Ciao, and welcome to the latest volume of Keep An Eye On It. We’ve got lots of exciting titles to showcase this time around, some just around the corner. Whether you’re looking for a sequel or spinoff to an existing series or the indie game you never knew you needed in your life, there are some great games in development right now.
Tactical gamers looking for their next war to win can look forward to Banchou Tactics, Mars Tactics, Legends of Kingdom Rush, or Vactics for some exciting new takes on their favorite genre. If you’re more of an RPG fan, Miasma Chronicles, For The King II, and Codename: Wandering Sword definitely belong on your Wishlist… and of course, there’s the matter of the big new announcement from the grim darkness of the far future!
The creators of Mutant: Year Zero have announced their next project, and it looks like it may be a bit darker than its predecessor. Miasma Chronicles follows the adventures of a young man and his robot caretaker in a post-apocalyptic world devastated by a mysterious Miasma. Although the protagonist’s origins are unclear, he has the ability to control the Miasma, potentially changing the fate of the planet.
If you enjoyed the gameplay and weirdness of Mutant Chronicles, this new adventure will be right up your alley. Miasma Chronicles is currently scheduled to release sometime in 2023.
Video Game Fables
Momiji Studios’ Video Game Fables is a lighthearted take on retro RPGs. The characters all realize they live in a video game, but not having had a player in decades the pixelated protagonists have to take matters into their own hands.
Video Game Fables has some serious Paper Mario vibes, from its humor to its combat. A demo is currently available if you’re looking to try something colorful and fun, and the full version releases on 15 July.
No doubt inspired by some questionable ideas bandied about in the real world about how to colonize the Red Planet, Mars Tactics puts players in the middle of an uprising by oppressed workers. Players can take control of the Labor faction, workers sick of being forced to work in deadly mines and having their pleas ignored, or of Capital, the corporate owners reporting to investors back on Earth.
Mars Tactics’ battles make heavy use of cover and destructible environments, and players can even use suppressing fire to keep enemy troops from advancing. Every soldier can gain traits and level up, giving the game an XCOM-like style of emergent narrative. Mars Tactics is expected to launch in 2023.
For The King II
The original For The King was excellent, and there’s every reason to believe that the sequel will be even better. There are plenty of classes to try in this co-op roguelike RPG, and with new challenges and a new campaign, there will be lots for first-time and returning players to experience.
As with any good roguelike, For The King II promises to be difficult but not unfair, and there will be permanent unlockables with each run to make subsequent attempts a little easier. Now is a great time to try the original if you haven’t already so that when For The King II launches in 2023 you’ll be fully prepared.
Legends of Kingdom Rush
Tower defense game Kingdom Rush is getting a turn-based RPG to expand its world and characters. Notable heroes from the original game are playable in hex-grid battles on their quest to defeat a threat from another plane of existence.
Legends Of Kingdom Rush keeps the setting’s style and humor while giving players a little more time to breathe between engagements. Players who really want to see the Kingdom Rush experience translated into turn-based gameplay can try Arena Mode, where they’ll face wave after wave of monsters with a randomly-assigned party. Legends Of Kingdom Rush launches later this month.
Wishlist Legends Of Kingdom Rush on Steam
Summoners Fate is a card-based roguelike that has the feel of a good old game of D&D. Your party explores the world from a top-down perspective, collecting new cards for your deck and recruiting new allies. The cards you can use are based on your class, allowing different styles with each run.
The game uses some creative card abilities to offer exciting options in combat, including exploiting or even animating the terrain. Events are resolved with a d20 roll, and you can add extra dice to increase your chances of success. A demo is currently available, and Summoners Fate enters early access on 20 June.
Vactics is an exciting new entry in the rapidly-growing genre of mecha roguelite games. The player must defend Solitude City against the robotic Vactics, but has only a single mech with which to do so. By carefully choosing the parts for your mech and managing your resources, you’ll need to survive wave after wave of Vactic attacks in tense hex-grid battles.
Players who enjoyed Into The Breach (and let’s be honest, who didn’t?) should have lots of fun with Vactics’ small-scale combat and razor-thin margins of victory. It will be fun to see how the game develops once it enters early access later this month.
Codename: Wandering Sword
Xiameng Studio’s Codename: Wandering Sword brings JRPG gameplay to a genre that’s been largely absent in the West but growing in popularity in recent years. This wuxia tale takes players through a mythical China full of picturesque landscapes, martial arts battles, and mystical powers.
Fans of I Am Setsuna will probably enjoy Codename: Wandering Sword, and its multiple endings encourage players to keep coming back. The game also promises an emergent narrative, as each NPC has a different opinion of your character and can potentially become a powerful martial artist in their own right. No release date has yet been announced, but this game is definitely one to watch.
Fans of the River City games (or Kunio-kun, for you purists out there) who want more tactical elements in their delinquent high-school brawls should definitely check out Banchou Tactics. Gangs of pompadour-sporting, leather-jacket-clad Japanese teenagers battle in arcades, on campus, and in the streets for the honor of their clique and their school.
The battles are immediately reminiscent of Final Fantasy Tactics, and the game’s heavy use of knockback is sure to create some exciting tactical opportunities. The style of the characters is top-notch, capturing the laconic devil-may-care attitude of the archetypal ne’er-do-wells. Banchou Tactics is expected in early 2023, and we can’t wait.
Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader
Owlcat Games, the studio behind the excellent Pathfinder CRPGs, announced recently that they will be taking their Divinity-style gameplay to the Warhammer 40k universe.0The prevalence of firearms in the sci-fi setting means ranged combat will be much more of a factor, but there should be plenty of melee options as well – it wouldn’t be 40k without at least one chainsword, after all.
Details are scarce at the moment, but the announcement trailer shows off some excellent 2D-animated cutscenes that we hope will be frequent throughout the game. Keep checking back here at TBL for more information on this title, as there is sure to be plenty of buzz as the development process continues.