During E3 2021 this year, CG Magazine got the chance to sit down with several of the developers behind some of Freedom Games’ upcoming titles like Anuchard and To The Rescue!
Freedom Games is a newer publishing house seeing out indie titles from around the globe. Together with the development teams behind their slate of games, they made their way to E3 2021 to show off everything they have been working on over the last few years.
From dog shelter management titles to cat cafés and saving the world, Freedom Games has a diverse lineup that is worth taking a look at for anyone out there who adores indies. With the opportunity to see four games, we have played and discussed To The Rescue!, Monster Outbreak, Anuchard, and Cat Café Manager with their teams to see what we should expect as their titles roll out over the next couple of years.
To The Rescue! is a dog shelter management sim where caring for dogs and finding them long-term homes is the name of the game. Utilising two lead developers, with a small team of four part-timers, the team at Little Rock Games not only cares enough about rescue animals to create a game bringing a focus on their plight but also plans to donate 20% of all the proceeds from the game to the PetFinder Foundation. Starting their career in the card and board game realm (Galactic Scoundrels), they’ve found the process to be different, but rewarding.
Even though the story is secondary to the gameplay in To The Rescue!, you’ll be learning plenty about the dogs as you decipher what their individual needs are. Besides their appearance changing, each dog is unique, with preferences and issues all their own. Each dog is found as a stray and is looking for help, which is where you come in. Adopting these animals out pays for the building you work out of (which is customisable in size and internal offerings based on funds available, kind of like The Sims), but also keeps things moving along as you’ll be working with a ton of pups.
Between its Animal Crossing-esque achievement system, healthcare and vaccinations, hiring of helpers, customisation, and so much more, To The Rescue! has a bunch of ways to get involved and immersed into the world of dog shelters. With a simultaneous release on Switch, PC, and Mac in the Fall of this year, it’s definitely one to watch for.
In discussions with the developer behind Monster Outbreak, the GameMunchers, they described this title as something thought up when looking for a similar feel to playing Call of Duty’s Zombies mode with friends on the couch. While the game might not look or feel like the first-person shooter, this top-down, action title has the player fighting off waves of monsters following the building of defenses.
While more open than the tower defense genre, Monster Outbreak fills a similar void, where preparation and quick attacks keep runs afloat. With a full crafting system in place and placement of traps and buildings available to aid you in your fight, this game really boils right down to its multiplayer action. Pairing these ideas with the team’s Runescape-esque MMO background and some additional inspiration from Stardew Valley, Monster Outbreak looks to be worth a look in 2022 when it comes to PC.
Anuchard comes from developer StellarNull—a development team of three based in Singapore. This compact and minimalist RPG takes inspiration from the Sega Genesis and PlayStation era of titles, with an aesthetic to match. Particularly matching up with Legend of Mana, Anuchard has immaculate pixel graphics and animations as you move through a world filled with life.
Taking place on a series of floating islands that have been abandoned by their guardians, the folk living in this world need help, and as the newly-minted Bellwielder of prophecy, that job falls to you. Featuring dungeons similar to Supergiant Games’ Bastion along with an emphasis on hidden areas and exploration, this action-RPG is coming to PC and Mac in Q2 of 2022.
Running a cat café may seem like an odd proposition, but the fulfilling gameplay and cuteness overload make this a seriously noteworthy title for the future. Roost Games’ Cat Café Manager offers Diner Dash-esque gameplay with more control over your café than you’d ever imagine. From the building and furnishing of your café to skill trees and upgrades, Cat Café Manager isn’t messing around.
Don’t let the cute kitties fool you, Cat Café Manager is a deeper management sim than most, and with only three active developers working on the project, it definitely is something to behold. Story-based interactions with recurring customers keep the random patrons from getting stale, where matching the cats in your café to their personalities is necessary to unlock the full tale. Cat Café Manager is launching on PC and Nintendo Switch in the first half of 2022.