Posted by Bret Hudson October 24, 2015
IndieCade banner image credit: Gabby DaRienzo (@gabdar)
The first day of IndieCade is always a blast for those that can take Friday off of work and come downtown Culver City to play some video games. With over 200 games across all the booths, and talks going on all day long, no matter what your interest is in indie games, there's a great chance you'll find something that pleases you.
Unfortunately we didn't get a chance to check out any of the talks being given on Friday, but we did get our hands on a good chunk of the games from the festival. Today's recap post will contain a list of our favorite games, which we highly suggest you take a look at if you'll be attending the festival Saturday or Sunday.
Darknet by E McNeill
Darknet is the result of a developer wondering what it'd be like to be put directly into a cyberpunk hacking program. Players use an Oculus virtual reality headset (we tried the Samsung Gear VR, however, the game was also available in the standard Oculus headset) to view a grid of servers, each ready to be hacked. Hacking in Darknet requires strategy, placing viruses onto nodes and making sure they don't get taken over by firewalls. It's definitely hard to put into words, so we'll leave this handy video here for you!
Puzzlets by Digital Dream Labs
Puzzlets, like many of the titles that we're sharing over the weekend, is one of those games that you would have never imagined seeing. Puzzlets is an educational platform that uses physical blocks, each illustrated with the action it represents, to teach core principals of logic, sequencing, and iteration to young children. The platform is currently available for purchase, and comes bundled with their first game, "Cork the Volcano." Unlike many peripheral based video games, the hardware will be available for use for more than one game. Future titles will be created and published by Digital Dream Labs. If you're looking for a fun, educational gift for a young one this holiday season, look into Puzzlets at www.digitaldreamlabs.com.
Throw Trucks With Your Mind by Crooked Tree Studios
The title is a lot simpler than the technology behind it. Throw Trucks With Your Mind uses an EEG headset to read your brain. We're not talking reading thoughts, but reading two stats from your mind: calmness and focus. Players then see on the screen the meters showing their current levels as they run around arenas against three other online multiplayer opponents. Each player is equipped with 8 power-ups, four of them corresponding to calmness, and the other four corresponding to their focus. The higher your meter is for each brain stat, the more effective the power-up is. Power-ups range from pull to push, super jump to shield, and offer some crazy opportunities to kill your enemies using objects in their environment against them.
Butt Sniffin Pugs by SpaceBeagles
Like Darknet, this was one of the five games we were super excited to get our hands on at IndieCade. SpaceBeagles brought the legendary soccer ball controllers (pictured blow) to give everyone the full butt sniffin' experience. The cute top down, two player game gives no explicit goals, and allows players to run around as pugs and interact with the environment around them. Sniffing the other player's butt (in the game, of course) cycles the interactions that can be used by a pug on their environment. Scoot, pose, bark, and bite your way through this adventure on Steam and PlayStation in 2016, as well as iPads further into the future. Don't worry, any future with this many pugs is a good one.
Prune by Joel McDonald
We couldn't release this list without a fantastic mobile game on it. Prune fills that role perfectly. Players draw a line from the ground, which sprouts a tree that grows organically upwards. The goal of each level is to shape the tree so it can avoid obstacles and reach the sunlight above. Prune is a gorgeous minimalistic experience that can be picked up for $3.99 on both the Apple App Store and Google Play.
And there you have it! These were a select bunch of the best games we found day one. We're sure there's still tons of hidden gems waiting for us to discover them at IndieCade. We hope to find them all and report to you what games are worthy of both your wish list and hype list. Check back in tomorrow for more IndieCade coverage.