Blog (Pre-Medium)

Arcane Musings – BICFest 2017

BICFest 2017 went down in Busan a couple weekends ago and your friendly neighborhood wizard* caught a dimensional portal down there to see what the fuss was about. BICFest is Korea’s premier indie game festival going into it’s third year. One-hundred twenty odd games were showcased, along with talks by industry professionals, indie eSport competitions projected on a giant screen, and just basic good old times with a bunch of friendly developers from all over the world. I feel privileged that I got to meet and hang with so many fun people over the weekend.

What follows are my impressions of some of the games I got hands on. My compatriot posted his thoughts a couple of days ago.

One of the coolest booths was the “Classic Korean Indie” booth. It showcased some games from the earlier part of the 21st century. One of the games, Her Knight, was designed for the Korean only handheld the GP32. Guys, I’m a video wizard and I didn’t know that thing existed! I want one to go on the shelf next to my Atari Lynx.

Agatha Knife – Spanish devs be off the hook, yo. A game where a young girl slaughters animals and creates a religion. This is one to keep an eye on. Devs carry knives.

Alice in Cube – Neat 3D Android puzzle with an Alice in Wonderland theme. Could see myself losing some time to this in the future.

Asura – Slick little Diablo-type RPG. The innovation here is a procedurally generated skill tree and a South Asian theme. Solid game.

Back Slash – 2D-Arena combat with WIZARDS!!!

Breaking Wheel – The silliest game at BICFest. And that, my friends, is saying something. You are a wheel in the Medieval Times and you battle against Ogres. Silly time are good times.

Maruta Escape – Isometric stealth game with a time rewinding mechanic. You can rewind your movements OR those of the evil robots hunting you.

Old Man’s Journey – Sweet little android puzzle game about an old man walking home through the hills. Probably the best of the mobile games at BICFest. Dev gave out temporary tattoos which endeared him to the westerners but kind of freaked out the Korean audience.

Pawarumi – Bullet hell shooter in the Treasure mold. Really amazing graphics.

Redout – Super polished futurist racer in the F-Zero mold. Reminded me of Star Wars Episode I: Racer, the best racer for the N64 and the best thing to come out of the Phantom Clone Saga Jar Jar Wars.

Shots Fired – Developers in from the Philippines. Talked to them about the up and coming scene out there. Super exciting to hear about how indie games are coming up all over the world. Game is Where’s Waldo meets Tinder meets the University of Texas tower shooter.

To the Hell – Retro platformer shooter that mimics those elevator levels from GunStar Heroes and it’s ilk. The dev apologized for the bad English in the title, but I told him it made it sond more awesome and unique.

Urbanøïz – I don’t really know what this game is about due to the language barrier, but check out the slick design going on: Their booth was awesome and their swag was top notch. Adventure game about a robot? Or something?

Vectorium – Cool little arena bullet hell shooter with a BUMPIN’ soundtrack. The dev brought big old speakers to showcase his game. Turn up the volume if you play this.

Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles – Extremely polished 3D RPG billed as “Zelda without the violence.” Sort of a cross between Zelda and Animal Crossing. I’ll have to try this one out with my Junior Wizard.

동물의정원 – Cute animal management game for andriod. Designed by “Father Made Games.” I asked about the name and he said, “Well, I’m a father, and I decided to make games for my kids.” Can’t think of a better reason.


The Three Stars of the Match:

Do Not Feed the Monkeys – A personal favorite game at BICFest. A unsettling game about spying on other people and choosing whether or not to get involved with their lives. Part voyeuristic adventure, part lifestyle management. All with LucasArts style graphics. You’ll be hearing more about this from us.

Hyperun – This was another contender for the best game at BICFest. It’s a procedurally generated racer where you constantly have to do sharp drifts and sweet tricks. It looks amazing, the mechanics are simple and elegant, and it’s super fun to play. Review forthcoming on Burpy Fresh.

The American Dream – This is a VR game about being American. You have guns and infinite ammo. You use your guns to complete common household tasks such as feeding a baby or flipping hamburgers. Remarkably true to life. Feels like this could go up in Epcot center and no one would bat an eye, because guns. Bang bang.

*This is a lie. Wizards are not friendly. Nor do their live in neighborhoods. They live in towers.