We love indie games here at Words About Games. They’re usually where you’ll find the more unique, memorable gameplay experiences. There are also a lot of them, which can make finding diamonds in the rough a tough exercise (looking at you, Steam). I thought I’d use this week’s Weekly Words to highlight some smaller games that should most definitely be on your radar for the upcoming year (and potentially beyond).


Kieru

Platforms PC
Developer Pine Fire Studios
Publisher Pine Fire Studios
Release Date TBA (Early 2017)

Keiru is a first-person, multiplayer fighting game with three colours – black, white and red. That’s important because the game pits white ninja’s against black ninja’s. White ninja’s are invisible in the light, black ninja’s are invisible in the dark. Players will need to use their surroundings to create advantages over opponents, staying hidden and waiting for the perfect moment to strike.


Desync

Platforms PC
Developer The Foregone Syndicate
Publisher Adult Swim Games
Release Date Q1 2017

Desync is a single-player first-person shooter designed around creativity, a brightly coloured neon aesthetic and a killer soundtrack. Rather than feature your typical first-person shooter gameplay loop, Desync features attack sequences – special moves that deal massive damage to enemies. Finding these sequences requires players to attempt dangerous and creative kills. The more creative you are, the more likely you will find an attack sequence.


Liege

Platforms PC, PS4
Developer Coda Games
Publisher Coda Games
Release Date TBA (2017)

Liege is a dark fantasy RPG with JRPG inspired gameplay mechanics. It tells what developer Coda Games promises to be a mature story, which begins after the royal family of the Kingdom of Liege falls into a sleep that they don’t awaken from. Civil war breaks out and you’ll be playing as a variety of different characters. Also noteworthy is the combat system, which is inspired by Final Fantasy Tactics. Liege forgoes reliance on levelling characters and equipment, instead placing emphasis on positioning, movement and strategy.


Beat Cop

Platforms PC
Developer Pixel Crow
Publisher 11-bit Studios
Release Date TBA (2017)

Beat Cop is a pixel art adventure game set in New York and inspired by 1980’s cop shows. The game puts you in the shoes of Jack Kelly, a former detective who was framed for murder and busted back down to a beat cop. You’ll need to find the evidence to clear your name, but the odds are stacked against you. Turns out Jack’s boss is a dick, his wife is awful and the mafia are trying to kill him.


Outward

Platforms PC
Developer Nine Dots
Publisher Nine Dots
Release Date TBA

Outward is an open-world RPG that casts players as an ordinary, run-of-the-mill adventurer in a fantasy world. You’re not the chosen hero set out to save the world, but rather just another regular person. It’s almost an adventurer simulator. Outward aims to simulate the life of an adventurer, rather than tell the story of a single, epic quest.


Of Guards and Thieves

Platforms PC
Developer Subvert Games
Publisher Subvert Games
Release Date TBA

Of Guards and Thieves is a free-to-play, top-down shooter with asymmetrical competitive multiplayer. The game casts players in the role of either a guard or a thief, which can alter your gameplay experience. While playing as a guard, the game plays more like a traditional shooter, whereas playing as a thief pushes more of a focus on stealth-based gameplay. Both teams will have their own, different objectives in each map too. Of Guards and Thieves is currently in Steam Early Access and receiving regular updates.


Paladins

Platforms PC, PS4, XBO
Developer Hi-Rez Studios
Publisher Hi-Rez Studios
Release Date TBA

Paladins is a class-based competitive first-person shooter that focuses on a diverse cast of characters to suit an array of different playing styles. I’m going to rip off the plaster straight away and say it’s quite similar to Overwatch’s focus on different hero characters and core gameplay. There are differences, such as burn cards that can grant massive advantages on the battlefield. Paladins is also a free-to-play game supported by microtransactions for cosmetic items and currently available in beta form on Steam Early Access.

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