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Triple-i showcase unveils new indie games Slay The Spire 2, Dinolords, and more

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Triple-i showcase unveils new indie games Slay The Spire 2, Dinolords, and more

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Slay The Spire 2 – one of many new announcements (Picture: Mega Crit)

A new preview showcase for indie games has revealed The Rogue Prince Of Persia, What The Car?, and a strategy game featuring Vikings riding dinosaurs.

E3 may be dead and buried but its legacy lives on, in that most of the biggest preview events of the year still take play in May or June. Getting ahead of the crowd is the brand new Triple-i showcase, organised by Dead Cells creator Evil Empire and featuring games from a wide variety of independent developers.

It lasted only 45 minutes, on Wednesday evening, but packed in a lot of reveals and announcements, since it very purposefully didn’t have a host, advertisements or, as the organisers put it, ‘extra fluff’.

The biggest news of the night would’ve been the new Prince Of Persia game from Evil Empire themselves, but unfortunately news of that leaked out a few days ago. This was the first time we got to see it though, along with a number of other very promising projects.

Slay The Spire 2

Although the talk about no hosts or adverts was clearly a reference to The Game Awards, the format for The Triple-i showcase was very similar, with lots of very short teasers, many of which didn’t show any gameplay. Slay The Spire 2 was one of them and although the animated teaser was all very nice the only thing we know for sure, about the follow-up to the seminal card deck-building original, is that early access will begin in 2025.

Kill Knight

Since the showcase was only 45 minutes long we advise watching the whole thing, even though a lot of the announcements were just brief teases for new content and DLC, such as the Devotion update for Risk Of Rain 2, or existing games preparing for a wider release, like Shadows Of Doubt and My Time At Sandrock. Kill Knight was a brand new game though, and looks like a cross between Diablo and a dual-stick shooter, which as ideas go already has us sold. It’s due out sometime this year on both consoles and PC.

Dinolords

Don’t even get us started on the perverse lack of dinosaur-related video games, just let us be thankful that we have a new one, in the wonderfully bizarre Dinolords – which involves 11th century England being invaded by Vikings riding dinosaurs. It’s not the Dino-Riders video game that we yearn for, but it is pretty close. Dinolords seems to be a real-time strategy and city builder, although it looks like you might also be able to take direct control of hero characters. Sadly, there’s no release date yet, but it’ll be out in early access first.

Gestalt: Steam & Cinder

A very pretty looking 2D action adventure, that seems to be taking particular influence from portable era Castlevania, although with a steampunk and cowboy theme. Exactly how much of a Metroidvania it is, rather than being just a straight action game, we’re not sure but it’s out on PC and Switch on May 21. Or rather it’s out on PC that day, the Switch release date isn’t confirmed.

Vampire Survivors: Operation Guns

You could argue this was the biggest announcement of the show, with the award-winning 2D arena shooter Vampire Survivors finally coming to PlayStation 4 and 5 this summer. Coming sooner though, for all current formats, is new DLC based on Contra, which will be out May 9. The new Operation Galuga game didn’t do much for the franchise but perhaps this will, with main characters Bill and Lance, all their classic weapons, many of their enemies, and even some unique Contra stages. Now we all need is an official Castlevania crossover, which would be fun given how much Vampire Survivors is inspired by it.

Never Alone 2

If you’re struggling to remember what Never Alone 1 was, it’s a side-scrolling narrative platformer, featuring an Iñupiat girl and a fox. The original was pretty flawed in terms of gameplay and AI, but it was a neat idea and the sequel is in full 3D, so should be a substantially different experience. You can wishlist it now on Steam, but there’s no indication of a release date or other formats.

Cataclismo

This looks like an interesting new mix of castle builder and Tower Defense game. That’s what it looked like anyway; it’s hard to tell when the trailers are so short but the huge crowds of monsters, and what seems to be a strong narrative element, seemed intriguing. There’s no sign of a console version yet but it’s out on PC on July 21.

