The Most Anticipated Indie Games of 2018
Next year isn’t just going to be a year for AAA releases. The indiesphere in 2018 has some amazing titles in the queue for the coming gaming year. These games are all shaping up to be amazing triumphs of gameplay and narrative, and at a price that won’t break the bank!
Imagine what would happen if Zelda, Ori and the Blind Forest, and Patapon had a weird indie-game baby. That’s what Fe is. Taking control of the titular fox spirit, Fe tasks the player with defending the forest from the Silent Ones. How do you defeat silence? Through song! Fe can sing to forest creatures, which will then follow him and grant him special abilities. He can use these abilities to traverse solve puzzles and gain access to new areas, at which point they will learn new songs that let them interact with the same creatures in different ways. Fe will release in early 2018 for the PC, Switch, PS4, and Xbox One.
The Last Night
The Last Night bills itself as a cinematic platform game. If you think of games like Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee or Another World, you’re starting to get the idea. It takes place in a cyberpunk world where the ruling class is waited on hand and foot by machines and the lower class struggles to survive in ghettos. While the game has elements of stealth and the odd gun-fight, nothing is resolved through twitch reflexes. Instead, the game is played by solving puzzles and making smart choices. The Last Night also has some of the most beautiful retro sprite art that we have ever seen, clashing purposefully with the game’s realistic looking backgrounds. The Last Night will release on PC, Mac, Linux, and Xbox One sometime in 2018.
Never want to have free time again? Then look into Ooblets. This game is one part Stardew Valley, one part Pokemon, and one part Pikmin. You will manage a farm where you then grow crops which come to life as little plant people. Those plant people then follow you around, granting you new abilities and occasionally battling other plant people. When you are done with a life of battle, you can get to know the residents of town and dress up your character. It’s sure to be one of next year’s biggest time-sinks. Ooblets will be releasing for the PC and Xbox One though an official release date has not yet been pinned down.
The team behind Skullgirls has shifted from fighting games to RPGs. Modeled after Valkyrie Profile, Indivisible combined 2D metroidvania style exploration with real time battles that share fighting game combo mechanics. Players will take control of Ajna, a girl embarking on a journey to discover the truth behind her mysterious and semi-demonic powers. The game’s plot and monster design is heavily influenced by southeast Asian mythology, and it’s score will be done by Hiroki Kikuta, known for his work on Secret of Mana. Indivisible will release in 2018 on the PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC, Mac, and Linux.
Love fighting games but just can’t remember all those complicated quarter circles and combos? Fantasy Strike is the game for you. Featuring quick rounds, interesting characters, one button specials and supers, and easy to learn combos, Fantasy Strike teaches you fighting game fundamentals without all the finger gymnastics. Fantasy Strike has already made a splash at EVO and fighting game pros have applauded its incredible depth, despite its minimalistic system. In a year bursting with big name fighting game releases, Fantasy Strike may be the one release that anyone can pick up and play. Fantasy Strike will release in 2018 for the PC and PS4 though you can play an early access version on Steam right now.
I’m going to lay this one out pure and simple. Heartbound is being called the next Undertale. I loved Undertale. I thought it was one of the greatest games of all time and it was by far the greatest game of 2015. After playing the Heartbound demo, I can say that the claims’ of being the next Undertale are rather accurate. This is an incredibly dark story based around moral choices, built in a 2D sprite engine, with a quirky battle system. On the surface, it’s a story about a boy and his dog, but deep down it deals with child abuse, alcoholism, depression, and of course, time travel! If you liked Undertale you owe it to yourself to check out Heartbound when it releases for PCs in 2018.
Jimmy and the Pulsating Mass
Few people have even heard of this upcoming game by Kasey Ozymy, and that is a shame. Jimmy and the Pulsating Mass might as well be the next installment in the Mother franchise, the same franchise that gave us Earthbound. It looks like Earthbound. It sounds like Earthbound. It has Earthbound’s quirky sense of humor. It even hides a dark plot underneath its child-like appearance like Earthbound. That’s not to say it’s a complete copycat. It has a neat class based battle system which allows Jimmy, the protagonist, to empathize with monsters in order to turn into them. This is definitely an RPG to look out for in 2018 and if you haven’t played the demo yet, you should do so right now. Jimmy and the Pulsating Mass will release for the PC, though it does not yet have an official release date.
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night
Now that Konami is… wait… what is Konami doing these days? Anyway, they aren’t making Castlevania, which has made Castlevania: Symphony of the Night developer, Koji Igarashi a little pissed. A few years ago, he left Konami to start a Kickstarter for his own indie game, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, a spiritual successor to SOTN. It’s a new metroidvania title from the man who created the term. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night will release on the PC, Mac, Linux, PS4, PS Vita, Switch, and Xbox One sometime next year.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps
Ori and the Will of the Wisps is much more than just the sequel to the critically acclaimed metroidvania title Ori and the Blind Forest. It’s a game whose level design is being handled by Milton Guasti, creator and developer of the widely loved Metroid fan-game, AM2R. While he isn’t working on Samus’s next adventure, this is definitely the next best thing. On top of his design skills, the music and graphics of this game are already making people cry. No really, you can find compilations of people crying while watching this very trailer on YouTube. Any game that can bring the tears is a game we want to play. Ori and the Will of the Wisps has a projected 2018 release date for the PC and Xbox One.
Super Meat Boy Forever
Finally we end our list with a sequel to one of the most iconic indie games ever made. Super Meat Boy Forever picks up where the original leaves off. Meat Boy and Bandage Girl had a little daughter called Nugget, but Dr. Fetus kidnapped Nugget, forcing the two meat protagonists to chase him through multiple platforming levels. Aside from developer designed levels, Super Meat Boy Forever also includes procedurally generated levels that adjust themselves to the player’s skill level. This gives the game pseudo infinite content! Super Meat Boy Forever will release for the Switch, PS4, PC, Linux, Xbox One, iOS, and Android.
What are some of your most anticipated indie releases of 2018? Let us know in the comments.