ID @ Xbox Game Pass Showcase June 27 Recap - Tons Of New Titles For Game Pass On Xbox and PC Announced

Plus, sit down sessions with various developers and their upcoming titles.
Here's a recap of the recent ID @ Xbox Game Pass showcase.
Here's a recap of the recent ID @ Xbox Game Pass showcase. Microsoft

Yesterday, Xbox debuted the second episode of the ID @ Xbox Game Pass showcase, which highlights some of the best indie titles coming out on Xbox One and on Xbox Game Pass. This showcase was filled with amazing highlights, such as a look at the upcoming Blair Witch title, sit down sessions with Devolver Digital and tinyBuild, plus a huge number of game announcements and gameplay highlights for indie titles coming to the Xbox service.

My Time at Portia

To kick the showcase off, we have an announcement for My Time at Portia, which, in simplest terms, is just a 3D Stardew Valley – not that that’s a bad thing. Ever since its initial run on PC (Steam) and PlayStation 4, it has received rave reviews, and is hailed as one of the year’s best releases. Check out a trailer for My Time at Portia below.

My Time at Portia will be released on Game Pass for both Xbox and PC at an unspecified date.

Games Coming to Game Pass Announcements

We then got more announcements for new games coming to Game Pass, including:

  • Unavowed – coming to Game Pass on PC, Unavowed is a point-and-click mystery title, in which you’re possessed by a demon. In order to exorcise it, you will have to join a mysterious Order and have an exorcism performed by the equally mysterious Unavowed.
  • Bad North­ – coming to Game Pass on Xbox and PC, Bad North is a real-time strategy title involving minimalistic renditions of islanders defending their lands and people from Viking invaders.
  • Machinarium – coming to Game Pass on PC, Machinarium is a point-and-click adventure title from the same team that brought you Samorost 3 and CHUCKLE. It tells the story of a robot named Joseph and his quest to rescue his girlfriend Berta in an eerie mechanical world.
  • Timespinner – coming to Game Pass on PC, Timespinner is a Metroidvania inspired by 90s action 16-bit games. It follows the story of timekeeper Lunais, and her journey to both the past and the present in an interconnected world.
  • Undertale – coming to Game Pass on PC, Undertale is a game that needs no introductions. It’s a modern classic made by the one-man team of Toby Fox, and is a love letter to games like Earthbound and classic RPGs.

Sit down with Bloober Team, the developer behind Blair Witch

First announced back at Xbox’s E3 2019 Briefing, Blair Witch takes players back to the iconic Black Hills Forest. In this horror title, you will be playing as Ellis, a retired police officer with a very troubled past. After a boy goes missing in the woods, Ellis sets out to find him, unaware of the dangers posed by entering the nightmarish realm that is the Black Hills Forest. Along the way, Ellis tries to survive the woods, find the boy, and deal with his past issues.

The developers note that Blair Witch, through and through, is a Bloober Team title. If you’ve played any of their previous titles like Layers of Fear then you’ll know what to expect. Blair Witch will also mix creature horror and psychological horror elements together to create a deeply unsettling title. The developer also noted that despite the known elements of the setting, the team will be bringing some new elements that they hope fans of the series will end up loving.

The developers also talked about the camera that Ellis has, and how it ties into the game. Apparently, the camera is a very important focus, and by watching various tapes on the camcorder you can change how the environments work in order to solve puzzles and move forward. Ellis’ dog, Bullet, will also play a huge role, as you can issue him various commands in order to make your life easier while in the forest.

Blair Witch will be available day one on both Game Pass for Xbox and PC.

Sit down with tinyBuild, the publisher behind Pathologic 2 and Secret Neighbor

The next segment is a highlight of two titles coming to Game Pass, Pathologic 2 and Secret Neighbor.

  • Pathologic 2 is a narrative driven survival thriller set in a rural town consumed by the plague. It’s a remake of the cult title Pathologic, developed by Moscow-based developer Ice-Pick Lodge. The game takes place over the course of 12 in-game days, and its open-ended nature and extremely unforgiving tone and gameplay aspects drew in a lot of players. Pathologic 2 will be divided into three parts; the first part, focusing on the character of Haruspex, was released earlier this May on Steam. It will be available on Game Pass for both Xbox and PC.
  • Secret Neighbor is a multi-player horror game based on the sleeper hit title Hello Neighbor. It’s played by 6 players, and the goal is to enter the neighbor’s creepy basement. However, one of the players will be assigned the role of the neighbor, with the other players unable to tell. This player in disguise will try his best to prevent the other players from opening the basement. It’s basically one of the game modes popularize by Gmod and its many titles. Secret Neighbor will be made available on Game Pass day one for both Xbox and PC.

Sit down with Devolver Digital, famed indie publisher

The next segment comes from Devolver’s lot back at E3, where the publisher announced a lineup of new titles coming to Game Pass for both consoles and PC.

  • Broforce – a 2D side-scrolling shooter developed by Free Lives, a South African developer. Broforce is a parody of 80’s action movies and is filled with tons of gore and explosion. It’s now available on Game Pass for PC.
  • Ruiner – an isometric shooter developed by Reikon, based in Warsaw. Ruiner is set in dystopian cyberpunk world, featuring slick controls and even slicker gameplay. Ruiner is now available on Game Pass for PC.
  • Hotline Miami – arguably the title that put Devolver on the map as the prime indie publishing studio. Hotline Miami is a top-down shooter dripping with 80s neon aesthetic, and filled with attitude. It’s accompanied by one of the best soundtracks to date for a video game, and is certainly also one of the modern classics of the medium. Hotline Miami is now available on Game Pass for PC.
  • The Messenger – a Metroidvania developed by Sabotage that’s very much inspired by the 2D Ninja Gaiden titles. You play as a ninja who acts as a messenger, as he crosses two realms, 8-bit and 16-bit, in order to solve puzzles, eliminate demons and save the entire world. The Messenger is now available on Game Pass for PC.
  • Hatoful Boyfriend – this weird, yet incredibly deep, bird dating sim and visual novel was originally only available in Japan, until developer Mediatonic came out and remade it internationally for everyone else to enjoy. You play as the only human protagonist in a school filled with nothing but birds, and all your love interests are birds. If you think it can get weirder than that, you’re dead wrong as well. Hatoful Boyfriend is now available on Game Pass for PC.

