Last week I went to IndigoX in Utrecht. It’s the biggest event for indies in the Netherlands where both local talent and international indie gamedevs can come showcase what they are working on. This year had a varied selection, 31 games in total, with a mix of engines, platforms and target audiences.
I’ve got to play most of them and want to use this opportunity to tell you a bit more about the ones that caught my attention.
30Birds – RamRamGames
This title is immediately striking with its gorgeous hand-drawn visuals. The entire game takes place on various lanterns that turn around as you walk around corners. The effect reminds me of FEZ somewhat. It’s an adventure game in which you have to liberate a number of birds, I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that number will be 30…
You’ll be talking to people, navigating from lantern to lantern and discovering all this world has to offer. It truly has a unique style that stands out so I have no doubt they will grab the attention of the gaming audience and do well.
I first saw the game in action at Mons Gamedev Café in Belgium and immediately pushed them to create a few social media accounts and start getting the word out there. Be sure to give them a follow and keep an eye on their content!
hey peeps ! we are ramram and we're making this #30birds game thing with rad visuals and a strange cubic setup (kinda #FEZ like but not ortho) – peace#indiedev #indiegame #madewithunity #MondayMotivation #persianminiature pic.twitter.com/ilQ508KeBq
— ram ram ⚒ 30 Birds (@RamRamGames) May 20, 2019
Project Beckon – Lee Hammoud
What drew me into checking this one was the outstanding synthwave audio and style. We’re a few days after the event and I can still vividly recall the soundtrack of the game, which is always a good sign.
It’s a reflex-based platformer that tasks you with hopping from building to building, using an array of interesting skills like sprinting, air-dashing or grappling yourself to the next target. It’s fast-paced and requires some amount of skill, but you’ll always feel like giving it another go. I usually enjoy these types of games and especially finding tricks to circumvent parts of the course, as I did in Stay Safe.
The IndigoX demo only had a few levels to show us, but it was a good enough introduction that I’m looking forward to getting my hands on the real deal.
— Lee Hammoud ❌ GDC (@leehammoud) January 26, 2019
The Falconeer – Tomas Sala
I’m ashamed to admit I had this title confused with Falcon Age at first, but it’s a totally different type of game. Falconeer is perhaps best compared with games like Panzer Dragoon and Ace Combat, but instead of a dragon or an F16, you’ll be piloting a giant Falcon. Dogfight your way through a crazy line-up of enemies, make sure your aim is true and that you can shake off any enemies that give chase!
It kind of has this low-polygon style, but at the same time, it’s hardly noticeable because of the game’s quick pace. The slightly steampunk-like setting will have you weave through air balloons and enemy falconeers to dominate the battlefield. If you’ve been waiting for another game that lets you control a giant airborne creature, this is a mighty fine choice and you should keep an eye on it.
Added a criminal/pirate faction to #thefalconeer So the player could become a criminal upon friendly fire and piracy, now the mission system wants to generate pirate targeted missions. End result :had to add pirates as a full enemy faction including warbirds.#indiegamedev pic.twitter.com/tbFnNJLG56
— Tomas Sala … Cabin Fever🖼🕸 (@FalconeerDev) June 30, 2019
Hoverloop – Not A Company
Full Disclosure first: I work for this games’ publisher and also volunteered to help on the booth. I didn’t want that to stop me from giving it a shoutout however, as I truly do have a blast every time I play this game. I’ve been a vocal advocate about bringing back 4 Player Split-Screen and Hoverloop wears its multiplayer ambitions on its sleeve.
In Hoverloop, you control a drone of your own design in a futuristic arena, hoping to get the crowd on your side by scoring spectacular kills. It’s not the kill/death ratio that determines the winner, but the amount of viewers you’ll have earned at the end of each round.
It’s an arena combat game, but with a lot of aerial manoeuvres and interesting abilities/weaponry to keep things interesting. It’s set to have a Fall 2019 release on Xbox One & Steam but you can already test the latter via Early Access. I hope the booth popularity is any indication for its online success as there was a constant queue to grab one of the four available controllers!
Time to enter the arena, combatants. #Hoverloop is getting some brand new stuff for you to put to the test. Fire up those drones and hover your way to victory!
— Hoverloop (@HoverloopNAC) June 25, 2019
Play the game on Steam: https://store.steampowered.com/app/613620/Hoverloop/
The Sojourn – Iceberg Interactive
The Sojourn has AMAZING graphics and an enchanting world to discover. It’ll be difficult to progress through it because you’ll be staring in awe at the gorgeous vistas.
It’s a thought-provoking first-person puzzle game that will have you traverse parallel worlds of light and darkness. Use mechanics like switching your own location with distant objects to cross gaps or phase into different planes to solves puzzles. You’ll uncover the mysteries of the world as you go and the developer promises a pretty lengthy playtime, so you’ll be able to spend quite a bit of time in it. If this has a Photo Mode, I already know I’ll lose myself in it for over 10 hours on that alone.
— The Sojourn (@The_Sojourn) June 14, 2019
Bone Voyage – Team Cobblestone
Bone Voyage actually ended up winning the sole award handed out at the show; that for the most commercial potential. It’s an adventure game with a fun setting and skeleton characters. The delivery is pretty on point and it seems like it would make for a rather interesting journey.
So why only an honourable mention? Well, the game is already released on Steam but I still encountered a few bugs that broke immersion or even had me restart the game: some dialog didn’t pop in when it should have and a little bit later I got stuck between the door and some boots, requiring a hard reset of the game. (or a re-boot if you will 🙂 )
Still, the visual style and comedic delivery have me intrigued and I’ll be checking out the full version of the game when I find some time.
Bone Voyage is now available on Steam for Free.