EGLX 2018’s top ten indie games

These games from Canadian developers are the most exciting titles from EGLX 2018.

EGLX 2018 games

EGLX 2018 is now over. During the expo, over twenty-four indie developers got the chance to show off their hard work to the public. I’m super impressed by the quality of the demos, and I’m excited to share my favorite games from the expo. The games in this list are the ones I’m most excited to play, are coming out in the next couple months, or have support on platforms like Steam Greenlight or Kickstarter. Even though this is a top ten, rest assured that I’m not leaving out any games that I think are exciting. The ten is mostly coincidence.

Without further ado, here are the top games from EGLX 2018.

 

Fossil Hunters

Fossil Hunters

Platforms: Steam, Xbox One, PS4, Switch

Developer: Reptoid Games

Release: Late May

 

Fossil Hunters lets you control the four Fossil Hunters who have to create crazy dinosaur skeletons. Most stages have you follow a blueprint as seen above, but some stages let you go crazy and build the dinosaur of your dreams.

The game is best played with a party of up to four people in local multiplayer. The game is fairly easy and casual, so far as I can tell. If you like hard games, then Fossil Hunters isn’t for you. But the relaxed difficulty also means that anyone who likes dinosaurs can jump right in! And lets be honest, who didn’t like dinosaurs when they were a kid?

 

Super Random Heroes

Super Random Heroes

Platforms: Steam, Switch, Xbox One, PS4

Developer: Oddbird Studios

Release: To be determined

 

In the interestingly-named Super Random Heroes, you enter Super Booths to gain random superpowers to battle your enemies. The game is a 3D platformer, in a top-down perspective, where you control a guy who’s fed up with his job in a corporate tower. You have to travel through different environments in the tower, like jungle and snow, while defeating the corporation’s animal employees.

Super Random Heroes is still in development, so not much is known about details like release date or price. Nonetheless, the game promises to let you build a super random superhero every time you play. There were only two superpowers available in the demo – the banana and hot pepper superpowers – but who knows what superpowers will be in store for the full release?

 

The Floor is Made of Lava

The Floor is Made of Lava

Platforms: Steam

Developer: Salvadora Studios

Release: This summer

 

You control a boy who is looking for his brother in his house. The kid’s imagination is a little wild, so you have to dodge imaginary bats and rabbits, jump over pits of lava, and traverse various other environments.

The game is a 2D platformer. You can jump on some enemies heads, but other than that you’re pretty defenseless, at least until later when you find a weapon. The movement is fluid, and you’re able to wall jump, but you don’t have any other special abilities.

The Floor is Made of Lava isn’t groundbreaking, but from what I can tell from the first couple levels, it does what a 2D platformer should do. I didn’t find any secrets, so hopefully that’s on the developer’s radar.

 

King of the Hat

King of the Hat

Platforms: Steam

Developer: Hyroglyphik Games

Release: February 2019

 

If there’s one game you absolutely must keep an eye on, it’s King of the Hat. It’s a party game where you have to jump on the other players’ hats. Your hat contains your soul, and if someone stomps on your hat, you die! If you want to be the victor, you’ll have to use your hat as a weapon by throwing it to knock your opponents’ hats off.

The game is fast-paced fun that has a surprising amount of depth. For instance, the character you choose influences your playstyle. The princess floats in the air, while the pirate captain moves faster when his hat is off and Fat Cat has the strongest hat throw.

The game is a blast to play with friends, but developer Hyroglyphik Games is trying to add features for solo players. A single player campaign is in the works, and online multiplayer is also on the developers’ radar.

 

The Dungeon Crew

The Dungeon Crew

Platforms: Android, IOS

Developer: Clockwork Kraken Games

Release: This May

 

The Dungeon Crew is a dungeon crawling RPG where you control a cast of heroes who each occupy a lane. As your heroes walk to the right, you have to defeat enemies who stand in your way. Succeed, and you’ll get loot and reach more dangerous levels.

The key to success is to make sure each hero is in the position they excel in. As you would expect, the tanks should be in the front while the fragile archers and mages should be in the back. There’s also a combo system where you can chain together abilities of the same color, dealing more damage.

Unfortunately I didn’t get past the tutorial, so I don’t have a feel for how much depth the combat system has, but the game looks great and the controls are fluid.

