Indie Selects May Hero Image

Indie Selects for May: Games We’ve Played and Think You’ll Love

The ID@Xbox team had a hard time picking games this month since there were so many great titles to choose from. We ended up selecting a wildly varied set of unique games. We were blown away by a “love letter to retro survival horror,” while at the same time we were immersed in sims that let you do everything from build an aquarium to rebuilding after a war. We’ve also got a retro action platformer, an intense party game and even a cozy vampire life sim.  Here’s the list (in no particular order):

Crow Country

People say this is a love letter to the classic age of mid-’90s survival horror like Resident Evil and Silent Hill… and that it is – so if that’s your thing, why are you not already playing this? Even if you’re not looking for a jaunt down a haunted memory lane you should still buy a ticket to the macabre, twisted theme park that is Crow Country. It sports vintage, ’90s-style controls but they have been pleasantly updated to remove the, well, most “annoying” aspects of things like tank control. The theme park itself is a wonder to explore, and it’s as delightful as it is terrifying to meet the mutilated inhabitants and guests. The thematically appropriate puzzles are challenging, varied and even occasionally funny, and the soundtrack is amazing. You’ll likely fly through Crow Country in six or so hours, and you’ll love every minute of it.

Xbox Live

Crow Country

SFB Games

97
$19.99
The year is 1990. It’s been two years since the mysterious disappearance of Edward Crow and the abrupt closure of his theme park, Crow Country. But your arrival has broken the silence, Mara Forest. If you want answers, you’ll have to venture deep into the darkness of Crow Country to find them… A survival horror game, where you’ll test yourself against puzzles and riddles as you investigate the eerie tranquility of the abandoned theme park. Don’t be deceived by the whimsical surroundings, something is awfully wrong in Crow Country. As you unlock new areas, backtrack and discover more, you gradually piece together why Edward really shut down his park and where he mysteriously disappeared to. You’ve heard some pretty disturbing rumors, but they couldn’t possibly be true…..right?  For visitors to the park who are more interested in spotting crows and taking in the sights, Exploration Mode allows you to journey on without the fear of being attacked by the mysterious monsters roaming Crow Country. Besides, if you knew what those monsters really are….. Just how far would someone go to follow their ambition? Are some sins too wicked for redemption?  A tale of reckless hubris and human greed, and now at the center of it all… you.  Who are you really, Mara Forest? 

Brocula

You’re new in town. Time to get to work. You have to take on part-time jobs, explore the surroundings, meet new people, earn some money, and fix up the old homestead. And by homestead, I mean castle. Did I mention you’re a vampire? You’ve woken up after centuries and it’s time to come into your own as a vampire and secure your legacy. Brocula is a relaxing, cozy game that oozes charm. Building on the life sim experiences of games like Stardew Valley and Moonlighter, the twist of being a vampire while you’re going through life tasks makes Brocula feel fresh and comfortably familiar at the same time.

Xbox Live

Brocula

DESTROYER DOGGO

15
$19.99
Embark on an epic journey as Brocula, a vampire awoken from a 500-year slumber in a world unrecognizable to him. Stripped of his wealth, he must navigate the daunting maze of capitalism, taking on part-time jobs at the local garage, coffee shop, and restaurant to earn a meager living. But that's not all—his ancestral castle, now in ruins, poses another challenge. Work tirelessly to repair the dilapidated fortress, all while facing the bureaucratic hurdles of reclaiming its ownership from the town's mayor. Engage in a captivating gameplay loop that revolves around money and societal struggles. Tend to your crops, cultivate a flourishing farm right next to the castle, and sell your harvest for profit. Immerse yourself in the art of fishing, honing your skills to reel in a bountiful catch that can be used for cooking delicious meals. Yet, as a vampire, your responsibilities extend beyond mundane chores. Manage your cult, restoring the once-forgotten church and conducting regular sermons to gather the lifeblood you crave. Venture into the treacherous depths of the everchanging forest, an enigmatic dungeon teeming with monstrous creatures and valuable treasures, ripe for the taking. Experience the rich tapestry of Brocula's world through stunning visuals showcased in our screenshots and cinematic trailer. Will you rise against the perils of capitalism, reclaim your heritage, and forge your own destiny? Unleash the immortal within and embark on an unforgettable quest!"

Pummel Party

Remember all of those friends you used to have? Before you played Pummel Party? Yeah, this is one of those games. It’s all about destroying your friends, and possibly your friendships. It’s great, though. You can play online or via local co-op in split screen, and you can play against your friends or, once you lose all of your friends, against bots. What makes Pummel Party stand out is the variety of game modes and wacky items you can use, like the Remote Controlled Eggplant, along with all the crazy characters you can choose from. Lots of the mini games are “jump right in” fights with everybody on a single screen, while Board Game Mode mixes up the experience with expanded environments.

