Kyle Tam’s Top 10 Indiepocalypse TTRPG Picks
Kyle is a dreamer, writer, and full-time complainer from the Philippines. Her fiction has been published in Idle Ink, Mineral Lit, and Analogies & Allegories among others. She has created a number of TTRPGs including the IGDN Honorable Mention MORIAH. You can find her on Twitter at @PercyPropa, or find her work at whatkylewrites.carrd.co.
By Yonah Sienna
The persecution of the Jewish people should not repeat in cycles, and yet it does. This is a game that calls upon you to transcend mere empathy in your play, but to truly embody a people who have found themselves called upon to flee again and again, striving to break the cycle. It is a game of ritual and spiritual performance, and even the act of reading its words, its songs, evokes prayer for peace. For the enduring of hardships. A hopeful game indeed.
Lichcraft is a game born of a true frustration, one that attempts to highlight real issues while empowering its players in its fiction and humour. The year is 2069, the place is Britain and you are still on the waitlist for gender-affirming surgery, which naturally means that to circumvent its limitations you have become an all powerful lich who can wait forever if they so wish. It’s a funny game, a striking game, an emotional game that is both tongue-in-cheek and quietly angry about the state of the world, and highly recommended if you, too, would like to raise armies of the dead to march on 10 Downing Street.
Do you remember being 13, 14 years old, sitting in your room, drowning out the miseries of the world with your headphones cranked up to the maximum? Teenage Angst remembers. A solo scrapbooking game in which you create a scrapbook of memories, collecting your thoughts in response to a scenario based on one of ten songs. There is a bittersweetness in playing this game – you who craves nostalgia and youth, and the you of days past who longed to grow older and escape childhood.
Think Coffee Talk, but as a tabletop game – a means by which to realize the fantasy of running a little cafe, an oasis of coffee and relaxation in a hectic world. There is a charming simplicity to Whistling Wolf Cafe, a meditation in the ways you deal with your playing card customers by creating the beverages they need, and not the ones they “want”, and the best part is that the game can be run quickly and easily whenever you have ten minutes and cards to spare.
Typically, if you wanted to play a 16-bit dungeon crawler the simplest solution would be to boot one up on the nearest NES, Playstation, or uncoloured Gameboy. But Fight Item Run is here for the folks who don’t want to stare at a screen after staring at a screen the whole day. Who want their dungeon delves to truly feel like an adventuring party, including secrets, party affinities, and chunky chunky monsters to slay.
You’re an alien trying to bust out of Area 51. Even just that simple concept is enough to evoke, if not an outright laugh, at least a good-natured chuckle. The game lends itself to this atmosphere of good natured wacky hijinks, with tons of tables for you to generate the most out there scenario possible. Basically, you’re playing this because you want a laugh, and if that’s what you want it has a shipful to show you.
By Maria Mison
To call A Hundred Thousand Places merely a game does not seem like the correct term. It is a conversation, a story relayed to you, an experience that sees you traversing the paths between worlds. A request to share the most intimate parts of yourself with the game because it cannot hurt you – only you can hurt you. Urging you to stew in the beauty and ugliness that you are, hoping that you come out the other end cleansed. Changed. Awakened.
There is a sinfulness in intimacy, a piety in distance, and GOD KISS takes that to the deepest extreme. The game’s presentation is as bold and in your face as its premise, assaulting you at every step with BIG BOLD WORDS. It is evoking Bayonetta and Devil May Cry, rules-lite and perpetually in motion. What can an angel do against the might of your seduction? Absolutely nothing else.
So, this is the game taking the concept of Mushroom Kingdom to its most logical extreme. Forget intruding plumbers and talking dinosaurs – this world of myconids and mycelium casts our fungal friends in the main role. And this isn’t just a cute little one off – there is a whole world of these mushrooms as scholars, creators, leaders, adventurers. It’s hard not to be charmed by the beautiful art and sheer variety on display, though admittedly it’s also difficult not to become hungry while reading.
By Gwen Clark
If a tabletop game were to have a theme song, this one’s would have to be “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen. You’re playing supersonic, solar flaring Zodiac-based warriors on a journey to take the universe back from the enigmatic and monstrous Veil. Being made in the LUMEN system means that combat is always fast and furious, but there’s also a lot of variety in the Downtime and Ops sections so that you never have to stop going strong.