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.
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.
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.
TBA (currently 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.
TBD | 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.
TBD | 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. Ice Pick Lodge just announced an alpha you can sign up for here, plus a new gameplay trailer below.
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.
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.