With several promising blockbuster games on the horizon, from Anthem to Darksiders III, it can be easy to get caught up in the bigger releases from large publishers. However, this doesn’t mean you should ignore some of the smaller gems. We’ve gathered a handful of under-the-radar games that we think deserve your attention.
From drinking your way through the depths of Hell to an alternate history where the Berlin Wall never fell, these six upcoming indie games have interesting premises and gameplay hooks that look promising.
Release: Summer 2019
Platform: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Krillbite Studio, the creators of horror game Among The Sleep, have something quite different in the works. Whereas Among The Sleep was told from the perspective of a toddler, this time you play as a tall, lanky man in a mundane world who is making his daily commute to work. While it’s not a horror game, there is something unsettling nonetheless about Mosaic’s world, with its dimly lit, blue-hued environments and dream-like state. This adventure game puts emphasis on atmosphere and story where you begin to notice strange happenings. Its visual style resembles the likes of Playdead’s Inside, with a lot of clever lighting and a world that resembles a dull corporate dystopia.
Platform: PC, Mac
What would you do if you unexpectedly died, found yourself in Hell with your best friend, and realized the only way to escape eternal damnation would be to out-party the devil? In Afterparty, you get a chance to find out. Playing as Milo And Lola, you roam through the underworld in an effort to find out how to take down Satan in the ultimate drinking game. It’s a bizarre but curious premise, which intrigued me right away when I first heard of it. Plus, it’s made by the creators of Oxenfree, so expect natural dialogue and hopefully compelling characters to bring this world to life.
Felix The Reaper
Platform: PC, Mac
Felix the Reaper is a puzzle-adventure game with a playful twist on death. You play as Felix, a love-stricken Minister of Death employee who dances his way through obstacles. Although Felix looks like a giant marshmallow wearing headphones, he’s surprisingly swift on his feet. You have to guide him through different levels and avoid light, which is lethal to him. Thanks to powers granted to you by the Ministry of Death, you can control the sun so that he can dance safely through. With upbeat music reminiscent of the Persona series and all of Felix’s comedic-but-rhythmic twirls and flips, this title looks like a fun and lighthearted experience.
With visuals similar to Hyper Light Drifter and Swords & Sworcery, ITTA is about a young girl and her cat who venture on an otherworldly journey. It features twin-stick shooter combat as you fight foes with your father’s old revolver as well as melee weapons. ITTA looks to be a minimalist experience and some mysteries may require a keen eye to uncover.
Griftlands is a sci-fi RPG described as a “pirate/mercenary sandbox,” where you attempt to make a fortune for yourself in a post-apocalyptic world. You control a group of mercenaries who have several different quest lines, and the world will mold and dynamically change depending on your good or bad actions. As for battles, these are played out in a turn-based fashion with a focus on subduing your enemies rather than outright killing them. Although it’s not exactly clear how this will manifest in the game, Griftland’s Steam page says that “everything is negotiable,” from money to even morality.