2016 was a great year for indie games: Superhot, Firewatch, Thumper, the Witness – the list goes on. And while you should play all those games and support the developers, you should also save a bit of money for the cache of games being released in 2017. After all, buying a game online is ridiculously easy if you create a PayPal account, and that money goes directly to small gaming companies for the development of beautiful games we would otherwise never have access to. But which games should you be throwing your money at?
On the cusp of receiving the required funding via Kickstarter to finish its development, Beautiful Desolation is a 2D isometric game taking place in post-apocalyptic Africa. Think Fallout 2 but with way better visuals, breathtaking landscapes and a plethora of strange and wonderful creatures, fauna and flora which all take inspiration from the wildlife of Sub-Saharan Africa. If you need any more convincing then check out the developer’s previous titles, Stasis and Cayne, both of which are orchestrated in a similar style, even if they’re a little creepier in nature.
And speaking of creepy, Perception is a psychological rollercoaster ride not for the skittish or faint of heart. You play as a young blind woman who must use her extraordinary hearing and razor-sharp wits to solve mysteries and escape a deadly presence. It’s up to you to explore an abandoned estate (aptly named Echo Bluff) that has been haunting your dreams. Expect brief snatches of monochrome wainscot, aging balustrades and claw foot bathtubs with leaking taps in this eerie horror adventure game.
At first glance, Hello Neighbor seems to be more of a cartoon rather than a chilling stealth and horror video game, but that’s exactly what it is. After moving into the new neighborhood you notice something strange going on in your neighbor’s basement. So you do what any new initiate to the suburbs would do and dedicate your time into breaking into his house to discover his dirty secrets. While it might be composed of cute and quirky graphics, the game is full of heart throbbing moments as you try (many times unsuccessfully) to investigate your neighbor. The sheer amount of jump scares present in the game make it one I would be reluctant to play at home alone.