2D Watchlist

2D RADAR is designed to showcase promising new 2D games that are currently under development across all modern computers, consoles, and dedicated gaming handhelds. This is the 2D Watchlist, showing all of the games that we have discovered while reading through dev blogs, checking in with the developers of previous 2D hits, and keeping up with the indie development scene.

You can check back here for an ever-growing, ever-changing list of games, keep up with our blog for regular updates, or visit our sister site, 8 Bit Horse, for a whole bunch of in-depth articles on notable 2D video games. And if you're working on a game that you feel should be included in our list, send us a message!

1 Screen Platformer 2 | PC | Release Date TBD
1 Screen Platformer 2, from Return to Adventure Mountain, is the follow-up to the original 1 Screen Platformer, which was a platformer that took place on one screen (as you may have guessed). While the sequel still only occupies a single screen, there's more content this time around. First of all, the screen itself is larger, with a higher resolution environment, and eight playable characters as compared to five in the original. In the first game, there were minor changes to the environment based on which character you selected, but here those changes are much more pronounced. There are also online leaderboards for those of the speedrunning persuasion. The game kicks off with Nadia Stormhammer returning to her ship after the events of the first game, only to discover that something has gone wrong. You travel between different sections of the ship using such skills as performing high jumps, sticking to the ceiling, or blasting your gun downward to keep yourself aloft while you avoid popup spike traps, lasers, turrets, and other nasty traps.

Abathor | PC, Switch, PS4, PS5, and Xbox | Release Date TBD
Abathor, from Pow Pixel Games (game tweets), is set in the ancient city of Atlantis... a city whose people have incited the wrath of the gods, and now they are being punished for their sins. You take on the role of a hero – or multiple heroes in 1P-4P co-op – who must save the city and close the Gates of Abathor. You must defeat the creatures that have been unleashed upon the land, and fight off demons and the gods themselves if you hope to win the day. Gameplay is reminiscent of sword-and-sandal arcade actioners like Rastan and Magic Sword, where you travel through single-plane environments using swords to slash enemies, the occasional projectile to strike from a distance, and magical transformations to beef up your strength. In multiplayer, players assist each other in combat but also compete to crack open chests and collect the treasures within.

Aethyr | PC | Release Date TBD
Aethyr, from Labyrinth, is set in a ruined world where the last of humanity ekes out what existence they can, all the while surrounded by the mysteries of their past. You take on the role of an adventurer who hopes to uncover those mysteries and discover what caused the end of the world, with the help of the old gods. You delve into ancient ruins and across the large open land of Aethyr, fighting enemies, learning new skills, and crafting weapons, armor, and items along the way. You can make use of blades, axes, bludgeoning weapons, throwables, bows and arrows, and a variety of spells - as well as some kind of crazy grapple claw - in fast-paced battles against hordes of enemies and gigantic bosses.

Akatori | PC and Switch | Release Date TBD
Akatori (formerly DeathStick), from TeamNora Games (game tweets), is a melee-based metroidvania starring a girl named Mako who is on a mission to prevent a bunch of ne'er-do-wells from resurrecting an ancient god and destroying the world (a well-known pastime among the ne'er-do-well community). When you're not slashing the stuffing out of baddies with your quarterstaff, you're swapping between light and dark versions of the world by flipping it around you. Throughout the game, you gain new attacks and abilities, allowing you to take down enemies more quickly, strike them from a distance, and unleash special attacks, and some attacks translate into environmental navigation tools, such as tossing a fan through a narrow opening and teleporting to its location.

Akurra | PC, Mac, and Switch | 2023
Akurra, from Jason Newman and Craig Collver, is an isometric block-pushing puzzler that mixes in open world exploration, inspired by the likes of Chip's Challenge, StarTropics, Adventures of Lolo, Sokoban, and The Legend of Zelda. You explore a series of five islands that see you trekking through caverns and jungles, climbing mountains, and navigating pools of lava alongside an active volcano. Each island is packed with puzzles and secrets, many of which are solved by pushing gigantic blocks that can smash through pieces of the landscape or be dropped in holes and used as stepping stones, clearing the way to keys and other items that unlock the path forward. Puzzles become more complex as the game goes on, but the open world nature of the environments lets you take off and explore elsewhere if you get stuck.

Ancient Abyss | PC | Currently in Steam Early Access
Ancient Abyss, from Screambox Studio, is a Zelda-like roguelike hack-and-slash(-like) where you descend into... well an ancient abyss presumably. As you explore a procedurally-generated labyrinth, you gain strength and gather items to help you descend further, per genre conventions. You take on the role of a ponytailed lass who explores a dangerous world by running, rolling, and swimming her way through overgrown environments and ancient contraptions, while learning new skills that allow her to reach hidden areas and previously inaccessible treasures. Along the way, she engages in combat with enemies and bosses using a variety of weapons, including swords, hammers, firearms, throwable bombs, and even her fists.

Anew: The Distant Light | PC, Mac, Linux, PS4, and Xbox One | Currently in Steam Early Access
Anew: The Distant Light, from Resonator Games (game site), is an open world action adventure featuring a child on an alien moon. The world is dangerous, and you must battle your way past enemies, solve environmental puzzles, complete platforming challenges, and explore otherworldly landscapes to discover new items and upgrades to help you on your journey. Though young, the boy is not shy about using heavy firepower as he runs down aliens with saws, blasts them with homing missiles, and lays down heavy machine gun fire with independent movement and aiming. He can also hop into vehicles to tear across the terrain and deliver even more destruction to his enemies, making use of a moon buggy, a UFO, a mech suit, and... an even bigger mech suit.

Animal Well | PC, Switch, and PS5 | May 9, 2024
Animal Well, from Shared Memory (game tweets), is a super-chunky nonlinear metroidvania where you explore a deep well, encounter the strange creatures with, and discover its secrets. You take on the role of a little round potato-ish critter who was just born into the pixelliest of worlds by emerging from a flower. As you explore, you gain new abilities that can be used to access new areas, but perhaps not in the traditional ways. Blow bubbles that can be used as platforms, toss a stretchy yo-yo that can grapple around corners, and... play fetch? Solve environmental puzzles to open up new sections of the map, or occasionally clear the path forward with the help of some TNT, but try not to get eaten by any of the animals that tower above you.

A.N.N.E | PC, Mac, and Linux | Currently in Steam Early Access
Developer Gamesbymo mixes several genres in A.N.N.E, a game featuring platforming, shmuppery, metroidvania, and RPG elements. You play the part of Number 25 who must search for the pieces of his (literally) shattered girlfriend – the eponymous A.N.N.E – on a planet called Gomi. In your ship, you can fly about and explore the environment and tug along heavy physics-based objects, but you can also dock and get out of your ship Blaster Master-style for some more traditional running, gunning, and platforming. On foot, you deal damage with multi-directional fire and independent movement and aiming as you blast your way through the chunky sprite-based world. There is a large open world to explore, objects to collect, and quests to complete in order to open up new areas.

Antipole DX | PC, PS4, Xbox One | 2023
Antipole a gravity-flipping action game from Saturnine Games, was originally released in 2011, and the developer is returning with an enhanced version entitled Antipole DX. The game centers around a hero with the unlikely name of Johnny Hurricane as he uses his gravity-flipping powers to destroy robots and navigate around spikes, spinning gears, and lasers. What separates this game from the likes of Metal Storm or VVVVVV is that gravity is affected in a circle around the character, rather than flipping the entire environment or just the character. The original game was fairly short, with 20 fast-paced levels and some unlockable challenge modes, but the new game promises additional levels in the main quest and tweaks to the original levels, as well as online leaderboards. Visually, the game sports improved graphics, as well as stereoscopic 3D in the 3DS version of the game.

Apocalypse Cow | PC and Xbox One | Release Date TBD
As children, we dreamed of the possibilities that could arise from being sucked into Videoland and going on game-hopping adventures like Captain N... but hopefully with a lot less "mega mega" from the Blue Bomber. Apocalypse Cow, from Monsters, helps to answer that question when CandyWorld suddenly gets overrun by baddies. Penny is a GameWalker (Texas Ranger?) who has the power move between game worlds and rupture time itself. While in search of a missing robot, Penny contends with various video game elements such as green warp pipes and thwomp-like obstacles, while also fighting off hordes of enemies. Fortunately, she can slow down time to make platforming leaps, dodge bullets, or get in close to slice up thugs with her katanas. In the end, she must save the game worlds form an evil robotic cow.

Band Saga | PC, Mac, and Linux | Release Date TBD
Band Saga is under development by Roger Hicks, a.k.a. rekcahdam, who was also one of the developers behind Celestial Mechanica. This time, he’s teaming up with artist and animator Hillmon Ancrum to create a music-based roguelike action game. Completing levels allows the player to unlock new characters, each of which is associated with a specific instrument. The content of the FM-synth soundtrack determines the appearance of enemies and items, as well as the configuration of the levels. At the end of the level, the player can export their music creation to MIDI or WAV formats, and players may also import their own music into the game to create custom levels. Combat takes place across a series of interconnected isometric arenas where 1 or 2 offline players blast away at enemies and collect musical notes.

Berserk Boy | PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox X/S, and Switch | March 6, 2024
Berserk Boy, from BerserkBoy Games, is a fast-paced action platformer where you... go berserk. You take on the role of a boy named Kei who is transformed into a powerful hero tasked with fighting Dr. Genos, an evil mastermind who plans to use an army of minions to take over the earth. Your abilities lie in transforming between five different elemental forms: earth, fire, air, ice, and lightning, and by chaining together combos, you fill a Berserk Meter that lets you unleash powerful special attacks. You perform projectile attacks, melee strikes, and dashes while hopping between platforms and bashing baddies, and some powers allow for environmental traversal as well, such as transforming into a drill to tunnel though loose dirt. The game is inspired by classic 16-bit platformers and even has music from Tee Lopes, who previously composed for Sonic Mania.

