Publishers: Double Fine
Ooblets is described by developer Glumberland as “sort of like Harvest Moon meets Pokémon meets Animal Crossing meets the weird awkward people we are”. If you aren’t sold on that cuteness overload, we probably can’t be friends. An endearing visual style with a mix of influences that seem impossible to gel but work seamlessly here, Ooblets will be BIG in 2018. It’s landing initially on Xbox One and PC (and every PS4 and Switch owner hopes their platforms too).
12) Shoppe Keep 2
Developers: Strange Fire
Publishers: Excalibur Games
The original Shoppe Keep, a game in which you manage a shoppe in a fantasy village, keeping adventurers and village folks stocked up, delivered something original although limited. Shoppe Keep 2 is blowing those limitations away in some really interesting ways. You’ll still be manning a store in a fantasy kingdom but this time it’s online and when you’re not stocking shelves, you could be out adventuring yourself to bring back rare goods to sell. Strange Fire are really pushing this genre in interesting directions with this 2018 indie game.
13) Where the Water Tastes Like Wine
Developers: Dim Bulb Games / Serenity Forge
Publishers: Good Shepherd Entertainment
Folksy, fantastical and gorgeous are 3 of a myriad of superlatives I could use about Where the Water Tastes Like Wine. Every second of footage I’ve seen so far emits uncompromising style which combines 2D and 3D visuals into a personal and occasionally supernatural narrative journey across America. Dim Bulb and Serenity Forge have been making waves with Where The Water Tastes Like Wine already so you’ll likely here a lot more about it this year.
14) Destination Primus Vita
Recently funded via Kickstarter, Primus Vita is an episodic first-person narrative adventure with an interesting story. The premise – in the distant future, aliens invade earth, steal all of our water and leave us for dead – except, humanity survived. Hundreds of years later, the crew of a spaceship are on their way to the alien planet Primus Vita to get out water back. On the incredibly long journey, a computer system called NIM keeps the crews mind active by putting them in a simulation. Here, the game is played and the narrative unrolls. Interesting, right? The first episode hits PC’s in March 2018 with 2 more episodes due to land during the year.
15) The Fall Part 2: Unbound
Developers: Over The Moon
Publishers: Over The Moon
I consider the original The Fall to be a drastically under appreciated game and [REDACTED] is an excellent twist. Part 2 is set to build upon the ethical decisions and moral dilemmas of AI. It’s basically a playable episode of Black Mirror and that’s super exciting. Make sure to check it out when it lands in February 2018 on PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC.
Mulaka is a 3D action adventure game that’s based on the myths, legends and oral traditions of northern Mexico’s indigenous Tarahumara people. The developers Lienzo are putting in a lot of effort to make this game respectful, authentic and appropriately portrayed by working with the Rarámuri elders. If that didn’t pique your interest, the game looks pretty damn impressive too. Mulaka is hitting the Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One and PC early this year.
Developers: Puppy Games
Publishers: Puppy Games
When Basingstoke was first announced back in 2014, it was set to release in Q1 2015. Puppy Games have been a lot busier since then and a few years later than scheduled, the rogue-like/top down shooter Basingstoke is releasing soon. Set on the burning wreck of Basingstoke (the largest town in Hampshire, UK) infested by the recently undead and alien squid things, this game combines cutesy retro visuals with modern day top down terror. The game was paid for by Patreons who currently have access to the game (and you can by signing up to the Patreon) but the game is officially launching later this year and it’s certainly one to watch.
18) Oddworld: Soulstorm
Developers: Fat Kraken / Oddworld Inhabitants / Frima Studio
Publishers: Oddworld Inhabitants
We’ve not seen a whole lot of Soulstorm as of yet besides the ARG marketing and a presentation at EGX 2017 but Lorne Lanning has been saying all the right things about this retelling of Oddworld: Abes Exoddus. Darker, packed with lore and more mature, this re-imagining of a classic could make serious waves in 2018.
19) Sir Eatsalot
Developers: Behind The Stone
What’s this? A PSVita exclusive? In the year 2018? This truly is an oddity. Making the most of the PSVita’s various control inputs, Sir Eatsalot puts you in control of the rotund and glutinous titular Knight who must defeat a wicked witch who has poisoned the land with sour lemonade. Look out for this one when it belly flops in this year.
Publishers: Annapurna Interactive
The next game from Katamari Damacy and Noby Noby Boy creator Keita Takahashi and studio Funomena is a “weird, wild, wacky, whimsical” world full of colourful characters. The game revolves around friendships and communication between its bizarre cast and it looks like it’s shaping into something truly original. Originally announced as a PS4 exclusive, Wattam is now coming to PC and “consoles” this year with Annapurna Interactive.