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TFI Friday: 3 new indie games that are not porn

Genuinely, there is no joke here

Well hot dang, if it isn't another TFI Friday. Over the past couple of weeks I've been trawling the underbelly of Steam new releases to find some fun new indie games for you to check out. And let me tell you, there's nothing like spending several hours at a time on the platform to remind you how much grim hentai ends up on Steam these days.

It's not that it's there, so much as how sometimes it's disguised and I'm not prepared for it. I clicked through to a game that described itself as being about looking after a friendly sheep. "Cute!", I thought, much like a fool would think. From the screenshots, I can't say I believe she shares much of the anatomy of a sheep, but she sure was friendly. Anyway, the boob-cannon of new releases aimed right at my face shunted my psyche towards a lot of aggressively wholesome things this week.

Today for your perusal I have the free, non-violent platformer Oona The Druid's Path, the very difficult ECGs of Rhythm Doctor, and a cute cactus sokoban puzzle game called Room To Grow. Next time I'm going to root around Itch, I think. They have porn over there too, but they're less... fuckin'... weird about it.

Oona The Druid's Path

oona the druids path.jpg

Who's it by? Astro Pup Games, ESAT
Where can I get it? Steam
How much is it? Free!

Oona isn't as polished as your platformer darlings, sure, but this is a) totally non-violent, b) all about lovely nature and that, and c) totally free. Also, a lot of things in it make noises a bit like farts. It is, therefore, totally perfect to put in front of a child that needs to be occupied for an hour. Not, like, a four-year-old, mind. It's not very difficult, and you get infinite lives and frequent checkpointing, but the jumping and puzzling is finicky enough that you can't walk through it with your eyes closed.

I think my favourite thing is the wash of twilight colours: teals, purples, midnight blues. It felt very soothing. My other favourite thing is that Oona appears to be some kind of goat creature, and her jump is one of the things that (however improbably) sounds like a fart. This does not seem out of character for a goat, and I enjoyed it.

Rhythm Doctor

rhythm doctor.jpg

Who's it by? 7th Beat Games, indienova
Where can I get it? Steam
How much is it? £12.40/€13.30/$14.40

Bloody cutbacks, am I right? In Rhythm Doctor you are a medical intern manually operating a kind of defibrillator. For every seventh beat of their heart onscreen you have to hammer the spacebar. That's it. Those are the controls. Except.

If you hit it too late or too early, your patient's heart starts to crack, and can break entirely for a game over. And while you get a visual cue from the screen, Rhythm Doctor throws in things like missed beats, multiple tracks and viruses that distort the sound and music. It is very hard, and very fun and, as you can see from the video up the top there, I am not very good at it.

Room To Grow

room to grow.jpg

Who's it by? Mischka Kamener
Where can I get it? Steam
How much is it? £7.20/€8.20/$10

In this you play a plump little cactus that lives in a neat little pot. Look how cute it is:

room to grow close up.jpg

See? Fucking, well cute. The cactus has the ability to grow along grid lines, with the goal being to push other cacti (that don't have faces) to specific spots on the screen, where they will bloom lovely flowers. Don't you want them to grow flowers, you monster?

Room To Grow is a little bit like Snake, but harder. I couldn't get my head around the sort of reverse logic required to figure out how pushing against a wall will make you go the other way. Like reversing in a car in a game but turning the camera around as well. Argh. Something about it reminds me of Baba Is You, as well - I think it's the cactus's nice little face.

About the Author

Alice Bell avatar

Alice Bell

Deputy Editor

RPS's dep ed. Small person powered by tea and enthusiasm for video game romances. Send me interesting etymological facts and cool horror games.

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