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Gameverse | July 7, 2020

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Indie Games to Watch in 2015

indie games to watch 2015I’m looking towards the year ahead of us and all the promising indie titles of 2015 that could potentially be the sort of games that we will be reminiscing about this time next year. I was originally aiming for 50 games split into two articles, but the more I dig around the more uncertain I become of being able to trim the list down that low. As to whether or not any of these games will be good, well, I guess we’ll just need to wait until 2016 to see just how accurate this list actually was.

Another year has come and gone, and a quick glance around the Interwebs seems to indicate that many gamers are remembering 2014 as the year that the AAA industry projectile-vomited a giant stream of rancid disappointment all over us before nicking our wallets and running away. This year saw plenty of examples of full priced, “AAA” games that launched full of bugs, glitches, shoddy netcode, busted DRM, and all manner of other anti-consumer BS, with companies more concerned about trying to sell us season passes and the next installment in the franchise while the current game was unplayable. Even games that did work ended up being completely underwhelming, even more so after the years of hype telling us that this would be THE next step in gaming.

It wasn’t all bad, though. We still managed to have a pretty kickass 2014, all things considered. Shadow of Mordor and Wolfenstein: The New Order ended up being surprisingly awesome, we finally (almost) forgot about Colonial Marines with the release of a good Alien game, Hearthstone made us do questionable things to afford more packs, and the indie scene brought us some real gems. Age of Wonders 3, Transistor, Xenonauts, Shovel Knight, Binding of Isaac: Rebirth, Endless Legend, Divinity: Original Sin, Wasteland 2, This War of Mine, The Last Federation, Loadout, I could be here all night naming really good stuff I played (or still need to get around to) in 2014, but that’s not why I’m writing this.

Instead, I’m looking towards the year ahead of us and all the promising indie titles of 2015 that could potentially be the sort of games that we will be reminiscing about this time next year. I was originally aiming for 50 games split into two articles, but the more I dig around the more uncertain I become of being able to trim the list down that low. As to whether or not any of these games will be good, well, I guess we’ll just need to wait until 2016 to see just how accurate this list actually was.

Brigador

Genre: Isometric Vehicular Shooter

Developers: Stellar Jockeys

Release Date: Q2

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Brigador, originally Matador, is an isometric vehicle-based shooter with visuals reminiscent of PC games from the ’90s like Syndicate. Choose your vehicle and weapons and set out to liberate the city of Solo Nobre or die trying.

Satellite Reign

Genre: Real-Time Tactics

Developers: 5 Lives Studios

Release Date: Early Access, Full Release TBA

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Speaking of Syndicate, the spiritual successor to Syndicate Wars just hit Early Access last month. Developed by some of the original developers of the classic franchise, Satellite Reign is aiming to be the Syndicate 4 we never got. And no, that orgy of retina-melting light bloom EA released in 2012 doesn’t count.

War for the Overworld

Genre: ITS MOTHER****ING DUNGEON KEEPER

Developers: Subterranean Games

Release Date: Early Access, Full Release TBA

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Transitioning in from my previous segue is War for the Overworld, another spiritual successor to a Bullfrog classic that EA recently dragged kicking and screaming through the mud. The current beta build being sold on Early Access is getting there, but still has a ways to go. Hopefully we’ll finally have the full game by the end of this year.

SUPERHOT

Genre: Turn-Based FPS?

Developers: SUPERHOT

Release Date: Free Prototype Out Now, Full Game TBA

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Originally something cooked up by a few friends for the 7 Day First Person Shooter game jam, the prototype proved so overwhelmingly popular that they are turning it into a full game. This shooter’s entire mechanic is brilliant yet incredibly simple: Time only moves when you do, effectively turning SUPERHOT into a…turn-based FPS?

