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153

PC Games Of 2015: Those Wot Could Conceivably Be Good

PC Games In 2015 And Beyond

Featured post

Simulation games

Do you like surviving in space or driving trucks? Simulation games are where you belong. There’s more to the series than the mocking, one-note joke games – approach a farming sim with openness and sincerity and there’s wonders to be found inside. And tractors.

Interstellaria

Official site

Genre
Platformer, Simulation, Management, Space, RPG
Release date
TBA
What is it?
Starbound-like in that it’s about exploring procedural planets. FTL-like in that it’s about managing a spaceship crew, surviving diplomatic encounters and maintaining your vessel. A bit Spectrum-like, in some of its pixel art and interface. Interstellaria mixes parts from enough sources that it feels like its own thing.

All Interstellaria posts.

American Truck Simulator

Official site

Genre
Simulation
Release date
TBA
What is it?
Like Euro Truck Simulator, yeah, only in the States. The surprisingly popular monotonous-drive game expands its borders to include the fellas across the pond. You probably already know if you’re excited by this.

All American Truck Simulator posts.

Dog Park

Official site

Genre
Simulation
Release date
TBA
What is it?
Inevitable and yet still charming, Dog Park is a multiplayer “fighting” game where you try to have as much fun as possible as a dog. Whether the other players will need to attempt to out-fun you (in a stark satire of life itself) or there will be more cooperative goals is unknown. But it’s Dogs: The Game so, honestly, who even cares?

Dog Park feature.
All Dog Park posts.

Party Animals

Official site

Genre
Simulation
Release date
TBA
What is it?
An election simulator with the small caveat that you and all your constituents are animals on a remote island. As the downtrodden mouse, you’re trying to rise to the top. Finally, the Noah’s Island political thriller we’ve been waiting for.

All Party Animals posts.

SPACE DEATH

Official site

Genre
Simulation
Release date
TBA
What is it?
All the horrific accidental crew-murder of FTL without antagonists to blame for it. It’s all on you: the ship design, where to send people and which systems are on. You need people there to press the buttons, of course, so you better hope that equipments stable. You checked before launch, right?

All SPACE DEATH posts.

Sky Battles

Official site

Genre
Simulation, Arcade
Release date
Out now!
What is it?
Very old-school looking arcade flight combat between a Red Baron-esque propeller plane and massive robots. Gives the delightful impression of coming straight out of a kid’s imagination, swooping plastic planes around their room to battle their other toys.

All Sky Battles posts.

Dovetail Games Fishing

Official site

Genre
Simulation, Early Access
Release date
Q4
What is it?
Dovetail are better known as the creators of Train Simulator and its thousands of pieces of expensive DLC – or perhaps more recently as the new shepherds of Flight Simulator X, bringing Microsoft’s old flying workhorse to Steam. Dovetail Games Fishing is the only game with their name on it though, and it’s about wading knee-deep into pretty ponds, casting a line and hoping to catch a big one. It seems overly simple in its early stages, and if you go fishing for the feeling of serenity you feel by standing among nature (and killing parts of it), it’s hard to know whether this will satisfy.

Dovetail Games Fishing review (early access).
All Dovetail Games Fishing posts.

Enemy Starfighter

Official site

Genre
Simulation, Early Access, Space, VR
Release date
TBA
What is it?
Space games are like buses; you wait years for one to show up and then, etc. Enemy Starfighter differentiates itself from Elite and Star Citizen by taking more inspiration from StarFox than its PC kin, and by aping the structure of a roguelike. Eg, there is permadeath, the galaxy is procedural, and you level by clearing regions of space like dungeons. Also your spaceship feels sorta like you’re piloting a gun.

Enemy Starfighter preview.
All Enemy Starfighter posts.

Take On Mars

Official site

Genre
Simulation, Exploration, Early Access
Release date
TBA
What is it?
Realistic science and meticulous preparation go into planning and executing the first manned landing on Mars. The current Early Access build, after over a year of development, begins with rover missions to explore the terrain. The planned finale is to begin the foundations for a full-blown colony on the red planet.

All Take On Mars posts.

Catlateral Damage

Official site

Genre
Simulation, First-Person
Release date
Out now!
What is it?
Part of the YouTube game trend of physics-gone-mad simulators and improbable usages of household items, this one is a significant upgrade in animal quality over goat. Going half-again on its $40k Kickstarter goal, the premise is to destroy as much as your feline limbs will allow.

All Catlateral Damage posts.

EVE: Valkyrie

Official site

Genre
Simulation, First-Person, Space, VR
Release date
TBA
What is it?
CCP’s step into VR has universal appeal – sit in a spaceship, shoot the other spaceships, try not to die. Rather than the spread-thin-but-wide appeal of Elite-‘n’-friends, Valkyrie is laser focused on dogfights and explosions.

