Did you know they’re still making games? Wild, but true! New releases are coming out constantly, well beyond anyone’s ability to keep up with everything that catches the eye. It helps to keep track of some anticipated titles just so they don’t get lost in the flood, and that’s exactly what we’ve done here. Who knows, maybe one of these 10 games will grab your attention too!
Demetri’s Top 5:
This is very much a case of not judging games by their recently updated covers. I don’t have a particularly long list of board games I’m anticipating this year, but one in particular caught my eye. Circles has two things going for it: it’s designed by Thomas Sing of The Crew fame, and it looks to be leveraging the core marble-hucking mechanism of Roulette for something a bit more involved than guessing where it’ll stop. I have no idea what I’m in for with this one but I expect it to entertain, despite its Facebook-game-looking ass art style.
There are multiple clear inspirations in Demonschool but I won’t dwell on those. What I want is what it promises, which is a horror narrative about demon hunting and tactical grid combat where you punch said demons. I love both of those things, and when they’re presented this stylishly I can’t help but be interested.
Second verse, same as the first. Still incredibly excited for the third Jet Set Radio game that Sega refused to make (and I’m not counting the GBA port of JSR either). It’s slated for summer of this year and I’m extremely hopeful that delays won’t strike, but I’d rather see Team Reptile take their time than whiff on something this highly anticipated. They nailed the visuals, they nailed the music, and their track record is solid enough that I trust they can nail the gameplay. I just need to get a controller in hand to know.
I honestly never expected there to be a sequel to Hypnospace Outlaw. It felt complete as-is, with all of its ideas wonderfully woven together into what became one of my favorite games of all time. Dreamsettler, then, has some considerably large shoes to fill. More sleep-internet sleuthing is in store, this time as a private investigator in the far off future of 2003, which the visuals very much reflect. I was already pretty excited to play the Zane spinoff FPS whose title is so long I can’t even type it, but this? This is worthy of excitement.
Top spot, this year and every year, until it finally materializes. I cannot adequately explain how excited I am to plumb the depths of this thing when it finally releases. This group of devs working on so many ideas all at once is bound to have some phenomenal results. One of these years this will come out and I will be lost to the world for an indeterminate amount of time, but until then I wait.
Kyle’s Top 5:
I will always be in search of my next favorite Visual Novel. And I’ve always found myself more in tune with enjoying a finely tuned kinda-out-there story than your run-of-the-mill dating sim serotonin simulator. So color me impressed seeing an anthropomorphic slice-of-life about finishing Senior Year of High School with the impending doom of the world ending in your rear view mirror. I’m all for what is to come with KO_OP’s interesting setup.
There always has to be one game that’s gonna make me shit my pants. And this game looks terrifying. But it also looks fucking interesting. Traveling throughout fog-laden, otherworldly territory slaying monsters in search of the demon who betrayed your lord. Just watch the trailer for this and tell me this isn’t gonna be a hard playthrough.
Beat ‘em up. Tower Defense. Dark Humor. Arcade. These are the Top 4 tags for Pull Stay and frankly I feel like that only covers a fraction of whatever this game ends up being. You must use your brains and brawn to defend your buddy Susumu who rarely ever leaves the house. It’s pure chaos wrapped in a late 90s aesthetic with off-the-wall possibilities to how you advance against your enemies. This one will be a fun, albeit confusing, thrill ride.
This game was set to be another gem in the narrative crown of Coffee Talk creator Mohammad Fahmi until his tragic passing in March 2022. With the team continuing the game in his honor, it’s a bittersweet comparison on how Pikselnesia will learn about themselves, create lasting memories, and find the love of their craft with one another: much like Afterlove’s protagonist, Rama, will with Cinta, his departed girlfriend who’s voice still echoes within him.
This is probably going to be the least “indie” indie game on my list, with Sabotage Studio of The Messenger fame likely in AA to AAA indie territory now. But fuck it, this game looks absolutely incredible. My love for turn-based RPGs combined with vibrant colors, characters full of personality, and a story dying to be inspected to the finest pixel: this will be a Day 1 buy and worthy of a couple days off of work.