No ad to show here.

IndieCade 2013: games you don’t know about, but should

I love indie games. Perhaps even more than I love mainstream AAA titles. There’s something about a good indie game that makes you realise that there are still people out there who make games because all they want to do is express something personal and original, often for very little money. Not to negate big budget gaming titles at all, but I love the indie scene because it’s sometimes a bit broken, and it doesn’t always work as well as it should, but it’s fresh, it’s exciting. Most of all, it’s groundbreaking.

No ad to show here.

And above all, it’s open and friendly. While developers of big budget games can be friendly on a one-to-one basis, inevitably there’s always an embargo that they can’t break or the words that come out of their mouths include the same PR terms you hear for every title.

Indie developers on the other hand, they approach you. They want to get themselves out there, and they want the world to know about their games. They involve you in what they’re doing and they talk to you. They don’t hide things. Of course they’re not going to give away any secrets, but they know that the key is to get people excited about the stuff they’re working on, and without a big PR machine behind them they must create their own opportunities.

With this in mind it always makes me happy to see festivals such as IndieCade do so well and attract the attention it deserves.

The good lord’s arcade

Indie Cade had a pretty solid showing at E3 this year, garnering a large audience and occupying a stand that was perpetually busy.

It’s with great anticipation that the IndieCade Festival appears on my radar. It’s still some months away, but the great part about being media is that you receive early notifications about these events, often with previews of games submitted to the festival, and if the E3 showcase is anything to go by, then the IndieCade Festival is going to be an absolute smorgasbord of indie games from around the world.

One of my absolute favourite developers from the IndieCade stand this year was Greenfly Studios, demoing Quick Draw and Glow Tag. Both are more physical games, where each participant has a PS Move controller. Quick Draw is an homage to the gun-slinging Wild West, where the team who can draw their controller the fastest are the winners. It might seem straightforward but this game is loads of fun.

Even more entertaining however is Greenfly’s other offering, Glow Tag. Also played with PS Move controllers, this is less about teamwork and more about defending your controller with not quite your life, but when you have packs of people chasing you, trying to touch your glow stick, it certainly seems that way. Anyway, bad innuendo aside, one person’s controller lights up and the other players must try to tap it in order to reset the game and begin a new round.

Quick Draw and Glow Tag (Destructoid)

Another gaming system that caught my eye is already commercially available but probably not as widely known as it should be. The Sifteo Cubes are an award-winning interactive game system that consists of small cubes that can be moved around and placed next to each other. Each cube reacts to the one next to it, and already there are a variety of innovative games available for this new, intelligent platform including a Nickelodeon Ninja Turtles games.

I couldn’t possibly write an article about IndieCade and not mention If A Tree Screams In The Forest. Played on an Oculus Rift, the Kickstarter funded Virtual Reality device, this game is a horror game built in a mere three short weeks specifically for IndieCade at E3. A forest is the setting, but it’s filled with terrifying trees that only move when you’re not looking at them. As soon as you look at them they stand still, but as you turn your head and move down the path, they close in, providing a horrifying, creepy experience.

This game plays on that sixth sense we all possess that gives us goosebumps – the idea that something is standing right behind you and reaching out to get you. In many ways it traces back to old school horror games like Alone in the Dark (not the shitty remake) and combined with the VR experience of the Oculus Rift, this is one game I would love to see go further in development.

This is hilarious

There are two other games I feel I must mention. The first is one that reminded me of other audio based games I’ve played. This doesn’t lessen its impact in any way, but it interested me to see that there are so many games these days concentrating on sound as the primary form of expression as opposed to narrative and visuals.

Soundodger is a pretty obvious name for a game of this nature. Dodge the missiles, and try to keep the music playing for as long as you can. It reminds me on many levels of the Lucky Frame games which also concentrate almost exclusively on the creation of music, but there is something so incredibly fun about this game that it stood out in my memory long after I had left E3.

It will ache the brain

Lastly, here’s a game that I think struck an emotional cord with many who played it. That Dragon, Cancer was created by parents, using an interactive story to tell of their four year old son’s battle with cancer. It deals specifically with a night that their son was very ill, and as the player you share the heartache, the worry, the uncertainty of not knowing what will happen, and ultimately the hope that can be found in the depths of heartache.

That Dragon, Cancer (Joystiq)

The IndieCade Festival 2013 takes place between 3 -6 October, and if the E3 offering is anything to go by, you’ll want to watch your news feeds to see what gems will be appearing on a sometimes obscure but always exciting platform near you.

No ad to show here.



Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest in digital insights. sign up

Welcome to Memeburn

Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest in digital insights.

Exit mobile version