Play NYC is less than a week away! As part of our media partnership with Playcrafting, we’ve be highlighting a ton of different indie games, from different genres and backgrounds, in a series we’ve called “The Road to Play NYC“. Each day this week, we’ll try to squeeze in highlights of a few more games you can expect to see this weekend at Play NYC.
Today, it’s all about the multiplayer.
There’s no better place to play multiplayer games than a convention. Well, maybe a bar. The number of people, the chaos of the event, the thrill of anonymity giving you unseen reserves of competitiveness. It’s fantastic, and a great place for devs to get a ton of people to test their multiplayer games! I love diving into multiplayer games at conventions, and there are some fantastic ones that’ll be shown this weekend at Play NYC. Here’s three that have my eye caught in particular.
Anyball is a multiplayer game about procedurally generated sports. Each round random rules are created, using different objects. Players know that they have to score points but not necessarily how to, so they mess around in a physics based environment to figure out their objectives.
Anyball looks absolutely hilarious to me: a multiplayer physics sports game with random rules and random objects (Honestly, this doesn’t sound too different from regular sports in my case). What previews are out there of the game show bits of soccer, football, golf, rock climbing and track all being smashed together unceremoniously to create a chaotic playground for players to figure out what the heck they have to be doing.
It’s a fantastic concept, instantly understandable while being a complete mystery at the same time, and the perfect recipe for laughter with friends. I can’t wait until this weekend when I’ll finally get a chance to play Anyball first hand!
KungFu Kickball is a team based platform fighting sports game where the best ball-kicker wins. Punch, kick, and headbutt your way across the field to slam the ball into your opponents’ bell and rack up points!
I first heard about KungFu Kickball from Andrew Linde, as a recommendation during our Indie Dev Interview with him. KungFu Kickball is a fantastic spin on the classic formula. Your goal is to, as an individual or a team, score on your opponents by kicking, punching and kung fu-ing a ball to their end of the level and using it to ring a bell.
It’s a simple concept, but executed phenomenally fell, with gorgeous, varied environments/pitches, gorgeous animation, and a distinct sense that it knows what it is, what it wants to be, and is ready to deliver that experience.
KungFu Kickball is currently aiming for a release in quarter 2 of 2019.
Developed as a love letter to classic games, with the intention of bringing back couch multiplayer. Throw a party and encourage friends as they demolish each other in fast-paced multiplayer. Designed to be easy to learn, yet hard to master. Choose your powers and use the environment around you to defeat your opponents. Enjoy authentic retro sights and sounds as you make friends in cooperative play, or ruin friendships in competitive modes.
I first ran into Kingdom Bash at last year’s Play NYC, and it was one of the stand outs of the convention for me. There’s a great variety of weapons, power-ups and characters in the game, as well as a diverse selection of levels to brawl your way around. The controls are tight, the pixel art is ace, and the music is fantastic.
However, what makes Kingdom Bash really stand out for me is the integration of PvE elements in a Couch Multiplayer combat game. There’s a real emphasis on using the environment and monsters that spawn over time as a weapon, luring people into traps, staying hidden from monsters, or pushing people into the exact place they don’t want to be.
There’s an alpha demo of Kingdom Bash available now on itch.io if you’d like to give it a try, and if you want to learn more about the game’s development, then check out our indie dev interview with developer Matt Estock!