Games

London 2015: Games I played at EGX Rezzed (Part 2)


Too much games! Continues from part 1.

Flame Over, by Laughing Jackal

Flame Over is basically a classic roguelike, with a twist: instead of fighting enemy monsters, your fight fire! You go into a burning building and your goal is to get to the top floor while extinguishing flames, collecting coins (which are used for upgrading and one-time powerups) and saving people trapped by the fire (there’s also a cat you can save, and doing so awards you with extra life),

An interesting gimmick, beside the fire fighting part, is that you won’t lose lives immediately when struck. You have a meter showing how much heat you can handle, and you can cool yourself off by moving away from the fire and pouring water on yourself, which will prevent life-loss.

Flame Over is already out for Vita, and will soon come to the PC.

Mighty Tactical Shooter, by Sock Thuggery

Mighty Tactical Shooter is a game funded by Kickstarter and developed by a two person team. It’s a side-scrolling shooter, with a twist (yes, lots of twists in this show): you can pause at any point to plan the route of your ship, which weapons to use and where to fire them. This idea alone intrigue me, since I dislike fast-reaction, twitch-based games.

I talked with the developer for some 30 minutes, about the experience of managing an indie game project and launching it on Kickstarter, which resonated with me because of my own experience producing Vanor. Because the game is controlled entirely by one button, they discovered it is very accessible for people with disabilities, something that was never on their mind, but now became a core principle of their development, “I couldn’t bare having someone that physically cannot play my game,” he told me. To that end, I also asked about color-blind mode, and yes, it’scoming as well.

Concrete Jungle, by Cole Powered

I learned about Concrete Jungle several months ago from the Zhatt YouTube channel, which covers tycoon and management games exclusively. It’s a combination of a city building, deck building, and puzzle game, in which you need to increase the land value of the board’s columns to a specific value, which increase as the game progresses. Each turn you can use one of five cards that are drawn from your deck and place them on the board. Residences are the primary way to earn land value. Commercial has mostly positive impact on residence values, while industrial decease it. This emulates amazingly well the way you’ll place buildings in a city, to improve its quality for the residents.

Before Concrete Jungle, Cole published a more limited version of this idea to mobile devices, a game called MegaCity. And I got addicted to it ever since I got it.

The Concrete Jungle Rezzed version had some improvements, like a new competitive mode I didn’t know was even a thing. In this 2-players mode, the rows of the board has limits on which player may build on them, and your goal is to increase your land value while preventing the other player from increasing his, or even actively reducing his value.

It’s interesting, but the AI I played against was too hard (which the developer said will be better tuned in the future). I prefer playing management games solo anyway, but this is a sign that the game is getting an even more impressive feature set, and I’m looking forward to its release.

SkyScrappers, by Ground Shatter

Like De Mambo, SkyScrappers is a 4 players competitive fighting-platforming game. The gimmick behind this one is that every stage is falling apart, and your ultimate goal is getting to the top, with or without defeating the other players in combat. You accumulate energy by jumping of pieces falling at a very acute angle, and by using pieces of the environment for your advantage. This energy, in turn, make your attacks more powerful.

Beside that, the designers’ aim was to give the game an Arcade aesthetics, in everything from the start screen, to the UI, character selection screen, and so on. It works extremely well, and SkyScrappers looks like it could be played in an arcade machine from the early 90s. One of the devs even told me they tried running it on portrait-mode in the office.

I don’t know how good, gameplay wise, it is. Because just like De Mambo, it is not a game I enjoy playing. But with so many of this genre getting releasing, some of them are bound to catch on.

SkyScrappers

Beside all of those, I had a meeting with Versus Evil, an amazing indie-focused publisher, which will get their own separate article after I’m done testing their games.

It was an amazing show, and I hope to return in the future.