2023 is here and as is the tradition at the start of a new year, we are looking ahead at what is coming to our PCs and Consoles in the coming months. As always this is based on what we know is coming, not unannounced titles that will surely get released during the year, and don’t hold it against us when some of these titles get delayed into 2024.
In a new category for this year, Paul is looking at the biggest indies that are likely to hit our systems. *Note* This year we will have a Most Anticipated Aussie Games List, so stay tuned for some games that should arguably be on this list, featuring on that list.
The Most Anticipated Indies of 2023
Sea Of Stars
Chrono Trigger is widely considered to be one of the greatest games, letalone JRPGs of all time, but it was perhaps because of the sheer ambition of the SNES classic, that perhaps very few have ever attempted to emulate the many narrative and gameplay intricacies that Squaresoft nailed over two decades ago.
Sea Of Stars comes from the team responsible for indie favourite, The Messenger, and promises to deliver incredible gameplay, and a rich narrative, as well as we a wonderful homage to Chrono Trigger itself, with even Chrono Trigger composer Yasunori Mitsuda getting in on the act as well.
Few titles are presenting as well as Sea Of Stars, and it’s not only poised to be one of the best indies of the year, but perhaps even one of the greats of 2023.
The Last Case Of Benedict Fox
While we’ve all seen and done the “murder mystery taking place in an old mansion” thing before, few games have done it with the style of The Last Case Of Benedict Fox. Admittedly this is based on a small vertical slice, but the voice-acting, and artistic direction of The Last Case Of Benedict Fox are outstanding; add atop that Metroidvania elements that have impressed those who’ve been fortunate enough to demo the game and you’ve got a very enticing prospect indeed.
The game is currently slated for an Autumn 2023 release, and so hopefully it won’t be too much longer before we can experience the Lovecraftian world, the demon battling, and the memories of deceased victims of The Last Case Of Benedict Fox.
Replaced is still in many senses a bit of a mystery, but that mystery is also one of the most hotly anticipated 2.5D sci-fi retro-futuristic action platformer’s in the business right now. You assume the role of R.E.A.C.H., and AI that has found itself trapped inside of a human body against your will, and must find a way to navigate the challenging situation that presents you with some gorgeous platforming opportunities, enthralling action combat, and eye-searingly good looks.
We’ve only seen Replaced a couple of times, but every time it shows the walls of the venue are rocking due to the excitement felt in the room, and we’re feeling it too. Replaced is slated to launch this year and we couldn’t be much more hyped about it
Our brothers and sisters in New Zealand’s Black Salt Games have been whipping up something with Dredge that is completely enthralling. We’ve had the chance to go hands-on with the game a couple of times now thanks to showings at both PAX AUS 2022, and the most recent Steam Next Fest, and through both platforms, it has shone incredibly brightly. Dredge continues to tempt you with one more sail, jumping in your boat to scoop up more resources, but poses all sorts of dangers in the darkness – it’s a pulsating experience, and one we can’t get enough of.
Dredge is on track to launch in 2023, and the sooner, the better as far as we’re concerned.
There’s still a lot that we don’t know about Blanc, despite its incredibly imminent launch date, but what we do know for sure is that the monochromatic look of the game is astonishingly good looking, and the “journey of a wolf cub and a fawn stranded in a vast, snowy wilderness” has our hearts already in an emotional bind, dreading the worst that could befall the pair, desperate to find a way to bring them safely home.
Blanc is on track to launch on February 14, 2023 on both PC and Nintendo Switch, and we’re both excited for it and dreading it at the same time. *Please be safe*
Mina The Hollower
Mina The Hollower has been a long, long time coming. It has somehow been almost a decade since Yacht Club Games released Shovel Knight, and while they’ve been doing a phenomenal job of supporting the game over many years with DLC, and overseen the development of Shovel Knight Dig, as well as Pocket Dungeon, and they even published the much loved Cyber Shadow, but it’s been a long time since they actively worked on a new game. So finally, Mina The Hollower has been announced and it’s on track for December 2023.
The game takes inspiration from the glory days of the Gameboy as well as the likes of The Legend Of Zelda, Castlevania and more. The game looks sensational, and we can only hope that the team manages to stick to its planned release month because the game could be a showstopper.