Her Knights – Byulbaram
First up was Byulbaram, the godfather of Korean indie, featuring 그녀의 기시단 (Her Knights) in English from back in like 2004 for the GP32, and old Korean handheld system that I’d never heard of. According to Wikipedia, it’s similar to the first edition of the Game Boy Advance. I should look for one the next time I’m in Yongsan.
The game had early 2000s anime pixel art and a bit of a story. It played kinda like Turtles in Time, but with hand drawn cutscenes, and a fantasy sort of vibe. What’s notable are how well the characters and enemies react to what’s happening on screen. In fact, in a response to Gon Lee, from Total Battery, who asked about the most important characteristic of a fighting game, Byulbaram explained that every attack would bring out a distinct animation in enemies, that made sense with what was happening to them. Like, a right handed punch would push a person left, etc. I know that seems obvious now, but watching the game one more time after hearing this really made me appreciate just how many animations were actually in the game.
Oh, I should note, that this guy had to find the old source, and then rewrite everything for OpenGL so he could bring it to BIC and Seoul Indies. Hard core.
Bouncing Hero – ZPink + zniq.co
Bouncing Hero, a collaboration with ZPink and zniq.co, was also at BIC. It’s a puzzle-platformer, where you’re constantly bouncing, and you have to time your movements to each bounce. The developers wanted to create something that was challenging, but also was easy to control with a touch screen interface.
The point of the game is to touch all of the red star emblems on the screen to either open the door or to defeat the boss. The concept and design are simple, but crazy challenging. Each level is not randomly generated, but has a number of different permutations that can occur, which adds replayability as well. I could see myself getting frustrated with this, but it’s a solid concept.
Superstream – zniq.co
Superstream is a vamped up version of Pipe Dream, but with a Tetris style piece delivery system. The water (in this case a pulse of light) starts flowing as soon as you’ve laid 6 pieces on the board, removing the original pieces in place. When the pulse goes through a piece on the board, including one you’ve placed, it randomly regenerates, and gives you the ability to place one more piece from your tray. The difficulty comes from only being able to have a maximum of six delivered pieces on the board, meaning you can’t just throw what you don’t want away.
Superstream is free to play on zniq.co, and on Telegram apparently?
Hwasal – Jang Wonsun
Hwasal looks like a roguelike, but it’s more of a puzzler. Basically you’re an archer and you have to set up your arrows to hit every enemy on the screen in a number of turns. As you progress you can unlock upgrades and other things to use in the levels.
Ninja Issen – Jang Wonsun
This is another game by Jang Wonsun. The goal of the game is to defeat all the enemies on the screen in one go. The gimmick is that the entire level (with the enemies in them) shifts around in front of you, meaning you have to wait until everything lines up correctly to strike.
It’s a bit hard to explain, and I can’t find anything else on the game online, so I’ll just leave this one here for now.
Seoul Indies is the last Thursday of every month, and we’re usually located between Daeheung and Gwangheungchang stations on Line 6. If you have a game, or want to see some new stuff, come check it out!