You’ve seen the news and coverage about the big titles of E3 like that one Halo Infinite game and that one action game with Nero and his mechanical arm. But what about the smaller indie titles or the quirky games that were on the show floor? We’re going to miss out on a lot of them; it happens, right?
Have no fear: we’ve got that sorted for you. Here are the smaller and not-so-well-known titles announced during that festive period.
Gal Metal (Switch)
You play drums in a rhythm game specifically for the Nintendo Switch via Joy-Con controllers. The music you play? Heavy metal. The objective? Drive out the aliens who are invading Earth because it’s destroying their culture.
We got a video for that below. It’s good to see you again, Tak Fujii.
Ashen (Xbox One, PC)
Need more indie Dark Souls-like games? Then you should look forward to Ashen. What sets this one apart from the stamina-driven RPG it’s clearly taking inspiration from is its painted aesthetics and the fact that you have to make friends with other players and NPCs to get through its barren and unfriendly (albeit colourful) setting.
Children of Morta (PS4, Xbox One, PC)
If you’re craving for a roguelike, Children of Morta can satiate that hunger for you. At the very least, this game has enough new features to set it apart like a stamina gauge that you have to keep into account during combat, the ability to get souls to open up new benefits mid-dungeon, and the option to run a side family gig where you get access to permanent stat upgrades and better shop items.
There’s also co-op mode, so you and a bunch of friends can slay together while keeping the in-game family business alive.
Hamsterdam (Switch, iOS, Android)
Let’s not forget mobile games, guys and girls! Hamsterdam is a rhythm-based beat-em-up where you control a hamster who has to clear the town of other nasty vermin: weasels, rats, and so forth.
While you can start wailing on the touchscreen like mad to spam attacks, the most patient of players can wait until the hamster glows to unleash more damaging attacks, so there’s some slight depth to its gameplay. Perfect for short spurts of fighting, as it’s slated for a Q4 release this year.
Kids (PC, iOS)
Not so much a game as it is an interactive experience. All you do is move around white characters on a screen; they gather up in crowds and you have to lead them around through the magic of touchscreen tech. You get to do riveting crowd-control moves like making one big group move away so that a few others can pass by. The story is determined by your interactions, so we’re looking at another Monument Valley here. Only with literal white people. Out 2018.
Neo Cab (PC)
This visual novel made its debut at the PC Gamer Show 2018 and it’s sure to attract the games-as-story crowd. You pick up people as a Grab Share-esque driver and you find out their stories all set in the far future. You have a ton of dialogue choices to choose from that can affect the mood of the ride and even open up branching paths in the game’s overarching narrative.
A Plague Tale: Innocence (PC, PS4, Xbox One)
Rats! Lots of them. This game, set during the tumultuous time of the Black Death in Europe, is about a mother and son duo who have to escape a city filled with rabid rats. Honestly, just looking at these blighters moving in swarms and making that chittering sound can give you goosebumps.
Ooblets (PC, Xbox One)
Trust DoubleFine Productions to make something this cute and addictive. You’re a human who is stranded in a town filled with cutesy creatures called Ooblets. You have to grow and take care of them (like plants, mind you) and lead them around and integrate them into your daily town life like a psychedelic Stardew Valley.
You play as a shark who eats people in a coastal town-slash-cityscape-slash-bayou-area. Based on the trailer above, we’re in for some carnivorous deep-sea diving and landshark-manifesting single player action. It’s brought to you by Tripwire, who are well-known for the Killing Floor PC games, so we can count on them to up the gore.
Indivisible (PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch)
Need a combination of Valkyrie Profile with the artwork of Skullgirls? Look no further than this action JRPG from Lab Zero Games, where you control a young girl named Ajna who can use spirits to help her in her quest. Out 2019.
Tunic (Xbox One, PC)
If you want a cute Zelda-like game with a fox as the main star, Tunic is for you. Players can start slashing ghosts, breaking pots, and exploring cute environments when it’s out this 2018.
Wargroove (PC, Xbox One, PS4)
Part Advance Wars, part Fire Emblem, all old-school: this upcoming strategy game features 12 commanders to pick from, with each of them having a story of their own. Like its inspiration, commanders can give players special unique abilities that can either help bolster your troops or hinder the opposition.
Plus those pixelated and mega frame count on these animations and aesthetics: groovy! There’s also local and online competitive/co-op mode, so you can butt heads against one another or team up against the AI.
Treachery In Beatdown City (PC)
Need an 8-bit 2D beat-em-up? Well, there are tons of them on Steam alone, so what makes Treachery In Beatdown City different? For starters, this game behaves like an RPG where time stops once you land the first blow. You can connect your attacks with other linking techniques to get the most out of them.
Throws, heavy kicks, uppercuts: you can map them out and confirm them on the menu so that it all plays out like a ballet of fisticuffs that would make Chuck Norris and JCVD proud.
Super Meat Boy Forever (Xbox One, PC)
We saved the best for last: the return of Super Meat Boy. Arguably one of the fastest and most brutal platformers in existence, this sequel of sorts now makes our title character autorun. Which means that you have to worry about jumping, wall-jumping, punching, sliding, and adjusting your jump arcs on the fly. Obviously, it’s not as easy as it sounds as he will be dealing with a ton of obstacles and enemies in his path.
You might want to get a few extra controllers; something tells us that you’ll be breaking the one you have if you’re playing this for the first time and failing hard at it.