Indie Games! Indie Games! Come and get your Indie Games! Indie games for as far as the eye can see. Here are 50 very promising indie games to get excited about in 2018.
2018 is well and truly upon us (although i’ll still be typing 2017 for a few weeks yet while I adjust) and it’s shaping up to be a very exciting year indeed. Let’s forget about the cult cleansing of Far Cry 5, the web-slinging of PS4’s Spider-Man, the timber shivering of Sea of Thieves and the deicide of God of War for a moment (because, let’s face it, the AAA productions get enough headlines as it is, right?) and talk about “Indie games”. 2017 was another landmark year for indie developers with small studios, specialist indie publishers and one-person bedroom projects providing unparalleled creativity, genre-bending ideas and more entertainment than you could shake a stick at (If you don’t ‘get’ that very British idiom, I won’t apologise). While researching this long and hopefully enlightening list feature, it became blatantly obvious that 2018 is likely to follow suit and has all of the potential to be a fantastic year for indie games and indie publishers.
Anyway. Enough wittering on from me. Let’s get to the crux of the matter. Here are 50 indie games (in no particular order) that we think you should be brimming with excitement about in 2018.
You have to go back a long way to find the last really good downhill biking game that doesn’t involve a stickman. Developers RageSquid are aiming to right that wrong with Descenders, a “fast-paced extreme downhill biking game that’s easy to pick up, but difficult to master”. In Descenders you’ll be able to choose from one of 3 racing teams that match your style and then tear it down procedurally generated hillsides, over jumps, through forests and over terrifying drops. Descenders looks intense and it’s releasing on PC ‘real soon’. Hopefully for consoles after that.
2) Jenny LeClue
The result of a successful Kickstarter campaign, Jenny LeClue is a promising exploration adventure game. In it you play Jenny LeClue who must clear her mother of murder by finding the real culprit. It has a really lovely art style and the tiny studio Mografi are putting an incredible amount of effort into making a fully interactive world to sleuth around in. Originally due out in 2017, Jenny LeClue is now due out in Q1 2018 for PC, Mac, Linux, iOS and PS4.
Being published as part of EA’s Origins initiative, this is a 3D action adventure game in which you play as a fox-like creature called Fe. A hostile force known as “the Silent Ones” are attacking the forest in which Fe lives and the little foxy protagonist is attempting to fend them off by working with the other flora and fauna of the area to complete tasks and learning new abilities. Zoink games’ creative director Hugo Bille said that the game is inspired by the likes of Journey, Shadow of the Colossus, Metroid and Zelda – a pretty exciting and heady blend that looks like it’s paying off. Fe is due to land in the first half of 2018 for PC, Switch, PS4 and Xbox One.
4) Flipping Death
Another title from Zoink Games (they’re a busy bunch, aren’t they?), Flipping Death is a game that adopts that hand drawn, Tim Burton-esque art style that they made their trademark in indie sleeper hits Stick It To The Man & Zombie Vikings. In Flipping Death, Death is on vacation and ghosts are running amok in the whimsical town of Flatwood Peaks. In this puzzle adventure, you play as Penny who accidentally ended up with Death’s job while he’s (is Death a he? An ‘It’ maybe?) away and she can pass through to ‘The Otherside’ with a press of a button. Flipping Death is scheduled to release in 2018 for Nintendo Switch and ‘other platforms’.
5) Forgotten Anne
It’s clear from looking at Forgotton Anne that Studio Ghibli has had a dramatic influence on the animation and art style – and it rightfully should because many of the creators have a background in the field and were taught by Mr. Hiroyuki Morita, who directed Ghibli’s The Cat Returns and Mr. Tatsuro Iwamoto who was Art Director on the Ace Attorney game series. ThroughLine Games have created a truly wondrous world to explore in Forgotten Anne, a game which explores a magical concept of what happens to those things that are lost and forgotten about. Look out for this when it lands in 2018 for PC, Xbox One and PS4.
6) Lake Ridden
I have a lot of respect for developers who don’t shy away from the term “walking simulator” and Midnight Hub are truly embracing the term with their game Lake Ridden. Built by a team full of experience from such studios as Mojang, Paradox and Massive, Lake Ridden has you play as a 13-year-old girl named Marie, who must search a forest at night in order to find her younger sister. I managed to get a quick blast of the game at EGX 2017 and it’s a eerie, unsettling and very isolating game with impressive production values to boot. Lake Ridden is due out in 2018 on PC.
RICO is a buddy co-cop shooter that puts you in your own John Woo movie. In the game you team up with a partner (either AI or a online/offline friend) and play as loose-cannon police officers who have 24 hours to solve a case. Kick in doors, coordinate your attacks and tear down cartels bad guys in slow motion through randomly generated levels that are never the same twice. Excited? You should be.
8) The Swords of Ditto
Just watch that trailer. That art style. That music. That premise. Those mechanics. Those Bosses. That Co-op. Did I mention the music? Don’t you just want to take it home and hug it to death? The Swords of Ditto is an arrestingly charming adventure from One Bit Beyond that seems to soothe the soul. Being published by Devolver, The Swords of Ditto is set to launch “early 2018”.
9) Yoku’s Island Express
Yoku’s Island Express isn’t the first game to attempt to blend pinball game mechanics with platforming but no game has ever done it this well. Blending the joy of bumpers with open world exploration, in Yoku’s Island Adventure you play as Yoku, a dung beetle, who’s the new mail person on an island. Using the dung as a pinball, you propel the protagonist around an island delivering things. It’s super fun, visually sublime, especially on the Switch screen and is one to watch out for in 2018 when it lands on PC, Xbox One, PS4 and Switch.
10) Wilmot’s Warehouse
Okay, so if you picked up the November Humble Monthly, you’ll probably already have access to Wilmot’s Warehouse. If you missed out, this game that appeals to those that like to organise things is releasing in early 2018 for the rest of us. A product of the reunited creative powerhouses Richard Hogg and Ricky Haggett, Wilmot’s Warehouse is about storing things in a warehouse. Organising them. Sorting them. Grouping them. To some of you, that’s probably a nightmare but to about 10% of the population of the world, this is a dream come true.