There were some cracking titles on show this year.
EGX Rezzed has once again descended on London’s Tobacco Docks with a whole host of awesome looking new indie games for us to feast our eyes on. This year sees some of indies’ brightest stars in playable form for the first time, as well as some hidden gems standing out from the crowd.
With over 200 playable games on show it wasn’t easy whittling down to a list of seven but these are the games you should definitely have on your radar.
Double Fine’s latest offering takes us to a post-post-apocalyptic world in which humanity suffers not one but two apocalypses. Its cel-shaded graphics makes this 3D action rogue-like look like a mini Borderlands from a top-down view. You could say it’s pretty ‘RAD’ (sorry).
As you can imagine, after two apocalypses the world is in dire need of a hero. Enter our teenage protagonist who will venture into the Fallow – a toxic, radioactive wasteland filled with grotesque, corrupted creatures. Worst still, your journey into these desolate lands to save the planet will take a heavy toll on your body. The pervasive toxins will warp your humanity as you mutate to a greater and greater extent. You’re on a mission to save humanity, and might just lose your own in the process.
If you imagine the tranquillity of Stardew Valley devastated by a nuclear explosion leaving only a toxic wasteland in its place, then you’ll have a good idea of what Atomicrops is. Mixing the management of corrupted crops with the struggle to defend your farm from mutants is a world away from the peaceful nature you might expect in a farming simulator. Things can get pretty intense, fast.
The nuclear wasteland does have its benefits, though. For one, you can grow ultra-GMO crops of semi-sentient vegetables – and, you can even marry them. I guess you’ve got to take what you can get in the apocalypse. As the last farm on Earth, it’ll be up to you to fight off the hellish mutants that remain as you try to survive and cultivate your unusual crops. And, who knows? You might just fall in love with a mutant tomato and settle down.
5. El Hijo
This charming and colourful isometric stealth game tells the tale of a small boy determined to find his mother. As a homage to spaghetti westerns you’ll traverse the wide plains and dust bowl frontier towns of the Old West, ever moving forward on your quest.
The focus revolves around solving environmental puzzles, predominantly utilising stealth to sneak by your enemies unseen. As the boy’s confidence grows he adopts more mischievous, albeit non-violent, means of diversion and distraction.
As you traverse the beautiful isometric landscapes you’ll hide in shadows, bringing the playful nature of childhood toys against the criminals of the Old West. It’s a heartwarming tale of bravery of a boy who lost everything, and means to get back the only thing he can.
Dreadlands promises to be a challenging turn-based skirmish game based in a post-apocalyptic shared world. Building up a gang of colourful mercenaries you’ll set out on excursions to secure resources desperately sought by competing factions. The most valuable of those resources, Glonithium, or ‘Glow’ for short, will be at the centre of a war to survive in this deadly wasteland.
It’s sink or swim in this unforgiving environment, so you’ll have to grow your band of ruthless mercenaries into dangerous killers if you ever hope to survive. A big part of that will be building a base of operations to launch your outings from and upgrading your team to met the demands of a world in turmoil.
Post-apocalyptic X-Com sounds pretty cool and with a strong focus on melee combat as well as PvE and PvP online activities, Dreadlands could really be something special.
Death doesn’t have to be the end of the party in the latest game from Oxenfree devs, Night School Studio. After recently deceased best buds Milo and Lola find themselves in Hell they discover there’s a loophole. Out-drink the king of Hell, Satan himself, and they’ll be granted re-entry to Earth.
It turns out Hell is pretty fun, especially the outermost island called Nowhere where Milo and Lola have found themselves. Take advantage of the lack of a legal drinking age and booze up with the demons and the dammed of Hell on a once-in-a-lifetime bender. With its intricate conversation system and diverse mini-games revolving around Hell’s bizarre range of drinks, Afterparty is an invitation you won’t regret. Time to find out if the world’s greatest evil can really hold his drink.
Bioshock-esque first-person adventure Close to the Sun transports players onto the Helios, a deep ocean freighter that serves as a haven for humanity’s greatest scientific minds. Designed by enigmatic scientist Nikola Tesla, and decorated with colossal effigies of gold and magnificent finery, the Helios exists isolated from the gaze of society.
As journalist Rose Archer you’ll board this mysterious vessel in search of your lost sister, Ada. You’ll soon discover this supposed utopia may have been dabbling in unsanctioned research. The ship is silent, still and empty, bar the waves crashing against its hull. One word can be seen scrawled on the walls presumably in blood – QUARANTINE. Discover the mysteries of the Helios in the search for your sister in this creepy, unsettling horror experience.
There’s just nowhere near enough hype around this awesome looking strategy-shooter inspired by the likes of BioShock and System Shock 2. Void Bastards puts you in charge of a ragtag bunch of prisoners as they try to escape the Sargasso Nebula, a graveyard of derelict spaceships full of myriad dangers.
Manning your escape pod, you’ll have to plot out your course through the Nebula scavenging for supplies and battling the bizarre enemies lurking on the abandoned vessels. Scan the layout of these doomed ships, taking note of the hazards you might encounter and the escape route you might have to sprint to should things go awry.
Playing out as a dynamic mix between FTL-style strategy and exploration of derelict starships, Void Bastards takes no prisoners. Flee void whales, space pirates and hungry hermits all on your quest to freedom. This bastard son of shooter and strategy could be a truly revolutionary fusion of genres.
EGX Rezzed never fails to highlight some of the best and brightest indie games in the scene. This year did not disappoint but if you’re interested in seeing some of the smaller titles on show as well then keep an eye out for our Best of the Leftfield Collection article coming soon.