What a weird time to be a video game fan. The odd combination of COVID-based delays and the standard summer slump of video game releases combined to… well… give us a May with very very few AAA releases to talk about. But, you know, maybe that’s a good thing. Instead of just rattling off the 10 games with the biggest marketing budgets I went looking for the best indie games to spend your time on this month, and to be honest it was a heck of an experience. We got vampires and souls-likes and tastes of upcoming Kickstarter games and even an homage to one of my favorite horror-comedy franchises. Let’s take a look.
Trek to Yomi (May 5 – PC, PS4, PS5, XBO, XSX)
Trek to Yomi is a 2D side-scrolling action game heavily based on samurai duels. Taking some cues from Soulslike combat, you will have to dodge, block, break enemy guards, and find your way around your enemy’s attack patterns, or else you will meet with a swift death. You’ll also find health and stamina upgrades as well as special weapons, and shrines, save resource restoration points, and can only be used once per playthrough! If this doesn’t sound hard enough, there’s also a difficulty level that always kills you in one hit.
Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising (May 10 – PC, Switch, PS4, PS5, XBO, XSX)
RPG fans are eagerly awaiting the release of Eiyuden Chronicle, the Suikoden-like from the original Suikoden devs. Well, unfortunately, it’s not ready yet, and it won’t be for some time. However, this prequel game is ready, a side-scrolling 2D RPG/Metroidvania with elements of the final game such as Rune-Lensing and town/base construction. It’s enough to hold us over and to give us a small preview of the plot of this spiritual successor to a much-beloved JRPG series.
Salt and Sacrifice (May 10 – PC, PS4, PS5, XBO, XSX)
Here’s the pitch. What if Dark Souls, but 2D? Sound familiar. That’s because Salt and Sacrifice is a followup to another well-received 2D Souls-like, Salt and Sanctuary. You’ll get to roam an even bigger world, craft weapons, armor, and new skills from the remains of your enemies, overcome traps, and even participate in online multiplayer. It’s a great way to scratch that Souls-Like itch if you already completed Elden Ring.
Songs of Conquest (May 10 – PC)
Another simple pitch, Songs of Conquest is the spiritual successor to Heroes of Might and Magic, with familiar worlds to explore and tactical combat to take part in. Build a kingdom, raise an army, and wage battle in a stunning fantasy land. This one is just coming out in Early Access, but even so, it’s looking to be quite interesting if you were a fan of Might and Magic in the 90s.
We Were Here Forever (May 10 – PC, PS4, PS5, XBO, XSX)
We Were Here is an incredible puzzle game franchise that you probably don’t know about. It’s a two-player escape room game where both characters have to complete puzzles with only half the information requires. Where’s the other half? With the other player! The last installment of this great series came out in 2019, and it’s fantastic that we are finally getting another as the first three were lifesavers during the pandemic. It’s good, brain-bending, remote gaming fun.
Evil Dead: The Game (May 13 – PC, Switch, PS4, PS5, XBO, XSX)
Let’s give another pretty simple pitch, shall we? This is Dead By Daylight, except with a story mode and an Evil Dead skin. Look, there’s nothing I didn’t like about that sentence. I don’t know what else you want. There are over 25 weapons, four survivor classes, three demons, and plenty of boomsticks to go around. Groovy!
V Rising (May 17 – PC)
Now, this indie game is pretty interesting. It can best be described as a vampire simulator. You are resurrected into a new undead life with nothing but the clothes on your back. It’s up to you to feed, survive, and build up your own spooky castle to make a name for yourself in the vampire world.
Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong (May 19 – PC, Switch, PS4, PS5, XBO, XSX)
Another vampire game coming out in May, this one is a more traditional narrative RPG. You’ll take control of three vampires in White Wolf’s legendary Vampire: The Masquerade setting. There has been a strange attack on vampires in Boston, and it’s up to three vampires, each from a different clan, each with different supernatural vampire abilities, to get to the bottom of it. You’ll be tasked not only with solving the mystery, but preserving the masquerade and hiding your vampiric nature. Not to worry if you haven’t played the tabletop game though. The game is designed for anyone to enjoy, even if you don’t know the source material.
Dolmen (May 20 – PC, PS4, PS5, XBO, XSX)
Dark Souls. In. SPAAAAAAAAACE! Again, this is a pitch that basically writes itself. Instead of being a dark and dreary world where death no longer applies, you are exploring an alien planet, and you just so happen to be able to be reconstructed with the use of futuristic alien technology. It’s a brighter Dark Souls, with huge impressive color schemes and vast views of interstellar wilderness, but as we all know, the vast blackness of space holds untold secrets, some even darker than we first imagined.
Sniper Elite 5 (May 26 – PC, PS4, PS5, XBO, XSX)
This might be the only game coming even close to AAA status this month, and it’s also the only game that’s not a fantasy. So it’s a little weird seeing all the vampires and zombies and mystic samurai and wizards all duking it out, while Sniper Elite 5 is hanging out in the background telling you to point your gun at that guy far away and pull the trigger. If you like tactical stealth sniper shooting games, then this is the biggest name in the biz, and lucky you, you actually get a AAA title to enjoy this May.