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Jan 2023 round-up!
It is the end of January and we start a new instalment of the newsletter with the monthly roundup
Usually, the first month of the year (calendar, not fiscal) is not a harbinger of big news or important releases in the video game field.
Let's see if this 2023 has changed this habit, especially in the world of indie games, or confirmed it. (note: this is not a complete list but a curated one by me. Share yours in the comment!)
Gorilla Tag: is the first game released in 2023 and is a game to be played in VR. Play tag or infection with people online. Run away from the infected players, or outmanoeuvre the survivors to catch them.
Glimmer in Mirror: is a 2D story-rich action shooting game. Play as Shiro in a collapsed world, to meet various unique NPCs and monsters, and gradually uncover the truth of the world through a gripping story.
Sailing Era: a very solid game about trade, exploration and naval combat. A successor to Uncharted Waters: New Horizons.
Children of Silentown: is an old-school point-and-click dark adventure game that tells the story of Lucy, a girl growing up in a village deep in a forest inhabited by monsters.
Aquatico: is a survival city builder set within the depths of the sea winking at casual gamers rather than hardcore gamers.
SimRail: is a new, advanced railway simulator that is NOT developed by Dovetail games (you decide if this is a pro or a con).
Rain World: Downpour is a DLC for Rain World. Take control of five new characters with new abilities.
A Space for the Unbound: A coming-of-age adventure where you follow two high school sweethearts on a journey of self-discovery at the end of their high school years while facing the end of the world.
Caves of Lore: classic-styled fantasy CRPG with a grid-based combat system.
Industries of Titan: It's not a new release, I think the EPIC exclusivity has expired so even Valve's home client lovers will be able to play this solid city-builder from today.
To be honest, the list is quite substantial but I struggled to find decent releases this month so, yes, I can confirm that the first month of the year is not considered a hot month for releases. February on the other hand...
Despite the lacklustre month from the point of view of indie game releases (but we had the disappointment Forspoken and the surprising masterpiece Hi-Fi Rush) the news and insights are always in good numbers.
Let's start with this beautiful, beautiful piece by Marie Dealessandri on Gamesindutry.biz dedicated to the now 20-year-old Dwarf Fortress, which, for those who still don't know (but where do you live?) has been released for the first time on Steam and Itchio with a new look and an attempt at a tutorial. Is a lengthy analysis of the game, the community surrounding it, and how the two Adams brothers have handled the game's development so far, which has followed their lives, and how and why they decided to publish the game on Steam and Itchio and their relationship with this new 'life'.
It seems that the video game market is not as bad as they say. Sure, it's not good for everyone (is it Ubisoft?) but overall the numbers are not bad at all, in fact, a very good 2023 is on the horizon. At least that's what Christopher Dring says in his piece always hosted by the excellent Gamesindutry.biz
A year like 2022 was inevitable. At one point, the lockdowns would be lifted, people would go outside, return to the offices, to schools, they would go on holiday, maybe even visit the cinema
Last but not least, a couple of very interesting game-themed newsletters that I follow here on Substack and which I am sure you will also find excellent.
The first is Hit Points by Nathan Brown, a former journalist and editor of EDGE Magazine with over a decade of experience in reporting on video games and the video game industry. His latest post is an interesting analysis of the future of E3. Worth a read.
The second newsletter is dedicated to indie role-playing games by Indian journalist Thomas Manuel. From his description:
an email newsletter started in the middle of the hellscape of 2020 as a hub for curating content from around the indie tabletop RPG interverse. This is a personal labour of love to share some of the best parts of the hobby.
That's it for this week, if you liked this issue of the newsletter, I am Lukather and share it, if you didn't like it I am James and share it anyway. Until next time!