This year marked my first IndieCade experience, and I was blown away by the all of the creative ideas being shown by brilliant minds in sunny, Culver City.
Having been to plenty of industry events (PAX, E3, ComicCon etc..) I thought I knew what to expect from a convention located down the street from Sony Pictures’ movie studio. I was wrong. The convention is much smaller giving attendees a much more intimate experience with the games and their creators than bigger trade shows.
All of the best creativity from shows like PAX condensed, showcasing the most creative and entertaining concepts without having to fight extreme lines and insane crowds that a more traditional convention would have. If you like video games, you should go to IndieCade.
Here are some of my personal highlights from the show:
Spin the Bottle: Bumpie’s Party
Bumpie’s Party is one of my favorite titles on the Wii U and is a perfect way to have a group get way too close to each other in a tasteful blend of awkward and absurd mini games. The game released in August of this year but with an adaptive pricing and update model. Players who buy the game get all of the updates and additional mini games for free. Players looking to get into the game post update will pay slightly more than the pre-update cost. I didn’t go hands on with it at the show but often times this game is more fun to watch other play. One of the new games has one person hold the game pad against their chest facing away from them. On the screen a series of animals appear for the other player to act out. A game of charades with a modernized facilitation method. Once the animal is correctly guessed the gamepad can be tapped to trigger the next animal. The
The most fun I had playing a game at IndieCade was the time I spent playing 5 v 5 on Killer Queen’s custom arcade cabinets. Killer Queen reduced to its core is a mechanically modernized, team based Joust. Players can earn the ability to attack other players by falling down on their heads. This is where the similarity ends. Each team has one dedicated queen player and 4 subordinate players. What makes the game so enjoyable is the chaos that ensues with the different win conditions. Players can grab berries piled on the different platforms and bring them back to their home base. Once enough berries have been gathered, an economic victory is triggered. Another road to the top is through a military victory. Each team’s queen only has three lives, the team with the last queen standing gets the win. The last win condition is the strangest. at the bottom of the level is a snail that can be ridden into a goal. It becomes like tug-of-war where players from either team are slowing inching the snail to their base. The game is full of chaos and teams that work together, form a plan and adapt to changes are the ones pulling in all the high win counts.
This excites me for a possible arcade resurgence in the US. Hopefully this venture proves to be a success and more indie developers are able follow suit and can bring arcades back in the limelight to a generation that knows only casual mobile games.
Tucked away in the Sony booth, was the free for PlayStation Plus subscribers PS4 launch game, Resogun. This is the reason I am excited for the PS4. Take the motion of classic arcade Defender and mix it with an intense twin stick shooter like Geometry Wars or Super Stardust and you have Resogun. The demo has players saving humans for ship upgrades and point bonuses and even a boss segment. Players shoot in a 2D space, but rotate along a center point for an endless side scrolling loop. The enemies are difficult but fair, as long as you don’t mind an extreme amount of particles flying everywhere. I played the demo several times and the analog sticks for the Dual Shock 4 felt right for this game. The fast paced nature combined with the leaderboard chase, classic arcade feel combined with all of those particle effects puts this game as top of my list for anticipated PS4 games.