The 5 Most Anticipated Games for July 2018

Lucas DeRuyter
Games Xbox
Games Xbox Nintendo PC Gaming PlayStation

July is right around the corner and with it, the dog days of summer are soon to begin. As the temperature rises, now’s a great time to beat the heat with some awesome new video game releases. These titles are sure to keep you entertained as the sweltering weather sends you indoors.

Octopath Traveler

  • Release Date: July 13
  • Developer(s): Square Enix and Acquire
  • Platform(s): Nintendo Switch
  • Genre: JRPG

Octopath Traveler is undoubtedly the most anticipated game of the summer. Coming from the same team who created the revolutionary Bravely Default series, Octopath Traveler is set to be one of the most beautiful and ambitious JRPGs ever made. With expertly utilized 16-bit graphics, players will control eight distinct characters as they venture across a fantastical world in pursuit of their goals.

Beyond the aesthetic and narrative appeal of Octopath Traveler, the combat system will offer a range of class and ability combinations for some extremely diverse strategies. As there haven’t been many major traditional JRPG releases over the past year or so, Octopath is bound to satiate fans’ growing appetite of the genre. This title will also offer a robust entry point for newcomers to JRPGs — if you can overlook its bizarre name.

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

  • Release Date: July 13
  • Developer(s): Nintendo
  • Platform(s): Nintendo Switch, 3DS
  • Genre: Action-Puzzler

Continuing the growing trend of the best Wii U games receiving ports for the Nintendo Switch, the charming Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker will appear on both the Switch and 3DS systems. On top of the portability the platforms provide, these ports will feature additional levels based on Super Mario Odyssey, and the Switch version will include multiplayer co-op.

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker mixes an adorable art style with fun puzzle mechanics. As Captain Toad cannot jump with his heavy backpack, he has to time his movements to avoid the hazards of the Mushroom Kingdom. Treasure Tracker is a candy-coated delight that offers some fun puzzles and a new spin on classic Super Mario gameplay.

Earthfall

  • Release Date: July 13
  • Developer(s): Holospark
  • Platform(s): PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
  • Genre: Co-op First Person Shooter

Borrowing cues from franchises like Left 4 Dead and Fortnite, Earthfall places players in a desolate world nearly brought to ruin by aliens. Players will need to work with friends or others they’re matched with to slay hoards of aliens and defend checkpoints.

Earthfall is set to offer a fresh take on wave-based multiplayer games. There’s plenty of narrative potential within this story and it’s been a while since we’ve seen a post-apocalyptic game with aliens as the primary antagonists. Hopefully, game developer, Holospark can execute this premise well and offer a compelling multiplayer experience.

Sonic Mania Plus

  • Release Date: July 17
  • Developer(s): PagodaWest Games and Headcannon
  • Platform(s): Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
  • Genre: Platformer

If you missed out on last year’s shockingly good Sonic Mania, the upcoming Sonic Mania Plus offers the perfect opportunity to play what might be the best Sonic game made in the past decade. Sonic Mania returns to the series’ 2D roots and offers interesting spins on classic levels from the original games. This revitalization of the franchise provided something for both veterans of the series and those playing a Sonic game for the first time.

Sonic Mania Plus will expand on the success of the base game by offering a collection of new features. Available as a physical copy or DLC for those who downloaded the formally digital-only match, Plus will allow players to control two new characters and feature an Angel Island level. Moreover, the competitive mode will now allow up to four players and there are also tools for those attempting speedruns.

Pool Panic

  • Release Date: July 19
  • Developer(s): Rekim
  • Platform(s): Nintendo Switch, PC
  • Genre: Adventure

Taking cues from last year’s surprising hit Golf Story, Pool Panic is an adventure game where every challenge and puzzle centers on modified versions of billiards. Set in a world filled with anthropomorphized billiard balls, players control a walking cue ball and pool stick. To progress through the game, players need to knock unique balls into pockets on different versions of a pool table.

Published by Adult Swim games, Pool Panic is looking like it’ll be quite a bizarre experience. With a distinctive art style and a commitment to being as unrealistic as possible, this game is going to be nothing short of trippy. Fingers crossed the execution is as attention-grabbing as its premise.

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