Chroma Squad

Genre: Turn-Based Tactics, Management

Developers: Behold Studios

Release Date: Paid Beta, Full Game TBA

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Chroma Squad is an odd mixture of a turn-based tactics game and a management sim where you run an independent Japanese sentai studio. Development ran into trouble last year when Saban of Power Rangers fame contacted the studio with legal threats if the developers didn’t split the royalties. The outcome of that ridiculous legal scuffle isn’t very well known, but hopefully everything worked out and the game will see a full release later this year.

Space Pirates and Zombies 2

Genre: Space Combat RPG

Developers: MinMax Games

Release Date: TBA

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The sequel to the awesome top-down space shooter/RPG is due out this year and is moving to a 3D engine. SPAZ 2 also promises to be a bit more focused on survival than the previous title, as materials are more scarce in its procedurally-generated, open universe following the events of the last game.

Crypt of the Necrodancer

Genre: Rhythm Roguelite

Developers: Brace Yourself Games

Release Date: Early Access, Full Release TBA

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Crypt of the Necrodancer is one of a small handful of Early Access games that I have no problem recommending now. This rhythm-based roguelite is already great and should only get better once it is done later this year.

Distance

Genre: Racing

Developers: Refract

Release Date: Early Access, Full Release TBA

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I only occasionally dip into racing games, and when I do they are normally futuristic or fantastical to some degree. Such will be the case with Distance, a sci-fi “survival” racing game with a striking neon color palette and crazy courses designed to take full advantage of your car’s ability to fly.

Rain World

Genre: Roguelite Platformer

Developers: Project Rain World

Release Date: TBA

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The game that won over Kickstarter with a million and one gorgeous .gifs of cute slug-cat animal things trying to avoid being devoured by big lizard-slug things in a run-down world where the rain is deadly. Find a mate and make adorable baby slugcats, then watch them get horribly eaten by larger predators!

Ironcast

Genre: Puzzle, Turn-Based

Developers: Dreadbit

Release Date: TBA

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Ironcast is basically Puzzle Quest with mechs in a steampunk version of Victorian London. The game barely made its goal on Kickstarter a few months back; hopefully they can actually finish development and make enough once the game comes out to make those stretch goals a possibility.

VA-11 HALL-A

Genre: Visual Novel, Cyberpunk Bartending Action

Developers: Sukeban Games

Release Date: Prologue Out Now, Full Game TBA

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VA-11 HALL-A is a bartending game set in a dystopian cyberpunk world. You make drinks for a variety of odd characters and watch their own little personal stories unfold as they become more and more inebriated. The game was set to come out last month originally, but was pushed back to an unspecified date for additional polish, so it might be just around the corner.

Basingstoke

Genre: Stealth Roguelite

Developers: Puppygames

Release Date: TBA

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Basingstoke is a top-down stealth roguelite set in the same universe as Puppygames’ Titan series. Explore and try to escape a decimated English town following the titan invasions of the previous games. Puppygames is one of my favorite indie developers, so I know I’ll be grabbing this one as soon as it releases.

Invisible, Inc.

Genre: Turn-Based Stealth Tactics

Developers: Klei Entertainment

Release Date: Early Access, Full Game TBA

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And now we have an upcoming game from another personal favorite of mine, Klei. Formerly Incognito, Invisible, Inc. is a turn-based stealth game reminiscent of XCOM that has you controlling a small group of corporate spies as you infiltrate corporations and steal their most valuable secrets to sell to the highest bidder. The game is already shaping up to be a mechanically solid title full of Klei’s usual visual charm and character.

Grey Goo

Genre: RTS

Developers: Petroglyph Games

Release Date: January 23rd

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Hey, a game on this list with a concrete release date! Grey Goo is a traditional base-building RTS featuring three unique races and an “emphasis on tactics over micromanagement,” whatever that ends up meaning. The fact that we finally have a traditional RTS on the release schedule besides StarCraft is enough to get me pretty excited.

RIOT

Genre: Riot Simulator?

