With the release of BattleBlock Theater today, I want to mention three other games I have been waiting 3+ years to play that are all releasing soon. Indie developers take their time when launching games, but it usually shows.
BattleBlock Theater (XBLA) – Released April 3, 2013
Behemoth got their start developing Alien Hominid for New Grounds and then for XBLA. They followed that success with the 9th most successful XBLA game: Castle Crashers. Behemoth is known for developing side-scrolling adventure games with a sense of humor, and BattleBlock Theatre continues that tradition. Behemoth has a history of developing high-quality games that challenge and satisfy that nostalgic arcade feeling.
SpyParty (PC) – Currently in Open Beta
SpyParty is a game that challenges players to understand details of human behavior unique to gaming. SpyParty is being developed by Chris Hecker, a former Maxis employee who worked with Will Wright on Spore. The summary of the game is this: there are two roles, spy and sniper. The spy tries to accomplish missions while at a crowded dinner party while the other player (the sniper) tries to identify which of the guests is the other player. The game ends when the sniper (who only gets one shot) or the spy accomplishes his/her mission. While simple in concept, it’s an ambitious project that needs to be subtle enough to allow a human player to hide convincingly among a host of logic-based AIs, and simple enough enough so players can easily understand the options available to them. I think this game has the potential to alter the way we think about AI and human interaction in games.
Monaco (PC and XBLA) – Release Date: April 24
I immediately fell in love with Monaco when I first saw it at PAX Prime. Developed by Andy Schatz, Monaco is a four-player coop heist game where your mission is to get treasure, cash and other precious items whilst killing, tranquilizing and confusing enemy minions. The brilliance of Monaco is in its line of sight design. In the same way that RTS games use fog of war, Monaco’s challenge lies in what you can and cannot see. As your character moves, the map changes from blueprint to full color, which builds tension and challenging how you approach each area. Already a 2010 Independent Games Festival Award Winner, Monaco has potential to be one of the best games of 2013.