Feature – GameCity Roundup 1

Posted: October 25, 2012 in Feature, GameCity, Ramblings

Finally the time has come where all the stuff they have been mentioning at the GameCityNights which we have attended is meant to happen. That’s right, it’s GameCity time!

The giant marquis set up had a very familiar interior design. We couldn’t put our fingers on it but there was a collective niggling at the back or our minds that we’d seen something looking like this in a Zelda game…

From A Link to The Past… We’re sure of it.

However instead of Zelda games in the booths we had a selection of games from indie developers across the country. The blackboards made a comeback with chalk aplenty for everyone to add their game (or non-game) inspired artwork throughout the room. Fun arts and crafts were available for the little kiddies in attendance (including some of the older gamers) to colour, cut out and place on the walls, inspired by Philippa Rice’s unique designing of the GameCity 7 logo.


Over the next week we shall be giving you a top notch report of the goings on and more importantly, the games developers have brought with them to showcase to the masses.

Mighty Mill Games came with a visually beautiful game – Tanuki Forest. After the evil fox spirit has brought chaos to the forest, the spirits have turned to a flying squirrel that must collect as many spirits as possible and deliver animal bodies to the Shinto Gates whilst avoiding the darkness of the borders and its perilous offshoots that jut out into your flight path. The gameplay resembles that of games like Helicopter, with tapping making the squirrel rise. Power ups keep the game from feeling mundane, which is also hard due to the gorgeous visuals and soft soundtrack.

Karma points can be collected and used to buy furniture to decorate your pad or a nice helmet/mask to wear during your quest to collect spirits. Zooming through the forest with a shark helmet whilst the squirrel has a massive toothy grin proved satisfying viewing. Even though it was still toted as a work in progress with some bugs still evident during playtesting the game still reeked of polish. The adventures of the unnamed squirrel will be released on iPhone and iPad. After asking what the squirrel’s name was, the gentlemen from Mighty Mill Games admitted he didn’t have one and immediately asked for suggestions on the blackboard in their booth. There were several submissions and a popular suggestion was Captain Peanut, although we hope they will choose our recommendation of Reginald.

One of the rare occasions that we weren’t playing the game…

Nottingham Trent University’s DevSoc had several games on offer including Flerbs which was featured at previous GameCityNights events, it involves moving a colourful block around a seemingly impossible to traverse world. You’re clearly going to die here. But this is all part of the plan, as when you respawn your former corpse remains on the field for you to use as a platform to negotiate these treacherous landscapes. It is a clear case of “without sacrifice there can be no victory” (an original Derek Wheatley phrase, similarities with other phrases is purely coincidental, or they’ve copied us) the option for a crazy multiplayer game is available and it is pure manic fun as everyone tries to make everyone else kill themselves so they can advance on their lifeless comrades in a race for victory. Flerbs proved very popular, but our favourite was Retro Rampage which sees retro video game veterans Asteroids, Tetris blocks, Pac Man and Space Invaders attempting to destroy the Earth due to being bitter as their games haven’t been played for so long. Earth clearly have exhausted all the conventional methods and have turned to the last line of defence – Stephen Hawking in super powered space suit. Hectic four player shooting action is aplenty with teamwork being the key. The best strategy appeared to be taking out the Tetris blocks first, then the Space Invaders and defeating the Asteroids and Pac Man if you have time.

Whitepapergames coder David Smith, otherwise known as aguycalleddaves has displayed his work DeStructure, a game with a clever title. You build structures with 3D blocks and then plant bombs and destruct the structures – see what they did there? In DeStructure you can build anything you want then set off explosives to the melody of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, making the experience all the more satisfying. Described by Smith as “Minecraft meets Guitar Hero” and taken only 3 months to make, DeStructure is to be released within a couple of months.

Lovingly crafted, this glorious landscape is soon to be destroyed via a combination of high grade explosives and classical music.

A Masterpiece.

In a nearby booth, appynation brought us proof that ninja’s are insanely jealous of the Harvest Moon franchise. Ninja Ranch has the regular ninja moving away from stealth killings and into the business of herding various quantities of livestock in order to bring harmony to the land. With an endless supply of puzzles already available and a boast that a new puzzle shall be available every day, the base price of 69p seems too good to pass up. Your opportunity to join the Ninja Farmers on their quest is already available for you to purchase on the various iOS platforms today.

Just when you think that was all folks, far from it. Speakeasy Games introduced unusual dodge ‘em up Exeunt, which saw you running forward in an industrial landscape with the occasional rebellious messages popping up, such as “Occupy Wall Street” and “We Are The 99%”, the point of this hippy-esque communication wasn’t explained but we’re sure there’s some purpose behind it. Fight the power. Various obstacles pop up through the terrain for you to navigate. But here’s the twist – you have to switch between various creatures to tackle certain obstacles. The simple Human can dodge and jump as standard, the mighty Rhino can charge through barricades, the nimble Puma can wall jump like he was royalty from Persia, the tunnelling Hare digs under blockades and the swift Impala can make long jumps over treacherous pits.

Obviously there was more than this happening and we’ll be bringing more reports of the latest happenings.

Stay tuned.

Places for you to visit:

Although not actually up at time of writing, you can return to Mighty Mill Games at a later date here coming soon, as well as their Twitter also coming soon.

Appynation’s website and Twitter.

More about DeStructure and aguycalleddaves Twitter.

Fight the power with Exeunt at Speakeasy Games and their Twitter.

The quickly developed games of DevSoc can be found here and keep abreast of developments at their Twitter.

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