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An Hour Of Japanese Indie Games From Comiket 86

Comiket is a yearly three-day dōjinshi fair held in Tokyo in which over half a million people gather to sell, buy and share a love for self-published works. That normally means manga comics, but also includes Japanese indie games which are often unavailable to buy anywhere else. A similarly yearly tradition is shmup developer Edelweiss‘s hour-long preview video presenting clips of some of the games attending the show. It’s always a fascinating glimpse at indie games locked away behind a language barrier, and at a development scene that’s grown in isolation according to its own trends.

Come, flick through, and have your horizons broadened.

There are obvious, long-running trends on display here, including bullet hell shmups, Touhou games, abundant anime art, flying magical spell combat and inscrutable RPGs. There’s also a sequel to Rose & Camellia (this), a great-looking perspective-twisting 2.5D stealth game called Ghost 94, and, to give you a warning, some typically problematic stuff in the anime art.

Is there any way you can play these games? They’re almost all PC games, so certainly yes. You can find links to each of the game’s featured in the preview video at Eldelweiss’ site. The issue is, of course, that they’re all in Japanese. If you can’t understand that, your best bet might be to dive back to 2010 and play Recettear, which was born of the Japanese dōjin community but received an English translation by Carpe Fulgur.

This year’s Comiket happened back in August, so this video is a month old. I’m only seeing it now though, thanks to the lovely TIGSource. Thanks, TIGSource!

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Graham Smith

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