A screenshot from Mixtape - three teenagers skateboard down a road. It's surrounded by orange and golden leafed trees.

While some of us remember our teenage years more fondly than others, there’s no surer way for a piece of media to invoke nostalgia, a sense of wistful sadness, and even, dare I say it, hiraeth (a Welsh word referring to a kind of esoteric homesickness, longing for a home you can never return to), than something set in the teen years.

Mixtape grabs this with both hands and doubles down. Guide three teenage friends through their last night of high school and their last adventure together. As you skate your way to the party of a lifetime, the “soundtrack of a generation” plays, drawing the characters into dreamy memories of their formative years. You get to play through the narrative vignettes that shaped them into the people they are as they leave high school – “the greatest hits of teenage friendship, from the first kiss to the last dance.”

If any game can distil the feeling of your first kiss as a teenager, it’s going to be a success. The game’s tagline is “Skate. Party. Avoid the law. Make out. Sneak out. Hang out.” It seems to perfectly describe the essence of what we can expect.

The art style is beautiful, reminiscent of stop-motion cartoons. It serves the dreamlike quality of the narrative well. The characters look distinct and memorable and the whole game has a nostalgic sepia tone.

The music though, is the star of the show. It’s a star-studded playlist that guides the three teens through their journey, and it has been selected with care to make the most number of people feel the most possible emotions. The list on the game’s website gives a few names: DEVO, Roxy Music, Lush, The Smashing Pumpkins, Iggy Pop, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Joy Division, and many more.

When is Mixtape coming out?

Currently, we don’t have a firm release date. Mixtape was one of the world premiers that was announced at the Xbox Games Showcase on Sunday, and the trailer says it’s coming in 2025 to PC and Xbox. It has also been confirmed to be a day one Game Pass drop, meaning subscribers to the service can play it as soon as it is released.

Mixtape is being developed by Beethoven and Dinosaur, the folks behind The Artful Escape, another perfectly pitched indie game. The publisher will be Annapurna Interactive.

Featured image credit: Beethoven and Dinosaur/Annapurna Interactive

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