A little different this week, as I’ve been really ill and my vision has taken a bit of a nose dive, so can’t spend as long in front of a computer screen as I’d like. But the good news is, I’ve been playing a lot of stuff prior to this week that was unbder embargo, that I can now talk about. So a bit of a whistle stop round up of some recent indies below.

Duck Detective

DEVELOPER: Happy Broccoli Games
PUBLISHER: Happy Broccoli Games
Formats: PC, Switch, Xbox
Price: £8.99
Steam Deck: Unknown (Should become verified)

Credit: Wholesome Games

Duck Detective is a short game… a really short game. But in the small amount of time I spent with it, I was greeted with more character and more great writing than games that a bigger in terms of scale, scope and budget.

You play a down on his luck detective who has a case to solve. The case of the missing salami! And whilst it is a silly premise and something that you’d think doesn’t need a private detective on the case, the developers at Happy Broccoli games have created a detective noir that shines with the very best.

I cannot recommend this enough. Just get it, settle in with a cuppa and a sandwich (maybe a salami one) and just enjoy the next 2-3 hours just fly by as you have the best time solving a ‘crime’.

I hope, this is the first of many cases for the Duck Detective, because I want more of this, it is just simply brilliant.

Cozy Caravan

DEVELOPER: 5 Lives Studios
PUBLISHER: 5 Lives Studios
Formats: PC
Price: £16.75
Steam Deck: Unknown (Works just fine)

Credit: Wholesome Games

I was initially expecting another Animal Crossing homage upon first hearing about Cozy Caravan, but what I actually got was a wonderfully unique and joyous journey that made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

You essentially embark on a road trip, where you visit new towns, meet new people, help them in their daily lives, explore, craft and trade. All whilst having a warm glow in your heart. Yes it may sound soppy, but it exactly the type of game you need then the real world is a horrorscape.

Cozy Caravan really does emphasise the cozy and I found my quick play to initially check it out had me drawn in and hooked within a few minutes. The concept is lovely, the characters are wonderful and it is such a joyful experience that I want to spend more and more time in the world.

If you are after a break from the trappings of real life, then this is easily one way to to escape and goes great on the sofa with the Steam Deck!


DEVELOPER: Moonloop Games LLC
PUBLISHER: Firestoke
Formats: PC, Switch, Playstation, Xbox
Price: TBD
Steam Deck: Verified

Credit: Firestoke

Is games art? Well if my experience with Hauntii is anything to go by, then yes… yes they is!

From the gloriously haunting soundtrack to the striking monochromatic visuals, everything about Hauntii is a feast for the senses. Using no dialogue, but still telling an amazing story that will have you transfixed from the very second you start playing.

I had no idea where I was being taken, but all I knew is that I wanted to go on this journey, I wanted to discover what was ahread, why I was doing what I was doing. Why was this world… everything. Hauntii is mostly about exploring and collecting, but also has some excellent puzzle solving elements too, using your unique haunting abilities to solve roadblocks in your way. Also having some light twin-stick shooting that whilst it may sound out of place, fits in perfectly with the game.

It is such a relaxing game, but one that hits you with all the emotions, mainly in part down to that soundtrack. Which tells a story in a way I can only say is reminiscent of Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds. In that the music opens up something within you. At one point I just had floods of tears and I honestly don’t know why.

I wasn’t upset or anything like that, but something emotional just slapped me in the face and I had to take a moment to compose myself. I might be an outlier here, but WOW.

Hauntii is a spectacularly low-key game that just nails what ganing can be, especially at a time when the bigger studios are being shuttered by the corporations, this little game can be a shining light in what happens when you allow people to let their creativity flow.

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