Saturday, May 30, 2020

Eric Vs. 365 - Day 335 - Kamiko

Kamiko is another game I'd consider to be a perfect indie title. It's short and sweet, fun to play, has a distinct visual style and great music, and is appropriately priced at $5 or less. It's perfect. If you skipped its original release on Nintendo Switch, definitely check it out on Xbox One (for easy achievements!). Read more and watch gameplay here.

Kamiko is a sort of oldschool Zelda-like where you explore a top down world solving simple puzzles and finding secret goodies all while hacking away at hundreds of infinitely respawning enemies. It isn't as big or epic as a Zelda game, of course, but that is genuinely part of why I found it so appealing. It is pretty short with only a handful of levels and the gameplay is rarely very taxing, but it is incredibly fun to play. It looks and sounds great as well. For $5 it more than delivers.

The recent Wholesome Games Showcase (or whatever it was called) got me thinking about indie games as a whole, though. Far too many indie games are just a visual style and a concept but little more. They struggle to figure out what the actual gameplay is going to be like so you see reveals, like way too many of those Wholesome games, that look appealing and interesting but you have no idea what the heck you're actually going to be doing in the games. More often than not, unfortunately, what you end up doing is boring and shallow and shit.

Indie games need an editor that tells people the truth before they get too deep into development that they have no other choice than to just release stuff in order to survive. Someone needs to say "Oh yeah, the art style is super cute, but it plays like 95% of every other indie game out there and isn't especially fun. You should probably start over". Or, "Your game is solid an I like it a lot, but charging $40 is way too much. How about $15?". Or my favorite, "Using hot anime girls with artwork that is totally different from the game itself is misleading and gross. Stop it". 

I started PSXBoxIndies to celebrate indie games, but honestly the sheer volume of absolute mediocrity wore me down over the last few years. Games like Kamiko are a shining beacon of quality in a sea of murky shit. Games like Kamiko are what keep me going in the hopes I'll find something else that is this close to perfect. I have to admit that it's getting harder and harder to stay motivated, though.