The Last Night
First announced at E3 2017, The Last Night is a beautiful pixel-art homage to classic platformers like Another World and Flashback. Recently confirmed to still be in production after a period of silence from the development team as they focus on polishing the game, it appears there’s every chance we could see The Last Night in 2019. The Last Night promises to take us back to a time when cinematic platformers enthralled players with their rich worlds and story-driven narratives.
Thrusting us into a future where technology has replaced the need for human labour, we will experience this vibrant sci-fi world through the eyes of Charlie. A second-class citizen, he can’t interact with the technologies that permeate modern cities in the same way as everyone else due to a childhood accident. This gorgeous-looking game promises to modernise the cinematic platformer, bringing it into the modern age through a blend of 2D and 3D pixel-art drawn and animated by hand.
Afterparty is the quirky new project from the development team that brought us Oxenfree, Night School Studio. Best friends Milo and Lola find themselves in a bit of a Bill and Ted situation after dying, only to wake up in Hell – or Nowhere, as it’s called here. The situation? They have one shot at redemption and it’s going to involve trawling the bars of hell drinking Nowhere’s demonic inhabitants under the table with the goal of beating the big man himself at his own game. Out-drink Satan and he’ll grant you re-entry to Earth. Sounds simple, right?
An intelligent conversation system will impact the story and how people perceive you as you get to know the like-minded individuals of Nowhere. The drinks downed as you venture through this epic quest will imbue the two best friends with unique dialogue options and abilities that should, theoretically, help them achieve their lofty ambitions. Or they might just make you collapse and throw up, but that’s the risk you take.
If getting drunk off beer pong in the fiery depths of hell and flirting with Satan sounds like your kind of thing, you might want to check this out.
A dark and twisted world awaits you in Inmost. Hidden Layer Games brings puzzle platforming to the underworld with their upcoming tale of three characters intertwined in a narrative of despair and longing. In our preview, we praised Inmost’s gorgeous pixel art as well as the tantalisingly terrifying combat, foes, and mechanics. From tip-toeing through the dank corridors of a castle to hot-footing it away from the slimy creatures that appear from its walls, we’re looking forward to spending many hours in this disturbing world of puzzles and swift escapes.
It’s the atmosphere that’s been haunting players of Inmost since its early demos, and it’s this same electric sound design and ever-present levels of threat that will bring us back to the experience in the new year. Much of Inmost’s narrative remains shrouded in mystery, but we do know that the action takes place across two worlds, with the encounters of three playable characters telling a tale of “suffering, sacrifice, and the young girl in the middle of it all.”
Every new screenshot, video or tidbit of information about Ooblets fills our hearts with gooey warmth. Taking inspiration from Animal Crossing, Stardew Valley and Harvest Moon – with a dash of Pokemon for good measure – it could be one of the most charming games of all time.
Ooblets is a farming and life simulator set in a whimsical world inhabited by the titular creatures. These darling little blobs of mischief – from Fleebles and Shrumbos to Wigglewips and Snurflers – can be collected, grown and placed in prestigious town dance competitions. Because who’d have the heart to make them fight?
If 2019 brings half as much sociopolitical nonsense as we’ve experienced over the last couple of years, Ooblets will be the perfect escapism. Two-person team Glumberland hasn’t nailed down a release window yet but you can keep up with their antics on Twitter.
Untitled Goose Game
In Untitled Goose Game, developed by House House, it’s your soul purpose to annoy people – which sounds like our kind of game. What starts off as a lovely morning in a quiet village is about to get completely spoiled by one goose determined to ruin everyone’s afternoon. This slapstick stealth sandbox offers us all the chance to whittle away an afternoon pulling pranks on everyday people purely for the fun it.
Featuring such revolutionary features as a dedicated honk button, Untitled Goose Game is set to redefine the stealth genre in a way we haven’t seen since Hideo Kojima’s confusing epic Metal Gear Solid questioned everyone’s ability to recognise the model of Russian helicopters by sound alone. Stealing hats, spoiling people’s picnics and eating farmers’ crops will all be in a day’s work for our brave hero as he honks his way towards annoying every last person in the village.
When it comes to 2019’s independent offerings, we’re spoilt for choice. With so many worlds to explore and characters to understand, the New Year looks set with its own brand of amazing titles on offer. If you’re still not caught up on 2018’s selection, be sure to check out our top picks of the best indie games of 2018, including what our staff personally think are the best indie games of the year.