The first ID@Xbox game released in 2013. Over the following five years, hundreds of indie games have fallen into the hands of players, titles that might have struggled to find themselves on the Xbox One without the help of the ID@Xbox program. Last week, ID@Xbox celebrated the release of their 1,000th game, but there are still many more to come. In fact, there are over 3,000 studios currently creating games to be released in the future. It's almost impossible to cover them all, but we recently managed to get hands on with a few of those titles. Here are ten games that we think will be worth your time when they're released in the future.
Developer Wonderboy Bobi's name almost gives away their inspiration for this side-scrolling platformer. Harking back to the days of the 16-bit non-linear adventures, players assume the role of a knight in the Kingdom of Lumen who's tasked with defeating the invading monsters. Players travel through countryside, caves, forests and even underwater environments, taking on a variety of unfriendly wildlife. Exploration will reward players with treasure, and each defeated enemy yields gems that can be spent on items in shops sprinkled throughout the land. You'll meet a variety of characters who'll give you tips, quests, or even teach you new skills. Even with the short amount of time we were able to spend with the game, it became clear that it would take a while to explore everything and find all of the secrets the game has to offer. You can investigate these for yourself when the game is released later this year in collaboration with PQube.
Aurelien Regard's cartoon-like roguelite RPG begins when the protagonist hears a mysterious noise in the basement of their grandparents' house. It turns out an evil corporation is trying to dig a tunnel into the house, but their dog saw them off. That tunnel is the way out of the house and into a bright and colourful world where not everything is as it seems. The aforementioned corporation is trying to take over the area by forcing its residents out of their homes, because this means they can mine a valuable material without hindrance, and it's up to you to stop them. The protagonist is initially weak but can gain additional skills by recruiting characters into their party, like a talking tree that was always up for a fight. The way other characters react to you depends on the conversation options you choose, and whether you complete their quests — if they don't like you, they won't join you. Each playthrough will feature a randomised world layout with different characters, enemies and rewards. You'll get to take on the corporation yourself when the game is released early next year.
Ant Workshop's twin-stick shooter begins when a paranormal pest control company known as Ghoul-B-Gone receives a call about some unwanted guests. The problem is that all of their best employees are out on other jobs, so it's up to you to try and save the day — "try" being the keyword. Players must explore buildings, rescuing civilians and shooting ghosts to stun them before vacuuming them up. The damaged furniture is just collateral damage, and you even get cash for it. For every full tank of ghosts you collect, you get a promotion and you have a variety of skills you can level up along the way. Who knows, you might not even be the most incompetent employee in the company by the time you've finished the job. The visuals are very reminiscent of Ren & Stimpy
, a clear inspiration for the game, and it doesn't take itself seriously in the slightest. You can bust some ghosts yourself when the title arrives next year.
Retired Dusty lives in the Outer Cerebrum of the brain with his memories and his drinks. The problem is that an accident has forced the brain into turmoil, and it has now been invaded by Nightmare creatures. If he's to ever return to his peaceful existence, he needs to join his flying companion Piper as they defeat the Nightmares and stabilise the brain once again. Despite its initial fairy-tale appearance, Bedtime Digital Games' puzzle adventure title is a deceptively dark story about how people cope with fears and trauma. If you fancy more of a challenge, more difficult puzzles are scattered throughout the levels and their completion rewards players with Remembranes that reveal more of the story behind the person whose brain we're inhabiting. Officially the title is still due to appear this year, but it's looking ever more likely that it won't appear until 2019.
The premise of Boneloaf's arena brawler is a simple one. Up to four players take on the role of completely unco-ordinated rag dolls as they try to throw the other players out of the crazy arenas, such as rooftops, an active train station, ice floes, or even a turning ferris wheel. There are no power-ups or special moves. The challenge is as much to get your character moving as intended than it is to defeat the other players. The result is a battle that can turn on a dime with absolutely hilarious results. Throughout the many shows we've attended at which this game has been present, it has always drawn a crowd and proven itself to be as much of a great spectator sport as it was to play it. After being released on PC and PlayStation 4, Double Fine Productions will be bringing the game to Xbox One later this year.
