Laura’s Most Anticipated Indie Games of 2015 Laura Kate January 4, 2015 Features 4 2015 has just begun, we’re only a couple of days past our Game of the Year awards for 2014 being handed out and the year is incredibly young. Now seemed the perfect time to race ahead, look into the future and let you all know what I am most excited to see covered on the site in 2015. These are the games that I’ve got my eyes on and think that you should be looking out for too. Here we go, here’s my personal Top 10 Most Anticipated Indie Games that are expected to release in 2015. Life is Strange I first saw Life is Strange being played during a hands off press demo at Eurogamer 2014 and I have been enamored with it ever since. It’s best described as a Gone Home style teenage girl personal narrative, with Telltale style mechanics and a David Cage style narrative vibe. Oh, and there’s time travel thrown into the mix. It’s a really interesting mix of influences that have come together to make a really interesting narrative heavy experience that really hits a lot of my personal preferences, with a mechanic that could really shake up how choice driven narratives work going forward. You protagonist has a limited distance in which they can travel backwards in time during gameplay, usually roughly as far back as the beginning of a given scene. As well as making for some interesting puzzle mechanics, it also allows the player to watch their choices play out in the short term, confidently commit to a choice understanding it’s short term consequences, but not go back far enough to undo those choices once the long term consequences start to emerge. It’s a really interesting way to explore your choices before committing to them, and I’m very excited to se if the game ends up as good as I’m hoping it will. That Dragon, Cancer I played through a demo of That Dragon, Cancer on the show floor at Develop 2013 in a single sitting and I came out of it in floods of tears, completely oblivious to the swarms of people stood around me waiting to experience it themselves and nonplussed to what I had gone through. A true story about the developer struggling to keep it together during his young son’s battle with cancer, the game is dripping with raw emotion. This is clearly a game that has come from a very personal place and every line of dialogue feels so brutally honest that I couldn’t help but empathize, sympathize and eventually reach a point where all I could do was cry. It’s the most touching personal story I’ve ever experienced and I can’t wait for it to get a full release outside of the gaming convention circuit. (That Dragon, Cancer was on our most anticipated of 2014 list. The game underwent changes from being an Ouya exclusive to being funded through Kickstarter that delayed development, among other delays). Volume I’m not usually a fan of stealth gaming, but I’m definitely going to be making an exception to play through Mike Bithell’s upcoming Robin Hood inspired futuristic stealth game, Volume. Featuring the voice over talents of Charlie McDonell as Robert Locksley, an idealistic young man who stumbles across military training hardware and uses it to make Youtube videos for the poor, detailing how they can rob the rich and change the world around them. Oh, it also features Andy Serkis, which is pretty awesome. Mike Bithell knows how to write endearing characters and I already know I’m a fan of the direction his hero is being placed. The hero is deliberately anti violence, meaning that you get to use a variety of non violent distraction tools to progress around enemies, varying from a knockout projectile to ricocheting vocal projectiles and various other ways to catch enemy attention. The game also features a visibility cone to clearly mark out when you can and cannot be found, a great way to take the guesswork out of staying hidden. Mike Bithell’s TWA is one of my all time favourite games and I’m very excited to play what he has coming next. (Volume was on out most anticipated of 2014 list. Hurry up and release Volume already 😛 ) (Disclaimer: Mike Bithell backs Indie Haven on Patreon. While this does not effect our coverage of him, bear that in mind when reading our critique of his work). Broken Age: Act 2 When Broken Age: Act 1 released in early 2014 I was super impressed with it’s narrative. From a pair of heroic protagonists who defied the expected plot arcs most creators would have set them to n ending that turned the whole first act on it’s head, Broken Age got off to a spectacular start. Broken Age: Act 2 has a lot to live up to. The first act ended on such an amazing cliff hanger that the second act may have a hard time ending in such a satisfying manner. Regardless, I am incredibly excited to see the continuation of such a fascinating and well handled plot. No Man’s Sky No Man’s Sky is possibly the most ambitious looking game on this list, from the team I never expected an ambitious huge scope adventure exploration game from. Developed by Hello Games, best known for the Joe Danger games, No Man’s Sky is a game about exploring procedurally generated worlds and universes that would appear to seamlessly allow players to traverse from planets to space, explore environments and