A Frog’s Tale

Developer: Norman Company, Mythcarver Games

Genre: RPG, Adventure

Release Date: 2023

A Frog’s Tale is an upcoming turn-based RPG that places an interesting emphasis on music, featuring an adorable amphibious protagonist to boot. You play as Norman, a young frog looking for an extraordinary artifact that has the power to bring the dead back to life. 

You’ll use Norman’s froggy strength to hop and fight your way through obstacles, including rhythmic-based puzzles that stand in the way of progressing.  

Another Crab’s Treasure

Developer: Aggro Crab

Genre: Action Adventure

Release Date: 2023

If you ever wanted to experience what it would be like to play a soulslike in the world of hermit crabs, then boy, are you in luck, as Another Crab’s Treasure is coming in 2023 to scratch that specific itch. 

In this distinctive action title, you control a hermit crab that embarks on a treasure hunt to buy back his repossessed shell. On the way, he’ll need to defeat hordes of tough crustaceans amidst the vibrant undersea kingdom that is on the verge of collapse. 

Backfirewall_

Developer: Naraven Games

Genre: Adventure

Release Date: Q1 2023

Indie games are always exploring compelling ideas, but Backfirewall_ might take the cake for the most unique premise of 2023 so far. You see, not only is this a first-person tragicomic adventure but it’s also set in a smartphone. 

You play as the update assistant that is tasked with countering an update that would otherwise destroy the previous operating system. To do so, you must solve a handful of clever puzzles that are sure to challenge even the smartest of gamers. 

Blanc

Blanc

Developer: Casus Ludi

Genre: Adventure

Release Date: Feb. 14, 2023

An upcoming cooperative artistic adventure, Blanc is a game that all animal lovers and puzzlers should have on their watch list. The story follows a wolf and fawn that must journey together across a vast, snowy wilderness in order to find their families. 

This fox and the hound-style unlikely friendship could be a sneaky one in 2023, as the combination of its black-and-white shaded art style, intricate puzzles, and adorable characters already feels like a winner. 

Bomb Rush Cyberfunk

Jet Set Radio, Bomb Rush Cyberfunk

Developer: Team Reptile

Genre: Adventure, Sports

Release Date: Summer 2023

It’s been over 20 years since Jet Set Radio, and everyone is sick of not having more of this awesome style of gameplay, including developers Team Reptile. As such, the indie team took things into their own hands and created Bomb Rush Cyberfunk. 

In this upcoming inline adventure, players can dance, tag, trick, and skate across a sprawling metropolis, facing off with cops and staking their claim all the while. Alongside sick gameplay, Bomb Rush Cyberfunk boasts an art style that pops off the screen, tagging your eyes with its vibrant colors. 

Broken Roads

Developer: Drop Bear Bytes

Genre: RPG

Release Date: 2023

Anyone that is looking for a narrative-driven RPG akin to Disco Elysium or Baldur’s Gate should look no further than Broken Roads in 2023. Set in a post-apocalyptic Australia, this strategic turn-based adventure tasks players with surviving with their morals intact. 

Using a system known as the Moral Compass, the game features dialogue options that are influenced by your character’s stats and knowledge that are, in turn, used to influence the story. This results in a heck of a lot of different ways to explore a densely-crafted world. 

Cassette Beasts

Developer: Bytten Studio

Genre: RPG

Release Date: 2023

As the title hints, Cassette Beasts is essentially Pokemon meets cassette tapes in an open-world RPG. Your character is taken to a remote island known as New Wirral and given the task of capturing monsters on their cassette tapes in order to gain their abilities. 

With every new monster you encounter, you’ll be able to combine abilities and forms to create even more powerful characters while you glide, fly, swim, climb, and dash about the game’s many dungeons. 

Chants of Sennaar

Developer: Rundisc

Genre: Puzzle

Release Date: 2023

Presentation-wise, Chants of Sennaar looks like what would happen if Sable and Journey had a baby that loved puzzles. Just about every image you’ll see of this 2023 title will make you think you’re looking at a painting.

Yet, alongside its beautiful looks, Chants of Sennaar also boasts another hook, as the gameplay tasks you with observing, listening, and sneaking throughout the setting to uncover the mysteries of the myth of Babel. 

Cocoon

When Does COCOON Come Out for Xbox Game Pass

Developer: Geometric Interactive

Genre: Puzzle, Platformer

Release Date: 2023

When the gameplay designer of Limbo and Inside, Jeppe Carlsen, reveals that they’re creating a brand new project, it’s impossible not to take notice. 

Originally announced during the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase, Cocoon is an upcoming isometric adventure that takes you on a journey across “worlds within worlds.” While details are still sparse regarding what exactly that entails, there is no denying how bright and lively the game looks. 

Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus & Butterfly

Developer: Toge Productions

Genre: Simulation

Release Date: 2023

When it was released back in early 2020, Coffee Talk managed to find itself a nice little niche amidst the video gaming community, as its low-fi, visual novel vibes were a chill good time. Three years later, Toge Productions is back, brewing up a sequel called Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus & Butterfly. 

The game once again focuses on running a coffee shop and interacting with a diverse cast of characters while you brew some of their favorite blends. 

Dead Cells: Return to Castlevania

Developer: Motion Twin, Evil Empire

Genre: Platformer, Roguelike

Release Date: Q1 2023

Despite coming out all the way back in 2018, Dead Cells refuses to die, as developers Motion Twin continue to put out solid free content. And while all of the recent updates have certainly been great, the one that was recently announced to be coming in 2023 was an unexpected surprise, to say the least. 

That’s right, Castlevania and Dead Cells are teaming up for a free upcoming DLC called Dead Cells: Return to Castlevania. In it, players will be able to team up with Richter Belmont and Alucard while wielding iconic weapons known to the series in order to defeat Dracula himself. 

Deliver Us Mars

Deliver Us Mars Climbing

Developer: KeokeN Interactive

Genre: Puzzle

Release Date: Feb. 2, 2023

KeokeN Interactive are once again propelling adventure fans into space, as 2023 sees the release of the sequel to the award-winning title Deliver Us The Moon, aptly titled Deliver Us Mars. 

Just like in the first game, you’ll be able to explore the new frontier of Mars, solving puzzles and raking in the sci-fi atmosphere, all while trying to solve the mystery of the stolen ARK colony ships. 

Fall of Porcupine

Developer: BUNTSPECHT.GAMES

Genre: Adventure

Release Date: 2023

In 2017, the indie title Night in the Woods captivated fans with an adorable art style, interesting anthropomorphic characters, and a lush world and story. While it may have a little bit of a different vibe, that’s exactly the type of game that Fall of Porcupine looks like at first glance. 

Fall of Porcupine stars a Pigeon named Finley as she learns the ropes at her new job while also getting to know the residents of the village of Porcupine. As with any small town, though, there’s some dastardly mysteries bubbling beneath the surface, and it’s up to you to find them out. 

Gunbrella

Developer: Doinksoft

Genre: Shooter

Release Date: 2023

The concept of Gunbrella is pretty straightforward: wield your gun — that is also an umbrella — and parkour through the streets on a quest for revenge. Along the way, you’ll be able to investigate the inner workings of corporate espionage, interrogating ghouls, gangsters, cops, and cultists to get the answers you need. 

To do that successfully, the Woodsman will need to collect and manage resources, defeat every enemy in his path, and uncover the supernatural mysteries that have materialized in his life. 

Have a Nice Death

Developer: Magic Design Studios

Genre: Platformer, Shooter, Roguelike

Release Date: March 22, 2023

Being Death ain’t easy, especially when you’re teetering on the edge of burnout from being overworked and underpaid. To make matters worse, your employees are now running amok throughout hell, and it’s up to you to wrangle them up. 

In Have a Nice Death, the only way to restore order and get back to your planned vacation is to grab your trusty scythe and show your employees who is boss by beating them all about hell in this frantic 2D action roguelike. 

Hexarchy

Developer: Main Tank Software

Genre: Strategy

Release Date: 2023

Hexarchy can best be described as Civilization meets deck-building, as this fast-paced strategy game takes the decision-making of 4X and combines it with cards, resulting in tense 60-minute battles. 

Using the cards in your deck, you’ll need to found civilizations, develop economies, and progress using new technologies in order to conquer everything and everyone that lies in your path. The more success you find, the stronger your deck becomes. 

Hollow Knight: Silksong

Hollow Knight: Silksong PlayStation Release Finally Confirmed

Developer: Team Cherry

Genre: Metroidvania

Release Date: 2023

This is going to be the year Hollow Knight: Silksong releases…I just know it. Originally announced as DLC to the 2017 hit title Hollow Knight, Silksong eventually grew so big that developers Team Cherry decided to turn it into its own game. 

The game puts players in the shoes of Hornet, one of the pseudo-antagonists of the first game, introducing a boatload of new abilities combined with the Metroidvania-stylings. You’ll use these to explore the brand new setting of Pharloom, completing quests and defeating enemies in the hopes of reaching the top of the shining citadel. 

Hyper Light Breaker

Developer: Heart Machine

Genre: Co-op, Adventure

Release Date: 2023

From the creators of Hyper Light Drifter comes Hyper Light Breaker, an all-new adventure that unveils an exciting, unexplored setting, the Overgrowth, alongside a jump from 2D to 3D. You can play alone or with friends, traversing massive biomes, defeating monsters, and trying out various different builds. 

