One of the largest advantages of living in greater Los Angeles is that going to Indiecade every year is not that big of a committment. As festivals go, it has a lot more experimental and esoteric content which makes it one of the most inspiring game-related events to attend, but it also means most games are not going to be relevant for everybody and being a AAA developer most of the presentations aren’t really relevant to me. So being able to swing by the festival for a day without investing more than a couple of hours on the freeway is a huge plus.

This year, Indiecade moved from Culver City to USC – I don’t know what effect this had on the conference part, put it did make the festival part worse. A couple of the spaces were cool, but overall it was difficult to get a good sense of how big it was and where the games were, everything was squared away which made it feel less alive and full of passionate people and introduced lines to even get into the spaces to see the games.  Night games were made notably worse as well, much smaller than previous years and with far fewer social spaces and opportunities to partake in arcade-style challenges. Also, not having it in Culver City made getting food a large problem. So that was a bit of a bummer.

Still, it is still Indiecade and there were tons of great games – some that were great right there and then, and others that were maybe not best presented in a short burst at a festival but whose potential and originality clearly shone through. I enjoyed Skytorn, a somewhat traditional take on the metroidvania genre, but it had some really fresh enemy mechanics to keep it interesting and promises to have more tricks up its sleeve. Kingdom: New Lands was a simplified version of a sidescrolling RTS that worked remarkably well, and I think my favorite game of the show was the Shakespearian tragedy Elsinore. It’s an amazing setting for a time-loop mystery plot that is executed very well, and I can’t wait to play it.

Posted on Oct 16/16 by Saint and filed under Gaming culture | No Comments »