— Ysbryd Games

Before we’ve even had a chance to play all the vibe), you’ll learn your new neighbors’ preferences to help craft the perfect dish. — Robin Bea

3. Earthblade

— Extremely OK Games

How could you not be excited about the follow-up to Celeste? Though Earthblade seems to combine Towerfall’s satisfying combat and Celeste’s immaculate precision platforming, the next release from Extremely OK Games is pointedly not a rehash of the studio’s previous work. Even from the little that’s been revealed so far, Earthblade puts more focus on story and characters, and its Metroidvania structure is new for the studio. Whatever shape Earthblade takes, it looks to be a gorgeous adventure from one of the most exciting indie developers around. — Robin Bea

2. Times & Galaxy

— Fellow Traveller

Times & Galaxy is a game about a robot making its way into journalism and piecing together information to make articles that get the most traffic for its failing newspaper in hopes of keeping the lights on and helping everybody at the paper keep their jobs. I love the escapism of video games! Times & Galaxy is part detective game and part job simulator. Each assignment requires you to investigate leads and interview eyewitnesses to write the most informed article. Once you have all the information you think you need, you can write the story by choosing what headline, key quote, kicker, etc. to use. These choices determine how many people read the paper and your reputation amongst your readers. It’s a delightful and hilarious gameplay loop I can’t wait to dive into. — Willa Rowe

1. Demonschool

— Ysbryd Games

Demonschool was my most anticipated game of 2023 — until it was delayed into 2024. So now it’s my most anticipated game of 2024. From developer Necrosoft Games, Demonschool is a Persona/Shin Megami Tensei-inspired tactical RPG with a B-Horror movie twist. Demos of the game gave players a taste of the creative combat that values motion and strategy and the story which gives longtime fans of Atlus RPGs something they’ve desperately been craving — a story set somewhere other than a high school. Even in a year with Persona 3 Reload and Metaphor: ReFantazio, Demonschool is still the most interesting SMT-inspired RPG of 2024. — Willa Rowe

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