The E3 2021 season has begun. Before the Summer Games Fest officially kicks things off next week, Guerrilla Collective came back for its 2021 showcase. Throughout its nearly two-hour length, many exciting upcoming indie games were shown. This is a list of the ten best games we saw.
For a full list of all the games industry events happening throughout June, be sure to check out Fanbyte’s Hot Game Summer article!
Humanity has driven some of the most adaptable animals to extinction. As the last fox mother on Earth, you spend every day fighting for your survival and the safety of your cubs. But one day, something — or someone — takes one of your children, pushing you to embark on a dangerous journey to get them back. With your senses, you’ll be able to follow the trails of predators and prey. As your cubs grow and develop, they’ll also be able to follow you on your nightly adventures. Over time, they’ll learn essential life skills and do their part to ensure the survival of this precious group. And survival won’t be easy — not only do you have to survive, but you also have to guide your younglings across this dystopian future of an exploited Earth.
Despite my mental list of wonderful soon-to-be-released indie games only growing with each passing day, Endling still remains at the top of my most anticipated. I included Endling in my big list of the indie games coming out in 2021 that you should be excited about. I haven’t stopped thinking about it since I first learned about it, so I’m elated that we saw more of it today. It looks utterly gorgeous, with yet another trailer that has tugged at my heartstrings. I am in love with the concept, with having to teach your cubs how to do things like climb trees and help you on excursions — with everything about Endling. Out of all the games in this list, it is my most anticipated one, so I had to include it at the top.
Endling is being developed by Herobeat Studios and published by HandyGames. It is planned to be released in 2021 on Steam, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. You can wishlist it here.
El Paso, Elsewhere
El Paso, Elsewhere is a supernatural neo-noir third-person shooter in which you hunt werewolves, fallen angels, and other damned creatures. It’s described as a “slow-motion love letter to action classics.” Here, you’ll fight your way through a three-story motel in El Paso, Texas that has gained another 46 stories all below ground. These floors are constantly shifting between realities, making you dive through barricades to escape the grasp of evil puppets, save the victims of Draculae — the lord of the vampires — and even destroy the villain you once loved.
Among its features are an original hip-hop soundtrack (that already sounds like an absolute banger), a fully-voiced neo-noir story campaign, and a tale involving nuanced discussions about an abusive relationship and drug addiction. It’s a complete tonal departure from the studio’s recently released game, An Airport for Aliens Currently Run By Dogs. But to know Xalavier Nelson Jr. (who runs Strange Scaffold) as a creator is to know that this wide range is only but expected from him.
Chernobylite is a science fiction survival horror RPG set in the hyper-realistic, 3D scanned wasteland of Chernobyl’s exclusion zone. The developers of Chernobylite traveled to Ukraine and 3D-scanned the real Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, full of ruins and contaminated areas. It’s through this extreme consideration of detail that the game contains many real-life objects, including the interiors of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant that the team could safely access.
In Chernobylite, you are Igor Khymynyuk, a former physicist and ex-employee of Chernobyl whose life was changed forever on that fateful day in 1986. Haunted by the death of his fiancée, he returns to Pripyat to investigate her mysterious disappearance. It’s a fascinating project that mixes free exploration of disturbing locations with challenging combat, a crafting system, and a non-linear science-fiction story.
Chernobylite has been in Early Access since October 2019. Developed and published by The Farm 51, the full release is out in July 2021 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. You can wishlist it here.
The Eternal Cylinder
The Eternal Cylinder is an open-world survival game in which players will control a horde of wacky little creatures called Trebhums. As these Trebhums, you’ll explore a vibrant alien world teeming with strange life. Survival is a constant challenge, with the land’s biomes providing unique challenges to your group. But, if you feed these Trebhums right, you’ll help them do what they do best: spontaneously evolve into more resourceful and enduring beings.
Environmental hazards pose but only one danger, for the universe is filled with dangerous creatures both natural and man-made. There is also the Cylinder, a gargantuan rolling structure of ancient origin that crushes everything in its path. Crucial to your survival will be learning this vast world and how to interact with the creatures living in it.
The Eternal Cylinder is coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. You can wishlist it on the Epic Games Store.
Rubi: The Wayward Mina
Rubi: The Wayward Mira is a 2D action-adventure platformer metroidvania teeming with vibrant hues and saturated pixels. It also has RPG elements and takes place in a world where science and magic are infused together. You play as Rubi, a “Mira” stranded on the alien world of Earth. Even though she is unable to use magic, she embarks on a mission to awaken the bridge between worlds, open a portal back to her homeworld of Casimir, and save the Mira from extinction. The art in this game is immediately eye-catching, intrinsic, and beautifully colored.
