8 sweet indie games featured at the Sacramento Indie Arcade Gaming Expo 2015

The International Gaming Development Association, or IGDA for short, has hosted for the second year in a row the Indie Arcade Gaming Expo. It’s a convention for local indie developers to gather together and allow local gamers a chance to test out their current projects and get feedback from the best source, the people who will be playing their games. Most of the games shown off at this year’s event were headed up by 2-3 person teams, and while some games were more polished and further along than others, it didn’t matter because these developers are doing what they love, and that is creating a game in their own vision.

BitBotZ

bitbotzBitBotz is a platformer that takes place in a child’s playroom. In my short time with BitBotz, I was robot traversing my way over books, rulers, and toys while avoiding enemies and pools of water and other items, all while searching for pieces to a companion robot at the end of each level. More info and updates on BitBotz can be found on Twitter @bitbotzgame.

 

 

Game Over and Over

game overGame Over and Over is a dungeon crawling grid based RPG where every time you get game over, the world resets from the beginning. However, for each time you have died, you get a clone that moves in the exact path you did on your previous life, meaning when you get back to the enemy that killed, you get an ally for each time you died. The catch is that since they are clones of your past self, they can only go as far as you did previously.  If this sounds like fun, you can sign up for updates here.

 

Labyrinth Venture Forth

venture forthLabyrinth Venture Forth is a first-person exploration/action game where you are tasked with finding the heart of the labyrinth. You start with very basic equipment, but as you travel you will encounter stronger weapons, armor and even potions to give you new abilities. The game is very similar to classic adventure games where you are dropped into a location and must go on an adventure without the help of a guidance system of any kind, leaving it up to you to forge your own path. You can try to sign up for the alpha and follow updates on the games website at www.arclightworlds.com.

 

Monsters and Monocles

monsters and monoclesMonsters and Monocles was quite possibly the most flashiest game at the expo this time. With its bright colors, fast-paced hectic 4 player local and online co-op action, and giant boss battles, this twin stick shooter is extremely reminiscent of classic arcade games like Smash TV, Robotron and Gauntlet. Featuring multiple worlds each with their own distinct world, it has procedurally generated maps, enemies, bosses, puzzles and secrets. The game is currently on Steam Greenlight with a release window of 2015, and the developers are intending to give players all the tools to mod the game as they see fit to create more levels, enemies, items and even bosses.

 

A Dragon Named Coal

dragon named coalA Dragon Named Coal is a an adventure/RPG with its roots pulled from classic games such as Castlevania and Metroid. It features a strong narrative similar to Dragon Age or Mass Effect, where the decisions you make in conversation will cause the world and people to evolve based on your choices. You play as Coal, a dragon with the quest to try and become a knight. Through Coal’s adventures, you will explore a dark fantasy world with an enchanting soundtrack that changes over time and rewards exploration and experimentation. You can find updates and the Pre-Alpha, which is currently available to play here. The game is currently under development for Windows, Mac, Linux and console platforms for a 2016-2017 release window.

 

Match City

match cityUnlike most of the other games being shown at the expo, Match City is a new take on the match 3 genre and is being developed for Android and iOS devices by Digital Possum. In Match City, you place a tile each turn, and your goal is to last as long as possible by placing three connecting tiles in order to upgrade them to the next level. You also start out with multiple upgrades ranging from cranes, bulldozers and Wild pieces which will be whatever piece you need it to be. Initially you have 2 of each, but you gain an extra one at random after enough successful moves. I found the game to be simple to learn yet difficult to master, since you can only see one piece at a time. It forces you to plan each of the moves several turns in advance without knowing which one will be next. Release dates are still TBA but it planned for launch on both Android and iOS devices.

Space Sluggers

space sluggersSpace Sluggers is a top down twin stick action/RPG that takes cues from classic arcade games and puts you in control of a team of mercenaries in the distant future. Each character has their own unique weapons, skills, and personalities, all of which will be useful in a fight against the giant bugs and aliens that threaten the galaxy. Featuring drop in drop out co-op with the freedom of tackling missions in whichever order you choose, killing enemies and finishing missions will reward you with experience that you can then use to upgrade your characters’ stats to make them even more of a badass alien killing machine. Based on the characters I was able to play, there was a character with a machine gun and limited ammo, a sniper that required holding the trigger button while aiming to launch devastating piercing shots, and a chainsaw user that gets up close and personal for maximum carnage. This is going to be one awesome co-op game to gather your friends up for. If you would like to check out the trailer and follow updates on the game, you can do so here.

 

Project Settlement

project settlementProject Settlement is Don’t Starve meets Minecraft as you play an astronaut with the job of finding out if the planet he has landed on is suitable for colonizing. You’ll be required to break down things in the environment such as rocks, trees and other natural resources into their base components and then using the matrix combination system of Minecraft to craft tools and other items. I spoke with the developer, and while they are still early into development, they have plans for adding combat and a pet monkey for you to protect. You can follow updates on Project Settlement on Twitter @projsettlement.

The showing for this year’s Indie Arcade Gaming Expo had a great turnout for both local indie developer. And for fans of gaming, along with the main event, there was also tournaments for popular games like Super Smash Brothers and Mario Kart. Classic games and consoles were set up like Atari, NES, and SNES  to show younger generations of what gaming used to be like. If you’re a fan of indie and you would like to follow updates on the IGDA, you can do so here or follow them on twitter @IGDA .

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