Last week, in the rainy lands of Netherlands, where a lot amazing indie developers reside, Indigo 2016, the annual indie games expo was held in Utrecht on the 27th of September. It is organized by the Dutch Game Garden which is the host to many small independent game development companies. This expo allows the developers to showcase their work for exposure, find potential publishers and also just generally do some networking. Hyper Light Up was there and we were able to have a look at some of the titles that were shown during that day.
The expo was held at the Tivoli Vredenburg building, at one of its highest floors with a space that was nicely prepared for the event. All of the games (with the exception of a couple here and there that used different interfaces) were in white arcade cabinets that made the place look even more slick. You can find all the games that were shown during Indigo 2016, at this link.
We were unfortunately not able to try all of the games, even though we would have loved to, but since we had to be somewhere else before the night ended, we were able to see only a few of them. The games that we had the chance to play were:
This game immediately gave us a Wipe Out feeling with its floating cars and its futuristic racing track. The game is made by Team Cybernetic Walrus, which is a team composed of four 2nd year students who study Digital arts and Entertainment at Howest in Kortrijk, Belgium. The team consists of two artists and two developers.
I personally feel a bit weird every time I try out a game that feels too much like another, but I cannot really judge this just yet since it is so early in development still. Who knows, maybe the developers will find ways to make it feel ten times better than Wipe Out ever made us feel while playing it.
You can find more about the game here.
Antraxx was near the entrace of the event and it was filled with computers where you could sit down and play. Unlike the other arcade cabinet style games, Antraxx was allowing you to play the game online. This game is basically a web-based action shooter where you build your own robots (stylized however you desire) and then head in all-out combat on various locations provided on a game map. The game is basically running all the time, and anyone can join in at any given time.
In the middle of the event, right up the middle of the staircase, there was a screen set up flat. Two controllers on the sides of the screen and lots of players beating each other up throughout the day. Boxer from CukiaMakesGames was super fun to play. I actually beat two of my friends while I was there, but that was only because I was smart enough to keep one glove next to my face at all times. Maybe you’ll find better strategies when you try it out yourselves. Make sure to check it out on itch.io and crush some of your friendships!
Defend Your Friend
The demo for Defend Your Friend might have been only 3 minutes long, but the mechanics we see in the game make us expect a lot from it in the future. This is a cooperative game where you have to, you know, basically….defend your friend. You guide two little globes with your friend through various stages, trying to use your unique ability to reflect or launch beams into various spots.
You can check the game out on steam Greenlight. The game has already been greenlit, but hasn’t launched on Steam yet.
I usually see arcade shooter games and go like “eh, this kind of game again?” But Dimension Drive is something entirely different. It puts the bar so high that you will be very surprised as to how hard a bullet hell can become when one interestingly awesome mechanic is introduced to it. 2Awesome Studio has actually done that and as they told us during Gamescom 2016 too, their game is stepping into new grounds.
Step into the mayhem of an arcade shooter where you can teleport left and right, or bring a friend and make it ten times more difficult. Which is what I did when I played it with my friend at Indigo and watched him crush into a rock every 5 minutes. You can check out the game’s official website or follow it on Steam.
PajamaLlama studio brings us Flotsam. A survival game where you can build a small settlement on rafts that float on water (hence the name of the game). It very much reminded me of The Flame in the Flood but instead of having to go down a huge river, we are already lost in a huge ocean. The demo we tried was a very early version of the game, so we are looking forward to seeing more.
You can check out the game’s development on the studio’s official website.
We had the chance to try out Fossil Echo during Gamescom 2016 as well and the demo we saw at Indigo was pretty much the same. Beautiful as ever, this stealth platforming adventure will guide you through an amazing story, making you feel as if you are watch a 2D animation series.
You can check out the game on Steam.
We also saw Kabounce during Gamescom 2016, but this time, the game has been updated. Not only were the camera controls way better, but also the way we score and the way we use upgrades in the game changed a bit. We can only wait and see what the final result will be. For now, we can watch the updates the the company posts on their official website.
Tormentor X Punisher
The person behind the awesome music of games like Nuclear Throne and Downwell, as well as some other awesome titles is here with his own game. Tormentor X Punisher is a twin stick shooter where your main goal is to survive the hordes of demons coming towards you. It’s a very simple down-to-earth design for a video game, but it was very fun nonetheless. We are now looking forward to see what will come next for the game content-wise!
You can keep yourself updated on what’s going on with the game on its official website.
Abstract games are always great. So this was basically a puzzle-like game, where you take various pieces of various size and put them together to create something that looks like the thing you are told to make through riddles or phrases. It was quite good fun to try it out at Indigo. If you are interested in knowing more about it, then you can check it out on Bento Studio’s website.
Vector Flight is a game that looks like the Asteroid Smash games of the old arcades, only this time, it comes in a multiplayer form. Combine all you know from those good old days and you get Vector Flight. We tried it out with 4 people and we really enjoyed it. This was the game that got the most votes for the “Best of Indigo 2016” award as well.
You can get the game and try it out for yourself here. Make sure you bring friends!
So that was it for Indigo 2016. Unfortunately, as I already mentioned, we did not have the chance to actually check out all of the titles we wanted to, but we are most certainly looking forward to trying out a lot of them when they are made available. You will most probably be seeing some previews of some of those games over here, at Hyper Light Up, in the near future.
We hope to see you here again for our next games expo report!
-Konstantinos “Kelfecil” Christakis”