21) Tempest 4000
A new game from Jeff Minter, the creator of such classics as Tempest, Tempest 2000, TxK and Polybius, is always a cause for celebration. Tempest 4000 is a reunion for Minter and publisher Atari who have worked out their differences after a spat over TxK’s similarities to Tempest. With 4K visuals, the trademark 90’s trance and techno music and 100 levels over 3 game modes, Tempest 4000 is expected to launch on PC, Xbox One and PS4 in 2018.
22) Genesis Alpha One
Developers: Radiation Blue
Genesis Alpha One is a mix of exploration game, rogue-like shooter, base builder and survival strategy game. This sounds too good to be true but having had a long session with the game at EGX 2017, I can confirm that Genesis Alpha One is a seamless and deep blend of genres that miraculously works. In the game you play as the crew of a ship heading out into deep space to find a new planet for humanity – but aliens, accidents and limited resources stand in your way.
Developers: Capybara Games
I’m running a risk writing about how excited I am to play timed Xbox One exclusive Below (yes, even 4 years after it was announced) because every time I do, it’s eerily followed by an announcement from Capy games that the game has been delayed further. The last we heard about Below, it had been put on hold indefinitely so that the studio could finish OK K.O.! Let’s Be Heroes for the Cartoon Network. Could 2018 be the year we finally excavating the depths of Below? Let’s hope so.
24) Manifold Garden
Developers: William Chyr Studio
Publishers: William Chyr Studio
What originally started out as “a small project to learn Unity before build I make an MMO that should have taken 3 months” has developed into one of the most interesting and visually arresting indie games in development. Originally called Relativity, Manifold Garden takes inspiration from the physics bending lithographs of M.C. Escher (imagine the stairs scene from Labyrinth and you’re close) but developer William Chyr is taking this idea further. The game worlds themselves now wrap around into one another – head right and you’ll reach the same point but from the left. Fascinating, right? Look out for this one in 2018 on PC and PS4.
25) Ape Out
Developers: Gabe Cuzzillo
This stylistic smash ‘em up isn’t monkeying around. In it you play as an Ape rampaging towards freedom, punching through doors and slamming guards all offset by “rhythmic violence and frenetic jazz”. Ape Out built up a huge amount of buzz when the playable trailer above landed back in March last year and we’ll finally get our hands on it this year on PC and ‘Consoles’.
Developers: Artifact 5
Publishers: Artifact 5
Mental Illness is still a relatively unexplored frontier in gaming but in 2017, some big players took impressive steps to representing it in a respectful way. 2018 is continuing that progress early with Anamorphine from Artifact 5. In the game you explore the memories of a character named Tyler, looking to the past to explain the present. It launches on January 16th, 2018 for PC and PS4 at launch with an Xbox One version to come later.
Developers: Matt Makes Games
Publishers: Matt Makes Games
Ever played Towerfall? It’s freaking awesome, right? Well the team behind it recently wrapped production on their next title Celeste, a fast past, intense, occasionally brutal platformer with a sublime art style about climbing a mountain. It’s landing on Switch, PC, PS4 and the Xbox One this month (January 2018) and we think you should definitely check it out.
28) Pepper Grinder
Developers: Riv Hester
Publishers: Riv Hester
Last year I wrote a hands-on preview of Pepper Grinder having played through the first 2 levels and it’s a game that leaves you with a pure sense of satisfaction. Playing this game is akin to cutting a pizza into perfectly sized slices or popping bubble wrap. It’s a platforming action and puzzle game about a space pirate named Pepper and her Drill named Grinder and together, they burrow through the earth in one of the most satisfying ways imaginable. Seriously, keep your eyes on this on in 2018.
29) Forest of Sleep
Developers: Twisted Tree
Publishers: Twisted Tree
I think it’s fair to say that there’s never been anything like Forest of Sleep made before. An experimental, procedurally generated graphical storytelling game, this unique game takes inspiration from Eastern European folktales. A collaboration between Proteus co-creator Ed Key and animator and illustrator Nicolai Troshinsky, Forest of Sleep will enable players to create their own folktales via the decisions them make and the game then interprets. With a stunning and original art style and a specially commissioned soundtrack of regional folk music, it promises to be something truly different for 2018.
Developers: Cybernetic Walrus
Publishers: Iceberg Interactive
If last years release of the WipEout: Omega Collection taught us anything it’s that there’s still life in anti-grav racing. There are a number of games trying to re-create or innovate on the tried and tested formula which Studio Liverpool created back in the 90’s but Antigraviator looks like it’s going to be a certain front runner. Featuring ship customisation and track events like rock-slides which make it tricky for your competitors, this racer is promising “fiercely competitive multiplayer modes, both online and split screen” as well as single player races. Antigraviator will be racing on to PC, PS4 and Xbox One this year.