Developers: RIOT

Release Date: TBA

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RIOT is a game about playing both sides of a riot, and is inspired by real events in Egypt, Spain, Italy, and Greece. The game was already fairly topical when it was first announced, and has sadly gotten even more relevant to the world we currently live in.

Big Pharma

Genre: Greedy Douchenozzle Management Simulator

Developers: Twice Circled

Release Date: TBA

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Another disgustingly relevant game, Big Pharma is a management game along the lines of the tycoon games of old that has you managing a pharmaceutical company. Make affordable medications that completely cure deadly illnesses and improve the lives of millions! Just like major pharmaceutical companies in real life!

Space Hulk: Deathwing

Genre: FPS/RPG

Developers: Sterum On Studio

Release Date: TBA

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The developers of the wonderfully bizarre E.Y.E. Divine Cybermancy are taking a crack at the Warhammer 40,000 license with Space Hulk: Deathwing. Unlike the other Space Hulk PC game, Deathwing will be an FPS/RPG hybrid that, as the name implies, has you controlling a Dark Angels Deathwing Terminator as you explore a xenos-infested space hulk.

Project Zomboid

Genre: Zombie Survival

Developers: The Indie Stone

Release Date: Early Access, Full Game TBA

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Project Zomboid, aka the Early Access game that has been in Early Access since before Early Access was a thing. This game has been in an alpha funding state for years now and has come a long way, but it still isn’t done yet. Will 2015 be the year that Project Zomboid is officially complete? Probably not, but we can hope.

Prodigy

Genre: Wallet Murder Simulator

Developers: Hanakai Studio

Release Date: TBA

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Oh dear…the world of video games and miniatures combined into one unstoppable force of wallet genocide. I’ve been lucky to avoid this craze because I have no real interest in Skylanders, Disney Infinity, and/or Amiibos, but this might just get me.

Earthlock: Festival of Magic

Genre: JRPG

Developers: Snowcastle Games

Release Date: Q1

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Earthlock: Festival of Magic is heavily inspired by JRPGs of the original Playstation era, but with all the modern graphics and technology you’d expect from a game in 2015. Set in a fantasy world where the planet’s orbit stopped ages ago, the main hook of the battle mechanics seem to be the ability to “link” main characters with support characters to create different special abilities and combos.

Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number

Genre: Hyper-Violent Acid Trip Simulator

Developers: Dennaton Games

Release Date: Q1

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Do I really need to explain why you should probably be excited about the sequel to one of the best indie games from the last few years?

Stars Beyond Reach

Genre: 4X Strategy

Developers: Arcen Games

Release Date: April or May

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Arcen Games has a long history of making very unique and rather bizarre games with fairly niche appeal. Stars Beyond Reach is another such example, as it is a 4X game without units and a diplomacy system that requires you to use linguists to translate alien languages before you can properly communicate with your potential allies and enemies.

Grim Dawn

Genre: Action RPG

Developers: Crate Entertainment

Release Date: Early Access, Full Game TBA

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Yet another game that has been in Early Access for a while and has made a ton of progress, Grim Dawn is a new action RPG set in a dark fantasy world by the same developers that made the cult classic Titan Quest. Featuring multiple factions to help or fight and choices that have real impact, Grim Dawn is promising a more story-driven take on a genre that is usually focused solely on getting sweet loot.

Darkwood

Genre: Survival Horror Roguelite

Developers: Acid Wizard Studio

Release Date: Early Access, Full Game TBA

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Darkwood caused quite a stir back when it was announced and went into Early Access last year for its surreal, creepy atmosphere. This story-driven, procedurally generated survival horror roguelite has you scavenging for materials in a spooky forest by day and seeking shelter from unspeakable horrors at night, all while you try to piece together what exactly is going on.

