Join me as I cast my mind back over the 2017 EGX event in Birmingham, below I have decided to highlight some of the titles that left an impression on me, what kind of impression you ask?
The Mystery Box – Milo Keeble
Ever wanted to play a box of many games, where every time you opened said physical box, you are treated to an amazingly entertaining game at random? Well, Milo and his team of wonderful developers have achieved exactly this bringing to you a box covered in buttons, sliders, switches and sticks all that have different effects depending on the game that is selected for you. During my playthrough, I had to defuse a bomb, drive a train and bounce coins. It was so exciting not know what game you were getting next and to change the game you just closed the box and reopened to find if the game selector had given you a new one or the same one again.
— Chloe Goodchild (@genderTruckery) September 25, 2017
Smash Tanks! – Dumpling Design
Making successful use of AR (Augmented Reality) seems to only be seeing achieved by a handful of development teams, but, teams such as Dumpling Design are making it look easy to implement this technology with the introduction of their most recent title Smash Tanks! The premise of the game is super simple you take three tanks and you literally catapult them (smash them) into your opponents tanks. Adding to their premise the addition of skills/powers that will cause mines to drop or cluster bombs and rockets to fire across the playing field. At this time the playing field is applied using the mobile AR tech which can allow almost any surface to be the playground which means for more fun gameplay.
Ava Airborne – Laser Dog
Taking the concept of those side-scrolling flappy bird types and actually making a well thought out entertaining game, in my opinion, is next to impossible! Yet Laser Dog step up and take a casual yet challenging approach to the side-scrolling flying genre, bringing to it an air of beauty (pardon the pun) when they designed this with the art seemly taking the main stage then they mixed in simple mechanics which as you start to fine-tune your skills the game will incrementally become harder and challenge you more, the difficulty curve for this title is just too perfect!
Lost Words – Sketchbook Games
Mixing storytelling and gaming is something I love, the idea of following a story through like reading a book was one of the reasons I loved Tengami. Lost Words takes this to a whole new level, adding elements of puzzle, platforming and swapping between styles 2D and 3D throughout to help to set the stage for the story and to allow the adventure to played with and directly influenced by you. In an aim to not completely spoil the experience the game, you use the words placed on the pages/in-game to literally affect the world you are exploring and moving through.
Toast Time – Force of habit
This mobile title is very simple and fun, you play as a toaster that fires different types of bread in an attempt to save time from invading Inter-dimensional time-blob beasties. Packed out with plenty to do with the additional modes such as Ironman survival mode & bonus COFFEE TIME mode this game is something to sink your teeth into!
Forgotton Anne – ThroughLine Games
From the very moment I stood waiting to play and watching others playing this game, my mind immediately spoke to me in the form of an inner monologue “Hey Ghibli have a new game coming out” it didn’t take me long to realised I was mistaken and in fact this game is only inspired by Ghibli and was, in fact, its own game in its own right. Expertly mixing anime style with beautifully stylised back and foregrounds you play as a female lead who is the enforcer who keeps order in the Forgotten Lands, where the game world is based. There are rumours of a rebellion which she sets out to bring a stop to as failure might prevent her master, Bonku, and herself from returning to the human world.
Monster Hunter World – Capcom
Are very fun game where you hunt monsters, the newest release in an already well-established series of games. If you are looking for a challenging RPG monster hunting game in a 3D beautiful land. Simply purchase this game.
Yoku’s Island Express – Jens Andersson
Team 17 has a real talent to find, well, talented developers and bring their games to shows like EGX and show them off in the right way, in this game you play as a beetle whom dreams of becoming a postal worker, in this game you pinball yourself around the caverns and the underground collecting fruit to deliver to those that need it. It’s fun, entertaining and easy to pick up and play, everything you’d expect from a Team 17 produced title.
BFF or Die – ASA Studios
This title has been covered by me before, see here, however I felt it worth highlighting it as once again the game as taken onboard feedback from the players and have been expertly implemented into the game making is feel like a totally different game, while keeping the very essence of the direction the team were trying to achieve. I love this game for two very distinct reasons;
1) You quickly learn which of you and your friends are the “weak link”.
2) You find you encourage each other throughout the whole experience, not many games naturally achieve this, this game does!
