Those with an excess of free time and patient resolve might very well have delighted at Microsoft’s latest, typically languid Xbox indie showcase, but for everyone with somewhat busier diaries, please enjoy this convenient summary of everything shown, bringing the likes of co-op escape room shenanigans, movie-themed mystery, and rogue-like golfing in purgatory.
Lost Eidolons, which kicked off today’s livestream, is a tactical RPG from developer Ocean Drive Studio that casts players as Eden, a mercenary captain, sending them on an adventure across an empire riven by civil war. Expect turn-based battling and a “gripping cinematic narrative” when this one comes to PC and Xbox Series X/S in Q3 this year.
Next, Crusader Kings 3 popped up to remind everyone that the stunning medieval grand strategy game is coming to Xbox Series X/S (and also PS5) on 29th March.
As you probably know by this point, developer Andrew Shouldice’s Zelda-inspired isometric action-adventure Tunic is more than a little bit fab. It’s also out today on Xbox and PC – but Microsoft’s indie showcase also brought the news that it’s a launch day addition to Game Pass.
We’ve known bits and pieces about Telling Lies and her Story creator Sam Barlow’s Immortality: An Interactive Movie Trilogy for some time now. But thanks to today’s livestream, we now have a first proper trailer, plus a better understanding of how the cinema-inspired “investigative horror” will play out when it arrives this summer on Xbox and PC.
Chinatown Detective Agency has been an intriguing proposition since its initial reveal, combining classic point-and-click adventuring with a real-world component that sets it apart from its ilk. Essentially, this hard-boiled cybernoir mystery requires players to step away from the game and do some real-world investigation to proceed, perhaps finding the source of a quote or hunting for an airport code. We’ll know how it all comes together this spring.
Cursed to Golf is a wonderfully silly blend of rogue-like and physics-based dungeon explorer that sees players attempting to navigate the 18 holes of Golf Purgatory, juggling a card deck and tackling bosses as they go. It’s being developed by Chuhai Labs and launches “soon”.
Trek to Yomi is a strikingly cinematic action-adventure following the story of a lone samurai, Hiroki, who has sworn to protect his town from danger. “Faced with tragedy and bound to duty,” explains publisher Devolver Digital, “the lone samurai must voyage beyond life and death to confront himself and decide his path forward.” It launches some time this “spring”.
Clash: Artifacts of Chaos is a kind of melee-focused martial arts adventure that sees players, in the role of Pseudo, punching and pummelling their way across a surreal fantasy world. Developed by ACE Team, it’s coming to Xbox, PC, and PlayStation this November.
Escape Academy, from Coin Crew Games, looks particularly nifty, spinning the escape room craze into a fully fledged first-person adventure as players attempt to tackle the puzzle-based, room-escape-y challenges set by the titular educational establishment – all as a shadowy plot begins to unfold. Online and local co-op is supported for those with big brain friends and it’s coming to PC, Xbox, and PlayStation (and will be a day one Game Pass title) later this year.
Shredders is a snowboarding game from developer FoamPunch that’s promising a huge, diverse open world for its downhill escapades. It features a story mode, online multiplayer, and ample real-world nods – including authentic brands and appearances from pro snowboarders – and launches tomorrow on Xbox, Game Pass, and Steam.
Flintlock: The Siege of Dawn is a potentially very exciting new reveal, coming, as it does, from developer A44, which previously made Ashen. It’s an open-world action-RPG set in a dark fantasy world where gunpowder has just been invented (think Lord of the Rings with guns), that casts players as a soldier assisted by a strange, magical creature known as Enki. So far, we’ve only got a cinematic trailer for this one, but it’s out some time this year.
If you’re into Roblox, developer Splitting Point Studios bought a heap of enthusiasm around their first-person shooter Rolling Thunder, and their segment was followed by a quick procession of trailers for Whalefall – an RPG-visual-novel-hybrid that’s currently on Kickstarter – plus surreal locomotive-themed survival adventure Voidtrain, coming to Xbox later this year.
We also got a fairly sizeable look at developer Zelart’s “brutal action-adventure RPG” There Is No Light. It’s very attractive in a sort of grim pixel art way, and it’s out on Xbox, PlayStation, Switch, and PC this year.
Next up is WrestleQuest, described as the “world’s first wrestling RPG”. Speaking as someone with only a very minimal interest in wrestling, this did not capture my attention in the same way it seems to have done for others online, but if the idea of wrestling-themed turn-based combat, side quests, and cameos from a host of real-world wrestlers including “Macho Man” Randy Savage, Booker T, and Andre The Giant intrigues, it’s out this summer.
Floppy Knights is a “turn-based strategy deck-builder” from Garden Story developer Rose City Games. “Take the role of Phoebe, programmer extraordinaire, as she tests her Floppy Knights creations with odd jobs around town,” reads the official blurb. “Engage the collectible creatures ready to rid crops of goblin invaders, stop a volcano from going erupt, and prevent the Science Fair postponement in turn-based tactical battles.” It’s out on Xbox and PC in Q2 this year and will be available on Game Pass.
And finally, rounding out today’s Xbox Indie Showcase, were a quick quadruplet of trailers for games all launching day one on Game Pass. There’s wonderful open-world investigation adventure Paradise Killer (which is out now), exuberant top-down adventure Kraken Academy (coming to Xbox on 22nd March), sci-fi narrative RPG Citizen Sleeper (which is out later this year and has already piqued Eurogamer’s interest), plus “cute and creepy adventure” Beacon Pines. And that’s your lot for now. Farewell!