Indie Watch: Smaller Games Worth Keeping An Eye On

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We’re firmly in the half of 2021 and inching ever nearer to the vacation rush of big-time triple-A releases. While we’re excited to play the subsequent Halo, Metroid, and Forza, it’s at all times value retaining in thoughts the slate of promising indies releasing alongside the large weapons. That’s why we put collectively an inventory of smaller titles that we will’t wait to play, a number of of which we’ve not spotlighted till now. These video games are organized in chronological launch order, and some are simply across the nook. If you are itching to play one thing off the crushed path, hopefully you could find one thing right here that perks your ears. 

Eldest Souls

Release Date: July 29
Platforms: PS5, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC

Are boss battles your favourite a part of a Souls-like sport? Eldest Souls could also be proper up your alley. This difficult title is a 16-bit boss rush that pits you in opposition to beings referred to as the Old Gods. Cutting down these intimidating adversaries together with your outsized sword rewards talents unlocked from an in depth talent tree. Despite emphasizing large-scale battles, you’ll additionally work together with NPC’s and full sidequests. If you discover your curiosity piqued, you received’t have to attend lengthy to learn the way Eldest Souls shapes up. It launches this week, July 29.


Release Date: August 2
Platforms: PC, Stadia

Law requires that each indie checklist wants a minimum of one Metroidvania, and Grime fills that quota. Besides its maze-like stage design, the upcoming sport additionally bleeds Dark Souls in all of the methods you’d count on however with one huge twist: your character’s head is an all-consuming black gap. By parrying incoming assaults, you’ll be able to take up enemies as a substitute of slicing them down the quaint manner (which you may also do). Suck up sufficient members of a sure enemy kind, and you may undertake their traits to completely increase your talents. This provides a enjoyable wrinkle to the well-worn dance of assault/parry/dodge. Grime’s surreal world and distinctive development helps it stand out in a crowded pack of equally styled video games. Check out its free Steam demo to see if it’s up your alley. 


Release Date: August 12
Platforms: PS5, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, Xbox One, Switch, Stadia, PC

Cyberpunk! Sure, you may say the fashion has been performed rather a lot lately however it is best to nonetheless control Forcelosed. The sport blends a trendy comedian book-style presentation and a heavy concentrate on narrative with explosive motion. You management Evan Kapnos who has had his identification “foreclosed”. That means he’s misplaced his job, his mind implants, and he’s minimize off from his personal metropolis. Even worse, Evan should now escape earlier than his identification and physique is auctioned off. You’re armed with a symbiotic pistol that may be custom-made in quite a lot of methods (like firing explosive or stealth bullets) in addition to particular powers like telekinesis. You can even hack into electronics; it is a cyberpunk sport in any case. Who foreclosed Evan’s identification? That’s as much as you to uncover.

Road 96

Release Date: August 16
Platforms: Switch, PC

Procedurally generated ranges in video games are nothing new however what a few procedurally generated story? That’s a feat that Road 96 will try to tug off. Set in a fictional nation dominated by an authoritative regime, you’ll flee your own home by hitchhiking to the border. The individuals you meet, the way you work together with them, and the abilities you be taught all promise to consistently reshape the narrative in a extra natural vogue than conventional choice-driven tales. With storytelling impressed by the works of Quentin Tarantino and the Coen Brothers, Road 96 is making a variety of huge guarantees so right here’s hoping it will stick the touchdown when it launches subsequent month. 

The Big Con

Release Date: August 30
Platforms: Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC

Throw in your finest outsized flannel shirt and relive the completely rad ‘90s in The Big Con, a comical puzzle adventure game about life as a teenage con artist. Your mother’s video retailer is in jeopardy of being absorbed by mortgage sharks. Saving the shop calls on you to lie, cheat, and steal your manner throughout a cross-country street journey. Pickpocket strangers, don disguises, spy on people, and pull no matter soiled trick crucial to boost sufficient cash to maintain your mother’s enterprise afloat. The Big Con is billed as the final word ‘90s time machine however even these with no nostalgia for the last decade could discover leisure in its quirky humor and foolish puzzle-solving.


Release Date: September 1
Platforms: Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC

It’s 1986 and large metropolis lady Meredith Weiss returns to her small hometown of Providence Oaks to ship mail instead of her father for 2 weeks. By bringing parcels to the lake city’s colourful residents comparable to an previous cat woman or snarky video retailer proprietor, you’ll reconnect together with your humble roots. Some could discover Lake’s laid-back tone and pacing boring, and that’s okay. We suppose there’s one thing completely stress-free in regards to the concept of driving a mail truck down scenic roads and dropping off letters. Plus, conversing with residents presents narrative decisions that may department the story in several methods. Who is aware of? During your keep you may discover love or rekindle long-dormant friendships. Or you can unintentionally ship your truck into the sport’s titular lake. That’s one thing you are able to do as effectively. 

