This is the first of, I think, three "Games in Review" posts I'll be doing to quickly assess the games I played at IndieCade. Now, I'll be looking at these as a game developer as well as gamer, all the while trying to keep each review to a mere paragraph. So let's jump right to it!
Ahh, the nostalgia. When I was a kid, my brothers and I used to play a game called Joust for hours. As soon as I stepped up to fill in as the fourth player for this game, those memories of Joust flooded my head. This is a great party game, with lots of action. Putting the balls in the net is no easy feat, but the fun of the game comes from having to bop your opponents on the head to get those balls. Soon, there are four balls from each team whizzing around, and you don't know if you should be scoring them or watching your precious little head. Even though I had the experience of Joust backing me, I still lost, which leads me to the conclusion that Sportsball is a great game.
This is one of the few games I've seen that accentuates the essence of local multiplayer, much like FIFA. There are a couple of different game options, all of which can be played with 9 players. I only played in the "Run" mode, where all you have to do is reach the other end first. As a game developer, I could see the game was based on one central mechanic: color. If the background color matched a tile color, it was technically gone. That made for some major upsets during some of the runs! Runbow is another perfect party game, so I'd recommend giving it a go too.
A much quieter game, Chariot is about getting the king's remains to the right resting place, wherever that might be. It's a single player or co-op game, although I'd definitely recommend co-op. The graphics are superb. I told Philippe Dion, the Creative Lead for their studio, Frima, that the graphics reminded me of a 2D version of Trine, which he took as a compliment of the highest degree! This is a fun and do-at-your-own-pace game, so there is no need to rush. It was more calming than the other two, and is definitely a game I would play with my brothers in our spare time, especially because this is one of the few co-op games I've played with a good story, and who doesn't like a good story?
I've heard of Shovel Knight for quite a while, but getting the chance to play it brought me a better understanding of why it is so highly praised. The graphics are great, and the gameplay is simple. Like many others have said before me, the tutorials are what makes the game so easy to pick up. I got to the part where I had to learn to use the bubbles to go up. My only experience with bubbles was standing on them, but they hurt me! I tried a couple more times out of stubborness, but eventually, it dawned on me that I had to point the sword down to pop the bubble and "bounce" up. All of this was done without any help--no text, no directions, no nothing. That makes for a great tutorial, and well, the rest of Shovel Knight follows suit!
Costume Quest 2
An RPG game, Costume Quest 2 is about youngters traveling through time to fight dental baddies on Halloween night. It's the sequel to Costume Quest, so I first suggest playing Costume Quest before this one (it might make more sense that way). It playes much like Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time does when going into fight mode, with the ability to attack and press the buttons at the right time to get critical hits. If you enjoyed that kind of game with a good story, you'll probably enjoy this one too.
Well, that wraps up this installment of "Games in Review". Stayed tuned for next time when I look at some of the board games from IndieCade!