Everything Announced From E3 2021’s Day Of The Devs

After finally kicking off E3 2021 with Elden Ring footage and a mix of reveals for games big and small, it was Tim Schafer and company’s turn to spotlight some special indie titles. This year didn’t disappoint, with some gameplay from the Brisbane team behind Phantom Abyss, a cool new photography game, an adorable Stardew-esque slice of life game called Garden Story, and more.

Axiom Verge 2 was first cab off the rank, and it had some wild changes from its predecessor. Based off feedback from the original, players will be able to finish Axiom Verge 2 without defeating a single boss.

“I’ve talked to many people who loved exploring the world … only to get stuck at a boss they couldn’t pass, and that ended the experience for them,” the Axiom Verge creator announced. The game will launch on all platforms “soon”.

Next up was a Swedish game called Toem, which is all about taking photographs. Travelling to see the phenomenon known as Toem, you have to earn money by helping creatures by taking photographs of different things.

You’ll have a small quest list of challenges to photograph, as well as some sliders and choices of how you frame shots. It’s got a great monochromatic 2.5D style, and the game transitions into a first-person view when you want to take a photo.

The Brisbane studio behind Phantom Abyss then gave a brief rundown of how their procedurally generated dungeon hunter works. It’s due to hit early access very soon, apparently, but there weren’t any new details from what we saw a few weeks ago.

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Garden Story was next up, offering a bright, vibrant slice-of-life adventure with plenty of Stardew vibes. Small difference though: you’re a grape.

Don’t know if romancing is a thing in Grape Stardew, but it looks honestly lovely. It’s due out sometime this winter.

Chikon Club then arrived with Soup Pot, a first-person cooking simulator with more than 100 recipes from different regions and cuisines. There’s no fail states in Soup Pot, and the developers worked with chefs to ensure the in-game recipes were palatable in real-life. Grilling and using skewers are also an option.

A Musical Story followed with an incredible story, where you play music to unlock memories. It’s a story about friendships, addiction, the ’80s, and it’s all told through music and rhythm. There’s no text on screen; no normal guidance. “Everything is based on your ability to listen to the music and understand it,” the developers said.

It’s launching on iOS, PC, Switch, PS4/PS5 and Xbox “later this year”. There’s a free demo available on Steam from today, too.

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That was followed by a stunning new stop-motion game from the makers of Felix The Reaper. It’s called VOKABULANTIS, although it won’t be released for a couple of years. (The game was only successfully funded on Kickstarter a couple of months ago.)

day of the devs

Road 96 followed, starring a teenager hitchhiking their way to escape a country in turmoil. You’ll meet NPCs with very strong personalities as you bounce from one car to another; one character warns you they have massive anger management issues, for instance.

Next was The Wandering Village, a town-building simulator with all the usual trappings. The spin that makes it stand out? The town is built on the back of a giant wandering creature. As the creature moves through biomes, the ecology, visuals and impact on your town changes.

This post is being updated live.

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