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PlayStation Indies Initiative debuts with 9 PS5 and PS4 games

(Image credit: TiGames)

PlayStation just highlighted 9 new indie titles for PS5 and PS4 coming as part of its new PlayStation Indies Initiative.

President of SCE Worldwide Shuhei Yoshida took to the PlayStation Blog to announce the new program. He wrote: "With PlayStation Indies, we hope to spotlight and support the best of the best indie games being published on PlayStation and the entire indie community as a whole. Our goal is to make PlayStation the best place to develop, find, and play great indie games."

That commitment will also stretch to PS Now, with the service offering a new indie experience each month. "While details are still forthcoming, we are also happy to confirm a new indie title will join the PlayStation Now service every month, starting with Hello Neighbor in July," Yoshida confirmed.

And what better way to mark the occasion of announcing a new intuitive than to showcase some of the games that are a part of it? Here are all 9 games headed to PS5 and PS4.

F.I.S.T: Forged in Shadow Torch

First up is F.I.S.T, an action-adventure indie coming to PS4 soon that has you playing as Rayton, a bunny... who is in a mechanical suit that has a giant fist. It's not just for decoration though, you'll be using that as you explore and clobber your way through Torch City, a 'dieselpunk' world that gives off some serious Midgar vibes. The reason for heading there is that a friend of Rayton has been taken by the Machine Legion, and it's up to our rabbit warrior to save him. You can learn more about this intriguing action platformer over on the PlayStation Blog.  

Maquette 

Maquette is a first-person adventure that uses a recursive, almost Russian doll-style world to create mind-bending environmental puzzles. It's set in a world nested inside itself. There's a dollhouse version of the world at its heart, and events in the dollhouse - moving a block, closing a door, dropping a key etc. - will also occur in the real world, and vice-versa. You'll need to interact with both versions of the world to progress, and the implications there are mighty trippy. 

As you explore Maquette, you'll piece together the lost memories of a young couple in love. This couple is the driving force of the game's story, which seems to be much more important than you might expect from a puzzle game. In fact, developer Graceful Decay describes Maquette as more of "a story that has puzzles throughout." Still, its central puzzle mechanic is pretty darn cool. 

Maquette is currently only listed for release on PS4. 

Where the Heart Is 

Not unlike Maquette, Where the Heart Is is also set in two interwoven worlds, but in this case those worlds are totally separate but overlapping entities. Dead-ends in one world may be replaced by wide-open ranges in the other, and you'll regularly hop between both as you explore. Where the Heart Is also seems to be pushing its familial narrative quite strongly, with the choices you make throughout the game opening up (or closing off) myriad arcs and endings. 

Where the Heart Is will come to PS4 this winter. 

Creaks 

Creaks is a hand-drawn puzzle game from Chuchel and Machinarium creator Amanita, and quite frankly that's all we need to hear. But to elaborate, Creaks is a creepy-cute game that plays with pareidolia, or the human habit of seeing faces in inanimate objects. All kinds of things in Creaks may come to life and pursue you, but by hitting them with light, you can turn them back into harmless objects. This mechanic, combined with puzzle staples like levers and pressure plates, is the backbone of Creaks, at least on the gameplay side. As you'd expect from Amanita, the aesthetic is carrying the experience too, with the world of Creaks described as "rather magical, diverse, and inhabited by both peaceful avian folk and terrifying creatures." 

Creaks will come to PS4 this summer. 

Heavenly Bodies 

This is the first game in today's lineup to be confirmed for both PS4 and PS5, and Heavenly Bodies looks like a weird one. You play as a cosmonaut working on some important space tech, and your limbs are mapped to individual inputs: left and right triggers (or analogue sticks) for your left and right arm, left and right bumpers for your left and right leg. Everything else in Heavenly Bodies is also physically simulated, from ropes to buttons to machines, and since you're in a zero-gravity environment, things can get real weird (and real funny) real fast. 

Developer 2pt Interactive says that the PS5's DualSense controller allows for more advanced controls, with its adaptive triggers physically relaying your grip on objects and its haptic feedback simulating your cosmonaut's sense of touch. Heavenly Bodies will also support co-op on both PS5 and PS4 when it launches in 2021. 

Recompile 

Another indie for PS5, Recompile is a gorgeous 3D platformer about hacking a digital landscape. You play as a sentient humanoid virus, but rather than infecting files, your goal is to "bring about the first technological singularity" and save humanity. Judging from its new trailer, Recompile has traditional platforming, third-person combat, and "environmental hacking puzzles" which leverage your virus abilities. I'm getting some Nier: Automata route B vibes from the mix of hacking and combat, and developer Phigames says you can approach encounters violently, stealthily, or creatively - or somewhere in-between, with different decisions leading to different story outcomes.  

Carto 

Carto is an aptly titled puzzle game about cartography, coming to PS4 from Humble Games and Sunhead Games. By rearranging tiles on the map, you can change the shape of the world you're exploring. Unlock new paths and meet once locked-off NPCs, picking through dialogue from former Guacamelee! 2 and Celeste writer Nick Suttner. Carto is described as a journey of self-discovery and friendship, and if it's art and music are anything to go by, it ought to be lovely.  

Haven

Haven is being made by the same studio that created the intense boss rush action of Furi, but it's way, way, way more chill. The Game Bakers wanted to take a break with a game that feels more like a gentle and refreshing breeze than a harrowing maelstrom, and they're doing that by taking a new approach to open-world RPGs. Haven tells the story of a couple alone on a strange planet, surrounded by a corruption called Rust and threatened by strange monsters. The stakes are there, and so are the RPG systems you'd expect: combat, crafting, exploration. But Haven takes out the min-maxing details and invites you to lay down in the grass and stare at the alien sky instead.

You'll be able to play Haven on your own or in local co-op, and it's coming to PS4 as well as PC, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One this year.

Worms Rumble

Worms Rumble takes the classic side-scrolling chaotic combat of the Worms franchise and kicks it into real time. You control a single invertebrate champion as you head into combat in up to 32-player battles, using a familiar assortment of ridiculous weaponry to blast through the competition. The worms move a bit faster in real time, and they can even use a recharging stamina bar to roll around at high speeds or wall jump around the map. Worms Rumble will include traditional Deathmatch, as well as battle-royale-styled Last Worm Standing and Last Squad Standing modes.

Worms Rumble is headed to PS5 as well as PS4 and PC later this year, and it will launch with full support for cross-platform multiplayer.

Be sure to head back to GamesRadar throughout the day as we recap every announcement and check out every upcoming PS5 game here.