pilot craft, basically just boldly go where nobody has gone before. The only reason the game isn’t currently higher on my hype-o-meter is how far away the game currently feels. It’s an incredibly ambitious concept that, if successful I’m going to be very pleased with I’m sure. However, until it’s in a state where we’re able to get our hands on it and see how much of the promise seems likely to turn into reality, I’m trying my best to keep my expectations from skyrocketing too high. (Yep, No Man’s Sky is another of those games that was on out 2014 list. We might have overestimated how near it was to being done haha). Hyper Light Drifter OH MY GOD!!! THIS GAME IS BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!! So, Hyper Light Drifter looks absolutely stunning from what we have seen of it so far. It’s a stunning looking huge scale 2D action RPG. Honestly, I just want this beauty in my eyes as soon as possible. Let’s explore huge worlds, kill stuff and explore a world that looks AMAZING!!!!! Radial-G I’m a big believer that down the line VR is going to be a big part of the evolving gaming landscape, and one of the most promising looking Oculus Rift games I’ve had a chance to play was the demo for Radial-G. Imagine F-Zero, on a pipe which you can drive on any side of. It’s fast paced, it’s beautiful and it’s responsive. It’s everything I love about fast paced futuristic racing games, and the VR setup worked incredibly well. It’s very rewarding to sit in a futuristic cockpit and race around at super high speeds. Hopefully Oculus hits the market this year at an affordable price so I can justify playing this properly at home. Mighty No. 9 Following 2014’s incredibly sucessful release of Shovel Knight, a fantastic retro style game that took inspiration from Mega Man, one of my most anticipated games of 2015 is Mighty No. 9. Coming from Keji Inafune, the original mind behind Mega Man, everything from the art direction to the character design is looking incredibly promising. It’ll be a little while before we have a clear idea how the game is going to turn out, but I personally cannot wait for the chance to experience a Mega Man style adventure with modern art direction and design sensibilities. Oh, he’s sucha a cute little murderer. The Witness The Witness is Braid Creator Jonathan Blow’s upcoming 3D world exploration puzzle game. It’s all about taking things slowly, exploring a world and chipping away at a set of puzzles that will allow you to continue to explore the world. Braid has incredibly intelligent puzzle design and what we have seen from The Witness so far suggests it’ll be very similar. Personally, I don’t even mind if every get through all the puzzles, that world looks like a really nice place to slowly explore. Cuphead Cuphead is an incredibly stylized 2D run and gun adventure game that caught a lot of people’s attention when shown during Microsoft’s 2014 E3 press conference. While several concerns have been raised during development about the game’s use of old racially charged imagery, it’s hard to deny the appeal of the highly unique art style. While the game is still a little away from launch and may have issues once released, I’m crossing my fingers that it turns out well. There you have it, that’s my current Top 10 Most Anticipated Indie Games of 2015. What do you think? Are you excited for any of these games? Are there games missing that you’re excited for? Have I helped you find a new game to be excited for? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section down below. Tom Pickard Nice list, Already got Radial G on Early Access 🙂 and Hyper Light Drifter looks very interesting hadn’t seen that before. A few Indie games I’m really excited about 😀 to add to that list Duelyst – by counterplay games – Looks truly stunning, from a really cool group of expereinced devs. Armello – from league of geeks in oz, Redwall turned into a turnbased amazing looking stratergy 🙂 what more could you want. And Mighty tactical shooter – from sock thuggery – really tight looking little tactical space shooter. Stormbringer “modern art direction and design sensibilities” kind of made me cringe. I thought the PBS Game/Show program’s selection was pretty tactful. It definitely looks like games are getting a shot in the arm of grownup maturity themes wise. Don’t know if anything will turn out any good or not though. I’m always surprised at the way every game tries to do something new and inventive to distinguish itself. That sounds like a good thing, but it’s 2015 and we still haven’t decided how things “should” be done, and that seems a little disheartening to me. If everyone is doing everything different then it’s safe to assume that no one is getting it right. It’s like we are literally inventing a new game to play with every game instead of agreeing on how the games will work so that the game can be a vehicle for a story or idea and not the other way around. Hendrick Tallardar I think Cuphead can avoid the racially charged caricatures while maintaining that nostalgic art style. CopperBot It is a shame but the basic idea for Cuphead was basically stolen from another studio… I like the idea but I won’t give them any of my money based on that fact alone.