For the first time, the Tribeca Festival hosted a Games Spotlight, putting a spotlight on some fantastic-looking indie titles. The presentation did a great job of providing context to each title, interviewing each dev team on their inspirations and process. Each title featured in the Tribeca Games Spotlight looks fascinating in its own right, but a few really stood out because of their style and direction.
With that in mind, here are our picks for titles you’ll want to keep an eye on. As a note the Tribeca Games Spotlight website allows anyone to sign up for a timeslot to play a demo of any one single game via the “Experience” tab. So if something has caught your fancy, make sure to sign up.
Signalis is an utterly engrossing-looking horror game with a vibrant pixelated art style. It almost looks like a cross between Half-Life and Resident Evil, with very similar combat to the latter. You take on the role of a Replica, who has to navigate the dreary halls of an abandoned research facility to find out the truth of what happened.
More than anything Signalis’ atmosphere looks absolutely fantastic, with an edge of dread constantly seeping in. The game has a mix of first and third-person exploration, mixed together with elements of point-and-click adventures. Horrors stalk the halls of the research facility, and a multitude of weapons are available to take them down.
Signalis’ pixel art is gorgeous and adds a unique flair to the overall experience, and it’s certainly one that survival-horror fans will want to keep checking back on.
Norco is yet another example of pixel art used to great effect in the horror genre, and developer Geography of Robots describes it as a “Southern Gothic point-and-click adventure.” That description seems pretty on point as the geography and culture of the American South feel central to the overall experience. There’s a kind of grittiness that seems to permeate the art style, and it really works.
The title is based on one of the developer’s hometown of Norco, Louisiana, and exploring the town will yield a multitude of mysteries. In traditional point-and-click style, there’s a lot of text to wade through, but the newest trailer also showed off a unique kind of combat system. The video at the
It’s clear that the devs behind Norco are very passionate about the project, and it’s those personal experiences that make the game look like something wholly unique. In the Tribeca Games Spotlight video Yutsi from Geography of Robots ends with this thought, “It has been an interesting journey pushing the boundaries of the medium, and kind of forcing it into this more complex uncomfortable future.”
Sable has shown off a lot of new footage this week, between the look at Tribeca Games Spotlight the performance of a new song by Japanese Breakfast featured in-game. All that time only helps cement the idea that Sable is going to be something special, and the perfect title to relax with.
Sable takes place on a sci-fi desert world, putting you in the shoes of a young girl, named Sable, who leaves her tribe as part of a coming-of-age ceremony. The crux of the game is about exploration, not just of the world but about what kind of person the main character wants to be. At its heart, it’s a coming-of-age story, where Sable travels and helps other tribes as well as those in need.
The developers at Shedworks describe the story as “Sable finding her place in the world,” and the laid-back tone of the overall experience seems to help reinforce that message. Having a sweet hoverbike to get around on is just the icing on the cake.
Harold Halibut is one of the most visually unique titles you’ll see this entire year, as the entire game is done in a handmade claymation style. The developers at Slow Bros have put an extraordinary amount of effort into creating the game’s characters and sets, and the Tribeca Games Spotlight showed a snippet of that.
You play as Harold, a lab assistant aboard a massive ark-like spaceship that left Earth 250 years ago. “Our goal has always been to create an accurate recreation of a stop motion film, to create the cinematic feel,” says Onat Hekimoglu, CEO of Slow Bros.
Harold Halibut seems like an adventure game with an interesting premise, but it’s that art style that makes it so fascinating. It’s an absolute visual treat just from the trailers, and one can only imagine how it’ll be implemented in the full release.