BIOMASS: Growth | PC | Release Date TBD
BIOMASS: Growth is the latest from BRAIN0S, the developer behind Saving Princess and Space Cortex. The game originally started as a 72-hour game jam effort (our coverage), which explored the concept of your equipment degrading over time, which ran counter to most metroidvania titles where you grow increasingly stronger. This adds a sense of urgency as you fight your way through a space station that is slowly being overtaken by an ever-growing biomass. The core concept remains in place here, but the game is expanded (fleshed out if you will) into a greater adventure aboard a larger space station, with more detailed visuals and more grotesque abominations to fight. You take on the role of a clone who awakens in a lab, defenseless against the growing biomass that has already infiltrated much of the station. You must search around to find a weapon and an armored suit, fighting your way through enemies and biomass-controlled crew members as you attempt to learn what happened... and hopefully escape with your life.

Bionic Bay | PC | 2024
Bionic Bay, from Psychoflow Studio and Mureena Oy, is a physics-based platformer that centers around swapping. You take on the role of a scientist who has invented a device that allows him to teleport by swapping his position with another object in the environment. You explore a dark biomechanical world filled with strange machinery that seems to have been hard at work developing weapons and hulking humanoid beasts. You must perform platforming feats to traverse these strange environments while using the objects around you to overcome dangerous obstacles, defeat elaborate defense systems, set off traps, and fling yourself to impossible heights.

Brave Earth: Prologue | PC | Release Date TBD
Brave Earth: Prologue is under development by Michael “Kayin” O’Reilly, the guy behind the freeware hit I Wanna Be the Guy. Brave Earth is a Castlevania-esque action-RPG with a deliberate pace, gothic art style, and pickups that can be grabbed by breaking hanging lanterns. The player faces off against bats, wolves, spiders, armored knights, and various magical creatures. There are 3 playable characters, each with his or her own stats, story line and boss encounters, and each equipped with a primary weapon and a number of magic and secondary attacks available that can be picked up along the way, sometimes in hidden areas.

Brock Crocodile | PC | 2023
Brock Crocodile, from Digital Crocodile, aims to bring the flavor of 16-bit Genesis blast processing to your 64-bit computerating system. The eponymous Brock Crocodile comes armed with a whip that lets him swing around the environment, as well as a fruit gun that lets him take down enemies in order to save Crocodillian Island from a team of villains called the Fearsome Four. Brock's whip lets him swing from specified grapple points to reach new areas, activate environmental objects, and even whack enemies. The fruit gun works like a traditional pellet-chucker insofar as you can blast enemies right in the face, but presumably in a friendlier - and fruitier - way. In traditional mascot platforming fashion, players must grab coins, bop on enemies' heads, and avoid spikes as they make their way to each of the end-level bosses.

Bushiden | PC and consoles | 2023
In Bushiden, from Pixel Arc Studios, you take on the role of a martial arts master whose sister has disappeared, possibly at the hands of the evil Goah and his cybernetically enhanced army. You travel through eight themed areas taking down enemies and bosses on your way toward your ultimate enemy, all the while gaining new abilities, upgrades, and magic spells to aid you in combat and exploration. The game wears its arcade style on its sleeve with its colorful environments, detailed character designs and animations, and flashy attacks and death animations. But unlike straightforward arcade actioners, you must explore a large interconnected world and make use of a metroidvania map to track your progress, revisiting previous areas with new abilities to access alternate routes.

Carpathian Night | PC | 2023
Carpathian Night, from Tezcatek (game tweets), is a sidescrolling actioner that wears its Castlevania influences on its sleeve, but it's more classic-vania than metroidvania... closer to something along the lines of Super Castlevania IV. As with the adventures of the Belmont clan, you find yourself facing Lord Dracula himself, along with his monstrous minions as you battle your way across the Carpathian countryside and various gothic structures. You take on the role of a warrior monk named Abbot Dorin, and his vampire companion named Irina Dracul (three guesses who she's related to) who possesses the power of pyromancy. The two characters play somewhat differently, as one uses a whip and the other uses a spear (hints of Castlevania Bloodlines), and as expected, they use their melee weapons to dispatch enemies, break torches that drop hearts (for health not subweapons), and discover secrets behind breakable walls.

Castle in the Darkness 2 | PC and possibly other platforms | Release Date TBD
The original Castle in the Darkness was a retro-style action-platformer-RPG hybrid inspired by the classic Castlevania and Metroid games. Now, Matt Kapp has returned with fellow Binding of Isaac: Rebirth developer Simon Parzer under the new LABS Works label to deliver Castle in the Darkness 2. The new game starts things off by putting more H in your D with higher definition visuals, and also offers a faster pace with a protagonist that moves more quickly and has a wider array of moves at his disposal. The sword-wielding hero can slash enemies with great speed, perform dodge rolls to avoid projectiles and get behind foes, fire off powerful blasts of magic, perform lunging strikes, perform shield blocks and sidesteps, and even toss some weapons. The new game includes an inventory system, allowing players to store potions, keys, spell cards and other helpful items. The game also includes a metroidvania map for navigating individual areas and an overworld map when moving from location to location.

Creature Keeper | PC, Mac, and Linux | 2023
Creature Keeper, from Fervir, is a colorful action-RPG set in a land where a sickness is spreading, causing creatures to go mad and begin attacking each other and the nearby townsfolk. As in many classic action-RPG's, you take on the role of an adventurer who finds himself pulled into a grand quest. As it turns out, the legends of a lone hero saving the world are true, and you gain the ability to communicate with wild creatures, eventually raising them and having them join you in combat. You can increase their skills through training, crafting, and cooking food from your garden (that occupies a limited space inside your pocket), and you gain new abilities and stat boosts by studying the creatures you encounter. There's a heavy focus on the action side of things, as you dive into fast-paced combat, slashing enemies with various melee weapons, shooting them with your bow and arrows, whacking them with your boomerang, or bashing them with your shield.

Dark Flame | PC | Release Date TBD
Dark Flame, from Warren Smith, is a metroidvania heavily inspired by the 2D entries in the Castlevania series, featuring a sprawling maze-like world, fast combat, and RPG-style upgrades. Choice plays an important role here, as players can modify their weapons, manually level up individual stats, and decide whether they want to play the role of the good guy or give in to the power of the dark side. Players who fully explore the environment can uncover hidden weapons and unlock new powers.

Dawnthorn | PC, Mac, Linux, and possibly consoles | Release Date TBD
Dawnthorn, from Aloft Studio, is an 8-bit-style action adventure inspired by the likes of The Legend of Zelda, Link's Awakening, and the Startropics games, and it's a standalone prequel to Aloft's other Zelda-style game: Hazelnut Bastille. The game is built in the same engine but using the NES style to simulate the way the story would have been presented if it had arrived on the prior console generation, but the games are joined by some of the same enemies and items. You explore themed areas across the overworld and enter challenging dungeons, using magical abilities to aid in your traversal and to contend with enemies in creative fashion. At your disposal are a sword and shield, along with a variety of projectile weapons to help you deal with baddies and bosses along the way.

Dead Pixels II: Straight to Video | PC, Mac, and Linux | Release Date TBD
CSR Studios returns with a sequel to Dead Pixels called Dead Pixels II: Straight to Video. As in the first game, this is a sidescrolling shooter that pits the player against hordes of zombies. In addition, there are some River City Ransom-style shops that allow players to upgrade their stats and stock up on shooty bits for their limited-ammo arsenal. The game also allows up to 4 players to blast through the procedurally generated city in online of offline co-op. The game takes place in 1991, following a worldwide disaster that caused the dead to return to life, and it features a VHS-style filter and 80’s rock soundtrack.

Death Trash | PC, Mac, Linux, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox X/S | Currently in Steam Early Access, Epic Games Store Early Access, and Itch Early Access
Death Trash, from Crafting Legends (game site), is an action-RPG set in a post-apocalyptic world that mixes sci-fi and grotesque horror to create disturbing scenes accompanied by dark humor. Various factions are struggling for power and fighting for resources, and something about the "Evergrowing Heart pounds for the Flesh Hive"... yeah, no idea what that means, but it should give you some idea of what you're in for. Gameplay focuses on blasty-shooty combat enhanced by item crafting and psionic powers, with a focus on dialogue - with options that provide some pretty nontraditional choices - and the ability to kill any NPC. The game supports 2P local drop-in/out co-op if you and a friend want to get weirdly uncomfortable together.

Demons Ate My Neighbors | PC and Switch | Q3 2023
Were you one of those kids who turned out the lights and went in for 2P zombie-slaying action in the charming cartoony world of Zombies Ate My Neighbors? Well if so, we've got some good news for you. Developer Tuned-Out Games is resurrecting the spirit of LucasArts' classic with Demons Ate My Neighbors (DAMN), a game that captures the original's visual style, music, and humor. The game takes place in 1991 in the suburbs of Fairweather Valley, which finds itself thrown into turmoil by a cursed VHS tape that unleashes zombies demons into the neighborhood. You take on the role of Amy and Joey - or both in local 2P co-op - as they exorcise demons using holy water pistols, hunt for secrets, and hop over walls using trampolines. Players are able to upgrade their projectiles, swap nozzles for different spray effects, and overpump for heavy damage. Environments are procedurally generated, but there are lots of destructible objects as well as permanent upgrades gained from defeating bosses.

