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Racing game with fighting moves makes Fast & Furious car physics look realistic

Skateboarding games are back, this time they’re more violent

A race car with flames painted on the side driving on a highway made of clouds from Shut Up and Drive!
Just like Tej and Roman, Shut Up and Drive! lets you drive above the clouds.
Image: Fábio Fontes
Ana Diaz (she/her) is a culture writer at Polygon, covering internet culture, fandom, and video games. Her work has previously appeared at NPR, Wired, and The Verge.

It’s already July somehow and summer is in full swing. While it’s relatively quiet with announcements from giant AAA companies, indie developers continue to grace fans with eye-catching artistry and unique concepts.

As with last week’s roundup, we have a trend with the entries. Skateboarding games are going through a bit of renaissance at the moment. We saw some clips for two fun ones: a game that’s a futuristic third-person shooter where you skate and shoot, as well as one that swaps a skateboard out for an office chair.

We also got a neat grab-bag of other work. There’s a cel-shaded racing game, a gorgeously rendered scene of a hanging gardens, a literal text adventure where you get to play with the words, and a nostalgic imagining of exploring a childhood home. Read on to learn more about what caught our attention in game development this week.

Race through hell in Shut Up and Drive!

Vin Diesel and the rest of the cast of the Fast & Furious movies wish they could drive with the flair and chaos of arcade racers. Alas, the Fast & Furious movies are limited by somewhat realistic physics. But at least games will give us hyper-exaggerated racing of our dreams.

In Shut Up And Drive!, players can chain gravity-defying tricks with their race car. A clip from its developer, Fábio Fontes, shows the car zooming through a hellfire track. It sports a cel-shaded style and shows ridiculous tricks like a complete nose flip. It’s slated to come out in August.

A beautiful render from Unreal Engine 5

María Martinez, a 3D artist and student created these beautiful hanging gardens, based on a concept artist Hyunsu Cha, with Unreal Engine 5. A video of the pink tower shows a slow pan of the town, demonstrating the full splendor of the environment. There is a tall, pink tower with an ornate architectural flourishes. Lush plants and flowers grow along the paths and ledges in town. The creator made a version for the daytime, and a nighttime one that glows lit with warm candlelight at night. The developer’s website has high-resolution images of it, as well as an asset pack showing all the smaller components that went into creating the scene.

A literal text adventure

Henrike Lode is the creative director of Copenhagen-based game studio Lohika. She created Transit, a text adventure about at train trip from Copenhagen to Hamburg. Her take on a text adventure is quite literal — the short clip of the game shows that you rearrange and click on text to move it in the game, and play with it. At one point, you can drag and drop words into boxes to “pack” your bags. You can play it for free in your browser on now.

A good reason to return to the office

A developer who goes by KevKev on Twitter made a skateboarding game where you do sick tricks on your office chair. The GIF shows a blocky character riding and grinding a rail — all on an office chair. The animation looks surprisingly smooth and ends with the character perfectly landing the trick by sitting in the chair. The game also looks surprisingly ... violent. (Another clip shows the character decapitating a coworker.) The developer didn’t mention a game title so it’s definitely in its early stages, but you can follow development through their Twitter profile.

Skate and shoot with Trickshot

This week, skateboarding games seem to be getting more violent. Trickshot, an upcoming game being made by a group named Meddling Kids, is a futuristic third-person shooter where you take aim at competitors as you ride a hoverboard. From the looks of it, you can bulldoze them. In between kills, you can squeeze tricks in on the ramps. It’s a more competitive take on chill skatepark vibes.

Take care of your plants

This beautiful GIF shows an animation of pulling back the curtain to let some light in for your plant. It’s golden hour and the light pours into the room. It’s a beautiful moment from an upcoming game called Simpler Times. As you play, you’ll experience the protagonist’s childhood memories in their home. It’s currently being made by a team of four and you can follow their progress on the game’s Twitter page.

The next level of puzzles.

Take a break from your day by playing a puzzle or two! We’ve got SpellTower, Typeshift, crosswords, and more.