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Slay orcs, make pizzas, and save humanity this week in gaming

2014 was a huge year for games from major studios and indie operations alike, and 2015 looks to be no less exciting. Whet your appetite for another year of increasingly diverse gaming with this selection of indie releases that all take classic genres and give them a modern twist. Which games will kick off your 2015?

Funk of the Titans

XB1 (January 9)
Zeus, funkiest of the gods, has tasked his son Perseus, the master of Funk-Fu, with bringing down the pagan Music Titans of rap, pop, and rock. This colorful platformer spans over 40 levels across three worlds with leaping, brawling, dancing, coin collecting, and making George Clinton proud with your vigorous enforcement of the Funk.

Developer A Crowd of Monsters fused ancient Greek mythology with ’70s blaxploitation. The traditional side-scrolling action is mixed up with fast-paced Pegasus rides and quick time dance sequences for when you must face off against the insidious, pagan rhythms.

Warhammer Quest

Linux/Mac/Window (January 7)
Slay monsters, find loot, slay bigger monsters, find better loot–you know the drill. This turn-based party dungeon crawler came to mobile platforms in 2013, and was in turn adapted from a 1995 Games Workshop board game of the same name.

Customize and level up your party of heroes to defeat all manner of orcs, skeletons, and other traditional fantasy beasts in procedurally-generated dungeons. Additional heroes are available as paid DLC, or for an additional upfront cost you can get the content-complete deluxe version.

Project Aura

Windows (January 5)
20th century scientists were right, and in the near future humanity has dwindled down to a scant few survivors in a harsh world, ravaged by climate change. You are in charge of a high-tech city on the ocean, tasked with building a society for your cryogenically frozen bastion of mankind’s remnants.

The citizenry, buildings, and capabilities of your colony can all be deeply customized, allowing you to build your own vision of humanity’s future out of the remnants of our past. Project Aura has been available in early access, so developer Pixel Quality Games is already in dialogue with its players about how to fine tune this deep, sci fi simulation.

4089: Ghost Within

Linux/Mac/Windows (January 9)
This science fiction, first-person roguelike drops you into a procedurally-generated mothership to explore and unravel its secrets. Drawing inspiration from the classic Deus Ex, this stealth action RPG provides you with a wealth of tools and toys like grappling hooks, invisibility cloaks, and customizable weapons so you can develop your character to whatever style suits your fancy.

4089 provide modding tools for players to create their own content, which can then be shared via Steam Workshop integration. It also supports the Oculus Rift VR headset for early adopters that want greater immersion.

What else is coming:

  • Castle (Windows/Jan. 7) — Build up castles to the specifications of kings while simultaneously fending off enemies that would bring them down in this frenetic 2D puzzle defense game.
  • Boid (Windows/Jan. 8) — A Bio Organic Infestation Drone has crash landed on a watery world, spawning evolving lifeforms that will struggle for dominance in this tactical RTS with cross-platform multiplayer support.
  • Supreme (Mac, Windows/Jan. 9) — Start with one, humble pizzeria and expand to a global empire, managing everything from top-level business decisions about employees and advertising down to actually making the pizza and bread sticks.