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PC Games Of 2015: Those Wot Could Conceivably Be Good

PC Games In 2015 And Beyond

Featured post

Exploration games

They might have a little bit of shooting, a touch of jumping, or they might simply be beautiful toys to poke and prod at, but what holds exploration games together is their emphasis on crafting a world you want to spend time in. What’s around the next corner? Lots of games.

Beyond Eyes

Official site

Genre
Exploration
Release date
TBA 2015
What is it?
An exploration game about a blind girl who visualizes the world through memory, touch and smell. It received half its funding by way of a flexible funding IndieGogo campaign before signing up to be published by Team17.

All Beyond Eyes posts.

Biome

Official site

Genre
Exploration
Release date
Q4
What is it?
Creating something to poke and prod at to see what it does is Biome’s aim. There are no clear goals to achieve when playing, just a malleable section of land that will react to your touch. A refreshing lack of complexity.

All Biome posts.

Firewatch

Official site

Genre
Exploration, First-Person
Release date
TBA
What is it?
A first-person mystery about one of the loneliest jobs in the world – watching for forest fires. With your only human interaction the voice on the end of a radio, your decisions in how to discuss what you find will influence your relationship. Importantly, the voice acting sounds absolutely magnificent.

Firewatch preview.
Firewatch feature.
All Firewatch posts.

Gravity Ghost

Official site

Genre
Exploration
Release date
Out now!
What is it?
Incredibly tranquil, beautiful and featuring a giant happy space-deer, Gravity Ghost is an early contender for charmingest game of the year. Designed to be tricky but not frustrating, you use gravity to navigate 2D celestial spaces, collecting orbs and generally mellowing out.

Gravity Ghost review.
All Gravity Ghost posts.

Inner Space

Official site

Genre
Exploration
Release date
October 2015
What is it?
Walking simulator without all that boring walking, in this you get a plane and fly around a world with inverted gravity meaning, among other things, there’s an outer ring of ocean suspended in the air. Beautiful and more mechanical than most exploration games.

All Inner Space posts.

Seasons After Fall

Official site

Genre
Exploration
Release date
TBA 2016
What is it?
Adventure and exploration from the perspective of a fox who has the power to control the seasons. You get to play as a fox! What more do you want?

All Seasons After Fall posts.

The Witness

Official site

Genre
Exploration
Release date
TBA
What is it?
Jonathan Blow’s long in-development second game. Where Braid expanded minds with its time-based puzzle platformers, The Witness is a first-person game set on an island covered in different kinds of puzzles. It looks more like Myst than Portal, but fingers crossed it’s not shite like Myst.

All The Witness posts.

Vane

Official site

Genre
Exploration
Release date
TBA
What is it?
Ex-Team Ico devs making a minimally-styled open world exploration game set in a desert with raging sand-storms, deadly lightning and a child who can turn into a bird? Sign us right up for some mystery and likely misery.

All Vane posts.

Hac

Official site

Genre
Exploration, Driving/Racing
Release date
TBA
What is it?
Inspired by the likes of Truck Simulator, Hac is about driving normal cars around 90s Europe. No cargo to deliver or route to follow, just a casual journey in the Smartless age. There’s early dev builds available from the past few weeks for those who can’t wait.

All Hac posts.

Frontiers

Official site

Genre
Exploration, First-Person, Early Access
Release date
TBA
What is it?
In short: an indie Morrowind. Frontiers is aiming to be an open-world RPG in which you can choose your own path, either completing a main quest to save the world or simply running off into the woods in order to survive. Crowdfunded, released into early access at the very end of 2014, and still some way from being finished, it’s aiming for a final release in 2015.

Frontiers review (early access).
All Frontiers posts.

Memory Of A Broken Dimension

Official site

Genre
Exploration, First-Person
Release date
TBA
What is it?
A properly creepy first-person puzzler set in a world of static noise and glitched out graphics. There’s a command-line based framing device that has you opening up different levels by loading programs. As Alice put it, there’s a persona to the game that makes it feel like something wrong and dangerous downloaded from the internet. Lovely.

