We’re back with another list of awesome indie games you need to be keeping an eye out for in 2016. I feel like these lists need no introduction at this point, but we’re giving you one anyways! These are some indie games that may, or may not, be flying below your radar that are all due out in 2016(ish) that we here at Words About Games feel like you need to know about.

Enter the Gungeon

Platforms PC, PS4
Developer Dodge Roll
Listed Release Date April 5, 2016

Shown off at the PC Gaming Show at last years E3, where it caught the attention of both myself and Tom, Enter the Gungeon looks like a barrel (roll) of awesome. It’s a top-down, hard-as-nails dungeon crawler that swaps swords for guns. Lots of guns. I was actually able to get my hands on this game at EGX last year and had a lot of fun. Although I spent roughly 50% of my time apologising to the random guy who decided it would be a good idea to play this with me. Did I mention it was hard? I can’t wait to take on the Cult of the Gundead in this dodge rolling, gun totin’ slice of really cool game.

Eitr

Platforms PC, PS4
Developer Eneme Entertainment
Listed Release Date 2016

Eitr was a game I had never heard of, until a friend of mine insisted I fight my way to a demo station to try it out at EGX last year. I was suitable impressed by what I found, hogging the PC for around half an hour before the cold, hard stares of the people behind me convinced me to move along. Eitr is an isometric, real-time RPG that throws you into a Norse-inspired world that will kill you. You’ve got to explore an unforgiving world full of monsters and crazy boss fights, with a cool combat system and an even cooler leveling system, which forces you to choose between permanent upgrades or more powerful, but temporary, perks.

Gang Beasts

Platforms PC, PS4
Developer Boneleaf
Listed Release Date 2016

Unlike many other games on this list, Gang Beasts is a game I wanted to try at EGX but didn’t. Well, didn’t is the wrong word. I couldn’t. Much like any stand with a VR headset on display, the Gang Beasts booth was impossible to even get close to. Not for lack of trying, but Gang Beasts’ blend of local multiplayer carnage wasn’t just popular to play, it was popular to watch – throngs of cheering onlookers watched Gang Beasts matches like they were watching a game of football. Having seen gameplay for myself, I can see why. Gang Beasts seems like a local multiplayer game that is a riotously good time whether you’re playing or watching. It’s available right now as an Early Access game, with the full game coming to Steam and PS4 at some point this year.

Masquerada: Songs and Shadows

Platforms PC, PS4
Developer Witching Hour Studios
Listed Release Date Early 2016

Masquerada: Songs and Shadows is the reason I go to shows like EGX – finding the game tucked away in a corner of the show was intriguing, playing it was surprising, and chatting with the obviously passionate developers (both at the show and afterwards) was awesome. The game itself was addictive, despite the fact that I only got to play for about half an hour, dropped into the middle of the story without context, as I so frequently am when previewing games. When I stood up after vanquishing the final boss of the demo I felt that familiar pull of wanting, needing to play more, and while time and distance has dulled that reaction somewhat, it’s not gone completely. Luckily the games scheduled release date is right around the corner.

What Remains of Edith Finch

Platforms PS4
Developer Giant Sparrow
Listed Release Date 2016

Ever since its reveal at PSX in 2014 I have waited about as patiently as I could for anything regarding Giant Sparrow’s next game. What Remains of Edith Finch is essentially a collection of weird short stories, with the narrative framing device of you exploring an old, family mansion. And when I say weird, I mean weird. The section shown off at E3 last year showed a child having a dream, wherein she explored different landscapes as a variety of different animals, from a cat to a shark. Unfortunately details about the game are scant at best, with Edith Finch having gone quiet since E3. Hopefully, with the game set to launch on PS4 sometime this year, we’ll start getting more information. Or, knowing Sony, they’ll announce its release “right now” on stage at E3 in June.

Distance

Platforms PC, PS4
Developer Refract
Listed Release Date 2016

Distance is a racing game I’ve had my eye on for a while – an intense action racer combined with some mild exploration, and a whole heap of features already included in its Early Access version on Steam. The game has an aesthetic not dissimilar to Wipeout (RIP) and a speed to match. You’ll not only be driving in the game, but boosting, jumping, rotating and flying. And the game has a lot to do – you’ve got a single-player adventure mode, online and offline muiltiplayer in a variety of modes, a random track generator and a level editor. Oh, and the game has been experimenting with VR integration via Oculus Rift, too.

Unbox

Platforms PC, PS4, XBO
Developer Prospect Games
Listed Release Date 2016

My experience with Unbox at EGX last year was quite strange. Kirsty and I both wandered over to the booth with time to kill between appointments, and were invited to sit down and play the game by the developers. Our experiences could not have been more contrasting. She explored a relaxing open world, gathering collectibles and helping the inhabitants of a village find their lost stuff. I, on the other hand, had to repel an onslaught of invaders armed with rocket launchers, bouncing my way through a village as everything around me exploded in an impressive display of carnage. Unbox, then, is a game with a lot in store for potential players. It was originally slated for May of this year, but the devs have pushed the release date back to launch the game on consoles as well as PC.

The Sigma Theory

Platforms PC
Developer Mi-clos Studio
Listed Release Date TBA

This one might not be coming in 2016, as there has been no official word on a release date, and the developer I spoke to at EGX said the game was “10% done” back in September. Call it hopeful on my part, but Sigma Theory is an interesting game. It’s a spy thriller set during a cold war, where superpowers are attempting to achieve global domination by taking control of a scientific discovery known as The Sigma Theory, which can be used to destroy the global financial system, achieve immortality, or wipe out entire countries. Players head up their nations counter-intelligence agency and have to deploy their agents, and use their diplomacy, to achieve victory. You direct agents in real time via a series of choices, and using the guidance and information given to you by your experts, to ensure missions are accomplished and agents are extracted safely. The small snippet of game I played at EGX was intruging, and I can’t wait to play more.

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