Three Indie Games I'd Love to See on the Dreamcast

The other day I read an interesting article over on Kotaku (yes, yes I know) that documents the creation of a new football (soccer) game by an indie developer who has never played a football game. Furthermore, he doesn't even know the rules of the sport and has pretty much guessed how football 'works' through hearsay and supposition. It's a really interesting concept, and the resulting interpretation of the beautiful game - now titled Behold the Kickmen - looks like it's shaping up to be the best thing to happen to the football genre since Konami thought Goal Storm was worth reinvestigating.

The developer's name is Dan Marshall, and he's a BAFTA-winning indie developer. Earlier today I cheekily asked him via Twitter when a Dreamcast version of Behold the Kickmen was coming:
Kickmen for Dreamcast: confirmed.
He didn't give a definitive answer (although I'll settle for the 'like' he graciously afforded my stupid tweet), but this got me thinking. Since Volgarr the Viking suddenly appeared out of nowhere in 2015, what other cool indie games would it be amazing to see make the leap to the Dreamcast? Obviously, a lot of indie games these days are built to run on modern platforms and so some of them probably wouldn't be possible on the Dreamcast (stuff like Broforce makes even a PS4 shudder, for example), but this is just a fun little look at some of the titles I'd give my right arm to have ported onto Sega's little box. Well, maybe not my right arm as I'd then have difficulty holding the controller...but you get the idea.

Behold the Kickmen
The very game that got me thinking about this whole subject. If you go and have a look at the footage of the game running, it really does look like a lot of fun, and the 'bullet time' passing and ball physics appear to be spot on. The reason this makes the list though, is that the Dreamcast's library of soccer games leaves a hell of a lot to be desired - and I'm certain that if Behold the Kickmen ever made it the the DC, it would easily be crowned the best of the bunch...and it's not even a 'proper' soccer sim.
I'm no developer, but I'm pretty sure the Dreamcast could cope with the visuals and the controller would be perfect for the mechanic of slowing the action down - maybe using the triggers to activate it. The chances of this actually happening are pretty much zero, but in the off chance you're reading this Mr Marshall...at least have a think about it? We need it. You need it. We all need it. Cheers.

Aqua Kitty: Milk Mine Defender DX
I love everything about Aqua Kitty DX. The music is brilliant, the premise is fun and quirky, the visuals are really well drawn and Dugan - the guy behind the game - is a really nice bloke. Aqua Kitty DX also has the bonus of looking like a classic Super Nintendo game on steroids, and it plays like a mixture of a bullet hell shooter and Defender - what's not to like? The game casts you in the role of the titular anthropomorphic cat and it's down to you to dive beneath the waves in a submarine equipped with guns and defend the milk mines dotted about the seabed.
Power ups will aid you on your quest to fulfil the feline world's demand for mined milk reserves, but you'll need quick reactions in order to defeat the waves of enemies and keep all the mines intact. Aqua Kitty is available for several different platforms including the PS Vita, PS4, PC and Xbox 360. Personally I think it would fit really well on the Dreamcast with it's shmup-style gameplay and vibrant pixel art visuals. Even if a Dreamcast port is little more than a dream, it's still worth checking this game out if you own any of the formats it's currently available for.

Papers Please
A game in which you play an immigration officer and have the power to rip families apart or condemn people to certain death if you don't let them cross a border? How the hell can that be considered fun? Well, it is - and Papers Please proves it. Papers Please is a few years old now and I played it on my MacBook only recently, but it's a fascinating experience that really makes you question your own morality at times. It's a careful balance of exhibiting human compassion and trying to keep your own family housed and provided for, all the while having your performance and decisions monitored by some omnipresent, dystopian government-at-large.
You spend the duration of the game checking passports, work permits and identity documents, trying to ascertain if they're genuine or if people are trying to pull a fast one and get across the border for nefarious (or innocent) reasons. While it probably sounds dull as ditchwater, it is actually quite an engrossing and taxing experience. The game pretty much requires a keyboard and mouse, but the Dreamcast has both of those, and the basic visuals could easily be replicated on Sega's hardware. According to Wikipeda a PS Vita port was announced in 2014, but Stalin knows what happened to that. Again, a Dreamcast port is about as likely as Moby Dick swimming up the Manchester Ship Canal squirting strawberry milkshake out of his blow hole, but Papers Please is an indie game that would suit the Dreamcast hardware down to the ground.

Naturally, there are a ton of other indie games I'd love to see on the Dreamcast, but lets face it - the market for such endeavours is tiny, and the developers of these games have enough trouble trying to make a living putting them out on current gen and mobile devices. You know - formats that people actually buy games for. That said, we do have a fairly vibrant scene and the range of Dreamcast-specific indie titles on the horizon is very exciting. You only have to look at SLaVE, Elysian Shadows, Alice Dreams Tournament, Xenocider, AMEBA, and the un-named clowns with guns simulator we looked at recently. Even without Kickmen, Aqua Kitty or Papers Please, it's a good time to own a Dreamcast for sure.
The struggle is real.
Are there any indie games you think would be perfect for porting to the Dreamcast? You know, if money and time were no object (does that even make sense?).  Go mad - tell us your wildest fantasies in the comments section!

7 comments:

pcwzrd13 said...

Spelunky! That is all. :-D Oh and although I have yet to play it, Shovel Knight could easily be ported to the Dreamcast I would think.

Tom Charnock said...

Yeah a lot of people have mentioned Shovel Knight on Facebook. I haven't actually played that one though!

Anthony Harrap said...

Either Indy 500 or the fate of Atlantis would be great!

james said...

Personally I would love to see Aquaria on the Dreamcast. There is already an unofficial PSP port that was released a few years back when the engine for the game was open sourced. The Game assets though are still under copyright and the PSP port is a pain to build as you need to convert the assets to a usable size due to the PSP's limited hardware. I have no doubt that it might be challenging to get Aquaria to run smoothly on the Dreamcast but it might just be possible. One things for sure the fantastic soundtrack would be right at home on the Dreamcast

Umberto Camurati said...

Hyper Light Drifter and Undertale for example.
HLD with the wonderful dynamic lights of Dreamcast and Undertale due to the large fanbase (the good one, not the cringy) that it has and its genre, which heavily lacks on the console.

Unknown said...

Well, the list is huge, well over 20. Cutting it down to games don't (apparently) requiring a big downgrade it would be something like:
- Maldita Castilla.
- Hydorah.
- Shovel Knight.
- Wayward Souls.
- Bro Force.
- Reflex.
- Nidhogg.
- Super House of the Dead Ninjas.
- La Mulana.
Future releases:
- Raging Justice, if it ever comes out.
- Owlboy.

Unknown said...

Oh, and I forgot about Kraut Busters. Seriously, this port is something the Dreamcat Junkyard should scream and shout for.