Feature Article

5 Cool Xbox One Indie Games Coming Soon (Or Already Out!)

Which indie games are you excited for?

In recent years, Microsoft has placed greater emphasis on its lineup of indie games. It has attempted to court independent developers to its ID@Xbox program to bolster Xbox One's library of games and appeal to a wider audience. Last year, that meant we got to see games such as Snake Pass, Rime, and The Sexy Brutale at the publisher's ID@Xbox event. This year, Microsoft hosted another indie gathering, at which we got to check out a bunch more independent titles coming to Xbox One and PC--and, in some cases, other platforms too--soon. Read on for five of the coolest games we saw.

Trailmakers

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Trailmakers is an open-world driving game with one big difference: it allows you to build your own vehicles in order to traverse its tricky environments. It starts off by tasking you with making basic cars, but as you add more engines and become more creative, you can achieve more and more ridiculous things. You can build planes, helicopters, hovercraft, and anything else your imagination--and your in-game energy supply--allows.

Separate modes allow you to race against friends or build any environment you like--one demoed to us by the developer, Flashbulb, was a Star Wars-inspired podracing track. Even better, you can share your vehicle designs with friends by simply sending them a .png file. Trailmakers is currently in early access on PC and is coming to Xbox One in 2018.

Robocraft Infinity

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Robocraft Infinity is another vehicle construction game, except this time your personal rides will face off against each other in an arena combat scenario. You can build your own transport--which again can include aeroplanes, if you have the requisite engineering skill--before arming it with any number of guns and lasers to take into multiplayer battles.

Robocraft is essentially a vehicular hero shooter, except its open-ended building tools mean there are an infinite number of heroes available for you to play as. The game was already available on PC as a free-to-play title; Infinity is a re-tooled edition exclusive to Xbox One. It's out now, costing $20 / £15 / $30 or included at no extra cost to Game Pass subscribers.

Descenders

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If you long for a return to the days of extreme sports games like SSX Tricky and Skate, you may want to check out Descenders. It's centered around downhill mountain biking, with procedurally generated worlds helping to keep things fresh.

You can choose whether to focus on pure speed, or to try and pull off stunts over the courses' obstacles, or to go off-road in search of a bumpier ride--the game's focus is left up to you. Descenders is currently in early access on PC, so it can feel a little rough around the edges at times, but there's something satisfying about zooming down a track that no-one has ever been down before and unlocking greater bikes to throw around. Descenders is coming to Xbox Game Preview this summer.

DayZ

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While not exactly an unknown, there is a sense DayZ has been a little forgotten since PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds and Fortnite became the battle royale behemoths they are today. However, developer Bohemia has been hard at work designing a new game engine and reworking much of the game's systems, and DayZ is a somewhat different prospect to what it was in the past and what its rivals now offer.

Its attention to detail is admirable: for example, if you take a hit from one of the game's zombies, you'll lose blood, but healing yourself isn't simply a case of finding a medikit. Instead, you may need a blood transfusion, for which you'll need to find fluids of the same blood type as your playable character. If you find a vehicle, you'll need fuel--as will you, since you need to keep topped up with food and water.

DayZ's simulation is hardcore, and that dedication to realism may well mean it finds a sizeable niche of its own when it launches in full. Look forward to an early version coming to Xbox Game Preview and a final PC release this year before the game eventually makes its way to PS4 at some point in the future.

Moonlighter

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What would life be like if you ran a shop but also wanted to explore dungeons at night? That's the question Moonlighter poses to players, thereby combining a management sim with a dungeon crawler. By night, you plunder dungeons for powerful weapons and armor, and by day you sell that stock at the highest price possible.

Moonlighter somehow mixes two very different genres into an inventive coalition, and we're intrigued to play more when it launches for Xbox One, PS4, and PC on May 29. A Nintendo Switch version is also on the way, "[a] few months after the regular release."

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    oscardayus

    Oscar Dayus

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