I was lucky enough to play an incredibly wide and varied range of indie games made by developers from Adelaide and around Australia at AVCon. I find this a difficult decision to make as the vast majority of the games I got to play were amazing even those in the early to mid-development stages, which is a great sign for both the Adelaide and Australian games industry.
For me the game of the show has to be Icebox by Games of Edan, who we recently had on the podcast. I went to play this game with high expectations as the other boys have been raving about the game since Carmine first sent us a copy of an earlier build. I can say I was definitely not disappointed. Throughout the course of the weekend I keep finding myself wandering back to The Icebox booth to play just one more run of AVCon course to try and beat the high score.
For me Icebox was the perfect mix of art style, easy to learn but hard to master gameplay and endless replayability that I love. It’s not one good element, it’s the way they meld together to create a great experience. If you get the chance you should definitely play it and keep an eye on the development process as this is undoubtedly a game to watch for the future.
One of my personal favourite games I played this year in the IGR was Spryke, a punishing platformer in the vein of super meat boy. Unlike most other platformers that have come out recently Spryke has chosen not to use retro style eight bit graphics, instead opting for beautiful backdrops paired with futuristic interiors and it looks fantastic.
I loved the smooth and difficult gameplay that was offered in demo levels available in the games room and whilst this game is still early in development I can see a huge amount of potential and will be look forward to the end product due out early next year.
The Eyes of Ara – 100 Stones Interactive
The eyes of Ara is one of the best looking games from the IGR and as someone who unfortunately missed out on playing Myst and its sequel Riven I’m looking forward to being able to delve into this games world and discover the lore and history.
I’ve never really gotten into point and click games, I don’t know why there just always seems to be something else around that grabs my interest a bit more, but after the first few minutes of the eyes of Ara, I was hooked and wanted to play a lot more after the demo had ended.
The upside is that by the time you are reading this article the full game should be released into the wild (it’s on the verge of release as I type!). I will definitely be picking this one up as soon as I’m able to buy it.
The Voxiebox was one of the most interesting things I got to see in the games room this year. It’s a 3d holographic console that has the screen in built into the system and provides a fully 3d field to play around in. Think star wars in your living room.
I got to relive a piece of my childhood playing snake in 3d, and whilst there is currently a limited number of games available on the device it has a huge amount of potential and could be a great alternative to VR for people who get motion sickness from the headsets.
My only complaint with the early prototype I got to play with was the noise and shaking of the table is was on, as the display rapidly moves up and down to provide the necessary layers for the 3d models, and the screen size. It is, however, a work in progress and the future looks bright!