Hyper Sentinel – Huey Games
This title has been covered by me before, See here, This game is very bloody good, the legacy of this team and the skill clearly implanted into this title is glowing like a radiated bed sheet in the deeps of the moon’s craters. But the reason I felt it worth mentioning once again is that I was given the chance to play this at the time the unannounced Switch version. The controls where tight the game played like a grade 1 musician in concert. If you ever want to experience what the sitch does well for games, get Hyper sentinel when it launches onto the Switch!
It’s Quiz Time – Snap Finger Click
OMG, I can not correctly craft the words, nor, explain exactly why this title is a massive deal to me, I’d have to go over about 3 pages of history and back story to perfectly paint you the story setting you up for the explosion of happiness I felt when I saw the team behind the Buzz games was back, with another question panel quiz show game. These guys did not disappoint either this game has all the perfect levels of with, fun and love I remember from those days old. Hosted by an A.I. avatar called Salli whom will store data on you as a player to personalise its interaction with you while you try to out quiz your friends and family. It’s so perfect, buy this game.
Silent Streets – Funbakers Limited
This title has been covered by me before, see here, A story driven game based on the user actually being rewarded for real-time events is not something to take lightly. You are an investigator who is trying to unearth overarching plot, however, to do this you will be expected to travel, and I mean travel. The game actually tracks your movement throughout a day adding to a step counter which when filled will allow you to unlock parts of the story and in some of the cases you can even interact with crime scenes using AR technology. There is a lot here to unlock and explore and if you are the type to want progress without adding to the step counter, well, there are microtransactions available, but this does greatly reduce the play time of the title.
Supremely Excellent Goblins – NFTS Games
So this game is a student project and as such will be given the same level of criticism as a developed title, this game is clearly heavily inspired by the likes of Undertale, the game focuses on a kid and their helper and defender goblin, but in this title the kid can not fight, at all, only the goblins can. you are encouraged to make your way through challenging dungeons with an aim to survive with the help of goblins. The art supporting the game is super cute and interesting, however, the gameplay was clunky, slow and frustrating. I found myself not giving this game much time because of the lack of gameplay fine tuning missing, but I can see that it had its gem qualities and there was really rough talent in the development of this title more time and experience and these guys will be making me eat my words I bet.
The Lost Bear – Oddbug Studio
One of the few VR titles I spent the time to play, this one was being shown on a PSVR (PlayStation Virtual Reality) system, in the game you are given the perspective as someone watching a “puppet” show but instead of wooden dolls you have paper-crafted worlds and characters which you control one of, during parts of the story the room you seem to be sat in gets affected by the game world and sometimes things will interact with both you the on-looker and the character you are controlling. It’s really entertaining and immersive, I loved it.
The Peterson Case – Quarter Circle Games
This VR game is a detective novel and interactive horror/thriller you play as a detective who has decided to investigate the mysterious disappearance of the entire Peterson family. You explore the past, future and present in a desperate attempt to unearth what happened to the family. While you unravel your own dark past and how all paths interlinks. It has all the hallmarks of a good story and horror title and the demo sets up whats to come well.
Sprinkle Palooza – NFTS Games
So this game is a student project and as such will be given the same level of criticism as a developed title, this game was without a doubt the most confusing and yet addictive title I played out the title NFTS students brought that I had played. You are a balloon animal moving around, well floating, well shuffling, no moving, yes moving around and you use Kinect power to charge up stuff you dodge cakes who are out to kill you. I found myself sat there playing this game for ages and I honestly can’t exactly tell you why but I really loved the game, despite all its weirdness and inaccurate controls and movement.
Megaquarium – Twice Circled
I have covered Twice Circled before, this title is something similar when you consider their last title Big Pharma. You are placed in charge of an aquarium and you are tasked with growing it and making a profit in this sandbox world. It is all about managing the aquarium until you achieve the challenges and then moving on and starting all over again.
2000 to 1: A Space Felony – National Insecurities
This is one of the gems of the show for me and not exactly what I was expecting, but something I gladly sat throughout until I successfully finished the build. You are a detective who is investigating an A.I. of a space colony who have had all of its crew murdered. You are tasked with finding out who the culprit is. You collect evidence and challenge statements with facts. Until you unearth the true criminal behind the mysterious deaths of all the crew.