Sunless Sea

Genre: Sea Exploration Roguelite

Developers: Failbetter Games

Release Date: February 6th

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Set in the Fallen London universe, Sunless Sea is yet another survival roguelite currently in Early Access, but finally getting a full release next month. Sunless Sea has you assembling a crew and setting sail to explore a vast underground ocean full of marauding pirates, ancient treasures, and gigantic sea monsters capable of devouring ships whole.

Dragon Fin Soup

Genre: Roguelite RPG

Developers: Grimm Bros

Release Date: TBA

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Dragon Fin Soup is a tactical RPG inspired by old-school console RPGs and classical fairy tales. You can play the game as a more traditional story-driven RPG, or dive into the hardcore mode that features more roguelite elements like permadeath.

Nuclear Throne

Genre: Roguelite Shooter

Developers: Vlambeer

Release Date: Early Access, Full Game TBA

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Nuclear Throne is an upcoming shooter roguelite by Vlambeer, developers of such classics as Super Crate Box, Luftrausers, and Ridiculous Fishing. Originally developed as part of a game jam, Nuclear Throne is another one of those rare few Early Access games that is totally worth getting now. Updates are frequent, and Vlambeer usually streams the game twice a week.

Apotheon

Genre: Action RPG/Metroidvania

Developers: Alien Trap Games

Release Date: TBA

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Apotheon has been in development for a while now and will hopefully be out this year. The next title by the developers of the pretty solid Capsized, Apotheon is a 2D action RPG/Metroidvania with a gorgeous visual style influenced by ancient Greek pottery artwork.

Chaos Reborn

Genre: Tactical RPG

Developers: Snapshot Games Inc.

Release: Early Access, Full Game TBA

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Released on Early Access about a month ago, Chaos Reborn is a new game by Julian Gollop, the game designer best known for creating X-COM. A reboot of his 1985 game Chaos: The Battle of Wizards, Reborn is a strategy RPG where players control a wizard with a deck of spells and creatures that you summon in turn-based battles. Both co-op and competitive multiplayer modes are planned as well as a lengthy single player campaign and scenarios against AI opponents.

The Mandate

Genre: All of them. All the genres.

Developers: Perihelion Interactive

Release Date: TBA

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The Mandate is perhaps one of the most ambitious games I’ve seen on Kickstarter just by virtue of how many genres it is mashing together. Set in a rich sci-fi universe that is basically Tsarist Russia in space, The Mandate is promising to be a space combat RTS/RPG where you build up a fleet, interact with your crew and form relationships with them, command soldiers in boarding operations, travel across the universe, befriend or fight multiple other factions, merchants, pirates, etc. The game is trying to be so many things at once that it can be hard to classify what genre The Mandate is actually trying to be. I really do hope they manage to pull it all off, because what The Mandate is promising could make it an extremely compelling sci-fi RTS/RPG/Management…thing.

Ghost of a Tale

Genre: Action Adventure

Developers: Seith

Release Date: TBA

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Ghost of a Tale is a largely one dev passion project from an animator that used to work on movies. This creepy, Redwall-esque action adventure has you playing as a small mouse named Tilo exploring a dangerous island full of spiders, rat pirates, and undead creatures.

Moon Hunters

Genre: RPG

Developers: Kitfox Games

Release Date: TBA

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Though it can be played solo, Moon Hunters is really more focused on its co-op gameplay and the emergent stories that a party of players share. The big draw of this game is the randomly-generated nature of its quests and nonlinear story, allowing players to craft their own little mythology each time they play.

Chasm

Genre: Metroidvania

Developers: Discord Games

Release Date: TBA

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Chasm is equal parts Metroidvania and hack ‘n slash RPG platformer with a little procedural generation to keep things fresh when replaying. All the rooms across the six levels are hand-made, but procedurally-assembled so no two playthroughs will be exactly the same.

Limit Theory

Genre: Space Sim

Developers: Josh Parnell

Release Date: TBA

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You know how everyone keeps going bonkers over No Man’s Sky and how it will have an infinite universe to explore and all that? Well, that game already (kind of) exists with Limit Theory, the crazy ambitions of one man to make an infinite, procedurally-generated space sim where you can go and do basically anything. And Limit Theory already works and the developer regularly posts actual gameplay videos and devlogs.

