Elsewhere on Gamereactor you'll find our wishlist of indies that are set to land (hopefully) sometime in 2019, and the ones in that feature are completely independent games. These are too, but they're being published by the growing community of indie labels and publishers that specialise in identifying the cream of the crop, helping creators finish their titles and, perhaps most importantly, telling the world about their games (something that independent developers aren't always the best at). And so, without further ado, here's our second indie-themed preview.
Ape Out (PC, Switch) - February 7
Developer: Gabe Cuzzillo / Publisher: Devolver Digital
We do love a bit of monkey business and Ape Out is certain to deliver just that. You play as an unarmed gorilla trying to escape through various levels full of armed guards, and the ingenious design featuring walls that obscure your top-down view means it's less of a puzzle game and more of a case where you need to react to situations quickly in order to progress. The inspired soundtrack along with the stylised visuals made us sit up and take notice of Ape Out.
Black Future '88 (PC) - 2019
Developer: SUPERSCARYSNAKES / Publisher: Good Shepherd Entertainment
No other game in 2019 captures the exaggerated '80s look better than this. With its fast-paced run and gun gameplay surrounded fog machines, laser beams, and a synth-punk aesthetic, nothing else is likely to get our bionic-hearts beating quite as fast this year.
Blazing Chrome (PC, PS4) - Early 2019
Developer: JoyMasher / Publisher: The Arcade Crew
Everyone loves a bit of Contra, but we've all been pretty starved for that style of action for a while now. The Arcade Crew aims to remedy that with this upcoming 2019 release, where you fight back against your robot overlords - alone or with a friend - in this exciting mission to save mankind.
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night (PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One) - 2019
Developer: ArtPlay / Publisher: 505 Games
Koji Igarashi - responsible for many of the best Castlevania titles - is bringing us a brand-new game in his signature style. Featuring both an updated combat system reminiscent of his old games and an updated 3D art style, Bloodstained could be the modern 'Igavania' style game we always wanted.
Children of Morta (PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One) - 2019
Developer: Dead Mage / Publisher: 11 bit Studios
When danger approaches Mount Morta, you can't fight it alone. Instead, bring the family along for Dead Mage's top-down adventure game. With each individual family member having their own unique fighting style, and dungeons that change in every playthrough, this is a game we shouldn't struggle to find enjoyment in. Here's hoping at any rate.
Bioshock comparisons are always a good sign, and it's easy to see why Storm in a Teacup's game Close to the Sun was on the receiving end of such comparisons. You're looking for your sister on a dark and gloomy ship owned by Nikola Tesla, but what secrets are there to find? We'll have to wait and see, won't we?!
Dark Devotion (PC) - 2019
Developer: Hibernian Workshop / Publisher: The Arcade Crew
Pilgrimage is never easy, but for your Templar in Dark Devotion it's particularly tricky, as there are plenty of bosses and baddies hidden in the secret temple you're in town explore. It looks to be dripping with atmosphere and challenge, not to mention some very sinister mysteries.
Disco Elysium (PC) - Hopefully 2019
Developer: ZA/UM / Publisher: Humble Bundle
There are many things that stand out about cop-RPG Disco Elysium. It's got a unique somewhat painterly art style, and you're able to shape and customise your cop through actions and the skills you pick too - do you want to be a completely brutal hard-boiled detective or will you be a more analytical Sherlock Holmes type? It also features original music from post-rock band British Sea Power.
Indivisible (PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One) -2019
Developer: Lab Zero Game / Publisher: 505 Games
The team at Lab Zero are experts when it comes to hand-drawn 2D animation, and the stunning visuals shown here further prove that. Combine that with a variety of unique characters, a vibrant world to explore and a traditional RPG combat system, and you've got yourself a game to keep an eye on this year.