Another summer has passed, and so it is time for one of life's greatest pleasures, video games. While it can be difficult to mourn the end of summer, I find it comforting to lean into autumn and even the drearyness that comes from shorter days. So for this week, I found pieces that had darker and creepier vibes.
Cool WIP is a Polygons roundup of eye-catching clips and screenshots of work in progress. In this column, the Polygon staff scans the internet for the most interesting games still under development to give you a taste of the coolest up-and-coming projects.
This week we have a cosmic horror driving game, a Metroidvania where a grappling hook is your best friend, a lily pad platformer, a touching game about visiting hospital patients, and a bug-filled adventure from Annapurna Interactive.
Who knew cosmic horror could be so dreamy
in the wild pic.twitter.com/MMTsV2HWbs
Dead Static Drive is described as an anti-Nihilism simulator where you must trust others to survive in its world. Its developer, Reuben, hasn't announced a release date, but you can find more information on his Steam page.
Fwoosh fwoosh fwoosh!Look at this clever grappling hook!
Your little fae companion transforms into a grappling hook to help you get to difficult to reach places in our metroidvania! https://twitter.com/c3pPtMl8Ip Indiegamedev #indiegame #indiegame #indiegame #indiegame #indiegame #indiegame #indiegame #indiegame #indiegame #indiegame #indiegame #indiegame #indiegame #indiegame #indiegame
Rusted Moss is described by the developers as a bullet-heavy Metroidvania game where you travel around with a little companion who then can transform into this elastic grappling hook. A clip of it in action shows the player swinging around the other side of hanging stalactites before grabbing a power-up.
I think these lily pads aren't quite strong enough for you to escape a monster.
Run Olle run, as fast as you can!A short section of gameplay from Bramble: The Mountain King. #indiegame #gamedev pic.twitter.com/bMCRUEyQTf
Bramble: The Mountain King is a Nordic fables-inspired adventure game. As Olle leaps from lily pad to lily pad, he almost fails to make it because the animals are so tiny and unstable. The game looks to be going to release sometime in 2023.
A touching game about getting to know hospital patients
Wayward Strand will be available on consoles worldwide at 6AM. On Steam, this will be available on the 15th of August: 5PM AEST / 8:00 AM GMT / 12 AM PST This is The Day! Please tweet the news you see (*especially* after 5pm!!): pic.twitter.com/mjZ9zHL2t
Wayward Strand is the exception to the creepy theme of this list. The game follows one character as they board a floating ship that also functions as a hospital. It appears to be quite character-focused, and it mostly involves exploring its cel-shaded world through talking and getting to know the various patients and workers. The best part is that it just came out on Windows PC on Thursday.
A world inside a world inside a world (you get the point)
COCOON | AN ADVENTURE ACROSS WORLDS WITHIN WORLDSEach orb has an ability that can be unlocked, thus turning the orb into a unique tool for you to use within other worlds.Stock.com/QhM1bjOm5y
Annapurna Interactive is about to release a creepy game called Cocoon. It looks like it uses a concept similar to Russian nesting dolls, so the game will not be short of creepy crawlies.