SURVIVAL AND EXPLORATION GAMES OF 2018
Late 2018 | Twirlbound | Link
In a world where humans never dominated the planet, societies of weapon-wielding moose, mammoths, and alligators run the show. A young boy named Hue is tasked with finding a new home for his small tribe of humans. The anthropomorphic animal species of Pine will give Hue quests that change their attitudes towards him. You and Hue can carve out a palace for humanity by fighting other tribes for dominance or by diplomacy. Given that the humans are outclassed even by foxes, diplomacy is the encouraged path forward. Pine’s open-world adventure setting is the playground for its emerging stories between tribes.
A Knight's Quest
2018 | Sky 9 Games | Link
A Knight’s Quest gives a comedic spin to the classic adventure story, featuring a hero named Rusty who’s tasked with saving the kingdom from an evil spirit that he accidentally unleashed upon it. It’s self-proclaimed inspirations are Zelda and Metroid, which manifest in its focus on exploration and acquiring various tools and weapons to solve puzzles.
We Happy Few
August 10 | Compulsion | Link
The unsettling tale of a society controlled by mind-altering drugs and an authoritarian police force, We Happy Few mixes a full-length campaign with three playable characters, with more than 250 encounters set in a procedurally generated world. After existing as an Early Access “rogue-lite” for quite some time, the game’s expansion has pushed its original $30 price tag to $60. Developer Compulsion pushed back the release date once again from April to Summer 2018, temporarily closing sales of the early access version until a later date.
TBA | Robot Gentlemen | Link
Like its 2015 post-apocalyptic predecessor, 60 Parsecs! puts players in charge of a group of people, in this case Cold War astronauts, who are 60 seconds away from disaster and death. Their space station is about to blow up, so there’s only a minute to gather supplies and get everyone ready for the 60 parsec jump into the unknown. For the rest of the game, you’ll need to live (or die) with the consequences of those 60 seconds while dealing with rationing, radiation and the horrors of space travel.
Genesis Alpha One
September 4 | Team 17 | Link
Team17's latest has a little bit of everything, including base-building, fast-paced shooting, survival elements, and weird alien faces. Explore across a randomly generated universe and kill some evil monstrosities while you farm for resources.
July 30 | Chibig | Link
Deiland is a relaxing sandbox RPG that calls to mind both Stardew Valley and Mario Galaxy. As 10-year-old Arco, you’ll take care of your tiny planet, building, crafting and even exploring other worlds, befriending their inhabitants. There’s combat too, of course, and some survival elements, but it’s not meant to be stressful. A mobile version is already available.
2018 | Glumberland | Link
As long as there are video games, there will be people who enjoy collecting adorable monsters in them. Ooblets combines elements of Pokémon, Harvest Moon, and Animal Crossing, letting you build a farm full of cute little creatures, explore a charming town, and battle other Ooblets.
Thief of Thieves
J | Rival Games | Link
Based on Robert Kirkman’s comic series by the same name, Thief of Thieves will be an episodic stealth adventure following Celia, the protege of the comic series’ hero. The game’s art style pays plenty of homage to its comic book origins, with brightly-colored, high contrast scenes and actual speech bubbles.
Call of Cthulhu
October 30 | Cyanide | Link
A first-person survival horror game with a sanity system, Call of Cthulhu resists the familiar hide and seek tendencies of the genre with investigation scenes. As you peruse tomes full of ancient knowledge you are at risk of developing phobias and awakening ancient horrors.
2018 (Early Access) | Phoenix Labs | Link
If you’re looking for a more accessible, less grindy Monster Hunter, Dauntless might be for you, featuring a bunch of “behemoths” sporting ethereal spikes, giant wings, or flame-spewing orifices, among other pleasantries. Our preview detailed some of its free-to-play shortcomings, but you have the chance to join its closed beta to get an idea for yourself.
2018 | Ten Chambers Collective | Link
GTFO drops 4-player teams of scavengers into dilapidated, claustrophobic sci-fi tunnels that are, unfortunately, full of horrible mutant monstrosities that look a little like Dead Space’s nightmarish Necromorphs. There’s more than a hint of Aliens about it, with the dim lighting and the long stretches of silence punctuated by waves of grotesque creatures. Ten Chambers includes ex-Overkill developers, so expect to see a bit of Payday’s influence, too.
2018 | Aurora44 | Link
As a wanderer in search of a permanent home, the bleak open world of Ashen looks pretty uninviting. You’ll need to seek out other players and NPCs, encourage them to support your settlement with their own skills, and all while avoiding the murderous beasts that wait in the dark.
2018 | Magnus Games | Link
You’ve washed up on the shore of a mysterious island without a single memory, but at least there are cute little monsters to make friends with. Tame the little creatures, known as Magnus, to help you with farming, traveling, combat, and more in this chibi adventure.
2018 | tinyBuild, Ice Pick Lodge | Link
In 2017 the project to remake the original Pathologic was renamed Pathologic 2, a reinterpretation of the strange, disturbing original story about a disease-ravaged town. You only have 12 days to save as many people as you can, but it’s not an ordinary disease, and the are surreal horrors lurking behind the town’s rotting wooden doors.
Praey for the Gods
2018 | No Matter Studios | Link
Awkwardly named Praey for the Gods (blame a trademark dispute with Bethesda) looks a lot like a Shadow of the Colossus we’ll be able to play on PC. It’s a game about climbing up gargantuan deities and then killing them in the hopes of ending an eternal winter. There’s a bit of Breath of the Wild-esque mountain climbing and gliding thrown in for good measure, too.
2018 | Altered Matter | Link
Etherborn is an exploration platformer that messes with the laws of physics to create a non-Euclidian world of strange paths and staircases, like an M. C. Escher lithograph, but brightly-coloured and serene. The incredible environment completely dwarfs the player character, who can traverse the peculiar realm with greater ease than you’d expect, largely thanks to gravity that’s always relative.
TBA | Black Riddles | Link
Fortnite’s not even out of early access yet and already another game is nipping at its heels. Crazy Justice has all the crafting, building and shooting stuff up that you might be familiar with from Epic’s colourful romp, but in a steampunk setting. And like Fortnite, there’s both a last man standing-style mode, and a story-mode where you’ll be gallivanting all over the world, fighting the forces of evil.
2018 | Mobius|Link
Explore a handcrafted open-world solar system with one big hitch: the sun will explode 20 minutes after you start. Luckily, time rewinds when the supernova happens, and the things you learn as you explore can be utilized in your next life.
RELEASED AND DELAYED TO 2019
(Out in Early Access) | Crytek | Link
One of the most visually stunning games we’ve seen in some time, according to our own preview, Hunt: Showdown mixes the monstrous horrors of Resident Evil and Stalker with the permadeath combat of DayZ. Five teams of two hunters scour miles of swampland for up to three demons to kill, procure their loot, and attempt to make it out without another team stealing the prize.