Games to watch from the Summer Game Fest Showcase 2022

Microsoft has had another Summer Game Fest and with it came a slew of demos. I sat down with all of them over the course of a weekend. There are some really promising titles in there but I went through and highlighted the ones that stood out to me along with a link to where you can look up more info on the title in question.

Exhausted Man (Candleman Games)

Being an indie developer is not easy, being the indie developer in Exhausted Man is even harder. Limited to the same sort of movements as a cartoon worm – the main character is holed up in their apartment trying to get a release candidate of their build. The game plays like a mixture of Octodad and Unpacking. The player must set out a number of items inside the apartment each turn, then navigate their human sloth around them trying to accomplish seemingly simple tasks. The fun comes from how sluggish the character is and how ridiculous he ends up looking while you accomplish it.

Despite its light and easy nature of the game (the deliberately messy controls are relaxing rather than annoying) I couldn’t help but relate to the emotional and physical impact of trying to ship a game.

If the screenshot appeals check out their website.

Metal: Hellsinger (The Outsiders)

Doom is good, the Mick Gordon soundtrack to Doom is also good. Metal: Hellsinger is what happens if you make these two things inter-related. Rhythmically killing demons to the beat of metal, with vocals from a series of high profile singers across the subgenres of the music.

If you want to rip and tear to double kick drums then it is worth checking out Hellsinger’s website.

Ato (Little Warrior Games)

I mainly downloaded this out of sense of duty to look at all the game fest games. The screenshots do not do this game service at all. In motion this game has a wonderful sense of style with gently swaying grass, considered protagonist animations and great pace. The gameplay in the demo is equally tight with precise jumps, rolls and teleports required to traverse areas.

This is for everyone that likes metroidvanias that focus on skilled platforming and unique combat encounters.

This is single developer game and at the moment they just have a discord channel if you want to know more.

Despot’s Game (Konfa Games)

Each one of the games on this list has had an instant hook for me, easily translatable into a demo. For me, Despot’s Game was the quickest to get its hooks into me. A combination of auto-play strategy game and roguelite, the player moves from screen to screen with their army and after lining them up sets them loose on enemies. There is a lot of per-run things to figure out, when to hire more units and what weapons to give them, balance the number with available food, and picking the right perks to suit your play style. Combat is over quickly and the strategy element seems light at first but depth comes later.

Not to mention it has a wicked soundtrack and visuals that reminds me of when the Bitmap Brothers were at the height of their game

I look forward to playing the full version. For further details you can check out their website.

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Written by
AJ Small is a games industry veteran, starting in QA back in 2004. He currently walks the earth in search of the tastiest/seediest drinking holes as part of his attempt to tell every single person on the planet that Speedball 2 and The Chaos Engine are the greatest games ever made. He can be found on twitter (@badgercommander), where he welcomes screenshots of Dreamcast games and talk about Mindjack, just don’t mention that one time he was in Canada.

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