Interviews with developers of ID @ Xbox Games during E3 2019

Up next was a collection of interviews with developers for different independent titles announced at the Xbox E3 2019 Briefing.

  • Way to the Woods with Anthony Tan, the game’s sole developer – the creator behind one of the most beautiful titles announced at E3, Way to the Woods, describes the game as a trek towards this big, unfamiliar world filled with dangers, joys and a wacky cast of characters. Ultimately, though, the goal is to get home. Way to the Woods will release on Game Pass for Xbox and PC at launch.
  • Spiritfarer with Nicolas Guerin, creative director at Thunder Lotus – this creative management sim revolving around the concept of dying drew a lot praise after its announcement at E3, and Nicolas Guerin shared more details about the title during the interview. Apparently, the inspiration behind the houseboat aspect of the game comes from the myth of Kharon in Greek mythology, who is the ferryman for souls travelling to the land of the dead across the River Styx. Spiritfarer sees you playing as Stella, who, along with her cat Daffodil, must build a boat capable of ferrying spirits to the afterlife after their dying wishes are fulfilled – the spirits take on the form of anthropomorphic animals while on the boat. Spiritfarer will release on Game Pass for Xbox and PC at launch.
  • Creature in the Well with Adam Volker of Flight School Studio – mashups between genres are where you can sometimes find some very creative titles, and Creature in the Well fits the bill amazingly. Creature in the Well is a hack ‘n slash pinball game set in a desert. You play as a robot that’s been operational for hundreds of years as he tries to fix a very ancient weather facility. It’s definitely one to watch out for just for the concept alone, and it will be available to play on Game Pass for Xbox and PC at launch.
  • UnderMine with Derek Johnson from Thorium Entertainment – UnderMine is an action adventure roguelike, taking lots of influence from titles like The Binding of Isaac and Rogue Legacy. The game features a ton of persistent upgrades and powerups that you can carry from level to level even after dying and restarting. UnderMine will be available to play on Game Pass for Xbox and PC at launch.
  • Star Renegades with Ken Sato and Jacqueline Joy of Massive Damage – fans of roguelikes and JRPGs need not look for more, as Star Renegades fills those two spots quite nicely. JRPG influences play a role as the persistent element throughout the game’s hub world, while roguelike elements compliment it nicely as these permanent additions and upgrades move the gameplay forward. Star Renegades will be available to play on Game Pass for Xbox and PC at launch.

Gameplay Highlights

The next highlight reel showcased some gameplay footage for upcoming titles that will launch on Xbox Game Pass.

  • Totally Accurate Battle Simulator – the physics-based battle sim is looking as quirky as ever, and it will launch on the Game Pass for Xbox and PC.
  • Unto the End – I’ve covered this title quite extensively here, despite what little we know about the game so far. It’s also one of my most anticipated indie titles of this year, based on how intuitive the swordplay looks, as well as the incredibly minimalistic aesthetic. Unto the End will be available on Game Pass for Xbox and PC at launch.
  • Night Call – Raw Fury’s next interactive title is a murder mystery noir set in Paris, filled with intrigue and atmosphere. It comes out July 17, and will be available at launch for Game Pass on Xbox and PC.
  • Felix the Reaper – this adventure puzzle title is filled with humor and delights, and features a very quirky and romantic story to boot. Felix the Reaper will launch on Game Pass for Xbox and PC on day one.
  • Dead Static Drive – it’s a Lovecraftian horror mixed with road trip elements, which is up there in terms of how wacky mashups can be. Dead Static Drive will launch on Game Pass for Xbox and PC on day one.
  • Ikenfell – a turn-based tactical RPG about a group of troublesome magic students. Ikenfell will launch on Game Pass for Xbox and PC on day one.

More games coming to Game Pass soon

The last segment showed more games announcements for Game Pass coming at a later date.

  • Worms W.M.D. – a return for the series to its 2D artillery turn-based tactic roots, Worms W.M.D. recreates the physics and gameplay of classic titles like Worms Armageddon. Worms W.M.D. is coming to Game Pass for Xbox and PC.
  • For the King – a roguelike tabletop RPG set in the Hexagonal Kingdom of Farule. Featuring procedurally generated maps and a rich, turn-based combat system, For the King is coming to Game Pass for Xbox and PC.
  • Gonner – a Raw Fury-published title and developed by Art in Heart, Gonner features very artistic roguelike gameplay that procedurally generates levels according to your score. Gonner is coming to Game Pass for Xbox and PC.
  • The Banner Saga 3­ – the third installment in the tactical turn-based RPG series of titles. The Banner Saga 3 is largely inspired by Norse mythology. With its impending release, the whole Saga will be made available on Game Pass for Xbox and PC.
  • Yoku’s Island Express - a very odd blend of Metroidvania and pinball, Yoku’s Island Express lets you play as a dung beetle that longs to be a postman. Its innovative and highly original mechanics are coming to Game Pass for Xbox and PC.

Stay tuned here with us for more updates on ID @ Xbox titles, as well as new and upcoming games coming to Game Pass for Xbox and PC.

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