10 Upcoming Hidden Gems To Put On Your Radar

The biggest, most popular games already get lots of attention. Everyone knows that The Last of Us Part II is a defining game of the year and that Cyberpunk 2077 will be a must-play when it releases. But what about the hidden gems on the horizon? What about the games you don’t know you want to play because not as many people are talking about them? Every now and then, we enjoy taking a step back from the big releases to settle into something a little quirky or underrated. Here are 10 exciting upcoming projects that you might not be familiar with, but should be.

12 Minutes

Developer: Luis Antonio
Systems: Xbox One, PC
Release: 2020

Forget about massive open worlds that require hours to traverse. 12 Minutes is an interactive thriller that takes place entirely inside a single apartment. In this top-down adventure, you are a man caught in a time loop. What starts as a romantic evening with your wife turns into a horror show when the police arrive and accuse you of murdering her. After the cops beat you to death, you wake up in your apartment 12 minutes earlier, forced to relive this sequence over and over again – unless you can break the cycle, stop your own murder, and uncover the truth.


Developer: EggNut
Systems: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
Release: 2021

In this gritty noir detective thriller, you step into the gumshoes of a P.I. named Howard Lotor who must tackle a string of investigations that grow progressively more outlandish. Oh, yeah, and Howard is also an anthropomorphic raccoon. This stunning pixel-art point-and-click adventure features plenty of stealth and branching dialogue trees inspired by classic CRPGs. If the visuals don’t catch your eye, the original doom jazz soundtrack might catch your ear.

Boyfriend Dungeon

Developer: Kitfox Games
Systems: Switch, PC
Release: 2020

In the world of dungeon crawlers, sometimes the only thing you can rely on is the sword at your side. That pointy piece of metal is so trusty that players often develop a lasting bond with their weapon. Boyfriend Dungeon takes that bond to the next level and lets you actually romance your weapon. This bizarre mix of hack-and-slash and dating simulator gives you nine weapons to romance, from dancing swords to heart-piercing daggers. If this all sounds a little too formulaic, then you probably need to read the last couple sentences again.

Buildings Have Feelings Too!

Developer: Blackstaff Games
Systems: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
Release: 2020

We’ve seen plenty of city management games, but Blackstaff Games is taking the term very literally. In Buildings Have Feelings Too! you manage the emotions, fears, and daily desires of buildings. In this city, buildings can walk and talk to one other as you introduce new shops, offices, and entertainment facilities to your growing metropolis. Over time, you can research new technologies and create new architectural marvels, but can you keep pollution down and ensure that your structures remain happy?

Chicken Police

Developer: The Wild Gentlemen
Systems: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
Release: 2020

Wait, another noir-thriller starring anhomomorphic animals? What’s in the indie-game-design water these days? Fortunately, Chicken Police’s odd, photographic visuals and absurd humor easily set it apart. This buddy-cop adventure mixes classic point-and-cluck adventure game elements with visual novel gimmicks to tell a story full of foul play. If you don’t like it, there will be egg on our face.

Cris Tales

Developer: Dreams Uncorporated, SYCK
Systems: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, Stadia, PC
Release: November 17

We’ve often daydreamed about peering into the future, and Cris Tales is a gorgeous fantasy tale that promises to give you that power. Inspired by classic JRPGs, Cris Tales is full of turn-based battles. Between fights, you explore the world and look into the future as well as the past. You view different timelines on screen, so you get a real-time glimpse of how your actions impact the future. A PC demo is available to play right now if you


Developer: David Wright
Systems: PlayStation 4, Mac, PC
Release: 2020

The Loom of the Norns dictates the fate of all humans, but when the mischievous god Loki interferes with these fate-weavers, the life of a young Shield Maiden is thrown out of balance. Now, this Shield Maiden must travel across the nine worlds and battle hordes of otherworldly foes as she seeks to uncover the truth about her destiny. This action/RPG features a unique progression system; you must choose between permanent level upgrades and more powerful (but short-lived) perks. At the same time, you collect a wide assortment of randomly-generated loot from fallen enemies.


Developer: Herobeat Studios
Systems: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
Release: 2020

We’ve seen our fair share of post-apocalyptic adventures, but they usually feature a human point of view. In Endling, you are one of the last foxes on the planet, and you must battle an inhospitable world to keep your cubs alive. In this artful 3D side-scroller you hunt for food to feed your defenseless furballs, build improvised shelters, and use the environment to sneak past the most dangerous creator on the planet: humankind.


Developer: Graceful Decay
Systems: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, PC
Release: 2020

This first-person puzzle game places you into a recursive world within a world. In the center of your world is a model of the environment you inhabit. Like a Russian nesting doll, the area you inhabit is also a replica of the larger world above you. Any small change you make to the tiny maquette in front of you is replicated in your world, which leads to a chain of satisfying and clever puzzles.


Developer: Thunder Lotus Games 
Systems: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
Release: 2020

A lot of games address serious themes, but Spiritfarer aims to tackle one of life’s biggest mysteries: death. As Stella, you are a ferry master to the deceased. Your goal is to build an ever-expanding boat to explore the world and care for its spirits before they are released into the afterlife. As your boat grows, you farm, fish, harvest, cook, and craft a variety of goods. You also hear the emotional stories of people learning to deal with change, loss, and the ultimate goodbye.

Those are our picks for some of the best hidden gems on the horizon, but if you have more time on your hands, be sure to play these Five Games Before The End Of The Generation.

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