Brandon Boyer

Leave a reply

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.


Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

Developer: Nintendo | Platform: Wii U | Get it: Amazon

“…a really beautiful tiny conceit — it’s a Mario game with no jumping, a puzzle game that all centers around the idea of obscured information. Honestly probably the best first-party Nintendo game of the year…”

Trinket Shrine

Developer: Various | Platform: Windows/Mac/Web | Play them: Here

“… a fantastic collection of tiny games by perennial favorite artists like thecatamites, Sloane Leong, llaura dreamfeeel, and Ben Esposito, who made the Chime Shrine pictured above, which is little more than a little portal to a peaceful space…”

Toca Nature

Developer: Toca Boca | Platform: iPhone/iPad | Get it: App Store

“…a bit like Baby’s First Mountain, it’s a biome-crafter with a ridiculously beautiful low-poly aesthetic that feels fantastic to touch and explore…”

Outer Wilds

Developer: Team Outer Wilds | Platform: Windows/Mac/Linux | Get it: Here

“…still deep in production for quite some time now, but recently making new waves, it’s a freely downloadable alpha of a space exploration game, with a Majora’s Mask-esque looping-destruction conceit, and a fantastic sense of scale and exploration…”

Social Interaction Trainer

Developer: Ryan Lambourn | Platform: Web | Play it: Here

“…a shortform game about how difficult it is to not upset others by just being yourself in public…”

Secret Habitat

Developer: strangethink | Platform: Windows/Mac/Linux | Get it:

“…the culmination of a series of smaller experiments in procedural generation, it’s a beautiful & fascinating world filled with uniquely generated-art galleries displaying generated-paintings with generated-names, which you view while listening to generated-music…”

Lumino City

Developer: State of Play | Platform: Windows/Mac | Get it: Steam

“…the sequel to the similarly gorgeous Lume, this is an adventure game which takes place in an unbelievably meticulously created & filmed papercraft village, with stop-motion-esque transitions between its locations — a super delightful aesthetic experience…”


Developer: Secret Crush | Platform: iPhone/iPad | Get it: App Store

“…almost certainly the most adorable game about mass-suicide ever created, it’s a low-gravity/thrust-based puzzle game about exiting existence together with friends in a literal blaze of glory — a super promising debut from an upstart team worth keeping your eyes on…”