A couple of months back, I visited Adelaide’s largest video game convention, AVCon, here in the wonderful world of Australia. When we’re not wrestling crocodiles or being chased through the outback by evolved great white sharks, Australians love to make and play Indie Games. Whilst 2K Australia has closed its doors and Team Bondi has gone defunct, the Indie Games Industry is very much alive and excited to show the fruits of their labor whenever they get a chance.
So AVCon was the perfect place to experience this, as a part of the “Indie Games Room” exhibition where congoers, fresh out of the Call of Duty tournaments, were invited to play a lovely game about a tree. It’s a valuable space every year and it makes for a great opportunity to chat to some talented developers and find out what on earth is going on in their heads. Here are five awesome examples of this unstoppable creativity.
Evergreen – Siege Sloth
Speaking of the lovely tree game, we might as well start off with that. Sitting down next to the developer, I wasn’t expecting anything particularly impressive. To be frank, I was sitting in front of what I saw as being a bit of a boring tree. However, it seems the game is much more than a simple tree growing simulator and it offers a strangely ‘zen’ experience as a narrative game.
As the ages go by, you will need to accomplish objectives relevant to the era you are in, whether that involves being the inducer of evolution itself or the discovery of deep mysterious caverns. It’s a game about a tree. It’s just that this tree just so happens to also be Yggdrasil, the Tree of Life.
Follow the game’s production at: http://www.siegesloth.com/
Catnips – SK Games
“Why?” I asked.
“Why not?” the developer on station replied with a wide grin.
This year, AVCon offered a safe space for those who enjoy tweaking cats’ nipples. Catnips is a bit of a strange sight. In this competitive game, you and a friend must place yourselves in front of two huge cat controllers and use the six nipples to fire milk towards the kittens of your own color. Understand yet? Me neither, but if you’ve ever wanted to touch cat’s nipples… well, you should probably be arrested. But this also might just be the game for you.
Due to the giant cat controllers, this game will not be hitting retail (unfortunately). Check out the developers here: http://www.skgames.com.au/
Hollow Knight – Team Cherry
Onto something a little more sensical, Hollow Knight is an incredibly fluid 2D side-scrolling action game set in an incredibly vibrant stylised world. With heavily intuitive controls, you play as Hollow Knight, an adorable character with a skillset designed for highly mobile combat as you take on the creatures of the dark.
Hoping to release on PC, Mac, Linux and Wii U this year, Team Cherry have created an incredibly adept action game that I couldn’t draw my eyes away from (despite how annoyed the next-in-line was).
Follow the development on: http://teamcherry.com.au/
Hands Off! – i2nGames
How about a game that you can play RIGHT NOW? Hands Off! is a bundle of competitive fun as you attempt to place a colored ball into a same color slot. If only it were that simple. Playing as two hands, your opponent will attempt to slap the ball out of your hand to accomplish the same objective and gain points for themselves. This is all happening as the levels start to get more and more complex, spinning around, changing slots and switching colors. It’s that prime mix between a proper challenge and absolute nonsense that created an excellent competitive experience that leaves both players with smiles on their faces.
Check out this awesome title on: http://i2ngames.com/
Double Happy VS. The Infinite Sadness – Monkeystack
Double Happy has been a long time in the making. Being a combination between an adventure game and an animated work, this title immediately leaves an impression. If you remember Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, Double Happy adopts the same control scheme but trashes the somber tone in place of something that can only be described as silly.
These crazy cartoon rabbits must accomplish a series of objectives collaboratively, as each thumbstick controls each character independently. Solving these puzzles makes for a load of fun and it fills the void in my heart that Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons left in a whole new way.
Check out this game on the developer’s website at: http://monkeystack.com.au/portfolio/double-happy/
Make sure to check out all the other great games at the convention at http://www.theindiegamesroom.com/