EGX: 2017 had a fantastic line up of indie titles, the Leftfield Collection showcasing a large portion of them. Not unlike Rezzed earlier this year I only managed to fit in one day, it was, however, the Thursday which allowed me to chat to a good portion of the devs whilst it not being overly manic. Below is a rundown of each of the games that I focused on. For a further delve into the actual gameplay, I have my usual coverage video for you to take a look at!
To whet your appetite:
2000:1 A Space Felony:
Somewhat of a courtroom drama/comedy/parody set in space. You’re tasked with finding out what’s happened on a ship that hasn’t been in contact for around a year. When you arrive you're faced with the shocking realisation that it’s full of bodies. It's then your job to document evidence that you find on the ship and present it to ‘Mal’ the ships AI to resolve the mystery.
It’s available on the humble store as a humble original and after that period of exclusivity, you should see it on steam this October.
You play as the 16th century historical (and rather sexually rampant) figure - Dr. Simon Foreman. Dr Foreman’s clients have an array of problems ranging from financial to medical. It’s your job to help solve their issues by advising them through the power of astrology. Time will tell whether this advice from the astro charts has been successful or whether it has indeed presented the clients with…further issues. Upon favourable recommendation’s you can gain better and even more powerful clients and attempt to edge Simon closer to that elusive medical licence that he's been denied for so long. That’s if he can stop bedding half of his female patients for long enough….
Astrologaster is currently in development for iOS, PC and Mac and will be released in 2018.
Black & White Bushido:
With a fast pace not unlike like Super Smash Brothers or Samurai Gun, Black & White Bushido is a 2D arena fighting game in which you can be part of team shadow or team light. Consisting of ninja’s & samurais there are four different characters to choose from. The twist is that you can hide in the shadow or the light which will depend on your team’s respective colour, render you invisible. The game has five levels all in all with a team deathmatch mode along with capture the flag, which works by colouring the map your teams colour with the aim to cover it completely. Black & White Bushido also features online multiplayer and an 'enemy wave' style single player challenge mode.
It’s available now on Xbox One, PS4 and Steam.
It’s a quaint looking low poly survival/crafting game. You play as a robot surviving a post-apocalyptic world that’s been fractured into thousands of pieces after a robot uprising against the humans. Presented with quests, NPC’s and factions that you can befriend or destroy, we must make an effort to survive as long as possible as one of the last remaining good robots in a world full of bad ones.
Floatlands is developed on Unity and will be coming to PC early access, in early 2018.
Hyper Rogue is a turn-based rogue-like fantasy game that exists in an infinite world. The world is built around non-Euclidean geometry, or Lobachevsky-Bolyai-Gauss geometry.... for the layman. You play as a lone adventure in a strange world, gathering as much treasure as possible before the rather nasty denizens bring you to a rather nasty demise.
Hyper Rogue can be played for free from its website or there’s the steam version, the latter adding your online achievements, leaderboards, trading cards and also includes all of the most current features.
Currently, on Kickstarter; Unity developed Jennifer Wilde is based on a comic by artist, Stephen Downey.
Jennifer’s father is killed in a car accident and as she has clairvoyant abilities, she is visited by the ghost of Oscar Wilde whilst in her father’s apartment! As it transpires, Oscar had a romantic link with her father which results in Jennifer teaming up with him to discover what actually happened, as it seems there’s more to her fathers passing than just an unfortunate accident. The puzzle solving diverges from the usual point and click affair, as the player has to piece together panels from the comic to solve each particular conundrum.
Jennifer Wilde will be released on Steam around the 2nd quarter of 2018.
Ghost Time Games
Playing as the titular robot, you are tasked with saving the universe. The only hitch here is that Jettomero is very clumsy and stomps on buildings left and right destroying civilisations on different planets, despite meaning no harm at all! A game based on exploration, the story is one that the developers say, needs to be experienced and unravel for yourself as you go along.
Jettomero is currently on Steam, Xbox One and will be coming to PS4, early 2018.
Here, we play as a mayfly who's mate has sadly broken her wings. It’s up to him to carry her down the lake to lay her eggs. Being as mayflies have a very short lifespan, our main character's abilities gradually fall away over time. The lifespan of each ability is further decreased by repeated use through this melancholy but evocative affair.
May is aiming for a December 2017 release on Steam.
'On The Day' EGX: 2017 Summary Video!:
A stealth hacking game; we play as a technophobe dad who's hacker daughter is taken away randomly one day by a security service charging her under the national secrets act. This all happens on the main characters birthday, who has fortunately just received a pair of ‘technologically advanced smart glasses’ from his daughter as a gift. Thankfully one of your daughter's hacker cohorts has managed to elude capture. He subsequently mentors our main character in the art of hacking in an attempt to unravel the conspiracy around his daughter’s arrest.
