Amidst all the meetings and events and talks and panels at this year’s Game Developers Conference, there was also Pocket Gamer’s Big Indie Pitch. The Big Indie Pitch is a way for indie developers to get their games in front of several eyes (media, PR, publishers, etc) in a short span of time, and it’s a great way for those of us who write about the industry to get a quick glimpse into the future.
That, and sometimes there are some really cool and interesting games on display.
Which is why we’ve put together a short list of the most notable entries in this year’s Big Indie Pitch. In no particular order, of course.
Big Indie Pitch winner Kano is a good-looking high score chasing endless bouncer from a development team whose credits include Gumulon and Plunderland. You have to spin a platform with several different colors in order to match it up with whatever color the little bouncing character is displaying. If you mess up, you lose. And if you’re not careful, lava from the volcano below will destroy sections of your platform and make things much tougher.
[Developer: About Fun]
Warfriends comes from the same studio that brought us games like Mega Dead Pixel and LETZ Match!. We also made mention of it last week, actually. The short version is it’s a fun and accessible little cover-based multiplayer shooter, with a fair bit of strategy to it.
[Developer: EcoTorque Games]
Impulse GP from EcoTorque Games is an interesting futuristic racer that calls to mind classics like Wipeout and Jet Moto. It uses a slightly different turning mechanism where you drag along the curve on the right-hand side of the screen to get your rider to lean left and right, and the impulse boost you can trigger on the left requires just enough timing and concentration to keep the action from feeling too simple. I only had my hands on it for a minute, but it was a pretty entertaining (and mildly nostalgic) minute once I got the hang of it.
[Developer: Defenestrate Studios]
Silver Spire is a cool little actiony/arcadey game from the developers behind Neonize. The simple “tap to bounce a ball” mechanic makes it super-easy to learn, but all the obstacles and energy limitations make it quite difficult to master. This hybrid of an endless jumper and brick-breaker is definitely worth keeping an eye out for if you enjoy tough reaction/skill-based games.
[Developer: Beardo Games]
Smooth Operator is the first full release from Beardo Games, and it’s interesting to say the absolute least. Mechanically it’s like a cooperative two-player version of Simon, with both players following the screen prompt and pressing the appropriate buttons at the same time. What made it (arguably) the most memorable game at the Pitch is the fact that it’s aesthetically about watching two people – any combination of characters works, except for two of the same person – slobber all over each other. It’s surreal, funny, a little unnerving, and absolutely worth talking about.
The Last Vikings
[Developer: Springloaded Software]
The Last Vikings (“last,” not “lost”) is another really cool little game from the folks responsible for Tiny Dice Dungeon. In it, you try to build the most ridiculously long viking longboat, then load it up with vikings and go a-raiding. This may include a rowing mini-game that plays similarly to the swing meter from a golf game, and looting other players’ hoards for supplies and sweet loot. It’s also super cute, and looks like quite a bit of fun both online and off.
I’ve been a fan of point-and-click adventure games for quite some time – especially stuff from LucasArts – so Darkside Detective is right up my alley. You might not expect a funny, quirky, somewhat occultish noir-style detective adventure from the people behind SolaRola, but that’s exactly what you’re getting here. The tiny bit of game I played was certainly interesting, and I’m looking forward to seeing how the various seasons and cases (some handled by guest writers) will progress.