Brandon Boyer

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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 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, in addition to their home on the JUEGOS RANCHEROS site.


Electronic Sweet-N-Fun Fortune Teller

Developer: Party Time! Hexcellent | Platform: NES | Get it:

“…an ‘original love horoscope game’ programmed for the NES by our own Rachel Party Time! Hexcellent Weil, the download includes the original NES rom along with a four-page booklet about hacking, programming, and sleepovers…”

Cosmic DJ

Developer: GL33K | Platform: iPhone/iPad/Windows/Mac | Get it: App Store / Steam

“…originally and best described as ‘a drum machine that loves you’, the game serves both as a bizarre, comedic adventure and an easy-to-learn sequencer which lets you save your compositions, create album art and upload the works to Soundcloud.

Grab the iOS version over all, as its the platform where the game truly shines…”

The Uncle Who Works For Nintendo

Developer: Michael Lutz | Platform: Web | Play it: Here

“…a meditation on as well as a prime example of internet-born videogame/www horror known as ‘creepypasta’, the game’s a play on that playground trope of the privileged kid whose dubious family connections gave him an advantage over others. Be sure to explore the multiple endings, as unlocking each also unlocks documentation on the creation of the game from its author…”

Hadean Lands

Developer: Andrew Plotkin | Platform: iPhone/iPad/PC | Get it: App Store /

“…originally Kickstarted in 2010 and in production for the four years since, the game’s one of the most ambitious and intriguing pieces of interactive fiction in recent memory, not least for its crossover of sci-fi and alchemical fantasy.

Grab especially the iOS version for its tabbed interface with graphical map & additional notes…”

Return of the Obra Dinn

Developer: Lucas Pope | Platform: Windows/Mac | Get it:

“…a still-small proof of concept that’s worth giving a shot now & following along with as he continues to develop it. It’s going in some really interesting mechanical directions, on top of the fantastic 1-bit 3D HyperCard-ish aesthetic work…”


Developer: JW Nijman | Platform: Windows | Get it:

“…Pong for the 21st century, a fantastic feeling 2P tennis game from Vlambeer designer JW. Interestingly, he’s selling the game for $20, with the caveat that you’re free to give a copy to your friends after purchase…”


Developer: Michael Brough | Platform: iPhone/iPad | Get it: App Store

“…a fantastic iOS arcade game from your favorite game designer’s favorite game designer, all about tracing loops around a constant onslaught of enemies, and packed with secrets — it’s hard to precisely describe how satisfying it feels…”

The Sailor’s Dream

Developer: Simogo | Platform: iPhone/iPad | Get it: App Store

“…the latest from DEVICE6 creator Simogo shares a lot of navigational DNA with their game Year Walk, but put to more poetic ends, as you lazily explore various nautical spaces.

Eventually flirts with the actual passing of time, whether hours of the day or days of the week, and — interestingly, for a mobile game — requires an actual printer to fully dig into its depths…”


Developer: Tom van den Boogaart | Platform: Windows/Mac/Linux | Get it: Here

“…a tiny game where you do basically nothing but walk around & explore an amazing alien city with your stupid hands in front of your face.

Because you can’t communicate with anyone, you don’t really have an impact on the world, it conjures a very real feeling of the isolation and alienation of traveling to a place where you don’t speak the language…”

Here and There Along the Echo

Developer: Cardboard Computer | Platform: PC/Mac/Linux/Your Actual Telephone | Get it: Here / Dial: (270) 301-5797

“…the latest free interlude in between Kentucky Route Zero is as unbelievably brilliant as you’ve come to expect from Cardboard Computer.

This time it’s the sensation of calling a tourism bureau’s informational help line inside a dream, all narrated by Will Oldham of Bonnie Prince Billy/Palace Bros, and is playable by calling an actual phone number, or simulating the physical experience with the download…”