31) Lost Words
Developers: Sketchbook Games
Publishers: Sketchbook Games
Lost Words is a game being created by some of the most talented developers in the world right now. Designed by Mark Backler (who worked on Fable 2), written by Rhianna Pratchett (of Tomb Raider, Overlord and Heavenly Sword fame), animated by Rahel Brunold (who worked on Ori and the Blind Forest) and scored by David Housden (Volume and Thomas Was Alone) to mention but a few names, Sketchbook Games is a studio packed with the capability to deliver something special – and Lost Words looks special. A 2D puzzle platformer, this game is set among the pages of a diary in which you must traverse by walking and interacting with words in the fictional land of Estoria. It has already won a number of awards (and has been chosen as a finalist in the Game Forum London Game Dev Showdown too) and will be releasing on PC/Mac and Xbox One with other platforms being considered.
32) The Church In The Darkness
Developers: Paranoid Productions
Publishers: Paranoid Productions
The Church In The Darkness is part Hitman, part Metal Gear Solid, melded with rogue-like elements, sprinkled with the moral dilemmas from the likes of Mass Effect and littered with political statements akin to Bioshock. It’s a game primarily from the mind of Richard Rouse III, formerly of Ubisoft and Microsoft, and his lifelong obsession with cults. In it you play as an ex-cop Vic who has travelled to South America to find his nephew who has joined a socialist cult. What you find there will resonate with each player differently with underlying variables that change the narrative each time. There’s a lot to love about The Church In The Darkness and we’ll get to experience that first hand in 2018.
33) Laser League
Publishers: 505 Productions
Laser League, from BAFTA winners Roll7 and independent publisher 505, is being described as “what Tron would look like if it became an eSport”. A high octane PvP arcade arena battle with a deceptively deep strategic element, the idea is to control the colour of the area by controlling nodes to attack and fence off your opponents. Rather than say anymore, I will leave you with message I received from a friend who played in the recent closed beta (censored by me); “F**king h**l, Laser League is the real deal. It’s f**king nuts. You need in on this s**t. It’ll be the next f**king rocket league”. Early 2018. PC. You know you need too.
34) Shape of the World
Developers: Hollow Tree Games
Publishers: Plug In Digital
Did you play and enjoy Proteus? Do you like relaxing games? Do you like bold low-poly art styles? If you answered yes to any of these questions, Shape of the World is an indie game to get excited about. Taking inspiration from Journey and Flower, this exploration game is about wandering around a procedurally populated forest that grows around you as you move through it. I managed to get a short play of the game at EGX 2017 and it felt so pleasant and tranquil, like popping bubble wrap while taking a bubble bath. Prepare to be soothed on PS4, Xbox One and PC in 2018.
35) Dead End Job
Developers: Ant Workshop
Publishers: Ant Workshop
Twin-Stick shooters are ten-a-penny these days so it can be difficult to spot the wheat from the chaff, the good from the bad – Trust me when I say, Dead End Job is a damn good one. Another finalist in the Game Forum London 2017 Game Dev Showdown, Dead End Job is part Binding Of Isaac, part Ghostbusters and part Ren and Stimpy. In the game you play as an employee of “Ghoul B Gone” who must exercise some ghosts from office blocks, houses and other facilities using a vacuum pack and supernatural weaponry. I managed to get a play test of an early version of Dead End Job and even back then it was fast paced, exciting and radiating with the eerie ghostly glow of potential. Dead End Job is coming to PC, Mac, Linux, Switch, PS4 and Xbox One this year.
36) Ghost of a Tale
Ghost of a Tale is “an action-RPG game in which you play as Tilo, a mouse and minstrel caught up in a perilous adventure”. It’s mostly the work of one person, game designer and DreamWorks and Universal Studios veteran Lionel “Seith” Gallat and I think you’ll agree, for a game with one main developer, it looks *stunning* and infintely charming. The game is currently available in Early Access but the game will officially releasing, hopefully, in March 2018 on PC. An Xbox One version will follow and finally, a PS4 version.
37) Frozen Synapse 2
Developers: Mode 7 Games
Publishers: Mode 7 Games
We really enjoyed the original Frozen Synapse from Mode 7 here at FingerGuns so we’ve been waiting patiently (ooooh, so patiently) for the sequel which will hopefully land in the first half of 2018. Frozen Synapse 2 dials everything up to 11 from the original with some impressive new city gangs dynamics and procedurally generated elements. Check out the update video above for the latest.
38) Racing Apex
Developers: Lucky Mountain Games
Publishers: Curve Digital
Racing Apex is a racer with the aesthetical inspirations of the classic 3D poly racers from the late 80’s and 90’s like Winning Run and Virtua Racing and the game play of a modern day Twisted Metal. There’s a lot of talent at the developers Lucky Mountain as some of them worked on the likes of MotoGP and Split/Second and they’re applying that experience to the games large array of characters, tracks and vehicles. Rossko had a blast on the game at EGX last year and noted how much fun it was, and that he’s very excited for the full launch. Racing Apex will be crossing the development finish line in 2018 for PC and consoles (yes, including the Switch, before you ask).
39) Knights and Bikes
Developers: Foam Sword Games
Publishers: Double Fine Productions
I shouldn’t have been surprised by how much charm and fanaticism Knights and Bikes contains given that the game is developed by 2 members of the team behind Tearaway and LittleBigPlanet. It’s a game that really manages to capture that “children playing with their imagination” vibe with the art style and game play and it’s super lovely. Really, really lovely. Keep your eyes on this one. It’s going to be big.
40) The Last Night
Developers: Odd Tales
Publishers: Raw Fury
Watch that trailer. Now watch it again. Now, one more time. I must have watched that trailer more than 40 times and each time I do, I see something new I hadn’t noticed before and it never gets old. There’s some astonishing animation in The Last Stand, so much so that I’m often not entirely sure what type of animation and art style is in the mix at any one time. What is for sure is it looks stunning and it’ll be releasing in 2018 for the Xbox One, PC and Mac.