Guerilla Collective Showcase 2024 Highlights

An Exciting Line Up For Indie Games

Jun 10, 2024
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As Summer Games Fest 2024 barrels towards us with its huge stage, big reveals, and all the pomp and circumstance that comes with it, I find myself still excited by the most unsung hero of gaming showcases during the summer: The Guerilla Collective. It's put on by The Media Indie Exchange, or "The MIX", an organization started in 2012 to raise awareness of indie games and promote games who don’t have as much built-in buzz as those backed by huge companies.

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This year, I think the Summer Game Fest line up did something smart with Guerilla Collective going first, their showcase having happened on June 6th, a day before the titular main show. Over the course of an hour and a half, they showed off just over 70 games, and it ranged wildly across all genres. There was a huge horror section, a bunch of first person shooters, obligatory new takes on the ‘cozy’ genre, and some entirely out there concepts you can’t help but grin at.

To try and come up with my highlights from such a massive list, I had two main parameters: it had to be something that grabbed my attention, and it had to be something that was going to be released soon or had a demo in the month of June. With that in mind, here are nine games I feel like you might like (or see a lot of) in the near future.

Fallen Aces - Hand Drawn Run And Gun Noir

I’ll admit that as the trailer started for this one, I didn’t quite see the appeal. It looked like a stylistic take on an old fashioned FPS, cleverly set in black and white with your fighting gangsters at a dockside. Then the characters began to move and began to interact.

Then they casually paused the game and flicked off the ‘Noir’ setting to bring the game into full color.

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I was hooked. Everything is beautifully hand drawn, the gameplay looks as if you can mix up being stealthy, pulling up nailed boards to whack people with or using explosives. It’s incredibly stylized, so it came as no surprise when I saw New Blood Interactive was publishing it, as FPS games with a big mood is right up their alley.

Fallen Aces: Episode One - their demo - is dropping on Friday June 14th, so you won’t have to wait long to see if this art style in motion works well for you.

Hollowbody - Silent Hill Called, Wants To Haunt England Too

I’m sharing this one just in honor of my friend Brian. You know that friend: the friend who says every time it's foggy outside that it feels just like Silent Hill?

This game is very literally attempting to feel just like Silent Hill.

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I love how the demand was so great for classic 'tank controls' from the original 2000's horror games were so popular, the developer has added them.

You can tell its a more modern game from small touches, like how clean several close ups are of various objects, or how smooth some of the attack animations are, or how much you can see into the distance outside. At first look however, Hollowbody seems to leap out of a game line up from 20 years ago. Your health bar is a jagged heart pulse, monsters shamble out of the shadows, and camera angles that shift as you turn corners are all here.

Playing as Mica, you find yourself in an abandoned English city, wandering the streets in order to solve a mystery. With limited ammunition, you have to choose your battles with monstrosities carefully as you explore the ruins. A demo has dropped for Steam Next Fest this week, so if you want a good scare and some good nostalgia, give it a try.

Creatures of Ava - Why Collect Creatures When You Can Save Them?

This game is one I’m curious about and can recommend a shot because of its concept and its publisher being 11 Bit Studios. Creatures of Ava appears to be an adventure game, one all about exploring a new planet you’ve landed on. While you can interact and tame the creatures in the world, I wouldn’t go so far as to say its a Pokemon style game, as you never collect them, and you don’t fight with them either. Instead, you are here to save the planet from some sort of illness called ‘The Withering’.

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It’s an interesting one, and I don’t think it’s going to be for everyone. I’m a huge sucker for exploration and narrative, and knowing that one of the writers for the game is Rhianna Pratchett is a point in its favor. While I find myself really liking the environmental theme, I’ll admit having some sort of combat helps keep me engaged, so we’ll have to see. Fortunately, the demo is available right now, so you can see for yourself if this one's for you.

Cataclismo - Using Legos Against The Horde

Out of this whole list, this game is my instant-buy. Made by the team behind Moonlighter and published by 11 Bit Studios, Cataclismo sells itself by being a horde mode defense game that uses Lego blocks as its chief inspiration. Mix and match blocks to create massive walls and archer towers, and pray that you survive the night.

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That concept sells me alone, but the unique art style, the promise of a full 30 hour campaign, the ability to build up your towns during the day to prepare for the nightly siege, all of it makes the game irresistible to my sensibilities. I’m excited to give it a shot, which is great because there’s a demo for it right now AND it comes out on July 16th this year.

