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Best New Indie Games May Week 4 2020

The last week of May 2020 caps of a great month of indie gaming with a solid lineup of new releases. In our last best new indie games list for May 2020 we have a spread of games that is sure to satisfy a wide range of gamers. This week sees the release of the much-anticipated Poly Bridge 2 and four other epic looking indie games.

Poly Bridge 2

Release Date: 28 May 2020

best new indie game releases may 2020
Image: Dry Cactus

The Poly Bridge franchise hardly needs an introduction as the original game saw massive success with its release in 2016 on Steam. To date, the original Poly Bridge has garnered over 7500 reviews on Steam with an average rating of “very positive”.

For those who are not familiar with the series, Poly Bridge is a bridge building simulator. It’s way more fun than it sounds as the game presents you with a variety of gaps that need bridges and a variety of vehicles that need to use your bridge. By using cleverly calculated physics your bridge is either successful and the vehicle can cross the gap or your bridge breaks in spectacular fashion. 

Poly Bridge uses a combination of beautiful low poly graphics and genuinely challenging game mechanics to provide players with fantastic gaming experience. There is great satisfaction to be found in painstakingly putting your bridge together and testing your design in the different levels of the game. Sometimes your bridge is literally hanging by a thread by the time all the traffic has crossed it, but you have succeeded in beating the level.

Poly Bridge 2 offers players more of the same and that includes new levels, more features and what the developer Dry Cactus refers to as a new “custom deterministic physics engine”. In the language of mortals, that simply means we get to have fun with an even better physics engine!

Mists of Noyah

Release Date: 27 May 2020 Early Access

best new indie game releases may 2020
Image: Pyxerallia

Mists of Noyah looks like an interesting take on the survival genre. It channels the atmosphere and character of games such as Starbound and Terraria with a dash of Dead Cells. 

Mists of Noyah is a co-op survival game with beautiful pixel graphics. The unique environments look gorgeous and they are randomly generated, meaning no playthrough will be like a previous one. But it is not in this aspect of the game that we see Mists of Noyah’s unique character. 

The game works with a day-night cycle which is central to the mechanics. During the day you venture out into the world in search of a wide variety of resources you need to upgrade your fort and appease its inhabitants. At the start of the game your fort is empty as it has recently been abandoned and part of your activities during the day includes finding the lost members out in the world. 

During the night everything changes. Nights are dangerous, and this means that the demons and other creatures will attack your fort. You will need to build fortifications and rally your inhabitants to survive this part of the cycle. If you lose the fort and can’t get it back in time, you lose the game and will have to start again. Luckily this only happens when it is a full moon, but the demons grow stronger with every attack. 

This day-night cycle makes me think about Don’t Starve and the frantic shifts between phases of the game that comes with this mechanic. 

The game includes a host of other features such as crafting, classes, skills, factions, and even professions. It is doubtful whether all of these features will be included and fleshed out in the Early Access release, but Mists of Noyah certainly holds great promise.

Wildfire

Release Date: 26 May 2020

Wildfire release
Image: Humble Games

Our next entry for this week is also a game that sports a pixel graphic approach. But this is where the similarities between Mists of Noyah and Wildfire end. 

Wildfire is a stealth game and takes a puzzle and platformer approach to tell its story. To progress in the game, you have to use a combination of stealth and your elemental powers to outsmart the enemy and solve the puzzles.

The elemental powers are focused around fire, water and earth. You can use fireballs to set things ablaze in the world, freeze lakes and other bodies of water to either cross it or trap your enemies, and use the earth to pave your way through the world.

Based on the available gameplay videos, Wildfire looks like it will be a great experience for fans of the stealth genre, with a charming setting that may even win over other players.

Rising Lords

Release Date: 27 May 2020 Early Access

Rising lords release
Image: Argonwoods, WhisperGames

Has the quarantine aggravated that itch you have for a new board game? Are you one of many who can’t scratch that itch because you cannot get out to go and buy the game? Rising Lords lands on Steam on the 27th of May to act as your saviour.

Rising Lords is a turn-based strategy game incorporating elements from card and board games. Typical of these games, you manage your kingdom or lands and either win through combat, diplomacy or by reaching certain milestones. 

Rising Lords look to have deep and engaging mechanics, and players will have loads of possibilities to win at their fingertips. These mechanics are certainly nothing new and we have seen its likes in many board games. Rising Lords does however aim to build a PC game and not just port a board game over to a digital format.

This is quite exciting for many reasons, but two of the most prominent that come to mind are scale and ease of use. Having a humongous board game that takes a few hours to complete is a hassle to pack and unpack, and in the cases where the game needs to be paused until a later date the issues are obvious. Therefore, physical board games need to keep a delicate balance between the complexity of the physical board game and its mechanics. In a digital world these things aren’t issues and you can flesh out the world of the game with awesome characters, monsters and cities without the restriction of physical pieces. 

The Early Access period of Rising Lords is crucial to its success as the mechanics can be refined by the developer as they receive feedback from players. We all criticize board games from time to time for their mechanics and other things, but here is your chance to be part of the development of such a game. Buy the game, support the developers and have your voice matter in the process of building a grand game.

Ending May on a high note

The last week of May has some exciting new indie releases. Be sure to check some of them out!