Video games let us do many amazing things, like forcing us to live in an apocalypse or allowing us the freedom to travel to an unknown galaxy. Then there is the world of "indie games," which let you pretend to be, say, a murderous goat or an octopus disguised as a human man. While mainstream video games take a very logical approach to fun, indie games sometimes take an approach that can best be described as "Is this really happening?"
And with less pressure put on them to be as popular as Call Of Duty, indie games are able to take a lot more risks. That's why we have these upcoming games to look forward to, which are all your ridiculous childhood fantasies come to life.
You ever play that game in the house where you had to jump from obstacle to obstacle without touching the rug or the grass? Remember how you pretended that everything floor-related was lava? Remember how Alex from across the street slipped and broke something and his parents glared at you? Back to the lava thing: What if it was?
"Honey, did you re-up the volcano insurance?"
Hot Lava is exactly that. You get out of bed and, oh shit, lava everywhere. These circumstances require you to hop, surf, and slide around furniture and other objects. The levels start innocently enough, in a house and a school, but soon become more advanced and fantastic, turning you into Parkour Indiana Jones. It's Mirror's Edge meets Saturday morning cartoons, and you can sign up for the beta right now. It's hard for fully-grown people to jump from chair to chair without later having to make a sudden IKEA trip, but luckily, video games have got your back.
Wanna get kids to exercise in gym class? Strap on VR glasses and let them play this.
From the game studio that is bringing you ClusterTruck, a game about driving 18-wheelers through your fever dreams, comes Totally Accurate Battle Simulator. It's scheduled for release next year, but the teaser trailer gives a good glimpse of what it's trying to be:
I think this is the only time I've seen the graphics and hoped they're actually as bad as they look.
The game simulation mode allows you to select two "teams" -- red and blue -- and watch them go at it by flailing around and causing a big, jumbled slaughter. Where's the fun in watching a bunch of polygons slug it out without any control over them? Well, the trick is that you can make the teams as powerful or as weak as you want. So if you want to find out if a bunch of cavemen with clubs could take out some villagers with pitchforks, now's the time to settle those bar bets.
Or maybe you've always wondered if some archers could defeat an invading giant chicken man:
If this was Game Of Thrones, that field would be red by now.
Variables include cannons, muskets, swords and shields, goddamn chariots, and, riding that fine line between being surprising and being a totally obvious choice, chickens. Go ahead, child inside you. Set up 100 vs. 100 matches so ridiculous that your computer begs for release. I'm not sure if there's already a genre of game called "Stuff We Made Just To See What Happens," but this should be at the top of the pile.
The game is now in Alpha, and is made by some crazy Swedish people. It should be noted that Sweden was neutral during most of our World Wars, so maybe they think this is, like, a documentary.
Minecraft has made eleventy billion dollars over the last few years, and I get the appeal. It lets you create whatever you want, as long as what you want has square edges. And the upcoming game Planet Coaster apparently saw dollar signs in a similar concept to that, but set in a theme park. I know what you're gonna say: "Roller Coaster Tycoon and others have done this since the days of floppy disks, right?" Well, while Roller Coaster Tycoon made you a coaster king, Planet Coaster turns you into a COASTER GOD.
You see, in this, you get to build EVERYTHING. For example, the game's not even out, and someone has already recreated the DC section of Six Flags pretty much block by block.
Though there's a noticeable lack of vomit covering the grounds.
Holy shit. It gets even more incredible when you realize that some of those decorations (like all the statues of Superman) are improvised out of clipping together other weird parts that aren't supposed to. And wait, this is the fucking Alpha? Damn, at this rate, Six Flags is probably gonna sue because of the loss of business.
Of course, you could make this exact thing in Minecraft if you really wanted, but not only do you get to walk around and see your park fully populated, you can even ride all the rides in first person. So I can finally hop on Ride of Steel with only a small chance of passing out. I'm sorry in advance that you're about to spend the rest of the day watching videos of all the insane creations that have already been made, but if you get worried, start emailing them to your boss. Get them on board.
But the best part is that the game developers already know EXACTLY what you freaks are planning on doing, because they released a whole trailer about letting track-detached coasters mow down civilians. This might be the only game that laughs along with you as you murder paying customers with programmed theme park disasters.
