The Hex

Pony Island, despite featuring a name that belongs mostly to the strange parts of the Internet, was a pretty damn compelling little game, so I'm happy to tell you that Daniel Mullins, the solo developer behind it, is currently working on a brand new game.

The Hex is on first glance your standard Agatha Christie murder mystery where a bunch of people are stuck in a tavern with a murderer during a raging storm, though the twist is that each of the characters is a parody of various gaming genres. You've got The Spacemarine, The Sorceress, The Platformer, The Fighter, The Apocalypse Survivor and The First Person Perspective, and by exploring their memories you will need to try and uncover the murderer... or perhaps even darker secrets!

Since the whole premise behind The Hex is completely and utterly bizarre, here's the announcement trailer to hopefully give you an idea of what to expect:

Conarium screenshot featuring some strange cultists

Zoetrope Interactive, the folks behind the Darkness Within series, have announced that they are working on a brand new horror-adventure by the name of Conarium. If you're like me and you're now stuck wondering what that word even means, its apparently used to describe a pine-cone shaped gland that produces Melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate sleep.

While I'm not sure if little description is relevant to the game itself, I can tell you that Conarium will follow the story of Frank Gilman, an antropologist from the Miskatonic University who attempted to pass beyond the limits of human consciences by using a device called, you guessed it, the Conarium. The details on what exactly happened when the device was activated are left up to the players to discover, but there are some heavy hints pointing towards the fact that you may have been killed and then returned... subtly changed.

Here's the official list of features and a couple of images to hopefully give you an idea of what to expect from Conarium once it finally releases in Q1 2017:

Necropolis gameplay screenshot featuring multiple players

Necropolis is a third-person action roguelike that features a challenging combat system, a giant dungeon to delve, and most excitingly, the ability to roam around with up to three other friends. While you won't see this mentioned on any of the official descriptions, Necropolis is inspired by Dark Souls in many ways, so expect to do a lot of dodging around, parrying, and getting slammed face first into the ground when you fail to do just that.

If you're wondering what Necropolis looks like, and more importantly what's it all about, here's a surprisingly funky official trailer:

Prey for the Gods screenshot of a bow and arrow

Its funny how the world works sometimes. Even though Shadow of the Colossus still gets showered with praise, 10 years after its initial release, not a single studio has taken it upon themselves to create an adventure with the same scope and grandeur.

Thankfully, there is a bit of hope on the horizon as Prey for the Gods, a rather stylish indie game about exploring an unknown land and crawling all over large enemies, has recently landed on Kickstarter. Here's the trailer to give you an idea of what Prey for the Gods is all about:

The First Tree is a visually beautiful exploration game

While games based around exploration often get criticized for their lack of "true" gameplay, I find the genre to be quite fascinating as the lack of combat requires the developers to get clever with both the storytelling and the visual design.

A good example of this would be the recently announced exploration/adventure game, The First Tree, which offers up a rather intriguing premise and some striking visuals to go along with it. Here's the trailer to hopefully give you an idea of what I'm blabbering about:

Furi PC gameplay screenshot featuring a boss duel

Furi is an extremely challenging boss fighter that will have you face off, one on one, against a wide assortment of enemies. Rather than simply mash your buttons and hope for the best, you will need to dodge enemy attacks, seek out openings, and punish your foes when the opportunity presents itself. I hesitate to compare it to Dark Souls, mostly because the gameplay differs so greatly, but both games embody the same sort of ideals and the focus on "challenging but fair" combat.

It launched a couple of days ago on Steam, but unfortunately it doesn't seem to be getting the sort of recognition it should, and that is a massive shame given that I find it to be quite fantastic. Since words alone usually aren't enough, here's the launch trailer to hopefully give you an idea of what Furi's all about:

Energy Hook PC screenshot

While the Spider-Man games are almost all universally terrible, Spider-Man 2's web-slinging mechanics were so revolutionary that even today developers struggle with creating something equally as good, let alone better.

However, the same does not seem to apply to the inventor of the web-swinging movement himself, Jamie Fristrom, as his recently released Energy Hook appears to embody everything (and the only thing) that made Spider-Man 2 great, but with a few extra bells and whistles to further spice up the acrobatics. Here's the latest trailer to give you an idea of what Energy Hook is all about, though I have a feeling you can already guess:

Dark Fear is a Sierra themed adventure game

While Dark Fear's unimaginative title might point towards it being a creatively bankrupt piece of shovelware, in truth its actually a uniquely styled 2D horror adventure that takes inspiration from the old Sierra point & click classics.

The gameplay is a blend between turn-based RPG combat and point & click exploration that will have you travel through a diverse landscape, chat around with the hopefully friendly locals, upgrade your weapons and armor in order to square off against the beasts that lurk in the dark, and bizarrely enough, complete fishing and hunting minigames. If you're interested in seeing what all of this looks like, here's the trailer:

Distortions is a musical adventure game in a bizarre land

While most people consider exploration games as nothing more than walking simulators, I've found myself greatly enjoying the genre, especially since it most often comes with stylish visuals and a deep focus on atmosphere. These are all things I love to see in my RPGs, so it makes sense for the same elements to work well in a slightly different, but equally story-focused, environment.

With that brief explanation out of the way I would like to bring your attention to Distortions, a recently announced indie adventure with a deep focus on atmosphere, music, and exploration of a truly bizarre world. Before I say anything else, I would suggest you watch the launch trailer as it does a great job of giving you a taste of what Distortions is all about:

Copper Dreams screenshot

Copper Dreams is a gritty, isometric combat RPG set in the distant future where the value of human life has been reduced to zero, and where the dregs of society are shipped off-world to Caliatana, a city that can only be described with "hellhole".

I was intrigued when I first heard of it back in February, but now that the Kickstarter campaign has launched and all of the cards have been put on the table I can only say that my interest has been amplified even further. What oldschool RPG fan can resist augmenting their virtual bodies with chainsaws and grappling hooks after all?

Before we go anywhere else, I'd recommend you first check out the short gameplay trailer: