Screenshot Saturday Featuring Skate Story, Neon Noodles, More

Hello, and welcome to Screenshot Saturday, where we’ve finally returned after a two-week hiatus! Terribly sorry for the wait, I had to take one weekend off where attending PAX East, and another weekend off to recover from the post-PAX pox, but we’re back now, and…wow, quite a bit has developed over the course of this hiatus. I mean, right before I left, all of our previous editions had me noting how things were ramping up because convention/gaming event season was about to kick into high gear…and then the coronavirus outbreak took its toll on everything. First GDC was struck, then E3, then EGX Rezzed…it’s been a tough time for the gaming industry.

Okay, it’s been a tough time for everyone, obviously, but smaller developers rely on events such as these, be it having large venues to showcase their work and provide more media exposure or opportunities to find publishers and others who can assist in a game’s development through various ways, making connections that benefit everyone. And not only do cancelled events mean losing all of this, but for many attending events like GDC, it means potentially losing money spent on travel, accommodations, and various business costs. Support has arrived in various forms, such as the GDC Relief Fund, but a lot of damage has been done.

In the wake of all of these cancellations, several outlets and groups on Twitter are finding various ways to cover indie games more in the coming months. And while it may be a minuscule gesture in comparison to others, I have decided that not only will this week’s edition be devoted to games that would have appeared at GDC 2020 in some way, but that for the next few months, in order to cast a wider net and cover more games that need it, I will be throwing some of the rules for Screenshot Saturday out the window. The #screenshotsaturday tag will no longer be required in order to be featured (though all games using it will still be considered as usual), and none of the tweets need to be recent. Basically, anything goes for now, at least until we finally have some stability again.

One last thing: I know we have Doom Eternal and Animal Crossing: New Horizons coming out next week, and Nioh 2 is out right now, but maybe consider taking even just a few minutes to look into an upcoming indie game, or just play something smaller for a moment in between, write a quick review, spread the world a little. Every little bit helps when it comes to games such as these.

Oh, that reminds me, I should actually get to this week’s games already. Well, enjoy!

Skate Story- Well, we may as well kick things off with a game that was also at PAX East, but that I am now kicking myself over for not getting some hands-on time with it. A unique skateboarding game with some absolutely gorgeous graphics and a unique tale of skating down into the underworld in order to retrieve something that’s been lost. So I guess what I’m saying is that hell yeah, I’ll sponsor you.

Neon Noodles- Inspired by Zachtronics titles such as SpaceChem and Opus Magnum, we have another puzzler centered around automation, this time giving you the task of programming robots in order to properly operate a futuristic cyberpunk kitchen and create the meals required. It looks incredibly clever in concept and execution, so indeed, consider checking it out in Early Access.

Atrio: The Dark Wild- Possibly the most mysterious of any of the titles set to pop up around GDC, and when looking at at the teaser, you can probably tell why that is. What we have here is another cyberpunk game, but this one actual bills itself as a survival game. Certainly a unique angle, and it does have some amazing visuals, and an odd emphasis on deer poop, so it has my attention.

Going Under- Another game that also popped up at PAX East, and having played it there as well, let’s just say there’s a damn good reason why we would gladly bring this game to your attention as much as possible. It’s just that damn fun. I mean, you can’t not love a satirical dungeon crawler where your monstrous enemies can be killed as punishment for trying to hit on you in the workplace.

UNBEATABLE- Details for this one have been a bit hard to find (unless you were able to attend MAGFEST), but from what I’ve been able to glimpse, what we have here appears to be a cross between a rhythm game and One Finger Death Punch, which is awesome. But no matter what, it still looks stylish and impressive, so keep an eye out for it.

Spiritfarer- During times like this, we could all benefit from both a wholesome simulation adventure and a bowl of hot soup. Mind you, this is also a game about taking care of lost souls with the likes of said soup and other little joys in order to comfort them and prepare them for their journey into the afterlife, which may sound awkward…but it isn’t. It’s just a colorful, heartfelt gem.

A Juggler’s Tale- What seems like a charming, cute platformer about a little puppet girl trying to find their way in the world (complete with puzzles based around getting past their strings) clearly takes a dark turn later on, as the trailer shows. There are plenty of atmospheric platformers in a similar vein, but the concept here seems fresh enough to give this the edge it needs to stand out.

Revenant’s Reach- Well, an impressive 2.5D platformer is one thing, but basing the majority of the action around a grappling hook pretty much guarantees that you have my full attention. I’m not exactly certain how many knights actually had grappling hooks throughout history, but I don’t care as long as it leads to action this good.

Liberated- Typically, one would expect a resistance’s headquarters to be more secret. But when the resistance and their revolution take the form of an impressive looking cinematic platformer with sweet comic book visuals, then yes, maybe it is best to direct more people towards your happenings on the likes of Game Jolt.

Eldest Souls- This may not exactly show off the impressive pixel art and tough-as-nails action is this top-down adventure, but sometimes you just have to sit back and enjoy some of the behind-the-scenes work that shows just how much planning and effort goes into crafting a game such as this. It may look crude, but it’ll hopefully result in some amazing level design.

The Forest Cathedral- A psychological thriller about the real-life story of scientist Rachel Carson, who found that someone was trying to silence their discoveries on DDT. Granted, I doubt Rachel had to deal with plaforming challenges found via terminals on an island that won’t let her leave, but if we can give Oscars to films that take liberties with true stories, then we can also certainly overlook bits like that for a unique first-person game as well.

Button City- A low-poly adventure about cute animals attempting to save their arcade…that just happens to involve building robots, it appears. Well, it makes sense to me. And hell, you can’t really argue with something as charming as this, can you?