4. Sportsfriends (Hokra, BariBaraBall, Johann Sebastian Joust, Super Pole Riders)
Technically, it’s four games in a bundle, but our Editor-in-Chief doesn’t wear sleeves on his shirts so I’m including this. With a Kickstarter that made $150,000, Sportsfriends looks to invigorate the local multiplayer market that some people (myself included) adored in our gaming youth and even today.
The standout for bringing all these games in this bundle was centered around Johann Sebastian Joust, a game with no screen and only played with Move controllers. You hold it still while trying to knock other players controllers so they’re out of the game, all to the tune of Johann Sebastian. Other games included is a minimalist 2-on-2 sports game Hokra, volleyball-infused fighting game BariBaraBall and tug-of-war with poles with Super Pole Riders. This will be on its way to PC/Mac and PS3.
Drinkbox Studios has been blowing up recently after it debuted its Vita launch title Tales from Space: Mutant Blobs Attack. But before then, at Gamercamp Lv3 in 2011, they showed off a new title they’ve been working on: a new brawler mixed with Metroid abilities/retraversal and Link to the Past light and dark worlds with co-op starring a luchador. With a great Mexican day of the dead (Ed. note: Día de los Muertos, you gringo) theme, Guacamelee harkens back to the 16-bit era with a gorgeous art style and the ability to turn into a chicken. It’s like a Morph Ball but way better. Let’s not forget it’ll be on PS3 and PS Vita with cross-play and co-op through both systems, as well as Wii U-esque functions with the Vita as a map while you play on the PS3. Adorn your mask since you’re ready for a beatdown come early 2013.
2. Hotline Miami 2
A sequel to one of my favourite games of last year might not even make it this year but I’m remaining hopeful that this’ll come out. Dennaton Games originally set this out to be DLC for the original but it wound up being so big, it only made sense to make a sequel. Nothing else is known other than possibly some new musicians might come in for the sequel but it’s only in the preliminary planning phase currently. Hotline Miami took the world by storm with its brutal violence and 80s style, so hopefully the sequel continues with even more.
1. Super TIME Force
This isn’t just my top indie game I’m looking forward to, it’s the game I’m looking forward to the most in 2013. Having seen it at both PAX’s and Toronto’s Gamercamp Festival 2012, Sworcery developer Capy Games have taken a unique concept first born at a Toronto Game Jam in a full-fledged single-player (but co-op at the same time) run-and-gun shooter. Oh, and there’s a dinosaur with a Hawaiian shirt named Zackasaurus that yells “Kookabunga!”
The gameplay behind it is very similar to games like Gunstar Heroes or Contra, except dying doesn’t hinder the player so much as it helps the player. Every time you die, you start from the beginning but your ghost plays alongside with you. This could start with one ghost to seven to even more. As the Super Time Force, you’ll be out to make things in history right, like making sure the dinosaurs never became extinct, to destroying the very first boy band. It continues the retro-style with gorgeous pixel art but still feels incredibly modern, like it couldn’t be made in the past. This XBLA exclusive is going to make everyone go mental when this comes out later in the year. Check out the Saturday morning cartoon below to see how crazy this’ll be:
Honorable Mentions: Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime, New Game+, Bit.Trip Presents Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien, Quadrilateral Cowboy, Barkley 2: Revenge of the Cuchulainn, Apotheon, Monaco, Spy Party, 0x10c, The Iconoclasts, Don’t Starve, Depression Quest.
There’s a whole slew of titles that probably don’t even exist or we haven’t heard about yet that’s due for release. That’s the surprising thing about indies is we never know what to expect and they’re full of surprises. Let us know in the comments below what under the radar titles you’ll be looking forward to and post in our forums.
This is a personal list that’s representative of the editor’s tastes, not those of the entire staff. The ranking of multi-platform games will vary between the console-specific articles.