Ten Games You've Never Heard Of, But Should Keep Your Eye On

by Ben Reeves on Jul 01, 2014 at 12:00 PM

Millions of gamers are eagerly anticipating the release of titles like Batman: Arkham Knight, Assassin's Creed Unity, and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, but those aren't the only gaming projects worth getting excited about. Every year, dozens of great titles slip under the radar. With that in mind, here are a few upcoming titles that you might not want to ignore.

During E3, Sony showed off this stunning underwater adventure from new indie developer Giant Squid. The game's visual style shouldn't be surprising since the game is being designed by Matt Nava, the art director for both Journey and Flower. The game draws inspiration from the universal origin myths and legends told by every society on Earth. Even the game’s name is a reference to ancient Mesopotamian mythology – the ancient word Ab means ocean, while Zû means to know. We’d definitely like to Zû more about this game before its release in 2016.

Brothers Chad and Jared Moldenhauer formed the indie developer StudioMDHR (Studio Moldenhauer). The brothers' first project is this lively 2D run 'n' gun game, which is a throwback to classic cartoons. The visuals and audio are being painstakingly created using traditional hand-drawn and hand-inked cel animation, watercolor backgrounds, and live jazz recordings. It helps add to the project's allure – all are techniques cartoonists used during the 1930s. Cuphead should be ready to pour itself out on Xbox One and PC in 2015.

Darkest Dungeon
After raising over $300,000 on Kickstarter, Red Hook Studios set out to make an RPG that showcased the true cost of adventuring. Players will manage a team of flawed heroes as they dig through caverns 500 feet underground. Ghastly foes aren’t the only thing these heroes will contend with; famine, disease, and the encroaching darkness will all threaten their sanity and health in various ways. Darkest Dungeon should test every gamers' adventurous spirit when it releases sometime in 2015.

Gods Will be Watching
Gazing up at the vast night can be intimidating; this is the exact feeling that Gods Will Be Watching instills in its players. This point-and-click thriller from Deconstructeam forces players to face tough moral dilemmas in order to survive the harsh environment of outer space. A series of puzzles and narrative dilemmas will affect both you and the team you’ve sworn to protect. Find out if you’re willing to eat your friends in order to live when Gods Will be Watching releases, possibly this year. (Read our extended preview.)


Lumino City
We love the handcrafted look of games like LittleBigPlanet, but State of Play’s upcoming puzzle adventure Lumino City is actually made out of physical everyday objects. A sequel to Lume, State of Play is creating Lumino City's world by handcrafting miniature sets out of lasercut materials and then filming these objects and splicing them into an adventure where you’ll explore gardens in the sky, towers marooned high on an immense waterwheel, and houses dug precariously into cliffs.

Night in the Woods
When indie developer Alec Holowka and animator Scott Benson had an idea for a game they took it to Kickstarter and raised their proposed goal in only 26 hours. The game is a cartoony platformer with a focus on storytelling. Players controller a cat named Mae who returns to her hometown of Possum Springs after dropping out of college. Get ready to play bass and smash a lot of things when the game releases on PS4.

Paradise Lost: First Contact
Ever wonder how an alien would feel if it crash-landed on Earth and had to put up with scientific testing? Paradise Lost: First Contact gives players the chance to live out this fantasy. Another successful Kickstarter project, Paradise Lost will have players blending into the environment, controlling robotic drones, and evolving into stronger forms as they attempt to escape a secret research lab.

Space exploration is suppose to be fun, but Routine looks to follow in Dead Space's shoes and turn the final frontier into a haunted house. This first-person horror exploration game set on an abandoned moon base will have players creeping through the station as they uncover the mystery behind the strange disappearance of everyone stationed there. The game doesn’t feature a HUD and players won’t have aiming reticules or health bars. Your wits and a good hiding spot will be the only tools that help you survive this thrilling adventure.

Swords & Soldiers 2
The original Swords & Soldiers was a 2D side-scrolling strategy game that had players picking one of three factions (Aztecs, Vikings, and the Imperial Chinese) and then duking it out to gain the favors of the gods. Players would collect gold and mana which were used to purchase new units and spells. Developer Ronimo Games is expanding on this concept with brighter visual and new characters for Swords & Soldiers II, which should release on Wii U, hopefully later this year.

White Night
White Night is a new third-person adventure game, but its inspirations run deep. Taking puzzle and survival-horror cues from the original survival horror game Alone in the Dark, and then mixing it with visuals from cinematographic masters such as Hitchcock, Polanski, and Lynch, OSome Studio has created a uniquely new experience. After seeking refuge in an abandoned mansion, players must confront their own fears and solve a mystery buried in the dark.