Rubi: The Wayward Mira is being developed and published by Wayward Games. It is scheduled to be released in 2021 for PC and consoles. You can wishlist it here.
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Run Die Run Again
Run Die Run Again takes place in 2127, a time in which there is a grave divide between those who “have” and those who are “have-nots.” To provide the hope of socioeconomic escalation and escape from poverty, the governments of the world have created “The Run.” In this competition, athletes are selected to navigate virtual obstacle courses filled with life-threatening hazards, earning the tournament the name “Run, Die, Run Again.” If a contestant survives the obstacles and trials throughout the courses, they are indicted into “The Selected,” a group of people who are given food, shelter, and the freedom to never work again.
You’ll spend your time with this precision platformer speeding through over 50 hand-crafted obstacle courses, executing death-defying leaps, and skirting certain death for the tiny chance at a less arduous future. Even though speed is crucial, precision is required, for this platformer is executed in first-person. It seems challenging and fun — especially since it’ll feature dynamic contextual commentary that will provide world-building and flavor. Just zooming through these courses looks dope and anxiety-inducing. It’s the exact kind of game that I can watch others experience and still enjoy myself, even if I end up realizing I’m supremely bad at it. This is very convenient for me because, judging by the trailer, it doesn’t seem like it’ll be easy to be good at it.
Run Die Run Again is being developed by RetroNinja’s Tony Barnes. It is coming out in 2021, and you can wishlist it here.
Omno is a single-player journey of discovery through an ancient world of wonders. It’s a beautiful game full of puzzles, secrets, and obstacles to find out and overcome. While we don’t know how quite just yet, it’s a power of a lost civilization that will carry you on a quest across many different serene locales. Lush forests, sun-blasted deserts, frozen tundras, and even the clouds await you in this game made by a solo developer. On your trek through this vibrant world, you’ll get to meet strange and wonderful lifeforms ranging from adorable critters to mysterious giants, and everything in between. It wasn’t until I saw this trailer that I remembered this was the indie game that went viral on TikTok a few months ago. It looks so peaceful and zen. I’m definitely eager to learn more.
Omno is being developed by Jonas Manke. It is scheduled for release this upcoming summer. You can wishlist it here.
Grow: Song of the Evertree
In Grow: Song of the Evertree, the Worlds of Alaria have faded, causing The Evertree — where many worlds resided on its countless branches — to shrivel up into nothing more than a sapling. Since no one knows how to make it grow again, you are its final hope. As the last of the Everheart Alchemists, it’s your ancestral task to care for the Evertree. You’ll be able to grow your own worlds and nurture a deep connection with everything they hold. Explore caves, solve puzzles, collect flowers and minerals, and much more.
You’ll also get to meet new people and create communities. Unique characters will tell you of their stories and ask for your help in various ways. Perhaps one day, you’ll come together to build the town of your dreams. This is a game about the delicate relationship between humans and nature, and how our personal actions can have a positive impact on others through caring for the environment.
Grow: Song of the Evertree is being developed by Prideful Sloth and published by 505 Games. It is slated for release in 2021. You can wishlist it here. For each wishlist milestone reached, the development team will plant trees in the real world. The ultimate goal, at 500,000 wishlists, is to plant 10,000 trees.
In the dark surreal fairytale game Moroi, you play as an amnesic hero that wakes up in a weird castle. Through your interactions with different characters in this world, you catch wind of one fact: to escape the castle, you must defeat The Red King. But as you make your way through the castle, you soon come to realize that he isn’t quite who you expect. While I found the dialogue text seen in this video a bit hard to read, the character designs in Moroi look fascinating. This is also just generally a pretty great trailer, with the perfect choice of music blending with the unsettling manipulation of text on the screen.
No release window or platforms were indicated in this trailer, and it has not yet been put on Steam.
Aeon Drive is a colorful and vibrant action platformer with a speedrunning twist set in Neo Barcelona. You play Jackelyne, a young space ranger from another dimension who crash-lands her spaceship while desperately trying to get home. With her sword, teleportation dagger, and unique skill to control time, Jackelyne can hopefully find all the Drive Cores necessary to fix her ship. While she’s at it, maybe she’ll even get to save the city from impending doom and preserve the space-time of the universe.
You can play Aeon Drive on your own or with up to three friends as you navigate five action-packed districts. It also has features like Discord integration, global leaderboards, streaming mode, and real-time difficulty adjustment. I love its saturated look and am intrigued by its 30-second time loop concept, so I’m looking forward to learning more.
Aeon Drive is being developed by 2Awesome Studio and published by CRITICAL REFLEX. It’s coming in 2021 to PC and consoles. You can wishlist it here.