We’re covering everything shown off at the annual Summer Games Fest, which is more or less the new E3 in terms of what it means for gamers. In this article we’re covering everything shown off at the Tribeca Game Showcase during day 2 of the event. If you missed coverage of day 1, you can find our coverage of here and here and day 2 here.
Day 3 of the Summer Game Fest rolled on with two smaller shows that were packed to the absolute gills with games. Between the Wholesome Games Direct and Future Games Show, there were over 200+ games shown in various states, some released, others with demos, some far off in development, and everything in between.
There are a ton of gems here, some hidden and some obvious, but either way the state of games coming in the next year looks to be absolutely varied and diverse, and also, apparently, agricultural. First, let’s take a look at a few games from the Wholesome Games Direct that really caught our eyes:
Spirit Swap: Lofi Beats to Match-3 To
Soft Not Weak
Release Date: TBA
Touted by developer Soft Not Weak as “Cast spells, be queer, & crash the biggest concert of the year”, this game immediately caught my eye during the Wholesome Direct for the bright and beautiful character art and the match 3 puzzle gameplay really caught my attention; all told I’ve probably put thousands of hours into games like Pokemon Puzzle League, Puyo Puyo, and more, so the combination here is quite attractive. And, if you were wondering, yes the lofi soundtrack rocks. After the show, I took the time to try out the demo and found the writing fun and whimsical with tight puzzle gameplay. This one’s certainly worth keeping an eye on when the full game releases, and if you want to give it a try, you can find the demo on their steam page here!
Station to Station
Release Date: TBA
This game actually showed up in both showcases, and seemingly with good cause: it looks extremely fun. If you’ve ever wanted to build your own voxel railways, then Station to Station seems to be right up your (and my) alley. I love the idea of a cozy puzzle game that focuses on building railways and then watching them succeed, but a lot of time train games tend to be extremely granular and a little too sim-like for my taste of what I’m looking for. Also, while I have to admit that voxel style isn’t always my thing, the previewed graphics in Station to Station seem to have nailed the look, eliciting an almost Lego like quality to the trains and a colorful, fun looking world; if you’d like to try it, there’s a demo available on their steam page here.
Platform(s):PC, Switch, Xbox, PSN, coming soon to Mobile/Tablet
Release Date: Game out now, Coming Soon for Mobile/Tablet
While this isn’t a new release, Unpacking announced that it is on it’s way to mobile phones and tablet platforms in the coming future. Unpacking is a spatial puzzle game about, well, unpacking a life at various stages, and the biggest reason I’m putting it on this list is because it features probably the pinnacle of environmental storytelling I think I’ve ever seen. All jokes about Fallout and such aside, Unpacking tells an amazing and emotional story without saying much of anything, letting the simple act of unpacking items and finding places for them do it for you. I love this game so much, and if you’ve not had a chance to play it, it’s now basically available on everything, so go for it.
Release Date: TBA
A game about cooking and delivering orders in a magical world, Magical Delicacy’s style caught my eye first, followed by the gameplay, which reminded me in some ways of the Atelier series of rpgs. The mix of platforming and recipe crafting seems fun and relaxing, mixing in some of the thrill of adventure with the satisfaction of giving people what they want. The game looked quite nice in movement and I really enjoyed the large, tall sprites, so I’m excited to see the full game and hope that the storytelling lives up to the promise of the gameplay.
Release Date: TBA
Look, I love frogs. Frogs are great; they’re like the second best animal I can see on the internet on a daily basis, and I think a lot of others agree lately with the increased amount of cute frogs I see all over the place. So, this game seems like a no-brainer, in that it features a cute playable frog and lots of other cute frogs, and also features top-down action-adventure gameplay looks quite promising, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t already on board for the sole sake of cute frog antics.
