Indiecade 2014 took place in Culver City this year. A great choice of location on their part. Parking was easy and extremely cheap and there were plenty of great restaurants in the area. Nintendo had a strong showing at this years Indiecade . Boasting 15 "Nindies" from different developers ranging from strategy to platformers to party games. Nintendo did a great job of focusing the attention on the games there. There was absolutely no mention of anything related to their big upcoming titles, all the attention went to the indie games. We had a chance to play a few of them and were impressed by each one for its own reasons. The games available to demo were:
The Fall by Over The Moon Games
Costume Quest 2 by Midnight City and Double Fine
Stealth Inc. 2 by Curve Digital
Shovel Knight by Yacht Club Games
Swords and Soldiers 2 by Ronimo Games
Shantae and the Pirate's Curse by Wayforward
Runbow by 13AM Games
Sportsball by Too DX
A.N.N.E. by GamesByMo
Woah Dave by Choice Provisions
Xeodrifter by Renegade Kid
Affordable Space Adventures by Knapnok Studio
Chariot by Frima Studio
Beatbuddy by Threaks
We unfortunately didn't get to play all of the games there but did get to about half of them. Costume Quest 2 by far had the biggest amount of people waiting to play. I've played the first one and loved it and for the sake of time decided to sit the demo out and trust it will be every bit as good as I'm expecting it to be when it comes out. That said, I'll talk a little about the games we did try out:
Runbow was my personal favorite. I had never heard of it and as I walked by it was asked if I wanted to play it and that's where the magic begins. First off, the game is for the wii u and makes really good use of the fact that you can connect the Classic Controller to the WiiMote. You can have up to 9 players at the same time. You read that right, 9 players at the same time on a local game. Basically for each WiiMote/Classic Controller combo you have a person on the WiiMote and the other on the classic controller you can do this up to four times and then you have the ninth player on the Gamepad. The game mode we played was Run. The point of the game was to run/jump to the goal first. Sounds simple but there's a catch. A lot of platforms and walls are colored bars. The background is constantly changing colors. If the background changes to the color of one of those bars it is officially disappeared for that moment. Your character can die in each race and you are out for the rest of the race until someone reaches the goal or everyone dies ─which does happen a bit─. There's power-ups along the way and you can punch each other to push back and stun. Overall this was the underdog for me. I actually came back later in the day and played again. It won't be out until sometime in 2015 but do keep an eye for it. It is sure to be a great game for parties.
Woah Dave! is a nod to old school games. It is a simple ─I use this term very loosely─ game where the goal is high score. In the game you're set on a stage very reminiscent of Joust ─except you can't go off the left side and appear on the right─. There multiple levels of platforms laid out and your character appears in the middle. The way you make points in this game is by killing aliens. First they appear as eggs. The eggs you can pick up and throw but they will hatch, when they hatch an alien comes out. You can kill the alien by throwing an unhatched egg at it. Or a skull. The skull is kind of a bomb except it destroys everything it touches whether it's an alien or an unhatched egg. You have to be careful though because the skulls explode. Anything destroyed gives you a coin which is essentially $0.01 and the goal is to get the highest amount. The game picks up in difficulty and it starts throwing UFOs and flying eyeballs at you as well as the lava coming up and making the bottom section of the stage unusable. I was able to get a whole $0.67 after a couple tries. Not even Top 5 territory ─probably not even top 10 if the scoreboard showed that─. Still, pretty addicting as you try to beat your high score. You will probably see the game come out in the next few weeks in the e-shop. If anyone picks it up , I will go to high score war with you.
So this game -Shovel Knight- has actually been out for a little bit and I've already played it, but it was there and deserves some praise in case some of you haven't played it yet. This is easily one of the best games you can get on the e-shop. The first thing that I loved about the game is that it doesn't baby me. You start the game and get put right into it, just like the games of my youth there is no message telling me I can move with the Dpad and jump with A or anything like that. The best part of the game for me is that you just know. Everything you think "I can probably do this/hit this/jump on this/etc..." is probably true. The game has a very solid feel to every movement, the story/dialogues are hilarious and the game has a lot of replay value. There are various modes to keep you playing it over including the wonderful Butt Mode where a lot of key words are changed to Butt. This alone makes passing it and replaying it worth it to read all the new dialogue. If you need or want a new game right now, this is a game you won't regret getting at all. It is worth every penny and I only wish it was availble in disc format so I could have the box added to my collection.
We were able to play a few minutes of a couple other games like Shantae and the Pirates Curse which was a nice platforming action game that I will probably check out more of because it somewhat reminded me of Disney games by Virgin Interactive like Aladdin and the Lion King. We also played Beatbuddy, which was beautiful but I admittedly got stuck and wasn't able to do much. Finally Xeodrifter which I played for a few minutes and liked the controls but admittedly had no idea what I had to do since I picked up a game that was started.
Overall the lineup was impressive. The Nintendo booth had a very good amount of people show up and I really hope the attention to these games pays off. Some were innovative and others showed that old school type games done right are more fun and all around a better experience than some of the newer gimmicky and rehashed games.