Last year the New York based entertainment production enterprise, Tribeca, started by Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal, spun out from its line of work in films to the digital space, giving support to narrative led games and unique artistic endeavours. Tribeca Games ran their first Tribeca Games Spotlight in 2021, showing off such exciting works as Kena: Bridge of Spirits, Lost In Random, and 12 Minutes, so all eyes should have been on the 2022 showcase as the festival debuted some new games and gave us a more in depth look at some we’ve already been excited for.
From Plague Tales: Requiem to Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course, here are the highlights for the Tribeca Games Spotlight 2022:
From Outerloop Games comes Thirsty Suitors—a game about culture, relationships, family pressures, and expressing oneself.
You play as Jala who has the weight of the world upon her shoulders in the lead up to her sister’s wedding—namely that of her nagging parents, strained friendships in need of mending, and a deluge of scorned exes all bidding for revenge or to try to make things work again.
Thirsty Suiters presents Jala’s quest for reconciliation through a unique, colourful art style and a turn based, over the top combat system that has you battling out against exes a la Scott Pilgrim Vs the World. Save from beating your exes to a pulp, however, Outerloop Games have specifically kept a focus on nonviolent combat since Jala’s quest seeks to repair, not harm. Combat works more like a dance with Jala and her exes rebuking each other with quips and hitting emotional vulnerabilities before both can come to an understanding. If the war of words doesn’t work then you can always just call in your terrifying mother to skewer them with her sharp judgement.
You’ll also be skating and grinding around the Timber Hills along the way in what looks like a very fun movement set. Plus, with the games South Asian influence cooking plays a huge part in Jala’s quest, since of course we all know food is the real way to anyone’s heart!
From Demagog Studios comes The Cub—a post-apocalyptic adventure platformer where The Jungle Book meets urban city desolation.
The Cub makes no bones about its extremely up-front commentary on the current climate crisis and our worldly response to it thus far. Set after The Great Climate Catastrophe, the ultra-rich have fled to Tesla City on Mars while the rest of the world languished behind to suffer and die.
Years on a recon mission has returned to Earth and spots a lone mutant-like child roaming the streets in a Martian helmet. You play as The Cub, this lone child who now finds himself hunted like prey by those that left you behind. You will traverse the lonesome rooftops, city streets, and urban jungle of the apocalypse as scientists pursue you for experiment.
The art style is meticulously drawn and the game is underscored by a wonderful radio track to really hit home the tranquillity of this neon-glazed urban waste. Discover what little humanity has left behind for you and see where it all went wrong.
A Plague Tale Requiem
A Plague Tale returns with a Plague Tale: Requiem and looks far sharper than its successful predecessor.
During their segment Asobo Studios were proud to show off how far their independent studio has come since Plague Tale: Innocence, numbering at around 250 employees now and working on some of the biggest titles such as Microsoft Flight Simulator. Plague Tale has always been their baby, however, so the team are delighted to return to Amicia and Hugo’s story and make it even bigger and bolder than before.
Once again the darkness of the world will not let up as Amicia and Hugo continue to navigate the troubles of the increasing plague upon the world. The rats number in the thousands on city streets now, and Hugo’s power still remains unstable.
The stealth and survival aspect will still remain from Innocence, but in widening their scope for Requiem fans Asobo Studios have designed a more diverse range of sequences with some far more action and combat oriented than before. The studio has invested in a huge mo-cap studio too to ensure their cutscenes are rendered with even more emotional and engaging resonance to continue a story that is only getting darker for Amicia and Hugo.
Plague Tale: Requiem will be coming to consoles and PC later this year.
Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course
Cuphead’s final DLC, aptly titled Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course has been the buzz of these summer game showcases so far, and Tribeca allowed us to get even more of a peak before its late July release.
Brothers Cuphead and Mugman are joined by the clever, adventurous Ms. Chalice, an all-new character, for a rollicking adventure on a previously undiscovered Inkwell Isle! With the aid of new weapons, magical charms, and Ms. Chalice’s unique abilities, players will take on a new cast of fearsome, larger than life bosses to assist the jolly Chef Saltbaker in Cuphead’s final challenging quest.
Ms. Chalice will be available for the original adventure as well as the DLC now making this a perfect time to jump aboard the Cuphead train if you haven’t already. Cuphead grabbed the industry by storm years ago with its art and gameplay style harkening back to classic games and animations of old.
Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course will be available for all platforms on July 30.
Oxenfree II: Lost Signals
From Night School Studio, return to Camena in this mind-bending follow up to Oxenfree five years on, as Riley comes back to her hometown to investigate some mysterious radio signals in Oxenfree II: Lost Signals.
In the small coastal town of Camena, unnaturally occurring electromagnetic waves are causing interference with electrical and radio equipment. Reluctantly, Riley Poverly returns to her hometown to investigate the mystery. What she finds is more than she bargained for.
In typical Night School style Oxenfree II becomes as much an investigation of its characters as it does its mystery, as the spotlight event showed off Riley and her friend Jacob quipping back and forth upon their ghastly trail. Their relationship will have to be the one thing to keep you rooted because the rest of the game around them looks bizarre and unsettling. Use radio frequencies to unlock secrets around the world, change your environment, and even travel back in time to alternate timelines to influence the world of your present day around you.
Of course, time hopping is an unstable practice and death looks to be lurking around every corner. New antagonists also appear to be on the hunt so this nature trail may not quite be the tranquil hike it is set up to be.
Oxenfree II: Lost Signals will be coming to PC, PS5, PS4, and Switch sometime later this year.
And now for something completely different and unsettlingly real. Immortality is a unique FMV game which charts the real mystery of an actress’s disappearance. Marissa Marcel appeared in 3 unreleased films over 30 years.
Sam Barlow’s interactive story cuts together scenes of these 3 films and allows you to interact with various pieces of the scene to try to uncover perhaps what happened to Marcel.
As far as FMV games go this one is offering a unique and frankly impressive interactive style. As scenes play out you can pause and click on various objects which will then match cut you to another scene where that object is also found, allowing you to then link up various broken pieces of story and try to find a connection between them.
Barlow isn’t claiming to have the truth to the real-world mystery sussed out; he is merely offering an interactive journey that offers possibilities and dramatizes a bizarre legend as best as possible. The story of the game’s development is nearly as bizarre and ominous sounding as the story of Marcel itself, as Half Mermaid Productions claim to have anonymously sent footage of the 3 films without warning or message. Spooky.
You can try it out later this year on PC and Xbox Series X|S.
It’s The Truman Show come to gaming as Out of the Blue’s puzzle platformer has you escaping your own tv show of your life.
Arcadia claims to be a 70’s retro-futuristic metropolis where all its citizens enjoy a life of luxury and comfort, however each is unaware that they’re being broadcast live 24/7. Arcadia is not an ordinary city, but the most watched reality show on the planet—where a drop in popularity ratings comes at the highest cost: death.
Summer Game Fest gave us a quick look at this unique looking title but at Tribeca we got a little more of a peak at the two different sides of the game. With two playable characters, American Arcadia allows you to control Trevor who has found out the truth of his life and is looking to escape his reality show hellscape. His portion of the game is a 2.5D platformer with plenty of chases, puzzles, and trials to keep him busy. At his aide is Angela who sits on the outside trying to get citizens out of Arcadia. Her gameplay is entirely a first-person investigation where you’ll be stealthing around offices and hacking computers to keep helping Trevor out.
The 70s retro futurist art style of the game looks great, taking influence from the dev team’s upbringing and all of the shows and cartoons that they enjoyed at childhood. With the two different gameplay styles too this is certainly a unique and fun looking game worth keeping an eye out for.