Hello! Time for Part 2 of the Indie Game Lookout 2019!
Just like last time, we here have gathered ten games that are ready to be– Or supposed to be– Released in the year of our Lord 2019. Once again, we have tried our hardest to make sure every title is unique in one way, shape or form from the other, and feel like we have another special batch of titles to show you. So without further ado, let’s wrap this up.
Fallow – Developer: Ada Rook
Unrelated comment, but I spent two days scrawling through several thousand tweets liked by other people in the hope that I found this title to place on here, and here we are. Fallow is a 2-D adventure game heavily steeped in Gothic influences, following the story of four sisters who suffer from illnesses and a life of exile, all while reality seems to slowly unwind and die in front of them.
The 2014 demo posted by Rook showcases an understated but strangely enticing adventure, peppered with dialogue that shuns the world and what its become. With an emphasis on exploration of the worlds lavender-imbued landscape, and light point-n-click elements put into play, it’s definitely an experience that may not sound like it’ll break any barriers, but it’s set on telling you a story that can be immersive and hypnotic. After several years, the project is finally seeing the light of day, and I personally cannot wait for it.
Boyfriend Dungeon – Developer: Kitfox Games
Kitfox Games are a studio constantly eager to try out new things. Whether it be the stylish management sim that is The Shrouded Isle, or the multiple bite-sized campaigns of the same story in their current swansong Moon Hunters, it’s that sense of uniqueness that shines. It’s uniqueness that continues to glow in their newest title also, Boyfriend Dungeon. While the gameplay is at first reminiscent of their debut title Shattered Planet, it’s the new-found edge of implementing a dating simulator with your weapons that stems curiosity from any on-lookers.
The gist is that you take a summer job eliminating monsters from “The Dunj”, and upon further discovery, it turns out that your weapons can transform into attractive human beings, who just so happen to be single. Find your soulmate and soul-taker, and your gameplay style all at the same time, whether it be the fast lethal nature of the Dagger “Valeria, or the brute force nature of the Hammer “Leah”.
After coming to Kickstarter in late-2018, Kitfox Games had the pleasure of absolutely smashing their set goal of approximately sixty-five thousand Canadian dollars, and ended up raking quadruple that by the end of the Kickstarter. It’s not long now before you get the chance to call a laser sword your boyfriend without getting any weird looks from your mom and dad…
Alright, you’ll probably still get weird looks.
Night Call – Developer(s): Monkey Moon, Black Muffin
As we wait for The Last Night to return from whatever hole it disappeared into, we can always rely on Raw Fury to provide us with a double bill that’s equally as striking. One of those replacements is Night Call, which is what you would get if you mixed Crazy Taxi and Condemned 2, but add some noir charm to the mix. Night Call follows the story of a detective working two jobs: An investigator for the police, and a cabbie driving passengers around.
While a serial killer roams the streets of Paris and the police none the wiser as to who it might be, it’s down to you and your taxi-driving job to see if you can extract information from them. However, this world isn’t free. You still need to do other fares and cough up enough cash at the end of each day to pay for the cab, your apartment, and the simple necessities in life. With a two-tone color scheme that’s heavily referenced yet still provides a fresh edge to the world, you only have to wait until Summer of 2019 to see if you can juggle these two major stress-inducing jobs at the same time.
Sable – Developer: Shedworks
Next on the Raw Fury double bill is Sable, an adventure game that looks like a stunner right off the bat. Boasting cleanly cut cel-shaded graphics and an open-world reminiscent of ReCore, you play as the titular Sable, a young lass who explore the desolate planet to figure out what went wrong. While uncovering the secrets of this land, she also has to come to terms with how she fits into the world.
While not much is known about how Sable will play and flow as a game, one thing that is for certain is that the game is just as much about Sable herself, as it is about the game’s world. The connections she has to the people around, the rite of passage she must endure and accept, it’s all set to be an extremely personal adventure, albeit one that looks and feels cool as ice.
The Cycle – Developer: Yager
Poor old Yager. Ever since they came onto the scene with the peerless Spec Ops: The Line, they’ve been hit with a string of bad luck. After being penned to develop Dead Island 2, it fell through after creative differences, and their next title, a collaborative effort with Six Foot and Grey Box called Dreadnought, was met with middling reception. For the past six years, the German company has struggled, but seem dead set on bouncing back gloriously with The Cycle, a PVPVE MMOFPS (Don’t ask) where teamwork can be met with hostility or begrudging acceptance.
The planet Fortuna III is rife with alien species and fortune. It’s because of the latter that various factions have come to reap the profits of whatever they can grab, and you play as a Prospector working for said factions. Finish odd jobs, quests, and grab whatever you possibly can in 20 minutes, before the planet squeezes the life out of you and you do it all over again. Uneasy alliances will form, blood will be shed, and the lucky ones will become stinkin’ rich from all of it.
The Cycle is currently set for a Closed Beta period in Spring of 2019, with a full release date approximately planned for Q2 of 2019.
