I wish I had had more time to play more of the games that were on display at this year’s IndieCade – I did play a good many – but of the games I did play, these were the ones that stood out to me the most:
by Tobiah Zarlez
After playing Dance Together, I can totally see people playing this game at parties or social gatherings in the future. This game requires that everyone have their own pair of headphones connected to a smartphone. Once you put on your headphones you connect with other players within your vicinity. The app on the phone starts playing music and without using specific hand gestures, The goal is to dance along to the music. While you dance you have to figure out the other person who is listening to the exact same music as you. You input into the app who you think your dance partner is, and when the music ends, your partner is revealed.
This is a clever little game that’s perfect for people who like to dance. It’s great because it’s all about trying to figure out whose dance moves match yours. It’s a unique, fun, and novel experience that stood out to me as something I could picture tons of people being into.
Night in the Woods
by Infinite Fall
After having seen Night in the Woods for so long, I didn’t know what to expect when I sat down to play it. It’s a game that really almost took on a nebulous identity after having seen it at the last two IndieCade festivals. It’s been in development for a while and every time I saw it I hoped they’d disclose some kind of release date. After having played it this year’s IndieCade, I can only hope it’ll be released soon.
What I played was a very story-driven experience that featured fantastic writing, full of humor and depth. The main protagonist exudes a teenage rebellious attitude that made the game a refreshing change from the standard conventional bad-ass. Experiencing the world through this new pair of eyes made the experience really engaging. Characters were expressive, each with their own subtle animations and flavorful dialogue.
Within the demo, I went to a band practice which spawned a Guitar Hero-looking highway, complete with buttons I had to press at the correct time to hit the correct note to play your bass guitar. Soon afterwards I found myself with a fellow band mate perusing the local mall. We entered a store that resembled Hot Topic, and after a couple of lines of dialogue from the two characters, the main character wanted to steal something. This activated a shoplifting mini-game where you had to slowly move your hand and grab a belt buckle while the cashier was not looking.
This small glimpse into the game has me excited to play the full game. Its fantastic writing, great visuals and unfamiliar setting made the game really stand out. Here’s hoping that it’s released soon!
West of Loathing
West of Loathing is a Wild West-themed, turn-based RPG from the developers of the browser-based MMO Kingdom of Loathing. Its art style can seem too simplistic at first glance, but the developers utilizes its scaled back visuals to add more comedic flavor. Characters will have goofy expressions or exude an apathy that helps sell some of the game’s deadpan humor. Descriptions for items contain funny text, and there were a couple of instances within the demo were the game would feel almost like a text-based adventure game.
One specific moment involved me interacting with a spittoon inside a saloon. I had the option of reaching inside the spittoon after noticing an object within. The game has humorous text involving how disgusting the inside of the spittoon is and how disgusting it would be if your character stuck their head inside of it. Eventually – after much persistence – I managed to pull out an equip-able armor piece that gave me some decent stat bonuses.
This game sticks out to me (no pun intended) because of how entertaining it is to play. You can tell that the developers behind the game have tons of experience writing comedy, as jokes seemed to land rather than miss. Think of a game along the lines of South Park: The Stick of Truth, and you’ll have a good idea of what type of gameplay experience you’re most likely to get out of West of Loathing. I can’t wait to get my hands on the full game.