Indie Spotlight

Each month, the Indie Spotlight highlights a new game that exemplifies the creativity, cleverness, and beauty of today’s independent games market.


This month’s Indie Spotlight is:

TOKYO Game Series

Like many creative enterprises, games are as much a work of art as they a form of entertainment. Every immersive experience, every logic puzzle, every raucous round of laughter is intentional. Although games strive above all to be fun and enjoyable, so too are they also a form of expression. Its designers desire you to have specific reactions to their creation; everything added to it – the artwork, the production quality, the publisher’s presentation – is all designed to accentuate that fact. Their vision became a reality, and its every designer-artist’s motivation to show their game off to anyone who’d be interested in sharing that experience, collectively or otherwise, around the table. To a degree, games provide glancing insight into the minds of those who created them, much the same as any book, movie, or painting. In most cases, games are art, if not entirely in the traditional sense.

Few designers embrace this mantle more than rising indie game designer Jordan Draper of the aptly named Jordan Draper Games studios. To him, coming up with new games is as much about creating interesting and unique concepts as it is conveying his life experiences through them. Informed by his profession and his extensive travels abroad, Jordan strives for his creations to provide artistic appreciation as much as being something to play with. This is particularly evident with his TOKYO series of games, each inspirited by, and attempt to capture, different aspects about the magic that is daily life in Tokyo. The initial trio of TOKYO games included a dexterity-based spatial game about building houses, an economic game about the city’s subway system, and a medley of mini games that all center around a tiny vending machine. Each of them unique, each quite different from one another. And yet all were interconnected – both flavorfully via the travails of its designer and tacitly via games’ rules themselves.

A little meta? Yes, but also entirely intentional.

Jordan returns to the TOKYO series here with a new trio of games to further expand upon his time abroad. Each of these titles possess a new theme and gameplay style, and all of them still resonate with the same indie game flair that its up-and-coming designer is already becoming known for.

In TOKYO COIN LAUNDRY, players can choose from among nearly two dozen mini games, all of which revolve around doing laundry at a Tokyo laundromat – which have many differences than those you’d typically find in the US or Europe.

Alternatively you could cast your net into TOKYO TSUKIJI MARKET, a heavier economic game that takes place in the city’s local fish markets. With player-driven economies and each market having its own twist on resources and trade, every playthrough is likely to be different.

Or perhaps you’d like to try your hand at TOKYO GAME SHOW, which is…pretty much what you’d expect. In this lighter title, players compete over several rounds in the style of a classic Japanese game show (and if you’re not familiar just google Takeshi’s Castle). In spectacular mashup fashion, one player as the hosts choose a handful of over 50 different mini games, which are then cobbled together into a single contest that the other players compete in for points and glory.

So come along and peruse the latest Jordan Draper gallery showing! With three distinctly different games and a dizzying array of variety within each of them, there’s certainly something to entice you, be it as a game, a work of art, or if all goes well, a bit of both.



Need more information about any of our previous Spotlight selections? Check out the list below or contact us at:!


Previous Indie Game Spotlights:

December 2019: Rival Restaurants | Review | Q&A | Developer’s Site

November 2019: Fantastic Factories | Review | Q&A | Design DiaryDeveloper’s Site

October 2019: Chocolate Factory | Review | Q&A | Developer’s Site

September 2019: Rurik: Dawn of Kiev | Review | Q&A | Developer’s Site

August 2019: Re-Chord | Review | Developer’s Site

July 2019: The Artemis Project | Review | Q&ADeveloper’s Site

June 2019: The Valley of Alchemists | Review | Developer’s Site

May 2019: Unbroken | Review | Strategy Tips | Q&ADeveloper’s Site

April 2019: Mountaineers | Review | Developer’s Site

March 2019: Defense Grid | Review | Q&A | Developer’s Site

February 2019: Fire Tower | Review | Q&A | Developer’s Site

January 2019: Good Dog, Bad Zombie | Review | Q&A | Developer’s Site