Dragon Blazers | PC | April 5, 2025
Dragon Blazers, from Sylph embraces the over-the-top antics of the 16-bit arcade era by delivering a colorful beat 'em up with Toriyama-inspired visuals. A team of martial artists battles against an army of cyberninjas - and cyberbats and cybertigers, because that's the kind of stuff we got up to in the 90's - using punches, kicks, and special dragon powers as they fight to save the world. Players can go it alone or team up for local 2P co-op, with three playable characters available from the start, and three more unlockable. Players beat down basic enemies, bigger minibosses, and hulking end bosses through 20+ levels, and along the way, they can stop into shops to purchase new items and weapons. There's a bit of platforming as well, and a fair amount of humor with some silly enemies and animations.

Earthblade | PC | 2024
Earthblade is the latest from Extremely OK Games, the studio behind TowerFall and a little precision platformer you may have heard of called Celeste. So what do you do after creating one of the decade's most lauded indie gems? You go on to create an open world actioner set on Earth. But Earth has changed a bit from what you may remember from... well, earlier today. The planet has fallen to ruin and is now filled with poisoned water and rampaging beasts. You take on the role of Névoa, a child of Fate who explores the planet - and combats its monsters - in hopes of learning what happened to the world she once called home. Perform platforming feats, explore vast environments, slash enemies with your trusty blade, and speak with Earth's remaining inhabitants to reveal the planet's hidden past.

Eitr | PS4, PC, and eventually Mac and Linux | Release Date TBD
Eitr, under development by Eneme Entertainment, is an isometric action-RPG offering detailed sprite work and animations. The player takes on the role of the Shield Maiden of Norse mythology as she travels the nine worlds that are linked together by Yggdrasil, the great tree that connects them all. It seems that Loki has poisoned Yggdrasil with the Eitr, a dark substance that has spread through the tree and corrupted the nine realms. The maiden must make use of swords, bows and arrows, and shields to fight her way through monstrous creatures, including the loping undead, giant warriors, evil sorcerers, and great godlike beings. Combat is fast and technical, requiring players to dodge, dash, and block, and time their strikes to align with openings in her enemies' defenses.

Elementallis | PC, Mac, Linux, Switch, PS4, PS5, and Xbox | Release Date TBD
Elementallis, from Iván Ruiz Lozano, is an element-based action adventure with a top-down view, giving it strong Link to the Past vibes. You take on the role of an adventurer who has unfortunately doomed the world by causing the elements to go wild, and so you must venture across the land, solve puzzles, fight enemies, and restore the elements by completing eight dungeons. As you gain elemental abilities, new combat techniques open to you, along with new ways to explore the environment. For instance, fire can be used to clear out vegetation and burn enemies, nature allows you to grow vines to climb to new areas, and wind allows you to dash away from enemy attacks and cross gaps. You can even combine elements, such as getting your enemies wet and then electrocuting them. Of course, you can also fight enemies with your sword and shield, and smash some pots in true Zelda-like fashion.

Elsys | PC | Release Date TBD
Developer Fervir presents Elysis (formerly SpookyQuest), an action adventure inspired by the Game Boy iterations of The Legend of Zelda series, offering top-down action, swordplay, and dungeon crawling. Players slash away at monsters – and the occasional shrubbery – in the overworld, defeating enemies, discovering secrets, and gathering money to be spent in shops. While the overworld is a bit unfriendly, the bulk of the action takes place in the dungeons, which are filled with bats and undead creatures that hope to suck down your health bar. In addition to health, you also have a stamina meter that drains as you use your sword and secondary items (like a boomerang that can stun enemies and activate switches), but it refills on its own over time. The game isn’t just a Zelda clone however; it offers some changes to the old series, like scrolling environments and 8-way movement and attacks. Progress is made by solving puzzles, discovering new sub-weapons, and defeating large boss creatures.

Emuurom | PC, Mac, and Linux | Release Date TBD
Emuurom, from Borbware, is a nonviolent metroidvania with a focus on scanning the eponymous Emuurom... which is not a website for downloading illicit retro games. Emuurom are living flora and fauna, and their lives are being threatened due to an incoming comet called The Red Interloper. You take on the role of a red-haired "retrobiologist" named Maire as she explores a large interconnected world and uncovers its mysteries. Unlike many actioners, your goal is not to kill the various creatures and gain more power, but rather to use your scanner to understand them and their part in the ecosystem. This allows you to learn their abilities, use their abilities to make your way through the world, and discover hidden areas.

Fabular: Once Upon a Spacetime | PC | Currently in Steam Early Access
Developer Spiritus Games (game site) brings together a team of developers whose previous credits include The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing and the Codename: Panzers series. Their first release under the new studio label is entitled Fabular: Once Upon a Spacetime, which mixes science fiction and fantasy in a top-down action-RPG featuring space combat fought with medieval weaponry, including swords and axes. The Sun has been stolen by the League of Black Knights, plunging the world into darkness, and so the King's youngest son must travel through the seven realms to defeat the knights and restore peace. As the player travels across a number of procedurally generated star systems, he encounters legendary objects of folklore, such as the Seven-League Boots and the Goose That Laid the Golden Eggs, and also unlocks new playable ships, upgrades, and skills.

Faeland | PC, Mac, and Linux | Currently in Steam Early Access
Talegames presents Faeland, an action-RPG set in a medieval fantasy world. The game stars Sam, a blonde-haired boy wearing a green tunic who is able to wield a short sword, a shield, and a bow and arrows (remind you of anyone?). Sam is able to hunt for food in the wildlands, fight enemy creatures in dungeons, complete platforming challenges, learn new abilities to reach previously inaccessible areas, solve puzzles, and take on gigantic bosses. The game world is open, so you are free to travel from place to place, speak with NPC's to discover new information, and purchase new weapons, equipment, and health restoratives.

Fallen Leaf | PC and Mac | 2023
Fallen Leaf, from Delta Shore Games (game tweets), is a Mega Man-style action platformer set in a colorful world. You take on the role of Leaf, a treasure hunter who recently discovered a pair of magical gauntlets, which he must use to defeat the vile oppressor that he accidentally awakened. The game also features two other playable characters in the form of the pink-haired Petal and the helmet-wearing Thorn. Grabbing more powerful gauntlets allows you to unleash stronger projectile attacks, and there are loads of different subweapons with different firing types... plus loads of areas to blast your way through, with more than 70 levels on offer. The whole experience is done up in a classic 8-bit style with bright colors, charming enemy designs, and an upbeat chiptune soundtrack.

Fallen Tear: The Ascension | PC | Release Date TBD
Fallen Tear: The Ascension, from Winter Crew (game tweets), is an action adventure set in the magical but troubled land of Raoah. You take on the role if Hira, a boy looking to uncover the mysteries of his past in a journey that pits him against monsters, villains, and eventually the world's corrupt gods. As you grow your bonds with newfound friends and make decisions about your path forward, you gain new abilities that help you further explore the interconnected world and learn how to restore peace and balance. You can also expand your combat abilities to make yourself a more effective fighter... and take advantage of the beast within. The game features lovely hand-drawn animations and backgrounds across numerous environments.

Gedda Cake | PC and Mac | Release Date TBD
For anyone who has ever complained that there aren't enough dragons or cakes in video games, Flannel Bear Games has cooked up Gedda Cake, a game about... *checks notes*... dragons and cake! In a universe that literally runs on sugar, you take on the role of a chubby dragon named Gedda who must reunite with his siblings to restore balance to all of creation... but first, snacks! In all, there are six dragons, each with their own elemental affinity - fire, water, earth, ice, light, and dark - and all of them eventually become playable characters. In this adventure-platformer, you can swap between dragons on the fly, perform combo-based elemental attacks, swim underwater, spit fire, smash into the ground, and more, as you explore the lands of Sugria, fight enemies, take down bosses, and solve environmental puzzles.

Gestalt: Steam & Cinder | PC, PS4, Switch, and Xbox One | May 21, 2024
Gestalt: Steam & Cinder, from Metamorphosis Games, is a steampunk action-adventure starring Aletheia. She is one of many adventurers who are exploring the dark secrets of Canaan, a steam-powered city that is home to the last remnants of humanity. You battle your way through robotic contraptions, strange creatures, and huge bosses as you attempt to subvert the schemes of the city's overlords, with humanity's fate hanging in the balance. Aletheia navigates the environment and tackles enemies using double jumps, dodge rolls, and dive kicks, as she slashes through foes with melee strikes and sometimes makes use of a revolver to strike from a distance. The game offers story-driven gameplay, an upgrade system to improve your stats, and a colorful world filled with detailed sprite art and animations.

GigaSword | PC and Switch | Release Date TBD
GigaSword, from Studio Hybrid, is a metroidvania that mixes action and puzzle solving. You take on the role of Ezra, a regular-sized guy with a gigantic-sized sword, one of many that were forged to be wielded by a race of 8 foot tall humanoid owls who act as guardians of the God Crystal. Things haven't been going well for humanity, and they blame the owl people for their fate, eventually concocting a plan to ascend the great tower and claim the God Crystal for themselves. Now that you have a huge sword, you must learn how to use its weight and power to navigate the world... but you must often leave it behind as you fling yourself into the air, move through tight spaces, and swim underwater, thereby leaving yourself defenseless. You'll need to complete environmental puzzles to get the sword back into your hands so you can continue onward. In addition to triggering puzzle elements, you also use it to slash enemies, and you eventually gain new powers that improve your combat and navigation abilities.

Guardians of the Rose | PC, Mac, Linux, Xbox One, and PS4 | Release Date TBD
Guardians of the Rose, from Pixel x Pixel Games, is an open world action adventure in a fantasy world filled with monsters and magic. Unfortunately, the kingdom has become corrupted by dark magic, leading to the murder of the royal family by a contingent of the royal guard. As a member of the royal guard yourself, you work to save the kingdom, but you have no magical powers of your own. However, in your quest to overthrow the false rulers, you can choose to learn this dark magic yourself, or seek out special items that will allow you to combat your enemies, leading to alternate endings based on your actions. The player chooses how he will engage his foes, whether with direct assault, stealth, or through the evil of magic, and he may recruit NPC's to aid him in his quest, depending on his alignment. The player's actions determine the types of items available to him, which quests he can take, and how others react to him.

