Every year there are loads of indie games on show at EGX, and this year was no different. Displayed in the Rezzed area, there are always some gems hiding among the selection. It is an area crammed with unique ideas, quirky gameplay, and some extremely proud developers who are passionate about sharing their games and ideas with anyone who will listen. Alongside the usual array of out-there ideas, ultra-ambitious projects being created on a shoestring budget, and the occasional game that is so silly that it becomes sensible, were a few games that particularly caught my eye. In no particular order here are my thoughts on them.
Wavey The Rocket
Probably one of the simplest ideas at the show but also one of the most inspired. You control the wave that Wavey is following. You can increase its amplitude with the triggers and the frequency with the thumbsticks. It is such a simple control scheme to understand but mastering it is really tricky. It’s akin to tapping your head and rubbing your belly at the same time while also tapping your feet in complex rhythms. Changing the height (amplitude) and speed (frequency) of the wave allows you to dodge the many obstacles and also pick up collectables. You are then graded each stage for the time you take to complete the level as well as your deaths and what you collected. It’s a game that has that elusive ‘one more go’ feeling. I could easily see myself losing track of the hours as I tried to perfect a level. The presentation is absolutely top-notch and features a really cool soundtrack. This is one game we will be keeping a close eye on as it makes its way to consoles in 2019
Swimsanity! is a fun, underwater, twin-stick shooter. Playing alongside up to three other players you swim around shooting various enemies or each other. In the EGX demo, I played some of the Versus mode where you try and kill your fellow players as well as the survival mode where you try and escape from a shark that is chasing you. Kill enough of your enemies and you power-up your Swimsanity move. These are different for each available character. The character I played released a bomb drone that stayed near me before locking onto a nearby enemy and blowing itself up, damaging the enemy. One of the other player’s Swimsanity move froze all the enemies in place, allowing them to be easily picked off. With the game catering to both couch co-op and online multiplayer, you’ll never be short of people to play with. The game is scheduled to launch sometime in early 2019 and looks like it could be a real blast
The game closest to release (it launches on Friday 28th September), Catastronauts sees you playing as feline astronauts. It looks like the game that you would get if you mixed Overcooked with FTL. You are tasked with keeping your ship in good repair and destroying enemy ships. You do this by repairing your vessel, putting out fires, recharging batteries, and firing the guns on your ship. Up to four players (via couch co-op, unfortunately, there’s no online multiplayer) need to work together to survive and destroy the enemy invaders. If you are playing on your own, you will control two characters, switching between them as needed (just like in Overcooked). The levels are carefully designed to make you plan your moves carefully. There was also a level where there was only one fire extinguisher and to get it to the other side of the ship you had to use a teleporter. If the few levels I played are a good example of what the full game will include, then this title could be a great addition to your library.