Void Bastards – Developer: Blue Manchu
Look, the name alone should be enough to grab you. I mean, say it out loud right now: “Void Bastards“. Sounds bloody powerful, no? Anyway, Blue Manchu’s sophomore title is not content with simply being an FPS in space, with a comic-book aesthetic reminiscent of cult classic XIII. Instead, Void Bastards challenges you to not only get yourself to see the end but to lead an entire team of ragtag prisoners at the same time.
Your goal? To escape the “Sargrasso Nebula”, a task easier said than done since you’re on the other end of the galaxy. Thankfully, there are derelict spaceships floating around the system for you to plunder, and this is where your meat shiel– I mean, respected prisoners come into play. Inspect the layout of the ship, figure out how your prisoners are going to explore the ship, and if you play your cards right, you’ll come out with a few new resources and an unscathed prisoner!
Inspired by the tactical gameplay of System Shock, and the “tactical” gameplay of Bioshock, Void Bastards has already become an anticipated game for most of us at Sick Critic since it debuted at X018 in November of 2018. With a staggering amount of ambition and confidence behind it, this should be a title that you should also be excited for.
Disco Elysium – Developer: ZA/UM
Like Void Bastards, Disco Elysium is a title that should immediately be enticing just from the name alone, but I have no clue what it’s about. Fortunately, fellow snob Zachary Kauz knows a bit about this game, and here are his two cents:
“Disco Elysium reflects a reliance on pen-and-paper, not just for the sake of recording evidence, but also for the methodical character development RPGs were initially built on. An isometric RPG focused on an extensive detective case that can transform at any moment, the game morphs through player choice and aims to ensure that none of your choices is a safe bet. Character decisions are forced to wrangle with context, a “charismatic” approach perhaps not sufficing for getting information out of the current witness. You are expected to make mistakes and attune your logic to the universe around you.
There’s an opportunity to experiment with character morality and fate to a degree that’s less cut-and-dry than the binary moral decisions of more limited RPGs. This structural ambition is made further palatable by its presentation. An impressionist art style informs the environments offering expressive lighting and lived-in scenarios enhancing the pseudo-noir imagery. Additionally, the world design seems to indicate some sort of tech fantasy hybrid colliding with the urban grime portrayed throughout. Disco Elysium points to a revolution in RPG gaming from top-to-bottom that may prove to be a game changer if the final product lives up to its sky-high aspirations.”
Colony 42 – Developer: Verdict Studios
Do you know what this list is missing? Horror. Really visceral horror. Thankfully, Verdict Studios have provided me with such a demand in the form of Colony 42. This will be their sophomore title, after their debut title Throne of The Dead VR went by largely unnoticed, despite its award-winning mechanic of shooting the shit while taking a shit.
The gist is that it’s the Cold War-era United States we all knew and tolerated, and you play as Doctor James Donovan, a man with a past, as always. You find yourself trapped in an impossibly huge, city-sized bunker known as “Colony 42”, and you’re on a mission to save your daughter and atone for your sins. While both could possibly be debated as quests in vain, it doesn’t matter, as your exploration of the bunkers damp and dirty halls will reveal that you’re not alone. What’s waiting? Well, you only to wait until Q1 of 2019 to find out.
Fractured Minds – Developer: Emily Mitchell
While this is possibly the most understated and generic looking title out of all the games shown here, you should never judge a book by its cover. Fractured Minds is a first-person puzzle game made by one Emily Mitchell, a young lass who won the 2017 BAFTA’s YGD Award in its 15-18-year-old category for this title in particular.
The story revolves around exploring the daily struggles people with anxiety and other similar mental health issues face. Providing a first-person perspective, Mitchell plans to show what its like for people to live through these issues in a genuine insight. Seeking to be uncomfortable and uncompromising in its direction, Mitchell has crafted what she believes to be a truly haunting and accurate portrayal of mental health. It won’t be long until we find out.
Signalis – Developer: rose-engine
I agonized a bit over the last choice, because it was originally going to be Sea of Solitude, but being funded a scientific shit-tonne by EA isn’t really evoking an independent feel, is it? Not to dampen Solitude’s thunder by any means, but sue me, make your own list, let’s talk about Signalis instead. This is a 2-D/3-D survival horror title that’s implementing the same dimension-swapping aesthetics of other 2019 release Anodyne 2, from two-man team rose-engine.
Signalis has one of, if not, the all-time greatest teaser trailers for any piece of media I’ve ever seen. The syncing of the three-tone score with the transitions between quiet corridors, beautifully-crafted visual design, and horrifying visions. The influences of Resident Evil and Silent Hill letting themselves become known without being overbearing, along with the possibly unintentional influences of animes like The End of Evangelion and Lily C.A.T. It’s all fucking superb, to put it bluntly, and looks like a dead-set winner.
Right, well that’s 20 games set to be released sometime in 2019 (And all of them are after Kingdom Hearts III eats away at your social life), and I’m hopeful that anybody reading this has found at least one title they’re excited for. As with Part 1 of this list, store links to each game will be provided, should they be available, and if not, then links to their respective websites will be given. Until next time, stay safe.
Owner of the largest collection of indie games in the Western Hemisphere, and TimeSplitters’ biggest fanboy.