Rezzed - Some Games Wot We Played
Out of all the game shows I must say that EGX Rezzed is one of our faves. It's a smaller more indie focused event, has a great venue packed full of different rooms and it's a great place to meander around and discover new games you hadn't seen before, or get your hands on ones you want to try out. It also has the added bonus of talks and developer sessions. You'll often get to chat with the devs at their booths and pick their brains about what they've been up to, or just say 'hi' - very cool.
We were just down for the Friday (it's runs for the whole weekend) and had some meetings but still wanted to get around be able to play some games...and we did! We're gonna talk you through some of them now but first here's Tom drinking a bottle of what appears to be nutritious mud to prepare himself for the vigorous day ahead.
Anyhow, now that important diversion is attended to, let's crack on!
The Siege and the Sandfox (Alex)
I'd been wanting to get my hands on this one for a while and managed to sneak on early doors before Rezzed got into full swing. It has a gorgeous visual style that pushes pixel art to new heights and it was neat just to run around and soak it all in. The demo section I played was the tutorial, guiding you through the various movement styles and actions you can perform, it feels like there is going to be plenty to master for the hardcore. The demo dripped with atmosphere with it's haunting music and intrioguing setting.
One of the reasons I was so keen to seek it out and get hands on was that my interest was piqued by Chris Wilson's (The Design Director of Cardboard Sword) Develop 2017 talk on successful tutorials in games. If you wanna catch it yourself you can do so here.
I got what I'd been hoping for; it felt super tight to play, strikes a great atmosphere and sense of place and looks top drawer, really looking forward to gently lowering myself into a simmering vat of The Siege and the Sandfox when it is released!
Harold Halibut (Danny)
My rezzed highlights are perhaps somewhat predictable. Two point 'n' click inspired adventure games that look absolutely stunning and attempt to subtly innovate in the genre.
The first is Harold Halibut. Harold and his game are made totally from hand-crafted models and stop-motion, evoking a filmic, almost Wes Anderson feel and a crazy level of expressiveness. The game is set aboard a crashed spaceship, and Harold – a mere janitor – gets embroiled in the ambitious plot to escape the aquatic planet and uncover the secrets that lie behind closed doors.
From my brief hands on it's hard to say exactly what the puzzles will be like, but if even half the care has gone into them as it has everything else, we'll be on to a winner here.
Haiku Adventure (Danny)
In a similar hand-made vein is Haiku Adventure. The premise is deceptively simple. Navigate around a beautiful ukiyo-e style landscape, collecting lines of haiku by examining things, and then assembling them in the right order to solve the puzzles. It just looks so damn authentic, the haiku are lovely and the pace is tranquil. It's not going to be the most hardcore puzzling experience ever, but haiku – and the game captures this feeling brilliantly – is more about seeing the world a bit differently.
Knight and Bikes (Alex)
I'd played a little of Knights and Bikes before and backed it on Kickstarter. I'm a little wary of spoiling the end experience for myself when the full game comes out but could help have a quick pootle around their latest demo. Yeah, it's gonna be great.
Visually it really smack you right in the chops. In fact if you were interested in that side of this Rex (the Art chap from Foam Sword) gave a really great GDC Art Direction talk that is available for all to watch (for free-sies) on the GDC vault here.
I also got a sticker, stickers are good (note to self, get some sweet Röki stickers made).
Du Lac & Fey (Alex)
I'm very intrigued by the world and lore of Salix Games Du Lac & Fey. There is something about the mix of Arthurian legend and Victorian London that really appeals to me. I also really want to know how Fey ended up as a dog, ALL THE INTRIGUE!
I'd last played it at Adventure X (where we were fortunate enough to have a chat with the team who were all lovely) and everything is progressing great guns. I especially enjoyed being able to scrutinizing found objects in 3D, spinning them around and zooming in to get an eyeful.
I also spent a little while circling Fey, who is a dog, around and around to check out her animations. I imagine I probably looked rather simple but no change there. There was something very satisfying about her padding feet. Anyhow enough of my oddities, it was good you should check it out!
Adventure Pals (Tom)
So my EGX Rezzed this year had an added motivation of trying to find something my wife or I could play with my son. He’s 6, and whilst he would happily play anything (all day) it’s good to have some parental boundaries right? My one is that we try and play stuff together so it’s social. It’s part of the reason Alex and I like Adventure games so much, but that’s a story for another day! Anyway, back to Rezzed and a game called Adventure Pals - a stylish looking 2 player platformer. What I really liked about it is it’s accessibility. There is no split screen, no waiting if a player gets left behind - they just get teleported forward with no fuss or penalty. It’s easy to pick up, fun to play and looks great too. Job done!
In Other Waters (Alex)
The set-up for In Other Waters is right up my street:-
"Guide a stranded xenobiologist as they explore and study the secrets of an alien ocean"
As well an intriguing world It also looks very smart with super clean and minimal visuals (you can tell the creator is a graphic designer, one of their many talents by the sounds of things) that let your imagination go into overdrive imagining picturing nthe events taking place.
The 2nd game I want to mention is something completely different. It’s called Umwelt (pronounced um-velt) and let’s just start by saying that I’m not going to do it justice in my description, but I’ll do my best! From what I could tell it’s kind of a cerebral, minimalist (ie no UI) puzzle game, whereby you plug in massive sensors into a huge laboratory bound brain, in order to stimulate different senses, which in turn allow you to solve puzzles. So one sensor might unlock sound, or the colour blue, or depth perception. You get the idea (or not). Anyway, it reminded me of games like The Stanley Parable and Portal in its sci-fi dystopian mystery lab vibe. Plus it has a badass poster, so basically I’m in!
Anyhow that's a wrap for our Rezzed 2018 round up. This is by now way a definitive list there were loads of other really neat games there we didn't get the chance to play, some we'd played before (special shout-out to fellow Cambridge devs and their games Catastronauts, Heaven's Vault, Sure Footing and Loco Motion) and some I'm sure we'll discover in time.
Until next time,
Alex, Tom & Danny