Continuing the theme of highlighting smaller titles, Endora’s Box comes to us locally from the sibling team of Scott and Nichole Fredley. By locally I mean from Seattle and bonus fact, I went to college with the guy. The premise of the game is a simple (not really cause puzzles) side-scrolling point and click adventure game. The duo is largely inspired by the horror genre so it was only right they work off of that. Games such as Luigi’s Mansion, Five Nights at Freddy's, and Undertale served as the main inspiration. With a degree in programming from Scott and animation from Nichole, the “funny and endearing” adventure keeps the player engaged through clever and hilarious commentary using Game Maker Studio.
As of now, there is only a 30–40 minute demo on Game Jolt that is really well put together. You can download it for free but if you want to you can throw down some money for it. When I sat down to discuss the game with Scott, I asked him when we might expect a full game to be released. We then got to talking about loans, money, and time which is always a downer when trying to pursue your dreams. Especially being right out of college. Scott is currently working with another studio for another game to pay off loans. If all that goes well then maybe in a year or so the game will be finished if he has the time. “The story is there and I have an idea of where I want it to go. I just need time”. He couldn’t stress enough that he’d rather push out a fully polished product than to rush and potentially miss certain steps.
The basic premise of the game is that unlike Pandora's Box in which you unleash chaos unto the world, you are sucked into an alternate dimension and have to figure out how to escape. The game features an interesting mechanic in which you use a black-light on your phone to illuminate hidden messages on walls or objects to progress and gain information. As you meet charming characters along the way, you begin to suspect something more sinister unfolds in the shadows. Also, for some reason, bread. Play the game to find out, you won’t regret it. The game does a great job of providing just enough information but still keeps you in the dark. Check out the preview trailer below!
During my conversation with Scott, we got to talking about mainstream indie games vs. indie games. Wait what? Yea I know that sentence was weird but hear me out. I’ve noticed a bunch of indie games in the spotlight that everyone knows about but there are so many that have yet to be discovered. It’s almost as if there’s a sub category of indie games that were indie before being indie was cool. I guess the takeaway from this is to do your research. There are so many deserving games worth your time that could be the next big thing. Most of them are free too so that helps.
For me what makes this game unique is the black-light feature. During my play through with a friend of mine, he noted how he really enjoyed the comedy/horror dynamic. It was just enough to be comfortable but unsettling at the same time. Just a heads up, if you do play the game, there is no save system yet implemented so you’ll have to knock it out in one go. Charming characters, eerie music, and a unique art style separate this from other indie titles out there which is great for a beginning team. When asked if he and his sister had any outside help or advice from established industry professionals he said, “I was self taught along with my sister so we didn’t really have access to outside help”. If you like what you saw from the trailer and would like to support the game, can check it out here!