Five Nintendo Indie Showcase games that show diversity and medium’s global influence

Aztech Forgotten Gods is made by a studio from Mexico and is inspired by anime and the country's mythology. — Lienzo

The Nintendo Indie World Showcase is a cure for those tired of the same formulaic shooter. This month’s event showed off intriguing ideas that come from different perspectives and backgrounds. The diversity of concepts shows how gaming has inspired people from all walks of life.

Anselm Pyta, of Studio Seufz in Germany, created a game based on a real-life legend about king who lost his powers and laid himself to rest, asking a servant to wake him up. Called The Longing, it’s a game that takes place in real time over 400 days. As the servant, players are presented with plenty of things to do such as puzzles and collecting material as they bide their time waiting for the king to awaken. Players can get a jump on that long journey right now as the game comes out today.

Neil “Aerial_Knight” Jones, a Black developer from Detroit, designed a narrative runner called Never Yield that has a slick style that reminds me of Sayonara Wild Hearts but with a hip-hop flair amid a Tokyo-style Detroit. Jones’ game comes out today on the Nintendo eShop.

Aztech Forgotten Gods is developed by the Mexican studio Lienzo and imagines a Mesoamerica that wasn’t colonised by European powers. It mixes a sci-fi world with Aztec mythology as the hero Achtli works with Tez to defeat deities who have been forgotten. It’s compelling twist on the action game that introduces players to a culture they may be unfamiliar with while using the design language of anime and video games to open that door. Aztech Forgotten Gods comes out this fall.

Road 96 has the biggest potential of all the games shown during the showcase. It’s a procedural narrative game inspired by the road trip moves from the 1990s. French studio DigixArt crafted a title where choices matter and players have potentially thousands of paths to take. From the trailer, it looks like an adventure game with moments of action-oriented gameplay. It’s a title that has fascinating potential to have all sorts of replay value as player choices apparently lead to drastically different outcomes. Road 96 comes out later this year.

Skul: The Hero Slayer by SouthPaw Games comes from a team that met up in a game development club in Chonnam National University in South Korea. The group loved action platformers and eventually made this project, which also has rogue-lite elements. Skul flips the common video game narrative of a hero saving the world on its head. Instead of playing as a good guy, the campaign focuses on an undying skeleton who has to rescue his king. The game has a gorgeous sprite art-style and looks fast-paced, requiring plenty of skill. Skul is set to come out this summer. – Mercury News/TNS

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