EVE: Valkyrie preview.
EVE: Valkyrie interview.
EVE: Valkyrie feature.
All EVE: Valkyrie posts.

Classroom Aquatic

Official site

Genre
Simulation, First-Person, VR
Release date
Q4
What is it?
Oculus Rift compatible, and indeed required, stealth cheating where you’re a human in an underwater school for dolphins, taking a test you’ve never studied for. The most relatable game of the year.

All Classroom Aquatic posts.

Office Management 101

Official site

Genre
Simulation, Management
Release date
TBA
What is it?
Reminiscent in art and tone to Theme Hospital, this management game is about selling consumer electronics from a set of offices built and designed by you. You’ve also got to manage employees and create new items to sell. Very Bullfrog, it’s an intriguing blast from the past.

All Office Management 101 posts.

Prison Architect

Official site

Genre
Simulation, Management
Release date
TBA
What is it?
Will development ever finish on Introversion’s prison management sim? It hardly matters. Prison Architect was one of the first games added to Steam’s Early Access and has been the most reliable since it appeared, with monthly updates bringing new staff, new room types, new prison mate behaviours, and bug fixes. It’s long been a good game, so it only remains to be seen how good and how stable it ends up.

Prison Architect preview.
All Prison Architect posts.

The Book Of Dwarf

Official site

Genre
Simulation, Management
Release date
TBA
What is it?
Similar in style and theme to Dwarf Fortress but without the years of systems building up to nigh-impenetrability. The name refers to how your rule of a dwarven society would read in the history books – try to make it an entry your mother would be proud of, eh?

All The Book Of Dwarf posts.

Theme Parkitect

Official site

Genre
Simulation, Management
Release date
August 2015
What is it?
Unsurprisingly an indie take a spiritual successor to Theme Park. Building rides and bringing in customers to make your park a success, it was successfully Kickstarted in September and hopes to hit Early Access towards the end of 2015. Most recent addition: scaleable rocks.

All Theme Parkitect posts.

Citybound

Official site

Genre
Simulation, Management, Early Access
Release date
TBA
What is it?
Solo attempt at creating a city-building sim that uses zone allocation to allow individual simulated people to create buildings and find homes. It also covers a larger range of settlement than the norm, starting all the way from tiny villages.

All Citybound posts.

Dwarf Fortress

Official site

Genre
Simulation, Management, Early Access
Release date
Beyond the end of time.
What is it?
You’ve probably already heard about this one. Bay 12 have plans on how to develop their flagship title until some time next decade, with a 4000 word planned features list and an ever-growing fanbase. 2015 is likely to see at least one big patch and a litany of smaller ones.

Dwarf Fortress feature.
All Dwarf Fortress posts.

Maia

Official site

Genre
Simulation, Management, Early Access
Release date
TBA
What is it?
A space colony sim. Or, Dwarf Fortress set on another planet. Maia is concerned with careful simulation of both its environment and how your colony functions, as well as the inner workings of the colonists who live out their lives in between completing assigned tasks. It’s a long way from finished, and currently more interesting as a development project than it is fun to play. But one to watch.

Maia preview.
All Maia posts.

Mini Metro

Official site

Genre
Simulation, Management, Early Access
Release date
TBA 2015
What is it?
The London Underground map is one of the world’s most famous pieces of graphic design. Mini Metro uses the same sort of stylish iconography for its graphics, but the design challenge is in positioning routes between stations in an efficient enough way that you don’t end up with enormous queues and delays. A simple, smart strategy game.

Mini Metro preview.
All Mini Metro posts.

Kerbal Space Program

Official site

Genre
Simulation, Management, Early Access, Creative
Release date
TBA
What is it?
One of the first alpha games, Kerbal Space Program has been moving steadily from ‘fun sandbox’ to ‘management simulation’ for years now. That doesn’t mean it’s lost any of the slapstick sense of humour, only that there are now Science and Career modes to offer structure to your failed attempts to explore space and land Kerbals on the moon. 2014 saw the game become “scope complete”, which means 2015 should be the year it is polished to a shiny finish.

Kerbal Space Program review.
Kerbal Space Program preview.
Kerbal Space Program interview.
All Kerbal Space Program posts.

Limit Theory

Official site

Genre
Simulation, Space
Release date
TBA
What is it?
The one man impossible space exploration sim, no Kickstarter project seems to update its customers as regularly or thoroughly. It’s gorgeous and progressing at pace, but a long break for solo dev Josh Parnell has put it on delay.

Limit Theory interview.
All Limit Theory posts.

