After attending a pretty good EGX (EuroGamer Expo) Rezzed event, I decided to compile a list of games that stood out from the crowd, and that I feel should be given some extra attention. These games will be released within the next few months, so be sure to check out the official websites (linked in each game's title) if any of them peak your interest.
Looking similar to Kairo doesn’t stop TRI from standing out. In the 10 minutes I watched and played TRI, I couldn’t help but think there was so much more to this game's world than the abstract and mind bending puzzles that lay before me. The puzzles and world are both mesmerising, with dimensions shifting out of nowhere before your very eyes. If you're the kind of gamer that loved Kairo, or yearned for more when Antichamber finished, then TRI is very much a game for you, and one to look out for with its imminent release in May/June.
Start with Banjo Kazooie's Nut and Bolts experiment on the Xbox 360 with machinery that you can build from scratch, throw in a little bit of resource management like that found in Minecraft, and add a hint Carmegeddon and you’ve got yourself Terra Tech. Terra Tech is set on an alien world and challenges you to create your own machines to harvest minerals across the land, or battle other opponents to scavenge their machinery, all in the hopes of making your base away from earth bigger and more secure. What little I managed to glimpse of this popular game at EGX certainly seemed interesting, and with procedurally generated worlds, it's sure to excite the YouTubers who play Minecraft for a living.
Usually a mash up of gaming genres can result in a weird premise, and one that rarely (if ever) works. In Concursion's case, though, it makes for one frantic and amazingly original genre. Concursion is set around the premise of five different games being mashed into one, with each one “bleeding” into another. You could be playing a simple platformer one moment, when all of a sudden you bleed into another dimension, turning your main character into a spaceship that must shoot its way through obstacles. One thing's for certain - the level design has to be top notch in order to maintain consistently good gameplay, something I’m pretty sure Puuba (the developer) realises.
Another puzzle/platformer. Modulate seems both familiar but oh so confusing at the same time. From what I saw at EGX, it's very reminiscent of Portal, which is always a good start and high praise for any game from an indie developer trying to strike gold. You solve puzzles by switching objects in and out of your own reality, meaning platforms or bounce pads can be activated only when needed. The demo I saw looked great, with some fantastic effects used to give the impression you’re ruining dimensions by shifting objects in and out.
The fantastic and dramatic art style was the first thing that caught my attention with Cloudbuilt. But I wasn't just entranced by its visuals, I also thoroughly enjoyed its precision platforming. The objective of Cloudbuilt is to navigate a course using parkour moves and your guns as quickly as possible. It certainly makes for a dynamic experience; one where I don’t think I saw players trying the same path twice. Cloudbuilt was actually just released on the 20th of March, so if a hectic parkour platformer sounds up your street, give the game a looksie on Steam.
Watching Narcissus being played was one of my highlights of EGX, with people shouting in frustration at a simple mistake they had made by pressing a button too soon. It’s a platformer where you control two players at once, both on opposite sides of the screen and with opposing controls, so 'Up' makes the black player jump, whilst 'Down' makes the white one jump. The premise is simple at first, but as levels progress the gameplay becomes frustratingly difficult, with ledges paced differently for each player causing you to curse in frustration as you accidentally make a mistake. If you love games like Super Hexagon, you owe it to yourself to play Narcissus. Note: the Soundtrack is also fantastic.