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Niche Games to Watch in 2021: Action-Adventure

Kena: Bridge of Spirits

Last time, I highlighted some of the roguelites releasing in 2021. If you missed them, you can also find similar articles on platformers and Metroidvanias, city builders and management sims, strategy games, RPGs, and shooters.

Today, I’ll be focusing on some of the action-adventure games coming our way this year. As always, I’ll be taking special care to highlight predominately niche, indie, or middleware games that you might not have heard of yet.

As with roguelites, “action-adventure” is another one of those genres that can mean a whole lot of different things, and in this case its mostly just a selection of games that don’t perfectly fit some of the other genres I arbitrarily decided to highlight.

Be prepared to find everything from Zelda-inspired top-down action games, stealth games, 3D games that mix combat and exploration, and even some first-person dungeon crawlers.

Here is Niche Gamer’s selection of 20 of the most promising action-adventure video games releasing in 2021:


Gods Will Fall
Developer: Clever Beans

Publisher: Deep Silver
Platforms: Windows PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Google Stadia
Release Date: January 29th, 2021

Gods Will Fall

Gods Will Fall is an action-adventure about leading a band of Celtic warriors, in a desperate bid to overthrow the cruel gods that terrorize their people. The game features 8 playable warriors with their own unique playstyles and abilities, and your decisions can affect who lives and who dies.

 

Eldest Souls
Developer: Fallen Flag Studio
Publishers: United Label, CI Games
Platforms: Windows PC, Nintendo Switch
Release Date: Q1 2021

Eldest Souls

Another top-down action-adventure game about slaying ancient and terrible pagan gods is Eldest Souls. Traverse the vast, maze-like Citadel that acts as the prison for the Old Gods, and then defeat them one by one to restore balance to the world. Claim their powers for yourself and use them to defeat other gods in future engagements.

 

Hazelnut Bastille
Developer: Aloft Studio
Platforms: Windows PC, Nintendo Switch
Release Date: TBA 2021

Hazelnut Bastille

Hazelnut Bastille is a top-down action-adventure game inspired by the Zelda series. Play as an outcast heroine exploring a strange new continent. Interact with the continent’s sparse population, travel around a vast overworld map, and trek through challenging dungeons full of dangerous enemies, traps, and puzzles.

 

Tunic
Developer: Andrew Shouldice
Publisher: Finji
Platforms: Windows PC, Xbox One
Release Date: TBA 2021

Tunic

Another cute Zelda-like that has been on my radar for quite some time is Tunic. Explore ancient ruins and untouched wildernesses as a small fox that even looks suspiciously like Link. Solve puzzles and fight horrible monsters with your sword, shield, and selection of gadgets and tools.

 

No Place for Bravery
Developer: Glitch Factory
Publisher: Ysbryd Games
Platforms: Windows PC, Nintendo Switch
Release Date: TBA 2021

No Place for Bravery

No Place for Bravery is a top-down action-adventure with RPG elements where you control Thorn, a retired old warrior haunted by his past. Guide Thorn on a quest for redemption as he adopts a young orphan and finds clues regarding this disappearance of his daughter many years back. Fight horrifying enemies in brutal, skill-based combat encounters.

 

There Is No Light
Developer: Zelart
Publisher: HypeTrain Digital
Platforms: Windows PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One 
Release Date: Q3 2021

There Is No Light

Another brutal action-adventure game that takes place in a dark and hopeless world is the appropriately titled There Is No Light. The game is set in a grim underground society following a massive cataclysm on the planet’s surface.

Set out on a quest to find your child, who has been taken away as a sacrifice for the mysterious religious order that rules the underground world. Customize your playstyle with a variety of weapon types and upgrades, and play aggressively to build up Rage so you can unleash devastating special moves.

 

Radio the Universe
Developer: 6E6E6E
Platform: Windows PC
Release Date: Winter 2021

Radio the Universe

Radio the Universe is a top-down action-adventure with an atmospheric, surreal pixel art aesthetic. Descend into the ruins of a vast and ancient city to discover a world that has been lost to the passage of time. Upgrade your character with new abilities and weapons that you find in the ruins.

 

Retro Machina
Developer: Orbit Studio
Publisher: Super.com
Platforms: Windows PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Release Date: Q1 2021

Retro Machina

Retro Machina is an action-adventure game set in a retro-futuristic world long after the disappearance of humanity. The domed city of Endeavor is maintained by an army of pre-programed robots that keep everything working perfectly for human overlords that no longer exist.

You control a malfunctioning robot worker that has been cast out of Endeavor, and must find a way to fix itself to return home. Use hacking mechanics to take over hostile robots so you can solve puzzles or fight enemies.

 

Disjunction
Developer: Ape Tribe Games
Publisher: Sold Out 
Platforms: Windows PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Release Date: January 28th, 2021

Disjunction

Disjunction is a stealth-action game with RPG elements set in a dystopian cyberpunk vision of New York. Civil unrest is rising following the arrest of a beloved community leader.

Play as three different characters with interconnected narratives as you uncover corruption and conspiracy across the city. Use a mixture of stealth and lethal firepower, and upgrade your characters with powerful cybernetic augmentations.

 

Unsighted
Developer: Studio Pixel Punk
Publisher: Humble Games
Platforms: Windows PC, Nintendo Switch    
Release Date: TBA 2021

Unsighted

Unsighted is a top-down action-adventure with RPG elements where you control Alma, a combat android on a mission to save her friends.

