And just like that, EGX 2021 has been and gone. After an extended wait from the end of EGX 2019, this year’s convention is now over too. But what did we learn during our time there?
Games, games and more games of course! Whilst EGX 2021 may have been a quieter, more relaxed affair, there were still plenty of upcoming releases to get our chops around. Here are just a few of our favourites:
Honey, I Joined a Cult
Not a sequel to the Rik Moranis film series, but Honey, I Joined a Cult is a sim management game that has recently launched in Steam Early Access. Honey, I Joined a Cult comes from Team17’s publishing arm but it features much of the same humour we have come to expect from this legendary company.
As the leader of your cult, it is up to you to plan and devise every aspect of your grand plan to increase your number of followers and more importantly, your funding. After purchasing a new plot of land, you are tasked with building the best community for your cult to thrive in. Choose from a wide variety of different rooms and décor to make your cultists as loyal as possible.
However, it isn’t simply a case of just building in Honey, I Joined a Cult, you will need to micro-manage your cultists to get the best out of them. Their wants and needs must be met in order to get the most out of them, both fiscally and productively. Expect a The Sims like experience as you monitor everything right down to their bathroom routines.
Also from Team17 and coming to Steam in December is the hardcore action-RPG Thymesia. Much like Honey, I Joined a Cult there is no official Xbox announcement just yet but by adding them to this list we can hopefully will a console port into existence.
Fans of Dark Souls and the Souls-like games in general will want to keep an eye on this. Featuring almost identical gameplay, it is tough not to make that comparison, but Thymesia does have a trick up its sleeve.
The world in Thymesia has been ravaged by a disease turning almost every resident into a monster. As Corvus, you must navigate through this world and defeat these monsters. It isn’t enough to just hack and slash away at them though, some trickier enemies will regain their health if you aren’t quick enough. To defeat these, you will literally need to rip the disease from them and make sure they don’t come back. Permanently.
Featuring around a dozen bosses, this first Souls-like from Team17 will certainly offer something for existing fans but with healthy lore and world building could usher in a new generation of fans too.
Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus & Butterfly
Having been announced as coming to consoles just before EGX 2021, the convention marked the first time Coffee Talk Episode 2 was playable for fans. And as a huge fan of the first entry, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the pre-release special.
Episode 2 will feature more of the same relaxing vibes, chillhop soundtrack, latte art but with a host of new characters too. The demo appeared to be set towards the beginning of the new game as Officer Jorji once again descends on the Coffee Talk coffee shop in Seattle. It isn’t long before new characters arrive for a drink though.
Coffee Talk 2 will keep the drinks flowing though with some extra ones to add to your repertoire. New ingredients will be added in the sequel but how you present it will be just as important; don’t forget your latte art skills.
This time around there will be additional mythical creatures to talk with including satyrs and banshees. Once again though their problems are decidedly human in nature and even in this short demo we were introduced to topics such as online trolls and how different races are viewed in society. It looks like Coffee Talk Episode 2 will continue to keep the very real issues front and centre of the visual novel.
Currently, Grapple Dog is targeting a Steam release only. However, the demo that we played at the Super Rare Games booth was on a Nintendo Switch. Fingers are crossed for this one to go multiplatform sooner rather than later.
In Grapple Dog, you’re a dog with a grappling hook. That should be all you need to know to make a decision on the game itself, but there is a lot more to it as well. A 2D platformer, Grapple Dog will need to traverse these tricky levels using his grappling hook. There will be collectables and secret areas to explore like any good platformer, but you’ll need to use all your grappling abilities to find everything.
Don’t let the pixel-art style lull you into a false sense of security, there is real depth to Grapple Dog as indicated by the time trials. There have already been some strong time trial battles in the Grapple Dog demo on Steam, as well as at the booth itself where a competition was held. But when this is released to the masses expect players to be competing to shave milliseconds off their personal bests.
Our final inclusion from the best games of EGX 2021 is likely to be the one furthest away in terms of a release date, but it is already shaping up nicely.
Harp Song is an action-adventure game that is using Irish mythology as its story inspiration. The gameplay we got to play involved wandering round Eire are Clár, a human who gets caught up in the ongoing battle between the Fomorians and the Tuatha Dé Danann.
There wasn’t much in the way of combat during the demo but when the words ‘God of War’ were whispered to us as the main inspiration, we were instantly sold.
What we did see were some beautiful Irish landscapes. There was the coastlin
e to explore along with some wooded areas where even in this early build, there was some brilliant lighting effects going on. The demo was brief; it quickly drew to a close just as we had unlocked the ability to fly, but it was enough to get us hooked and hoping for more.
This should hopefully give you a snapshot of some of our favourite games from EGX 2021. Unfortunately, there weren’t many confirmed as coming to Xbox but I’m told the more people that read this, the more chance there is of these being ported over, so you know what to do.
Did you attend EGX for yourself? Which were your favourite games that you played? Let us know in the comments below!
And if you want to know more about these games, listen in to TheXboxHub Official Podcast Episode 99 – we were live from the show floor.