Guide to the PC games of 2018

PUZZLE GAMES

Artifact

TBA | Valve
Dota 2 is getting its own card game, featuring three different boards to play on and a variety of familiar characters. Sean “Day9” Plott let slip that the game might involve constructing barracks, creeps, and lanes, lending a little more MOBA-ness to the formula than Hearthstone has. 

Samsara

Early 2018 | Marker Limited | Link
In the beautiful, hand drawn world of Samsara, reflections are real. Each of the 77 levels of this puzzle game are split into two dimensions that the protagonist, Zee, can jump between using portals. The dimensions are literal reflections of each other, however, so you can make changes to one to affect the other, ultimately helping Zee escape.

Humanity

2018 | Tha Ltd | Link
Our Samuel Horti described enigmatic Humanity as a mashup of Lemmings and Ultimate Epic Battle Simulator. Tha Ltd hasn’t revealed much, but it looks like we’ll be guiding massive crowds of faceless humans through minimalist obstacle courses, but it also looks like these crowds can collide and fight each other in gargantuan brawls. There’s something hypnotic about watching them relentlessly marching forwards.  

Mount Your Friends 3D

Early 2018 | Stegersaurus | Link
Mount Your Friends was a physics-y game of competitive climbing, where the gravity did more than just make its buff gentlemen fall into a heap like a nipply Jenga. It also made their wangs swing around while they did it. In 2018 Mount Your Friends will be coming at you in 3D, with the subtitle "A Hard Man is Good to Climb".

Flipping Death

TBA | Zoink Games | Link
You’ve been murdered. Whoops! But it’s OK because Death is taking a holiday, giving you ample time to solve your own murder, as well as helping out the other undead residents of Flatwood Peaks, a whimsical town that looks like it exists in a children’s pop-up book. Puzzles can be solved by possessing the living, using your ability to flip the world between the realms of the living and the dead, and doing a spot of platforming. 

The Fall Part 2: Unbound

February 2018 | Over the Moon | Link
Continuing the atmospheric sci-fi yarn about an A.I. suit charged with protecting its human inhabitant, Unbound promises an expanded exploration of its heady themes of self-discovery. New features include four playable characters to “invade,” puzzles that play off your hosts’ personal boundaries, and two new combat mechanics, all wrapped up in a narrative that’s three times the length of the original.

Mugsters

2018 | Reinkout | Link
Save the world from robot aliens by driving and flying tiny people to safety in the ridiculous physics puzzler, Mugsters. Each level is a challenge where you’ll need to use one of the over 30 vehicles to extract your fellow meatbags from the hands of their tormentors. You can jump over cliffs, fall off them, or apparently sail over in a hot air balloon. With as many explosions and hijinx featured in the trailer, one wonders why the robot aliens would even consider putting up with us.

Photographs

2018 | EightyEight Games | Link
Photographs, explains creator Luca Redwood, is a puzzle game that’s not a puzzle game. It’s five puzzle games, each with different mechanics and their own story. And inside those five puzzle games, there’s a narrative game, where photographs, puzzles and audio come together to tell a complete story. It sounds quite different to Redwood’s previous games, You Must Build A Boat and 10,000,000. 

Nimbatus—The Space Drone Constructor 

Early Access 2018 | Stray Fawn Studio | Link
Nimbatus takes inspiration from games like Kerbal Space program and Besiege, tasking you with building space drones that are as hilarious in their failures as they are triumphant in their success, and often over-engineered. Each of Nimbatus’ randomly-generated planets have unique missions that call for using the hundreds of available drone parts in creative ways. The trailer alone is a lesson in design iteration with a healthy dose of comedic timing. Nimbatus will be entering Early Access in mid 2018 with a full release later down the road. In the meantime, you can try out the demo. 

Untitled Goose Game

TBA 2018 | House House | Link
Geese are horrible, a true fact that the Untitled Goose Game does nothing to contradict. Whether the goose game is untitled because it hasn’t been named or because it will actually be released by the name Untitled Goose Game, we still aren’t sure. You are a goose and you have a list (because geese are meticulous in their evil plans) of ways in which you must tortue a poor village groundskeeper. You can steal his keys, hide his hat, and spray him with his own garden hose like some kind of goose prank. The full game will involve torturing the entire town but even what we’ve seen so far is viciously amusing. 

UFO 50

TBA | Mossmouth | Link
A team of all-star indie developers including the creators of Spelunky and Downwell are collaborating on this collection of 50 small games. There's everything from 2D platformers, and side-scrolling beat-em-ups to golf and RPGs. Everything's 8-bit and shares a 32-color palette, and there's a fictional backstory suggesting all 50 games were made by the same forgotten company from the '80s.

The Gardens Between

Late 2018 | The Voxel Agents | Link
Best friends Arina and Frendt have found themselves trapped in a world full of mysterious garden islands, filled with weird architecture and oversized childhood trappings, like an NES or CRT television. Using the power to reverse or move forward through time, players can solve simple logic or physics puzzles, like tumbling an oversized Jenga tower to create a bridge, all set to a trippy ambient soundtrack by Tim Shiel.

Q.U.B.E. 2

Early 2018 | Toxic Games | Link
Expanding on the original student project’s clear (and often derivative) adoration of Portal, Q.U.B.E. 2 puts you in the shoes of Amelia Cross, a scientist stranded on a strange alien planet with nothing but cube-altering gloves and another survivor’s voice in her ear. Using the gloves, Amelia can turn certain cubes into bounce pads, extending platforms, magnets, and more to navigate through challenge rooms.