Last weekend we attended IndieCade, which is an international festival of independent games on its fourth year. We loved being surrounded by people who have a passion for creating and playing games, expanding the vision of what games can be. Here are our top five game picks from the day, from 3D mobile to award winning games.
We first visited the NextSpace venue where the PlayStation Home and LG mobile 3D finalist games were. We were quite drawn to the new LG Thrill 4G phone display and spent some time playing 3D games on the phone. The Thrill's screen and 3D quality was impressive and you could adjust the amount of "3D depth" on the phone similar to the Nintendo 3DS. However you have to wear glasses for the experience which isn't the most practical for mobile games.
IndieCade had a couple different venues scattered throughout downtown Culver City. Here are the games we enjoyed the most:
Game: Black Bottom Parade
Gamemaker: SCAD (USA/Hong Kong)
Platform: Interactive Table Installation
In terms of interactive installations, the Black Bottom Parade makes our top two favorites. The game is played on a multi-point input interactive table with external controllers. Built on the New Orleans jazz funeral tradition, the objective of the game is to control a band of musicians who are leading dancing, deceased revelers around the arena. You control the musicians with by swiping over them with the controllers. As a student project, we were definitely impressed with its scale and function.
Game: Play Kalei
Gamemaker: Chillingo Ltd
To Play Kalei is simple. To play the photo hunting game, you are shown the kaleidoscope image of a part of the photo you're looking at. You need to move your finger over the photo to match the kaleidoscope image. The faster you can do this, the better your score. If you're playing against someone, the first person to find the match wins. We liked this twist on the classic "hidden object" game and also liked how you could personalize the experience with your own photos. It doesn't hurt that the characters and design are so cute.
Game: Sissy's Magical Ponycorn Adventure
Gamemaker: Untold Entertainment (Canada)
The back story of this game is sweet enough to make it one of our top picks. However, it won its spot because it was the only game we had the curiosity and patience to go through the entire thing. Created by a five-year old girl and her dad, the Ponycorn adventure is a hand-drawn game where your objective is to capture all the Ponycorns in a jar. The simple and charming game had us all wishing we made a videogame with our dads at age 5.
Gamemaker: Kokoromi & Polytron (Canada)
superHYPERCUBE was our other favorite installation game that is like a 3D version of Tetris, except you rotate cubes to make them fit the shape one at a time. You can physically move from side to side to get a better look at the shape to fit your cube in accordingly. The TRON-like game requires red/cyan 3D glasses and a wiimote to play.
Game: Deepak Fights Robots
Gamemaker: Tom Sennet (USA)
Perhaps our favorite game of all is Deepak Fights Robots. What can we say? We're suckers for Mario-like games that require us to fight robots and gather items for strength. Inspired by Bubble Bobble, Donkey Kong and Pac-Man, you fly Deepak across 180 levels fighting robots, with a secret boss robot with a face curiously similar to that of William Howard Taft.