Xbox Live

Pummel Party

Rebuilt Games

37
$14.99
Pummel Party is a 4-8 player online and local-multiplayer party game. Pummel friends or AI using a wide array of absurd items in the board mode and compete to destroy friendships in the entertaining collection of minigames. ONLINE AND LOCAL MULTIPLAYER Play how you want. Pummel Party allows 1 to 8 players to compete online or 4 players locally on the same screen. Whether it's online, or in person, it's all the same friendship ruining fun. BOARD MODE There can only be one winner here, and you know it has to be you! Battle through hazardous terrain to acquire an arsenal of weapons and items and employ them however you can to make sure that you reign victorious over your friends. ITEMS It's all out war! Use an array of absurd weapons and objects to claw your way to victory. From the simple 'Punching Glove' to the ridiculous 'Remote Controlled Eggplant' the items in Pummel Party will lead to many funny and rage inducing moments. It's never been easier or more satisfying to crush your friends aspirations of winning! MINIGAMES From simple nostalgic fun to unique and evolutionary Pummel Party contains a wide array of exciting minigames. Knock your friends in to the abyss in 'Snowy Spin', dig three dimensionally in 'Sandy Search' to be the first to find the treasure and make sure you're not holding the bomb when it goes off in 'Explosive Exchange'. MINIGAME MODE Just want to jump in to the action? Pummel Party includes a minigame mode so that you can get straight to the games! BOTS Already destroyed all your friendships or just need to fill out your roster? Pummel Party includes full bot integration meaning you can still play or practice Pummel Party with any number of real players.

WW2 Rebuilder: Cites From The Ashes

World War 2 has ended and your job is to re-build. That’s the simple, yet monumental premise of WW2 Rebuilder. Ostensibly a building and architecture sim with “clean up” mechanics, WW2 Rebuilder also lets you delve in to the history and stories of the civilians who lived through the tragic events of the war. While the building game loop is well done, and new building challenges and mechanics are added with each new city you encounter, it’s not designed to be a meticulous and difficult builder. Instead, the gameplay is relatively relaxing, which gives you the space and freedom to really immerse yourself in the world, people and stories.

Xbox Live

WW2 Rebuilder

PlayWay S.A.

42
$19.99
Build the new future of Europe! Flip, renovate, repair and rebuild places destroyed during World War 2. Get to know the history and stories of civilians. Play an immersive building simulator with grappling storytelling. Here is a game about war, in which we do not grab a rifle, but a hammer, and instead of destroying – we create. It’s 1945. It’s the end of World War II, the war that left a mark. Now people like you have to leave their hometowns to rebuild their countries. Motivated by different reasons, they get set on the same quest – to repair and renovate places completely destroyed during the war. BUILDER SIMULATOR THAT TAKES YOU ON A JOURNEY AROUND EUROPE Visit monuments and buildings, stumble upon their history and take part in the biggest rebuilding missions. Meet civilians from England, Germany and France and guide them through the process. Through the journey you will collect resources and craft materials to flip houses, repair industrial buildings, roads and squares. Pick up a hummer or a trowel, drive in a bulldozer, become a mechanic and operator of various machines like a crane, drive jeep cars and bicycles. Clean up the area, defuse and get rid of the bombs and design the new look of a place by decorating.

Candle Knight

You’re a knight and, well, you have a candle on top of your head. Never let the light go out! Candle Knight is a 2.5D action platformer that excels at the basics of the genre with really crisp, tight gameplay. But what we loved were the unexpected touches like being able to jump into paintings and explore the surreal worlds within. Beyond the gameplay, Candle Knight is visually stunning right from the start, with fantastic art, music and design that really invites the player to pause and take it all in.

Xbox Live

Candle Knight

JanduSoft

9
$12.49
Wield your flame to overcome menacing creatures lurking in the shadows of a ruined castle, use the dynamic difficulty system to your advantage, traverse challenging platforming sections and solve cryptic puzzles inside surreal paintings in this 2.5D action adventure platformer. Play as an enchanted candle holder trying to restore the light to its home, Do you have what it takes to journey deep into the heart of an abandoned castle? Does your flame represent hope, or will it bring nothing but destruction?

Aquarium Designer

This game is exactly what the title says. Create and design an aquarium. The “contracts” can be completed quickly and there’s no story to distract you. Instead, it’s a simple, cozy, Zen experience with realistic feeling aquariums, and a wide variety of fish and fixtures. While we loved making and enjoying our aquariums, the real reason we’re recommending this game is that we found it to be as entertaining for our cats as it was for us.  

Xbox Live

Aquarium Designer

RockGame S.A., Games Operators

6
$12.99
Aquarium Designer gives you an opportunity to create the aquarium of your dreams! Become a professional whose job is to design it, build it, and fill it with the various underwater wildlife! All types, all sizes – your creativity is your only limit! Have you ever dreamed about your own aquarium? Do you already have one, but it’s not enough? Or maybe you want to test yourself before having the real fish tank? Aquarium Designer is a game for you! In Aquarium Designer you can design and create realistic fish tanks of various scales – from small fish tanks to large aquariums. Fill them with all the kinds of different aquatic species – angelfish, bettas, goldfish, and many, many more! Aquarium Designer creates an opportunity to make an ideal aquarium and behold your creation! In Aquarium Designer you design the aquariums for the customers and earn money to buy new elements to use in the future! Restaurants, hotels, offices, or even a rich businessman’s residence – every place can benefit from a colorful fish tank teeming of life! Read the client’s design brief, choose the shape and size of the fish tank, then add all the necessary equipment – filters, water conditioners, and air pumps. Throw in some gravel, decorations, and fish and there it is – ready for use! The better you do the more money you earn! Every professional needs some time off! In Aquarium Designer you can enjoy creating your very own fish tank in two creative modes – Casual and Realistic. You can try different configurations and elements, but always remember about the future residents of your fish tank – that means the fish of course! Different species have different needs and require specific conditions. And if anything goes wrong, you can always try again – no animals will be harmed!