All Memory Of A Broken Dimension posts.

Relativity

Official site

Genre
Exploration, First-Person
Release date
TBA 2016
What is it?
Deliberately bringing to mind Escher art, Relativity is the sort of mind-fuckery first-person puzzling our brains quietly crawl into a corner and cry over. With a conceptual art style and already showing off falling infinitely into the void of space as a possible problem solving method, it’s sure to frustrate and elate in equal measure.

All Relativity posts.

Sunset

Official site

Genre
Exploration, First-Person
Release date
Out now!
What is it?
Playing as Angela Burnes, house-keeper and cleaner to the rich of a South American city, you have a regular appointment at the same house every week. It’s always just before the sun goes down and as her routine and some investigation lets you learn more about the man who owns the house, a conspiracy begins to show itself.

Sunset review.
Sunset preview.
Sunset interview.
All Sunset posts.

That Dragon, Cancer

Official site

Genre
Exploration, First-Person
Release date
October 2015
What is it?
Heartbreaking and heartfelt, the true story of a family dealing with the terminal cancer of their baby. In development for some time, it ensured final release with a Kickstarter in 2014.

All That Dragon, Cancer posts.

Virginia

Official site

Genre
Exploration, First-Person
Release date
TBA 2016
What is it?
A walking simulator that uses jarring jump-cuts in narrative to speed its story along and add a sense of mystery. Ostensibly about the search for missing persons by two FBI detectives, there’s undertones of the supernatural about it.

Virginia preview.
Virginia interview.
All Virginia posts.

The Magic Circle

Official site

Genre
Exploration, First-Person, Adventure
Release date
TBA
What is it?
Arguably the best concept of 2015, a first person adventure and puzzle game about exploring the unfinished game in development hell from the mind that brought The Cradle into existence. You must edit code without attracting the godlike attentions of the game’s developer. The closest we’ll get to Half-Life 3, too.

The Magic Circle review (early access).
The Magic Circle preview.
All The Magic Circle posts.

Kholat

Official site

Genre
Exploration, First-Person, Horror
Release date
June 9th 2015
What is it?
Up there with numbers stations and what happens to all my matching pairs of socks, the mysterious Dyatlov Pass incident that Kholat is inspired by is one of the spookiest tales around. Exactly what role you’ll take investigating the deaths of nine hikers in the Ural Mountains is unknown, but expect to spend most of your time alternating between “cor, look at that pretty snow” and “HOLY SIBERIA WHAT WAS THAT IN THE SNOW.”

All Kholat posts.

Routine

Official site

Genre
Exploration, First-Person, Horror
Release date
TBA
What is it?
Horror exploration continues a move towards deep space, this time set on an abandoned Moon Base. With just one, long trailer worth of tense, combat-less footage we know less about Routine than almost anything on this list. The monster is deadly, fast and currently totally unknown.

Routine interview.
All Routine posts.

Somewhere

Official site

Genre
Exploration, First-Person, Stealth
Release date
TBA
What is it?
Stealthy, talky, explorery combo where new levels are generated by exploring the insides of people’s minds and the worlds created in books. There’s a free demo/proof of concept/alpha thing called Rituals that shows off how it all works.

All Somewhere posts.

Loading Human

Official site

Genre
Exploration, First-Person, VR
Release date
TBA
What is it?
Specifically designed for virtual reality, seeing just how well Loading Human’s first-person adventuring controls and ultimately plays will be important. They’ve gone so far as to implement custom controllers designed to track hand movements exactly, making the Gone Home-esque sci-fi story more tactile. It just has to actually work.

Loading Human preview.
All Loading Human posts.

