We’ve entered the new year, so it’s high time we started to look at the cool, creepy, and downright strange games hoping to find success in 2014. So, we gathered together around the Indie Mine table, and came up with a list of our most anticipated releases this year.
Ever wanted to shoot someone at a fancy soiree? Well Spy Party offers the ability to do just that with two players assuming two very different roles. The first is an assassin with a single bullet on a mission to murder an unsuspecting party-goer. The second role is occupied by the spy who must complete a series of challenges whilst mingling amongst a sea of NPC’s and remaining anonymous to the ever-watching scope of their would-be killer. The game’s focus on keen observation, perception, and crafty use of psychology helps create this ‘battle of wits’ atmosphere, making each round as tense as the last
Spy Party is currently in open beta, and available to buy now for $15
2D side-scrolling RPG platforming is the name of the game in Magicite from student developer Sean Young. You assume the role of a beleaguered human, removed from your home and forced underground by an evil scourge. Whilst taking refuge in the tunnels below the surface, you discover an ancient system of caves filled with magical creatures and ancient gods. You and a group of friends can gather together and plunder the depths, fighting baddies and looting treasure on the way. Expect procedurally generated caves, boss battles, character progression and perma-death in this neat looking action RPG.
Arcade games were awesome back in the day, and the developers of Assault Android Cactus know this. So much so that they’re making their own bullet hell title… with 100% more robots. Assume command of a number of unique characters, each equipped with different weapons and tactics to take on the hordes. Paired with an addictive rank system and leaderboards, AAC is great fun even in its current state and will be one to watch for when it’s finished.
Assault Android Cactus is currently available on Steam Early Access for $14.99
Chroma Squad is a unique spin on the tactical ‘XCOM’ turn-based combat game genre. In essence, you assume control of a TV studio, and you must manage its production of a Sentai TV series (think Power Rangers). Buy new equipment for the shows production, ‘fight’ over-the-top menaces of the galaxy, and even square off against other ‘shows’ in multiplayer ‘episodes’.
No Man’s Sky was revealed to the world during last year’s controversial VGX awards and whilst most of the show will fade into a distant memory, this game definitely left a lasting impression. With promises of an ever expanding universe, No Man’s Sky is set to be a big deal. Details are sketchy at best right now, but we do know that this is a space/planet exploration game in which everything is procedurally generated. Everyone will start their adventure on the outskirts of the universe, with the goal of making it to the centre for reasons unknown.
Volume is pegged as a retelling of the Robin Hood legend set in the near future, so expect more robots and neon glow to go along with your ‘steal from the rich’ narrative. As hero Locksley, you’ll be sneaking through each level avoiding crossbow wielding robot patrols and stealing everything on your path to the exit. Those familiar with the Metal Gear Solid series will feel noticeable similarities with the gameplay in Volume, as the game draws influences from Kojima’s earlier releases. Bundle all this with some great voice talent (Danny Wallace, Charlie McDonnell) and it’s easy to see why you should be watching this one.
There’s a good chance you’ve already played this game considering the pre-orders alone breached the $1 million mark. Now currently available in a beta state on Steam’s Early Access, Starbound is set to make waves in 2014. The game is akin to Terraria in that it’s cast in a side-scrolling 2D view and shares a heavy focus on exploration and resource gathering. You’ll also find yourself sailing across the stars in a huge procedurally generated universe. Jump from planet to planet as you search for new equipment, new species and a new home. The game includes both single and multiplayer modes, allowing a number of friends to explore the universe together in what has so far been an enjoyable experience.
Starbound is available on Steam Early Access for $14.99 and is currently in its beta phase.
If you’ve ever wanted to set giant rocks on fire and throw them at lizard men in the desert, Son of Nor is the game for you. Featuring a unique telekinesis and element manipulation mechanic, you’ll be expected to utilize every aspect of your surroundings to fight off your reptilian overlords and solve a variety of physics based puzzles. Multiplayer will also feature in the game and will include a number of extra abilities to make it more interesting like the newly introduced spell fusions. These allow you to combine the elements into bigger and better spells.
Son of Nor is still being developed and planned for release in Q2 this year, but you can purchase a $5 ‘Sandbox demo’ if you can’t wait that long.
The latest project from fan favourite ‘Indie Darling’ Jonathan Blow, The Witness is an homage to the older days of exploration and discovery. Drawing from the MYST series, the game aims to allow the player to advance at their own pace, progressing as they solve puzzles and venture deeper into the island. Little more is known about The Witness other than we’ll be seeing it launch on PC and PS4 simultaneously, with an IOS version planned afterwards.
As if getting lost in a forest wasn’t bad enough, The Forest introduces a bunch of genetically mutated wood-folk into the mix to add that extra ‘Oh crap!’ factor. Explore the lush undergrowth during the day as you scavenge for food and supplies. Once night falls you can expect your jolly through the woods to take a much more sinister turn. With full Oculus Rift support, The Forest is sure to have us on the edge of our seats.
Creators of the isometric narrative-action game Bastion are onto their second endeavour now with Transistor, a sci-fi action RPG focused on a mysterious weapon of great power. Framed in a similar style to Bastion, the game will showcase some of the most loved aspects of its predecessor as you seek out the mysteries behind the Transistor’s previous owners and unlock the secrets of its power.
Rabbit ninjas fighting each other to the death? Yes please! Overgrowth is all about the fluidity of play, from its almost gesture based combat to its parkour platforming, there’s a ton of potential in this game. In its current state, the game is more of a sandbox than anything else, with a robust editor included to make your own fun happen. Eventually we’ll see an entire campaign spring out of Overgrowth, and judging by the content so far it’s going to be bloodier than a screening of Watership Down.
Overgrowth is currently available via Steam Early Access for $29.99
Metroidvania fans take note as Paradise Lost is something you should already know about. If not, then allow me to implant some knowledge sacs into your body. You play as an unfortunate extraterrestrial, which crash landed onto earth straight into the arms of a shady government organization. It’s up to you to sneak and slither your way to freedom, using a number of skills and tactics to evade the guards and scientists roaming the facility. Expect an expansive game world, with chambered rooms and loads of content to explore.
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is set to be a finely polished story driven adventure title from The Astronauts, a small team of ex AAA developers. The narrative centres on Paul Prospero, an occult detective with the ability to peer into the final moments of a murder victim’s life. You must use supernatural detective skills to investigate a series of murders in the picturesque setting of Red Creek Valley. There will be no combat in the game, so expect this to boast a strong focus of what the developers describe as ‘weird fiction’.
Forged in the fires of post AAA development, a small team of developers hope to create this “first-person post-disaster survival simulation”. In The Long Dark you’ll have to combat the elements and inhabitants of the wild as you struggle to survive in the icy tundra. To go along with the challenges of surviving in the wild, you’ll have to make morally questionable choices as you encounter others in the fight for survival.
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