Metroidvanias are always a hit with me. 2021 brought us a number of great entries to the genre. Games like Unsighted, Pronty: A Fishy Adventure, and Axiom Verge 2. This genre keeps growing and bringing us amazing new experiences. I’m going to get this out of the way before the list, yes I am insanely excited for Silksong however, it’s so well known that it will not be on this list.
Normally this list is a top 5. This could very well be the case for the other upcoming game articles. However, there are so many amazing-looking Metroidvanias coming in the next year that I couldn’t limit it to 5!
Rune Fencer Illyia – Nootbox Games
Take the role of a younger Runist named Illyia in this stunning pixel art Metroidvania. The airship that was carrying your sister and you has crashed and your sister is nowhere to be seen. Now you must explore this strange world looking for your sister. Rune Fencer sports a gigantic hand-crafted map that is filled with over 140 unique enemies, and intense boss fights. There are treasures to find and equip, a home base for rescued NPCs, and crafting, there will be plenty to keep players busy! Rune Fencer Illyia will release on Steam and Switch.
Gestalt: Steam and Cinder – Metamorphosis Games
I’ve been loving games that harken back to the 16 and 32-bit games of the ’90s but have the great quality of life mechanics of modern games. We’ve seen this with games like The Messenger and Timespinner. Enter, Gestalt: Steam and Cinder a 2D Metroidvania in a steampunk universe (one of my faves). Play as Aletheia and fight against all kinds of clockwork enemies, denizens of Canaan, and uncover the truth under the giant steam city. Gestalt: Steam and Cinder will release on Steam, Playstation, Switch, and Xbox.
Haiku, The Robot – Mister Morris Games
I covered the Haiku, The Robot Kickstarter before their campaign began. This beautiful Metroidvania is the perfect example of a solo dev following their passion. Mister Morris Games has started from scratch for this game (even having no programming experience) and the demo was a solid showcase for what this game will be. Having a color aesthetic reminiscent of Game Boy Color games and the tight controls of modern platformers, Haiku is set to be quite the entertaining experience. Haiku, The Robot will release on Steam and Switch.
9 Years of Shadow – Halberd Studios
I love colorful games. The more color the better. Now with 9 Years of Shadow, color is front and center to the story of this game. 9 Years of Shadows has absolutely stunning artwork and it will immediately grab your eyes. For 9 years the world was cast in darkness all originating from the cursed Talos Castle. You are Europa, and you decide to brave the dangerous castle in search of the source of this darkness and bring color back to the world. 9 Years of Shadows will release on Steam and Switch.
Islets – Kyle Thompson
Islets was recently announced and I cannot explain just how excited I am for this game. Islets has you exploring a floating archipelago in your airship with the goal of uniting these separated landmasses. Each island’s magnetic core will need to be reactivated and this will be no easy task. Many adversaries will be there trying to stop you along the way. What’s so unique about this game is that maps to different islands can be brought together to create new ways of traveling. I’ve never seen a Metroidvania handle their map this way and this new change has me pumped! Wishlist Islets on Steam.
Moadra – Gloomsoft
Taking its inspiration from the Metroid side of Metroidvanias, Moadra has you exploring the planet Protea VI where an expedition team had mysterious vanished. Upon discovering this fate you’re separated from your team and forced into the depths of Protea VI. Moadra has fast and visceral ranged combat, exploration, secrets, free form leveling, and tough boss fights. Everything about this trailer has me wanting more. Wishlist Moadra on Steam.
The Siege and the Sandfox – Cardboard Sword
In an overcrowded genre, you definitely need something to stand above the crowd. The siege and The Sandfox does just that. Stealth is key in this game. You have been framed with the death of the king and have been thrown in the labyrinth dungeons below. Now you must sneak and kill your way out to tell your tale of truth before the kingdom falls. A 2D Metroidvania with parkour and stealth mechanics is something I haven’t seen and this game looks like it does it all quite well. For more information about The siege and the Sandfox head to their website.
Steamdolls: Order of Chaos – The Shady Gentlemen
I am so excited that there are two steampunk metroidvanias coming out! Steamdolls: Order of Chaos has you playing a thief and anarchist known as “The Whisper” (David Hayter is voice acting!). You set out to uncover the truth about a conspiracy that goes to the foundation of the world. Stealthily assassinate those in your way as you struggle with haunting apparitions. This game is looking to bring the brutality of bloodborne to the genre and I welcome it. Steamdolls is set to come out on PC, Playstation, Switch, and Xbox. Check out the demo and wishlist Steamdolls: Order of Chaos on Steam.
Rubi The Wayward Mira – Wayward Games
Rubi The Wayward Mira is a 2D Metroidvania where you play as Rubi on planet Earth trying to open a portal to your homeworld to fight off extinction. Rubi blends the worlds of Magic and Science in this sci-fi game when the Large Hadron Collider blends planet Earth and Casimir. A beautiful world, a large map, and an interesting blend of magic and sci-fi skill trees have my interest piqued. Wishlist Rubi the Wayward Mira on Steam.
Souldiers – Retro Forge
One minute you and your soldiers were fighting for the glory of your kingdom and the next you’re in a new world, Terragaya, not quite dead, not quite alive. You now fight to locate the guardian and return your soldiers and you home. Souldiers looks to blend soulslike combat into the Metroidvania genre and adds the chance to choose a class for your character. This is interesting and should lead to more replayability for future runs. A beautiful and large handcrafted 16-bit adventure awaits fans of the genre. Souldiers will be out on Steam and Switch in the Spring of 2022.
Clearly, this is only a small offering of what is coming in 2022. Is there a game I didn’t cover that you’re excited about? Let me know below!