Forget Anthem, Crackdown, Metro Exodus and Far Cry: New Dawn for a second. Underneath the Triple Aye, Big Publisher driven marketing is a plethora of indie goodness releasing during February. From detective dramas to text driven exorcisms, turn based action to head scratching puzzlers, there’s something for everyone in the indie games releasing next month and here are 11 of our favourites in no particular order.
I stumbled across Eastshade a few months ago and I’ve been unable to stop thinking about it since. Imagine a peaceful version of Elder Scrolls: Oblivion where, instead of wielding a mace, you’re wielding a paintbrush and easel – That’s Eastshade. In it you play as a travelling painter who’s traipsing across a gorgeous fantasy inspired island in search of the best locations to commit to canvas. There’s NPC’s to assist, contraptions to construct and beautiful vistas everywhere you look. Eastshade is releasing on PC on February 13th (Wishlist it here) and is coming to consoles soon after.
I’ve known about Rainswept for a grand total of *checks watch* 18 hours and I’ve already gone through several stages of hype over it. Initially, it was the art style that “wow”ed me. It’s clean but detailed, something that our resident graphic designer Paul tells me is “Tops”. Then I read the synopsis; A murder mystery game in which the main character, Detective Stone, assisted by the driven and empathetic Amy Blunt, uncover the truth behind a couple found dead in their kitchen – “But be warned: the further he pursues the case, the more his own past shall come back to haunt him. And the closer his sanity will be pushed to the edge.”. Sold. Wishlist it here ready for a release on February 1st.
I managed to get a little play with WarGroove at EGX 2018 and was suitable impressed. On Febuary 1st, we’ll get our hands on the full game and by all accounts, it’s shaping up to be something special. Boasting more than 50+ hours of single player content, Cross-play multiplayer between Switch, Xbox One and PC and a playable dog commander (among more than a dozen playable commanders, each with their own distinct personalities and motivations), WarGroove is bringing the heat this February. This turn based strategy/RPG is one to watch this month and is landing on Switch, PC (Wishlist here) and Xbox One with a PS4 version to follow.
Imagine Pong or Breakout but played by sorcerers that don’t play fair. That’s Skorcery, a PS4 exclusive coming from Grapplehook Games. In it, players play against one another, firing a ball at each other’s runes, attempting to break them all before the opponent destroys all of theirs. Being magical though, each player can use spells to freeze the ball, stun their foe and otherwise change the rules of the game on the fly. This looks like a lot of fun and is hitting Sony’s console on the 5th of February.
The King’s Bird
Okay. This one’s a bit of a cheat because The King’s Bird is already available on PC (and has been since August last year) but we missed it the first time around. For shame. The reason we’re excited about The Kind’s Bird is because it’s getting a PS4 release this February, which means those of us with a PC at home that struggles to play Minesweeper, never mind any fast paced games, can finally experience it. A momentum based precision platformer, The King’s Bird has a stunning art style and tells its story entirely without text. Keep this one on your radar.
Devolver Digital are known for publishing weird and wonderful games and Ape Out is no exception. From the mind of Gabe Cuzzillo, this game combines the top down thrills of Hotline Miami with a Saul Bass-esque art style then tunes it with excellent jazz percussion. A game about an Ape escaping from it’s enclosure, the game sends the Hominoidea through ever more complex levels, allowing the player to get hyper-violent on anything and anyone that stands in your way. Ape Out hits the Switch and PC on the 7th February 2019.
Back in 1994, I was hooked on a first person shooter called Descent. The likelihood is that if you’ve played Descent, you’ve probably just smiled at the mere mention of it. More than 20 years later, Descent is getting a reboot from a group of industry veterans including Eric “Wingman” Peterson with the backing of Interplay and Little Orbit. If this game, originally designed as a prequel, is just as enjoyable as the original then it’ll be something special. Hitting Xbox One, PS4 and PC on the 12th of February with a Switch release to follow.
Degrees of Separation
“Degrees of Seperation looks amazing” Rossko recently shared in our Slack group after watching one of the latest trailer. It’s something we can all agree on which made it one of our “indie games of 2019 to look out for” too. A game about 2 characters from opposing worlds, both of which can effect the world and the elements around them based on their relative location to one another on screen, Degrees of Separation looks to be a thoughtful and beautiful puzzle game. Make sure to check it out on February 14th when it launches on PC, Xbox One, PS4 and Switch.
A comic book inspired jaunt through Norse mythology, 3D adventure Fimbul has you play as an old berserk, travelling to Jötunheim where he’ll need to fight trolls and giants in order to save Midgard. Named after the final winter before Ragnarök, The Fimbul Winter, this game has plenty of potential and hopefully, the release date of 28th of Febuary, 2019 will stick this time after a number of delays.
The 80’s neon aesthetic of arena brawler Hyper Jam was the initial aspect that drew me in but when I read about some of the nuances that Bit Dragon were bringing to the genre, I was incredibly impressed. The main innovation is Perk Drafting, a system that allows each player to pick a new ability or stackable buff between rounds, starting with the player with the lowest points and leaving the points leader to pick up what’s left. As a way to keep things balanced, that’s impressive and I think you’ll agree that the trailer the action does too. Clear your calendar and invite your friends around for a game of Hyper Jam on PS4, Xbox One and PC on February 12th.
The Textorcist: The Story of Ray Bibbia
Text adventures and bullet hell games are 2 genres that I never though would meld into one title very well. Word on the grape vine is that The Textorcist, a game that does exactly that, is actually pretty damn good. Featuring 10 ghostly bosses to exorcise, the idea of the game is to type Latin and English incantations in to your keyboard in order to defeat the ghouls while you’re avoiding the massive swarm of bullets heading your way. This is such a curio that I personally can’t wait to check it out when it launches on PC via Steam on Feb. 14th (with other platforms to follow).