Some game concepts and ideas can leave you scratching your head and looking for an explanation; sometimes that can be a good thing. 2017 may just bring that special kind of odd indie titles thrive on. If AAA won't innovate, someone will.
One of my favourite feelings when I see an upcoming game release is confusion. A speech bubble forms over my head with the inscription "What in the name of Tim Schafer are these people going for?" and I get all warm and fuzzy. 2017 is looking packed with fuzz and warm so far. Here are some of the strangest games coming this year:
Return of the Obra Dinn
Brought to you by Lucas Pope, the same guy who blessed the world with Papers, Please - Return of the Obra Dinn is an upcoming sort-of-adventure game about a ship lost at sea and and the insurance agent trying to make sense of it all.
The 1-bit dot-art style with a more modern appearance and the inherent spookiness of ghost ships promise an interesting ride. AltChar will soon be having a look at a demo Lucas released a while ago, and we will share our findings. Feel free to beat us to it. An informed gamer is a healthy gamer.
Scorn's art-style looks like a mutant hybrid between the works of H.R. Giger and Zdizislaw Beksinski. If you are a fan of horror, then the mention of those two names in the same sentence should already be sending slightly aroused chills down your spine. It isn't yet entirely clear what Scorn will play like.
The game's announcement mentions puzzles, exploration, weapons and ammo, but strongly emphasises that all these will be put in the service of atmosphere and immersion, for a world that should feel lived in. I have no idea what or who might be living in this nightmare, but we will find out in 2017, if everything goes as planned.
Up, down, left, right - direction and gravity seem to be a minor nuisance for Manifold Garden. The game looks absolutely stunning, slowly shifting shades of pleasant colours trapped in rigid geometry that somehow manages to give the impression of fluid motion.
Manifold Garden is a first person puzzle platformer that toys with infinity, architecture and physics. Considering the obvious polish on display it is a little surprising that development is a one man operation. The game's release has had some delays in the past and we hope you will be able to get your hands on it in 2017.
TABS - Totally Accurate Battle Simulator
TABS promises to let you simulate ragdoll battles in a totally accurate fashion. Catapults, canons, axes, spear charges and lots of emergent humour.
Slated for a summer 2017 release, TABS already has an open alpha ready for inspection. AltChar will be taking a closer look at the alpha in due time, but if you feel like totally accurately simulating some drunken battles RIGHT NOW!, bare in mind that the game is still a long way from finished.
Marc Ten Bosch
Puny mortals usually don't have access to the 4th dimension, but Miegakure aims to give players a glimpse of what it might be like. The 4th dimension is put in service of puzzle solving and everything the developers have put on display so far is quite unique and looks promising.
Miegakure has been in development for a good long while now and hopes are high for a 2017 release date.