Hades II | PC and consoles | Early Access in 2023
Hades II is roguelike actioner and a follow-up to Hades, the breakout indie hit from Supergiant Games, the studio who also developed indie darlings Bastion and Transistor. The first game featured prince Zagreus, the defiant son of Hades, as he attempted to escape the underworld. This time around, you take on the role of Melinoë, Princess of the Underworld and sister to Zagreus, as she goes up against Chronos, the Titan of Time and father to Lord Hades. You'll once again be dungeon crawling your way through dark environments as you battle the denizens of the deep and interact with many legendary figures from Greek mythology. Melinoë is skilled in the art of witchcraft, which she uses to strike down her enemies, enhance her melee strikes, and tame familiars to stand at her side. Explore new areas, gain the support of the gods, and maybe... stop time itself.

HALT | PC and Mac | Release Date TBD
HALT, from Vaaasm, is a wacky run-and-gun actioner starring a group of law enforcement officers managed by a private company. You take on the roles of officers Chris Tracy and Turner Chase who are investigating the members of a criminal organization known as "The Human". The duo blast their way through an eclectic array of baddies in the form of skeleton robots, turtles, mutant bees, and even a flying squid submarine. Players have access to a variety of weapons and ammo, and dozens of upgrades, allowing them to modify their weapons for heavy fire, bouncing bullets, freeze bullets, explosives, and biological weapons... or just drop a couple of turrets into the level and spray everything with a barrage of hot lead.

Hazelnut Bastille | PC, Mac, and Linux | Release Date TBD
Hazelnut Bastille, from Aloft Studio is a veritable love letter to The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, featuring isometric top-down action through interconnected dungeon rooms, with sword-based combat, a (cross)bow and arrows, bombs, and loads of potions and other items to aid you in your quest. Players must solve environmental puzzles, slash enemies, hunt for keys, and make thier way to the boss room. The world is full of life and color, with charming sprite designs for the pink-haired protagonist, the enemies, and the screen-filling bosses. Players take on the role of the heroine as she gets swept up in a grand adventure and seeks answers to the history of her world.

Heart Forth, Alicia | PC, Mac, and Linux | Release Date TBD
Alonso Martin presents Heart Forth, Alicia, a metroidvania action-RPG that centers on a young wizard named Alicia who grew up in a cursed land floating in the sky. In this land, no children have been born in many years, except for Alicia and her best friend Hostra. Bad things happen, and Hostra gets turned evil by a spirit, tossing Alicia off the edge of the island and raining destruction down on their village, and causing old people to explode into bloody puddles of goo (not a joke). Alicia awakens in the world beneath the clouds, adventuring through the land and building her power so that she may return to her home in the sky. The game features melee-based combat supplemented by magic, and Alicia slowly gains abilities that allow her to reach new areas of the world.

Hippoxxus | PC | Release Date TBD
Hippoxxus, from Rohan Patel, is a metroidvania starring an amnesiac teen who awakens aboard a gigantic spaceship. You explore a large interconnected world separated into themed biomes, avoiding traps, killing creatures, and blasting bosses along the way. There are nine weapons to be found on your journey, including a plasma blaster, a less accurate rapid fire repeater, and gun that shoots bouncing projectiles, and you're able to shoot in eight directions and lock your aim. The game features blobby, slithery, and spikey enemies - including the metroidvania staple wall-crawling Zoomer-like foes - all of which feature smooth hand-drawn animations. Oh, and there's a grappling hook for a dose of high-flying shenanigans.

Hollow Knight: Silksong | PC, Mac, Linux, Switch, PS4, and PS5 | 2023
Are you one of the folks who spent some quality time in the insectoid world of Hollow Knight? If you're a fan of dark metroidvanias and somehow missed out on this one, stop reading and give it a play, because it's downright engrossing, and the developers, Team Cherry, released loads of free content updates over the last couple of years... and now, they've returned with a sequel. Hollow Knight: Silksong stars a character named Hornet, who was formerly an adversary, but now she has her own standalone adventure where she clambers upward from the depths of Hallownest to explore new and colorful environments, and make some new friends. The game features fast-paced combat with aerial tactics against more than 150 new enemy types and a bunch of new boss creatures. The game features the same lovely art style as before, along with musical compositions by Christopher Larkin.

Hunt the Night | PC, Mac, Linux, PS4, and Switch | Release Date TBD
Hunt the Night, from Moonlight Games, is an action-adventure set in a dark and ravaged world. You are a member of an order called The Stalkers, and you traverse the world, battle monsters, and clear trap- and puzzle-filled dungeons. Boss encounters require a strategic approach, with multi-phase battles that require the player to learn attack patterns and weak points in order to overcome them. You are able to attack with a sword, cast spells, fire numerous projectile types, and dodge incoming attacks, and you have tools at your disposal for environmental traversal, such as a hookshot-like device that lets you cross gaps, and the ability to pass through certain objects using dark energy. You can alter your weapons and armor as the situation demands and upgrade them to take advantage of their enhancements, including explosive impact and life draining effects. The game is styled after 16-bit console games and features music from Hiroki Kikuta, composer for numerous classic games, including Secret of Mana.

Iron Meat | PC | Release Date TBD
Hey, you got your iron in my meat! Hey, you got your meat in my iron! That's likely what you'll be yelling when you play Iron Meat from Razz, a game that features two great tastes (iron and meat) that taste great together to deliver Contra-style shooting action against baddies and bots. The game features run and gun action, 8-way fire, a somersaulting soldier, and a variety of weapon pickups and powerups to help you shred everything that enters your line of sight. Weapons include machine guns, lasers, and heavy explosives, which you'll need to take down popcorn enemies, mechanical minibosses, and over-the-top level bosses across eight themed areas.

Jay and Silent Bob: Chronic Blunt Punch | PC, PS4, and Xbox One | Release Date TBD
Jay and Silent Bob: Chronic Blunt Punch is the latest effort from Interabang Entertainment, the developers behind Super Comboman, a beat 'em up that was, uh... not very good. If you aren't already familiar with the works of Kevin Smith and the View Askewniverse, then you're likely not going to understand the appeal of a Jay and Silent Bob video game. The game stars Bob, a generally silent overweight fellow in a black overcoat, along with his foul-mouthed stoner friend Jay in a beat 'em up with loads of references to their film and television outings, along with numerous comic book references. The drug dealing duo suddenly find that they have no customers and head over to the new gigantic mega mall (hints of Leonardo Leonardo?) to put a stop to it. Players can tag team between characters (natch) or double team in co-op and use insults to take on bosses.

Kingdom Shell | PC | Release Date TBD
Kingdom Shell, from Cup of Pixels, is a metroidvania done up in a stark 16-bit style. The Kingdom was once protected by a shell, but it has been broken, allowing corrupting forces and dark creatures to spill forth and attack the citizenry, even overrunning The Brotherhood that was sworn to protect it. Desperate, they reach out to Elias, a half man / half demon criminal who might just have the power to save them all. Elias travels through the Kingdom, assists its inhabitants, and fights back grotesque monsters and demon bosses with melee and projectile weapons.

Kitsune Tails | PC, Linux, PS4, and PS5 | 2023
Kitsune Tails is the result of a collaboration between Kitsune Games (Super Bernie World) and MidBoss LLC (2064: Read Only Memories). This is a game about Japanese mythology, a love of Super Mario Bros. 3, and diverse gender relationships. You take on the role of a fox-eared, purple-haired, puffy-tailed kitsune girl who sets out on an adventure through a colorful world. Along your journey, you'll hop across platforms, bop enemies on the head, and make use of costumes that change your abilities... including a shark, a dragon, a ninja, and even an outfit that looks very much like Kuribo's shoe. You'll explore five themed worlds and numerous haunted houses, facing off against enemies and bosses, and picking up objects and enemies to overcome environmental challenges.

Kloa - Child of the Forest | PC, Switch, PS5, and Xbox Series X | Release Date TBD
Kloa - Child of the Forest, from Wildpad Games, is an action adventure set in a beautiful, but dying, world. You take on the role of Kloa as she sets out to stop the mysterious Ikari Curse (no relation) that is killing the forest she calls home. Unfortunately, this curse has also transformed the critters of the forest into monstrous beasts that attack Kloa at every turn... but there are still some friendly animals that help her on her journey. Kloa uses her katana to fight enemies, a soul bow to strike from afar, and defensive techniques to protect herself from strikes and deflect projectiles, and she gains new attacks and equipment throughout her adventure. She also has a dash maneuver that allows her to avoid enemy attacks, dodge out of the way of environmental obstacles, and cross gaps. Kloa must explore multiple biomes, fight tough enemies and bosses, solve environmental puzzles, and restore balance to the land.

KOTOMASHO: I Can't Believe This NEET Guy Turned Into a Magical Girl! | PC | Release Date TBD
WalGallen presents KOTOMASHO: I Can't Believe This NEET Guy Turned Into a Magical Girl!... or just KOTOMASHO if you don't have enhanced lung capacity. The game stars a slacker guy named Genji who - as you might expect from the title - gets transformed into a magical girl. Gone are the days of lounging around in his apartment playing VR games, as he takes on the persona of Miyu and embarks on a quest to rescue her sisters and save the world from nightmares. Miyu is joined by her new feline companion named Yumeko as she explores the overworld, overcomes handcrafted and procedurally-generated dungeons, solves puzzles, fights enemies, and gains new magical abilities. This is a GBC-style anime-influenced action adventure along the lines of The Legend Of Zelda Link's Awakening, but with a full-on RPG levelling system in lieu of hunting for heart pieces.

Last Moon | PC, Mac, Linux, Switch, PS4, and Xbox | Release Date TBD
Last Moon is an isometric action-adventure from Sköll Studio, the developer behind Koloro. You take on the role of a Lunar Knight who must defeat an evil sorcerer who has cursed the moon and unleashed dark creatures across the land. Now a blood red moon hangs cracked and crumbling in the sky, and you must find a way to save it, along with the people in the kingdom below. The game features environmental puzzle solving and hack-and-slash combat as you cut your way through corrupted beasts, forge new weapons, level up your abilities, and equip ancient runes. You face dozens of enemy types across daytime and nighttime, with secrets to be found at different times of day... but also more dangers lurking in the night.

LAZR - A Clothformer | PC, Mac, Linux, Swtich, PS4, Vita, and Xbox One | Release Date TBD
Have you talked to your kids about clothforming? What started out as a cool-looking tech demo from Garrick Campsey has become a for-real video game called LAZR - A Clothformer. The game takes place in Alpha City in the year 2666 and stars Lazr, an artificial intelligence who transfers herself into a nuclear-powered robot body that allows her to climb through various destructible mesh environments and also shoot lasers out of her eyes. Since her body is basically just a shell, it's fully moddable, allowing players to activate auto-fire, reduce the shell's weight to make it more acrobatic, or make it impervious to explosions. The world is run by megacorporations, and players may make decisions about which missions to take on, leading to multiple endings. What sets the game apart are its overblown neon visuals and a focus on ascending through environments by way of malleable rope ladders, mesh nets, and other cloth-like substances, which may be sliced and burned by flying lasers and explosives, resulting in a high overall difficulty level. Skilled players may stay aloft by jumping, air-dashing, and frying enemies before they can return the favor.

Log Jammers | PC, Mac, Linux, PS4, and Xbox One | Currently in Steam Early Access
Log Jammers, from Mega Cat Studios, is a modern retro take on the alternative sports game Windjammers, which came to arcades and the Neo Geo in the mid-90's... and as such, was filled with musclebound beach people bursting with 90's 'tude. Log Jammers (no relation to the Lebowski-verse's Logjammin') eschews the 'tude in favor of wacky over-the-top character designs, featuring an equal mix of human and nonhuman characters in a world filled with logging and political corruption. Instead of running around an arena, opponents are logrollers, running and spinning their logs along the water (or lava, or mayonnaise) as they toss hatchets back and forth at one another. Players can toss the hatchet in a straight line or bounce it off the edges of the arena, and the goal has a 2-point center and 5-point edges, offering additional strategy and keeping the pace up, as either player can make a comeback in 11-point matches. Check our coverage here.

Lucid | PC and consoles | 2024
Lucid, from The Matte Black Studio, is a neon-infused action adventure that offers an open world to explore and puzzlish dungeons to overcome. You take on the role of Oenn, one of the last remaining sentinels that stands guard over a world that was nearly destroyed by the Lucid Giant in an event now known as the Great Fall. You must explore the dark depths of the world, ascend to its greatest heights, and traverse the many ruins as you speak with NPC's, discover secrets, and fight your way through enemies and bosses. Combat and maneuverability go hand-in-hand as you string together midair slashes and dashes to reach new heights and close ground on enemies to deliver devastating combos, with new movement and combat options unlocked as you make progress.

Magenta Horizon | PC | Currently in Steam Early Access
Magenta Horizon, from solo dev Maddison Baek under the Hellfire Railway Interactive label, is a sidescrolling actioner with combo-based melee combat. You take on the role of Gretel, an exiled reaper who has spent the last two centuries locked in a sort of purgatory. But one day, she is freed by a man named Archibald, and she decides to help Archibald travel to the sanctuary where she once spent her afterlife... but she'll have the hordes of the underworld to deal with along the way. Gretel has an array of melee abilities available to her from the start, allowing her to chain together combos, juggle enemies, and bounce from one enemy to the next, with health rewards keeping her going to continue the fight. Ranged weapons are unlockable along the way, allowing for some added strategy amidst the fast-paced hacking and slashing. And the whole adventure is set in an insane-looking world filled with strange and grotesque creatures, and huge bosses.

Maiden Cops | PC and Mac | Q4 2023
If you like beat 'em ups and you giggle when you hear the word "boobies", then you'll definitely want to check out Maiden Cops, from Pippin Games. The game features three police officers on a mission to overthrow a group known as "The Liberators" who are wreaking havoc on the streets of Maiden City. The women not only wear police uniforms but also animal costumes that represent their fighting abilities. For example, Priscila Salamander has a salamander tail that she uses to slam enemies, and her partners are the spry Nina Usagi who wears a rabbit outfit, and the tough Meiga Holstaur who wears a minotaur outfit. Of course, part of the appeal of the game is its provocative character art and animations, and it features unlockable artwork and costumes for your waifu of choice. The game features fast-paced combo-based fighting, and you can go it alone or team up with a fellow maiden for 2P simultaneous asskickery.

Master Key | PC | Release Date TBD
While technology marches forward and triple-A game developers give life to the most realistic visuals ever conceived, games with simple 1-bit graphics are on the rise among indie developers, with recent examples including Minit and Gato Roboto, which stand as veritable as testaments to the gameplay-over-graphics ideology of retro game fans. Master Key, from Achromi joins this exclusive club with a Zelda-like adventure set in an open world and offering item-based progression. After discovering a rusty key in a cave, you set out to explore a mysterious world filled with secrets and puzzles. Slash your way through enemies and hedges, discover hidden treasures, purchase useful items from shops, and even take part in some hookshot action.

Meawja | PC, Mac, and Linux | Release Date TBD
Everyone knows that ninjas have catlike reflexes... and this is especially true for ninja cats! Meawja, from Galope Team (game site), is a ninja game starring a black cat who uses a sword and shuriken to slice his way through bats, slimes, and a variety of prehistoric foes, plus some hulking boss and miniboss creatures. The game features five themed environments filled with traps and pitfalls, presented in an 8-bit style, complete with Ninja Gaiden-style cutscenes.

Mina the Hollower | PC and consoles | December 2023
Yacht Club Games, the studio behind the much-lauded Shovel Knight, returns with Mina the Hollower, a top-down actioner presented in the aesthetic style of the Game Boy Color... but with a widescreen presentation and 60fps gameplay. You take on the role of Mina, inventor of a device called the Spark Generator, which has ushered in a golden age for the people of Tenebrous Isle (electricity probably is a big deal to people living on an island literally named after darkness). Mina journeys to the island to investigate what has been happening to the spark generators, and she brings along her trusty whip - called Nightstar - in case she needs to go all Belmont on some creatures of the night. She also gains access to several throwable subweapons, and she can level up to increase her skillset. In addition to her skills as an inventor and whip-wielder, Mina is also a Hollower, which means that she can burrow underground to move more quickly, allowing her to discover treasures and gain the upper hand in combat.

Momodora: Moonlit Farewell | PC | January 11, 2024
Momodora: Moonlit Farewell, from Bombservice, is the latest in a long running series that got its start more than a decade ago, consisting of Momodora 1-3 and a prequel entitled Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight. The studio took a break from this series of dark female-led metroidvanias and actioners to make Minoria, a dark female-led metroidvania actioner... so hey they're stickin' with what works! For those who haven't played a boatload of Momodora games (like us), the series stars two main protagonists: Momo and Dora. Dora, high priestess of Koho village, takes the lead role once again to save her village from an evil bellringer who has called forth an army of demons. The game is set five years after the events of Momodora III, and while it is built upon those foundations, it's intended to be enjoyed by veterans and newcomers alike. This metroidvania features fast combat with melee combos, a snappy dash maneuver, and projectile-based combat with a bow and arrows. As the series has grown and improved, so too has the quality of the art and animations, with this latest outing offering stunning character designs, foreboding environments, nasty-looking monsters, and menacing bosses.

Moonshell Island | PC | Release Date TBD
Moonshell Island, from Cheekynauts Entertainment, is a throwback to the colorful isometric action-adventure games of yore, drawing its gameplay inspirations from The Legend of Zelda series. Moonshell Island has come under attack from creatures called nomsters, and you must not only fight back this onslaught of critters, but also save the people by recruiting them into Crabby's Cabana Club, the island's safe haven. As club membership grows, you'll need to upgrade it using resources from the island, and the more people you rescue, the more services there are to assist you in your quest. Along the way, you'll solve puzzles, take on side quests, learn more about the mysterious island, and even defeat giant killer tomatoes with your trusty whisk.

Necrofugitive | PC | Release Date TBD
In Necrofugitive, from Black Garden Studios, you take on the role of a shapeshifting villain who has just escaped from prison. Now, you're on the run as guards and bounty hunters relentlessly chase you from the dungeons, through the castle, across the rooftops of the neighboring village, and out into the countryside. In your default form, you use a set of large claws to slash away at your pursuers who wield swords, halberds, crossbows, and bows and arrows, and you can also draw enemies toward you with a whip. But your most powerful weapon is your ability to change forms, and when you transform into the gigantic Slaughter Demon (um, hell yes), you can slash your way through dozens of enemies with ease, and even summon a small army of demons to assist you in your fight... oh, and the Slaughter Demon can breathe fire in case you were wondering.

Neon Fusion | PC | Currently in Steam Early Access
Neon Fusion, from Rodrigo Oak (game tweets), is an action-platformer set in a neon world. You take on the role of a robot named Ambar who is responding to a distress signal on what was assumed to be an abandoned space station. Upon arrival, however, Ambar finds the station filled with shambling crew members, aggressive enemies, environmental hazards, and active security systems, along with some menacing bosses. You travel through a large interconnected environment while rescuing survivors and gaining new abilities and weapons along the way, such as an air dash that lets you cross large gaps, a 3-way shot, and an ice projectile that allows you to freeze enemies... but projectiles and dash maneuvers draw from a recharging energy meter.