Oh whoops, musta missed a piece of track there. Totally didn't mean to do that.
100ft Robot Golf is exactly what it sounds like. You play as a handful of possible robots and have to battle for par across a citywide golf course. Other levels include an ice mountain, underwater, and the Moon. The ROBOT Moon.
If that's not enough, you also have a shitload of weapons. Oh, I should have mentioned that you can destroy the entire city and the other players as they get in the way of your birdie. It's almost as if the golfing aspect was the developer's sneaky way of giving this game some structure after the higher-ups shot down the idea of just letting robots fight each other.
"'Scuse me, I think I landed in the rough."
This game will actually probably be out by the time you read this, on PS4 and PlayStation VR. Fuck Power Rangers, go back in time and give me this shit at 10 years old. And also, tell me to please not grow my hair out for the school pictures. If you could have a robot point at me through the screen to say "Get that shit cut, Chris," then elementary school is about to be smooooth sailing.
There are plenty of horror games out there, including a lot of great indie ones, but few let you turn your real house into a haunted one. Upcoming iOS game Night Terrors does just that, using augmented reality to map out your house and fill it with monsters. Kinda like Pokemon Go meets Wes Craven, except you'll probably shit your pants before ever having a chance to catch one of these things.
The way it works is pretty interesting. You turn all the lights off in your house, throw on some headphones, and hold up your cell phone in front of your face, turning you into a character in your own found footage horror movie. The game accesses the camera light as your "flashlight," and as you move through your house, the game recognizes doorways and ceilings and will deliver ghosts and goblins to your screen (amazingly made using practical effects, without CGI). There is even a bit of a story too, just in case you thought this was going to be a simple whimper-helplessly-in-the-corner-while-begging-your-friend-to-turn-the-living-room-light-back-on simulator.
Watch it turn this guy's house into something he doesn't even recognize, as a pair of eyes pop out of his wall as he's inspecting his bathroom.
"Boo! I'm a poop spook!"
The part that makes him finally stop playing is when stuff starts dropping from his ceiling, as if something is crawling around upstairs:
"OK, that's either Old Man Rosenberg getting up to pee, or Cthulhu."
This game was funded by an Indiegogo campaign a couple years ago, and the promised full version is going to take advantage of everything on your phone. Maybe a ghost will try to FaceTime you or write on your Facebook wall. (Hint: Don't pick up or reply.) The version above is a prequel beta currently on the app store. The only unanswered question is how you explain the garlic all over the floor when your spouse comes home.
Cloud Imperium Games
Even though I don't play too many PC games, I'm hip with the kids, so I'm well aware of the disaster that was No Man's Sky. After it didn't live up to the hype at all, I can totally see why you would immediately dismiss the game in this entry as well. I'm even a bit skeptical of letting another space exploration game get the better of me, and I'm only experiencing secondhand rage from other people on the internet.
But the upcoming Star Citizen boasts a star-studded cast and a huge budget for an indie. It crowdfunded tens of millions of dollars over the last couple of years (some from regular gamers who have spent thousands of dollars on ships that don't exist yet), and is now in its Alpha stage.
Cloud Imperium Games
What, is literal deep space travel teleporting you through your computer screen gonna be added in a patch?
The game itself looks extremely detailed. The basic structure involves building spaceships that let you trade across the universe, but you actually have to physically fly to a planet and down to its surface to do your dealings. From what it looks like in the developer footage, everything is actually there. Meaning basically anything you see in the distance you can go to. A friend can even drop you off and fly away while you do something different.
Cloud Imperium Games
"Have fun at Aaron's! Be home by 10!"
"*sigh* Thanks, Mom"
It even features Mark Hamill and Gary Oldman's likenesses in-game, which just makes me hope I can finally play out my long-awaited Star Wars / Batman RPG in-universe.
Cloud Imperium Games
"That's no moon -- it's a Space Commissioner."
Sorry, it's just in Alpha. On the plus side, it might give us more time to crowdfund more likenesses. How much would a Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan cost? I swear, it's for the good of the game.
Blur the line between fantasy and reality even further in 5 Video Games That Took "Realism" Way Too Far, and see why nostalgia isn't always what it's cracked up to be in 7 Ways Video Games Sucked (That Kids Know Nothing About).
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