So the 4th PAX Australia is over and I have so far managed to avoid the PAX Plague. Good on me.
I wanted to mention a couple of indie games that took my eye.
Seigecraft Commander – Blowfish Studios
This is one of the first games I played at PAX, wanting to get my dose of VR prior to the incredibly crowded Saturday. Seigecraft Commander is an RTS game where instead of building a base, you build a series of inter-connected towers that can act as a defense system, spawn units, collect resources and all the other general RTS things. If you destroy a tower, any towers that have been built off that one will be destroyed. It’s an interesting gimmick, but one I didn’t get a chance to fully explore. The reason I’m mentioning it its use of VR (they were using the HTC Vive).
It was easily the best integration of VR I’ve experienced in any game so far, which is surprising considering it’s an RTS game. The map is set out like a board game and is easily manipulated with the controls. The way you create new towers is by slingshotting them to new locations, similar to how you launch ballistas and TNT from certain towers. The tutorial is run from a book which you hold in your hand. By crouching down, you can get ground-level view. Every aspect of the controls and movements was fluid.
Seigecraft Commander is comming out at a later point in time on Steam VR, PS4 and Xbox One.
Qinoto – Studio Flip
Qinoto is exactly what the slogan below the name says, a paper-folding adventure. I played a small demo that had been developed for PAX. It’s essentially a story game with hidden object and puzzle elements that you solve by cutting and “folder” the screen. I was drawn to this game by the art which looks amazing and has been integrated perfectly into the mechanics of the game.
The kickstarter is intended to begin early 2017 and the game will be available on iPad.
The American Dream – Samurai Punk
I didn’t get a chance to actually play this game, but I watched enough to experience it. In The American Dream: A Samurai Punk Virtual Reality Trip, you are taken on a trip through a 1950’s world fair exhibit where you experience an idyllic future in which all everyday tasks are performed using guns. This is a satirical, VR game where your two controllers are nothing but guns. I watched someone shoot holes through buns to make donuts, and then open a fridge door. It reminds me of that episode The Simpsons (as do so many things after so many seasons of that show) where Homer got a gun licence and was using it to watch TV and turn off the lights. This game is by the same people who did ScreenCheat and it seems they are the studio for interesting and innovative ideas. Given current events in the US, I see this game doing well.
The American Dream will be released on VR in 2017.
Mini Metro – Dinosaur Polo Club
I love Mini Metro. I bought a few video games (there were plenty of deals for games at reasonable Australian prices) and this is the one I have been playing non-stop since I bought it.
In Mini Metro you have to connect a series of train stations via multiple train, tram or, in one case, Shinkansen routes. There a series of different cities you can play in, each city presenting a slightly difference scenario based on its current metro build-up. The whole game is presented like a London tube map. I’ve been playing on the phone and while there’s some issues with a small screen size, it hasn’t diminished by enjoyment of the game at all. The strategy involved is presented simply and eloquently, easy to learn but hard to master.
Rogue Singularity – Considerable Content
So this is one I mentioned last year and it’s good to see the continued development of a game (towards something positive anyway – we all still feel No Man’s Sky). Rogue Singularity is a speed-runnner, procedurally generated platformer that has been released on Steam Early Access. I’m always hesitant about alpha games as they tend to not be games and sometimes barely a shell. Fortunately this isn’t the case with Rogue Singularity. There’s currently three levels over five worlds with plenty of unlocks for avatar customisation.
The next review will be on Journey