Feature – GameCity8 Open Arcade Roundup

Posted: November 4, 2013 in Feature, GameCity, Indie, Ramblings
Tags: , , , ,


Phew, the festival is finally over. All that trekking across town sure takes it out of you when you try to get to as many of the events as you can, as well as visiting the Open Arcade to check out and test the finely crafted creations of those who have travelled from afar to bring to you…


Right then, off we go!

Space Farmersss3_smallSpace Farmers is a game by Bumpkin Brothers which may imply it is about farming in space – only half of that is true. You are in space but there doesn’t seem to be any farming, which is probably for the best as growing “space-aubergine” doesn’t have the same appeal as the Harvest Moon games. What was on offer was rather fun. It is a game about cooperation with a friend as you work as a team to reach the exit. There is no screwing your friend over and reaching the end first all by yourself and rubbing your betrayal in their face, you two need each other. On offer to play there were five levels, each with a different mechanic for the players to work with. You had gravity gloves which gives a player the ability to lift blocks, a jetpack to hover over danger and out into space, a mega laser and some other lovely gadgets . But this means you cannot hold the regular weapon; as such your comrade must defend you from the hordes of enemies that charge you, or run around you as you swing that unturnoffable laser beam. I played the missions alongside a complete stranger and although we hardly said a word to each other during gameplay, there was an unbreakable bond, cemented by an unspoken vow between us to protect one another. Just as nature intended.

SAM_1051Apart from the indie devs showcasing their wares there were numerous retro consoles on offer for everybody to play with. They include, but not limited to: Wonder Boy, Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles, Space Harrier, Sonic and Knuckles, Wip3out, Metroid Prime, Pokémon Stadium 2, Super Bomberman, Mario Kart 64, Super Pole Riders, Micro Machines and Mario Football.

Devsoc had reurned for another year with Retro Revenge and an updated Flerbz, offering the public the chance to make their own levels. After being able to make a game about a “Squirrel Apocalypse” in under a week during last year’s GameCity it was disappointing to not see something new for everyone to play.

StrongroomStrongroom was a game by Wonderstruck, which was near finished in terms of visuals – at present it looks almost like an homage to Mike Bithell – it looked like a 3D Thomas Was Alone as it had moving rectangles as characters and had the gameplay of new Bithell product Volume as it is a stealth game – you play an art thief, who must reach the exit and steal loot whilst avoiding guards and security cameras. I was assured that the visuals were only temporary and the finished product would have much more detail and actual people instead of shapes.

This is the transformation it's going to get. Promise.

This is the transformation it’s going to get. Promise.

hero-bears_2697447bAndrew Smith from Spilt Milk Studios brought a game called Hero Bears, a game which donates half the cost to charity Help For Heroes. An endless runner akin to games like Temple Run you control some army bears as they run carrying an injured comrade on a stretcher whilst voiding obstacles such as walls, enemy bears on motorbikes on what appeared to be a swallow but was told it was a pheasant. There were prizes for those getting a high score and I managed to bag myself a nice bag for getting 32,000. I was help-for-heroes-hero-bearstold someone beat the score later around the 60,000 mark but since I wasn’t there to watch it happen I maintain they cheated, but I’m not bitter or anything. it’s only £2 and it’s for a good cause so you have no reason not to invest in this addictive game. Available on iPad and Android now.


I maintain my score was super high and unbeatable…

Another game I got a look at was Word Forward, a games that looks like a cross between Scrabble and a word search, the aim is lower the score to a desired amount by making words using the tiles available, power ups can be used to use to make things easier and it had the feature of a multiplayer mode so you can go had to head with your friends.

karaokardsEven though it isn’t a videogame – that doesn’t stop people bringing their stuff to how off. Which is great that a previous game city speaker and one portion of One Life Left Ste Curran brought Karaokards, a card game which can be mixed in with karaoke (alcohol isn’t mandatory but recommended) using the criteria on the cards you must use as many as you can in your hand to identify a song. And if you’re in the mood to break out into song you add it to the karaoke list and belt it out. I played it one night with Ste, Leigh Alexander, Quintin Smith, aguycalleddave, Holly Gramazio, fellow One Life Left’er Ann Scantlebury among others and we all had a great time. This has since been fully funded on Kickstarter so there’s no need to be um’ing and ah’ing whether to risk the money. The risk has been taken. Enjoy the fruits of our labour.

2roomsandaboomQuintin Smith introduced us to Two Rooms And A Boom, a card game which can be as crazy as you want to make it. The basic principle is simple – in timed rounds two groups must exchange ‘hostages’ between rounds until the end. Each person had a card. One has The President, other a Bomber. The Red team want the Prez to be in the same room as the Bomber and they win. The reverse is for the Blue team. However extra character cards add an extra dimension of strategy and crazy crazy into the mix as some cards have to interact with others and some are playing a game by themselves. An example of this is the Ahab and Moby cards, they don’t really care where the Prez is – they just want their enemy to be in the same room as the Bomber at the end of the game.

I might be able to get another one of these going sometime soon. I shall have to check my amazing notes

Space Farmers
Space Farmers
Bumpkin Brothers Facebook

Word Forward

Strongroom info

Flerbz again
NTUdevsoc Facebook



Kkaraokards Facebook

Get Two Rooms And A Boom here!
Two Rooms And A Boom Facebook


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