Support the work you care about
I’m generally of the belief that, if you have any interest in mitigating our already worsening climate crisis, you should probably buy less stuff. Stuff is what got us into this mess, and we don’t need nearly as much of it as Jeff Bezos would have you believe. But, of course, buying stuff is also fun, so if you really feel like giving into this week’s sale signs and discount prices, it’s almost always worth shopping small and coming as close as you can to “ethical consumption” by supporting creators you believe in, who pay their workers well, and make special products you can’t find anywhere else.
If you’re not entirely sure how to apply that ethos to Cyber Monday’s video games, I’ve compiled a small list of women-made indie games that are worth checking out. Emphasis on “small list” — this list is by no means exhaustive!
Nimbatus by Stray Fawn Studio
Stray Fawn Studio was co-founded by Philomena Schwab, who worked on “space drone constructor” Nimbatus’ art and marketing. The games’ open-world and drone building push players to get creative while indulging in video-game-as-physics-lesson and shooting stuff with a space gun. If you like in-game creating and space, this game is for you, now for 50% off.
Terracotta by Olivia Haines
I recently discovered Olivia Haines from her popular TikTok about making games “as a form of self-expression” and not as an “appeal to gamers,” but I think even the most stereotypical “gamer” will be able to see the calming beauty in Haines’ games. This one, Terracotta, has a simple premise like most of her games — you take a walk through your peach pink town — but depressive thoughts fly across the screen as you do it, ultimately concluding that life is “pretty good” as you reach home. Short and sweet, and available at a name-your-price point.
Before I Forget by Chella Ramanan and Claire Morwood
BAFTA-nominated Before I Forget is the first game from 3-Fold Games, a two-person studio composed of writer Chella Ramanan and self-taught developer Claire Morwood. It explores its protagonists’ dementia with tenderness and respect, with memories melting and sinking into each other like watercolor paint. You’re sure to come to some conclusions about your own fragile body and mind, all for the low, low price of 30% off on Steam.
Get In The Car, Loser! DLC chapter by Christine Love
I’m sure you’re already familiar with Christine Love, the independent game designer making visual novels about girls being gay and hot. What’s not to like! Her most recent game, Get In The Car, Loser!, “a lesbian road trip RPG” with hard candy visuals, is available for free on Steam, but the beach chapter DLC is now 10%.