Ten Downloadable Games To Watch In 2013

by Matt Miller on Apr 09, 2013 at 01:25 PM

We recently updated our list of 2013 retail game releases, but that article leaves a big chunk of games out of the mix. Downloadable console and mobile games are notorious for release dates that come out of nowhere. Nonetheless, we've gathered together several games we feel confident should arrive in the next few months that are worthy of your attention. Since some of the release dates are still up in the air, we've listed games alphabetically. Enjoy!

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons
Developer: Starbreeze Studios
Platform: PSN, XBLA, PC
Release: Spring

The studio behind The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay, The Darkness, and Syndicate is exploring the downloadable game space with this upcoming puzzle/adventure game. Individual players control two brothers simultaneously as they set out to find a cure for their ailing father. Beautiful, cinematic visuals catch the eye, but we're hoping the gameplay is equally engrossing.

Cut the Rope: Time Travel
Developer: Zepto Lab
Platform: iOS, Android
Release: April

Planned for release in the coming weeks, the new Cut the Rope game has hero Om Nom tracking down hidden stars and eating candy while seeking out his long lost ancestors. There's no word yet on gameplay innovations, but we feel pretty confident that it will have something to do with disconnecting one end of a string from another. It's hard to beat the clever and simple fun of the original, but we'll see if Zepto can top themselves.

Dragon Fantasy: Book II
Developer: Muteki
Platform: PSN, Vita
Release: TBA

If you're looking for an homage to 8-bit RPG gaming, you can't go wrong with Dragon Fantasy: Book I, which is also available on iOS. The upcoming sequel is headed to Sony devices, and moves forward into the 16-bit era of visuals for a grand adventure of pirates, magical talismans, and sprawling fantasy empires. The new sequel also adds four-player cooperative play.

[Next up: The next strategy game from the makers of XCOM: Enemy Unknown]

Haunted Hollow
Developer: Firaxis
Platform: iOS
Release: Spring

The developer who brought us XCOM: Enemy Unknown is following up its remarkable strategy game with an iOS title that strikes a much lighter tone. Players control a mansion full of monsters and spirits, and expand that mansion over time. To grow, you'll need to send your creatures down into the nearby town to scare people, but you'll be competing against your opponent's scary creatures at the same time. We have a lot of faith in Firaxis, and we're crossing our fingers that this turns out to be one of the mobile standouts of the year.

Infinity Blade: Dungeons
Developer: Epic Games
Platform: iOS
Release: TBA

It's no secret that the first two Infinity Blade games are some of the most graphically intense and entertaining games on the iOS marketplace, so excitement for another installment is high. Dungeons is something of a mystery, with an entirely new dungeon-crawling gameplay style and isometric game view. If all goes well, the new game will offer up its own brand of fun, but also enrich the surprisingly deep fiction of the universe. Epic announced that Dungeons was on hold as of a few months back when the studio originally working on the game closed up shop, but we're hopeful that the game may still be moving forward under new leadership for a release in the coming months.

Developer: Team Meat
Platform: iOS, Android, PC
Release: TBA

The next game from the makers of Super Meat Boy looks like a dramatic departure from the fast-paced platforming of the previous title. Mew-Genics casts players as an overenthusiastic cat owner who breeds felines and then has them compete in strange competitions. Mixing sim elements with creature collection, and more than a little bit of crazy in the mix, Mew-Genics has us ready to set aside our allergies and embrace the world of the cats.

[Next up: The winner of the 2010 IGF grand prize is finally about to release.]

Developer: Pocketwatch Games
Platform: XBLA, PC
Release: April 24

This brilliant cooperative heist game won the IGF grand prize way back in 2010, but it's finally headed for an official release on Xbox Live Arcade and PC. Players control various members of the heist team, like the locksmith, pickpocket, hacker, or redhead. With an innovative approach to light and sound, and a huge collection of levels, this is one of the upcoming games (downloadable or otherwise) that we're most looking forward to.

Developer: Die Gute Fabrik
Platform: PSN, PC
Release: TBA

This collection of crazy fake sports is sure to be a popular choice at parties. Incredibly simple graphics support a number of zany multiplayer games, like Johann Sebastian Joust, which has players trying to balance a Move controller while trying to dislodge their opponent's controller. The game was a big hit at this year's GDC, and we're intrigued by the eclectic mix of activities on display.

State of Decay
Developer: Undead Labs
Platform: XBLA
Release: Summer

This intriguing zombie survival game is set in a vast open-world environment, and allows players to build up their own fortress and recruit NPCs to hold off the zombie hordes. Rather than seek out combat, the game encourages stealth and evasion as you aim to survive as long as possible. With a focus on player choice and developing your own strategy, we're hopeful that State of Decay ends up as a novel alternative to the standard zombie shooter.

The Wolf Among Us
Developer: Telltale Games
Platform: PSN, XBLA, PC, Mac
Release: Summer

The makers of The Walking Dead are bringing their next story-focused game to players this summer. Based on the phenomenal Fables comic series, this prequel story focuses on Bigby (The Big Bad Wolf) and his task to keep the fairy-tale creatures under his care protected from the wider world. If all goes as we expect, we'll have some heart-breaking decisions that will leave us crying for days.

This is just a small sampling of the amazing downloadable games on the horizon. What independent and downloadable games do you have on your must-buy list in the coming months?