Annapurna Interactive’s first direct showcase brought news of brand new titles and partnerships, along with updates on already announced or released games. Known for being an indie game publishing powerhouse, they’ve been involved in past titles such as What Remains of Edith Finch, Outer Wilds, and more recently, Last Stop. Join me as I take a look at all the news down below.
Annapurna Interactive Showcase – 29th July 2021
Before we get into the content, what’s your favourite Annapurna Interactive title so far? Personally, I adore Sayonara Wild Hearts so if you’ve not given that a go yet I highly recommend it. Leave your comments at the end of the article and let’s chat about Indie Games!
New Titles and Partnerships
A Memoir Blue
The first of two new games to be revealed was A Memoir Blue. This story-driven interactive poem features no words, instead, it relies upon music and character animations to portray the emotions of the main characters throughout. A mix of 2D and 3D animation is used to distinguish between present events and recollections of the past. The story is born from true events that happened in the life of the game’s creative director, Shelly Chen. I can already tell this is going to be an intensely emotional journey but one that I won’t want to miss out on.
The second new game reveal was Storyteller. Click and drag story elements onto a comic panel layout in order to tell a story stemming from a short prompt. As you place the pieces, the panels react and evolve. This looks absolutely fascinating. I can’t wait to experiment with the mechanics and see what results I can achieve. There’s a time-limited demo available on Steam currently so go and check it out.
A total of 4 new partnerships were unveiled during the event with varying levels of information about the specific projects being given. Developer Outer Loop, whose previous title was Falcon Age, is working on a game that will explore themes of immigrant culture in the US. It will also feature some skateboarding mechanics that were briefly shown in the segment.
Next up is a joint project with Jessica Mak, creator of Riff: Everyday Shooter and Co-Director of Sound Shapes. As you can tell, she specialises in games that heavily incorporate music and you should expect more of the same here. The glimpses we see in the showcase look abstract in nature and I’m curious to see what the final product will look like.
Another partnership announced is between Annapurna Interactive and Ivy Road. This is a new studio from two experienced Indie Game creators, Davey Wreden (creator of The Stanley Parable) and Karla Zimonja (co-creator of Gone Home). Though there was plenty of hot water and dry leaves involved in their video, they did not spill the tea about their project. They did however reveal that the score is being worked on by Minecraft composer C418 aka Daniel Rosenfeld.
Finally, it was announced that a new horror game is in development, coming from Glasgow-based No Code. The multi-BAFTA winning studio stated that despite having never set out to make a horror game previously, aiming instead at the thriller genre, they are often told that is what the games have felt like. Now that they are aiming directly for horror, they could come up with something truly terrifying.
Upcoming Game Updates
An Artful Escape
An Artful Escape tells the story of a young musician as he works hard to forge his own identity. Experience imaginative and colourful environments along with ripping guitar solos. The game also boasts a strong voice acting cast including Lena Headey (300, Game of Thrones), Mark Strong (Kick-Ass, Kingsman), and Carl Weathers (Rocky, The Mandalorian). Words can’t really do the trailer justice so take a look at it below.
Neon White comes from developer Ben Esposito who previously released Donut County with Annapurna Interactive. I’m not sure this new game could be any more different from that. Neon White is described as a ‘game for freaks’ and is a speedrunning parkour first-person shooter. Quite the mouthful. As you traverse the levels, you collect cards that can either be used to attack or discarded in order to make use of movement ability. Along with all of that, the game also features a rich story and light dating sim mechanics.
Solar Ash is the second game from Hyper Light Drifter developer Heart Machine. This stylised third-person adventure game was first announced in March 2019 and has been highly anticipated ever since. Although trailers have been shown at a number of events over the past 2 years, details of what the game entails are still scarce. In a world where trailers and reveals sometimes give away far too much about upcoming projects, this is a nice change. One thing we do know is, the void is calling…
Ever wanted to play a game where your character is a mix of John McClane and Master Chief? Well, now you can! In Skin Deep you play a security operative who is cryogenically frozen and placed on cargo starships by insurance companies to protect their interests. If the alarms are triggered, you are thawed and sent into battle, sans shoes. Stand-out elements in Skin Deep are the mechanics by which you can give your position away to enemies. You sneeze, you stink and you can get things stuck to your feet. It looks like this could be a fun romp.
We were also treated to a further look at the already must-have Stray. In Stray, you’ll be playing as a cat, along with a robotic assistant called B12, as you explore a decaying cybercity while trying to reunite with your family. The environments and characters look captivating and I’m looking forward to exploring everywhere with cat-like grace. The estimated release date is currently given as early 2022. Don’t mind me as I sit and stare longingly at the calendar.
Existing Game Updates
Outer Wilds is set to receive its first and only expansion, titled Echoes of the Eye. The expansion releases on 28th September for the PS4, Xbox One, Steam, and Epic Games Store versions. It was also simultaneously announced that Outer Wilds will be coming to Nintendo Switch, though no date was offered.
A handful of released games were revealed to be coming to new platforms. The Pathless is coming to Steam in November while What Remains of Edith Finch is getting a release on the Apple App Store on August 16th. Meanwhile, on consoles, I Am Dead gets an expanded release, coming to PS4/5 and Xbox. Finally, Telling Lies and Gorogoa are coming to Microsoft’s Game Pass service in the near future.
That’s all the news from the showcase. Along with other upcoming titles such as Twelve Minutes, Open Road, and Hindsight, Annapurna Interactive seem to be on a one-company mission to empty my bank account. But, in the ever-lasting words of llama Emporer Kuzko, bring it on.