10 of the Best Upcoming Indie Games from EGX 2022
EGX was back at the Excel Centre for its annual celebration of all things gaming and geeky, and much like a two-headed cow from the Fallout franchise, there were a host of game developers and publishers in tow clamouring to show excited attendees their upcoming projects.
As the dust settles and the show packs up for another year, in no particular order here are 10 of the most interesting-looking indie games on display at the show.
Fall of Porcupine
An upcoming story-driven platform game about the work life of a newly qualified doctor in a small town.
With its cute anthropomorphic characters, small-town setting and hand-drawn 2D art the game is drawing instant comparisons to A Night in the Woods, but from what I saw I think that the game has the potential to be even better. Part doctor simulator, part platformer, part adventure game, I can't wait to see what the final game has instore
Fall of Porcupine should be out sometime in 2023 but the demo is available to play now over at GOG: https://www.gog.com/game/fall_of_porcupine_prologue
How to say Goodbye
I'm not much of a puzzle guy but when I saw How to Say Goodbye I was instantly drawn in by the storybook-style artwork and quirky game design, and I must say I'm glad I stopped to check it out.
The gameplay involves moving tiles around a map to help a little ghost navigate his way through the afterlife.
Thanks to cute design and offbeat puzzles, it's likely to get a good reception from gamers... and probably inspire a whole load of fan art too!
How to Say Goodbye is set for release later this year.
There seems to be a constant stream of city builder games coming out recently but what made LakeSide stand out was that it was 2D, which I don't remember ever seeing before. The 2D aspect means that you'll need to build upwards not outwards and the game promises to allow you to build massive Lord of the Rings-style vertical cities. I'm looking forward to seeing what the shift in perspective (literal and metaphorical) will bring to the genre.
LakeSide goes into early access on Steam on the 28th of September.
Monorail Stories is an upcoming adventure game with a unique twist. The game revolves around two people from two different cities who catch the same monorail train at different times of the day. Each character will interact with their fellow passengers but how one player acts will affect the story for the other.
The game can be played single-player or via asynchronous multiplayer, with two people taking a character each and taking turns to play out each day. It sounds like a really interesting way to play a narrative adventure game and I'm looking forward to playing the full version when it releases in a few short days.
Monorail Stories is set for release on September 30th 2022.
The Siege and The Sandfox
The developers of The Siege and The Sandfox are creating some buzz for creating a new genre of game they are referring to as "Stealthvania". The game is a 2D platformer with character progression and exploration like a Metroidvania, but rather than involving shooting everything in sight it relies upon stealth to avoid enemies.
It sounds a lot like the 2D Assassin’s Creed games that came out a few years ago, but with a lot more depth to the gameplay. Overall it sounds like a promising concept.
The Siege and the Sandfox is due to be released sometime in 2023
Shadows of Doubt
I was drawn to Shadows of Doubt thanks to the super detailed voxel-art world and sci-fi noir setting, but once you get past the visuals you discover the makings of a detective game that promises to offer unparalleled levels of freedom.
The developers say that the game world is completely open and everywhere can be explored. Not only that but every character in the world has a home, a job and a routine. You are given missions but no information on how to complete them-- it's up to the player how they want to go about it with the resources the game world gives you.
Shadows of Doubt is seriously starting to look like the detective game that most gamers have been wishing for since the day they first picked up a controller.
Shadows of Doubt is currently planned for release sometime in 2023
Sons of Valhalla
I initially thought that Sons of Valhalla was an offshoot of the Kingdom games, but getting to sit down with the game I realised the developers have taken the visual aesthetic of that game and adapted it into something new.
Sons of Valhalla is set in Viking Britain and along with strategic base building the game also features plenty of hack n' slash action and even siege weapons to capture cities and towns. You'll spend half your time base-building and the other half base-bashing as you capture lands to increase your power and seek revenge on the evil lord who kidnapped the love of your life.
There's no release date for Sons of Valhalla yet but it's one to keep a close eye on.
Described by the developer as more of a "digital toy" than a game, The Block is a simple town builder that is a fun way to pass a few minutes. From an isometric view, you are given a grid of tiles and randomly generated pieces of scenery, and you simply build up the scene however you want and then marvel at your creation. Scenes are randomly themed-- in one I built a medieval town, and in another a Middle Eastern market. Each creation is unique and fun to make.
If you enjoyed Townscaper and Cloud Gardens, The Block could be the next game you'll want to add to your wishlist.
In the developer's own words, The Block is available "sometime soon".
I'm a sucker for a good platform game so was instantly drawn to the Trinity Fusion stand for a bit of 2D fun. Trinity Fusion differs from other games in that the main character has three parallel lives each with their own unique game world, weapons and skills. It seems like a cool concept to be progressing with three characters at the same time in the same game.
I only got to play one of the characters in the game but the graphics are great, combat is smooth, controls are responsive and the game looks like it has the potential to be another cult platforming classic.
Trinity Fusion is out sometime in 2023.
Uso: A Murder Mystery
What instantly captured my attention about Uso were the graphics. The flat sprites on a 3D map reminded me of the pop-up books and papercraft models I loved growing up.
The subtitle of this game is particularly apt as this is a murder mystery in its purest form. There has been a murder at a creepy old manor and you have until morning to speak to the staff and house guests to work out whodunnit.
The game is still in development but you can play the first two chapters at Itch.io.
Honourable Mention - Sleep Swimmer
Sleep Swimmer is a narrative adventure about a young woman who escapes into an underwater dream world at night to avoid her real-life problems. As gamers, I think it's something we can all relate to.
I was instantly drawn in by the cute graphics, wholesome characters and interesting quests, but the reason this game gets an honourable mention is that it's a final year project for Masters Students at the National Film and Television School. I hope that the developer decides to turn this into a fully-fledged commercial release so it can find a wider audience!
Follow the game's progress at @sleepswimgame on Twitter.
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