E3 2021: 8 Indie Titles for Speedrunners

E3 2021 introduced us to many intriguing new games. Today, we're taking a look at eight Indie titles that look promising for speedruns.

By Cam "Meta" Enright

Filed Under: preview

E3 was chock-full of exciting new announcements, including some that look promising for speedrunners. Last week, we took a look at 8 AAA releases from various showcases. This time we’re showing some love to the little guy and going over 8 Indie titles announced/shown at E3 that should, hopefully, become great speedgames.

In no particular order, here are our top eight upcoming Indie video game titles for speedrunners:

Tunic

Developed by Andrew Shouldice
Published by Finji
Release Date: TBD
Official Site

Why you should care:

Tunic is a gorgeous action-adventure game in a similar vein to classic Legend of Zelda games. Tunic also appears to have what looks to be a fairly in-depth combat system, managing a stamina bar and fending off multiple enemies with whatever loot you’ve found on your journey. The world doesn’t appear to be entirely open, but it is quite large and so routing out the open worlds and the dungeons contained within should be interesting.

Also, the fox is very cute.

If you want to check out some of the dungeon crawling, you can find 15 minutes of gameplay here.

Severed Steel

Developed by Greylock Studio
Published by Digerati
Summer 2021
Official Site

Why you should care:

An arcadey stunt FPS inspired by games like Titanfall 2, Hotline Miami, and F.E.A.R where you play as a one-armed female protagonist named Steel kicking ass and taking names. This fast-paced adrenaline rush already has a solid community speedrunning the demo, and the developer listens to feedback in the Discord every day. This one is for sure going to be a hit on release because it already is even just as a demo.

If you’re interested in checking it out, you can find the Bullet Ballet trailer here and a speedrun of all the Arcade levels from SN Mortar here. Also, a few days ago, I sat down with Mattwla of Greylock Studio to discuss some of the behind-the-scenes thoughts behind the mechanics, which you can read about in my article discussing the game.

Neko Ghost, Jump!

Burgos Games
Coming Soon
Official Site

Why you should care:

In this challenging platformer, you play as Nekoman switching between a 2D or 3D perspective as well as swapping between physical and ghost forms to complete puzzles, find hidden areas, and even clear levels faster. Each of the 40 levels has an in-game leaderboard where times will be posted, which shows there was definitely some thought from the developers regarding speedrunning this title.

If you’re interested in checking out what might be one of the cutest speedgames in existence, you can check out the announcement trailer here.

SkateBIRD

Glass Bottom Games
August 12th, 2021
Official Site

Why you should care:

Okay so picture Tony Hawk's Pro Skater… but you play as a little bird. Do I really need to say anything else? SkateBIRD does appear to have a story mode, meaning yes, you can speedrun the game with the little bird trying his best. I will say, I’ve never run a skateboarding game myself, but if there’s any time to start, I think it might be now

If you want to check out some gameplay of the lil birb doing his thing, you can check out the official trailer here

Gloomwood

Developed by Dillon Rogers & David Szymanski
Published by New Blood Interactive
Coming Soon
Official Site

Why you should care:

If you’re not familiar with the titles that come out of New Blood Interactive, I highly recommend that you get to know them. Dave Oshry, CEO of New Blood, said “we love speedrunners and often use them to record our trailer gameplay footage”.

David Szymanski, one of the developers working on Gloomwood, previously worked on DUSK - which to this day holds a solid amount of active speedrunners. Now, this game seems to be more focused stealth horror than pure unadulterated chaos and violence - but I’m sure speedrunners will find a way to go fast. Gloomwood is still definitely recognizable as similar to DUSK, and it’s entirely possible that some of the movement tech might be transferable.

If Gloomwood sounds like it might be your jam, check out the intro to the game in this 5-minute gameplay reveal.

Lifeslide

Dreamteck
2021
Official Site

Why you should care:

The most impressive thing about Lifeslide might be it's absolutely astonishing visuals. Lifeslide for most players is meant to be a rather zen experience, soaking everything in and just chilling out - but speedrunners aren’t about that are we? Amazingly, there’s a fair bit of movement tech in this game you can use to clear it faster. This includes tricks to angle yourself faster by purposefully touching the ground briefly, and also flying as low as possible for as long as possible because of the speed boost given to you — but of course you risk crashing.

A couple days ago, our very own Alice Pow wrote an article going more in depth on the speedrunning experience of Lifeslide — having received an early access key from Dreamteck and talked to speedrunner SpeedyDeep who was challenged by the devs to do a speedrun and was able to complete the game in just a little over an hour.

Warcry: Challenges

Dream Powered Games
2021
Official Site

Why you should care:

That’s right, it’s another movement FPS. What can I say? They make for good speedruns. Dream Powered Games describes this game as a “Skill based Time Trial Fast FPS”, which essentially means that it's a collection of levels rather than a true “campaign.” To get an idea of what the game feels like, the first line of the Steam description is “What if doom guy had a drunk one night stand with Super Meatboy?”

Thanks, Dream Powered Games, that’s an image in my head now.

All jokes aside, this game looks like an absolute blast to run through, and outright states some of its movement tech right on its Steam page. This is definitely a title to keep an eye on going forward. If you want to check out some gameplay, you can check out the gameplay trailer here.

Fallen Aces

Developed by Trey Powell & Jason Bond
Published by New Blood Interactive
Coming Soon
Official Site

Why you should care:

Another game published by New Blood, because damn do they publish some good games for speedrunning. Fallen Aces is a crime noir FPS with a truly unique comic book-inspired visual style that my eyes can get used to. Checking out the combat in the E3 Trailer, it looks incredibly satisfying and I for one am eager to dig right into some fight routing.

There’s no release date for Fallen Aces beyond SOON™ on the games Steam page, but if it needs some more time in the oven to come out just right - I’m okay with that.

That’s a wrap!

Well, with that, we’ve finished our coverage of E3 2021. Especially considering the global circumstances of the past year, I think it’s safe to say we have a lot to look forward to from the gaming industry in the coming months.

If you missed our other articles surrounding E3, we covered 8 AAA titles for speedrunners, and we went in-depth behind-the-scenes on Severed Steel as well as Lifeslide.

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