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BIC Fest 2017 – The Best Fest

While all of you are galavanting around at TGS, the Burpy crew are enjoying a quiet weekend at home, nursing our wounds and sulking about how we’re not at TGS. It’s okay though, because we still have the memories of BIC Fest 2017 to get us through until BitSummit in May.

It’s going to be a long 8 months.

Until then, let’s talk about all the great stuff that happened at Busan Indie Connect this year.

  1. We went to Busan.
  2. A bunch of cool peeps came to Busan, too.
  3. We got drunk on the beach.
  4. I interpreted on stage for a bunch of cool people. @curttheinvert trolled Microsoft on stage.
  5. We played a lot of games.
  6. We got drunk at the beach.
  7. We forgot to learn what Azure was.

So much fun. Of course though, while it is super important to get drunk on the beach and meet with cool people, it’s also important to play video games. So many good choices this year, too. Project.99 was there in full effect with like a million games on a million laptops. To the Hell made what has to be it’s 3rd appearance at BIC. Racers: Dirt came back, but as a Sony title. It’s really nice to see the full circle on titles. Redout, too. They were heavily in development at BIC 2015, and now they’re on like every system. All good things.

However, with this post, I want to give you, in no particular order, my top 5 out of all the new stuff I saw this year. I mean, new to me at least.

 

Do Not Feed The Monkeys (Fictiorama Studios, Q4-2017)

Do Not Feed The Monkeys – Fictiorama Studios

 

Do Not Feed The Monkeys combines the text-based tension of Papers Please with a teensy bit of Phoenix Wright with um… Sliver? Basically, you’re duty bound by this secret society to watch unsecured webcams, called cages, and report back what the monkeys, the people you’re spying on, are doing. Your mandate is to only watch, but since the society doesn’t seem to pay you, you may be forced to make some… choices. You can take a job, or you can decide to start blackmailing the monkeys and see how far you get before the society comes in and shuts you down.

Honestly, there’s not a lot of gameplay here, but I pretty much had to be kicked off the demo because I hogged it for too long. There’s something about voyeurism and blackmailing people (come on, like there was ever a choice) that really draws your attention.

Oh, and I think one of the monkeys is Hitler.

 

HP Sword (TGB)

HP Sword – TGB

 

HP Sword is a decent platformer with a solid gimmick. The size and power of your blade is proportional to your HP. You can also use part of your HP as a projectile. This creates an effective risk/reward system by allowing the player temporarily losing power to get in a really good hit in, but it also puts a bit of pressure on if you’re doing poorly. Overall though, it’s pretty balanced. Very little information on it in English. I’ll do a proper review when I can get my hands on a copy.

 

Hyperun (Concrete Games)

Hyperun – Concrete Games

 

Hyperun is a racing game with no acceleration button. No brakes either. Basically, you just keep going, faster and faster until you fuck up. Using WASD lets you strafe, using the arrow keys lets you make an on-a-dime 90 degree turn. While strafing is pretty important to pick up speed boosts (and I think health boosts?) making those square corners at higher speeds is where the difficulty comes in. You can hold down an arrow key to drift before the corner, but I’ve found that it’s easier to just to try to time the corner well. I like the twist this gives to racing games.

 

Tiny Clusters (Thibaut Mereu)

Tiny Clusters – Thibaut Mereu

 

Tiny Clusters is a cute little game that you can get a demo of on itch right now. It’s a really good take on platforming puzzlers. You’re a little space dude, just trying to get by in this alien-eat-alien world… space. Luckily he has you to help him out by rearranging his world to let him get through. It’s surprisingly tricky, in a similar vein to Snakebird. I’ve only played the demo, so I don’t know if you get more screens to swap around, or if the different environments in each of the chunks will have different roles to play, but I’ll do a proper review on this one too when it comes out.