Operation ECHO | PC | Release Date TBD
Operation ECHO, from Green Legacy, is set in 21XX and stars an action hero named M16... well, he wasn't always an action hero. M16 got his start as a butler-bot, but then there was a Mutant Armageddon that put everyone's lives in danger, and his creator, Dr. Miller, gave him some heavy armaments and ordered him to hop into action. Armed with a plasma cannon and an array of other weapon types, including machine guns, shotguns, and rocket launchers, M16 runs through colorful levels blasting goo-spitting slugs, grotesque insectoid creatures, and other monstrosities until they explode... eventually facing off against giant disgusting boss monsters that require equal treatment.

Outrider Mako | PC | Release Date TBD
Outrider Mako (a.k.a. Outrider Mako ~露払いマコの見習い帖~), from Asamado Games (game tweets), is a top-down actioner set in a cute and colorful and world. You take on the role of Mako, and she has made a deal with a strange entity called Bumon, who operates Bumon Delivery Corporation. In exchange for making deliveries and carrying out other tasks around Mayoi, the world of the gods, she will be allowed to return to her own world. As items are requested by clients around Mayoi, Mako must venture out, gather them up, bring the materials over to a workbench, package them up, and ultimately deliver them... while also contending with enemies along the way. Mako can defend herself with melee slashes, hop on top of enemies and spray them with purple goo to stun them, or go rolling through town on a pagoda/tank, blasting everyone in her path during on-rails shooting segments.

Paradise Lost: First Contact | PC, Mac, and Linux | Release Date TBD
In Paradise Lost: First Contact from Asthree Works, the player controls a form of alien plant life that is not only highly intelligent, but also highly mobile. The plant arrived on Earth by way of an asteroid and awakes to find itself being studied in a laboratory. As the plant, you use your tentacles to move about the underground research facility, searching for a way out via nonlinear exploration, with new areas opening up metroidvania-style as objects are acquired. Generally, you need to avoid direct confrontation with the machine gun wielding guards, so you will instead sneak about, set up distractions, and even spawn small tentacle plants that you control with your mind. However, there are also times when direct action is needed, such as the game’s boss encounters.

Platinum Kill | PC, PS4, and Xbox One | Release Date TBD
Fun Infused Games, creators of lo-fi indie actioners Nasty, Hypership Out of Control, and Bad Caterpillar, have returned with Platinum Kill, a Contra-inspired run and gun for up to 5 players on PC or 4 players on console. Gamers who enjoy running through the jungle with no shirt and bright red pants will find themselves at home here, with loads of 1-hit enemies, multi-hit brutes, and destructible objects that dispense powerups like popcorn... if popcorn shot bullets. Use machine guns, spread guns, and big bullets to take down baddies and end-level bosses.

Radio the Universe | PC | Release Date TBD
Radio the Universe, from developer 6e6e6e, is an isometric action adventure offering a large open environment with interconnected areas, secrets, and shortcuts. In this melancholy industrial world, the player must contend with deadly traps and combat mechanized monstrosities, but he can get a leg up on enemies by upgrading his weapons and abilities. Mobile players can dash, dodge, and jump to avoid enemy projectiles and traps, and use these skills to advance on enemies during lulls in their attacks, and they can absorb some damage by using a shield with the proper timing. The tone of the game is further set by hand-drawn interstitial cutscenes, and as the developer warns: "Players who die in-game die in real life."

Raider Kid and the Ruby Chest | PC, Mac, and Linux | Q2 2023
Raider Kid and the Ruby Chest (formerly Raider of the Ruby Chest), from Cacareco Games, is a Game Boy Color-esque action adventure that takes inspiration from the Indiana Jones films. You play the part of a whip-wielding adventurer - although you're a young boy rather than a professor of antiquities - who dives into booby trapped ruins to seek out great treasures... and the mysterious Ruby Chest. Along the way, you'll travel through five themed areas, solve puzzle-platforming challenges, and face off against enemies and bosses. As you explore, you'll discover new tools and abilities that allow you to reach previously inaccessible areas metroidvania-style, including a block-bashing hammer, the ability to climb certain walls, and the ability to swim.

Rawal Rumble | PC | Release Date TBD
Rawal Rumble, from Anarkade, an 80's arcade-style beat 'em for up to 4P. The game takes place in Barcelona following a civil war that was ended after someone accidentally dropped a nuke near the airport. As a result, the people allowed themselves to be repressed and subjugated. 100 years later, a new force rises up to face this corrupt government, led by a foul-mouthed badass in a muscle shirt whose girlfriend was arrested, and he promises to make them "lick [his] big golden balls"... which is all you need to kick off a brawler. The game features the usual punches and kicks from the days of old - along with optional scanlines - but adds in considerably more crass humor and blood sprays. Players make their way through ten metropolitan locales, bashing faces, grabbing discarded weapons, and beating the stuffing out of powerful bosses with extended life bars.

Raygun Gadabout | PC, Mac, and Linux | Release Date TBD
In Raygun Gadabout, from Quantum Duck Studio, you take on the role of the titular character on her mission to defeat the evildoers of the Space Gopher Empire. The game is a swashbuckling metroidvania adventure visualized in a 1950's sci-fi style reminiscent of Buck Rogers. Players hop aboard their spacecraft and set out across the galaxy in search of adventure, discovering spatial anomalies, derelict spacecraft, and friendly NPC's along the way. On foot, our pink-haired heroine uses her ray gun, plasma blade, and reflector shield to fight evil robots, take down hostile alien creatures, and do battle with menacing bosses.

Renaine | PC, Mac, Linux, and Switch | Release Date TBD
Renaine, from Octosoft, stars Aine, a Phoenix Knight who has the power to resurrect herself, who is on a mission to defeat a legendary dragon and avenge the death of her friend, Ren (Ren+Aine=Renaine). Each time she resurrects herself, the layout of the world changes and she loses her items and abilities, but some things remain unlocked for future runs. Aine travels through five themed lands of Lineria, a chunky pixellated landscape with a low color palette, and Aine herself is notably low on colors, mainly appearing in yellow with black highlights and an orange plume. While the palette may be that of classic 8-bit games, her animations are more robust, giving her a bit of charm as she slashes her way through enemies, stops to help NPC's, hops from platform to platform, and occasionally stops to quaff a potion. Aine can also purchase items in shops that grant her new abilities, such as tossing fireballs, grappling to enemies and walls, and even picking up a cute little pet chompy that follows her around and attacks enemies.

Replaced | PC, Xbox One, and Xbox X/S | 2023
Replaced, from Sad Cat Studios, is a gritty 2.5D cyberpunk action-platformer set in an alternate version of the 1980's in a place called Phoenix-City. You take on the role of an artificial intelligence called R.E.A.C.H. that has been imprisoned within a human body. Society has gone to crap after some kind of nuclear catastrophe, and now the streets are ruled by gangs and power-hungry warlords out to harvest your organs. You run, climb, explore, and fight your way through this dystopian hellscape, smashing bad guys with your fists and guns via smooth and stylish combat as you uncover the secrets of the world around you.

Roadout | PC | Release Date TBD
Roadout, from Rastrolabs Game Studio, is an action-adventure game set in a post-cyberpunk apocalypse where an artificial intelligence reigns supreme. You take on the role of Claire, a driver/gun-for-hire who works in a desert region known as the DeadZone. By taking on jobs from local gangs, Claire discovers more about the origin of the AI and her connection to it. Gameplay is split between on-foot and in-car combat action. You break into AI-controlled facilities and fight off automated defense systems, slice through enemy bandits, and tune your car for races across the stark desert landscape... and you can equip your vehicle with weapons and defensive items to blast enemies on the go.

Roland's Quest | PC and Mac | Release Date TBD
Roland's Quest (formerly Rolan's Quest), from Colony Games, is a fast-paced top-down action-adventure reminiscent of Beyond Oasis. You take on the role of the titular hero who is a blacksmith that lives in a small forest town, and he leads an insignificant life. He's resourceful and he's a skilled hunter, but he's otherwise pretty laid back and has yet to discover his true purpose. But one day, a foreign band of soldiers appears in his land and burns his town to the ground. He finds himself drawn to action, leading him on an adventure that spans the world on a path to face an evil lord and confront the world's dark history. Roland slashes his way through enemies, uses items to solve environmental puzzles, and explores multiple themed environments, joined by his mysterious friend Lulu.

Rotwood | PC | Release Date TBD
Klei Entertainment is the studio behind Shank, Mark of the Ninja, and Don't Starve (among others), and now they've returned to their clobbery roots with Rotwood, a hacky-slashy dungeon-crawly rogue-likey buttstomper. Dive in alone or bring along some friends for 4P online co-op as you pummel your way through a forest filled with dark creatures and evil vegetables (!?). The game features arena-style combat with enemies attacking from every direction, along with boss and miniboss encounters... all rendered in a charming cartoony style. Defeat enemies and grab loot to craft weapons, armor, and fortifications for your home base.

Rubi: The Wayward Mira | PC and Switch | Release Date TBD
Rubi: The Wayward Mira, from Wayward Games, is a metroidvania set in a colorful world where science and magic intermingle. The planet of Casimir was once filled with abundant mana, but the Mira people have drained this mana to power their civilization, slowly killing the planet in the process. You take on the role of Rubi, a member of the Mira people who finds herself stranded on Earth. Only by opening a portal back to her home world can she save herself and her people. Her mission involves restarting the CERN Large Hadron Collider, and her actions can lead to multiple possible endings. Rubi combats enemies with a melee weapon and a beam weapon that can be upgraded to higher power levels. She can also make use of a phase ability that allows her to extend the distance of her jumps and pass through some solid objects. A gravity weapon allows her to target an area and fling herself in that direction, expanding her ability to explore the environment. She fights her way through fantasy and technological environments as she faces off against strange creatures, security systems, transformed humans, and bosses.

