Assemble with Care and Biped are our indie gems this week

By Sherif Saed
13 March 2020 14:27 GMT

We’re been plucking out a fistful of indies gems over the past month, and today is no exception. We may not have as many recommendations as last week, but they’re just as tasty. Lets get to it.

Hot indie games week of March 9

Assemble with Care

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You may remember Assemble with Care as one of Apple Arcade’s debut games. It is also the latest game from Ustwo, the makers of Monument Valley.

The developer announced this week that Assemble with Care will be its first PC release ever, coming to Steam on Thursday, March 26. Assemble with Care is a puzzle game with an ingenious presentation.

You spend most of your time fixing radios, cameras and other everyday devices for people; flipping them every which way, taking them apart as you try to identify why they aren’t working. Of course, you’ll also need to put them back together, which is where things get tricky.

Assemble with Care gets even more interesting the deeper you get, as the story explores characters’ attachment to objects and how we sometimes find shelter in keeping certain things well-maintained. Ustwo’s signature art style and music will make it hard to pull away, even when you’re stuck.

It can be yours for the low price of $8, and you can wishlist it today on Steam.

Biped

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It seems we’re witnessing a renaissance in the local co-op genre. The success of Overcooked – and many of its ilk – is just one indication that fans of local co-op are growing, and developers, too, are starting to invent interesting scenarios that could get two co-op partners shouting at each other.

Biped is the latest game from NEXT Studios, which has so far created widely varied experiences. In Biped, each player controls a cute little bipedal robot. Your controller’s analogue sticks, or left/right mouse buttons, each map their individual legs.

The trick is that both players must work together to navigate the game’s world and solve its puzzles. That style of co-op puzzle games certainly isn’t unique to Biped, but adding co-dependency and limb control brings a new dimension to the experience.

Biped had its release date announced this week. It’s coming to Steam on Thursday, March 26. It’s also in development for PS4 and Switch.

Games you can play this weekend

Earth Defense Force

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Earth Defense Force is series we rarely get to talk about on VG247. It’s not alone in this, of course, but EDF is an especially bizarre creature that’s simultaneously an incredibly easy sell, and an impossible one.

Earth Defense Force is not exactly an indie game, but it’s so unlike most games that it may as well be. It’s essentially a game about shooting giant alien bugs. Sometimes you do that in a jetpack, or a mech, other times you’re just a grunt with a rocket launcher.

What makes Earth Defense Force – any of them – special is that it doesn’t conform to any of the design sensibilities we expect from modern games. EDF has always existed in a bubble, and it sometimes feels its makers never actually played any other video game.

It’s full of cluttered menus, incessant confirmation dialogues, and a stacked UI that feels like it was made in Excel. It has problems video games solved a decade ago. But by God, once you actually get it going, your eyes will twinkle as if you’re experiencing video games for the first time. If you like action games that don’t care about archaic concepts like maintaining a framerate target, give any shits about story or narrative, or even bother to hire voice actors that sound any better than studio interns, EDF is your game. And if you don’t, its absurdity and audacity are well worth experiencing in person.

From now until Monday, the series is on sale on Steam. These are mostly historical lows, so it’s a great time to see the light. At $10, Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair is a great entryway into this alien franchise, but EDF 5 is also discounted.

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