The 6 Most Anticipated Games of April 2018

Lucas DeRuyter
Games Xbox
Games Xbox Nintendo PC Gaming PlayStation

April is set to be a great month for every kind of gamer. Some high-profile titles are finally coming to fruition, a few delightful-looking indies are dropping, and there’s even some experimental stuff looking to change how we define and interact with games. These six titles are sure to keep you entertained as April showers keep you from going outside.

Penny Punching Princess

• Release Date: April 3  • Developer: NIS America  • Platform(s): Nintendo Switch, PlayStation Vita  • Genre: Resource Management, Action RPG
  • Release Date: March 30 (EU), April 3 (NA), April 13 (PAL)
  • Developer: NIS America
  • Platform(s): Nintendo Switch, PS Vita
  • Genre(s): Beat-em-up, RPG

While capitalism may someday turn the world into a dystopian hellscape, it might not be so bad if it matches Penny Punching Princess’ interpretation of that dystopia. This 2D RPG takes place in a fantasy world where dragons realize they can loan out their hoarded treasure and take over the world as titans of the banking industry. You don’t have to look too hard to find the point this game is trying to make.

Penny Punching Princess combines action RPG elements with resource management to create an interesting set of systems that tie into the game’s premise. In this title, actions normally tied to items or meters – like recovering health at checkpoints or using special abilities – instead cost in-game currency. If implemented well, this mechanic could go a long way in changing up the standard RPG formula. If this game is as fun as its visuals and premise imply, it’s sure to make for a delightful romp.

Yakuza 6: The Song of Life

• Release Date: April 17  • Developer: Sega  • Platform(s): PlayStation 4  • Genre: Action Adventure
  • Release Date: April 17
  • Developer: Sega
  • Platform(s): PS4
  • Genre(s): Action-adventure

The Yakuza series was previously one of the most underappreciated franchises in all of gaming. That was until last year’s highly celebrated Yakuza 0 brought the series to its rightful place at the forefront of the gaming world. Yakuza 6 aims to carry on the new mainstream success of the series, and it looks like it’s on track to do so.

Yakuza 6 brings together brawling combat, wonderfully bizarre minigames, and a story that’s equal parts soap opera and ’80s action movie. So, it’s going to be pretty in line with all of the other Yakuza games. If you’re looking for a break from the melancholy and seriousness that’s increasingly common in triple-A titles of late, Yakuza 6: The Song of Life is definitely worth checking out.

God of War (4)

• Release Date: April 20  • Developer: SIE Santa Monica Studio  • Platform(s): PlayStation 4  • Genre: Action Adventure
  • Release Date: April 20
  • Developer:  SIE Santa Monica Studio
  • Platform(s): PS4
  • Genre(s): Action-adventure

Kratos is back, and this time he’s a dad! The fourth main installment in this series – although its official title is technically just God of War – goes in a new direction and features a Norse setting rather than a Greek one. This upcoming title also introduces Kratos’ son, Atreus, who is set to play a supporting role based on the trailers shown thus far.

Fans of the God of War series are as concerned as they are hyped for this new title. While many agree that the series is due for a shake-up, this new title may not go quite far enough in innovating God of War’s gameplay. The story focusing on Kratos’ relationship with his son is also reminiscent of the highly-acclaimed game The Last of Us, which is a pretty lofty bar to match. Despite these concerns, however, the upcoming God of War game is sure to be an impressive and highly talked about experience, at the very least.

Nintendo Labo

• Release Date: April 20  • Developer: Nintendo  • Platform(s): Nintendo Switch (peripherally)   • Genre: Interactive Model Kit
  • Release Date: April 20
  • Developer: Nintendo
  • Platform(s): Nintendo Switch
  • Genre(s): Interactive model kit

The ultimate hybrid between video games and arts and crafts, Nintendo Labo is a beautifully weird gaming peripheral. Combining cardboard crafting kits with the motion and image sensors of the Switch’s Joy-Cons, Labo stands to offer a wholly unique gaming experience. It may even go as far as redefining what video games are and how we interact with them.

While Nintendo designed Labo almost exclusively for younger gamers, that’s no reason to dismiss it. This could inspire the next generation of gaming software and hardware developers to create even more unique, hands-on products that we can’t even begin to imagine. Granted, if the execution is sub-par, it may end up being another Virtual Boy, but by all accounts so far the Labo seems like a truly inspiring piece of gaming history in the making.

The Swords of Ditto

• Release Date: April 24  • Developer: Onebitbeyond  • Platform(s): PlayStation 4, PC  • Genre: Action RPG
  • Release Date: April 24
  • Developer: Onebitbeyond
  • Platform(s): PS4, PC
  • Genre(s): Action RPG

The Swords of Ditto is the latest game to put an interesting twist on the classic 2D Zelda formula. On top of incentivizing local-multiplayer, this title centers on the trope of a hero inheriting the power of previous generations. Only in this game, the player takes control of each generational hero once the previous character is defeated or once they reach a time limit.

Coupled with this premise is a charming art direction that features a wonderfully diverse array of character designs. While Zelda clones are a dime a dozen, this game seems like it wants to be one of the best. While The Swords of Ditto might not be the grandest adventure ever conceived, it’s sure to make for a fun couple of hours.

SINNER: Sacrifice for Redemption

• Release Date: April 25  • Developer: DARK STAR  • Platform(s): Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC)  • Genre: Action RPG
  • Release Date: April 25
  • Developer: DARK STAR
  • Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox
  • Genre(s): Action

While comparing an upcoming game to the Dark Souls series is overdone to the point of now being a joke, SINNER: Sacrifice for Redemption describes itself as a Dark Souls meets Shadow of the Colossus game. The game takes place in an ominous world with eight bosses modeled off sins committed by the protagonist. It also features a unique mechanic where you forfeit skills and abilities to fight bosses, further increasing SINNER’s difficulty.

This is the debut game from the studio DARK STAR, which consists of former developers from Ubisoft, Blizzard, and Konami. It’s difficult to predict how gamers will react to SINNER. However, the game is combining some popular ideas in new and interesting ways so hopefully, it’s well received and this newly formed team gains the clout and resources necessary to create more original and compelling games.

Lucas DeRuyter
University of Wisconsin Madison graduate with a deep interest in media, writing, and storytelling.