indie-insights-vol.-26-–-finding-time

We’ve collectively reached February already/finally (delete as applicable). I’m proud of us; we did it despite everything happening in the world. We made it through another fortnight together. We live in a time when we must lean hard into what sustains us and brings us joy. For me, I keep going through spite, video games, and the prospect of new Nicolas Cage movies. I am fueled by tending digital gardens and Cage rage—a healthy way to be.

Here’s what I played this fortnight while watching early 90s Cage performances.

Hidden Through Time 2: Myths & Magic

Image Credit: Rogueside.

I’m a big fan of hidden object games. I had a library of Where’s Wally? books (Waldo to my North American friends) and went through them over and over. There’s something incredibly satisfying about just finding things in amongst the chaos, and that is exactly what Hidden Through Time 2 is all about. As the title suggests, Hidden Through Time 2 has you searching through different times and worlds of legends to find numerous artifacts, animals, and people. You can travel to the Middle East and explore the world of Sinbad and Aladdin, or you can journey to Mount Olympus and party with Dionysus. The scenes you search through are hand-drawn, filled with detail, and have some great references for people who love mythology.

Not only can you play in single-player mode, but you can also play online and create your own maps for other players to scour. It also features the ability to change reality by altering the weather or time of day. Some objects can only be found during specific circumstances, and seeing how the scenes change is fun. The first Hidden Through Time was a fun experience, but this second entry improves upon and expands the mechanics, making it an even more satisfying and enjoyable treasure hunt.

Hidden Through Time 2: Myths and Magic is out now on Steam, Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.

Lost and Found Co. – Demo

Image Credit: Bit Egg Inc.

After playing a hidden object game, I always want to play more hidden object games. Luckily for me, the demo for Lost and Found Co. from Indonesian developers Bit Egg Inc. popped up on my radar. The demo is a short taster of what’s to come, with only two available stages, but it was more than enough for me to know that I am excited about the full game. Straight away you are transformed into a human from a frog by a Dragon princess. Following that perfectly normal event, it’s time to get out into the world and help people find their lost objects.

The stages are multi-level, and you can switch between them easily. They are densely populated with fun characters all up to some kind of shenanigans, and it’s up to you to peer through the madness to find things for your clients. Most of the objects and characters in the scenes are interactable and will at least have some kind of animation when clicked. There’s a real sense of whimsy and quirkiness to this demo that I love, as well as an inviting art style and a hint at an overarching plotline for a full release.

Lost and Found Co. is coming soon with a demo available now on Steam.

Anomaly Agent

Image Credit: Phew Phew Games.

Phew Phew Games are taking us back to the future in this retro-styled, gravity-bending action-adventure game. You play as Agent 70 who is part of an agency that patrols the streets fixing strange phenomena and putting weirdos behind bars. Agent 70 has been promoted, and today is his last day before he moves on. Unfortunately for him, and like any good action movie, it’s time for a whole lot of anomalies to start popping up.

Gameplay involves platforming, melee, and weapon-based combat and utilizing the strange reality-bending anomalies that appear to your advantage. Throw business cards to stun your enemies or throw them at bizarre-looking spiky platforms that conveniently materialize over your enemies’ heads. Face down freaky anomaly monsters and huge wrestlers. Make your way through levels and come head-to-head with a boss that could be out of an early Contra game. Remember that your choices matter, and how you speak to people can influence what you can upgrade. Anomaly Agent is a heady mix of retro influences and innovative mechanics all wrapped up in a bow of Sierra games humor.

Anomaly Agent is out now on Steam, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and Nintendo Switch. You can read our review here.

Teleforum

Image Credit: Monumental Collab.

From one reality-bending game to another, Teleforum from Monumental Collab has a considerably different vibe from the previous game. This tense horror game takes advantage of the found footage/analog horror trend to bring you into the middle of a story you uncover as you play. You play from the perspective of a newly hired news cameraman who is out on a story with one of the anchors from the station. Recently, something horrible happened on a live news broadcast. While the totality of the incident isn’t revealed, you know it involves anchor Walter Martin and a strange VHS tape and ended in Walter’s death.

Under the pretense of filming a tribute for Walter, you arrive at his widow’s home and start to look for clues and, most importantly, the VHS tape. Your actions set off a loop that distorts reality and your memory. Your choices matter and will help or hinder you in finding the truth. It’s an extremely well-made and effectively spooky game, and I wish it were much longer.

Teleforum is free to play on Steam.

Upcoming Releases

  • Puzzling escape room game CLeM comes to PC and Nintendo Switch on February 6.
  • PS1-inspired horror game Alisa comes to Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC, PS4, PS5, and Nintendo Switch on February 6.
  • Turn-based deck builder SpellRogue comes to early access on PC on February 12.
  • Bizarre adventure Airhead comes to PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X/S on February 12.
  • Sucker for Love: Date to Die For smooches its way onto PC aptly on February 14.
  • Roguelike skateboarder Helskate comes to early access on PC on February 15.