Regardless of playstyle, the goal is to survive the mysterious Crowns and overthrow the Abyss King in order to free Overgrowth from the monsters that terrorize it. 

Kerbal Space Program 2

Key Art for Kerbal Space Program 2

Developer: Intercept Games

Genre: Simulation

Release Date: Feb. 24, 2023

Somebody warn NASA; the Kerbals are back once again in an upcoming space flight simulator. Just like in the first iteration, Kerbal Space Program 2 lets you create and customize your own spaceships, all with the hope of exploring the great unknown. 

There’s a lot more to do once you’re off the ground this time around, though, as Kerbal Space Program 2 features interstellar travel, colonies, and even modding support. The best part is that you can experience all of this madness with friends, as the sequel will implement the long-requested addition of multiplayer

Lies of P

Developer: NEOWIZ

Genre: Soulslike

Release Date: 2023

One look at Lies of P, and you’d probably be shocked to find that it’s an indie game. That’s just how jaw-droppingly beautiful NEOWIZ’s upcoming action souls-like looks. 

Interestingly enough, the story of the game is inspired by Pinocchio, as players control this mechanoid puppet, battling their way through the city in the hopes of becoming human. Alongside multiple endings, the game features unique gameplay mechanics, including weapon-making, body alteration, and quests built around lying. 

Lightyear Frontier

Developer: FRAME BREAK, Amplifier Game Invest

Genre: Simulation, Adventure

Release Date: 2023

The basic idea of Lightyear Frontier is that it’s a farming simulator in space. Think No Man’s Sky crossed with Stardew Valley, and you’ve got the basic idea of what you can expect. 

To be exact, the game places you on a peaceful new world at the far edge of the galaxy, tasking you with creating a new home by finding and cultivating local crops and wildlife to build your very own homestead. While you create your own home, you and up to three friends can also explore all the mysteries this intriguing new world has to offer, marching about in your handy pilot mechs that make travel a breeze. 

Little Bear Chef

Developer: Bananabox

Genre: Platformer, Cooking

Release Date: 2023

Play as a tiny bear in a regular size kitchen; that’s the sell. And honestly, what more could you need to be interested in this wholesome little indie?

Well, we also don’t really know all too much about the game itself. So far, it seems to be a puzzler that has you walking around the kitchen and finding ways to make dazzling dishes while overcoming the challenge of being small. 

Loco Motive

Developer: Robust Games

Genre: Adventure

Release Date: 2023

From the publishers of Stardew Valley comes an exciting new point-and-click mystery game. As the name suggests, Loco Motive places you on a train as one of the suspects of a murder.

To avoid going to jail, you’ll need to solve puzzles, talk with other passengers, and more in an effort to solve the murder. This slapstick action features plenty of thrills, twists, and turns that murder mystery fans will surely love. 

Manor Lords

Developer: Slavic Magic

Genre: Strategy, Simulation

Release Date: 2023

Love the middle ages but don’t want to have to deal with the hassle of plagues and the lack of technology? Well, Manor Lords might be just for you. 

An upcoming medieval strategy title, Manor Lords lets you create and explore in-depth cities, large-scale battles, and entire economies in the ultimate simulation game. The only question is, what kind of ruler will you be?

Moonstone Island

Developer: Studio Supersoft

Genre: RPG, Adventure

Release Date: 2023

Another chill RPG that is no doubt inspired by Stardew Valley, Moonstone Island puts players on a quaint little island that is all about alchemy. Brew potions, collect spirits, and make friends in this cute pixel adventure. 

That’s not all, though. Alongside boasting 100 islands to explore, you’ll also collect creatures that you can then use to compete in turn-based card encounters. Moonstone Island promises to be one of the more unique indies you should keep on your radar for 2023. 

Oxenfree 2: Lost Signals

Developer: Night School Studio

Genre: Adventure, Puzzle

Release Date: 2023

Night School Studios took the gaming world by surprise in 2017, releasing one of the best mystery adventures in recent memories with Oxenfree. Now, the highly anticipated sequel is almost upon us. 

The game takes place five years after the events of the original, following a protagonist named Riley, an environmental researcher returning to her hometown of Camena to investigate mysterious radio signals. Much like the first game, players will have to traverse the spooky setting, solving puzzles using unique mechanics, like radio waves and walkie-talkies. 

Paleo Pines

Developer: Italic Pig

Genre: Simulation, RPG

Release Date: 2023

Jurassic Park, eat your heart out; Paleo Pines is here, and it’s absolutely adorable. In this farm sim, you’ll travel to a magical island populated by welcoming townspeople and surprisingly friendly dinosaurs. 

