Everything Announced at the E3 2021 Freedom Games Showcase
Alongside the highly anticipated showcases from huge brands and corporations such as Xbox, Square Enix, Capcom, and Nintendo, E3 gives many other publishers and developers a chance to showcase their works. One such case is Freedom Games, a publisher that makes it their mission to ‘provide support to independent developers where it (is) most needed and help them bring unique games to life.’ After seeing their upcoming releases, I can genuinely say that they seem to be living up to that cause!
In a heartfelt E3 showcase featuring developer interviews and game trailers, Freedom Games revealed what’s coming up next for the Indie studios they publish. Check out the unique projects they have in store!
Dreamscaper is a surreal rogue-lite action rpg from Afterburner Studios. With the tagline, ‘dream, die, wake, repeat,’ the unique premise of this world’s Sisyphean struggle comes from the relationship between the waking and dreaming world. Players will explore the town during the day, then battle their way through the dream world at night. Though the game has been playable through early access, the 1.0 release will feature new difficulty settings, bosses, environments, enemies, endings, music, and more. Dreamscaper is coming out of early access August 12th and can be wishlisted now on Steam.
Airborne Kingdom released late last year for PC and has officially been announced as coming to consoles in 2021. Allowing players to build and manage the sky city of their dreams, this new version will add creative sandbox mode, an additional hard difficulty, and a new game+ feature to the existing game.
Old-school Pokemon fans will rejoice at next year’s release of Coromon. This story-driven adventure sees you navigating a vibrant 2D world as well as capturing, training, and pitting coromon against one another in battle. However, unlike the original Pokemon titles, Coromon will feature customizable stats for your companions, online battles, built-in difficulty and randomizer modes, character creation, and titanic boss battles. There’s no specific release date yet, but it’s anticipated to be available in Q1 2022 for PC and Switch and can be wishlisted now on Steam.
Cat Cafe Manager
Ever wished you could spend all day in a cat café? Maybe never leave it at all, if given the chance? Cat Cafe Manager will give you the opportunity to do just that. Build your café, adopt and name cats, befriend customers, hire and train your staff, then expand the shop until you have the purr-fect cozy spot that leaves you feline fine. There’s no set release date, but Cat Cafe Manager is anticipated to launch on Steam and Nintendo Switch in Q2 of 2022 and can be wishlisted on Steam.
To the Rescue!
Not fond of cats? Rather spend your time with dogs? Or maybe you’re like me and any animal is a good animal that you would die to protect. Whatever the case, To the Rescue! will allow players to manage a dog shelter while experiencing the real challenges organizations face while trying to take care of and rehome strays. Olivia Dunlap, one of the lead developers on the game, stated in the Freedom Games Showcase, “the game is about being hopeful you can improve your community in some small way.”
The developers are also giving 20% of every dollar earned back to the Petfinder Foundation, which is a heartfelt gesture for the organizations they’re representing in their new work. To the Rescue! will be coming in Q4 later this year on Steam and Nintendo Switch. Add the game to your wishlist now!
Slaughter League is looking to be a great, chaotic game to play with friends. The showcase video brought in footage of various streamers enjoying the game with their community, while the above playtest trailer gives players an idea of the game’s overall pacing and goals. Akin to an incredibly deadly version of American Ninja Warrior, you’ll test your skills alongside your competitors while trying to survive until the finish line. Slaughter League is coming Q2 2022.
A surprise release for Dark Deity was also unveiled during the E3 showcase. The game bills itself as a new classically inspired turn-based strategy rpg and sports a sweeping narrative told through interpersonal relationships much like the Fire Emblem series. Dark Deity launched during the event on June 15th and is available now on Steam. As a bonus, we just reviewed the title, so be sure to read up on Josh’s thoughts if you’d like to hear more!
One Lonely Outpost
One Lonely Outpost is a lovingly crafted upcoming game that’s being brought to life through detailed sprites and charming pixel animation. Based off the gameplay footage in the second half of the trailer, this simulator was immediately giving me vibes that can only be described as Stardew Valley in space- and I mean that in the best of ways. Yet, despite the similarities this genre is known for, the original creativity and style of One Lonely Outpost is undeniably present in every detail of the world.
As the first settlers of a barren planet, it’s up to you to build a community from the ground up and create a colony where life can thrive. Farm, fish, cook, and forge a path for your characters. There also appears to be combat and exploration mechanics centered around unraveling the secrets of the planet!
Alongside the above trailer, the creator Brad Petry shared some words during the game’s segment in the showcase, describing his journey with Asperger’s and the meaning the game has for him. As he movingly stated, “loneliness helps highlight the value of connection.” One Lonely Outpost is coming to early access on Steam in 2022 and can be wishlisted now.
Sands of Aura
Soulsborne style games are quickly becoming a defined genre in and of themselves. Joining the ever-growing lineup, a new action RPG titled Sands of Aura has been announced, though we know little more than the brief glimpse the teaser trailer gave us. The style and visuals are certainly intriguing and the game can now be wishlisted on Steam, though there’s no release window in sight.
Tower Rush gives players a taste of siege tactics by allowing you to recruit units and pit them against an onslaught of enemies. For those seeking out a new tower defense game with over 150+ enemies, robust leveling, and achievements galore, this title may be of interest. Available now to add to wishlists before it comes to Steam in 2022.
2020’s Anuchard, a retro-inspired 2D action rpg that came to PC last year, has been announced as releasing on Steam, Xbox Series X, and Xbox One in Q1 of 2022. Players on Xbox and PC will soon be able to wield a bell to retrieve lost souls in order to rebuild a fallen civilization, all thanks to a partnership with Xbox’s Diversity Fund which helped make the expanded platforms possible.