Rune Fencer Illyia | PC | 2023
Rune Fencer Illyia, from Nootbox Games, is an action-platformer starring the titular redheaded heroine as she traverses a lovely yet treacherous landscape packed with enemies, and the occasional friend. She had been travelling on an airship with her sister, Lilly, but the airship crashed and her sister is missing. As the title suggests, Illyia deals with her foes through swordplay, and as a "runist", she is also able to make use of runic magic to add to her offensive repertoire. Her powers also assist her in environmental exploration, as she is able to stop time, bash through solid objects, and even run across the ceiling. The game offers an open world to explore, and secret areas to discover, along with numerous enemy types and huge bosses.

SANABI | PC | Currently in Steam Early Access
SANABI (formerly SANNABI: The Revenant), from Wonder Potion, is a grapple-platformer set in a dystopian world. You take on the role of a retired veteran who uses his prosthetic arm to do some pretty crazy stuff... like slinging himself up walls and hurling himself over buildings. Now he has been called in for one last mission: to overthrow an evil corporation, uncover the secrets behind a mysterious citywide blackout and the disappearance of its citizens, and find something called SANABI. You use your grapple line to navigate the environment, dodge out of the way of traps, and defeat enemies by quickly zipping into them. You'll also meet a hacker named Mari who can help you to identify enemy weaknesses, decrypt messages, and remotely open doors.

Saving Princess 2 | PC and Android | Release Date TBD
So here's a little-known indie gem: Saving Princess. The game never got much attention on account of the PC version only ever being released on Itch.io (also on Android), but it's a solid nonlinear action platformer that plays like a mix of Metroid and Mega Man. BRAINOS returns with Saving Princess 2, which picks up two years after the original and once again stars Portia, an asset recovery specialist. Her latest adventure finds her on Harpyiae Outpost, a research station floating around a gaseous planet, and she must escape once more with PRINCESS while outwitting the station's artificial intelligence. As before, Portia must run, jump, and blast her way through the environment, and upgrade her weapon to allow for "blast jumping" which is used to cross gaps and fight enemies, but this time she has additional weapon customizations available to her which may be equipped for different effects such as faster reload speeds or larger projectiles.

Savior | PC and Mac | Release Date TBD
Savior, from Starsoft, is a colorful metroidvania starring Sam, a woman who finds herself in the midst of a cold war between The Chosen and The Fallen, in a world divided between the medieval and the technological. She explores the island of Arcadia, fighting her way through the harsh landscape of The Fallen, slowly gaining access to new weapons and items, meeting new friends along the way, and possibly becoming the savior who can unite this long-divided world. By becoming stronger and gaining new skills, she increases her ability to explore the landscape around her. Sam is incredibly acrobatic, and she is able to move fluidly through the environment, jump off walls (and enemies!), perform deft attacks and dodges, dive into the water and swim, and even leap onto the back of a great dragon.

Sea of Stars | PC and consoles | 2023
Sabotage Studio, the developer behind The Messenger, has returned with an isometric RPG entitled Sea of Stars. Combat is turn-based but with active input on the part of the player - along the lines of Paper Mario - allowing for timed attacks, combos, and defensive abilities that can interfere with enemies as they charge their attacks. Gone are the JRPG trappings of random encounters (and grinding!), as players encounter enemies in the field while traversing the world by jumping, climbing, swimming, solving environmental puzzles, and even doing a bit of platforming. The game centers around two main characters, each with different abilities, but the player encounters dozens of other characters, interacts with their storylines, and occasionally adds new party members. Oh, and there are some really pretty sprites!

Sessions | PC | Q4 2023
3D horror games crossed over into action years ago, but 2D horror games have tended toward atmospheric narrative adventures. Sessions, from Robson Paiva, is ready to give you some monster bashing to go along with your creepy hallways... and it's set in same the dark cyberpunk world as the developer's previous game, Redo. You take on the role of a synthetic human exploring an interconnected world filled with mechanical monstrosities and mysterious organisms. You can slash mechanoids with your sword, blast them in their face-like protrusions with a variety of guns, and upgrade your weapons – and your body – to become a more efficient killer. Explore nonlinear environments, meet NPC's, and wade through the horrors of a posthuman world.

Shadow of the Ninja - Reborn | PC, Switch, PS4, PS5, and Xbox X/S | August 29, 2024
Shadow of the Ninja was a great 2P co-op ninja game developed by Natsume and released for NES in 1990. If you don't happen to have a copy lying around, you can give it a try via Nintendo Switch Online and see for yourself. Now, ININ Games and NatsumeAtari's Tengo Project are revisiting this classic with a brand new take entitled Shadow of the Ninja - Reborn... just like they did with The Ninja Saviors: Return of the Warriors and Pocky & Rocky Reshrined. The game features enhanced visuals by Dynamic Production and a soundtrack by Iku Mizutani, who also composed the original game soundtrack, along with the soundtrack for Shatterhand. As in the original game, you take on the role of either Hayate or Kaede, both from the ancient Ryuuha Shippu shinobi clan, as they infiltrate a seemingly impenetrable fortress. Using their katana, shuriken, kusarigama, and ninja magic, they battle their way through a colorful world filled with baddies and bosses before facing off against an evil emperor.

Shattered Realms | PC, and possibly other platforms | Release Date TBD
Free Lives, the developer behind Broforce and Genital Jousting, has teamed up with Kopskop Games to bring you Shattered Realms, a beat 'em up that uses 1:1 fighting game mechanics (unrelated to the fantasy novel series of the same name). Instead of just mashing the PUNCH button until the bad guys fall down, players use advanced combo systems, cancelling techniques, and recovery moves for a more technical experience. Of course, enemy characters and bosses are more intelligent as well and won't fall for your old button mashing brawler tactics. Players have separate buttons for punching, kicking, dashing, and special attacks, and they can build up an EX gauge to unleash powerful moves. Players have access to a dozen ground-based moves and another dozen midair moves, some of which can be combined with EX or super attacks for devastating results. The game supports up to 4P co-op and includes a versus mode.

The Siege and the Sandfox | PC | 2023
Developers Chucklefish (Starbound, Stardew Valley) and Cardboard Sword have teamed up to create an atmospheric stealth-based metroidvania entitled The Siege and the Sandfox (that's "Sandfox" not "Sandbox"). You take on the role of a thief who witnesses the murder of the king and finds himself accused of this crime and tossed into the dungeon. By mastering stealth and acrobatic abilities, you must evade guards, escape your prison, and expose the true villain in order to save the city.

Sondro Gomez: A Sunova Story | PC, Mac, and Linux | Q4 2023
Sondro Gomez: A Sunova Story, from Cellar Chateaux and Headcannon (developer of Sonic Mania), is an action-platformer centering around Sondro Gomez and his aspirations to become a musician in the land of Sunova. In struggling toward his big break, he has gotten in deep with a fellow known simply as Masked Man, and to get out of debt, he must find a series of wish-granting orbs that have fallen from the sky. He uses his guitar strings to create a whip-style tool that lets him attack enemies, swing from grapple points, and solve puzzles, which he uses to aid him on his quest. Along the way, he encounters items that grant him new abilities, including a feather that allows him to double jump and slow his descent, claws that allow him to wall jump, and a boot that lets him stomp the ground to defeat enemies and break blocks.

Space Outlaw Alice | PC | Release Date TBD
Space Outlaw Alice, from Hissatsu Studios, stars Alice (a space outlaw) who is on the run from the corrupt Earth government in the year 2378, so she runs, jumps, and shoots her way through a colorful array of baddies. On top of traditional action-platforming, she also gets to pilot a huge mech suit that lets her fly around and blast baddies in horizontal shmup sequences. The game is influenced by games NES/Famicom games and classic mecha anime, as evidenced by the game's straightforward mechanics, limited color palette, chiptune soundtrack, wacky character designs, and retro-style cutscenes.

Spleen | PC and eventually consoles | Release Date TBD
The spleen is a part of your body that you don't think much about, but it serves an important function... and maybe you'll live a bit longer if you have a pamplemousse for breakfast (and maybe not). Spleen, from Pamplemousse Games, has nothing to do with any of that, and stars a young man in an action-RPG who hopes to recapture the excitement of his youth. As an adult, Johann interacts with his friends and coworkers, but as a kid, he wears a long scarf and carries along an oversized anime-style sword through a colorful hand-painted watercolor world, fighting tentacle monsters and other creatures on his way to defeat Spleen, a dark force that grows from the gloom of adulthood.

Stand-Alone | PC | 2024
Stand-Alone, from Lifuel, is a roguelike actioner where anthropomorphic animals rule a technologically advanced civilization. (Technically it's STAND-ALONE from LIFUEL but who wants to wear out their CAPS LOCK key?) You take on the role of a robot named Athro (but technically it's "athro" for some reason) that has lost its memories thanks to some great explosion... but it also lost its body, so it takes over the body of a sheep instead. The primary aggressors in the game are wolves, and normally a sheep would not be the right animal to take into a wolf fight, but when you're a sheep with a huge sword, a slew of upgradeable fighting techniques, and a handful of support drones, then AI-powered mutton is exactly the right sort of warrior to bring a wooly death to your wolfy enemies. The combo-based combat is fast and flashy as you trek across the wasteland slashing the absolute hell out of every critter with pointy teeth.

