The indie video game “Block of Light” looks like a sea of heaven and a new Crabs treasure

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    Blizzards Cyberfunk is one of many promising indie games this year.

    GameCentral looks outwards towards a few of the upcoming indie stars, including Gunbrella and Moving Out 2.

    You’ve been missing out on some of the best video games around lately but weren’t paying attention to the indie scene. To be seen by the average supermarket, Elden Ring has a way of defining the conflicts of 2022, but the conversation should always be broader than that especially with Immortality, Citizen Sleeper, Rogue Legacy 2 and others offering equally memorable experiences.

    Some of the most anticipated 2023 games are indie, like Hades 2 and Hollow Knight: Silksong have already entered the mainstream, and so are covered in our current preview of 2023.

    And lots of other games, slightly lower profile, were also anticipating. However, the list below doesn’t list games like Goodbye Volcano High and Skate Stories, and Anger Foot. Yet, the enthusiasm swelled in 15 titles that look like a huge deal in the new year.

    Sea of Stars — See of Stars — — — and from Stars.

    (PS4), the NS, the PS5/PC (PS4).

    The creators of The Messenger, Sea Of Stars is a turn-based role-playing game inspired by the genre’s original Chrono Trigger. It was originally planned to start in 2022 (and then included in the last years list), but has since been delayed to sometime in 2023.

    Every new trailer only seems to be the most impressive one, from the vivid artwork to the titan-like bosses to the soundtrack by Alessoda/Champion-Tyrey with the soundtrack.

    The oxygen free 2: Lost Signals.

    (PS4/PS5/NS/PC)

    One other leftover from last years round-up is the sequel to Oxenfree, a supernatural narrative-driven adventure with its best dialogue systems.

    Night School Studios delayed the sequel until 2023, to make it truly special, and add more localisation options. It will be a five year anniversary of the initial event, when Riley returns to his hometown of Camena.

    Viewfinder

    (PS/PP)

    When asked at the Game Awards this first person puzzle adventure is about taking pictures and observing the environment and creating a path forward. Its half-glasses illusion and half the Riddler – Riker: Arkham games, with some very clever effects demonstrated in only the trailer.

    Viewfinder, along with the kaleidoscopic mechanics, is striking because of the clash between black and white sketch-and-watercolour and watercolour-style dreams.

    Gunbrella

    (NS-P)

    Inspired by Gato Roboto’s creators, this side-scroller is described as a dark punk game adventure and combines swift umbrella platforming with intense gunfights. Think Parasol Stars crossed between Contra and Metroidvania.

    And at least that’s the hope; the trailer seems a little too heavy on the brown end of the colour spectrum (Gato Roboto was pure black and white), but it seems to be weird in that it’s only a developer thing (the ‘Doinksoft’).

    The terrible storm was buried.

    (NS/XSX/PS5/PC)

    One of the most visually impressive games of the upcoming months, The Plucky Squire sees you play storybooks that jump outside the pages, in the realm of 2D and 3D realms. In terms of the trailer, Zelda: A link between the two cultures collided with The Second.

    A wide range of gameplay styles have already been shown off, from side-scrolling shooters and boxing fighting to game platforming in 3D and 2D. It seems impressively ambitious as the title from All Possible Futures.

    Pepper Grinder

    (SYNTH)

    What if SteamWorld Dig had several espresso shots in the morning? You may have some point in the opposite direction of Pepper Grinder, an action platformer where you steer a drilling device to drop and bounce through terrain, to progress through levels.

    That concept is reminiscent of the digging mechanic in Ori and The Will Of The Wisps, which only expanded, with additional weapons and a more pixelated aesthetic.

    Suddenly i’ll go for a pity.

    (NS/PC)

    Bomb Rush Cyberfunk is in the shack of as many people as it is, with all-figured visuals, eclectic soundtrack, and fun skating, but with modern flourishes.

    The title is created by the team’s team who created the acclaimed multiplayer offering Lethal League Blaze. It’s been delayed a few times already but that’s a proof that the developer won’t release it until it’s just right.

    Another cobs-tormo is Crabo.

    (BNS/PC)

    The Soulslike may seem exhausted within the indie space, but, for now, make an exception to this new crustacean obsessed one. Another Crabs Treasure, a highlight of a Nintendo Indie World event, captivated attention with its underwater exploration and its liarly protagonist.

    I was reliant on this trailer and found to be plenty of self-conscious, including crabs with umbrellas and lances, to get this over self-serious. Do you think you do for crabs like Stray for cats?

    Move 0:01

    P r 4/NS/XSX/PS5/PC)

    Moving Out is one of the best party experiences in the last few years. The sequel throws in the online functionality that wasn’t really at all in the original, allowing players to use the computer to take the furniture from the whole world.

    Moving Out 2 looks like a better, more inventive way of thinking in various dimensions.

    Nine Sols

    (PC)

    The Taiwanese developer behind psychological horror novels Detention and Devotion, has departed boldly with this 2D action platformer inspired by Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.

    Froms game puts a lot of emphasis on deflection-based combat against highly-kinetic enemies. If you want to try Taopunk, with its high-powered electronic soundtrack, a demo is available now on Steam and the full game is due in the second quarter of the year.

    Adapters – light breaker.

    (PC)

    After Solar Ash, a developer from the world with its debut title Hyper Light Drifter will return to the realm of the new title. It could seem like a sequel but bold changes may indicate an ambitious future: the transition from 2D to 3D, and the greater emphasis on co-op collaboration, take down monsters.

    A studio that hasn’t yet missed a direct sequel may not be satisfying, but that’s an exciting risk. When it will officially be released, it’s unclear when it will be released although it stepped into early spring.

    Storyteller

    (NS/PC)

    If you chase innovation, this is going to likely be one of 2023s big early hits, not least because its the only game we have on our list of real dates, March 23. Puzzles are created by taking on stories of love and madness and telling stories in a library of characters.

    A Argentinian developer, Daniel Benmergui is working on the project since 2009 – the prototype is now winning the Nuovo award in 2012 at the Independent Games Festival. The value given to the label that was featured on the Annapurna Interactive label couldn’t be more promising.

    SCHiM

    PS4/NS/XSX/PS5/PC)

    Jump between shadows and around objects and people in this stilised cityscape platformer, created by two-person team Edwoud van der Werf and Nils Slijkerman.

    The calming atmosphere and striking visuals make SCHiM stand out even if it is not quite clear how much challenge and variety the game will offer. It certainly seems interesting but it even seems difficult to think of old 8-bit isometric games like Lore.

    COCOON

    NS/XSX/PC

    From the concept designer Jeppe Carlsen on Limbo and Inside, this new puzzle adventure looks almost too abstract for the novice to take seriously. You play like a character who ventures across the world and bears them in a baffling sphere in a slap, so that you can use your back to experience what is needed to solve puzzles.

    It seems like that is what is happening at all. For the developers, it’s no surprise that this is difficult to look at when it comes to finding out this, but the promise of cosmic mystery is clearly one that will be kept.

    Open Roads

    (PS4/PS5/PC)

    After a spell of controversy during the departure of Steve Gaynor, the next game from Gone Home and Tacoma developer Fullbright is going to leave. Open Roads was first inaugurated back in 2020, and is a narrative adventure to the same sex of the original works, albeit driven by mothers and daughters on a road trip.

    There were large numbers of people involved in the roles, with Keri Russell (The Americans) and Kaitlyn Dever (Booksmart) playing the lead roles.

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