January has been a pretty slow month for new releases, but that doesn't mean the rest of the year will be. Picking up where my previous two articles left off, here's 20 more indie games to keep an eye out for throughout 2018.
Phoenix Point (PC)
Phoenix Point is a spiritual successor to the X-COM franchise by its original creator, Julian Gollop. In 2057, humanity is on the verge of extinction following an invasion by alien sea creatures that have been able to adapt to everything the world governments have thrown at them. You are the leader of the Phoenix Project, a secretive organization dedicated to driving the aliens off the planet and bringing order back to humanity.
The Bard's Tale IV (PC)
Originally Kickstarted in the summer of 2015, the next game by Brian Fargo's inXile is a sequel to another beloved CRPG franchise that has been nearly forgotten. Explore a whimsical fantasy world with your party of adventurers and use a variety of lyrical powers to solve puzzles and interact with the environment.
Descent: Underground (PC, PS4, Xbox One)
Another old franchise getting a reboot this year is the classic 6 Degrees of Freedom shooter, Descent. This prequel has been in Early Access since 2015, but the developers ran into financial trouble late last year and had the beta pulled from sale. They have since made a deal with the company Little Orbit to wrap up development, so hopefully everything turns out fine when the game finally releases later this year.
Revival Productions, LLC
Descendent Studios might have the rights to the Descent license right now, but Revival Productions is making their own spiritual successor to the franchise. Created by several key developers of the original Descent games, Overload has been in Early Access since March of last year. The single player campaign is supposed to be done in a few months, with a free multiplayer mode coming in the second half of 2018.
Wargroove (PC, Switch, Xbox One, PS4)
Wargroove is what happens when a small group of indie developers decide that the world needs a new Advance Wars game and aren't prepared to wait around for Nintendo to fill that void. It's being made by the team behind Starbound, so it has a pretty good pedigree backing it. There's apparently some crossover with Starbound as well, though we'll have to wait until Wargroove releases to know the whole story.
Treasure Adventure World (PC)
February 7th, 2018
Another upcoming game by Chucklefish, though this time from the publishing side, is the 2D puzzle-platformer Treasure Adventure World. Set sail and explore a magical archipelago as a young boy and his pet parrot. Treasure Adventure World is due to release next week, so you won't have to wait very long to play it.
Into the Breach (PC)
Into the Breach is the next game by the developers of FTL. It has roguelite elements like their previous game, but this time around it's a turn-based strategy game where you assemble a squad of mechs to defend cities from giant alien bugs. There isn't a solid release date yet, but according to the developers its "about 90% done." In other words, we might get to play it in five years.
Way of the Passive Fist (PC, PS4, Xbox One)
Household Games Inc
Befitting its puntastic name, Way of the Passive Fist is a unique "defensive" brawler inspired by '90s arcade fighters. Instead of directly fighting your enemies with punches and kicks, Passive Fist is about dodging, parrying, and otherwise outlasting your enemies in a battle of endurance.
Surviving Mars (PC, PS4, Xbox One)
From the developers of Tropico comes Surviving Mars, a city building game set on the titular Red Planet. Establish a colony on the Martian surface as you brave inhospitable conditions and meteor showers. Research new technologies and slowly turn your budding outpost into a thriving, self-sufficient metropolis.
Agony (PC, PS4, Xbox One)
March 30th, 2018
Agony is a survival horror game where you play as a tormented soul trying to claw your way out of Hell. Sneak past demons and horrific environmental hazards on your quest to find the Red Goddess.
While on the subject of nightmarish survival horror games with revolting imagery, Scorn is due out in the latter half of 2018. Unlike Agony, Scorn gives you access to some grisly weaponry, though ammo management plays a large role in the game's combat encounters.
Ooblets (PC, Xbox One)
Moving away from the body horror for now, Ooblets is a colorful blend of life management, farming sim, and creature trainer. Plant seeds that will grow into magical creatures called ooblets, then raise and train them to compete against rival tamers in turn-based battles.
Mulaka (PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One)
Mulaka is a 3D adventure game inspired by the culture and folklore of the Tarahumara people of northwestern Mexico. Gain powers from ancient demigods and become a legendary Tarahumara shaman on your quest to defeat a foul corruption spreading across the land.
The Church in the Darkness (PC, PS4, Xbox One)
Inspired by the events of Jonestown in the late '70s, The Church in the Darkness is a procedurally generated stealth game about infiltrating a fanatical cult in South America. Sneak into the Freedom Town complex to save your nephew by any means necessary, but be aware that all of your actions have consequences.
No Truce With The Furies (PC)
No Truce With The Furies is a mixture of cop procedural and isometric CRPG. Explore the city of Revachol as a disgraced detective, facing enemies both real and imagined. Delve into your own thoughts to overcome emotional trauma and unhealthy obsessions.
Phantom Doctrine (PC)
Phantom Doctrine is an XCOM-style turn-based tactical espionage game set during an alternate history 1980s. Uncover a global conspiracy at the height of the Cold War as either a KGB counterintelligence operative or a CIA assassin. Recruit operatives, smuggle weapons, and build contacts between missions to expand your global operations.
Fell Seal: Arbiter's Mark
6 Eyes Studio
Fell Seal is a turn-based tactical RPG inspired by the Final Fantasy Tactics and Tactics Ogre franchises. Battle monsters and pass judgment on the wicked as an Arbiter, the mortal agents of the godlike Immortals. Build your band of Arbiters with over 20 character classes, 200 abilities, and hundreds of pieces of gear and equipment.
Tower of Time (PC)
Tower of Time is a real-time tactical RPG that has been in Early Access since July, and the developers expect the game to be finished in a few months. The game is aimed more towards MOBA players, and has a large focus on skill shots and spells that need to be "drawn" with the mouse curser. There is also an Arrow-Time mechanic in the combat system that allows you to slow (but not stop) time to queue up orders.
Yoku's Island Express (PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One)
Yoku's Island Express is an open world…pinball metroidvania? You play as the new postman of Mokumana, a dung beetle named Yoku. Navigation involves pinball-style mechanics like hitting levers and bumpers, and there are some parts where you just straight-up play a game of pinball to get past obstacles. It's an odd combination, and the game is supposed to be coming out pretty soon.
Moonlighter (PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One)
Finally we come to Moonlighter, an action RPG and shop management game. You play as Will, a humble shopkeeper with a craving for adventure. Manage your shop during the day, then explore dungeons at night on your quest for fame and fortune.
Even after three articles, I've barely scratched the surface of promising indie games coming our way in 2018. Be sure to keep an eye out for these titles as they release throughout the year.