Eurogamer Expo 2013: The Best of the Indie Arcade

Eurogamer Expo 2013: The Best of the Indie Arcade

Feature

Eurogamer Expo 2013 might have been the first time in the UK where the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One were available to play, but as usual it was the

Eurogamer Expo might have been the first time in the UK where the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One were available to play, but as usual it was the indie developers that were showing off the most unique and interesting gameplay. The makeshift cramped corridor tucked away in the corner of Earl’s Court is where some of the industry’s finest minds were hanging out, so I squeezed my way through to check out their games. Here are some of my favourites from this year’s show.

Chroma
After Gamescom this year, I wrote a preview for a game called Contrast, which I praised for its unique shadow mechanics. It hasn’t taken long for my words to become redundant by playing Chroma. In this 2D puzzle platformer your character has two forms, one of light, one of shadow. When playing as the light version, your body illuminates the surrounding area, allowing you to cast shadows. Switching to the dark version keeps the light in place, and now you can jump around on the shadows as if they were platforms. It makes for some really clever puzzles where first you must think of - how - you are going to make a path before traversing it. Mark Foster, the game’s creator, told me that further into the game more colours will perform different actions. I reached one puzzle where green beams locked you into a certain form. Foster is hoping to put the game on Steam Greenlight when it’s closer to completion, so look out for it in the new year.

Framed
Framed is a fascinating little game with a very interesting concept. If you’re interested in graphic novels, then this could be perfect for you. It’s being developed by Loveshack, and will be the first release from the new Australian indie developer. In the game you are presented with a noir comic book strip telling a story, in which you drag the different panels around to solve puzzles and keep your character alive. As you swap panels around, you will even be changing the narrative on the fly. I’m really looking forward to seeing how it all slots together as it gets closer to release.

Master Reboot
Master Reboot is a title from Wales Interactive and currently on Greenlight. It’s a first person psychological horror game with exploration and puzzle elements with a mysterious story involving uploading your very soul to the Soul Cloud, allowing you to live on in eternity. The short segment I played had the environments shift dramatically from level to level. The visuals were rather pretty, with some lovely lighting effects in a dense forest area. I picked up an axe inscribed with runes, chopped down some similarly inscribed logs, pushed some mine carts, found a duck and took it to an altar…it was all very surreal and vague, but it was certainly intriguing.

I Get This Call Every Day
I Get This Call Every Day was simply delightful. With an art style that reminds me of a mix between Picasso and ‘Chris (Simpsons Artist)’, it instantly drew me in. In a year that has given us Papers, Please, a remarkable game which surprised everyone by making bureaucracy fun, here we have a game about working in a call centre. The premise is simple: the young man on the phone wants to change the address of his bank account. Simple, right? But as we all know, it’s sometimes tough to remember the answers to those pesky security questions. It’s up to you whether you want to accept his answers, despite not being quite accurate. It has hundreds of lines of fully voiced dialogue, and there is just something about it that is ever so compelling. It’s a game from David S Gallant, and is available now on the Humble store.

There are plenty of other great games to look out for too. I’ve written up a full preview of Teslagrad from Rain Games already. CloudBuilt looks utterly marvellous, and Android Cactus is a four player shooter that is a ton of fun. So, you can keep your huge budget shooters and your sprawling, epic worlds. I’m gonna grab some cheap stuff for my PC and have a whale of a time.