Little Nemo and the Guardians of Slumberland
Release Date: TBA
I am going to date myself a lot here, but as a child the Capcom platformer Little Nemo: The Dream Master game for the NES was one of my FAVORITE games ever. It was such an amazingly rendered world even in 8-bit and the gameplay was solid, but it just never seemed to get any follow-up love, and, frankly, it perhaps didn’t age great (amazing what we tolerated in games as kids). That said, I actually was surprised to see this callback to the series and love the idea of Little Nemo as a fun, fantastical world to explore. If developers Die Soft can make me relive even a little bit of that childlike excitement, I’ll consider this game a roaring success.
Stray Gods: The Roleplaying Musical
Release Date: August 3rd, 2023
We mentioned this in our Day 2 coverage, but during Future Game Show, we actually got to see far more of what exactly a ‘roleplaying musical’ entailed, and I have to admit that my initial interest went from 0 to intrigued pretty quickly. Firstly, the game is a dating sim, where the main character will get to pursue various gods, and also, features a (at least) bisexual protagonist, as the trailer shown here spent a lot of time showing off Stray God’s version of Persephone, who I will shamelessly admit made me wishlist the game immediately. If you like dating sims and the idea of a musical game, well, Stray Gods seems to fit a niche I didn’t even really know needed filling.
Long Way Home
Release Date: TBA
The second game shown at the show and a world premier at that, Resistor’s post-apocalyptic world of racing to survive seemed quite interesting. I liked the narrative focus, and I’m hoping that the game will deliver an interesting story on top of what looks like racing/combat style roleplaying; at the very least, the visuals shown looked impressive, and I think Resistor’s got the possibility to be a big breakout hit of the weekend if the eventual game lives up to the promise of this trailer.
Lords of the Fallen
Platform(s):PC, PSN, Xbox
Release Date: October 13 2023
Ok, I am going to actually be honest: I’m starting to dislike the world ‘Soulslike’ to be used for any dark fantasy action-adventure game, but that’s basically the best way to describe Lords of the Fallen for better or worse. What was shown looked interesting, but the biggest issue I have with games like this or Lies of P is that they don’t always establish an interesting identity aside from “being difficult” and “dark”. The trailer for this showing off and spoiling multiple boss forms was kind of irritating, but I will at least say that my interest is piqued, and since I’m a big fan of (sigh) “Soulslike” games, I’ll be checking this one out closer to release. Also, if you’re confused, yes, there is another game named Lords of the Fallen, and this is the sequel, also named Lords of the Fallen.
Release Date: August 2023
If, like me, you grew up loving Zorro and other styles of swashbuckling adventure stories, En Garde might be a really easy sell. There’s a demo available on their steam page here, and my time with the demo was promising. I liked the combat system and the way that it actually felt like swashbuckling combat, not just hack-and-slash combo mashing. The game seems bright, cheery, and exciting, and I’m hoping that the final product lives up to the promises made in this demo. Also, props to having a fun, older female hero, and a color palette that isn’t various shades of black and white; the deep colors in this game felt so vibrant and unusual given what’s usually on the menu these days!
Wrap-Up and Other Games to Check Out
There was an absolute slew of games on display in both of these showcases today, and far too many to mention directly in their entirety, so if you are curious to see the full list of games for the Wholesome Direct, you can do so here, but I absolutely wanted to give a few last shout-outs to cooking narrative game Venba, adventure game Snufkin (yes, from Moomin), gardening sim Garden Buddies, and movement puzzle game Feed All Monsters. If I could write up something for every game on the list, I would, but these titles seem the most enticing and the ones I’m certainly going to be following as they get closer to release. As for the Future Games Show, you can find a list of games here from their partner Gamesradar, but a few notable mentions to keep an eye on include the upcoming new Layers of Fear, horror game Luto, witch crafting (witchcrafting?) game Reka, and co-op action RPG Hammerwatch 2 among many, many more!
Tomorrow: More Coverage!
Sunday’s a huge day of shows, so we’ll be recapping what you might have missed and picking out what we liked for you following the Xbox Games Showcase and PC Gaming Show, starting at 4pm EST!
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