Sky Oceans - JRPG Whimsy Meets Airship Dogfighting

Sky Oceans won me over because of its visuals. While I’ve been meaning to get back to playing classic RPGs for a while, many graphically look very similar, attempting to be homages to Chrono Trigger and other classics. This one however, uses Studio Ghibli inspired visuals. And sets the turn based combat to happen during aerial dogfights.

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It’s just beautiful to look at, and while I absolutely love a good dark and brooding game, this one with its bright colors and plucky attitude of the protagonists just made me smile. I’m hoping its great graphics will give the turn based combat a sense of motion and intensity in the same way modern X-COM brought intensity to strategy rpgs. There’s a demo available now, and the game is out in 2024.

Aethermancer - Creature Battling Through Pixelated Beauty

This game is absolutely gorgeous in motion, and promises me something I’ve wanted for years: a more complex take on the creature combat of Pokemon. As an Aethermancer, you are attempting to help free trapped souls in up mythical creatures by bonding with them and fighting with them through dark wildernesses to become free. You get to fight alongside three monsters at a time, choosing how they skill up, how you can synergize their skills… and you even get a character class to specialize even more.

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The pixel art is wonderful, and the more mature take on the ‘creature collection’ genre is really appreciated. If you lose a monster, they die permanently, but you can use their souls to rebirth them again, possibly even stronger than before. With this game coming from the team behind Monster Sanctuary, I have every hope its going to be a polished game with a good degree of difficulty, especially since they are embracing the Roguelite genre with this one.

I’ve wanted a game like this ever since the sad abandonment of Moonrise, so I have this on the wishlist. While there isn’t a demo currently available or a set 2024 release date, you can sign up for the closed Alpha right now if you are interested.

Grifford Academy - An Isekai Adventure Finally Almost Here

This game is a repeat from last year's list, and I’m just excited to see its nearly here, looking more polished than ever. Grifford Academy is an RPG which blends classic gameplay elements with some more modern sensibilities. Playing as a group of teenagers suddenly transported to a fantasy realm, its up to you to fight your way back, even as the characters discover more about themselves.

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I like the mash up of modern characters, complete with rock music, suddenly lost in more typical fantasy setting. I enjoy their leaning into how character interactions modify the personalities of your characters and even change their traits. If it all comes together into a cohesive package, we’ll have to see when the full game releases this year. For now though, there’s finally a demo, so time to get a sample to see if the genre blend is right for you.

Pinball Spire - A Direct Hit To A Nostalgic Weakspot

I’ll admit this entry is just because I have such fond memories of Sonic Spinball. It was such a formative game for me growing up, and one that kicked the crap out of me for months until beating it felt like such a triumph. So when Pinball Spire promises to be a ‘Pinballvania’, letting you adventure through the map to get upgrades and special powers, I couldn’t help but perk up.

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I’m also a fan of the nostalgia of pinball games in general, and love weird genre mash ups. There’s currently a demo available to try out, so you can see for yourself if the game is just gimmick or really has that special something to make it a fun game.

Egging On - Coming To Angry Streamers Everywhere

Finally, I have to end this article on a weird note. Egging On doesn’t have a demo, doesn’t have a release date, and it probably isn’t for me. And yet, I have to include it because its what I love about indie games: an incredibly strange and niche project that is taking to its logical extreme.

You’re an egg. And you have to climb to the top of the roost via jumping puzzles while keeping in mind your ‘egg based physics’. There are no checkpoints, there is no mercy, only the slow and steady attempt to find freedom. As an egg.

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I am fully expecting this to get a solid week of everyone on twitch playing it when it comes out, just absolutely raging at falling over and over again. It seems so silly and ridiculous… but if everyone loves watching it or failing at it time and time again, is it really that silly? Only time will tell.

The Guerilla Collective Has Something For Everyone

I wish there was more time to just list out more than half the games. Wrekless looks like an amazing indie take on Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater series, complete with a level editor, and the live chat was absolutely ravenous about the pixelated new entry into Five Nights at Freddy’s: Into The Pit. But, hopefully the list above will give you some interesting games to try in just the next few months, whether as a demo or as a full game. Please keep in mind the list is based off my own genre interests, so I highly recommend if you have the time, take a look at the full show for yourself if you can!

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What was your favorite game of the show? Let us know!

There’s one last highlight from the showcase that I feel could be too easily looked over: the reveal that the MIX organization is working hard to create its own Indie Awards show later this year. I think anything added to the gaming industry that elevates game developers and designers, to showcase them as people working hard to entertain all of us, is a very, very good thing indeed.

Happy Gaming everyone! I hope the Summer Game Fest brings you some joy and a new favorite game to add to your collection.

Wyatt Krause

Editor-in-chief, Co-founder