Clockwork Empires

Genre: Management

Developers: Gaslamp Games

Release Date: Early Access, Full Game TBA

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The developers of the excellent Dungeons of Dredmor are back with Clockwork Empires, a management sim where you must establish a prosperous colony in a mysterious new land. Problem is, someone put these Lovecraftian horrors all over the place, and sometimes your colonists eat each other when you run out of food. You should maybe try to avoid those outcomes.

Orcs Must Die! Unchained

Genre: Action Tower Defense

Developers: Robot Entertainment

Release Date: Closed Beta, Full Game TBA

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The Orcs Must Die! series is back for its third installment, which takes a more Dota-style approach by focusing on 5v5 base attack and defense competitive multiplayer over the series previous single player and co-op gameplay.

Galactic Princess

Genre: Space Adventure/RPG

Developers: CECLY

Release Date: TBA

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Galactic Princess is yet another epic space adventure to add to the growing list of them recently. Build your ship down to the very shape of its chassis and command your crew as you explore an open galaxy obviously inspired by Star Wars and other pulp sci-fi classics. In addition to the ship-to-ship combat you’ll also have to deal with boarding operations.

Night in the Woods

Genre: Adventure

Developers: Infinite Falls

Release Date: TBA

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Night in the Woods drew a lot of attention when its Kickstarter launched late in 2013 for its striking visual style and melancholy atmosphere and soundtrack. You play as Mae, a cat who just dropped out of college and returned to her quiet little hometown. She just wants to hang out with her friends and have fun, but nothing is how she remembers it and something mysterious is going on in the woods on the edge of town.

Hive Jump

Genre: The Starship Troopers Game You’ve Always Wanted

Developers: Graphite Labs

Release Date: TBA

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Hive Jump is a co-op focused 2D shooter where players are tasked with fighting their way through procedurally-generated alien hives across a turn-based galactic map. Features an interesting take on permadeath where someone in the squad is tasked with carrying a transponder beacon that you must defend to allow players to respawn.

Enemy Starfighter

Genre: Space Sim

Developers: Marauder Interactive

Release Date: TBA

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Yeah, ANOTHER upcoming space combat game. What a wonderful world we are living in where this once-dead genre is starting to reproduce with a frequency nearing Early Access open world zombie survival games. Whereas many of the recent attempts to revive the space combat genre are open universe sandboxes, Enemy Starfighter is more focused on delivering a brutally challenging single player campaign with permadeath-both for yourself and allied ships.

Volume

Genre: Stealth

Developers: Mike Bithell

Release Date: TBA

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The next game by the developer of Thomas Was Alone, Volume is a modern retelling of the Robin Hood legends about a man who performs heists in a virtual world as a means of destabilizing a corrupt corporatocracy that has taken over England. Unlike many modern stealth games, Volume is completely devoid of actually killing enemies, requiring you to rely solely on gadgets and distractions. And yes, Danny Wallace is returning to voice an AI narrator.

Eitr

Genre: Souls-like Action RPG

Developers: Eneme Entertainment

Release Date: TBA

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Eitr is an isometric RPG heavily inspired by the slower, methodical combat and dark, oppressing atmosphere of the Souls games that are so popular these days. Set in a Norse-inspired world, Eitr has you crawling through monster-filled dungeons as a shieldmaiden trying to lift a curse placed upon her at birth by Loki.

Killing Floor 2

Genre: Co-op Zombie Genocide

Developers: Tripwire Interactive

Release Date: TBA

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The sequel to perhaps the best co-op Horde Mode-focused zombie FPS, Killing Floor 2 is more of the brutally over-the-top, gore-drenched zombie killing that made the original such a hit. One of the highlights is a new gore system promising even more visceral head exploding and limb slicing melee and ranged combat.

