Tim Schafer headed up the introduction of this year’s Day of the Devs event, the long-running indie celebration. Originally a yearly in-person event out in San Francisco, hosted by iam8bit and Double Fine Productions, the indie festival has more recently been a digital event. This year’s celebration was the 10th anniversary of the event, and the teams involved had an impressive selection of titles on offer.
To watch the full presentation, jump ahead to time index 1:55:57 of the Summer Game Fest presentation, and enjoy Schafer’s smashing rendition of Happy Birthday. You can also check out individual trailers for the included games in the descriptions below.
Animal Well is an unusual pixel-art adventure from developer Shared Memory about exploring a labyrinth, solving puzzles, and uncovering what you can in the darkness.
Bear & Breakfast
Bear & Breakfast is all about being a bear and running a bed and breakfast. Developed by Gummy Cat, this is a management sim game where you must help Hank the bear make his little inn as welcoming and happy as possible. We don’t have long to wait on this one; the game has been announced for a release on July 22.
Solo developer Madison Karrh is behind the game Birth. The point-and-click adventure game is all about living alone in a city, and the attendant challenges that come along with that experience. Players explore the different parts of the city to find bones and organs to make a creature to be a companion for you. This is a game about loneliness and the lengths to which we will go to manage that feeling, all wrapped in a lovely puzzle-strewn container.
Two Star Games (a solo dev studio) is crafting Choo-Choo Charles, a fascinating and creative mix of open world exploration, train upgrade sim, and whatever genre is about fighting an evil spider train names Charles.
Desta: The Memories Between
The creators of Monument Valley over at ustwo games have a new project called Desta: The Memories Between, which tries to combine elements of roguelikes, turn-based tactics, and sports games, and combine them to make them as accessible as possible. You play Desta, a young woman returning home after the death of her father, solving problems with the rest of their family by playing a ball game that plays out in dream sequences.
Coin Crew Games is hard at work on Escape Academy, a game in which you are enrolled as a student to become – you guessed it – a great escapist. Think about a narrative wrapper around a game that’s gathered up a number of separate escape room experiences into a single project, and you’re beginning to grasp what they’re going for here.
Fox and Frog Travelers: The Demon of Adashino Island
This Japanese title from Rias, Fox and Frog Travelers: The Demon of Adashino Island is a 3D action/adventure deeply steeped in Japanese culture and mythology. Players explore the mysterious Adashino Island as demons converge on the space, all the while controlling a girl named Fox and her friend named Frog.
Goodbye World is created by Yo Fujii. It’s a narrative adventure game focused on puzzle/platform elements and follows two friends working as game developers, trying to craft a product that captures the attention of the masses.
How To Say Goodbye
A game about grief and moving forward, How to Say Goodbye is a narrative puzzle experience that draws its inspiration from illustrated books. Players control a ghost who has recently entered the world of spirits, even as they desperately try to escape the space between life and death.
Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland
Little Nemo: Guardians of Slumberland debuted during the Day of the Devs event, alongside a Kickstarter to help the game be brought to life. The game is an adorable Metroid-inspired exploration game in which you control a pajama-clad child as he explores a whimsical world of toys, candy, and stuffed animals.
A Little To The Left
Developer Max Inferno is crafting A Little to the Left, a puzzle game all about sorting and cleaning the house. Everything is about rearranging normal household items, and discovering the puzzles represented by those items. Calming, cute, and clever, this is a project about observation and paying close attention to the little things around us every day. It also includes a mischievous cat who will occasionally show up to untidy all your hard work.
HiWarp is the studio behind this charming game called Naiad, which is all about controlling a water nymph as they explore and swim down a river. Relaxing and beautiful, this is a game about nature, small but fascinating secrets, and the joy of discovery.
Planet of Lana
Wishfully Studios is crafting the gorgeous Planet of Lana side-scrolling game, in which you control a young woman who is trying to save her sister while journeying the world with an adorable animal companion. The visual style is especially striking, and much of the gameplay shown involves environmental puzzles.
Roots of Pacha
Soda Den is behind this farming sim called Roots of Pacha, set in the stone age. Playable either solo or coop, this game’s twist on the genre is that you’re discovering many of the fundamental tricks of agriculture that helped humanity move from hunting and gathering into settled communities.
In Schim, players control a dark little blob as it leaps and maneuvers from one shadow to the next in a stark minimalistic presentation of real-life scenes, like cars on the street or inviting city parks. Your aim is to be reconnected with your own shadow, connected to one specific person.
Time Flies offers a thoughtful contemplation on through the eyes of a fly, in which you control a fly as it moves through the dangers and difficulties of life. On a broader thematic level, the game explores the brief time we all have in life, and what we choose to do with that time.