2022 was a blast for fans of retro-inspired games, with a slew of gems across all major platforms. From epic 40-hour RPGs like Chained Echoes to wild and wacky multiplayer beat ’em ups like Final Vendetta, River City Girls 2, and the highly-anticipated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge, we were spoiled for choice. But that was so last year! Buckle up, because 2023 is just getting started, and we’ve got at least five reasons to get hyped for the next wave of retro goodness.
Sea of Stars
Sea of Stars was originally planned for a late 2022 release but was delayed to 2023 at the last minute. Like its high-profile counterpart, Chained Echoes, Sea of Stars was also crowdfunded through Kickstarter and Indiegogo, and it raised a sweet sum of 1 million euros. While Chained Echoes was an enormous critical success thanks to its top-notch battle system, graphics, and depth, Sea of Stars seems to be an even more ambitious project when it comes to its visual appearance. itr features a dynamic 2D game engine features with incredible-looking day and night cycle and many other interesting features. If it can deliver as much on the story and battle system as it does on the visuals, it may even surpass Chained Echoes’ 92 Metacritic score. These are exciting times for 2D RPG fans!
Sea of Stars is set to release on PC, Nintendo Switch, and PS4/5, although there is no definite release date yet. The Xbox Series S/X release has been officially announced and even announced for Game Pass and PS Plus Extra.
Legendary indie publisher Devolver Digital and developer Doinksoft are gearing up to release Gunbrella, a visually stunning ‘Noir-punk action adventure’ that combines rogue-lite elements with platform action gameplay reminiscent of Shovel Knight and Broforce. A playable demo is already available on Steam, and apart from the impressive pixel art, the demo showcases great controls and fast-paced action that we can’t wait to dive into.
The demo is available on Steam right now. You can find it here.
Gunbrella is set to release on both Steam and Nintendo Switch, although no official release date has been announced yet.
The Plucky Squire
The PLucky Squire is the least ‘retro’, but certainly one of the most anticipated games on this list. The game is developed by All Possible Futures. It features a unique (literal) storybook storytelling style and retro-inspired mini games that are seamlessly integrated into a realistic game world setting. This game should definitely be on every gaming family’s e-store wishlist.
Gunbrella is set to be released on Steam, Xbox Series S|X, PS5 and Nintendo Switch. There is no official release date is somewhere in 2023.
Last Moon is a stunning hand-drawn and animated action-RPG developed by Sköll Studio. The game evokes familiar elements of Zelda’s 16-bit era games. While it wouldn’t be a disaster if Last Moon sticks to the familiar gameplay tropes of the genre. It’s still unclear what new mechanics and story the game will bring to the table. If the game’s appearance is any indication, however, it has the potential to be a hit.
Last moon will be available on Steam, Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4 and 5, Xbox Series S/X.
Escape The Mad Empire
“Escape the Mad Empire” is a turn-based rogue-like RPG where you can lure zombies and skeletons with chicken legs and then booby-trap the chicken legs with oil that can be lit on fire. If that doesn’t sound like a joyous experience, you might want to find another hobby. The game features very unique VGA-style pixel graphics (is that really a thing?), and thumping bit-beats are thrown into the mix, too. This makes for a combustible combination that feels like it was made in heaven.
Escape the Mad Empire is set to release on Steam in 2023 but is already playable in early access. See the steam page for more details.
Keep an eye out for a follow-up article featuring 5 other indie games to be released in 2023