This is Ron, and I’m back after missing the last eleven letters of the alphabet. My job kicks off again with “S,” and both today and tomorrow, I’m going to school you with two future indie classics that start with it.
Drinkbox Studios, now among indie gaming royalty, released its third video game to widespread praise in 2016, and it wouldn’t shock me one bit if everyone working there just immediately retired on Dec. 31. I would be terrified to follow up on a game as perfect as Severed.
Nothing is out of place in this title. The artwork perfectly captures the horror of the world around our lead female character and the chaos of her adventure. The story is uncompromising in that she has to drag her dead family member’s corpses after finding them mangled in dark corners of rotting forests and dank, dark dungeons. As for the gameplay, no game, indie or AAA, has come close to creating such a smart system for touch-based combat, and it’s one that only gets deeper through each passing dungeon.
Come the game’s end, you’ll be blown away by how much depth Drinkbox Studios is able to get out of simple swiping mechanics.
The first-person dungeon crawling is also a nice touch, especially for fans of Etrian Odyssey and its ilk who need something a bit shorter in their lives. The grid-based exploration reveals the secret’s map with perfect pacing, and just when you feel like you’ve had enough… the game ends! The best compliment I can give Severed is that it knows when to quit when it’s on top.
Since the indie movement began, I can count on a single hand the number of games I think will truly be classics years from now. Severed is one of them, as well as another one from 2016 that also starts with an “S.” We’ll get to that one tomorrow.