The past few years have seen Microsoft push increasingly for indie developers to bring their games to Xbox One, with great independent titles like #IDARB, Cuphead, and Ori and the Blind Forest finding their homes on Xbox. The conveyor belt of talent keeps on turning, and the next wave of indie Xbox games is looking just as exciting. After attending an [email protected] event at Microsoft's London offices just recently, we thought we'd run down a list of five of the best indie games coming to Xbox One.
Some of the games here were shown on Microsoft's new regular livestream showcase for indie games, [email protected] Game Pass. That also means some of them will be included in Xbox Game Pass at no extra cost, making it very easy to try them out when they launch.
Microsoft continues to find success out of the traditional route of releasing exclusives. If you're intrigued by this phenomenon, be sure to watch out discussion about it in the video at the bottom of this page.
Northern Irish developer Billy Goat is working on a delightfully silly shopping kart racer named Supermarket Shriek. When a man and a goat end up collapsed and trapped inside a shopping trolley, they must scream to propel themselves. You control their screaming via the left and right triggers, careering around various shops to collect items and finish races as quickly as possible.
Additionally, there's a co-op mode in which each player controls just one half of the goat/man combo--and this is about as chaotic as you'd expect. It's not as chaotic as another control scheme, however: You can actually scream into a microphone to propel your kart. I don't think my neighbors will thank me for using that...
Supermarket Shriek is coming to Xbox One, PS4, and Nintendo Switch in 2019.
Oh boy, Void Bastards is great. It's a first-person shooter and strategy game that looks like a comic strip, and it was definitely my favorite game at the ID @ Xbox event.
You decide your ship’s flightpath through space, stopping off along the way to scavenge food, fuel, and equipment. Each stop is a risk, as you could get seriously injured or killed, but you also stand to gain valuable supplies.
My first stop-off went more along the former lines, leaving me perilously low on health and with little food to help heal me. My second one was therefore a tense, last-ditch attempt to gather food to recover health and fuel to escape the pirates that were on my tail. (Oh yeah, there are space pirates, I forgot to mention those.) Void Bastards was immense fun and gorgeous to look at, and I can’t wait to play more.
Void Bastards is coming to Xbox One and PC in 2019.
You may have already played Crytek’s Hunt: Showdown on PC, where it has been available in early access since February 2018. It's also coming to Xbox One as an Xbox Game Preview title this spring, and that console version is coming along pretty nicely.
It's a tense, multiplayer survival game in which you hunt down giant monsters and--guess what--engage them in a form of "showdown." Doing so involves searching for clues and avoiding or defeating various zombified creatures. As it's a multiplayer game, you'll also come across human players searching for the same prize, and it's down to you to outwit them, too.
All of this is fun enough, but what really sets Hunt: Showdown apart is its audio design. Every rustle of leaves, every creak of wood, every shrieking crow, and every crack of gunpowder shoots through your skull, and it results in a terrifying experience.
Hunt: Showdown is out now on Steam early access and comes to Xbox Game Preview this spring.
Afterparty is a point-and-click adventure game set in Hell, and its story revolves around alcohol. Unlike other games that use booze as a mechanic, Afterparty uses the devil's beverage to do more than just make your vision blurry.
Instead, it opens up more dialogue options and changes your mood; what's more, different drinks open up different dialogue options and change your mood in different ways. Playing as best friends Milo and Lola, your end goal is to out-drink Satan himself and get back to the land of the living. We've all been there on a Friday night, I suppose.
Afterparty is coming to Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch, and PC in 2019.
Raji: An Ancient Epic
On the surface, Raji: An Ancient Epic is a relatively simple action/adventure game--you run around, fight enemies, and solve basic puzzles. However, it's the wrapping around Raji that makes it stand out. The story, for example, is a mysterious, abstract tale of familial relationships in ancient India, while the accompanying music is appropriately ethereal.
Combat revolves around lead character Raji's martial art abilities and magic powers, and it's satisfyingly impactful when you land a finisher on an ogre or two.
Raji: An Ancient Epic is coming to Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch, and PC in the first quarter of 2020.
Despite the lack of exclusives, Microsoft has experienced more quiet successes with the Xbox One. Watch the video above to see us weigh in on everything from backward compatibility, to studio acquisitions, to a bevy of great indie games. And in 2019, that seems to be continuing. We're certainly eager to finally get our hands on the ones we covered in this feature. But which Xbox One games are you most looking forward to?