Between Me And The Night

Official site

Genre
Exploration, Puzzle
Release date
Q3
What is it?
During the day, a puzzle game about exploring an empty mansion. As night falls, it becomes more dangerous and the un-named red-haired boy will eventually fall asleep to enter a fantasy dream world. Details are deliberately scarce, but the theme of duality is repeated throughout.

Cradle

Official site

Genre
Exploration, First-Person, Puzzle
Release date
Q1
What is it?
Stunningly beautiful sci-fi tale of a robot woman, a theme park and trying to repair both. Set in an isolated region of Mongolia in some far-flung future, it’s as mysterious as it is gorgeous.

All Cradle posts.

Aer

Official site

Genre
Exploration, Flying
Release date
TBA 2016
What is it?
A girl who can turn into a bird, letting you fly around floating islands filled with secrets. Bearing more than a striking resemblance to Ubisoft’s Grow Home, the eventual aim is to “challenge the gods and save reality itself.” Dramatic, but also you get to fly about a bit and look at some lovely trees.

Aer preview.
All Aer posts.

LEGO Worlds

Official site

Genre
Creative, Exploration
Release date
TBA 2016
What is it?
Explore procedurally generated LEGO areas, discovering more parts and characters to build with. Also lets you alter anything you come across, or start from scratch. Quite literally LEGO: The Video Game. Or Minecraft 2, you might call it.

All LEGO Worlds posts.

Terraria: Otherworld

Official site

Genre
Creative, Exploration, Sandbox
Release date
TBA 2015
What is it?
Definitely not Terraria 2, but yeah, okay, basically Terraria 2. There’s a heavier set of themes this time, rather than just wandering around a 2D Minecraft, getting into fights and building giant replicas of Mega Man. You’re fighting a worldwide corruption in an alternate dimension and must erect towers to prevent its encroachment on your land, in a sort’ve mini-game.

All Terraria: Otherworld posts.

Iron Fish

Official site

Genre
Exploration, Horror
Release date
TBA 2015
What is it?
A psychological thriller about being trapped at the bottom of the ocean. You’re seven miles deep, where the wetter wild things are. Long drowned civilisations and really quite nasty fish will greet you.

All Iron Fish posts.

Shape of the World

Official site

Genre
Exploration
Release date
July 2016
What is it?
Pure exploration in a world where as you move, a forest grows and lives around you. Naming heavy hitters like Journey and Proteus as inspiration, it’s stepping into some big shoes. To keep players moving, distant and as yet-ungrown landmarks will be picked out as destinations. We’ve had to wipe it from Alice’s memory so she’ll think about anything else, so keep it quiet, yeah?

All Shape of the World posts.

Sea of Solitude

Official site

Genre
Exploration, Horror
Release date
TBA
What is it?
A woman speeds around various sunken ruins in a boat. She’s turned into a monster as her lonliness overwhelmed her. We, er, don’t know a lot more than that, but it’s awfully good looking and will feature puzzles, clambering around on buildings and giant bird friends.

All Sea of Solitude posts.

Soul Axiom

Official site

Genre
Exploration, Early Access
Release date
TBA
What is it?
You’ve ended up in the afterlife and you don’t remember how. Your soul is now stored on a computer disc, giving you effective immortality in this new reality. There’s light puzzle elements to exploring this cyberpunk world, which has been in steady Early Access episodic releases for a few months.

All Soul Axiom posts.

Medieval Engineers

Official site

Genre
Exploration, Creative
Release date
TBA
What is it?
The followup to Space Engineers from the same dev team, this time focused on castles and grassland over stations and warp engines. The aim is to give players realistic control over technology from that era while they construct cities, castles, war machines and mines.

Medieval Engineers review (early access).
All Medieval Engineers posts.

Niko: Through The Dream

Official site

Genre
Exploration, Adventure
Release date
June 26th 2015
What is it?
Travel through the past of Niko’s dreams, exploring what happened to her and facing dangers along the way. Each memory forms an island which will have a unique set of puzzles with a new mechanic, separate from the rest.

All Niko: Through The Dream posts.

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