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.
See more posts about: A Fistful of Indies, Colin Northway, Dennaton, Exotworking, Frobisher Says, Frog Fractions, Giant Sparrow, Goblet Grotto, God of Blades, Honeyslug, Hotline Miami, Incredipede, Klei, Mark of the Ninja, Nifflas, Night Sky, Richard Hogg, The Unfinished Swan, The Visit, TheCatamites, Twinbeard, White Whale
One of the core tenets of Venus Patrol, and Offworld before it, and really basically all my work over the past several years is that bringing in artists of all stripes not traditionally immersed in the world of games can (and has) only ever resulted in some of the most sublime work videogames can offer.
That’s only one sliver of why I think Honeyslug‘s Vita minigame collection Frobisher Says is so brilliant — there’s also its self-awareness, and its irreverence, and its holistic approach to wringing out basically every absurd interaction you can manage with Sony’s hardware — but it’s a very non-trivial sliver.
For as much as I’ve been a fan of the art Honeyslug and cohort Dick Hogg have produced — going back to their 2010 Gamma IV contribution Poto & Cabenga (and going back even further to some of Hogg’s work for UK design house Airside), and their gorgeous and still in-progress adventure game Hohokum — Honeyslug themselves have as voracious appetite for amazing art, something that shines through blindingly with the dream team of illustrators they assembled for each minigame in Frobisher Says.
And so, to get a better sense of how they hand-picked their lineup, I asked designer and programmer Ricky Haggett (above, right) and Hogg (above, left) to go game-by-minigame to give us the whos and hows and whys behind every artist chosen for what’s become, hands-down, one of Sony’s “coolest” games — in that old, original PlayStation Designers-Republic-doing-art-for-Wipeout sense of “cool”.
And then, without warning, the wonderful news I have been waiting for quite literally since the launch of the PlayStation Vita itself: Sony’s stateside blog has just announced that Frobisher Says, the minigame collection from Hohokum & Passing Time developers Honeyslug will finally be released in U.S. as a free download on October 23rd.
Though often compared to games like WarioWare for its fast-paced & fractured play, Frobisher‘s less a frenetic exercise in reaction time and more a petulant and self-aware tour through the Vita hardware itself, guided by the titular narrator, played — pitch perfectly — by Kevin Eldon, who you almost certainly know, even if you don’t know you know (or, at least, you should know), from appearances in British comedies like Spaced, Black Books, Brass Eye, Jam & I’m Alan Partridge.
The game also contains a laundry list of amazing illustrators & fellow indie artists, from co-creator Dick Hogg (the same as behind the Venus Patrol Training Facility logo) to Johnny Ryan, David ‘Swatpaz‘ Ferguson, Greg Wohlwend & Pixeljam.
Long story short, it’s an essential download and the best reason to get re-acquainted with your Vita since Sound Shapes — expect to hear more here on it closer to its release.