PLATFORMERS AND METROIDVANIAS OF 2018
Mega Man 11
Late 2018 | Capcom | Link
Capcom is promising the “tight side-scrolling action gameplay” while also “completely revolutionizing the experience for modern consoles,” which is a little vague, but hey, more Mega Man is always nice. Mega Man 11 is sporting some nice hand-drawn backgrounds and characters, all in a 2.5D art style.
Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy
June 30, 2018 | Vicarious Visions | Link
Activision and Vicarious Visions (among others) are bringing back Naughty Dog's original Crash games: Crash Bandicoot, Cortex Strikes Back, and Warped. The classic Playstation platformers were re-released on PS4 last year, and now come to PC for the first time ever. That is, unless you were a fan of Bleem!.
TBA | Mossmouth | Link
The first game was a masterful procedurally generated platformer in which you play as a cave explorer navigating shifting underground worlds full bats, spiders, and the odd yeti. Little is known about the second game so far, but the trailer suggests we’ll be playing as the Spelunker’s daughter and exploring the moon.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps
TBA | Moon Studios | Link
2015’s Ori and the Blind Forest wowed players with an emotionally charged narrative and challenging Metroidvania-like gameplay, so why not go for two? Developer Moon Studios debuted a trailer at E3 2017 showing off a painterly, yet blighted landscape before ending on the titular Ori comforting a young owl mourning over the bodies of its dead parents. No one ever said beauty had to be pleasant.
2018 | Magic Design Studios | Link
Based loosely on the ancient novel Journey to the West, this side-scrolling adventure comes courtesy of a team of former Ubisoft developers (including Prince of Persia, Assassin’s Creed, and Rayman alumni), and boy does it show. The artwork stands shoulder to shoulder with the lush backgrounds of Ori and the Blind Forest, and the animation seems reminiscient of Ubisoft’s own Rayman Legends. Up to four players can join in local co-op martial art combat against tons of enemies inspired by Chinese legend.
Due “Soon-ish” | DrinkBox Studios | Link
Expect “multi-dimensional” platforming and an expanded range of combat moves from this Mexican-themed metroidvania. The sequel will support up to four players in co-op and the devs promise “300% more chickens”. We’ll hold them to that.
Super Meat Boy Forever
2018 | Team Meat | Link
A proper sequel to hard-as-nails platformer Super Meat Boy is coming next year. This time you can punch, kick and powerslide through levels that get increasingly difficult with each replay—hence the ‘forever’ part of the name. The trailer is for the Switch version, where SMBF will debut before coming to PC.
2018 | Oddworld Inhabitants, Frima Studio, Fat Kraken Studios | Link
A "reimagining" of Oddworld: Abe's Exoddus, following in the footsteps of 2014's Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty. Creator Lorne Lanning and co. are planning to tell a significantly different, darker story this time around "inspired by our original tale," and you can expect Oddworld's themes of environmentalism and corporate evil to feel particularly biting in 2018. Also in the planning: "Intelligent new mechanics, twisted new devices enabling highly explosive deviousness" and "a big visual and cinematic leap aiming to break new ground for Oddworld."
Summer 2018 | Bit Kid, Inc. | Link
Chasm’s a mashup of classic hack and slash dungeon romps and labyrinthine Metroidvania-style adventures, so expect plenty of fights and platforming shenanigans. Stuck in a small mining town, you’ll need to delve into the trap and monster-infested mines—procedurally generated, but with hand-crafted rooms—to seek out the source of the supernatural curse that’s keeping everything locked down.
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night
2018 | Inti Crates | Link
With Castlevania creator Koji Igarashi no longer helming the franchise at Konami, the developer is creating a spiritual sequel that’s pure Castlevania in all but name. Main character Miriam has a range of familiar magic abilities, including the use of a whip, as she fights off against bloodletting bosses and their minions.