Heat Signature

Genre: Thievery IN SPAAAAAAACCCCCCCCE

Developers: Suspicious Developments

Release Date: TBA

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Developed by Tom Francis, the former PC Gamer writer that quit journalism to create games like Gunpoint full-time, Heat Signature is about boarding procedurally-generated spaceships so you can rob them, assassinate key individuals, or just hijack the whole ship and kick the crew out of an airlock. Well, assuming you can successfully manage to sneak your dinky little deathtrap up to enemy vessels that are far larger and more heavily armed than you could ever hope to be.

Factorio

Genre: Management

Developers: Factorio

Release Date: Paid Beta, Full Release Summer

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In Factorio it is your job to set up a mining facility on an alien world and essentially strip mine the place. Gather resources and set up efficient refineries and production facilities. The only problem is that the larger and more complex your operation becomes, the more pollution it produces, which in turn pisses off the planet’s wildlife.

Toren

Genre: Adventure

Developers: Swordtales

Release Date: TBA

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An absolutely gorgeous adventure game coming from Brazil, Toren has you playing as a young princess climbing a mysterious tower, solving environmental puzzles and avoiding dangerous monsters. Obviously inspired by the works of Team ICO, and that certainly isn’t a bad thing.

Titan Souls

Genre: Action RPG

Developers: ACID NERVE

Release Date: Q1

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Another upcoming game vaguely reminiscent of a game made by Team ICO, Titan Souls is an exploration-focused action RPG where the only enemies come in the form of over twenty unique and gigantic bosses.

Darkest Dungeon

Genre: Procedurally-Generated Misery Simulator

Developers: Red Hook Studios

Release Date: Early Access February 3rd

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An interesting twist on the roguelite formula, Darkest Dungeons is a party-based dungeon crawler with a so-called Affliction System that basically means that the stress of fighting unholy abominations can cause your heroes to become mentally unhinged. Even personality quirks of other party members can cause mistrust within the party.

Pillars of Eternity

Genre: RPG

Developers: Obsidian Entertainment

Release Date: March 26th

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One of the most successful video game Kickstarters, Obsidian Entertainment set out to make a spiritual successor to the classic D&D-based CRPGs of old back in October of 2012. Earning nearly $4 million in funding, the former Project Eternity is finally almost out under the name Pillars of Eternity. If you grew up with games like Icewind Dale, Baldur’s Gate, and Planescape: Torment like me, then this is probably one of your top 3 most anticipated games of the year.

Torment: Tides of Numenera

Genre: RPG

Developers: inXile Entertainment

Release Date: TBA

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And on the subject of Planescape: Torment and Kickstarter, Tides of Numenera is supposed to come out this year. After the wild success of Wasteland 2 on Kickstarter, inXile later returned with Torment: Tides of Numenera, a spiritual successor to Planescape set in the new Numenera RPG setting. The most funded video game on Kickstarter (Star Citizen doesn’t count since almost all of the nearly $70 million the game has raised came after the Kickstarter was long over), Torment is promising us another return to the old-school style of CRPGs with excellent writing and serious consequences to your actions. Considering how great Wasteland 2 turned out, there is no reason not to expect Torment: Tides of Numenera to also be one of the best RPGs of recent years.

Ori and the Blind Forest

Genre: Platforming-Focused Metroidvania

Developers: Moon Studios

Release Date: March 11th

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One of the most interesting games shown off during the Microsoft press conference at E3 last year, Ori and the Blind Forest gained a lot of attention for its gorgeous visual style and obvious inspirations drawn from the works of Studio Ghibli, particularly Princess Mononoke.

The Girl and the Robot

Genre: Action Adventure

Developers: Flying Carpets Games

Release Date: TBA

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Another game that counts Studio Ghibli among its inspirations, with a dash of Ico for good measure, is The Girl and the Robot. In this game you control two characters with vastly different abilities. As the girl you’ll mostly be solving puzzles and sneaking around, while the robot’s segment’s are significantly more combat focused.

