The Annapurna Interactive Showcase today featured some great-looking indies under its publishing slate. What a shocker. The California-based publisher is known for bringing together the connections and resources to lift up great titles like Kentucky Route Zero, Outer Wilds, and Donut County.
Producer Kelsey Hansen opened and closed the presentation which featured game trailers, platform updates and a spotlight was put on partnerships with developers like Outerloop Games (Falcon Age), Jessica Mak (Sound Shapes), No Code Studios (Observation) and new studio Ivy Road led by Karla Zimonja (Gone Home) and Davey Wreden (Stanley Parable).
All that being said, here are some of the games from the Annapurna Interactive Showcase you should know about:
The Artful Escape
I’ve been waiting for this eye-popping musical adventure ever since it was presented at E3 in 2017. The Artful Escape sends players on a “psychedelic, multidimensional journey” as a young man struggling to find an identity for himself to escape from the shadow of his famous rockstar uncle. Like Twelve Minutes, it features a star-studded cast that includes Lena Headey, Mark Strong and Jason Schwartzman. It’s coming to Xbox and Game Pass on September 9.
Released on Xbox as far back as 2018, this narrative puzzle game asks players to manipulate images to tell the story of a young boy who encounters a strange monster in a war-ravaged land. It started life as a graphic novel but eventually morphed into a video game. It won the award for Best Mobile Game and the Innovation award the GDC Choice Awards in 2018. It’s now set to come to Game Pass soon.
I am Dead
This puzzle adventure follows a recently deceased museum curator who discovers a disaster is about to destroy the island he called home. Together with the ghost of his dog, Sparky, they work to uncover the mysteries of the island and save it from imminent destruction. It was released on PC and Switch back in 2020, but now it’s coming to Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S on August 9.
A Memoir Blue
Billed as “an interactive poem” and “a poignant story of a mother and daughter, experienced through memories cherished and memories suppressed” by developer Cloister Interactive, we’re guessing this is another tear jerker the likes of which Annapurna loves putting on their slate. It currently doesn’t have a release date, but will be coming to Xbox and Xbox Game Pass when it launches.
The Outer Wilds: Echoes of the Eye
2019’s best science fiction adventure that shouldn’t be confused with The Outer Worlds is getting an expansion called Echoes of the Eye. Creative director Alex Beachum of Mobius Digital said “It’s going to lead directly into the existing world and narrative. Now if you’ve played the game, you might be wondering how? Why? Those are very good questions.” Then he presented a cryptic trailer. Echoes of the Eye launches on September 28.
This “desktop thriller” from Her Story creator Sam Barlow and tasks players with uncovering a mystery about four people who have been placed under surveillance by the NSA. It’s got a pretty cool cast consisting of Logan Marshall-Green, Kerry Bishé, Angela Sarafyan and Alexandra Shipp. It will be debuting on Xbox soon via Xbox Game Pass.
Other stuff featured on the showcase included Heart Machine’s action platformer Solar Ash, the speedgunning card game Neon White by Donut County’s Ben Esposito, Blendo Games’ lo-fi comedy shooter Skin Deep, Storyteller by Daniel Benmergui, and BlueTwelve’s cat exploration thriller Stray. None of those are slated for Xbox right now, but they’re worth mentioning.