Sunday Loot: Afternoon Road Trip for New, Exciting Games

Wheels of Aurelia

Happy Sunday, friends! You’d better pack your sunglasses and a few snacks, because you’re invited to join us for a relaxing, scenic ride today. We’re on our weekly search for all the latest people and projects in the gaming industry that are taking some serious risks, and boy, do we have quite a few surprises in store for you this time around. Make sure your seatbelt is securely fastened before continuing!

Today, we’ll be pulling over for four brand new games and one job opportunity that’s open to any interested applicants. These particular games are either available to play for free (as demos), offered at an affordable price (under $5!), or haven’t been released yet. But that doesn’t mean we can’t keep our eye on them as they grow! It’s always important to support the work of smaller projects like these. Let your faves know how much you appreciate their efforts!

As always, if you know of an inclusive gaming space or games project you’d love to see promoted on our Sunday Loot series, drop us a comment below or check out our contact list! We’d love to hear from you, especially about new and exciting spaces where all gamers can hang out. ✌

Dr. Annasen's Peculiar Odyssey

Dr. Annasen’s Peculiar Odyssey

This to-be 2D platformer is setting out to reinvent educational games. We were fortunate enough to meet with Elisabeth, co-owner of Architrave Studios, at IndieCade this year, and we were immediately hooked when she told us about her newest project! Inspired by classic ’80s games, Dr. Annasen’s Peculiar Odyssey will teach the basics of chemistry and the periodic table. What’s more, the protagonist is a scientist-loving, dimension-hopping woman who would make even The Doctor jealous.

We know what you’re thinking. Will there be any homework assignments? Complex concepts to memorize? Don’t worry. Dr. Annasen’s Peculiar Odyssey will strike a balance between story, education, and playability—it doesn’t consist of repetitive memorization tasks or an animated textbook. For more, you should absolutely check out the recently released trailer! The team is still working on the game itself, but the demo will be available quite soon. We highly recommend you follow for future updates!

Thomas Was Alone

Concept Artist Job

Bithell Games is currently looking to hire a concept artist! This is a paid freelance gig that will likely last three to four weeks. For more details on the job itself, check out their description:

“You’ll be extrapolating on some existing concepts, and producing artwork of characters and industrial environments in a sci-fi setting. We’ll be looking for a high degree of polish, so I’m expecting the successful applicant to be reasonably experienced with preproduction art on games / film / tv, and have portfolio work demonstrating that experience.”

If this sounds like your kind of thing, “send portfolios / sample work / pricing (if pricing’s a thing you like to share up front) to contact@bithellgames.com.” Good luck to everyone applying!

The Letter

The Letter

This horror visual novel is about to get funded on Kickstarter today! Even if you don’t get the chance to back this project, we highly recommend that you give the available demo a try. The Letter offers six diverse playable characters—three men and three women! Your choice of protagonist will determine quite a bit in the narrative itself, as each character has their own distinct personality. This game is certainly worthy of the likes of Until Dawn in that your friends and enemies will change as you make your decisions.

We’re particularly excited about the fact that The Letter will offer 17 different endings. Yes, you actually read that just now. That’s 12 short-endings and five long-term endings you can potentially generate, which makes replaying a must. Give the demo a try and let us know what you think! And, of course, if you’re financially able to support this team’s work, please consider it.

"Settling into her seat, Alena looked over her most recent inventions. A clock that could time out exactly a minute (the gear wasn't big enough for anything beyond that). A magical stone bowl that kept things the same temperature. Lanterns, able to turn on and off at a mere sound."
“Settling into her seat, Alena looked over her most recent inventions. A clock that could time out exactly a minute (the gear wasn’t big enough for anything beyond that). A magical stone bowl that kept things the same temperature. Lanterns, able to turn on and off at a mere sound.”

Scattered Notes

This particular game was an entry to the recent Yuri Game Jam this year. With two heroines in a magnificent fantasy setting, this kinetic novel offers an exploratory experience that’s awfully reminiscent of Miyazaki’s films. Scattered Notes is set for a full release later this year, but you can play the initial entry for free right now! We’d also like to highlight the truly inspiring soundtrack, which absolutely shouldn’t be overlooked. Its a jaunty, bright sound is perfect for exploration, and we definitely recommend that you give it a listen.

Many, many talented people were involved in the creation of this game, and you can find their Twitter accounts listed directly on the Itch.io page. Send them a quick thank you message if you enjoy Scattered Notes! It’s always really nice (and important!) to let our favorite creators know just how much we appreciate their hard work.

"Maybe it's a secret." "Then I want to know!"
“Maybe it’s a secret.” “Then I want to know!”

Wheels of Aurelia

This “narrative road trip game” first caught our eye thanks to Leigh Alexander’s Offword piece, and we’ve been totally hooked since. Set along the sunny western coast of Italy in the ’70s, the gameplay is like an ’90s arcade racer—except you actually get to talk to your fellow passengers. But Wheels of Aurelia isn’t all sweeping views, sharp turns, and impromptu races (it is that, though). What’s really special here is the interactive fiction part where you’re just as invested in discovering the secrets of your passengers as you are on the road. We’ll let Leigh take the wheel on explaining this one:

“You are androgynous, mischief-lipped Lella, driving on the famous Via Aurelia from Rome to the French Riviera in 1978. Along with you is Olga, a femme you met recently at a disco. At the beginning of your trip she asks you why you invited her. You can ask her, if you want, why she accepted.”

The beta for Wheels of Aurelia is currently available for $4.99.

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