Radiation Blue's simulation title puts players in charge of building and managing a space station. You'll decide which rooms you want to prioritise, where to send your staff, and what to research to be able to gain the resources to expand your ship. So far this is a standard simulation title, but then players can also get hands-on with all of the activities. Grab a weapon and defend the ship from intruding species. Speed up resource gathering by logging into a terminal and doing it yourself. Travel to your next destination and explore the planet's surface through your own eyes, dealing with danger as it arises. Not only do you need to decide how best to maintain and expand your ship, you need to decide how best to manage your own time. It's a fine line to tread, because once things start going wrong, they often go wrong in spectacular fashion with the loss of entire areas of the ship and crew. You can try to find that balance yourself when the game arrives in January 2019 thanks to publisher Team17.
Onion Soup Interactive's racing title can only really be described as one of the wackiest obstacle races in which you'll ever take part. Choose from a variety of unconventional characters, such as a man in a lobster suit, a dog in a human costume, or a permanently angry pensioner, and take on a variety of courses across Japan. Dodge obstacles such as fences and floating islands, as well as the more unpredictable workmen and angry dogs as up to four racers try to win the race. At times it's hard enough just to stay on the track, and that's without the fruit pickups that are wielded by players. You can either throw them as seemingly very accurate homing missiles, eat them to regain health, or use them to create other obstacles for your opponents to avoid, like banana skins. It's a title that you really have to experience for yourself to appreciate it. The game is currently in Early Access on Steam and will be arriving on console fairly soon in conjunction with publisher PQube.
You may think that there isn't much gameplay variety that can be drawn for a game that concentrates solely on pool, but this is why VooFoo Studios' title is surprising. The game includes every major rule-set you can think of, as well as creating a series of interesting mini-games out of them. We experienced conventional matches against an AI opponent with two different rule sets. While trying out the skill games, we had to clear the table as quickly as we could, and pot as many balls as possible within a set time limit without letting our opponent get a turn. There are visual aids to help less experienced players pick up the game easily too, making it ideal for family play. The title is heading for Xbox One at the start of next year.
Camel 101's atmospheric thriller thrives on its sense of unease. Edward Turner is travelling to the town of Dormont to meet up with his lover Diane, but having left his wife Andrea at home, his feelings of guilt make him decide to end the affair that night. When he arrives at the motel, his plans fall apart when he finds Diane missing, and it's clear nothing is as it seems. The town is under some sort of curse, which has trapped most of its population in the darkness. If Edward wanders too far into the dark, those people won't hesitate to kill him, and there's nothing quite as eerie and unsettling as seeing dozens of pairs of glowing eyes standing just out of reach, waiting for you to make a mistake. Players must solve puzzles and create light sources to make his way to safety. There are also the strange light portals that transport him to an alternate dimension where his actions affect the situation in the real world. Will you stay safe when the game is released next year?
Repixel8's title is a zero gravity tunnel racer that allows players to race up the walls and roof if they think it will give them the best racing line and an advantage over their opponents. Not only will you need to find the boost pads and ramps, you'll need to avoid obstacles such as beams and barriers that will bring your race to a sudden halt. We saw four of the five race types — slalom, drag, sprint, and multi-lap (we didn't see a bonus stage) — and they're spread across 120 different tracks. Players can choose a vehicle to suit their preferred racing style as well as the game mode and track itself, as each has their own characteristics and can be upgraded as you wish. As well as the campaign, there will be online race modes, local splitscreen, and the option to race offline against player ghosts, so there will be plenty to keep players occupied when the game hits Xbox One "soon".
These are just a small selection of the titles coming to Xbox One and Windows 10 soon thanks to the ID@Xbox program. Which are you most excited about?