After a long and brutal war against humanity, the androids of Arcadia are running low on Anima, the energy source that powers them. Race against the clock as you explore the intricate, interconnected pathways of Arcadia. Solve puzzles, fight enemies with a variety of ranged and melee weapons, and upgrade Alma with chips to gain access to new abilities and powerups.

 

ANNO: Mutationem
Developer: ThinkingStars
Publisher: Lightning Games
Platforms: Windows PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5
Release Date: Q3 2021

ANNO: Mutationem

ANNO: Mutationem is a 2.5D action-adventure set in a cyberpunk metropolis full of corrupt officials, greedy megacorporations, and bizarre creatures.

The game has loose connections to the SCP Foundation fan project, and uses some of the creatures from it. You play as Ann, a lone wolf operative on a personal mission in the city. Investigate clues, infiltrate vast underground facilities, and fight enemies with an arsenal of futuristic melee and ranged weapons.

 

Kena: Bridge of Spirits
Developer: Ember Lab
Platforms: Windows PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5
Release Date: Q1 2021

Kena: Bridge of Spirits 

Kena: Bridge of Spirits is an action-adventure game where you control the titular Kena, a young girl exploring an abandoned forest village in search of a sacred shrine. Befriend wandering spirits called the Rot to gain access to new powers, manipulate environments, and fight against corrupted spirits.

 

Black Skylands
Developer: Hungry Couch Games
Publisher: tinyBuild
Platforms: Windows PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Release Date: Q2 2021

Black Skylands

Black Skylands is an open world action-adventure set in a world of floating islands. Embark on a journey in your massive airship to track down the sky pirates that wronged your family. Build an entire town on your skyship, complete with a farm. Engage sky pirates and flying monsters in both aerial combat, and on foot with an arsenal of upgradable guns.

 

Gloomwood
Developers: Dillion Rogers, David Szymanski
Publisher: New Blood Interactive
Platform: Windows PC
Release Date: TBA 2021

Gloomwood

Gloomwood is a first-person stealth-action game developed by the people behind 2018’s hit retro FPS, Dusk. Scavenge for resources and survive in a cursed Victorian city. Stealthily take down your mysterious pursuers with an arsenal of unique antique weaponry and traps. Track down clues to learn what happened to the city, and more importantly, how you can escape alive.

 

Fight Knight
Developer: Team Sorcerobe
Platforms: Windows PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4
Release Date: TBA 2021

Fight Knight

Fight Knight is a first-person dungeon brawler with unique retro visuals. Ascend an insidious tower full of monsters as a knight too brave too fight with weapons. Punch enemies in a combat system that blends old school grid-based dungeon crawling with fast-paced melee action. Learn new unarmed fighting techniques, collect ancient relics, and solve puzzles as you punch your way to the top.

 

The Riftbreaker
Developer: EXOR Studios
Platforms: Windows PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X
Release Date: TBA 2021

The Riftbreaker

The Riftbreaker is a mix of top-down action-adventure, base management, and tower defense.

You play as Ashley Nowak, a scientist sent on a dangerous mission to survey the distant planet of Galatea 37 in preparation of future colonization. However, the planet’s native fauna have other ideas. Gather resources, build up elaborate bases bristling with defensive fortifications, and get into the mix personally in your customizable mech suit.

 

Outrider Mako
Developer: Asamado Games
Publisher: Playism
Platform: Windows PC
Release Date: TBA 2021

Outrider Mako

Outrider Mako is a top-down action-adventure about delivering packages in the realm of the gods. As Mako, you must explore the world of Mayoi, taking on delivery jobs for the Bumon Delivery Corporation. Gather materials, package them, and deliver the requested items to your clients so you can gather the requisite stamps of approval.

 

Potion Permit
Developer: MassHive Media
Publisher: PQube Limited
Platforms: Windows PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Release Date: TBA 2021 

Potion Permit

Potion Permit is an alchemy sim with some RPG elements. You play as a chemist sent to a remote village to cure the mysterious illness afflicting the mayor’s daughter. While you are there, you’ll also need to cure the ailments of other villagers.

Diagnose illnesses, gather ingredients from monsters and local plant life, and craft miraculous potions to cure your clients. You can also upgrade the town, and maybe even find someone to settle down with.

 

Eastward
Developer: Pixpil
Publisher: Chucklefish
Platforms: Windows PC, Nintendo Switch
Release Date: TBA 2021

Eastward

Eastward is an action-adventure game set in a decaying world on the verge of collapse. A deadly miasma has rendered large chunks of the world uninhabitable, pushing humanity into underground towns.

You play as John, an old miner that meets a mysterious little girl named Sam. Together, the duo set off on an adventure across the surface in search of a better life. Swap between the two to solve puzzles and fight enemies.

 

Figment 2: Creed Valley
Developer: Bedtime Digital Games
Platform: Windows PC
Release Date: Early 2021

Figment 2: Creed Valley

Finally, we come to Figment 2: Creed Valley, the sequel to the whimsical music-driven action-adventure from 2017. Join Dusty on a journey through a troubled human mind plagued with nightmares. Explore surreal worlds and solve puzzles by swapping between two mental states: Open-Minded and Closed-Minded. Fight against enemies and bosses in rhythm-based battles.


That’s all for our latest batch of articles highlighting some of the promising games coming our way in 2021. Next time, we’ll be taking a look at some of the horror games releasing this year.

Until then, which of these games are you looking forward to? Are there any other action-adventure games you are excited for in 2021? Let us know in the comments below!

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Frank Streva

About

Niche Gamer’s resident indie expert. Digs through the Steam new releases so you don’t have to. Massive fan of miniature and board games as well.




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