With "Pokémon Sword" and "Pokémon Shield" a turbo boost for Nintendo Switch sales and "Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order" the week's big release on PlayStation, Xbox and PC, four indie hopefuls step into the mix alongside them: plucky self-arranging action adventure "Sparklite," "The Binding of Isaac" genre-straddling prequel "The Legend of Bum-bo," surreal dream escape puzzle "Superliminal" and comic book detective mystery "Blacksad."
Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield
Nintendo Switch from November 15
[Reveal trailer: youtu.be/BdA22Lh6Rwk]
Following the successes of "Pokémon GO" for mobile and the "Pokémon: Let's Go" Switch remakes of 2018, this first brand new franchise entry brings new region Galar (ie, Pokémon Britain), new Pokémon to train and collect (though, controversially for some, not all previous creatures), and new Dynamax and Gigantamax forms to unlock. Minimal differences between the pair, yet enough to encourage trading between players.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows PC (via Steam, Origin) from November 15
[Launch Trailer: youtu.be/xIl2z5wwjdA]
Take the Jedi trainee Cal Kestis, now in hiding after the fall of the Jedi Order, from the anonymity of a galactic shipyard to the middle of the Galactic Empire's Jedi-hunting radar. Set between the events of 2005's "Episode III - Revenge of the Sith" and original 1977 movie "Episode IV - A New Hope," and from the studio behind "Apex Legends" and the "Titanfall" games.
PS4, Switch, XBO, PC from November 14
[August Gameplay Trailer: youtu.be/KXf1WXC-9zs]
Positioned as a supremely accessible take on the "Legend of Zelda" formula pushed through a level layout randomizer, with overground and underground exploration, enemies to dispatch, equipment and materials to collect and a quest to save the world from a destructive industrial Baron.
The Legend of Bum-bo
PC and Mac (via Steam) from November 12
[Release Date Trailer: youtu.be/-sNhPqfJmDs]
A prequel to indie smash hit "The Binding of Isaac" but presented as a weird, gross (and cute) 3D cardboard-aesthetic dungeon crawler instead of a weird, gross (and cute) 2D bullet hell shooter.
PC (Epic Games Store) from November 12
[Launch Trailer: youtu.be/_SX8XMwMw6Y]
Teasing a jaunt through an experimental dream therapy program with plenty of surreal object placements, illusionary perspective puzzles and chat from disembodied authority figures; frequently and favorably compared to the excellent "Portal" franchise as well as "The Stanley Parable," pre-release.
Blacksad: Under the Skin
PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Mac and PC from November 14 in Europe (special editions), November 28 (Switch and standard editions), December 10 (any version, North America)
[Story Trailer: youtu.be/l6lKwaZPrcg]
Private investigator (and humanoid cat) Blacksad goes from humdrum marital affair cases into a web of criminal intrigue. Here, player decisions not only affect whether the case is solved but how it plays out as well as Blacksad's own character arc.