 

Legal Dungeon (Somi)

Legal Dungeon – Somi

 

This is another political game by Somi, who made Replica about a year or so ago. As far as I understand, in the US, a grand jury decides if the government will indict a person for a crime, but in Korea, the police and the prosecutors decide. This game is about that process, where you play as a cop going through documents trying to find clues that point to a person’s guilt. Knowing Somi, this game will be about the fine line between finding evidence, and placing that evidence blindly into the narrative you want to promote. I don’t see this game having as big of an appeal as Replica, but I still found it pretty engaging.

 

That’s it. @curttheinvert will be around soon with his round up. I’m going to go work our next game and try to forget TGS ever happened.

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Project.99 – Space Romance?

Full Disclosure: I really only do this section to try to make myself feel better about my poor life choices.

Project.99 is a monthly revisited collection of experimental games by a number of members of the Out of Index and Seoul Indies crews, as well as other developers in South Korea.

And by experimental… we mean experimental. This is some weird shit yo. Most of it is weird good. Some of it is weird confusing. Some of it is weird, scare the shit right out of you. There’s a platformer that builds levels based on your IP address. There’s a QWOP like game where you compete against other QWOPs that learn from you how to QWOP properly.* There’s a game where you can’t blink or that chick from the ring will come of your monitor and destroy you. There’s even a bomb that you need to set your computer to sleep to deactivate.

All sorts of awesomely weird shit is available, but I’m going to go through some my favourites from their collection so far.

Probably the most easy item to understand as a game would be RP6 by Sun Park from Project.99 – 1702. It’s a 6 button RPG, based on that month’s theme of ZXCVBN. (Sorry M, you suck)

RP6 from 1702 by Sun Park

In RP6, you control the adventure of a pixelated warrior. The warrior makes his way across the screen and back in a fixed time, each step leading them to an encounter with a monster, an elixir or a bottle of poison. Elixirs regain HP, poison causes the warrior to lose HP, and battling enemies lowers HP in return for XP which allows you to level up, bringing forth larger monsters etc. Each of the encounters is “controlled” from left to right by the Z X C V B N keys. Pressing either one of those keys will switch out the current encounter with something else at random. Running low on HP? Try to get some elixirs. Need to level up? Get some monsters in there. Poison? Bash that key and hope to glob it turns into something better.

Really, you just need 5 minutes for this game, but it’s pretty fun.

 

MATH GAM3 from 1708 by Jaewon Yoo, Jooeun Hwang, and Sun Park

 

MATH GAM3 is a simple math puzzler. You’re given an answer, and you have to find the correct numbers, and toggle the operators to solve the problem. The trick is, you have to swap out numbers in the equation with those that exist anywhere else on the screen. Any number is fair game, including the solution, the timer, the date… You can technically live forever if you’re good enough! I wish I could do this with my bank statement. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA I AM SO FUNNY.

 

Space Romance from 1804 by Sun park, Jaewon Yoo, Jaehyun Yoo, Jooeun Hwang

 

Aesthetically, this one is my absolute favourite. It’s about the passionate romance of two space-eyeballs with tongues for some reason. Each eyeball is controlled from the point of view of the other, which changes from space-eyeball to space-eyeball every 10 seconds or so. Using WASD, get the two balls close enough to each other, and they’ll start mekkin it like there’s no tomorrow. I mean it sounds easy, and I know you want to get them balls a-mekkin, but you really have to be on your game with this one. The controls are finicky, and it’s very very easy to get lost in even this small of an area.

 

Space Romance from 1804 by Sun park, Jaewon Yoo, Jaehyun Yoo, Jooeun Hwang

 

That being said, when you’re out of range of the other eyeball, you’ll get the helpful “Where are you?” message to let you know you’ll be screwed when the camera changes. Luckily, it’s not as difficult as it is for me to find someone to mek with in real life, so I’ve actually spent a bit of time with this one.

There’s like 15 other games, too. Go check them out. They’re on itch.

 

 

*They’re facked if they think I’m going to get good enough for me to save them.