The Annapurna Interactive Showcase 2022 took a somewhat different approach to the video game publisher summer showcase format. Instead of a fire hose of trailers, sizzle reels, and gameplay videos, Annapurna slowed it down a bit, doing all of the above while also taking time to show off the people who are making some of the best indie games in the industry.
Here are the highlights of this year’s show.
Thirsty Suitors from Outerloop Games features a skateboard-loving South Asian woman named Jala, who, after leaving behind a trail of broken hearts, must now duel the owners of those hearts while trying and failing to live up to her parents’ expectations. We get our first in-depth glimpse of gameplay, highlighting all the ways Jala will fight, cook, and rail grind her way to self-love. Thirsty Suitors launches on Game Pass, Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo Switch in 2023.
Hindsight from Prune solo dev Joel McDonald is coming soon. This mysterious narrative game is evocative of Gone Home and has players examining the life of a woman through her memories and how the story of those memories change when looking at things from a different perspective. Hindsight launches August 4th on Nintendo Switch, Steam, and iOS.
Cardboard Computer, the Chicago-based three-person development team, took a moment to talk about how the team met, its creative process, and how it managed to make the narrative masterpiece Kentucky Route Zero. The team also shared that it’s working on a new game that’s intended to be livelier, funnier, and faster than KRZ.
Bounty Star combines the peacefulness of farming and base-building with bad-ass mecha fighting. The freshman title of Dinogod (who has the most bitchin’ tagline I’ve seen from a developer in a while), Bounty Star, is coming soon to Xbox, Game Pass, PlayStation, and Steam.
Yarn Owl’s — a two-person team spread across Texas and Georgia — story starts with Fabian Willis’ father gifting him a copy of The Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past shortly before passing away. Once Willis finally beats the game when he’s older, he decides he wants to recreate that experience for others. After slowly teaching himself the tools of game development, he teams up with Chris Hofmann, and together, the two are working to create their first game inspired by A Link To The Past. It’s just awesome to see ordinary humans with little to no formal video game experience making a game. Yarn Owl’s story is inspiring, and it’s neat that Annapurna Interactive chose to highlight it.
Mobius Digital, maker of Outer Wilds, has an announcement to make. Yes, Outer Wilds is still coming to the Switch, but due to technical difficulties up to and including a self-admitted misunderstanding of the Gregorian calendar, it’s not arriving just yet. However, the team did announce that the game would be getting a free, next-gen update to Xbox Series S / X and PlayStation 5 on September 15th.
The Pathless, Maquette, Solar Ash
Outer Wilds isn’t the only game getting some cross-platform love. The Pathless, originally a PlayStation 5 exclusive, is coming to Xbox and Nintendo Switch. Architecture puzzle game Maquette is coming to Game Pass and Nintendo Switch. And finally, the slick but uninteresting Solar Ash is also going cross-platform, arriving on Steam on December 6th.
What Remains of Edith Finch
What Remains of Edith Finch is a narrative experience that sticks in you like a splinter and never leaves. After playing the game back when it was released in 2017, I maintain it’s one of the best games I’ve played in the last decade. If you missed WROEF, excellent news, it’s getting a 4K 60FPS port to Xbox Series S / X and PlayStation 5 available now and free to anyone with Xbox One or PS4 versions. Play it — you owe it to yourself.
Third Shift is a two-person Germany-based developer working on its first game, Forever Ago. It tells the story of Alfred, an elderly photographer about that #vanlife making his way through the United States. No release date or platforms yet, but keep your lens caps off.
Flock is a new game from I Am Dead creator Richard Hogg in collaboration with Hollow Ponds. It’s a multiplayer co-op game that lets players fly around, zipping through colorful, alien landscapes on extraordinarily cute bird-like creatures players must catch and collect like Pokémon. Flock will be available on Xbox, Game Pass, PlayStation, and Steam soon.
Colorful exploration game Hohokum, originally available on PlayStations 3 and 4 and the Vita, is finally coming to PC. Described by The Verge’s Andrew Webster as a “record you can play,” Hohokum is available today on Steam.
Shortly after the success of If Found, Dreamfeel is working on its next title. Based in Ireland, the developers at Dreamfeel shared insight into its creative philosophy and showed that sometimes making games doesn’t mean being chained to a computer 24/7 but coming together, making, experiencing, and collaborating on art. The developers shared some information on the new game, which seems to follow Annapurna’s recent trend of “put a cat in it.”
The Lost Wild
To close out the showcase, Great Ape Games, based in the UK, showed off a teaser of its first game. The Lost Wild — a name that skirts dangerously close to running afoul of Michael Crichton’s lawyers — is a survival horror game that pits you against a world run by dinosaurs. Players explore a lush forest populated by all sorts of terrible lizards with nothing but your wits and a mysterious voice to guide them. It’s giving Resident Evil but with dinosaurs instead of the zombies, and since Capcom won’t release another Dino Crisis, this will have to do. The Lost Wild will launch on Steam with consoles to be announced later.