Most Anticipated Indie Games of 2016
We have looked back; now let’s look forward to the near future where some of the most promising games are attempting to tear themselves out of the primordial ooze and amniotic fluid of Early Access and become fully born into the world of indie gamership.
Here are some of our best picks for 2016:
HappyWulf: “A bleak survival and parkour platformer, it drew my attention with its animation and art. Even though I’ve been following this one closely, we only recently caught a glimpse of the rain of Rain World; it starts with a rumble as a warning, then quickly becomes a torrent of pellets that come down so hard and fast it’s like a literal million flying Terminators shooting miniguns at the ground.”
by ArtCraft Entertainment, Inc.
HappyWulf: “Crowfall seems to be on everyone’s most anticipated MMO list, and it’s by all means on mine, as well. It’ll feature ‘Campaign’-based content that gets reset every month, the old campaign dissolving away into the void, being replaced by a new semi-randomly generated world for you to explore and exploit.
Focused heavily on PvP and objectives for groups of players, or guilds, or factions – all depending on which Campaign type you join for that month – the game aims to offer unlimited play-ability with ever-changing rule sets and worlds that are never the same.”
Ashes of the Singularity
by Oxide Games
It’s all-out war: the resources of the planet are yours, and your task is to construct a fighting force capable of thwarting all opponents. With the ability to develop new and more destructive tech, this futuristic RTS title is vast in scope and challenge.
by Campo Santo
Hitting the PS4 indie game marketplace is this title from the minds behind The Walking Dead adventure games from Telltale. Here, you are stuck out in the wilderness of Wisconsin with naught but a walkie-talkie and the person on the other end of it – somewhere between episode 4 of Walking Dead (the game) season one and LOST – exploring everything interesting, on foot, to begin to make sense of things.
One thing is for certain, these guys know how to string a viewer along and keep their interest at a high.
We know that Steve Gaynor and company will use subtlety and detail to evoke a rich world out of a bleak setting – that of a lunar transfer station where the crew has gone missing. Alien Isolation the walking sim? Remains to be seen.
From Tim Schaefer comes the strangest party brawler we’ve seen in a while. Wiggly, gelatinous competitors grapple with each other in brutal hand-to-hand combat. Pick up your foe, and either slam him around or toss him into a giant turbine. Hilarious destruction abounds!
Strength of The Sword ULTIMATE
HappyWulf: “Updates always are accompanied by incredibly charming comics of the super enthusiastic devs as they explain where they’re at and what they are working on. The game itself is a hardcore character action game beat-em-up, with a wide range of weapons to choose from and a 100% ‘cool’ factor.”
Check out the co-op trailer:
In this online multiplayer survival horror, the top-down perspective resembles security camera footage. Vile creatures could be around any corner, but they aren’t your only concern. Encountering another player in the game means you could have an ally…or a new foe looking to gun you down. Form and shatter alliances as you attempt to survive waves of supernatural beasts.
by Crytivo Games, Inc.
HappyWulf: “The Universim promises to be a sim to end all sims – not just the macro scale, but also down to planetary civilizations. Still in heavy development, I watch it as it gets additions that were influenced by recent releases. What was the most recent addition? Vaults, of course.”
Memory of a Broken Dimension
A devious software emulator is infecting the Internet. It has barely been contained, and the only way to stop it is to go deep within. The data stream is visually represented as a decrepit, crumbling urban ruin. Featuring a very unique form of datamoshing coded in Unity by the developer, the game also features his brilliantly somber and ominous dark ambient score.
The winner of two awards at IndieCade 2015, it was also one of our own picks for Best of the Fest.
by Perihelion Interactive
HappyWulf: “The Mandate is to be the next big CRPG set in the stars; the next major space opera. Boarding party combat on a grid as well as ship to ship combat with location damage to ships are to be expected in the final build.”
Check out this ship battle gameplay trailer (work in progress, obviously):
by Dan Dez
This multiplayer game has rabbits going about their business in the vast fields…and then the race is on to take control of Robosaru, a gigantic death machine that can rain destruction down on the other rabbits on a whim. The other rabbits have to work for the head rabbit if they don’t want to meet a fiery end. But there are a lot of rabbits…lose track of one, and it may be too late to stop him from deposing the current king of the meadow.
