EGX 2015 – Indie Games Part 4: Punch Club, Void & Meddler, Odonata

Adam and Kii once again head to EGX to check out some upcoming video games!

On our second indie focused day at EGX 2015 Kii and I split up to cover as many games as possible. It became pretty pretty obvious that we weren’t going to get to everything, but we tried our best! This is my final indie round up article (find the first three here here and here), and I’ll be talking about Punch Club, Void & Meddler, and Odanata.

 

Punch Club (PC, Mac, Linux & Mobile)

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Over in the Rezzed section I found Punch Club, developed by Lazy Bear Games and published by tinyBuild. This is a tycoon style fighting simulator, where you learn new fighting skills, work to keep yourself fed, train and try to find out who killed your father. In the short demo I played I did some benchpressing, got a job delivering pizza and brawled with some random street thugs, before eating a burger from a bin, tripping out and meeting someone who looked oddly like a Teenage Mutant Ninja… Alligator?

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The game is packed with 80s/90s references and has a really nice twist on the standard tycoon formula, and as a tycoon/RPG hybrid has the potential to be incredibly addictive. Lazy Bear Games are aiming for release later this year on Steam and mobile platforms.

 

Odonata

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Next up in the Leftfield Collection I had a go on Odonata, a top down 3d sandbox game in which you have to construct defences around your base to prevent enemy attackers, in this case weird looking metallic spiders, from destroying your data core. You can outfit your base with conveyor belts and automatic robot arms that can convert the scrap from the spiders your guns take out into supplies. The art style and automation of your base is really interesting, and the demo I played was fast paced and tricky (I failed 3 times). This was the first time the developers Rob Laro and Anneka Tran have showed off the game, and it looks like it’s going to be well worth keeping an eye on.

 

Void & Meddler (PC & Mac)

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Whilst still in the Rezzed section I sat down for about 40 minutes in front of Void & Meddler from NO cvt, a 6 act point and click adventure story set over 3 episodes, the first of which is out on Steam in October. Inspired by synthwave and 80s noise rock, this cyberpunk story takes Fyn, a tired and disconnected hipster who basically hates everything, through a search across the city for her memories.

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Like all good point and click adventures, I basically had to comb over every single inch of each scene to find out what to do next, and even then one of the developers had to point out the fairly esoteric use of a guitar pedal that I had picked up. Fyn is aggressively pretentious and the dialogue reads like a cyberpunk noir, over the top and grungily bratty, so while it does make it difficult to root for Fyn it is very entertaining. Almost like playing Ghost World, mixed with Blade Runner. NO cvt are aiming to release the first episode on Steam in October.

 

And that is it for my coverage of EGX this year. We tried to cover as many games as possible, and over the next few days we’ll be getting Kii’s thoughts on some of the games she played, along with a podcast special at the end of the week where we’ll talk about EGX 2015 in general. Make sure you check out all of these awesome

EGX 2015 – Indie Games Part 3: VA-11 HALL-A, Knee Deep & Megaton Rainfall

Adam and Kii once again head to EGX to check out some upcoming video games!

On our second indie focused day at EGX 2015 Kii and I split up to cover as many games as possible. It became pretty pretty obvious that we weren’t going to get to everything, but we tried our best! This is my third indie round up article (find the first two here and here), and I’ll be talking about VA-11 HALL-A, Knee Drop and Megaton Rainfall.

 

VA -11 HALL-A (PC, Mac, Linux, iPad, PS Vita)

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This game caught my eye as I was wandering around yesterday, mainly because my love of Ghost in the Shell leads me to gravitate towards anything using the word ‘cyberpunk’. VA -11 HALL-A from Sukeban Games is a ‘cyberpunk bartender action’ game, in which you play as Jill the bartender, as she has to talk to weird customers and mix and blend a variety of different drinks suited to the person’s tastes or mood.

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After a quick tutorial on how to mix drinks, the demo threw me into dealing with Streaming-chan, a pastiche of a YouTube vlogger who has turned her life into a 24 hour livestream. The interactions are funny and lewd, and the drinks mixing sim mechanics are simple (I did still manage to misread a recipe and mess it up). After a bit of research (see the trailer above) it seems that this all takes place in a dark, oppressive dystopia seemingly revealed through the conversations with those who live in it, rather than through stark plot exposition. That should be a very interesting story telling choice that I think should work really well. You can check out the prologue over here and support the development of the main game too.

 

Knee Deep (PC, Mac)

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Over in the Indie Mega Booth I spent a little while watching some people play the Knee Deep demo. One of the developers from Prologue Games kindly filled me in on the details of their game, a demo build of ‘Act 2 – The Festival’, the second of a three episode adventure game series. Knee Deep is a ‘swamp noir’ story set in the small Florida town of Cypress Knee, following the events of the apparent suicide of a washed up Hollywood actor. The story unfolds through the eyes a few characters, with the player picking their responses to different conversations and situations.

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The small section of episode two that was shown off was brief, just enough to intrigue without giving much away. Knee Deep’s story is presented in the form of a stage play, with an air of overly dramatic conspiracy and noir dialogue that manages to come off as compelling rather than cheesy. Besides an interesting story, the unique element of the game that sold it to me was the way the theatrical elements are incorporated into the structure of the game as if it were an actual play, with set pieces and props moving away as characters transitioned between scenes, and spotlights focused on the lead.

Knee Deep is an intriguing and different game that is well worth checking out. Act 1 is already available on Steam for PC and Mac, with Act 2 coming in November and Act 3 due next year.

 

Megaton Rainfall

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Finally we have Megaton Rainfall from Pentadimensional Games, a work in progress game that I played over in the Leftfield Collection. This is a superhero simulator, where the player controls an indestructible god-like superbeing attempting to defend the world from alien invaders. Featuring full sized cities, you can fly around at full speed to combat monolithic ships and weapons before they vaporise whole buildings.

For a game quite early in development this was very cool. The actual flying controls feel very natural, fast and “realistic” (I know people can’t actually fly…), giving the player the feeling that they are controlling Superman or Dr Manhattan. The enemies and combat are a little simplistic, but the atmosphere of the game was terrific, and presumably  even better when using virtual reality (there was a demo set up with an Oculus but it was taken when I wanted to play).  Keep an eye out for this one.

 

I’ll be back tomorrow with my final indie games round up article from this year’s EGX.