Kingdom Come: Deliverance

Genre: Action RPG

Developers: Warhorse Studios

Release Date: Alpha out now, full release TBA

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Action RPGs set in fictionalized depictions of Medieval Europe are nothing new. Action RPGs in fictionalized versions of Medieval Europe completely devoid of fantasy elements like magic and monsters are a bit harder to find, which likely explains the $2.2 million in crowd funding this realistic open world RPG has accumulated since coming to everyone’s attention in January of last year.

Paradise Lost: First Contact

Genre: Stealth Metroidvania

Developers: Asthree Works

Release Date: TBA

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In Paradise Lost, you play as an alien plant that crash-landed on Earth and has been brought to a secret laboratory for testing by humans who have obviously never seen movies like The Thing to understand why playing with alien life forms is probably a bad idea. Unsurprisingly, the alien plant escapes captivity and now you must evade your former captors using a variety of plant-themed special abilities.

Hyper Light Drifter

Genre: Action RPG

Developers: Heart Machine

Release Date: TBA

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Hyper Light Drifter managed to pull in $645,158, over 2000% beyond its initial goal, during a time when it was the new “in” thing among gaming sites to declare the Kickstarter fad dead. Due in no small part to some fantastic music, pixel art, and one of the best Kickstarter trailers I’ve ever seen, Hyper Light Drifter is on a lot of most wanted lists for this year.

That Which Sleeps

Genre: Sauron: The Video Game

Developers: King Dinosaur Games

Release Date: TBA

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That Which Sleeps has a fantastic premise that I dearly hope the full game can live up to. It’s an interesting twist on the idea of God games where you play as an ancient evil long since banished from the world that has recently awoken and is plotting domination. Create an army of agents and cultists working in the shadows to corrupt, murder, or otherwise dispose of the most powerful and influential kings and heroes before the mortal realm uncovers your reawakening and mounts an adequate defense.

Children of Morta

Genre: Narrative-Driven Roguelite

Developers: Dead Mage

Release Date: TBA

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Children of Morta is a very recent crowd funding success story. In fact, at the time of writing, the Kickstarter just ended a few hours ago with 167% of its target goal. This story-focused hack ‘n slash roguelite follows a family of guardians called to action as evil returns to their world.

Galactic Civilizations 3

Genre: 4X

Developers: Stardock Entertainment

Release Date: Early Access out now, full game TBA

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One of the best space 4X games ever made is finally getting a true sequel nearly a decade later. While the Early Access build still has a long way to go, Galactic Civilizations 3 is slowly shaping up to be exactly what fans of the series, and the genre in general, want from a new installment in the franchise. Some features expected to be implemented soon are two new races, the ability to make custom factions, planetary invasions, and a fully fleshed out single player campaign.

Warlocks

Genre: Action Roguelite

Developers: One More Level

Release Date: TBA

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Successfully Kickstarted several months back, Warlocks can best be described as a fantasy version of Risk of Rain. Much like in Risk of Rain each character has four moves, you go through procedurally generated levels collecting items, and the game has a big emphasis on co-op while still offering a single player experience.

Maia

Genre: Management, Sci-Fi God Game

Developers: Simon Roth

Release Date: Early Access, Full Game TBA

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Successfully crowdfunded on two separate occasions and still in Early Access, Maia has been on my radar for years now and sadly is still in pretty rough shape. Promising a ’90s-style God game experience in a ’70s sci-fi aesthetic about establishing a thriving colony on a hostile alien world, Maia shows a lot of potential that will hopefully be fulfilled sooner or later.

Even after six of these articles there are still promising indies due out this year that I haven’t mentioned yet. The coming year is sure to be full of interesting indie titles, though only time will tell if the sixty or so games I’ve listed over the course of this series end up being worth our time and money.