Yoku's Island Express
Q2 2018 | Villa Gorilla | Link
A dung beetle named Yoku is new on the postal service route. Yoku is in for more than he bargained for because mail delivery, it turns out, is a giant, island-wide pinball game. Yoku’s Island Express calls itself an open-world pinball platformer, which despite being an odd combination of genre terms, appears to be exactly what you’d imagine. It has a vibrant, hand-painted art style that will remind you of Ori and the Blind Forest with a plucky, island-themed soundtrack.
Q3 2018 | David Stanley | Link
Adventurers are the worst—basically criminals, really. Always breaking into dungeons. As Skelly the enchanted skeleton, you have to defend your dungeon from invading heroes using weapons, magic, traps and a little help from your dungeon-dwelling pals. You can take the action platformer for a spin right now, as there’s a demo.
RELEASED AND DELAYED TO 2019
January 25, 2018 (Out now) | Matt Makes Games Inc | Link
From the creators of Towerfall, Celeste is about persevering and making it to the top of a rather large mountain. It’s a game of quick deaths and quick respawns, with a character who can air dash and climb on every surface. Of course the mountain is just a metaphor for self-doubt, but it’s also, you know, a proper mountain full of dangers.
January 23, 2018 (Out now) | Joakim Sandberg | Link
When we previewed Iconoclasts it back in 2013, it had already been cooking away for years, so it’s a shock that it’s finally upon us. It’s a Metroidvania-style adventure that follows Robin, a rebellious mechanic who has been ostracised by her family and hunted down by the reigning regime, The One Concern. Judging by the Steam page, expect a lot of engineering puns.
April 3, 2018 (Out now) | JW, Kitty, Jukio and Dom | Link
This Zelda-style adventure revolves around an unusual and cool premise: every 60 seconds, you die. It's not as punishing as it sounds, writes Andy Kelly: "Certain things will carry over to your next life, meaning you make a little more progress with each attempt. You start in a cosy house by the beach, but as you travel further afield you’ll find new places to call home, and conveniently respawn there whenever you die... I’ve never played anything quite like Minit before, and I’m looking forward to spending more time with it."
2019 | Double Fine | Link
Dive once again into the twisted minds of the Psychonauts in the long-awaited sequel to Double Fine’s inaugural game. Characters Raz, Milla, Lili, and Sasha make their first visit to Psychonauts’ headquarters, with all the psychic crime fighting it entails.
April 26 (Out Now) | Bishop Games | Link
Light Fall is a platformer that’s curiously full of empty spaces, which would be a problem in other games, but only because they don’t give you a Shadow Core. This strange box is essentially a personal platform that you can plonk down to let you reach new areas and overcome the myriad obstacles spread throughout Light Fall’s bleak but striking world. Everyone should own one.
May 15 | Throughline Games | Link
When you lose socks apparently they all go to live together in a world full of abandoned objects that looks like it was animated by Miyazaki. Forgotton Anne is one of the only humans in this world, an enforcer whose job is to prevent rebellion among the lost possessions in this adventure-platformer. Check out our full preview here.
Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon
May 24, 2018 | Inti Creates | Link
You might not remember, but Castlevania creator Koji Igarashi’s Kickstarter for Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night included a lofty stretch goal, and now you’re looking at it. An 8-bit prequel to Ritual’s homage to Symphony of the Night, Curse of the Moon is much more an homage to Castlevania’s earliest entries, with trippy music and a limited color palette. You play as Zangetsu, a demon slayer hunting a monster living in a castle, but you’ve got other characters to unlock that can alter the game’s ending. It’s free for anyone who backed Ritual of the Night for $28 or more, and it’s $10 for everyone else.
2019 | Lab Zero Games | Link
After a rebellious young girl’s home is attacked and an ancient power awakens inside her, she must absorb the “Incarnations” of people she meets along the way to aid her journey. Side-scrolling platforming and party-based combat set in a hand-drawn 2D world will keep you busy while you reunite the land.