It’s been a week since EGX Rezzed kicked off, and I had an absolute blast of a time there. Despite Ross and I only being able to make it for one day, the absolute plethora of games to get your hands on was staggering. Whilst AAA games get all the big bucks and shallow praise from the masses, indie games feel like a real love letter from developers to fan, as you can see the passion involved.
Sadly, we didn’t get chance to play everything, but the ones we did were rather lovely. You can read Ross’ top 6 over here, and there may be a repetition/overlap with some of the games on our lists. But, it’s a testament to how much we enjoyed each one.
So, let’s get rolling with a game that’s literal bananas:
1. My Friend Pedro
Publisher: Devolver Digital
This game takes my number one spot for two big reasons: I love bullet time, and I love zany, arcade shooters.
This has both, and by golly is it a blast to play. Guided by a floating, talking banana, our hero is capable of running, gunning, wall jumping, flipping and pirouetting his way through levels. Using twinstick controls for moving and shooting, combat is beautiful and balletic at the same time.
You can focus on the fly, which slows down time, and lock one gun in one direction whilst free-aiming t’other for some truly insane shoot ’em up action. It’s bright, bloody and colourful and I absolutely loved it. Chuck in some on rails vehicle sections and you’ve got one of this year’s hotly anticipated games.
Shame it’s only on sodding Switch and PC though.
2. Katana Zero
Publisher: Devolver Digital
Devolver have made a name for themselves by dominating the bright, old school, hyper violent and banging soundtrack game market, with new iteration Katana Zero looking to take that mantle further.
Playing akin to Ghost Dog: Way of the Samurai, you play a man in full samurai garb, complete with large sword.
With that, you’re tasked by your handler to take out levels of henchmen and navigate some puzzles before reaching the end/your target/your rescue subject.
You did this all in lovely 2D, looking very reminiscent of the Scott Pilgrim arcade game from a few years ago.
Levels are designed to be quick, and you can’t many hits, so the idea is to scale each floor quickly and as violently as you can. You can dash and do a time-slowing focus that helps navigate through vents, and even deflect bullets back if used correctly.
Didn’t gleam much from the story, except that there are larger things at play, you’re under some kind of “medicine” to keep you in line, and in typical Devolver/Hotline Miami fashion, I’m sure it’ll all unravel spectacularly.
Also only available on sodding Switch and PC.
3. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night
Hey kids, did you like Castlevania: Symphony of the Night? No, of course you didn’t, nobody did. That’s why it didn’t sell very well.
Did you like it after every retrospective review actually realised it was more than just its “outdated” graphics in the rise of the 3D-era of gaming and plays really well? Good, at least you’re being honest with yourself.
This is essentially that, but faux-3D. That is, it’s like the Trials games: 3D worlds, movement along the 2D plain. It looks pretty, it handles exactly the same as SotN, right down to the equipment and item usage, and should hopefully emulate its forebear.
Koji Igarashi is trying to replicate the Megaman/Might No. 9 reimaniging, kickstarter and all, but hopefully y’know, good.
4. We Were Here Together
Developer: Total Mayhem Games
A unique take on the dynamic of cooperative play, in that instead of wanting you to stick together, you’re mostly apart.
Usually the cliché is that you start separately and regroup, whereas WWHT prefers you to split up and tackle puzzles as a communicative effort. For example, a satellite needs tuning. But the one tuning the frequency can’t see what it needs to be, so another player has to be watching the corresponding monitor and direct the other.
It’s a great way of ensuing (or forcing) that teamwork is shared, and not relying on one person to do the heavy lifting.
Honorable Mentions (AKA What I Didn’t Play But Like the Look Of)
Developer: Night School Studios
Go and play Oxenfree. Don’t ask why, just go and do it. It’s one of the best narrative journeys with supernatural dabbling, ever.
Hence the excitement for Afterparty. The premise is simple: you’ve died. Your way out of hell? Out-drink Satan. It’s like Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey meets Beerfest. If that premise doesn’t thrill you, you are stone-cold dead.
In the meantime, go and play Oxenfree.
Graphically looking like the love-child of This is the Police 2 and Thimbleweed Park, Rainswept is a “A murder mystery dealing with themes of love, relationships and unresolved trauma” in a quaint little way.
Interactive/point-and-click style games are back in fashion lately, and Rainswept seems to be capitulating on that. I don’t want to spoil what I saw, briefly. But if it does come to consoles, I’ll be keen for it.
That was my first Rezzed experience, and as press too. Whilst we were limited in time to what would get to see and play, I had a blast. I’d love to return and make the most of my available time and cover more, but this was definitely an experience I’d do again.
If you’re not sure on Rezzed, don’t dismiss it as a little indie showcase. It’s more, so much more, and needs as much support as the bigger EGX counterpart.
If you enjoyed this article of any of our content please consider supporting our Patreon.