A Star Wars world collides with anime-style action in this sci-fi game

Typically, for this column, I’ll hang out combing through different hashtags on Twitter to see what’s going on. Today, I was happy to follow a consistent stream of launched and up-and-coming video games for #PitchYaGame, an awards reveal and hashtag for indie designers where individuals flaunt their video games. Sometimes, I was happy to see WIPs covered in previous columns. However it likewise opened a world of under-the-radar work from designers who haven’t published as frequently.

We have newly uncovered gems and more in Cool WIP, Polygon’s weekly roundup of eye-catching clips, and screenshots of works in progress. Each week, the Polygon staff scours the internet for the most interesting games still under construction, to give you a sampler of the coolest up-and-coming projects.

This week we have a stunning sci-fi game with incredible attack animations, a beautiful open-world game where you help a panda find peace, a horror game inspired by ’80s monster movies, an elegant rhythm game, and an RPG inspired by anime in the ’90s.

You won’t believe this was made by one person

Felix Schade is the developer and creator of Morbid Metal, which they describe as a sci-fi action roguelite where you shapeshift to rack up sick combos. A clip shared by Schade shows the game in action as a character zips from one enemy to the next, while unleashing a chain of shimmering attacks fit for the flashiest of JRPGs. Morbid Metal doesn’t have a release date yet but you can catch frequent updates on Schade’s Twitter account.

A very wobbly, but very determined warrior panda

According to the developer, Namra, Aka is a game about helping an ex-warrior panda find their inner peace. From what we can see in a clip shared on Twitter, the game boasts paint-style graphics as well as the ability to curl up and take a nap in spots — including on a giant capybara. The game has a release window of 2022 and you can catch updates on the developer’s Twitter account.

Watch out for this parasite

This top-down twin-stick shooter called Demon Spore looks like it’ll have you running for your life. A clip published by developer Ed Kay shows the flesh-like monster as it oozes from the center of a lab and makes its way across the entire room. According to Kay, the game was inspired by ’80s monster movies. There’s no release window yet, but as usual, you can follow the developer for updates.

This rhythm game makes assembling furniture look fun

Please play this video with your sound on; the music that goes with the rhythm game is oh, so cute. The game, called Bits & Bops, is described as a collection of rhythm minigames. A clip of a minigame where you hammer in nails features a bright and cheery track, reminiscent of a song from a Nintendo game. As the screen scrolls along, you’ll keep to the beat and hammer in nails. Bits & Bops doesn’t have a release date, but you can keep up to date with the studio’s Twitter account.

This video game looks straight out of a Saturday morning cartoon segment

Wander Stars is an RPG inspired by ’90s anime. The hook is that you can tack various adjectives together to design your own attacks. A clip from developer Paper Castle Games shows a fighter doing an “amazing water punch” to attack an enemy. The release date for the video game isn’t announced, however you’ll have the ability to follow the group on their Twitter account.

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.