 

Spectrum Break

Spectrum Break

Platforms: Steam

Developer: Jason Hein

Release: March 29

 

Your goal is to light up absolutely everything. Touching blocks makes them light up, and they also light up when touched by another block. Every block has to be lit up to proceed to the next level.

The movement feels good. Your character is small, but has a huge jump and can wall jump like it’s nothing. You can’t stay on a block for long though, because they keep falling down when you land on them. Some levels are quite a challenge because of their size, and because you can’t miss a single block. There’s also secret, invisible blocks to be found. The penalty for dying is slim, so feel free to die as many times as you need before you win.

 

Riverbond

Riverbond

Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One

Developer: Cococucumber

Release: Some time in 2018

 

Riverbond is the only game on this list I haven’t played for myself. It’s an action RPG, akin to the Diablo games but with a fun, colorful art style. The main focus of the game is to defeat enemies, get loot, and level up your character. The environment is made of voxels, which is a concept in video game graphics which is presented in Riverbond as a unique art style.

 

The Forgotten Void

The Forgotten Void

Platforms: PC (initially) Xbox One, PS4, Mac, Linux shortly after

Developer: Voidless Studios

Release: This April

 

In The Forgotten Void, you must crawl through six dungeons and defeat enemies while solving puzzles. The perspective is top-down, like you’d see in a Pokemon game. Enemies move only move when you move, which kind of makes it a turn-based game, but you can also play your turns quickly, making it feel like an action RPG.

The graphics are 8-bit, which isn’t my cup of tea, and I wasn’t impressed by the puzzles in the demo. But thanks to the innovative combat system, it still looks like a solid game for dungeon crawling addicts. The Forgotten Void is coming out in April, you you won’t have to wait for long!

 

Wolf Gang

Wolf Gang

Platforms: Steam, itch.io

Developer: Nylon Blonde

Release: First quarter of 2019

 

Call it Advance Wars or Fire Emblem with wolves and sheep. Wolf Pack is a turn-based strategy game where you have to destroy your opponent’s towers before the enemy team takes out yours. Wolf Pack has a rock-paper-scissors combat system where star beats triangle, triangle beats moon, and moon beats star. These are the three stances, and you can change your stance by spending a turn. There are no deaths; rather, losing your health knocks your characters out for 1-3 turns, depending on the attack stance that landed the final blow.

I’m a huge fan of turn-based strategy games, so I might have to give this game a try on release. Unfortunately the demo isn’t pretty, and the wolves and sheep kind of look like cardboard cutouts. The rock-paper-scissors combat system isn’t very easy to remember either. I can’t even remember if it’s star-beats-triangle-beats-moon or moon-beats-triangle-beats-star.

 

Luna: The Shadow Dust

luna the shadow dust

Platforms: Steam

Developer: Lantern Studio

Release: 2018

 

As the only point-and-click game on this list, Luna: The Shadow Dust lets you control a boy who fell from the sky and lost his memories. Later, the boy meets an adorable dog who helps him out on his journey. Can you recover his lost memories? In case you’re unfamiliar with point-and-click games, you solve puzzles by moving the character around and interacting with objects on the screen.

If you like puzzle games, you’ll probably like this one as well. I like the way the game looks as well as the puzzles themselves. However, The demo was rather linear, and it’s difficult to know how many secrets the game will hold.

 

Honorable Mentions

 

Over 24 indie games were present at EGLX 2018, with the games having various levels of quality, budget, and development time. These games are games that aren’t as exciting as the above list, or they’re already released, but they’re still great games that are worth keeping your eyes on.

 

  • Sky Rogue by Fractal Phase is a flight simulator, currently available on Switch, that’s light on story, but basically you blow stuff up and complete missions.
  • Trinity by Maelstrom Rabbit is a puzzle FPS game in early development. You have a few different guns that interact with platforms in various ways, and you use the guns to solve puzzles.
  • Head Rush by Jellyware Games is a 3D racing game in a human brain. There are seven courses, with medals to collect and online leaderboards. The game will come to itch.io for free.
  • Grand Vault by Dead Cell Games is a 3D turn-based RPG with realistic graphics. The game will incorporate a grid within the battles, and you can place your heroes where they’re most effective. The game was just a combat demo, but it’s looking good so far.
  • Arrow Heads by Oddbird Studios is a game that’s already on Steam, but it’s still great fun. It’s a party game where you shoot arrows and try to take out your friends and be the last bird standing. There’s also a co-op mode where you and your friends try to survive 25 agonizing waves of enemies.