Star Citizen

Official site

Genre
Simulation, Space
Release date
TBA
What is it?
Far and away the biggest spectator launch of 2015 will be whichever pieces of the Star Citizen omni-game make it to the general populous. Now speeding past the $65,000,000 mark at well over $1,000 an hour, when, where and how hard will the space-sim stop?

All Star Citizen posts.

Wings of Saint Nazaire

Official site

Genre
Simulation, Space
Release date
TBA
What is it?
While we’re inundated with space games, many of which are attempting to pick up where the genre left off ten years ago, Wings of Saint Nazaire is the only one using similar graphical tricks to Wing Commander. That means it’s glorious, sizzling artwork is actually 2D – your ship is locked in place and only appears to move around while dogfighting other spaceships. There’s a build of it available to play for free in your browser already.

All Wings of Saint Nazaire posts.

SNOW

Official site

Genre
Simulation, Sports
Release date
TBA
What is it?
SSX3 was great because aside from capturing a sense of speed in a beautiful environment, it strung each of its tracks together on the slopes of a single mountain, so that once unlocked you could take a single, 25-minute slide from top to bottom. SNOW does the same thing, setting its action on the side of a single mountain and letting you spawn upon any of its peaks, depending on whether you want to slalom, half-pipe, jump or simply go exploring. At this early stage it’s far from done, and development is more focused on adding branded hats than sound or better physics, but it’s already fun and suggests there’s better still to come.

SNOW preview.
All SNOW posts.

Dragon: The Game

Official site

Genre
Simulation, Third Person, Early Access
Release date
Q4
What is it?
Unsurprisingly, the game about being a dragon. Take everything you’d expect from an open world RPG – questing, towns, levelling – and apply it to a main character with the ability to burn down fields when he sneezes. An awesome concept now in (very) Early Access.

All Dragon: The Game posts.

Football Manager 2016

Official site

Genre
Sports
Release date
Q4
What is it?
It’s not been announced yet, but of course there’s going to be a Football Manager 2016. What features will it have? We can only speculate, but we’re betting that the football matches themselves will be removed in favour of more press conferences.

FIFA 16

Official site

Genre
Sports
Release date
Q3
What is it?
Football games are still happening, to everyone’s surprise. What features will this edition contain, beyond women’s international teams? If we had to guess, we’d say updated teams, enhanced ball physics, finer control over your players with Real Dribble (TM), a brand new Drama Engine for simulating the thrilling highs and lows of the world’s most popular sports, and a reset to all the progress you made in last year’s Ultimate Team that’ll only cost you $60. Check back in October to see how much we got right!

All FIFA 16 posts.

VA-11 HALL-A

Official site

Genre
Bartending, Simulation
Release date
TBA
What is it?
Bartending sim set in a fantastical sci-fi universe of talking corgis and robotic lovers. It’s half drink mixing puzzle game, half visual novel as you discuss the daily lives and trials of your patrons and get them drunk in new and exciting ways) There’s a demo currently available and development builds will be distributed to those who purchase before official release.

(Please note that RPS contributor Cassandra Khaw is also part of the team developing VA-11 HALL-A)

VA-11 HALL-A feature.
All VA-11 HALL-A posts.

Pro Cycling Manager – Tour de France 2015

Official site

Genre
Simulation, Cycling, Racing
Release date
TBA
What is it?
Bikes ‘n’ biking sim where you govern the career of your own peddling persona up through the minor leagues to the World Tour. It also allows management of larger squads of bikers as they take on the Tour De France and other races.

IL-2 Sturmovik: Battle of Moscow

Official site

Genre
Flight Sim, Shooter
Release date
Q1 2016
What is it?
Latest expansion to the long running World War 2 flight sim, this time based around the eastern front between October 1941 and April 1942. If you already own previous games there’s a possibility of getting early access.

All IL-2 Sturmovik: Battle of Moscow posts.

Super Mega Baseball: Extra Innings

Official site

Genre
Sports, Management, Sim
Release date
Q3
What is it?
While the art style is a colourful cavalcade of caricature, this definitely belongs in the Sim camp with realistic depictions of balls, physics and player egos. That last is used as the difficulty of the game, dynamically scaling to the player’s skill level.

Final Strike

Official site

Genre
Flight Sim, Shooter, VR, Early Access
Release date
08/20/2015
What is it?
Finally, the Independence Day Simulator we’ve been waiting for. In a VR-compatible well simulated cockpit of a modern military jet you face down alien motherships and smaller vessels over mountain ranges. Do not go quietly.

Turmoil

Official site

Genre
Simulator, Management
Release date
Q4
What is it?
Taking the role of a 19th century oil baron, you’re looking to become the richest in town. You do this by finding deposits and building extractors, all while managing upgrades, prices and selling speeds.

Turmoil feature.
All Turmoil posts.

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