I’ve usually got my ear to the ground regarding the latest Xbox One and general gaming news as a whole. But each and every year, the EGX show throws up some little gems – gems that I either knew very little about, or had never heard of in my life. This year was no different.
But which were the indie games from EGX 2017 that jumped out and shouted ‘look at me, look at me’? Well, the following five titles most definitely came out of nowhere to blow my mind!
It had bugs, it wasn’t as smooth as a racer should be and the LAN setup was just about frustrating enough to tip anyone over the edge. But I kept finding myself heading back to the Racing Apex stand – if only in order to beat previous times and test myself in different cars. And at the end of the day, that is all you ever want in a game – bucket-loads of charisma and draw.
Arriving at the show for its first ever public showing thanks to the team at Curve Digital, Racing Apex is the latest racer to come from some of the minds behind the Burnout series, Midnight Club and more. And when you’ve got a driving pedigree with those games behind you, you’re probably already on to a bit of a winner.
An adrenaline fuelled classic arcade racer, the only thing you really need to worry about is crossing that finish line first. But with numerous characters to choose from and multiple cars all coming with different handling characteristics, taming each beast found in the game will no doubt be trickier than you initially think.
I’m super excited to see Racing Apex coming to major consoles and PC. And I reckon any other racing gamer will probably think the same.
Another that was taking pride of place on the Curve Digital stall was Bomber Crew, and I have to admit that I initially struggled to understand the whole premise, especially as I was left juggling multiple gameplay mechanics with little tutorial.
But getting the chance to go properly hands on with the strategic survival simulation changed those thoughts.
Well, it would have changed those thoughts if I hadn’t ensured every member of my crew ended their mission ditched in the ocean, with enemy fire ringing round their ears. However, before everything went a bit wrong I was hugely enjoying my time directing my small crew.
With pilots who need help piloting, a gunner who would forget to shoot unless you told him, and a navigator who reads maps like my other half, if you don’t help your crew out, whilst ensuring they dodge the madness of war that is going on around their little plane, then they won’t last five minutes.
And like I found out – even with help, they may not last much longer.
But the overall vibe I got from Runner Duck’s Bomber Crew was a good one and I’m already looking forward to spending a bit more time with the game when it finally releases on consoles and PC.
Octahedron has recently been signed to the Square Enix Collective, and that pretty much ensured that the game was worth a little look at EGX 2017. And whilst I enjoy platform puzzlers as much as the next man, I was still hugely surprised with how good Octahedron is.
Your initial impressions of the vertical action adventure that is Octahedron will no doubt centre on the visual impact it has on your life, and how the kaleidoscope of colour that has been included by indie developer, Demimonde, ensures that you can’t put the game down.
But accompanying those visuals is a soundtrack that is utterly brilliant, showcasing the skills of video game composer Chipzel and others brilliantly. It is the audio that really pushes you along on your Octahedron adventure too, as the strange world you find yourself in tries to destroy you at every step. Thankfully, a simple gameplay mechanic that ensures you are able to make your own platforms at will, and the promise of an Xbox One, PS4 and PC release in early 2018, will ensure that Octahedron is most definitely an indie title of the very highest quality.
“Hang on, I’ve already played a game like this!”
“Uridium by any chance?”
“Yes, that’s the one – I battered that throughout the mid-1980s.”
“Yeah, my father published that.”
If ever a couple of opening lines of dialogue were able to sell a game to me, it was these ones. I was a big fan of Uridium back as a young child, playing it for hours on end on my C64.
Now though Uridium, sorry, Hyper Sentinel is back. And it’s been created by Huey Games delightfully. The twisting, shooting, dodging and collecting that I had the pleasure of taking in as a youngster has been completely smoothed out, tons of power ups have been introduced and the challenge and style of play has been upped to modern day standards.
12 levels, 60 medals to compete for, a number of difficulty levels and the chance to pit yourself against the world via online leaderboards should well ensure that Hyper Sentinel is everything I want in a game. If you then throw in old school CRT, Spectrum and C64 visual effects should you so wish, and just enough games modes to see you going back to better your scores over and over again, Hyper Sentinel should more than deliver.
I can’t wait to relive some memories when the game hits Xbox One, PS4, PC and Nintendo Switch in January 2018. If only so I can master that ‘reverse flip’.
In fact, I was so impressed with Hyper Sentinel that I’m super tempted to go and pick up the Collector’s USB Cassette Edition from http://www.hypersentinel.com for old times sake.
One of the very first games I played at the show was Deadbeat Heroes. But my time with the game, and the short chat I had with the hugely enthusiastic development team behind it, stayed with me for the rest of the show.
Created by ex-Lionhead and Rockstar developers, Deadbeat Heroes is a bit of a love-letter to old school arcade beat em ups, with a heavy 1960s comic book influence. Indeed, the visuals alone scream 60’s Batman, whilst the whole premise could have been stripped straight from the very best comics.
At the heart of the brawling crime-capers action are the fighting mechanics and you’ll find yourself leaping, dashing, wall-running and climbing over numerous bad guys and the areas they frequent. With 40 levels in place, and each one filled to the brim with a variety of enemies, Deadbeat Heroes seems quite likely to be the ultimate pick up and play title for anyone looking for a bit of violence. Comic book violence of course.
Deadbeat Heroes will be releasing soon too (10th October on Xbox One and PC) and is looking like it’ll be more than worth a look.
So there we have it – the five Indie titles from EGX 2017 that blew my tiny little mind. From not knowing too much about any of them, to being taken in by their brilliance, I know one thing is for sure – the indie video gaming scene is most definitely alive and well! Thank god for EGX.