The first game from Parisian indie studio Sloclap is Absolver, a one-on-one fighting game that is based around movement. Every step taken and every ounce of energy expanded counts in Absolver. This focus on nuance is what sets the game apart from senseless brawlers, and every punch feels like an accomplishment.
Brawlhalla is a free-to-play platform fighter coming later this year. The action is the sort of frantic fun that Smash Bros. players will instantly be familiar with. Don't dismiss it for simply being free, as the core gameplay is already more fun than PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale.
Developed for PlayStation VR, Dino Frontier allows players to manage a frontier settlement that is filled with dinosaurs. This management sim has clashing styles, but it makes for a fun mashup of themes. Developer Uber Entertainment also made the PSVR launch title Wayward Sky, so they've already shown that they know how to craft a quality VR experience.
Disc Jam is based upon the classic arcade game Windjammers, but developer High Horse Entertainment are bringing their own twists to the table here. They've created a game built for online play that has more depth than its predecessor, and adds in two-on-two play. It's looking to be one of the most exciting multiplayer releases of the year.
Some games are easy to describe, but that isn't exactly the case with Everything. The art project by Irish filmmaker David OReilly (who worked on the film Her and Adventure Time) aims to allow players to interact with everything they see in the world. From a tree to a sword, the player can control any sort of object they find. It's an interesting premise, and it'll be exciting to see what all the full game offers.
Tribute Games' Flinthook is an incredibly polished 2D platformer. Armed with a grappling hook, the game's action feels immediately familiar despite other games struggling with the mechanic in the past. The studio has previously put out great games like Mercenary Kings, and this looks to be their best work yet.
FutureGrind brings Trials-like action with a Uniracers twist. Players pilot a two-wheeled vehicle (albeit one more structured like a unicycle) through difficult courses where they have to match wheel color with the structures they can grind on. It's a highly difficult game, but one that has been very rewarding in preview builds.
GNOG is a visually stunning adventure game that will support PlayStation VR. In it, players will explore a bunch of interactive monster heads (called a gnog). The developer, KO-OP MODE, impressed us with their work on Lara Croft GO, so we can't wait to see what they do on their own.
There is nothing better than solving a good case, and Jenny LeClue looks to allow players to do just that. Mografi's adventure game is a coming-of-age story featuring a young detective, whose life is forever changed when her mother is accused of murder. The game looks gorgeous, and it'll be exciting to see the mystery unfold later this year.
Loot Rascals is a grid-based game that players actually have full control in. Players fight strange aliens, earn cards for doing so, and will have to choose which ones to equip or convert into resources. It's a gorgeous looking title that has a lot of fun twists on turn-based strategy games.
William Chyr's Manifold Garden is a visually stunning puzzle game. We can't wait to explore the world's M.C. Escher aesthetic. It looks like it could be an amazing experience, and we're excited to learn more in 2017.
Despite some key similarities, Nidhogg 2 is quite different from its predecessor. Different weapons are given to players at random, which gives the game a more party-like atmosphere. This chaotic fun is matched by some fantastically grotesque visuals. It's different, but that's a good thing.
Night in the Woods is a narrative-focused adventure game starring a cat named Mae who just dropped out of college. Mae returns to her home in Possum Springs, and discovers that her friends have changed. That's not all, as there seems to be strange things happening in the town, so she heads off to the woods to find out what's going on.
From the creators of Bastion and Transistor, Pyre is the latest game by Supergiant Games. This party-based RPG blends the genre with a sport, and it's really unlike anything we've seen before. The game looks to be shaping up quite nicely, and we'll get to experience the full game later this year.
Sundered is a replayable Metroidvania title from the developer behind Jotun. It has a lot in common with the previous game: gorgeous graphics and huge boss fights, but it also has learned from its mistakes. The core gameplay already feels great, and this looks to be one of 2017's big highlights.
Sports games have gotten too complicated for some fans, and that's why Super Mega Baseball 2 is so awesome. It's a reminder of when baseball games were easier to play, and it's building off an excellent debut title. With revamped graphics that look less like a cartoon, it looks to reach a wider audience than ever before.
Super Rude Bear Resurrection is a masocore platformer that allows the player to use their own corpse to get past obstacles. It's an awesome mechanic, and one that is completely optional as each stage can be done without ever dying. Fans of Super Meat Boy should definitely keep an eye on Alex Rose's enjoyable platformer.
What Remains of Edith Finch is a collection of short stories that revolve around a single family and their woes.It looks to be the best game yet from Giant Sparrow, and the game's setting range from the 1900s to modern day. There's only one constant in each story: the family member always dies.
A remake of an obscure but beloved platformer that was ahead of its time, Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap looks to bring the game to an entirely new audience. While the gameplay feels accurately dated, it also features a gorgeous look that can rival any PS4 game. This remake is clearly a love letter, not a cash in.
Yooka-Laylee has a lot to prove later this year. It has to prove that collect-a-thon platformers weren't a dark spot on the genre's history, and that they can actually be compelling experiences. We'll find out soon enough if that's the case, but either way this charming platformer has already won over the hearts of many gamers.