Albotas Goes To IndieCade East
For the first time ever, the popular IndieCade festival of independent games made its way to East Coast this past weekend. IndieCade has been going on over on the West Coast since 2009 and is considered by many to be the Sundance of video games, so I was pretty pumped to see it for myself.
It wasn’t quite the spectacle I was expecting. It was basically an open rec-hall sized room with a bunch of tables with computer monitors and iPads on them. Very few of the games on display were accompanied by anyone attached to the projects, so I started wondering just how badly these indie devs wanted people to know about their games. I also started wondering if I wasted a perfectly good Saturday and $200 in bus/taxi fare.
Thankfully, after doing a few laps around the main room and eyeballing computer monitors and TV screens from over people’s shoulders, I discovered a few gems.
Below are two videos of developers who were bodacious enough to answer some of my dumb questions and talk about their games.
This is definitely a game that should be experienced at least once by anyone who appreciates video games as an art form. Huge thanks to Brendon Chu from Blendo Games for taking the time to speak with us for the vid. Be sure to keep an eye out on his upcoming retro cyberpunk game, Quadrilaterial Cowboy. If the official description doesn’t have you sold, I don’t know what will:
When you have a top-of-the-line hacking deck armed with a 56.6k modem and a staggering 256k RAM, it means just one thing: you answer only to the highest bidder.
And now for videos that I didn’t take, but trust me, these games are awesome.
Rob Davis from Playniac was awesome enough to speak with us about his iPad racing sim that’s actually way more about micromanaging your finances and racers than actually racing. At first glance I expected just your standard Mario Kart ripoff. What I got instead was something more akin to Game Dev Story.
It would actually be pretty interesting to see this game’s financial system implemented in other genres - RPG’s for example: buy some weapons and armor using your credit card, and if you can’t make your payments on time, your gear gets repo’d mid-battle! Okay nevermind, that actually sounds terrible.
I fell in love with the PS Vita version of this game when I played it at NYCC last year and was pleasantly surprised to find a PS3 version on display at IndieCade East. This is from Drinkbox Studios, the guys behind one of my favorite Vita titles, Tales from Space: Mutant Blobs Attack!!! It’s a MetroidVania style game that requires a certain finesse in stringing together melee attacks to navigate through levels. You can also bounce between dimension a-la Mighty Flip Champs. Mix that all up with some sweet mariachi chiptunes, amazing character designs, witty dialogue, and multiplayer co-op and you have an instant recipe for me not getting anything done ever. Sadly, no one from Drinkbox was around to talk to while I was there. Bummer.
This was hands-down the game that drew the biggest (and loudest) crowd. Sleek minimalist multiplayer sports action. The kind of game that makes players yell at each other while onlookers cheer them on.
This was the game that stole the show for me. You basically just have to manipulate a puzzle on a 2x2 grid by zooming in & out and interacting with the levels. The artwork, the level design, the intricate precision of thought that went into each puzzle design - it’s brilliant and you should probably just stop whatever you’re doing and go download and play the free demo.
This is essentially Super Brothers: Sword & Sworcery EP, but replace the funny with origami.
There were a buttload of other cool games on display, but there were a zillion other people crowding around and waiting in line to play them, so I had to squeeze in whatever I could before catching the bus back home. Head on over to the IndieCade site for a full list of games that were on display.
Hopefully I’ll be able to stick around for all three days next year as I can definitely see this sort of thing growing over the years. Plus, we really just need more cool geeky shit to indulge in on the East Coast.