Neighborhoods are starting a transformation from ordinary dwelling spaces to fright fests as we draw closer to Halloween. Lawns are filling up with the decorative deceased and – unfortunately for people who rightfully fear spiders – oversized arachnids. And it seems like indies can’t resist the lure of the upcoming spine-chilling holiday either. A noticeable chunk of indies coming out the next few weeks have a particularly frightening slant to them. However, the news might be even more ghastly, as one of October’s most anticipated releases recently fell victim to a delay.
A Trick and A Treat
Even the indie space has its juggernaut projects, and the end of October was looking ripe for a massive harvest. But current events have mirrored the season’s candy-gathering traditions, offering players a trick and treat.
PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, PC
Let’s start with the trick; Solar Ash – the second game from Heart Machine, the studio that made Hyper Light Drifter – was delayed last week. Originally set to launch in the last week of October, fans will now have to wait a little more to play it. But don’t despair; the game still technically has a fall launch date. Solar Ash is coming to PlayStation platforms and PC December 2.
Darkest Dungeon II
Get ready to savor the sweet, sweet treat that is Darkest Dungeon II because it’s entering Epic’s Early Access on October 26. The incoming sequel continues the Lovecraftian horror narrative with similar combat and a well-known host of adventurers, but it plans on spicing things up with some changes. These include a new character called the Runaway, which you can read more about here.
It’s Spooky How Many Games We Need To Play
RIP our free time because there are just too many good indies to check out. Last month’s hits are still calling our name, but that’s only half the reason to feel unsettled. Late October holds a score of scary-looking titles to get you into the Halloween spirit.
Into the Pit
Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC
Into the Pit got an awesome reveal at this year’s Xbox Gamescom showcase, and the retro-looking roguelite is ready to launch tomorrow. When your cousin finds an ominous hole in the ground, there’s no thought to turning away or try to cover it up. No. You both belong to a family of mystics and can’t pass up the occult opportunities. This magic-infused, first-person title is coming to Xbox Game Pass and looks like it is ready to celebrate Halloween.
Undying is a little on the nose for the spooky season, but we won’t hold that against the game. This intriguing adventure title follows a mother who, in a world infested by the undead, has been bitten by a zombie. With scant time left, she must prepare her young son to survive in the world without her. Coming to Steam Early Access October 19, Undying will task you with teaching him how to fight the hungering horde before joining the zombies’ ranks yourself.
Don’t leave your mouth ajar when you see this game’s delightfully creepy, hand-drawn art style. Hitting on October 20, Jars is a mix between a strategy, puzzle, and tower defense game. The objective? To break as many fragile containers as you can find down in the basement. But you are not out to simply be destructive; no, destroying these jars ties into saving the world.
Read the stars and decide the fate of many in this story-driven title. Luckily, you’ll be playing as a Soothsayer, so you’ll already have some idea how to interpret those tricky celestial bodies. That doesn’t mean there isn’t room for error, so be sure to think hard about your pronunciations. You can check out the announcement trailer here to decide if you should pick Grotto up when it releases October 20.
On October 20, Gravewood High is entering Steam Early Access. And, let’s be honest, high school is hard enough without the looming threat of mysteriously disappearing, but the students at the curiously named school just can’t catch a break. Especially since the building seems to have transformed into a dangerous maze and a terrifying teacher is on the hunt for you.
Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC
It’s time to grab your crew and patrol the neighborhood for aliens because Echo Generation is launching on PC and Xbox Game Pass October 21. The release date trailer recently gave us a little more to look at in this beautiful, voxel-art game with some serious nostalgic vibes. If you are interested in playing a Stranger Things-like, turn-based RPG, Echo Generation might be for you.
PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
Slated to release October 21, Evertried is a tactical roguelike all about getting up a tower in the afterlife. The isometric view and pixel graphics meld together with the game’s turn-based combat, creating an experience that looks both challenging and easy on the eyes. Can you reach the top?
With its colorful palette and unique style, this point-and-click adventure follows a robot on a mission to protect her space station from an encroaching danger. The team uses the term biopunk to describe the game’s aesthetic mix of the robotic and organic. Growbot will be blasting off on October 21, and the title will give you the chance to fend off the crystalline danger while exploring a vibrant alien world.
Tandem: A Tale of Shadows
PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
Tandem: A Tale of Shadows is a top-down meets side-scrolling puzzle game with a curious premise. You switch between two protagonists who are out to solve a mysterious disappearance. The twist? One is a young girl and the other is her teddy bear. But don’t be fooled by the cute-sounding leads – the game has a dark tone and takes inspiration from Tim Burton, Jules Verne, and Conan Doyle. Tandem: A Tale of Shadows comes out October 21.
Aggro Crab Games, the developer behind the wonderful roguelite Going Under, is publishing its first game. Developed by Bubby Darkstar, Subway Midnight’s cuteness makes it feel all that more frightening. The bizarre action will take place on a train full of ghosts. As you move from one car to the next, you’ll attempt to help them come to terms with their past lives. However, someone is after you, so you’d better go quickly unless you’d like to join the dead when this game comes out October 28.
Who’s ready to tell scary stories around the campfire? Launching on October 28, the developer’s description for this game builds a unique narrative. It reads: “DO NOT PLAY! This 8bit game is a port from a mystery source…This casual, linear, interactive story game centers around a campfire with old friends telling… tales.” So, pick up Campfire Tales at your peril.
Are these unnerving titles not for you? You can find more releases in our previous Fall For Indies lists; just click on the goose.