With the help of these creatures, who can dig spots for you to plant seeds while also letting you ride them around the world, you’ll be able to run a ranch and care for all the beasts you tame. 

Pixelshire

Developer: Kappa Bits

Genre: RPG, Sandbox, Simulation

Release Date: 2023

In a landscape dominated by shooters and action, you can never have too many farming simulators to help you relax. Pixelshire is another one of those upcoming RPG sandbox titles that every sim fan should have on their radar. 

Pixelshire sees you build and grow a town to your heart’s content, letting you plan just about everything to your liking. Choose the architecture, where things go, and what items you’d like to be a mainstay of the town, all while exploring the continent of Arcadia and having fun. 

Planet Of Lana

Developer: Wishfully, Wishfully AB

Genre: Puzzle, Platformer

Release Date: 2023

Few indie games coming out in 2023 are going to look as pretty as Planet of Lana. In this title, a young girl and her loyal companion embark on a rescue mission that spans across a bevy of colorful worlds in a galaxy filled with terrifying machines and creatures. 

To survive, they’ll need to complete companion-based traversal puzzles featuring plenty of diverse challenges and twists that’ll test your reflexes and survival skills. 

Read Only Memories: Neurodiver

Developer: MidBoss

Genre: Puzzle

Release Date: 2023

Set in the world of the hit 2015 adventure Read Only Memories: NEURODIVER, developer Midboss presents an entire new adventure, titled Read Only Memories: Neurodiver. This time around, players take the role of ES88, a psychic detective that must chase down a rogue esper who has hidden themselves in the memory of others. 

Much like the first title, Read Only Memories: Neurodiver places a heavy emphasis on story, characters, and puzzles, even boasting multiple endings and an entirely new pixel art style that retro fans will surely love. 

REPLACED

Developer: Sad Cat Studios

Genre: Platformer, Shooter, Adventure

Release Date: 2023

Ever since REPLACED was shown off during Microsoft’s E3 2021 Showcase, it’s been at the top of every Xbox and PC fan’s list of upcoming titles. Taking one look at the game’s beautiful, retro-futuristic 2.5D landscape, it’s not hard to see why. 

REPLACED looks like a pixel adventure ripped straight out of Bladerunner, combining cinematic platforming, free-flowing combat, and an alternate 1980s setting to make for one interesting premise for an action game. 

SCHiM

Schim

Developer: Extra Nice, Ewoud van der Werf

Genre: Puzzle, Platformer

Release Date: 2023

Plenty of puzzle games take plain, everyday objects or occurrences and put a unique spin on them to come up with some fascinating concepts. Ewoud van der Werf’s debut platformer SCHiM seems like it’ll be just that in 2023. 

SCHiM is a game all about jumping from shadow to shadow, taking advantage of different lights and animations to get from one place to another. While that may sound simple, puzzles definitely get pretty intricate, as your frog protagonist must manipulate the location of objects in order to cast different shadows to help them progress. 

Sea of Stars

Developer: Sabotage Studios

Genre: RPG, Adventure

Release Date: 2023

Sabotage Studios is back at it once again, as 2023 marks the year fans of the developer have been waiting for, ever since the Kickstarter for Seas of Stars launched back in 2020. The title is an RPG set in the world of the studio’s previous game, The Messenger, thousands of years earlier. 

Alongside being a prequel, Seas of Stars also puts much more of an emphasis on story and role-play mechanics, as opposed to the Metroidvania-style of the previous iteration. Players will be able to control up to six characters, completing main and sidequest alike and exploring the lush world in a Chrono Trigger-like RPG. 

She Dreams Elsewhere

Developer: Studio Zevere

Genre: RPG

Release Date: 2023

Just about everyone has dreams and nightmares, but what would you do if you could traverse your dreamscape and confront your deepest fears? That’s the exact question that She Dreams Elsewhere looks to answer. 

In this surreal adventure RPG, you play as Thalia, an anxiety-ridden woman in a coma who goes on a journey to confront the fears that prevent her from waking up. This narrative-heavy experience features turn-based battles with nightmares, a Charm system to make gameplay easier, and a breathtaking soundtrack that really adds to the overall ambiance.

The Plucky Squire

Developer: All Possible Futures

Genre: Adventure

Release Date: 2023

Publisher Devolver Digital just has a knack for finding the most creative and fascinating indie games out there — see Cult of the Lamb. So when they announced The Plucky Squire during the Devolver Direct 2022, gamers couldn’t help but take notice. 

In this storybook come to life, you control a knight across various different 2D and 3D landscapes, armed with your trusty sword and even trustier fists. It’ll be interesting to see how the two different styles blend, especially when it comes to the title’s Cuphead-like gameplay. 

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