The real twist here, is that who controls the tower, effectively
negotiates commands the other players to do their bidding. It is quite a thing to have to tolerate your new overlord (especially if its your roommate), hoping to sneak under their attention and get your own sweet revenge.
by the SUPERHOT Team
Behind its minimalist but striking graphical presentation lies a wickedly challenging bullet-time mechanic. Time is stopped as long as you don’t move, allowing you to look around and plan your shots against multiple enemies. The second you make a move, their bullets start to move towards you. The odds against you are ridiculous, and thus clearing an entire wave of foes without getting hit makes for a crazy rush.
Rumor has it that SUPERHOT team is working on the Oculus/VR port.
by Spiderling Studios
When Kerbal Space Program meets Toribash, you get a game that’s loaded with demanding physics and engineering, and a whole whack of blowing things up. Construct gigantic and devious siege engines. You wull knock down buildings, shred an enemy battalions and overrun chickens. Perfect your creation, and go medieval on your foes.
by Redhook Studios
Reviewing this in Early Access, we already loved this game’s Mike Mignola-inspired art and Lovecraftian approach to character development – the more time you spend battling hideous monsters and eldritch sorcery, the higher your chances of going mad or simply dying of fright.
As the Red Hook Studios crew continues to refine the game with more balanced combat, additional areas to explore and what we can only assume to be a horrifying endgame, we gird our loins to once again descend into the depths below our decaying ancestral estate and uncover dark secrets that would have been better left unburied…
The Flame in the Flood
by The Molasses Flood
From a group ex-pats at AAA studios whose works collectively include BioShock, Halo, Guitar Hero and Rock Band comes this terrific-looking new title.
Society has fallen, and you’re left to fend for yourself. This Rogue-lite adventure demands that you float your makeshift raft/home down the rapids in the hopes of finding resources you can use. Uncover useful items and trade them at posts scattered along the way. Predators are everywhere, so you must stay on the move to survive.
The Destroyer is sweeping the galaxy, gutting planets, and leaving them as lifeless shells. Guide a space cadet to worlds and gather crafting items before the planet is cored. Weapons can upgraded, and variants can be created through crafting.
While death is permanent, any items stored aboard your ship will be available to your next space cadet. Unlocked races, upgrades and NPCs will also be immediately accessible. Solo play and multiplayer are available.
by Hammer Labs
Inspired by the intense couch-multiplayer dogfight sessions from Nintendo hit Starfox, Sky Arena pits you against all takers. Take on three other pilots in brightly hued polygonal aircraft. Best of all, both local and online play are available.
by Suspicious Developments
The galaxy has been divided up among powerful factions. Ally yourself with one, and take on missions to disrupt the activities of the others. The realm is randomly generated, as are the layouts of the ships that travel between destinations. Dock with a ship, and you can enter through the air lock. Successfully topple the crew, gain control, and you can take over lucrative trade routes.
by Red River Studio
Say what you will about Mars, but it’s a great place to pod race. The now-inhabited planet’s vast expanses make for ideal race tracks. Modifying your racer is a physics-based affair; minor tweaks can have a major effect on your performance. Gearheads will have a field day with this title.
Layers of Fear
by Bloober Team
An atmospheric horror story about a master painter, this game adds psychedelic paranoia to the mix with its ever-changing landscape; wasn’t there a door in that wall a moment ago? If you don’t want to be scared out of your wits, you can play with the lights on and simply try and pick out all of the art history references. Over there in the corner…is that a Goya?
Though it relies on the foundation that Gone Home laid out, Layers of Fear uses randomly generated rooms and sleight of hand displacement to keep its many mysterious rooms fresh and you always on the edge of your seat. We look forward to seeing how the game develops further.
by David Wreden
Opinions were divided on the original highly politicized update to the JRPG, but we at IGR are looking forward to the sequel! Building on the random encounter system that makes up the core of Undertale, the second game in the series is a fully procedurally generated Roguelite that adds party management and a new deck-building mechanic linked directly to Twitter images.
If that isn’t enough, there’s VR support, a couch co-op mode, and cameo appearances from real-life indie devs Zoe Quinn (Depression Quest) and Phil Fish (Fez). They can even join your party, provided that you defeat them in a Doom-style FPS mini-game. Can’t wait for this one!
OST by Disasterpiece. 😉
Tell us in the comments: what games are you most looking forward to in the new year?