The Boston Festival of Indie Games took place this past Saturday. It was a fantastic day, and I saw a huge number of new indie games that immediately went on my “Games To Watch” radar. While we’ll be covering these games in more detail soon, I thought we should give you a quick rundown of my favorite finds in the digital showcase (there was so much to see at the digital showcase, we regrettably didn’t have time to dig into the tabletop showcase like we’d hoped.)
- Epitaph blew me away. Being made by Wyatt Yeong, the game is a mixture of real time and turn based combat, relying on queued actions taking place in a real time combat. Surprisingly strategic and instantaneously addictive.
- Ape Out by Gabe Cuzzillo is a simple, but incredibly fun game where you play a rampaging ape legging it for an escape. The game is fairly straightforward, both visually and mechanically, but is honed to a razor edge, making it an incredibly fun experience. Ape Out won Digital Audience choice award, and the Figgie for the Compelling Game Loop category.
- Bryte is a puzzle game stepped in Legend of Zelda nostalgia, but very well refined by creator Justin Tardiff. Subtle mechanical choices make this game everything you loved about older puzzle adventure games, with none of the frustration.
- Legacy of Svarog has incredibly good bones. This medieval fantasy game draws inspiration from Slavic mythology, and has combat that feels very good.
- Brought to Light is a charming and wholly terrifying puzzle game using a light mechanic in what I thought was a pretty cool way. It’s available to play for free here, so check it out!
- Mendel by Owen Bell is a fantastically chill game, and took me by surprise when I played it. It deals with the concept of genetics superbly, speaking volumes without speaking much at all, but I have to stress: this is one of the most calming games I’ve ever played. That’s a really good thing.
- Tailwind by Cipher Prime is a twin stick shooter without any shooting, where you instead have to rely on the tailwind created by your aircraft and a few other tricks to take out your enemies. This game is polished as all get out, and looks fantastic.
- GUNGUNGUN, as developer Tak Sueksagan of Mystery Egg Games will tell you, is just a proof of concept for another project that got a little out of control. Well, this proof of concept has the best feeling gun play I think I have ever experienced in a 2D sidescroller.
- Skorcery by Grapplehook Games is an incredibly fast paced magical sports game with a host of modifier spells and curses that can create utter chaos that is bound to put a smile on your face.
- Lightining is a bizarre party game that relishes in randomness. In it, you’re only weapon is a lightning bolt, which you have next to no control over. Complemented by a art style that can best be described as scrawled, Lightning is a ton of fun if you don’t mind random chance stabbing you in the back. Lightning is being made by Ben Sironko, Denver Coulson and Danny Nanni, and their plan is to release it as part of a party game anthology.
- Desolus (which we first saw at PAX East 2016 and named one of our favorite puzzle games) continues to grow and be gorgeous. Mark Mayers showed off his newest build, which really showed the puzzle chops that this game will have by introducing the concept of parallel realities and the necessity to manipulate things from one realty to the next.
- Blade Ballet (also first seen at PAX East and one of our favorite Party Games) continued to impress, releasing their first content update and skin pack just before the launch of BFIG, showing that there is lots more to come from the team at DreamSail Games. Blade Ballet won the Figgie for Digital Multiplayer.
- RYB was showing off their new PC Build
- Artifact 5’s Anamorphine is a beautiful, surrealist piece without any dialogue or text. It relies entirely on creating emotional responses from the visuals and the music to tell its story and it’s stunning. Anamorphine won the Figgie for Digital Art and Experimental Games
- Perception, by The Deep End Games also needs to be mentioned no only for its fantastic art design and direction, but for the fact that it won the Figgie for Best Digital Showcase Game. The game does a fantastic job of playing with your expectations and senses.
This isn’t an exhaustive list, but these are the games that really stood out to me during my day at the Boston FIG.
Expect more in depth previews and spotlights of these games and more over the next couple of weeks.
It was also great to to see numerous indie dev friends from all over New England and the Northeast. Even when they’re not showing showing a game at a festival like this, they often create true masterpieces.