Previews

Boston Festival of Indie Games – Bagogames Superlatives (Part 1)

Hosted annually at M.I.T., the Boston Festival of Indie Games has grown by leaps and bounds since it began just a few years ago. Despite featuring roughly 200 indie exhibitors from all over the northeastern United States, this year’s festival continued to maintain the personal, friendly, pure-gamer atmosphere attendees, like myself, have come to know and love.

So, instead of boring you with a “Top (insert arbitrary number here) Games at the 2014 BFIG” like other websites, we present to you the BFIG Bagogames Superlatives!

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Most Likely to Build Trust Between Friends – Black Hat Oculus

Remember that cool scene in The Matrix when Morpheous guides Neo out of an office building while escaping Agent Smith and his men? Well, the crew at Team Future have built upon that concept to create a uniquely different, co-op stealth game. Unlike a majority of co-op experiences, not only are players completely dependent on each other to succeed, but their roles are radically different. The player in BHO’s “Neo” role plays from a first-person perspective via the Oculus Rift, and must stealthily escape a dungeon.

The “Morpheous” player has a live, top down view of the map and has to guide the first player out of the level while helping them avoid traps and enemies. The Summerville-based studio launched a Kickstarter just 48 hours before the beginning festival and they’re already halfway to their modest goal. The game’s  said to be currently in Alpha phase and should be available on PC and Mac via Steam by summer of 2015.

For more info, check out their Kickstarter page.

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Most Likely to Make You Mistrust Your Friends – Thief Town

Deceptively simple on the surface, Thief Town blends retro gaming aesthetics with a modern multiplayer concept found in games such as the Assassin’s Creed series. In the single-screen, couch-multiplayer game, 4 players control identical cowboys in a crowd of other identical cowboy NPCS. When the game begins, you must first quickly and covertly figure out who you are controlling. To win, you must successfully identify and stab your opponents before you get brutally murdered by someone else! But be careful about randomly stabbing innocent NPC bystanders because stabbing also briefly reveals your identity as a fellow player.

This basic, hide-and-stab gameplay not only has a very low barrier of entry for new players, but allows experienced players to devise sneaky strategies when it comes to bringing down enemies, making it an excellent party game. Thief Town is currently available for download at the Glass Knuckle Games wesbsite, while also looking for votes on Steam Greenlight. The team at Glass Knuckle games also promises to continually update the game with new modes (in addition to the three available now) and more items.

The game is available on PC, Mac, and Linux, with iOS and Android companion apps that turn your phone into an extra controller!

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Most Villainous Use for a Table – Lair

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While cruising the Table Top Showcase, Lair‘s self-aware, light-hearted humor stood out from the rest. The first project from Wee Big Games, a table top company primarily focused on compact, transportable strategy games, Lair‘s theme is that of the construction of an enormous evil underground base.

Instead of putting you in the role of a Bond-style villain, you and your fellow players work as henchmen underlings. To win, you must gain favor from your insidious boss by constructing the best possible base while sabotaging the work of your fellow peers. Who knew that henching was such a cutthroat business?

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Most Likely to Make You Feel Like a Bad-Ass – Anti Hero

Created by Couch Fort Gamez, Anti Hero is a fast-paced, side-scrolling platformer laden with 90s references and comic inspired exclamations. Clearly built for speed runs, Anti Hero provides your protagonist with typical platformer abilities, such as sliding and wall-running, and the less typical ability of telekinesis. By using the right stick, you can pick up, manipulate, and throw cubes found about each level in order to attack enemies or solve puzzles.

After becoming proficient in these abilities, you are able to weave them together to perform some pretty impressive feats, such as wall running while attacking enemies and slinging around the cube. The game appears to still be in the early stages of development but looks to to be ready sometime within the next 6 months to a year for both PC and Mac.

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Most Likely to Create a New Genre – Jungle Rumble

Rhythm and Real Time Strategy are two very different game genres that rarely cross paths, but norms like this are meant to be broken by the Indie Game scene. Local Boston studio Disco Pixel ventured into this mostly uncharted territory with their new title, Jungle Rumble, putting you in control of a monkey troop defending their jungle homeland. To command your simian soldiers, you tap your units in sync to the contagious beats of the gorgeous Afro-Cuban and Latin soundtrack.

Although Jungle Rumble’s learning curve can be steep by the less musically inclined, like myself, the bouncing ball across the top of the screen is a great help when commanding multiple units and you’ve fallen out of sync with the beat. Those who enjoy rhythm games but are tired of clicking keys on a toy guitar should definitely check out Jungle Rumble. It’s available now on iOS and will be coming soon to Android devices.

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Stay tuned for the second half of our BFIG Bagogames Superlatives!

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