Dr. David's Indie Roundup: IndieCade at E3 2013
IndieCade is always one of the best places to find all kinds of unique games. Whether you're playing a couple of titles that bring back the wonderful brilliance of couch multiplayer or having your mind toyed with via virtual reality, indie games often push boundaries or go back to basics. At E3, IndieCade once again had a strong presence, with several projects being showcased and delivering fun and laughs. On this special E3 2013 edition of the Indie Roundup, we take a look at a handful of titles that stood out both at the IndieCade booth and at E3 as a whole.
Flower on the Vita is a brilliantly personal and surreal experience
I've never played Flower from thatgamecompany before in my life, but I'm glad my first taste of the game was on the Vita. There was just something absolutely amazing about holding the game in my hands and listening to its stunning soundtrack on headphones. I soon drowned out the loud ambiance of the Los Angeles Convention Center and focused on one thing: spreading life through beautiful environments by making flowers, plants, trees, and grass fill the land. If you've yet to play Flower, and even if you have played the game already, this Vita version is undoubtedly worth witnessing, experiencing, and enjoying.
SoundSelf is a total mind f*ck on the Oculus Rift
While it'll be available for PC and Mac, I had the opportunity to play SoundSelf on the Oculus Rift. By using my voice, I explored a tunnel of light and watched as shapes shifted before my eyes in quite possibly the most insane experience of my entire time at E3. This is the type of game that you need to play to understand. All I can say is that I was lost in a magnificently intense and extraordinarily hypnotic dimension that moved toward me as I hummed or kept a constant verbal sound going, only to fall away from me and into wild depths the moment I became silent.
Developers Robin Arnott, Evan Balster, and Todd Cook are working on something really crazy here. Watch out for SoundSelf in 2014.
Sportsfriends featuring Johann Sebastion Joust made a triumphant return to E3
Last year at E3 some of the most fun to be had at the IndieCade booth surrounded a graphics-free game titled Johann Sebastion Joust. The game returned this year, now a part of the Sportsfriends collection, and wowed folks once more. This is just the type of game that draws you in and allows you to make connections with other people, and that's exactly what happened at IndieCade. When Sportsfriends launches, it's going to bring back the basic yet tragically underutilized idea of gaming locally with others.
TowerFall is frantic arcade fun for up to four players
Speaking of local multiplayer, TowerFall is one of those great examples of a game that pushes the whole “play with people sitting next to you” concept. This single-screen title pits four players against one another and loads them up with a limited number of arrows. You can collect dropped arrows, stomp on other players' heads, and play a little cat and mouse. Just be wary of the time limit, because if you take too long, it's game over for all remaining players.
TowerFall is developed by Matt Thorson and is expected to launch for the Ouya on June 25.
Voronoid delivers arcade multiplayer fun (friendly crap-talking sold separately)
Like TowerFall, Voronoid is one of those games that you need to play with people sitting next to you on a couch. You control a small circle, and you need to move around a broken up screen to create the biggest space around you possible. The player with the biggest area slowly fills a meter, and the person who gets the meter completely filled wins the match. Voronoid is the type of experience that you stay up late enjoying while you munch on some pizza and drink a couple of cold sodas. It also makes for some fun gloating and flat-out sh*t-talking.
Voronoid is being developed by Zach Aikman of 17-Bit during his spare time.
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