This past weekend saw the annual EGX Rezzed event come and go. The show is undeniably the biggest independent video games expo in the UK and, given my recent penchant for the indies, I went along hoping to get a glimpse of some future classics.
For nearly the entirety of Friday April 13th, I did my very best to get hands on with the hundreds of titles available to play over 2 floors of London’s Tobacco Docks. Time constraints and whatnot stopped me from getting to everything I wanted to play (here’s looking at you, Travis Strikes Again), but what I did play I found at least some enjoyment from. The done thing, at this point, is to whittle that number down to a top five. I want to point out that these are in no particular order, and, please, no fighting if your favourite (Disco Elysium (I didn’t get to play it)) isn’t featured. LET’S GO.
Pocket Rumble is a 2D pixelated fighter that takes more than a sprinkling of inspiration from the NEO-GEO fighters of yore. Pocket Rumble is a 2 button fighter that might seem simple to begin with, but does have some depth under the surface. It’s a shame they only had the side-on joy-con set up available, as I’d have preferred a run out using a pro controller, but it was a lot of fun regardless.
Given Pocket Rumble was initially announced on the first ever Nindies Showcase (before the Switch was even released), some wondered whether Pocket Rumble would ever make it to the system. It’s encouraging to see it being showcased here, and it’s really fun, so hopefully we’ll have news of a release soon enough.
The Adventure Pals
The Adventure Pals is a weird one. It’s a colourful, cartoony 2D action platformer, with an overworld and side quests. And it’s about a boy trying to save his dad from being turned into a hot dog, with the help from his giraffe best friend and pet rock. Think Adventure Time meets Zelda II.
The Adventure Pals is infectious. Everything is so upbeat and positive. The conflict in the game is set up literally with the line “BECAUSE REASONS”. Plot takes a back seat as utter nonsense plays out on screen, and it is delightful. Simple to pick up, The Adventure Pals kept us entertained from start to finish, and I bought it the moment I got home. Expect a full review AT SOME POINT.
Oniria: The Realm of the Three Z
Oniria is verrrrrrrrrrrry early into its development, as far as I can tell, but, from what I played, it’s shaping up to be something quite special. Spanish developer, D-Realm, are behind this beautiful 3D action platformer. Using a sword (with a dream catcher attached to it) your objective is to defeat as many enemies as you can, and store their souls within your sword. As you defeat more enemies, more parts of the world open up, thus allowing you to explore more. The catch is, once you reach 5 stored enemies, you must recharge your sword, else you will lose the one already captured, halting your ability to move forward and progress. It’s a risk reward type deal.
Despite the short amount of time I spent with Oniria, I was pulled into its Kingdom Hearts-like set up enough to want to play more. I’ll certainly be keeping a close eye on the development of this one.
Now this is a game. Shift Quantum is 2d platform puzzler that is going to absolutely explode in 2018. Set against a gorgeous, stylised black and white backdrop, Shift Quantum sees you navigating between being above and below platforms, in search of the exit. Naturally, as you progress through each level, the difficulty ramps up. As you’d expect.
The reason I say Shift Quantum is going to explode is because of how simple it sets itself. The press of a button shifts the games gravity, and it’s up to you to manipulate that. It’s going to stretch your mind to its absolute limits, and you’re going to love it, I promise.
I will have an in-depth hands on report of Shift Quantum ready to go SOON.
As the event wound to a close, and vendors started to pack up for the night, we searched for one last game to play before making the trek home. Brawlout I’d heard talked of as a Super Smash Bros. clone without the brand recognition, and that’s pretty on the money.
That doesn’t make it any less fun, however. And, while they don’t have access to Link or Mario or whoever, the guys at Angry Mob Games managed to sneak Juan from Guacamelee!, and The Drifter from Hyper Light Drifter, into the roster. Aside from that, this is pure mayhem, that is bound to put a smile on your face, or a few bruises on your arm, depending on your company.
Brawlout is available on PC and Nintendo Switch now, with PS4 and Xbox One releases planned.
So there’s my top 5. Obviously there are a few I had to omit, and more than a few more I couldn’t get round to, but I’m happy with what we have here. If there is anything you feel I seriously should have put in, please let me know!
EGX Rezzed was an absolute blast, and I cannot wait to return next year. Expect more Rezzed-related content coming soon.