Endzone 2

If you’re someone that got frustrated that nobody had bothered to clear up the mess in Fallout, hundreds of years after the apocalypse, then Endzone 2 looks to be the game for you. It’s a PC-only city builder that will start early access this summer and has you trying to reestablish a civilisation after everything has gone to pot. We’ve never heard of Endzone 1 but the trailer for the sequel looks quite intriguing.

UnderMine 2

The fact that indie sequels never seem to sell, no matter how good or bad they are, is a widely accepted phenomenon, even if it’s not understand why it always seems to happen – so it’s a bit of a surprise that so many sequels were featured in the showcase. The original UnderMine is a pretty great roguelite dungeon crawler, but we don’t think we’ve ever heard anyone mention it since it came out in 2021. Hopefully its follow-up’s success will be more visible, although it doesn’t have a release date yet.

What The Car?

Another sequel, sort of, this is a follow-up to the wonderfully odd What The Golf? and seems to work in the same way, in that it only nominally has anything to do with driving a car and is more a weird puzzle game compilation, where you control cars with legs, limousines driven by giraffes, and a hatchback with a shark fin on the roof that can go underwater. It’s out on September 5 for PC but is already out on Apple Arcade.

Darkest Dungeon 2 Kingdoms

Frustratingly, there’s still no confirmation of when Darkest Dungeon 2 is coming to consoles, despite it already having been age-rated in Brazil, but what was unveiled was a free new game mode called Kingdoms. It adds a strategy level meta to the usual 2D role-playing combat, as well as three new monster factions in the Beastmen, Coven, and Crimson Courtiers. It’ll be released later this year.

Rakugaki: RKGK

Another reveal trailer that didn’t show any gameplay, although the first game from Latin American team Wabisabi Design seemed to be channelling a Jet Set Radio vibe, with the developer claiming to be inspired by retro platformers, graffiti, and anime. It’s being funded by both Riot Games and Gearbox, so it could end up being a big deal when it launches this summer on PC.

Hyper Light Breaker

The follow-up to Hyper Light Drifter had already been announced, but this allowed for a more detailed look at the combat, with an encounter with a Flame Wizard mini-boss. The move into full 3D is a big leap for the game, so it remains to be seen how well it navigates that change. Although it shouldn’t take too long to find out, as it’s out in early access this summer.

Streets Of Rogue 2

Another sequel to a game we’ve never heard of, but it looks like a lot of fun with a very old school approach to sandbox gaming, in that almost anything seems to be possible (and we imagine nothing is balanced very well). The top-down graphics are very simple, but the level of interactivity looks very impressive; so even if you do only end up messing around and not completing the missions you’ll probably still have a good time. It starts early access later this year.

Palworld Arena

Surprisingly, Palworld was also a part of the showcase, although with an announcement so brief you could’ve blinked and missed it. A new Arena mode is coming to the game and seems to involve competitive one-on-one matches where each player gets to field three Pals. It’s due out this year and may well help to reverse the game’s declining playerbase.

33 Immortals

The new game from Spiritfarer developer Thunder Lotus is yet another roguelite, so considerably less original than its previous game. Although the idea of a co-op game with 32 other players is novel the gameplay seems a little too familiar at this point, even if the animation and artwork is rather gorgeous. A closed beta will start on May 24 but there’s no indication of when it’ll actually be out.

V Rising: Legacy Of Castlevania

This action role-player has been in early access for a few years now and still doesn’t have a final release date. What it does have though, unlike Vampire Survivors, is a Castlevania crossover. Castlevania was always an obvious influence, with V Rising allowing you to build your own vampiric castle and, thanks to the new crossover, defend it from Simon Belmont. The crossover will start on May 8, while a PlayStation 5 of the parent game has been promised for later this year.

The Rogue Prince Of Persia

Saved until last, Evil Empire’s take on the long-storied franchise only showed a few seconds of gameplay but it seems to be a lot faster paced than Dead Cells and surprisingly similar to the recent The Lost Crown. It’s not a Metroidvania though, but a roguelike platformer featuring procedurally-generated levels and a familiar time manipulation gimmick. We’re not sure why everyone has purple faces, or who the girl is in the animated intro, but we’re assuming this still isn’t the actual Prince of Persia, but a new character. Steam early access starts on May 14.

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