Between the more-than-three-hour combined running time of the PC Gaming Show and the Future Games Show Sunday evening, over 80 games were featured in the form of trailers, interviews, or just new feature announcements. We know because we sat through them all and counted as our butts got increasingly numb.
Rather than recapping every single one of those games, we’re chosen 16 titles that stood out from the crowd and have made it onto our radar for one reason or another. While it’s hard to fully judge these games based on a few minutes of slickly cut footage (and zero hands-on time), we’ll be watching out for them as they work their way towards release in the coming months.
- Dodgeball Academia seems to mix the basic gameplay and perspective of NES gem Super Dodgeball with the progression of an RPG and the storyline of a schoolyard anime. This Humble Games production hits PS4, Xbox One, Switch, and Windows in August.
- Rawmen takes the colorful competitive arena action of Splatoon, adds the surface grinding of Journey, and wraps it all up in a food-themed shell with giant rolling meatballs and donut trampolines. This one’s been in development for a while and will be coming to Xbox One, Series X/S, PS4/5, and Windows… at some point.
- While Super Smash Bros. has spawned a fighting subgenre all its own, Dreamcast classic Power Stone has not. Thankfully there’s GigaBash which looks to capture that Power Stone spirit with a healthy dose of giant Japanese mechs and kaiju monsters for good measure. This one’s coming to PS4 and Windows, but has already missed a previously planned Q4 2020 release date and is now targeting a date “TBD.”
- Lemnis Gate combines turn-based strategy and first-person shooting with a convoluted time-loop structure that’s just crazy enough to work. First, one player gets 25 seconds to send a unit onto the battlefield to lay down some cover fire. Then the other player does the same, facing off against the pre-recorded actions of that first unit. The process continues back and forth until one side has been effectively decimated. We’ll see if it works on August 3 when it hits Xbox One, Series X/S, PS4/5, and Windows.
- Next Space Rebels starts with a foundation of build-your-own-rocket zaniness that brings to mind the best parts of Kerbal Space Program. Then it adds a layer of a social media management sim so you can earn money to work your way from model rocketry to full on off-planet launches. Coming to Xbox, Switch, and Windows in Fall 2021.
- Arboria looks easy to dismiss as just another action-adventure Roguelite with procedurally generated dungeons and significant consequences for death. But there was something about the fluid animations and evocative art style in the trailer that grabbed our interest and didn’t let go. This one’s in Early Access now but hits full release on Windows in August.
- There have been precious few spiritual successors to Pikmin over the years, but Tinykin looks like it’s doing its best to solve that. The trailer shows our tiny hero wandering around relatively gigantic everyday objects alongside a horde of colorful one-eyed creatures, hurling them at items of interest and stacking them into ladders to get to his next objective. This one is targeting 2022 for a Windows release, with consoles “TBA.”
- At first, Icarus appears to be just another survival sim, with players chopping down tress to build a cabin that can protect them from the elements, and harnessing a bow and arrow to protect themselves from hungry local bears. By the end of the trailer, though, we get hints of motorized vehicles, hazmat suits, and rocket launches at the end of the tech tree to let you escape being marooned on a foreign planet. This co-op adventure hits Windows in August 11.
- Fans of games like Hexen and Quakeshould enjoy the low-poly environments and sprite-based enemies of throwback first-person shooter of Project Warlock II. This follow-up to the 2018 original adds a whole band of warlocks to the first game’s lone player character and adds a bit of verticality to the gameplay. It’ll hit Steam early access on July 29 (after a planned Kickstarter a month earlier) with a full Windows release planned for 2022.
- Despite its somewhat cringeworthy name, Esports Boxing Club looks like an exciting, authentic take on a sport genre that’s been dominated by arcade-style action titles. Featuring over 200 real fighters from across boxing history, the game looks to combine fluid motion-captured movements with a physics system that ensures no two knockouts look exactly alike. This is a hard one to judge from video alone, but you could practically feel the impact of every blow in the early alpha footage shown today. This one is looking at an early access Windows release in 2021 with Xbox and PlayStation console versions “coming later.”
- It’s kind of hard to know what to make of Lake, a game that’s ostensibly about the daily routine of a 1980’s mail delivery woman in the quiet town of Providence Oaks, Oregon. The new trailer shows the protagonist taking a seemingly uneventful after-work trip to the movies with a friend, a scene so rote that it actually made us sit up and take notice after hours of high-octane shooters and action games. The creators hint that every decision has an impact on how the two weeks of in-game time play out, and we’ll see how true that is when Lake launches “first on Xbox and PC” on Sept. 1.
- Severed Steel is being described as a “bullet time stunt shooter” with destructible environments and a one-armed protagonist, and the trailer doesn’t suggest it’s much more than that. But it also suggests a fast-paced arcade-style FPS that’s brimming with style and the parkour acrobatics of Mirror’s Edge. It’s “coming soon” to Xbox, PlayStation, and Windows, but a demo is available now on Steam
- If you like zany co-op puzzles, the antics of KeyWe‘s kiwi-bird protagonists Jeff and Debra are for you. Guide the two flightless birds as they try to run a post office by jumping on telegraph machines, constructing messages from fragments of paper and fighting threats ranging from wind to cold to paranormal events. It’s like Overcooked for the mailroom! We tried an early version of this years ago, but the final game his Xbox One, Series X/S, PS4/5, Switch, and Windows on Aug. 31.
- Take the bloodsport game show concept of Smash TV and throw in the general gameplay of Nuclear Throne, the speed of Hotline Miami, and the aesthetics of Binding of Issac. The result might well be something like Deathrun TV. Find out for yourself through a “pilot” demo on Steam right now or wait for the final release on Xbox Series X/S, PS4/5, Switch, and Windows at a date TBD.
- To be honest, we’re not sure what to make of Happy Game from its extremely disturbing trailer, which features an offputting combination of cutesy, gory, and psychedelic imagery in very close proximity. But we do know that the game comes from Amanita Design, well-known to puzzle adventure fans for haunting, lonely games like Samorost, Machinarium and more. That means we can’t wait to try this one out on Windows, Mac, and Switch in Fall of 2021.
- The first teaser for Sam Barlow’s Immortality sets up the bewildering story of Marissa Marcel, a young actress who made three movies that were never released before she disappeared. While there’s not much in the way of gameplay to hang our hats on just yet, Barlow’s history with Her Story and Telling Lies has us eager to see what he gets up to next.