Every month, as part of the regular monthly meetings of the Austin, TX independent game community JUEGOS RANCHEROS, we do a very casual & chatty rundown of the ten or so games from the previous month for the audience, to give people — especially those curious onlookers from outside the indie community itself — a look at what they may have missed. The featured games are both local and global, and both indie and, on occasion, a bit-bigger-budget — what binds them together is simply that they’re all amazing.
In keeping with the tongue-in-tobacco-packed-cheek tone, we call these run-downs A Fistful of Indies, which are presented here on Venus Patrol for your reference, each fully-annotated, -linked, and off-the-cuff blurbed, in addition to their home on the JUEGOS RANCHEROS site.
A late contender for web game of the year squeaking in under the wire, but with an amazingly strong showing, comes Save The Day, from Scottish indies Denki, who you may recall as the creators of the fantastic strategy word game Quarrel (previously profiled here in 2009 and released this year for both XBLA and iOS), or even further back with the under-sung Game Boy Advance gem Go! Go! Beckham! (which is so much better than any David Beckham-license game has any right to be).
Save The Day‘s their debut for upstart HTML5 platform Turbulenz, and likely will serve as its new flagship title: a fantastically frenetic and compelling arcade game that gives you just minutes to pilot your rescue helicopter through a volcanic disaster, rescuing hapless citizens who, collectively, grant access to more perilous sections buried deeper within its world.
You’ll note traces of Choplifter, H.E.R.O. and maybe, more recently, PixelJunk Shooter, but what puts Save The Day over the top is its reliance on time & score, rather than environmental damage and enemy attack, and its constant blare of super satisfying information overload, that makes it a perfect, replayable three minute morsel.
Denki have confessed to but not elaborated on “grand plans for the game”, and it’s certainly something I wouldn’t mind being able to play away from the desk, but you’ll be very happy to have gotten in on the ground floor now by spending the rest of your day playing on Turbulenz right here.