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The Standout Games from Gamercamp Lvl 2

Toronto’s Gamercamp, a two-day celebration of games in Toronto, offered several live demos of indie games during its first day.  Two standout titles for me were “Sword and Sworcery” and “Dyad.”

“Sword and Sworcery,” coming out for iphone, ipad, and ipod Touch.  A joint effort between Superbrothers and Capy “Sword and Sworcery” is a 2D pixel art adventure game that does away with tutorials in favour of focusing on atmosphere, mood, and player exploration of the gameworld.  The visuals and sound are exceptional and I for one cannot wait to explore the world of  “Sword and Sworcery.”

“Dyad” is a philosophical puzzle, shooter, racer hybrid that has players control a ball of light with arms (tentacles?) that can “latch” onto objects on a track to propel itself forward.  I got a chance to play this game on Day 2 of Gamercamp and controlling the ball of light that flies down the track is simple but the strategy involved to get to the end of the track before time runs out becomes increasingly complex, challenging, and rewarding.

Other games presented at Gamercamp:

An example of the unique innovations on display at Gamercamp. Normative’s CityState takes games outside and uses GPS for a ARG (alternative reality game).

“CityState”:  a hybrid realty based game that has players competing for control of different parts of a city.  Featuring radar functionality.  Little detail was given on “Citystate” so it is difficult to classify it or even describe how the game plays.  This one is definitely an early work in progress.

“The Depths to which I sink”: a puzzle game from Big Pants Games that uses 3-D tech to allow for depth of movement.  The player controls a ball that must smash windows situated at differing depths while avoiding obstacles.

“Zombie Dots”: a simple browser based game from Form and Method has the player play as a red dot (a Zombie) or a blue dot (a survivor).  Each dot moves along a grid and can push gray dots (crates) to together to form barriers to help with survival or push gray dots apart to break barriers in order to eat the survivors.

Cephalopods Co-op Cottage Defence from Spooky Squid Games was a real crowd pleaser, it was available for demo on a stand-up, coin-op arcade unit and featured an innovative co-op play mechanic.

“In this game, players must strike a balance between offensive and defensive roles, each taking turns using the hammer to fix barricades or the shotgun to destroy incoming squidy things. While the shotgun and hammer have complementary strengths and weaknesses there’s only one of each, so the players must both agree to trade successfully. Knowing when to stick together, when to split up and when to trade tools is essential to getting a high score.” – (Source: 2011 Independent Games Festival)

DDGW’s Game To Watch For – They Bleed Pixels

Being developed by Spooky Squid Games (see above) and music produced by the Electric Playground’s Shaun Hatton (aka DJ Finish Him), is a fast-paced, gothic, low-fi pixel art, platforming beat’em up that will be coming to the Xbox Live Indie Marketplace.

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