Just when it looks like we’re done with showcases for the summer, here comes another one, this time from the ever-reliable Annapurna Interactive. And it was a typically strong showing for the publisher, offering a fresh look at several announced titles – including the new from Sayonara Wild Hearts studio Simogo and the charming Cocoon – as well as some big reveals. From stunning photographic adventures to an honest-to-goodness new Blade Runner game, there’s plenty to look forward to in the coming months and years, and a full round-up of the showcase can be found below.
Lorelei and the Laser Eyes
Sayonara Wild Hearts developer Simogo’s latest is a baroque blend of surreal mystery thriller and puzzle adventure, slightly reminiscent of the studio’s iOS classic Device 6. It focuses on a woman’s search for answers, inside a strange manor house, as players try to solve the puzzle at its heart. There’s no release date yet, but we’re betting it’s coming to Switch and Steam – and while we wait for more details, there’s a surprising new trailer above.
Cacoon is made by Geometric Interactive, a studio led by Limbo and Inside lead designer Jeppe Carlsen. It’s an action-bending adventure that sees players exploring multiple strange worlds that manifest as a hierarchal parade of orbs within orbs within orbs. It’s a little weird to explain, but Eurogamer’s Chris Tapsell liked what he saw at the Summer Game Fest – and we now have a September 29th release date, when Cocoon will be available on Steam, Switch, PlayStation 4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and Game Pass.
Lushfoil Photography Sim
The first good thing about developer Matt Newell’s newly unveiled Lushfoil Photography Sim is that its name doesn’t mess around. Lushfoil Photography Sim is pretty much the same, arming players with a camera and then placing them in some stunning – and I can’t stress that word enough – landscapes, from snowy mountain peaks and misty glades to rugged beaches and rainy streets. There are objectives to complete and rewards to be earned by players with an eye for a good snap, and it will be released on “consoles” and PC.
In a T
Another new game! This time from Keita Takahashi, perhaps best known as the creator of the bouncily beloved roll-’em-up Katamari Damacy, and his Uvula studio. To a T, described as an “episodic 3D adventure”, begins with an off-the-wall premise typical of Takahashi, introducing players to Teen – a young protagonist with an eternal T-shape, who continues in their daily lives in a small coastal town with the help of their dog and mother. It’s being made in partnership with AbleGamers, and is coming to Xbox One, Series X/S, Game Pass, and Steam.
And here’s another show for Flock, the latest collaboration between Richard Hogg and Hollow Ponds – the pairing behind the acclaimed Hohokum and I Am Dead. Flock is a relaxed co-op adventure where players soar through beautiful landscapes on the back of a bird, figuring out ways to attract the world’s most exotic wildlife to expand their flock. There are birds, floating sheep, small whales, and much more, all waiting to be discovered as part of the game’s surreal ecosystem. It’s coming to Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Game Pass, PlayStation 4, PS5, and Steam, and there’s a new trailer to enjoy above.
Next up for the ‘intriguing game reveals’ is Ghost Bike from developer Messhof, a stylish afterlife cycling adventure. It sees players – in the role of a streetwise kid from Freehub City – battle ghosts in contests of speed and skill in a bid to resurrect the last Ghost Bike and bring back the true spirit of cycling to Wheel World . It will be released in 2024 and is targeting Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Game Pass, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and Steam.
Bounty Star: The Morose Tale of Graveyard Clem
Bounty Star is a post-post-apocalyptic third-person action game about a “broken but powerful” ex-soldier-turned-bounty-hunter and his trusty mech. And while at least part of it is as loud as that premise, Bounty Star is actually split into two different halves. On one side, you’ve got your thrilling action as protagonist Clem heads into the forest to take down his targets – but the other half looks more subdued, following Clem as he tries to clean up his life and build his bounty hunting business, expand its facilities, cook meals to improve his focus, make cool things from scrap, and hang out with friends. Bounty Star will launch in “early 2024” on Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Game Pass, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and Steam. There’s more information in the new trailer above.
As previously rumored, Stray – developer BlueTwelve Studio’s acclaimed exploratory cat adventure – is finally making its way to Xbox. Eurogamer’s Lottie Lynn was a big fan of this one, describing it as a game about “the longing for freedom, clever climbing mechanics, and every cat’s eternal desire to knock items over shelf” when he awarded it a Recommended badge last year. Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S players can get away on August 10th 2023.
Developer Outer Loop previously described Thirsty Suitors, its lively action-adventure RPG, as a game about “immigrant culture, resolving relationships, family pressure, and self-expression”. It features an unlikely blend of skating, cooking, and turn-based battles with ex-lovers as players try to save protagonist Jala’s troubled life after she returns to her hometown of Timber Lake. We’ve seen Thirsty Suitors before, but now we have a release date: it’s coming to Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Game Pass, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Switch, and Steam on November 2nd.
Storyteller, the fun narrative puzzler from developer Daniel Benmergui, was released for PC and Switch in March, challenging players to build a coherent thread on a page of comic-style panels. Annapurna has now revealed that Storyteller will be available to play as part of a Netflix subscription from September 26th, and its mobile launch will coincide with the release of a free update for all platforms, adding – among others more stuff – new characters, new scenarios, and a “little twist” on the core experience.
Blade Runner 2033: Labyrinth
And finally, a real surprise. Annapurna Interactive has unveiled its first internally developed game, looking to trade the kind of smaller boutique indie experiences it’s built its reputation on, in favor of something a little more blockbuster. Blade Runner 2033: Labyrinth is a riff on the dystopian universe established in Ridley Scott’s 1982 cult classic film, set between that film and its sequel, Blade Runner 2049. We know it’s set in LA after Blackout, but beyond that – and the fact that it will come to PC and consoles at some point – some details are currently shared.
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