2015 was an absolutely amazing year for games, but 2016’s games look like they are going to exceed last year’s hits tremendously. Here is a list of games that you may not have heard of, but you need to put on your radar!
It’s only fitting that a company named Giant Squid would be making an underwater adventure game. ABZÛ is an epic descent into the depths of the sea, where players will explore beautifully rendered ocean environments with fluid swimming controls. Colin Campbell writes for Polygon.com, and loved his hands on experience with it. “Of all the games I played at a recent week-long pre-E3 media blitz, this was the one that excited me the most. ABZÛ, on the evidence we’ve seen so far, is environmental storytelling at its absolute best,” he said.
Matt Nava, who was the art director for both Journey and Flower, is the creative director at Giant Squid, so you can be sure that ABZÛ is going to look and play great. ABZÛ is being published by 505 Games and is set to be on Playstation 4 and PC in early 2016.
When you first watch the trailer for the platformer/puzzler, Unravel, you can’t help but to be swept away by it’s incredible graphics. Jason Evangelho from Forbes, summed it up perfectly. “[Unravel] looks ridiculously charming, whimsical, and colorful.”
You’ll guide Yarny through complex puzzles while discovering a heartfelt story as you reconnect the memories of a long lost family. Now if the impressive graphics, a charming protagonist, and a great story aren’t enough for you to love this game, Evangelho also points out that Unravel’s creator is distinctly one of us gamers in real life. “Martin Sahlin stole the show and really connected with gamers. He was nervous, terrified, maybe even a bit socially awkward as many creatives are. He stood there and basically bared his soul, acting like ‘one of us’ instead of a suit. ” It sounds like this is a game made by a gamer for gamers.
Unravel is being developed by Swedish developer Coldwood and published by EA. Although there is no release date, the fact that you can currently pre-order Unravel on Origin definitely lends to the idea that it will be released in the near future.
The first I have to ask is, are you familiar with Double Fine Productions? Because if you’re not HeadLander’s concept may blow your mind.
The studio that is responsible for awesomely quirky games such as the Costume Quest series, Stacking, and Brutal Legend is developing a game that is a throwback to 1970s sci-fi movies. Why 1970s sci-fi movies? Why not?! In HeadLander you are the last remaining human…head who is on a quest to find out what happened to your body. You use abilities that your head picks up along your journey to defeat enemies and solve puzzles.
The side scrolling Metroidvania style Adult Swim Games published HeadLander doesn’t have a release date yet, but it is slated to be out in 2016.
If you’ve ever wished your drawings could come to life, then you’ll definitely want to check out the arena shooter Drawn To Death. Led by God of War creator, David Jaffe, Drawn To Death takes the notebook style doodles of a (slightly disturbed) high schooler and brings them life.
Recently the news came out that Drawn to Death was being released with a free to play model. This may turn a few gamers off, but before you dismiss it, Jaffe, who is always honest, said in a recent interview, that Drawn to Death is a free to play game made by people who hate free to play. “What we love about free to play it’s like television, it’s like podcasting,” he said. Look at all these people that will give our game a chance that wouldn’t at a retail title.” Obviously, when you have an online-only arena shooter you need community support and as a fan of Jaffe’s I’m definitely willing to give Drawn to Death a shot.
Drawn to Death is being developed by Bartlet Jones Supernatural Detective Agency and published by Sony. It will be out for Playstation 4 sometime around holiday season with beta invites starting to roll out the summer of 2015.
If you’re looking for a skill-based quick reaction game, then FutureGrind is your jam! The development duo of Owen Goss and Matt Rix describe the game as “Uniracers meets Olli Olli,” which are both games that appear easy, but take lots of practice to master.
The premise of the game is simple; make your way through the course by connecting the red wheel with the red track and the blue wheel with the blue track. To succeed in FutureGrind you’ll need to rack up long grinds to increase your score, do flips in the air for big points, and transfer between rails flawlessy to build your multiplier. The better you do the more endorsements you get and the further you progress in the game.
FutureGrind is being developed by Milkbag Games and was green lit by the Steam Community in February 2015. Right now the release date to attack the track is sometime in Q3 of 2015 for Playstation 4 and Steam.
If there is any genre that I can’t seem to get enough of, it’s runners. The fast paced levels, the unique challenges, and the desire to see how far I can get on my next run keeps me motivated to continue playing. As you may expect, I always keep an eye out for this sort of game and one that I have to admit flew right under my radar is EarthNight.
I think the reason I missed this one was because of how stunning the graphics are. Now I don’t mean to say that all infinite runners have sub-par graphics, but when first saw the game I instantly thought it was going to be something more like Muramasa. Then I found out the good news that it is actually a “roguelike runner” that “alternates between running on the backs of dragons and skydiving through a sea of the vile beasts.”
To find out more info on Cleaversoft’s EarthNight you can visit this Playstation Blog page. There is no set release date, but it will be launching on Playstation 4 and Playstation Vita first, followed by iOS and Android.
VR headsets are easily one of the most exciting things in gaming right now, but what’s crucial to their success is developer support. Thankfully the fine folks at KO-OP Mode are developing GNOG. When I first watched the trailer of GNOG I couldn’t help to be reminded of some of my favorite games, Sound Shapes and the Katamary series.
It’s always better to have a wide range of puzzles and that’s exactly what GNOG promises. All of the monsters have a unique universe with it’s own set of rules and puzzles inside their head. These challenges can range from Rubik’s Cube mind benders all the way to time manipulation.
GNOG is being developed by KO-OP Mode and Published by Double Fine Productions. GNOG will be launching on the Playstation 4 with Morpheus support in 2016, as well as Steam and iOS later.
Note: I didn’t see any info that it will be launching with Oculus support, but I would expect there to be a chance.
Horror games create an experience unlike any other genre. Every time I sit down to play a game that promises to scare, I always think that there’s no way a video game can scare me, but sure enough it does.
Kholat is based on the true story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident, in which nine hikers died unexplainably. The most common theories are that the hikers met their demise from an avalanche or hypothermia, but others believe that it could have been a military accident or even a yeti. Whatever the cause was, Kholat drops the player into a non-linear immersive first person experience that is built around world exploration and storytelling.
Kholat is currently out on Steam right now and it is making it’s console debut on the PlayStation 4 on March 8th, 2016.
Almost everyone I reached out to mentioned Cuphead and I almost didn’t want to include just because it was being covered so much by so many outlets, but the game looks too amazing not to mention.
The 1930’s cartoon art style with the fast paced run and gun / platforming gameplay had gamers drooling, which is probably why it won IGN’s Best Xbox One Game at E3. If this Xbox One / PC exclusive is as fun we think it will be, I might even go as far to say it could be a potential console seller.
The worst thing about Studio MDHR’s, Xbox One and PC exclusive Cuphead, is that it is slated to be released sometime in 2016 which makes me a sad panda. Thanks for giving this blog a read and let me know in the comments if there are any other upcoming games that I may have missed. If you want to keep up with all of these games you can find their links in the bookmark roundup down below and easily add them to your gaming bookmark section of the room. Happy gaming!
The Walking Dead series from Telltale Games took the dead genre of point and click adventure games and put them back on the map! The Walking Dead: Michonne is a three episode mini-series that will help bridge the gap between what happens in season 2 and the unannounced season 3.
I’m a big fan of Telltale releasing a bite sized version of The Walking Dead series instead of trying to force a connection between season 2 and 3. This is the first time that they are doing something of this sort, so at least we will get to see how fans respond to this experiment.
The Walking Dead: Michonne will be out in February 2016, but equally important The Walking Dead Season 3’s release date is probably sooner rather than later.
Giant Squid Studios