As Slightly Mad Studios finishes that project car it has been laboring over and the puttering zombies perk up in the dying light, it isn't hard to lock in on the AAA games on the horizon and overlook some of the indie titles releasing in the same time frame.
Yet there are several indie titles that deserve attention and could help fill a void left behind by a major RPG game that was delayed yet again.
It's time to look at some of the most compelling indie games that are set to release in the first quarter of 2015, while keeping an eye out for those that have yet to commit to a release window.
Ori and the Blind Forest (Xbox One, PC)
The rise of indie gaming brought with it the resurgences of pixel-perfect platforming and Ori and the Blind Forest is poised to keep that alive, spicing it up with light RPG elements and plating this dish in hand-drawn style.
Ori, the game's protagonist, is a forest spirit that searches out his place in the world is this coming-of-age story.
Inside (Xbox One, later on PC)
From the developers of the minimalist and deeply suggestive Limbo comes PlayDead's next game: Inside. Little is known about Inside, but it appears to a spiritual successor to Limbo.
Like Limbo, whose light and shadow games could summon goosebumps, Inside sees a young protagonist wandering through a dark and imposing environment. The hero appears to be the only human with free will in town full of the mindless.
Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number
The year 2014 was the wrong number for the follow-up to the original Hotline Miami, but it seems the first quarter of 2015 is the window in which the game will release.
Hotline Miami was the kind of game that suddenly becomes appealing late at night, when there are no obligations the next day -- it's a weekender. The original game was praised or passed up for its colorful bouquet of over-the-top violence and unforgiving controls -- oh, and it has one of the best video game scores ever produced.
Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number will have a high bar to reach, set by the original, but even coming close to its predecessor will spell success.
The following games either release outside the first quarter of 2015 or have yet to receive a release date. These indie titles appear to be worth tracking: Mighty No. 9, Hyper Light Drifter, Firewatch, No Man's Sky; Everybody's Gone to Rapture, Abzu and Rime.