SteamDolls - Order of Chaos | PC, Mac, Linux, Switch, PS4, and Xbox One | Release Date TBD
SteamDolls - Order of Chaos, from The Shady Gentlemen, is an atmospheric steampunk game starring The Whisper, a masked anarchist who hopes to shine a light on the corruption of the authoritarian government and spark the flame of revolution... if only he could stop seeing strange visions of things that may or may not be real. The Whisper has a blade attached to each wrist, which he uses to slice up baddies, along with throwing knives to hit them from a distance, but his most powerful tool comes in the form of stealth kills, allowing him to sneak up behind enemies and perform brutal and bloody 1-hit kills... stabbing enemies through the skull with his wrist-blades, or jamming a spear through their backs to leave them slumped over in a heap. The player deals with robotic drones and environmental traps as he explores an interconnected world aided by a metroidvania map. The game is part of a larger universe, which is also taking form via a concurrently-developed graphic novel, and the voice of the main character is provided by none other than David Hayter of Metal Gear Solid fame. Check our coverage here.

Toasty: Ashes of Dusk | PC, Linux, Switch, PlayStation, and Xbox | Release Date TBD
Toasty: Ashes of Dusk, from Pocket Llama, is an action adventure starring a young Marshmallow Knight named Marshall (yes, Marshall the Marshmallow) who is on a mission to save the world of Geldia from an evil wizard named Llarm (you can't spell "marshmallow" without "llarm"). Marshall awakens in a forest with no knowledge of who he is, but he's carrying a sword and shield emblazoned with the crest of Geldia. As a marshmallow, he is able to make use of his various marshmallowy attributes, such as the ability to squish down to fit in tight spaces, roll quickly along the ground, and set his fat marshmallow head on fire to light torches, solve environmental puzzles, and... run around with his head on fire like Johnny Blaze. Of course, he can also use his sword and shield - and several other items - to fight an array of colorful enemies and boss creatures to become the hero that Geldia needs.

Toxic Crusaders | PC | 2023
Toxic Crusaders, from Retroware, is a beat 'em up starring everyone's favorite 90-pound-weakling-turned-toxic-avenger as he takes to the streets of Tromaville with his trusty mop to bust some ugly heads before anyone busts his ugly head. The city is under siege from Dr. Killemoff and his mutated thugs who plan to pollute the world... more than we already are. Toxie teams up with his fellow crusaders, including No-Zone, Junkyard, Major Disaster, and Headbanger, plus his girlfriend and his mother, each with their own moveset and special attacks. You can go it alone or bring in some of our demented friends for 4P local co-op as you battle your way through Troma's colorful B-movie world and enjoy some cheesy comic-style cutscenes.

The Transylvania Adventure of Simon Quest | PC | Release Date TBD
If you enjoyed the Castlevania games on the NES... well, then you should go play some Castlevania games on the NES... but if you're looking for a lighthearted-but-tough parody of the Castlevania series, then you should play The Transylvania Adventure of Simon Quest, from Programancer. The game's protagonist is none other than Simon Quest, a play on the title Castlevania II: Simon's Quest and the hero of that game, Simon Belmont. But Simon Quest is no hero. In fact, he's a glory hound who only cares about making a name for himself. After discovering that his rival, Stan Helsing, has defeated Dracula, Simon sets out across Wallachia on a mission to collect Dracula's body parts to resurrect him for the sole purpose of destroying the legendary vampire himself. Players travel through gothic environments, whip their way through creatures of the night, take on giant bosses, swing from grapple points, and toss a variety of subweapons that are replenished by collecting hearts. But this isn't a simple rehash of the aged Castlevania formula; it's an entirely new adventure, with surprises to be found along the way, some new gameplay mechanics, an interconnected world, and much improved visuals when compared to the classic NES series.

Turbo Kid | PC | Release Date TBD
A few years back, a team of filmmakers released Turbo Kid, an 80's-style take on the post-apocalyptic future of 1997. In the film, a teenage boy with a BMX bike and a love for comics teams up with an oddly-mannered girl, and they discover the remains of a legendary hero known as Turbo Rider... along with the powerful weapon he once wielded, allowing them to rise up against Zeus, ruler of the wasteland. Oh, and for an 80's-style flick, it was surprisingly gory. Developer Outerminds Inc. offers a metroidvania sequel of the same name, and puts you in the kneepads of The Kid as you pop wasteland scumbags like 99 Bloodballoons. In addition to stealthing, platforming, slashing, and shooting, you also have your trusty bike, which allows you to dash through tight corridors, jump over pits of radioactive waste, and rip gnarly verts (how do you do, fellow bike punks?) to reach higher platforms. For the sake of convenience, the bike disappears and reappears on command, allowing you to transfer from halfpipe tricks to ledge grabs with the press of a button.

UFO 50 | PC and eventually other platforms | Q4 2024
UFO 50 is a collection of 50 games from a collection of developers including Derek Yu (Spelunky), Ojiro Fumoto (Downwell) Eirik Suhrke (Skorpulac), Jon Perry (Time Barons), and Paul Hubans (Madhouse). The games cover a variety of genres and play styles, including shooters, RPG's, puzzlers, brawlers, and platformers, with single player, cooperative, and competitive games in the mix. Each game has a single director in charge of the concept, but with other team members contributing assets, design, and programming assistance. They games aren't quite as long as traditional commercial titles, but they aren't throwaway 5-minute experiences either. The collection is essentially a 50-in-1 cart, but not filled with Chinese knockoff crap or reskinned versions of other games.

Vibrant Venture | PC and Mac | Currently in Steam Early Access
Vibrant Venture, from Semag Games, is a lighthearted platformer set in a bright and colorful (and vibrant!) world. The game stars four playable characters, each of whom has two character-specific abilities, and the player is able to swap between them on the fly to navigate the world and solve environmental puzzles. For instance, one character can perform a double jump, one can wall jump and ground slam, one can strike enemies with a water-based attack and perform an air dash, and one can hover on air currents. Knowing when to swap characters is key to passing through levels, defeating enemies, and overcoming bosses.

Vikings on Trampolines | PC | Release Date TBD
D-Pad Studio, the team behind Owlboy – one of the finest 2D action adventures of the last decade – has returned with Vikings on Trampolines, a game about... er, Vikings (on trampolines). The game offers a single player adventure, local 4P multiplayer, PvP, and minigames. You take on the role of one of four Vikings as you hop between springy trampolines and bouncy balloons attempting to knock your opponents off the edge in Versus mode. Or you can take down enemies and gigantic boss creatures in Adventure mode as you embark on a mission to collect the king's toy animals and rescue the king himself. Minigames offer some variations on basic boing-boinging with bouncy sportsball, competitive balloon popping, and more. Per the studio's pedigree, the game is absolutely packed with beautiful pixel art, stylish character designs, and a punchy soundtrack.

Waju | PC | Release Date TBD
Waju, from Gabriel Priske, is a colorful platformer where you take on the role of a plucky robot as it explores the overgrown landscape of some unknown future. The robot's special ability allows it to jump up and stick to most surfaces, and then kick away from them. This ability is used to climb to higher points in the environment, knock objects out of the way to clear a path, send enemy projectiles flying back at them, and knock into enemies to damage them. The player can even bounce off of enemies and projectiles to use them as platforms and reach higher areas. Players must be mindful, however, as some objects - like drill bits - will hurt if they to grab them. Throughout the adventure, the robot earns new abilities, such as an air dash, to aid in combat and environmental navigation. The game features some lovely artwork, charming enemy designs, and cartoony animations, with a mixture of 2D environment art and 3D characters.

Witchmarsh | PC, Mac, and possibly Linux | Release Date TBD
Witchmarsh, from Inglenook Games, is a spritely action-RPG set in 1920’s Massachusetts, focusing on a team investigating the disappearances of a dozen townsfolk in a supernatural mystery. Players may select from one of several investigators, heading straight in with set template, or customizing their abilities and items. Investigators have different specialties, such as the Technician that can zap enemies with her lightning rod, and the mysterious horned Guardian who can damage enemies with fire. In addition to hacking and slashing evil monsters, players must actually work toward solving the case by speaking with NPC’s and analyzing clues. Investigators may team up via online multiplayer for 2-4P co-op.

Xenosis: Alien Infection | PC, Mac, Linux, Xbox One, PS4, and Switch | Release Date TBD
Xenosis: Alien Infection, from NerdRage Studios, is a creepy top-down survival shooter set aboard the derelict Starship Carpathian, which was thought to have been destroyed five decades prior. You take on the role of a salvage operator who plans to become rich by selling the ship's AI core. He expects the ship to be abandoned, but nothing could be further from the truth... the crew may be dead but they are not gone. As you explore, you discover hideous creatures (possibly space vampires based on the name of the ship) lurking in the darkness. Some drag themselves along the floor, pulling their entrails behind them, while others are aggressive brutes. You'll have to overcome the ship's systems, refill your oxygen tanks, repair tears in your suit, and craft supplies, ammo, and upgrades for your weapons and suit. The game features 2D artwork with dynamic 3D lighting effects and positional sound to add to the horror atmosphere.

Xydonia | PC, Mac, and Linux | Release Date TBD
Xydonia, from Breaking Bytes, is a retro-style horizontal shmup inspired by R-Type, Gradius, and Darius. Set in the year 30XX, spacefaring humankind have set their eyes on a mysterious planet called Xydonia, but no one who has explored the planet has returned. As you might expect, you play one such adventurer who hopes to uncover the mysteries of this ancient civilization and reap the rewards for yourself. Players may select one of three starting pilots - or team up with another player in 2P co-op - and additional pilots remain to be unlocked, each with a different set of upgradeable weapons and passive modifiers. Players can also unlock new weapons by scavenging parts from defeated bosses. Additionally, the game features branching paths, hidden stages, and multiple endings.

* Because these games are in various stages of development and represent in-progress work, certain elements could change prior to release, including the release date and platform.