After attending EGX for the past two years, this weekend marked my first time at its smaller, indie-focused younger sibling, EGX Rezzed. This was a small gaming convention, packed to the brim with playable indie games, from lesser-known alpha builds to the latest releases and virtual reality tech. The number of games at this convention was overwhelming, and over the weekend, I played far more than I could count.
Here are my highlights.
Battle Chasers: Nightwar
Battle Chasers: Nightwar is a fantasy-themed RPG infused with elements of technology. It follows a dungeon-crawler format and the demo featured three playable characters, each with different abilities to be utilised during turn-based combat. I really liked this demo, thanks to the classic format, the fantasy theme, and the variety of abilities – in other words, there were plenty of different ways for me to hit stuff. Battle Chasers is estimated for release in mid-2017, and you can support the project on their website.
InOps is a game I had meant to play at EGX 2016, but never got around to. A puzzle-based 2D side-scroller, InOps is exactly the kind of game I can become quickly addicted to. Players control a group of InOps (which can be combined to create one larger InOps), and must guide them through a series of dangerous obstacles to the end of the level. This was a really fun game that I would have liked to spend more time playing. As far as I can tell, there’s no concrete release date just yet, but Rezzed boasted both tablet and console versions of the game for demonstration. You can find out more here.
Of all the games I played over the weekend, Planet Alpha probably has the coolest concept. In this 2D side-scroller, players must manipulate the environment around them in order to progress. By changing the setting from daytime to nighttime, players can cause shifts in the world around them, for example, bringing rock structures into a different formation and allowing the character to cross a chasm. Along with this intriguing mechanic, the game boasted a beautiful setting and vivid colour scheme. My only complaint was that the combat had its flaws, meaning I found foes very difficult to fight. Hopefully, this can be resolved before the game’s release (date unconfirmed). You can find out more here.
The Assembly (VR)
The Assembly is a game whose progress I’ve been following for sometime now, having first tried it back at EGX 2015 (my first experience of virtual reality). The Assembly is an interactive sci-fi-inspired experience, in which players investigate a mysterious organisation conducting shady underground experiments. This is a narrative-driven story, and the demo gave snapshots of intriguing gameplay. I really enjoyed this VR experience: it felt immersive and allowed me to focus on exploring the environment, which felt like a grown-up, non-gimicky introduction to VR. The Assembly is out now for PC, Xbox One and PS4.
Fast RMX is the first game I’ve been able to play on a Nintendo Switch, and while I’m sad Nintendo weren’t exhibiting The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, this was exactly the kind of fun multiplayer game I look to Nintendo for. To put it simply, Fast RMX is a really fast racing game. Players race in futuristic vehicles, utilising power-ups to beat their opponents to the finish line. This was a really fun game, easy to play, hyper-competetive and addictive. Fast RMX is out now for Nintendo Switch.
Rime is an upcoming adventure/puzzle game, in which players explore a mysterious island, solving puzzles and uncovering clues about the island’s history. The demo of this game was really fun, featuring a mixture of problem-solving and exploration, and showing off some beautiful scenery. Formerly a PS4 exclusive, the game will be released in May for PS4, Windows and Xbox One, with a summer release date set for summer. You can find more information here.
The second and only other Nintendo Switch game I was able to try this weekend was GoNNer, a tricky, procedurally-generated 2D platformer. The aesthetic of this game is a big draw, with a unique and pretty art-style and cute playable character. Traversing the world of GoNNer isn’t easy, giving it a bit of a kick compared to easier platformers. GoNNer is already available on Windows and Mac, with an unspecified release date upcoming for Nintendo Switch. Find out more here.
Ruby Rei is a little different to the other games I’ve mentioned, in that it has an educational focus. This mobile/tablet game aims to teach players a new language, all whilst exploring a sci-fi world and completing missions. As someone who loves gaming and is passionate about education, I really like this concept. The great thing about this game in particular is that everything said by the characters is presented in the language to be learnt (for me, this was Spanish), and individual phrases can be translated by clicking on them. This seems like a great way of breaking down a new language to a beginner whilst keeping things interesting. Ruby Rei is out now for iOS and Android, with an expanding set of language options available. Find out more here.
Brawlout is a competetive fighting game, similar to the likes of Street Fighter or Tekken, in which players face off in a 2D arena in a fight to the death. This game has a fantasy-element to it, with a selection of unusual characters, each with different abilities. This game was pure, silly fun, and I could see it being a great party game. Though there’s no release date just yet, gamers can sign up for the closed beta here.
Of course, there were plenty more great games available, including a number which I would have loved to play but never found the time to visit. Other games I heard good things about over the weekend included Serial Cleaner and Interkosmos. I also really enjoyed deBlob, a competetive multiplayer game with the aim of dominating a city with paint, and Minesheeper, a silly, crazy and competetive game which uses exploding mines to take out other players. Another highlight was just being at the convention, and being able to talk to a whole bunch of like-minded gaming enthusiasts and friends.
The next convention I have lined up is London Film and Comic Con/YALC (Young Adult Literature Convention), another new convention for me, which I am very excited for.
Did you go to EGX Rezzed this year? What were your highlights?