Off Grid will be released in an entirely moddable condition early summer 2018 on Steam.
In this first-person puzzle adventure game, the main character wears gloves which contain the ability to move cubes around and to fit them into the environment. You play as stranded archaeologist Millie, who wakes up in a strange environment with no idea of why or how she got there. Millie is contacted by a stranger called Emma who gives her info on what’s happening. Millie needs to solve puzzles using different colours, such as red which creates an extendable platform and blue, which will create a launchpad to escape each room and rendezvous with her new associate in an effort to find out what’s really going on.
Qube 2 is developed on Unreal and is due for a release, early 2018 on Xbox One, PS4 and PC.
Raging justice is a retro-inspired modern take on the side-scrolling two player beat-em-up. You, or you and a friend control either Nikki Rage or Rick Justice to free the city from a mysterious crime lord. With full HD pre-rendered graphics, it bridges the gap between old and new, keeping that sense of nostalgia whilst feeling still feeling current.
Launching on Xbox One and Steam hopefully in the first quarter of 2018.
Shape of the World:
Hollow Tree Games
A first-person contemplative exploration game in which the player is encouraged to explore and get lost. It’s procedurally populated, meaning the environments stay the same but the plants and wildlife change as you go along. Your basic goal is to find and walk through gates which change the world around you. With a short playtime of two to three hours it’s an evocative jaunt seeing you plant seeds, walk through forests, caves and swim around underwater.
Shape of the World is developed on unreal and will be released in the first quarter of 2018 on PC, Mac, Xbox One and PS4.
In this puzzle platformer, we traverse from level to level moving blocks and using the shift mechanic which rotates the level 180 degrees. This inverts the white to black and vice-versa in an aim to reach the exit. The game will release with around 100 levels along with a level editor.
Shift Quantum is looking to be released in March or April 2018 for PS4, Xbox, Switch and PC.
We play as Skye the friendly dragon, exploring environments and helping the inhabitants solve their small problems. We are also given things to interact with along the way, such as dandelions you can dash through, piano’s you can play and chimes that you can brush past. Concentrating heavily on music and ambience and aimed at a slightly younger audience, it’s a real chill-out title for those that enjoyed Flower and Journey.
Developed on unreal, Skye (although I’m informed the title may change) is looking to release in March 2018, firstly on PS4 and Xbox One then Switch and Steam shortly after.
Sonder is an interactive, narrative game where the character is given a twenty-minute sequence in an alternative universe but with the handy benefit of a rewind time feature. The player chooses from one of two characters each with their own agenda and different perspectives on what’s happening. They're then immersed into a sandbox-like world in which to explore and try and figure out the objectives. The tutorial, for instance, sees the player having to fix the ship to continue on their journey. The developer tells me that everything in the world means something - nothing is throwaway. If you see text on a screen, be sure to know that it's meaningful!
Sonder is an episodic title. The first of six is available at the moment in Early Access and is looking to go into full release In October 2017.
The Peterson Case:
Quarter Circle Games
Inspired by first-person masterpiece Bioshock, the dark and mysterious Peterson Case is set in 1947 just after the Roswell UFO incident. We take control of Franklin Reinhardt, investigating a missing family. Clues and narrative are triggered to the player through flashbacks and from picking up evidence in the world. The developers say that they were keen to have the player moved around a lot through different times, including the trenches of WW2.
The Peterson Case will be released on Xbox One, PS4 and PC around Summer 2018.
Force Of Habit
We take control of Terry the Toaster in this fun and imaginative shoot-em-up. Terry utilises different weapon types including croutons, crumpets and baguettes to battle his way through each level before time runs out.
Toast Time is available now on iOS Android and Steam.
Victor Vran: The Overkill Edition
Featuring music by Motorhead, Victor Vran is a top-down RPG in which we are plunged into the demon-infested world of Zagarathia. Victor’s there to meet a friend and whilst being a demon hunter he can conveniently undertake a bit of devilish genocide while he’s at it. Fans of the aforementioned rock group will also be pleased to know that the soundtrack does include the legendary ‘Ace Of Spades’.
Victor Vran: The Overkill Edition is currently available on PS4, Xbox One and PC.
I’m informed that Vostok inc. is the Wolf Of Wall Street in Space….with lasers. A twin stick shooter, you take control of a greedy corporate CEO who’s out to make money and shoot the bad guys or in this case, the good guys. Controlling your ship, you travel across six galaxies each of which contain their own mini-games whilst colonising planets and mining asteroids in an effort to obtain more of the game's currency which is aptly titled: Moola.
Vostok Inc. is currently available on PS4, PC, Xbox One and is scheduled for an imminent release on the Vita.
That ties up the indie game taster for EGX: 2017 at the NEC in Birmingham. As usual, I'm already hankering for next years EGX: Rezzed and all of the treats contained therein!