Nintendo released another Indie Highlights segment earlier today, and it didn’t disappoint. Many Switch owners are still waiting on the next Nintendo Direct – which will hopefully feature something other than Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (opens in new tab), love it though I do – but we have plenty of indie games to look forward to in the meantime, some of which are out as early as… today. You can watch the full segment above, and read on to learn more about the five most exciting games seen today.
Wargroove is a beautifully animated, deceptively challenging turn-based strategy game about four warring factions. Publisher and developer Chucklefish reckons it sports over 50 hours of single player content, to say nothing of its promising map-maker which lets players create and share their own levels and campaigns. All of that sounds pretty great, but here’s the kicker: one of the commanders in Wargroove is a dog in a uniform. I’m not talking about a person with dog ears – though a commander in one faction does fit that description – I’m talking about a straight-up golden retriever in a helmet. I’m sold.
Wargroove’s release date was finally revealed today: it’s coming to PC, Switch, and Xbox One on Friday, February 1. Chucklefish said it’ll come to PS4 a little later.
If you haven’t heard of SteamWorld, now’s the time to educate yourself, because SteamWorld can do no wrong. Image & Form’s steampunk world has already seen two delightful metroidvania games and a fantastic strategy game, so SteamWorld Quest being a card-based RPG a la Slay the Spire makes a strange sort of sense. We’ve yet to see a genre SteamWorld can’t absolutely nail, so I’m dying to see what it does with cards.
SteamWorld Quest will come to Switch later this year. It’s also coming to other platforms, but it will launch on Switch first.
CrossCode was one of last year’s many hidden gems, so it’s nice to see it getting a Switch release. At first blush, it’s just a beautifully animated 16-bit action-RPG, but every inch of it is so detailed and finely polished that it becomes much more than a retro love letter. Its RPG elements are far more expansive than you might expect, its fast-paced bullet hell-esque combat ramps up endlessly, and the story that carries you through its futuristic fantasy world manages to deliver lighthearted fun while keeping its hooks in you. It’s absolutely immaculate, and you simply must play it.
CrossCode is expected on Switch “sometime this year,” according to developer Radical Fish Games, whose name is another reason I love this game. For now, you can play the free demo on Steam.
Collectively, the ex-Ubisoft folks at Magic Design Studios have worked on Assassin’s Creed, the newer Rayman platformers, and Prince of Persia, and that really comes through in Unruly Heroes. It’s a 2D platformer based on the classical Chinese novel Journey to the West, and from its co-op focus to its stunning art, it looks every bit as promising as Rayman Legends. It’s also out today!
You can get Unruly Heroes on PC, Xbox One, or Nintendo Switch.
Lastly, we have Inmost, the only game on this little list that I’d never heard of until today. Developer Hidden Layer Games describes it as “an atmospheric, story-driven puzzle platformer following three playable characters within one dark, interconnecting story.” That story apparently revolves around an old castle filled with creepy monsters, and a mysterious young girl who’s somehow connected to all this. Each character looks to have distinctly flavored sections – some stealthy, some action-y – and I’m into all of them. I like independent but intertwined stories, and I really like the pixel art here, so I’ll be keeping an eye on Inmost and I recommend you do too.
Inmost is scheduled to come to Switch and PC later this year.
Here are five other must-see indie games (opens in new tab) you might’ve missed at The Game Awards 2018.