Highlights: Future of Play Direct 2023

Some of the best upcoming indies.

6 mins read
The graphic for Summer Game Fest's Future of Play presenting by Glitch. It aired on June 10 at 11 am ET.

First up in a busy day of showcases is Future of Play! It will feature over 30 new indie games, launch announcements, trailer reveals, and more. It’s wonderful to have showcases dedicated entirely to indies, despite what the live comments on YouTube might say.

For last year’s show recap, click here.

Game highlights

Cavern of Dreams

Cavern of Dreams is a platformer that follows Fynn the dragon as they try to rescue their unhatched siblings from the Cavern of Dreams. There’s a whole cast of whimsical characters needing help. Hatch Fynn’s rescued siblings and raise them to be strong. Robotic parts can give Fynn new powers. Who stole Fynn’s family… and why? Cavern of Dreams will be released for PC on October 19.

Ritual Night

Ritual Night is kind of a new genre unto itself: social deduction meets rogue-lite action with zero player elimination. Through teamwork and betrayal, attempt a ritual to summon Cthulhu. But one person is an icky human, wanting to sabotage the ritual. The game evolves after every round, granting potent magic powers to each side. Ritual Night will be released for PC in Q4 2023.


Here’s a new gameplay trailer for Reka! The game is a wildly creative third-person exploration and house-building game. Players take on the role of an aspiring Slavic witch on her journey across the countryside with her companion cottage, a chicken-legged home that players will build customize, and expand along the way. Master witchcraft, gather items, collect plants, craft magical supplies, and discover mythological creatures. Reka will be released for PC in 2024.


Play as a digital medium in Psychroma, a narrative-driven side-scroller. The medium has the ability to experience non-linear time. Players will confront the past by piecing together broken memories of a sybernetic house and exorcize the ghosts in the machine. The goal is to uncover the events of a harrowing psychological experiment gone wrong. Psychroma will be released for PC in February 2024.

Hermit and Pig

One morning, Hermit and Pig set out to forage mushrooms and avoid human interaction. A girl from a nearby village appears, asking for help, plunging the duo into a conspiracy well above their pay grade of zero dollars. Trek through different environments, defend yourself against abnormally violent locals, forage to survive, and investigate the conspiracy at hand. Hermit and Pig will be released for PC.

Word Factori

Word Factori is a word-building game where your only resource is the letter i”i.” Players will have to build a chain of factories to bend, rotate, reflect, and merge the letter into more complex letters. Many letters have multiple recipes, so experiment with different chains to build letters in new ways and fill out the recipe book. Building certain words unlocks stickers to fill a scrapbook. Optimize factory chains for high scores or ignore it altogether and focus on the visual aesthetic. Word Factori will be released for PC on August 3.


I’m excited for Gourlets, where you build a city and then let things happen. There’s no objects, no points, just building using buildings and scenery. Craft adorable towns for little vegetable folks. Decorate the inside of buildings, too! The Gourdlets will arive by train and start to inhabit the world. Gourdlets will be released for PC.

The full list of games

  • Yasuke: A Lost Descendent (PC)
  • Atomic Picnic (PC)
  • Cavern of Dreams (launching October 19 for PC)
  • Rune Fencer Illyia (PC, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, Xbox)
  • Ritual Night (launching in Q4 for PC)
  • Techtonica (launching July 18 for PC)
  • Arctic Awakening (PC)
  • Reka (launching in 2024 for PC)
  • Love Shore (PC)
  • Demon Spore (PC)
  • Psychroma (launching in February 2024 for PC)
  • Faraway Fairway (coming soon to Playdate)
  • Oom (coming soon to Playdate)
  • Quantum Phantom Basketball (coming soon to Playdate)
  • Solarpunk (PC)
  • Wildmender (PC, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series)
  • Bombing 2: A Graffitti Paradise (launching June 27 for PC)
  • In Stars and Time (PC, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch)
  • Hermit and Pig (PC)
  • Let’s Revolution! (launching July 19 for PC)
  • Space Chef (PC)
  • Word Factori (launching August 3 for PC)
  • Gourdlets (PC)
  • Angeline Era (launching in 2024 for PC)
  • Airborne Empire (launching in 2024 for PC)
  • The Wandering Village: Ocean Update (launching “this summer” for PC, Xbox)
  • Aloft: Animal Update (launching at the end of June for PC)
  • Sushi Ben (launching for Meta Quest 2, PS VR2, HTC in 2023)
  • The Brew Barons (launching in 2023 for PC)
  • Videoverse (launching in Q3 2023 for PC)
  • Escape from Mystwood Mansion (PC)
  • Ascend (PC)
  • Shashingo: Learn Japanese With Photography (launching for PC – including Steam Deck – and Nintendo Switch this year)
  • Communite: Build Together (PC)
  • Bugaboo Pocket (PC)
  • Grimfield Mystery (PC)
  • Touchstarved (PC)
  • Slopecrashers (launching in 2024 for PC)

The full showcase


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Lindsay picked up an NES controller for the first time at the age of 6 and instantly fell in love. She began reviewing GBA games 20 years ago and quickly branched out from her Nintendo comfort zone. She has has developed a great love of life sims and FMV titles. For her, accessibility is one of the most important parts of any game (but she also really appreciates good UI).

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