IndieCade Showcase At E3 2016
The IndieCade Showcase at E3 is a chance for independent developers to show off their latest video games, tabletop games and installations. This year, there were more than 30 separate teams and individuals trying to wow E3 participants with their creations. We didn't manage to see every single one, but we did find a few gems and came away impressed with what we saw.
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Survios Studio: Raw Data
We were blown away by Raw Data, the VR FPS title that Survios Studio is developing for the HTC Vive. The hard work and care the team put into the game is evident in their attention to every little detail, creating an incredibly immersive experience.
In our cooperative playthrough, we were sent into the bowels of the evil Eden Corporation, stealing "raw data" and fighting off hordes of enemy robots. The game's cyberpunk aesthetic and storyline nicely complemented its duck-and-cover gameplay. This brief glimpse of a demo left us wowed and wanting more.
Buffalo Vision: Irrational Exuberance
Ben Vance and the Buffalo Vision team was there with Irrational Exuberance, a VR experience for the HTC Vive. It straddles the line between experience and game in a truly fantastic way. This stunning art piece is set on a floating rock in the middle of space where players teleport from vista to vista, finding unique ways to interact with seemingly inanimate rocks that wiz by. The surreal landscapes were out of this world.
Irrational Exuberance hits Steam Early Access later this year.
Turbo Button: Floor Plan
Floor Plan is a funny, cartoon-inspired adventure game from Turbo Button, the makers of the Adventure Time: The Magic Man's Head Games. The game is set in an elevator that brings players from floor to floor in a puzzle-filled building. We had a lot of fun with the quick and simple VR game, and would recommend it to any fans of point-and-click adventure games. Floor Plan is out now for the Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear.
Otherworld Interactive: Sisters
Otherworld Interactive's Sisters is an episodic VR experience for the HTC Vive. Billed as a "VR ghost story," our demo placed us in a room where we could look around and observe. It made fantastic use of positional audio and the atmosphere; every lightning flash shifted objects in the room, sounds alerted players to movement in the periphery, and it delivered that sought-after shock factor. Sisters is available now on mobile devices and is coming to the HTC Vive later this year.
Alexandre Fiset's Kona was a joy to play. The atmospheric adventure game left us wanting more after the demo was done. Set in the frigid northern territories of 1970s Quebec, Kona challenges players to battle the elements and unlock the mysteries of Atamipek Lake. If you like mysteries, this is a game to check out. Kona is available now on Steam Early Access.
Those Awesome Guys: Move Or Die
Nicolae Berbece, representing Those Awesome Guys, showed off Move Or Die, which was, in a word, awesome. (Berbece described it as a friendship-ending game.)
Move Or Die is a four-player game that pits users against each other in a variety of game modes that draw inspiration from all the best party games. Each match lasts only a few minutes, and the winning player is awarded points; the first to 25 points wins the round. Move Or Die is available now on Steam. Nicolae told us that they'll continue to release new game modes and content periodically at no extra cost to the players.
Berzerk Studio: Just Shapes & Beats
Mike Ducarme from Berzerk Studio was there to show off Just Shapes & Beats, an interesting take on the bullet hell genre. Players take control of simple geometric shapes and must dodge an assault of moving obstacles and projectiles—with no way to shoot back. Your only goal is survival, and the designers have not made it an easy task. The levels are set to hard-hitting dance beats from indie bands that Berzerk Studio has painstakingly picked out by listening to endless tracks from bands all over the world.
Brett Taylor: Linelight
Brett Taylor's Linelight is difficult for us to explain, and even Brett had trouble summing it up. At its core, it is a minimalist puzzle game and players must guide their line of yellow light along a path, overcoming a variety of obstacles and avoiding the moving red lines which bounce you back to a checkpoint on contact. There is a certain beauty in its simplicity and a surprising depth to the puzzles. Linelight releases this September on Steam and the PS4.
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