With big names like Xbox, Summer Game Fest, and Capcom all taking the spotlight over the last week, indie games can often be forgotten. Each year loads of independent developers demonstrate their exciting games, and it’s something I love to see. Wholesome Games Direct, The Future Games Show, and Devolver Digital always have something exciting in the works. Today I want to focus on the nine titles we saw at this year’s Tribeca Games Festival. Showcasing creative Indies from across multiple genres, Tribeca was loaded with quality. So let’s dig in.
Thirsty Suitors (Outerloop Games, Annapurna Interactive)
Annapurna is known for publishing creative and heartfelt titles and this game looks set to continue that trend. Thirsty Suitors is a comedic, non-violent, turn-based title about reconciliation. The protagonist, Jala, finds herself back in her hometown for her sister’s wedding and has to face the mistakes of her past. She will battle against a host of different characters, including her exes. The game’s combat and dialogue looks fun and heartwarming, and the narrative is emotional and meaningful. Made with accessibility and inclusivity in mind, by a worldwide group of work-from-home devs. Thirsty Suitors will be launching later in 2022.
The Cub (Demagog Studios, Untold Tales)
In a post apocalyptic Earth, where only the ultra-rich managed to escape, The Cub puts you in the shoes of a mutant child trying to survive. Harkening back to titles like Jungle Book, Lion King and Aladdin, The Cub is a cinematic platformer with a striking art style. The game is somewhat of a sequel to Demagog’s previous title, Golf Club: Wasteland. With things seemingly not going so well on Mars, perhaps survival on the abandoned Earth is a boon, after all. This kind of wacky indie title is exactly what I love about the Tribeca Games Festival.
As Dusk Falls (Interior/Night, Xbox Game Studios)
Another title that we’ve seen quite a bit of courtesy of publisher Xbox, As Dusk Falls is excitingly unique. A narrative adventure following the lives of three protagonists across a 30 year journey, As Dusk Falls could be a standout indie for 2022. As Dusk Falls has painterly art style, with motion captured acting turned into watercolour beauty. The stories of three families intertwine with clever storytelling. Decision making and weaving your own story take centre stage as you try and navigate the lives of these characters in rural Arizona. Releasing July 19, and day one into Game Pass, it won’t be long until we can experience this title for ourselves.
Venba (Visai Games)
A narrative cooking game. Definitely not words I’d predict to put into a sentence a few years ago. But Venba is just that. Focused around an Indian mother who emigrates to Canada in the ‘80s, you’ll use cooking to explore a story of a divided family. A language barrier means the words and methods of the mother’s recipes are missing and you’ll have to decipher them through the game’s storytelling to complete cooking puzzles. With traditional music and recipes of Tamil culture, Vemba is an interesting delve into culture, family and relationships that we seldom see.
A Plague Tale Requiem (Asobo Studio, Focus Entertainment)
This is the blockbuster title from the Tribeca Games Festival. A Plague Tale Innocence was one of my favourite games from 2019. It told a harrowing yet thoughtful story of Amicia de Rune and her brother Hugo. Possessed with a unique power, Requiem continues their story a few years on as they explore gorgeous 14th Century Bordeaux and the French coast. Plague-ridden, rat infested wastes are juxtaposed with gorgeous countryside and coastal beaches. Known for their stunning visuals in their in-house engine, Asobo will not disappoint with Requiem. An expanded studio and new motion-capture performances will be backed by one of my favourite composers, Olivier Deriviere. A Plague Tale Requiem is set to launch in 2022, and is one of my most anticipated titles this year. Also coming to Game Pass on day one.
Cuphead – The Delicious Last Course (Studio MDHR)
Long awaited and highly anticipated, this expansion for the critically acclaimed Cuphead is finally upon us. Launching on June 30th, this huge expansion looks almost like an entirely new title. With new bosses, a new island to explore (aptly named DLC Island), and a new playable character, Ms. Chalice. Cuphead’s unique hand drawn art style, incredible soundtrack, and punishing difficult return. It’s guaranteed to be a hit when it launches in a couple of weeks.
Oxenfree II: Lost Signals (Night School Studio, Netflix)
Another long-awaited sequel, and one I’m incredibly excited for, Oxenfree II: Lost Signals returns players to Edwards Island as protagonist, Riley, now in her 30s. Pitching the game as a relatable character in an un-relatable world, Riley will see new friends join her adventure. As well as a haunting group of antagonists. The game sports the same narrative focused gameplay style, conversations and radio mechanic but with an added twist. As the fabric of time and space breaks down, you’ll be able to venture into the past versions of Edwards Island to alter the course of the future. Oxenfree II: Lost Signals will launch some time in 2022.
Immortality (Half Mermaid Productions)
The latest game from creator Sam Barlow (Herstory and Telling Lies), this one just looks straight up weird. This could definitely be an interesting and mysterious narrative to explore. In full motion video, players will explore the films of Marissa Marcel, a film actor who mysteriously disappeared. You’ll be tasked in delving into the lost footage to uncover a mystery across her three films. While watching scenes from her movies, you can interact with people and objects, find them in other shots, and uncover the hidden story of Marcel’s disappearance over her 3 decade career.
American Arcadia (Out of the Blue Studios, Raw Fury)
Initially shown at Summer Game Fest, American Arcadia is the latest game from creators of Call of the Sea (read my review here). In a Truman Show-esque, ‘70s retro futuristic America, you play two separate protagonists trying to escape this nightmarish world. Part of the game puts you in the shoes of Trevor, a citizen who wants nothing more than to escape the 24/7 broadcast and its creators. Through 2.5D platforming, puzzle-based gameplay you’ll be outwitting and outrunning the enemy. And as Angela, a hacker living outside the broadcast, you’ll play in first-person perspective to find ways to help Trevor escape. Nothing is what it seems in American Arcadia.
What game did you like the most at the Tribeca Games Festival 2022? Let us know!