After ZOMBIE SHUFFLE became an “Official Selection” at this year’s IndieCade we knew we had to fly out to LA and experience the indie gaming scene first-hand. We found a surprising amount of high-quality games and gamemakers hoping to share a new innovation or technology with the world. IndieCade included too many awesome games to list them all here and you can find the full list of Nominees and Selections on the IndieCade website. And now our top ten favorites:
#10 Gunpoint (Finalist)
Gunpoint looks and plays like what every player wishes they could do in any of the Sims Tower games: cause mayhem, create adventure and explore inside the rooms they’ve created. The art looks remarkably similar to Sims Tower but is a fun puzzle game that invites you to think quickly, critically and stealthily to solve a series of situations.
#9 Killer Queen Arcade (Official Selection, Developers’ Choice)
Killer Queen Arcade may have been the best game at IndieCade but we wouldn’t know because we never got a chance to play it. The 10-person arcade machine constantly had lines and massive groups of spectators. You could hear the raucous crowd getting into it from any position at the festival. From what we saw the game looks like a really fun 16-bit style arcade game and reminded us of the old Mario Bros. versus mode.
#8 TowerFall (Finalist)
Similar to Killer Queen, TowerFall is also a multiplayer platformer that offers quick thrills and fills your screen with action and narrow escapes. The clean 16-bit style art and solid multiplayer gameplay cement Towerfall as a winner this year.
#7 Shovel Knight
We’d heard about this game from Kickstarter and Shovel Knight dominated the Wii U tent. The game constantly had a crowd around it. Not only does the game nail the classic Metroid/Mega Man/Mario sidescroller but the level designs are intricate with hidden gems and tricks to defeat some of the more difficult rooms.
Rain reminded us of a mash up of the creepiness from Silent Hill and the stealth strategy of Metal Gear Solid. The mysterious main character and story synch well with the concept and beautiful graphics.
#5 Rogue Legacy (Finalist)
Such an amazing concept and execution: every time you die in Rogue Legacy you spawn back as your child (with similar traits and some sort of deficiency) to avenge your own death. We played this for a while and got our butts kicked. It was a lot of fun and felt like a very addicting game. We also got to tell the game designers that we love their previous work including Don’t Shit Your Pants.
#4 Reus (Finalist)
Like any great concept we found ourselves wondering, ‘why didn’t we think of that?’ Reus felt like Sims City but instead of point-and-clicking to manipulate the landscape you instead build the landscape with the powers of giant elemental gods. The art and execution of this concept really put it over the top and we fully expect Reus to expand with sequels.
#3 Project Holodeck (Digital Select)
Project Holodeck is exactly as cool as it sounds and is THE virtual reality experience you’ve been waiting for your whole life. Using an Oculus Rift, hand controllers, a helmet, a backpack and a few other components you are fully immersed into a virtual world. We played the demo of a zombie game where we defended ourselves from an endless stream of the undead coming at us from 360 degrees. We found ourselves adapting quickly and learning tricks like pointing the gun and blasting zombies at one spawn point while turning our head and peeking around to watch our backs. Of all the quality VR experiences at IndieCade 2013, Project Holodeck towered above the rest.
While perusing the indie Playstation games we stumbled across this gem of a game. Sportsfriends is easily one of the most simple games but enormously fun, especially with four players. We sample from four games: two that featured multiplayer jousting mixed with pole vaulting, another that reminded us of Super Smash Bros but with a ball and two goals, and finally a simple game that can only be described as Atari Tank meets Pong. Of all the games at IndieCade, we came back to this one the most.
#1 Super Time Force (Finalist)
Riding the throwback 16-bit wave to its fullest, Super Time Force is simply a blast to play and is the perfect combo of crazy concept and beautiful design. In the game you command a group of unique characters through a futuristic platformer. At any time you can flash back in time and go through the same portion of the level with the an additional character alongside the original one. The result is a screen full of mayhem and action, especially during the boss battles.
So those were our favorites from IndieCade 2013. We admit we couldn’t see them all because we were busy showing off our own game but these are the stand-outs. Check out a few photos from our IndieCade adventure below!