Like many games journalists yearning for new ideas within today’s stagnating games industry, my cold, cynical heart fills to the brim with joy whenever I hear about a big-name publisher supporting the efforts of independent games developers. That being said, you can probably imagine my exuberance when 2K Games announced today that they’ll be bringing two promising indie titles to Microsoft’s Xbox Live Arcade.
First off is The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom, a 1920’s-themed time manipulation platformer from the University of Southern California’s student game developer troupe, The Odd Gentlemen. The game puts players in the role of the nefarious P.B. Winterbottom, a pie-snatching ne’er-do-well who suddenly finds himself able to distort time and space to his liking. Naturally, the old so-and-so swiftly concludes that his new gift would be best used for attaining that which he desires most: More pie. The game’s silent film aesthetic looks absolutely gorgeous, and its developers have already won enough awards to fill a trophy shelf, including four Best of E3 awards from GameSpot and IGN.
The second game, Axel & Pixel, is a point-and-click adventure by Czech developer Silver Wish Games that uses a combination of hand-drawn animation and surreal 3D landscapes. Players will solve puzzles by manipulating elements of the game’s environments to guide Axel, a suave-looking artist fellow, and his dog through a breathtaking illustrated world.
You can look forward to seeing both of these titles soon enough. Axel & Pixel will be available this Fall, and P.B. Winterbottom will make its debut in Q1 of 2010.