There were a lot of announcements at Gamescom and so many of them were the AAA games you’d expect. Whether it’s The Callisto Protocol, Hoyoverse’s Honkai: Star Rail, the futuristic Genshin-esque Tower of Fantasy and many more, the next year will be a blockbuster time for high profile releases.
But behind all the glitz and glamour of Opening Night Live’s starlets lay the true heroes of the show – a wealth of incredible indie titles just waiting to be uncovered. After a full five days exploring the hallowed halls of Cologne’s Kölnmesse trying them out, so here are the best indie games from Gamescom 2022 you should be keeping a lookout for.
Grid Force – Mask of the Goddess
Starting off strongly with my personal favourite of the week, Grid Force – Mask Of The Goddess is a grid-based bullet-hell action RPG. Set in the world of Gora, the player guides Donna on her journey to slay the game’s antagonists – the goddesses. With a huge and diverse character roster, the game employs a wide range of abilities to take on its fast-paced battles.
The story also requires you to make certain choices throughout, each of which impact the characters you meet and the way the story plays out. While seemingly simple at first glance, the game is surprisingly challenging, with each level proving satisfying to beat, with a story that – even from my short experience playing – is deep and engaging.
Grid Force – Mask Of The Goddess is developed by Dreamnauts Studios and comes out on PC and Xbox in September 2022.
While publisher Raw Fury saw their upcoming title Friends vs Friends feature on Opening Night Live (another excellent game by the way), it was Cassette Beasts which definitely ended up catching my eye. The game is an open-world RPG in which the player collects monsters that can be transformed into during battle sequences.
Reminiscent of older Dragon Quest titles, players will definitely appreciate a big overworld map and turn-based combat, as well as a deep combat system featuring strategic elements such as buffs, debuffs, and fusing monsters. Let us not forget the charming monster designs and a retro art-style that make it a joy to look at. Half JRPG, half Pokemon, it’s a game you should be keeping on your radar.
Cassette Beasts is developed by Bytten Studios and scheduled for an early 2023 release on PC, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch.
Gori: Cuddly Carnage
Perhaps the most well-known on this list, after being featured in June’s OTK Games Expo, Gori is a ‘skate ‘n’ slash’. The player will end up in the motorised paws of the hoverboarding cat Gori as he skates through each level killing oncoming enemies with some razor sharp kickflips. Some nice cel-shaded character models and a vibrant neon environment play host to Gori’s rampage, while the smooth movement on the board makes traversing each level as satisfying as it is easy to control.
The combat is equally pick-up-and-play and fun, turning large groups of enemies into pulp just by spinning into them is definitely 100% as enjoyable as it sounds. If you were excited by Gori before, then, good news! I’m more than happy to tell you that it’s just as fun as you were hoping it would be.
Gori: Cuddly Carnage is developed by Angry Demon Studio and currently scheduled for release on PC sometime in 2023
Last but certainly not least is Amplitude Studios’ upcoming title Endless Dungeon. A tactical action roguelite, you control a team of characters shipwrecked on an abandoned space station, attempting to protect yourselves from a never-ending stream of monsters. With a team of three members, it is possible to either play alone or with friends.
Controlling one of the cast of so-called ‘heroes’ (currently four announced, but with more to come), each has their own playstyle and synergies. The perfect game to grab with a few friends for an evening, it’s the kind of experience that will bring you all much closer together or, well, perhaps cause endless squabbling before starting up the next run.
Endless Dungeon is confirmed to be coming to PC, Xbox, PlayStation and Switch with a release date yet to be announced.
While we all know AAA blockbusters are the games that usually dominate the limelight, well, Gamescom is certainly no exception to that. But behind big-name franchises and next-gen graphics, there are plenty of smaller developers like these, crafting fun and unique games you won’t get anywhere else. So make sure to keep an eye out for these titles and you might just unearth yourself a hidden gem.