Gamescom opened on Tuesday night with hours of game announcements, kicking off what promises to be a whirlwind week with an abundance of trailers. The wizard game was there, as well as a lot of weird filler and a few truly wild ideas (e.g., a soulslike about Pinocchio?). However, there were more than a few upcoming releases that sparked our curiosity. Here are our 10 favorite trailers from the first night of Gamescom 2022.
Those Who Came: Healing Solarus
Those Who Came: Healing Solarus is a reverse colony sim that looks like if Factorio and No Man’s Sky had a baby. Unlike in those games, where you’re subjugating a planet (however peacefully) to your will, Solarus instead makes you rewild your interstellar home with up to three friends. It reminds me of Cantata, an early access strategy game with a similar ethos on environmental agency.
I’ve been excited about Dorfromantik for a while. The hex-based tile game has been out in 1.0 on Steam for a few months, but this trailer was its world premiere on the Switch, a platform it seems designed for. Rotating colorful tiles (with the thumbsticks, hopefully heralding the long-awaited controller support for the PC version) and creating new biomes to form a high score is now portable and looks like just as much fun.
Looking like the cover of a pulp sci-fi book, Moonbreaker is a turn-based sci fi strategy game where you move figurines around on a game board and simulate battles. Brandon Sanderson has been called in on this one as a writer, following up the Infinity Blade novel he wrote years ago with a second videogame project. It has a highly flexible team customization system and allows you to play in a team of four, as well as a single-player “roguelike” mode.
Eiyuden Chronicles: Hundred Heroes
From 505 Games, the producers of Cooking Mama and Drawn to Life, Eiyuden Chronicles: Hundred Heroes is a character-focused RPG that’s a successor to Suikoden and describes itself as “a celebration of the JRPG genre.” The art style looks very Octopath Traveler, utilizing some beautiful lighting effects. The story seems pretty goofy, and the combat system looks like it will take some time to grasp, but includes some very cool leaps between foreground and background that highlight the 2.5D style.
Dungeon Drafters seems like it’s been taking notes from the retro style pixel games of the past few years, of which Loop Hero is probably the closest, grittier relative. Its gameplay is split across six dungeons, and it seems like rather than losing all progress whenever you start, your deck carries over from run to run. In between dungeon crawls, you can return to town to trade and craft. The vibrant palette and ultra cute monster design have me excited to dive into this when it releases.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, as it comes from the developers of the later Fallout games and Dragon Age: Inquisition, this RPG set in medieval Portugal feels like a Bioware game from the jump. Complete with an ominous whispered voiceover and a menacing moon/vortex thing, the trailer isn’t exactly informative, but the aesthetic is certainly compelling. The release date, like the plot, is still a mystery.
Announced at Summer Game Fest in June, Pentiment is a mystery game inspired by medieval manuscripts. Master artist Andreas Maler steps into a town in the Bavarian Alps that’s dealing with a series of murders, which he and therefore you are tasked with figuring out. From a time system based on the hours of prayer to astrologically-inspired puzzles, Pentiment seems like it’s taking its source material quite seriously, but we’ll know for sure when it releases in November.
Return to Monkey Island
Another title we’ve known about for a while, Return to Monkey Island is a reimagining of the classic adventure game series that started all the way back in 1990. Over 10 years after its last installment, director Ron Gilbert has returned to continue the series with more pirating and puzzle-solving. It launches on September 19, which coincides with International Talk Like a Pirate Day.
Friends vs. Friends
The animal characters in this vibrant card-based shooter’s trailer wouldn’t look out of place in an episode of Tuca and Bertie. You play in one-vs-one or two-vs-two online shootouts in cel-shaded, chaotic cityscapes, using cards to launch attacks on your friends. Friends vs. Friends seems to have a sense of humor that matches its wacky, almost overwhelming neon design, without being too over the top.
Bus Simulator: City Ride
If I’m honest, I am less interested in the content of the actual game of Bus Simulator: City Ride than I am in its trailer design. Developers Astragon Entertainment have somehow managed to make the experience of designing and driving a bus seem not only relaxing, but dramatic and consequential (which I suppose, at times, it is). It does seem fitting that now the simulator can be played on an actual bus, as it’s coming to iOS, Android, and Switch this fall.
Emily Price is an intern at Paste and a columnist at Unwinnable Magazine. She is also a PhD Candidate in literature at the CUNY Graduate Center. She can be found on Twitter @the_emilyap.