This month at Austin’s Indie gamesdev showcase Juegos Rancheros, I checked out these games:
Minit, from Austin Indie developers Devolver Digital, an original take on an 8-bit adventure game. It was released to consoles in this week.
Harbor, a turn-based pattern matching game.
The Indie Game Legend 3D is an old-school first person shooter, in the style of Legend of Zelda.
Just a Minute
Juegos Rancheros for tonight focused on indie Adventure game “Minit”. It played all evening on the large projector screen that dominates the whole event.
I got to the event early and sat alone for a while looking down from the mezzanine. I didn’t wait long before Katie Kizziar, an organizer of the event, came over to say Hi. She made me feel very welcome and suggested try Minit on the big screen.
Well, I’m not sure the world is ready for a broadcast of my gaming prowess, so I headed downstairs where I saw a familiar face from last time – Jeremy of Harrowing Adventures.
We hung around the Minit stand chatting with some other guy as he worked his way through the adventure.
The hook of Minit is you only live for 60 seconds, so you need to get as far as possible in that time. When you die not all game state resets. You use multiple generations to achieve some of the tasks. And as you progess you uncover new buildings that act as spawn points. So, while you do face death every 60 seconds, there’s a narrative that goes on beyond your own mortality.
It’s pretty original.
The graphics are purely black and white – i guess it’s a gameboy aesthetic but it reminds me of the ZX Spectrum (8 bit home computer, massive in the UK of my childhood). Jeremy and I drew parallels to Atari VCS 2600 games like Adventure.
Our friend the payer (sorry I didn’t get your name!) told me he was born in ’97 so that really made me feel my age. With all my banging on about games like Pitfall, he must’ve thought I was a right old relic.
After this, Jeremy and I turned our sights on Harbor. It’s a turn-based game where you choose spells to battle an opponent. The developer, Alex James, showed us how it works.
Each player takes turns to invoke spells, by matching shapes with a matrix of colored pieces (that looks a bit like a bejeweled screen). The spell, depending on its type, will cause a random range of damage to the other player.
I was seriously impressed he put this game together in about a month and – more – had the confidence to demo it at the event.
The game is fun, though still in its early days yet and it needs some fleshing out. Alex seemed really open to suggestions, however, and there were some good ideas from the audience. Maybe the game could be a mobile game with long pauses between plays (like Words with Friends, say)?
Or the whole thing could be a combat mechanic – part of a bigger game?
Alex built the game in Game Maker. I’m interested to see where he takes it.
The Indie Game Legend 3D
Upstairs back on the mezzanine, we checked out this 3D shooter which totally reminded me of Wolfenstein but most people agreed had more to do with old-school Zelda.
This one was developed in Unity.
It looked pretty fun. It’s slick and the developer has created a cool log of its development online.