Tonight, Annapurna Interactive held their very first E3-like showcase, showing off loads of games they’re publishing over the next year or so, as well as revealing new developers they’re working with. We saw new gameplay for Stray, Neon White, Skin Deep, and a very special announcement from Outer Wilds developers Mobius Digital about a cryptic new expansion.
If you missed the stream, read on, because we’ve made a big list of everything that happened at the Annapurna Interactive Showcase.
The Artful Escape
Kicking things off, the colourful, musical adventure The Artful Escape got a new trailer with some fabulous guitar playing, revealing the game’s voice cast. You’ll hear performances from Michael Johnston (who you might recognise from Teen Wolf), Lena Heady (Cersei in Game Of Thrones), Carl Weathers (who was recently in the Mandalorian, but is probably best known as Apollo Creed in the Rocky films), and loads more. Man, Annapurna have a bunch of games with big Hollywood names in, huh. Developed by Beethoven & Dinosaur, The Artful Escape is set to release on September 9th on Steam and the Xboxes.
Made by the developer of Donut County, Ben Esposito, Neon White is very much not like Donut County and aimed at an entirely different audience. It’s a singleplayer speedrunning FPS where you do loads of sweet parkour while you purge heaven of demons. At the risk of comparing every game with parkour in it to Mirror’s Edge, hey, it kinda looks like Mirror’s Edge. Also, it has some dating sim bits. It looks great! Neon White is coming to Steam and Nintendo Switch this winter.
A Memoir Blue
And now: something new! A Memoir Blue seems like another addition to Annapurna’s collection of heartfelt and emotional stories. Developed by Cloisters Interactive, it takes you through the memories of a mother and daughter. It has no release date yet, but will be coming to PC via Steam, as well as Nintendo Switch, the Xboxes, the PlayStations and the Apple App Store.
Sticking with the newness, Annapurna announced Storyteller, a puzzle game in which you tell various stories by placing images in a storybook. It gives you a prompt, then a handful of characters, settings and emotions that you can play around with to tell your tale. It looks pretty chill, kinda weird, and it’s coming soon to Steam and Nintendo Switch. Better yet, you can play a free demo on Steam right now.
Solar Ash has been in the works from the developers of Hyper Light Drifter, Heart Machine, for a while, and now it has a release date. On October 26th, we’ll be able to skate and slay bosses in this big, colourful open world. Keep your eyes peeled for it on the Epic Games Store. It’s also coming to PS4 and PS5.
Perhaps the strangest game of the showcase, Skin Deep is the new first-person shooter from Blendo Games, where you’re tasked with killing space pirates because you need to protect your cat employers. It has roguelike aspects, so if you mess up, you can start again (it reminds me a bit of Void Bastards). Skin Deep has no set release date just yet, but it will be coming to Steam at some point.
Cat! Cat! Cat! The best thing shown at E3 last year, Stray is a game where you play as a cat roaming around a dystopian city. You will do many things that cats do: jump, scratch, purr, drink water from strange places, knock stuff off of surfaces, and curl up to have a nice snooze. Mostly you’ll be exploring a huge cybercity with the help of the robot pal on your back though, trying to find your way back to your family. Developed by BlueTwelve Studio, Stray is coming to PC via Steam, as well as PS4 and PS5 early 2022.
Outer Wilds: Echoes Of The Eye
Confirming a leak from a couple of months ago, developers Mobius Digital revealed that they are indeed making an expansion for Outer Wilds. Named Echoes Of The Eye, it’s set to release on September 28th. They say it’s the game’s first and only expansion, and will “weave directly into the existing world and narrative”. The trailer doesn’t reveal much, but hey, it’s still exciting stuff.
Annapurna are publishing the next game from developers Outer Loop, who previously made Falcon Age, a game about getting bird friends to help you fend off a colonial corporate invasion. While they don’t reveal exactly what their new game will be (though it seems to involve skateboarding), they do say it will deal with themes of “immigrant culture growing up the US, gossiping aunties, overbearing parents and family pressure”. They want it to be something that reflects the experiences of their team.
The publisher is also working with Jessica Mak, who’s made games like Everyday Shooter and Sound Shapes. All her games are music-focused and this new one is no exception, she says it’s an action-adventure with musical components, and hopefully we’ll find out more about it soon.
Ivy Road is a new studio founded by Davey Wreden (who made The Stanley Parable and The Beginner’s Guide) and Karla Zimonja (who co-created Gone Home and Tacoma). This was my favourite segment of the whole show, because they’re just having a weird tea party and talking absolute nonsense. They don’t have much to say about the new game they’re making together just yet, except for the fact it’ll have music by Minecraft composer Daniel Rosenfeld (aka C418), which is pretty cool.
No Code are the folks who made the horror games Observation and Stories Untold, though in their segment of the Annapurna showcase they say they never set out to make such spooky games. This time, however, they are trying to make a horror game. No Code say this will be their biggest project to date. Exciting.
For some final little titbits, these games are coming to new platforms this year:
I Am Dead is coming to PS4, PS5 and Xbox on August 9th.
What Remains Of Edith Finch is hitting the App Store on August 16th.
The Pathless arrives on Steam on November 16th.