Aragami 2

Release Date: September 17
Platforms: PS5, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, Xbox One, PC

2016’s Aragami was a neat motion stealth title within the vein of the Tenchu sequence with a cool hook in manipulating shadows to sneak round and get rid of targets. You’ll nonetheless have command over the darkness in Aragami 2, however the sequel ups the ante by pairing you with as much as two associates in three-player online co-op. Having the choice to sort out the story alone or in a bunch sounds superior, as does the myriad of conventional and supernatural ninja instruments at your disposal. Kunai, smoke bombs, teleportation, and invisibility are a few of the slick talents you and your pals have at your fingertips. Like a talented ninja hiding amongst the reeds, Aragami 2 has all of the makings of being a sneaky hit.


Release Date: 2021
Platforms: Switch, PC

Dordogne is one looker of a story journey sport due to its beautiful artwork course. Seriously, it seems to be like an interactive indie animated movie. In phrases of gameplay, it’s a point-and-click fashion puzzle sport centering round Mimi, a girl exploring the house of her grandmother who lately handed away. You then journey again in time to play as a 10-year previous model of Mimi to relive summers spent on this French countryside. As little one Mimi, you’ll remedy puzzles and acquire keepsakes comparable to pictures, all of which have an effect on the current. Dordogne is overflowing with allure to the purpose that you simply most likely want a soul transplant should you aren’t smiling at it. We are trying ahead to seeing extra of it when it launches later this yr. 


Release Date: 2021
Platforms: PC

Eastward is about in a good looking pixel artwork world on the point of collapse. As twin protagonists John and Sam, you’ll embark on a journey to totally different cities, encountering the quirky remnants of humanity all whereas confronting harmful creatures together with your trusty…frying pan? Eastward’s gameplay is an action-adventure RPG with Zelda trappings the place gamers use each characters in tandem to discover dungeons and overcome obstacles. The artwork course, impressed by ‘90s Japanese animation, looks fantastic thanks to a 3D lighting system that makes the retro-style visuals pop even more. Eastward is tentatively scheduled to release sometime this year for PC and we’re desperately hoping it will get a agency launch date quickly.

No Place for Bravery

Release Date: 2021
Platform: Switch, PC

An previous, retired warrior named Thorn is on a brutal quest to seek out his long-lost daughter. Locating her whereabouts calls on you to battle throughout a war-torn world within the fashion of a 2D dungeon crawler. Developer Glitch Factory identify drops Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice in describing No Place for Bravery’s parry-focused fight design; count on to face difficult foes that can most likely humble you as a rule. When you aren’t surviving by the pores and skin of your tooth you’ll be confronted with making equally demanding ethical decisions in a story impressed by the builders’ personal private historical past. Namely within the function mother and father play in shaping the world for his or her youngsters. 

Nobody Saves the World

Release Date: 2021
Platforms: Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC

The shapeshifting dungeon crawler comes from Drinkbox Studios, the makers of Guacamelee and Severed. As Nobody, you haven’t any type, coloration, or clothes for that matter. That is, till you discover a magic wand that means that you can rework into totally different identities comparable to a magician, a vampire, and a horse. You know, on a regular basis stuff. Nobody Saves the World is a top-down, procedurally generated dungeon crawler filled with coloration, character, and selection as you combine and match varieties to defeat enemies and remedy puzzles. You can watch us take it for a spin on this episode of New Gameplay Today

She Dreams Elsewhere

Release Date: 2021
Platforms: Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Switch, PC

This surreal RPG facilities on a comatose girl named Thalia who should battle her personal nightmares with the intention to reawaken. The presentation and turn-based battle system is harking back to traditional JRPGs, Shin Megami Tensei specifically. Players can even bond with their celebration members to study their tales through a Connection system. She Dreams Elswhere’s themes surrounding psychological well being (comparable to nervousness) and self-identity make it one of many extra mature titles on this checklist, and one we discover ourselves drawn to the extra we see it. If you’d wish to strive before you purchase, you’ll be able to obtain a demo on Steam and

Baldo: The Guardian Owls

Released Date: TBA
Platforms: Switch, PC

Do you get pleasure from 3D Zelda video games? How about Studio Ghibli? If you answered “Yes” to each questions, Baldo: The Guardian Owls ought to be in your crosshairs. This inconceivable to miss gem takes gamers throughout a vibrant, magical open-world the place you’ll attempt to decipher an historic prophecy. Along the way in which you’ll discover intricate dungeons and remedy all method of puzzles whereas additionally defending your self in opposition to monsters together with your trusty sword and defend. Baldo is thrilling in its ambition and we hope it could possibly pull off every little thing it’s going for. Though its launch window is technically labeled as “TBA”, we’re pulling for it to reach earlier than the yr ends. For a current take a look at the sport in motion, IGN lately confirmed off 13 minutes of gameplay

Is there any sport on this checklist that piques your curiosity? What upcoming indie sport ought to we maintain tabs on? Let us know within the feedback!

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