You’d be forgiven for thinking that the only indie game to come out recently is the outstanding Balatro. However there have been more and some cracking games at that. Including a dystopian, political work sim and dystopian psychological adventure. It’s all sunshine and roses here!

A Void Hope

DEVELOPER: Elden Pixels
PUBLISHER: Elden Pixels
Platforms: Steam
Steam Deck: Unknown (Runs without issue)

Credit: Elden Pixels

I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with 2D pixel-art ‘horror’ games. In that I never get drawn in to the atmosphere. Hell it is something with most horror based games in actual fact, I just don’t find them scary, creepy or anything.

That being said there are the odd exceptions to this such as Lone Survivor and Oxenfree, where the supposed horror aspect is but a small part and the story and gameplay are allowed to shine. A Void Hope is one such game, that I found myself utterly enthralled by.

A Void Hope’s setup is interesting as it takes a larger event and tells a the story framed around a more personal affair as you follow a couple as they essentially try and survive. Now it does get deeper than that, but as with most games where the discovery of story is important, I won’t go into any details. Just know it is compelling from start to finish.

The gameplay is a mix of exploration and puzzle solving, which combine really well to help you uncover mysteries within the beautifully haunting world. There is interaction with characters but this is done in such a way that you get an intense feeling of isolation, despite everything going on around.

To have a game that is as slow burning as A Void Hope is, yet still lelave me feeling tense and on edge rigght until the end, whilst fully captivated in the story and eager to see what is next is a pretty impressive feat and one I fully implore you try.

In a world full of great Indies, this could be one that easily slips through the cracks, but deserves as much attention as possible.

Corponation: The Sorting Process

PUBLISHER: Playtonic Friends
Platforms: Steam
Price: £11.99
Steam Deck: Verified

Credit: Playtonic

Oh my! Take Papers, Please! American Arcadia, Do Not Feed the Monkeys and Not Tonight. Sprinkle in your own worthless existence and an a sense of being nothing but another cog in the machine and you get Corponation: The Sorting Process.

I have no idea why, but games that are designed to be soul crushing monotonous affairs are somehow the most fresh and rewarding experiences out there. It makes no sense as you are literally just sorting things into other things, under a time pressure and a target to meet.

In Corponation you don’t even get time to yourself properly as between shifts you can play video games, in fact it is all but mandated that you must. Oddly that gives the overbearing feeling that you are under the constant gaze of a big brother type entity. It is a really uneasy effect on you aven knowing this is a work of pure fiction.

The simplicity of everything here makes Corponation: The Sorting Process stand out from Papers, Please! as I found that game to be stressful because of everything you needed to learn and do, here the simplicity and external pressures work wonderfully well along with the simple visual style.

Everything here is cold and corporate in all the right ways and the story takes some interesting turns that really do make you consider your actions. I’ve had points where I’ve felt I needed to put the game down for a bit and step away to think about things, before carrying on. But more than that, this is one of those rare games where I lay in bed of an evening thinking about it before trying to sleep. It really does stick with you.

Corponation: The Sorting Process is a must own.

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