The beta version of the game is currently available by pre-ordering the game through GameStop or Desura (and Steam soon), with a full release later this month or in February.
The first news post we had about Pocketwatch Games’ Monaco: What’s Yours is Mine was from April 26, 2010. At that time, the game was roughly slated to come out in about a year. Fast forward to 3 years later, and we believe the game is actually close to being ready for prime time - and I can’t wait. I was able to play some of the beta with a few other Co-Optimus staff recently (we’ll post the recorded play session of it soon) and it was... well, it was a bit of a mess at first, but that’s more on us than the game. It’s definitely a situation where coordination with your fellow thieves is key. Getting past all of the guards, alarms, and trip wires can be achieved in several different ways, but if everybody decides to do it their way, then you’re more likely to wind up in a situation akin to the infamous heist scene in “Heat” than you are with the slick maneuvering in “Ocean’s Eleven.”
There’s still no official word on when the game will see full retail release, but you can pre-order your copy now at a slight discount and get the prototype version of the game along with two songs from the soundtrack composed by Journey’s Austin Wintory.
I am a sucker for puzzle platformers and cooperative puzzle platformers, in particular. I remember hours spent in front of the NES playing games like The Adventures of Lolo and then The Lost Vikings on the SNES. When I caught wind of A Jolly Corpse’s Wyv and Keep, it was a game I knew I’d be watching as it developed and I have not been disappointed. The titular characters manage to convey more personality than you would think possible in a 16-bit sprite-based world, and the puzzles quickly ramp up to a level of cooperation that’s equal parts crazy and fun - similar to last year’s Portal 2 co-op mode but expanded to 60 levels. The game will also come with a level editor upon release so you’re free to tweak your favorite levels to even greater difficulty/insanity.
When last we spoke with the game’s creators, the title was nearing completion and should see a release within the next couple months. You can pick up the current beta build from their website, which will allow you to access the full version of the game when it releases.
There you have it - our most anticipated indie co-op titles for 2013. It should be said that by no means is this list exhaustive of all the independent games that are sure to be released this year, just those that are rumored or confirmed to see release within the next several months. As always, we'll continue bringing you all the latest co-op news, be it AAA or indie, and look forward to even more co-op gaming in the new year!