Indie-licious Side Dishes: Sucker for Love: First Date, Babble Royale, & Blade Assault

Here's are some fine indies we didn't get to stream this week, including Lovecraftian romance, Scrabble battle royale, and a cyberpunk action-platformer!


On Indie-licious, my mission is to livestream some of the best and most interesting new indie games out there so viewers might check them out as well. I love putting the spotlight on these games each week, but I can only really choose one per stream per week! It’s a tough choice, and there is often far more delightful indies to see than just the ones I livestream. That’s why I’m rolling out Indie-licious Side Dishes to put further spotlights on some new indie games I didn’t get to stream earlier in the week.

And I’ve got quite the spread for hungry indie fans. This week features a kawaii Cthulu dating sim, a battle royale where you use your words to win (literally), and a cyberpunk action platformer with ninja hack-‘n-slash action! Check it out!

Sucker for Love: First Date

Sucker for Love: First Date comes to us from developer Akabaka and publisher DreadXP. Having launched on January 20, this game is a twist on the usual dating sim visual novel. You’re literally trying to win the affection of Lovecraftian horrors (stylized as rather cute characters of course). This game twists both the dating sim and eldritch story elements on their head and has a pretty fun sense of humor about it, with some creepy twists of course. As can be expected, your decisions will drastically change the course of the game and determine which monster favors you most, but gameplay will also drastically change based on your course of action as well. This game is currently available on PC via Steam.

Babble Royale

Babble Royale isn’t as fresh as some of my other picks this week, but it’s interesting enough that I just couldn’t overlook it. It’s Scrabble meets battle royale from the developers at Everybody House Games! For real, you drop into a Scrabble board in which you must use your letters to quickly try to out-word and outscore fellow players. It can quickly become intense as you scramble to put your words together, cut off your opponents, and also try to avoid getting locked out and knocked out in the encroaching red space. Did I mention it’s currently free-to-play? Babble Royale is a pretty engaging take on word games and battle royale design and it’s available now on PC via Steam in early access.

Blade Assault

There is no lack of games that have tried to capitalize on the Cyberpunk theme in the last couple years, but it’s worth noting that futuristic action platformers have always been in style for those with good taste. Blade Assault comes to us from developer TeamSuneat and publisher NEOWIZ. Taking on the role of a ninja-like resistance fighting against a oppressive military leadership, players will engage in a rogue-lite hack-‘n-slash adventure to try to cut through as many of the enemy forces in the city of Esperanza as possible. There are multiple characters to choose from, as well as various weapons and upgrades that can be gained. The more you fight, the more you’ll discover skills and power-ups to aid you in further runs. Blade Assault came out of early access on January 17, 2022 on PC via Steam, but is also planned for release PS4/PS5 and Nintendo Switch releases later on.

These were my picks for the most delectable Indie-licious Side Dishes this week. Have a look at my playthrough of Buck Up and Drive from this week's Indie-licious ShackStream and check back next week for another streamed Indie-licious on Monday at 1:30 p.m. PT / 4:30 p.m. ET on the Shacknews Twitch channel, as well as another Indie-licious Side Dishes spread later in the week. Have you been playing any cool indie games I didn’t talk about here? Let me know in the Shacknews Chatty section below!

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

Hello, Meet Lola