Exciting INDIE GAMES on Gamescon 2020


Cardaclysm: Shards of the Four is a procedurally generated trading card game with role playing elements! Collect creature and magic cards on your journey and unleash their power when someone gets in your way! The game world is generated endlessly, there is always something new to discover!

Headup Games and the developer Elder Games currently announce the launch of Cardaclysm into early access. It is a procedurally generated mix of action RPG and trading card game. I had already tried Cardaclysm during the Steam Summer Festival and I liked it quite a bit, although I also discovered some frustration potential in the game. I’m curious to see how the current Early Access version will turn out and of course also future versions.

Meet 5 factions and over 200 cards, each with unique abilities, custom artwork and 3D animation. Equip your hero with over 40 artifacts. Compete against five mythical bosses, each with their own unique game mechanics.
Explore endlessly generated worlds in different biomes. Complete challenges and swap cards in the Interdimensional Tavern, which you visit between jobs


Deck-builders inevitably evoke in me an image of pale teenagers lurking in darkened rooms for far too long, perhaps smelling a bit strong. Quite wrongly – as Neurodeck proves: This is where you compete against your fears and phobias. Washing compulsions, claustrophobia, or tokophobia – the fear of pregnancy – are all combated here with the help of card decks. On your hand are cards like “Random Thoughts” or a pizza card called “Comfort Food”. It’s up to you to decide which cards you add during the game. Neurodeck uses short personality tests between duels to determine what type of person you are. You will then be given a choice of skills to equip your character with. All this is rounded off by a very nice art style, which made me aware of the game.


Jonas Manke’s title actually seemed much too fluid for a one-man project when first played – both in the animations of the dreamlike fantasy world and in the flow of the mechanics of surfing, boosting, jumping and teleporting. The puzzle adventure had already been presented at gamescom last year. Here you will hike through barren desert landscapes as well as over lush green meadows. You will meet fantastic creatures and will be challenged again and again to find a way into a new world. Although the game does not explicitly explain its mechanics, trying it out will quickly make it clear what needs to be done. No frustration – just excited by the beautiful graphics and driven by the curiosity what is waiting for you beyond the horizon.

Although the design is reminiscent of titles like Journey, the story seems to remain vague: In an “ancient world full of Wonders” leads the player’s journey through lush forests, a damn desert, the cool tundra, a swamp and even into the clouds. In the latter realm, we have already floated through a few rings and inspected some castles in the air – but there is not much more to do there at the moment. In the finished game, some subbiotopes are planned in each main area. The narrative is mainly supposed to be indirect through the environment. Bit by bit the player can find out why the once flourishing cultures perished.


Cosmokrats is like Tetris in space. Says my comrade too. Just very carefully, but as quickly as possible, puzzle all the parts of the space station together and your mission is successful. You just have to be careful that not too many cosmonauts are killed, attachments are broken or the station crashes onto the planet before it is finished. No problem, right? Tetris stop! Yes, in principle. In Cosmokrats, you use a drone to puzzle the individual wings of the station together. In the midst of weightlessness, you carefully nudge the required parts to put them together without damage. Developer Pixel Delusion takes classic puzzle fun to a new level of subtlety and weaves a constantly evolving narrative about the colonization of space. Innovative and charming, this is how modern puzzle fun goes.


The last fox fights for the survival of his family in a barren world hostile to him. Endling is a classic survival adventure game, a pretty good one at that. But it shifts the perspective from humans to animals. From this shift in perspective it is able not only to thematize our frivolous treatment of our environment and nature, but also to comment on it through its powerful visual language. It accompanies playful people empathically on the path of self-reflection. And all this in an environment of innovative technical ideas, beautiful design and a very dense atmosphere. Endling demands more from you than the enjoyment of pure entertainment. It will trigger a variety of emotions in you that you will not always like. But that is exactly what makes Endling so extraordinary and authentic.


With his new studio Nameless XIII and the publisher Dear Villagers he is working on the survival simulation Cendres, which with its post-apocalyptic, gloomy interpretation is quite pessimistic about our future. In 200 years, our world will be nothing more than a useless wasteland, where people wander around trying to survive somehow. This does not only involve a fascinating artstyle, which shades everything black/grey and only highlights the blood strikingly red, but also through the abysses of the human psyche. Moral choices and the way the group is treated draw a struggle for survival within a dynamic narrative, which is to culminate in one of the 34 endings.

Per Aspera

Per aspera ad astra: Over laboriousness one reaches the stars. Per aspera, however, manages to make the terraforming of Mars look simple. With just a few clicks, we pull up aluminum mines and Mars rover factories in this construction strategy game from Tlön Industries. A huge photovoltaic system supplies the high-tech constructions with the necessary juice. Quickly we conjure up a space port and a colony bubble in the red sand and the adventure begins for the first settlers. But be careful, not everything goes as smoothly as it seems. We were not the first to get the idea to colonize the near earth planet and the previous expedition disappeared without a trace. While exploring and expanding, time flies.


It is not an easy task to take an already working game concept and add new mechanics without overloading it. Studio johnbell manages this by taking one of the most successful board games, Carcasonne, and creating a tower defense game called ORX. As crazy as it may sound, this concept works surprisingly well. Building streets, cities and castles against a background of fending off countless hordes of monsters is at least as much fun as a game with the classic role model.


The gamedec developed by Anshar Studios is a huge role-playing game, which already in the demo could indicate how complex the story is told. Depending on how you design your character, you can make different comments about your surroundings and depending on how you conduct dialogues, you will come to different conclusions and decisions in a thrilling crime story. As a Gamedec you have to solve cases in virtual worlds in a cyberpunk universe and you are offered so much narrative and so many different paths, all written in a logical and exciting way.

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