The Coolest Games We Played at IndieCade East 2018

first_imgStay on target Sorry, You Can’t Date Keanu Reeves in ‘Cyberpunk 2077”Star Wars Pinball’ Has Your Favorite Brand in Ball Form After taking a year off, IndieCade East returned this year, showing off an eclectic assortment of independent video games along with illuminating panel discussions right here in New York City. This year, the event also marked the kick-off of an ongoing games exhibit at the nifty Museum of the Moving Image.On the top floor, patrons could sample smart, provocative indie games from throughout the years developed by folks like Anna Anthropy and Jason Rohrer. It was cool to see, especially considering this might be someone’s first introduction to games as art.Remembering how much fun we had at the very strange IndieCade East 2016 show, we decided to return. Here are the five coolest games we got to play at IndieCade East 2018 (after we toured the Muppets exhibit of course).The Myth MachineAt first glance The Myth Machine from Matthew Weise and Clara Fernandez-Vara may appear to be another dreaded indie “walking simulator” like Gone Home or Tacoma. But the demo hints at an experience far stranger, reminding us of Black Mirror, Metal Gear, Metroid Prime, and the recent Prey reboot. In a corporate futuristic dystopia where it costs money to open doors, the player explores an abandoned office building scanning potentially valuable loot like sub-woofers and arcade sticks for quests assigned by their handler on the phone. Seems simple enough. So then why was I transported into a vibrating beach to sign a contract for a booming backwards voice? I guess we’ll find out.Punch PlanetI wasn’t going to not play a game called Punch Planet. Fortunately, this 2D fighting game has more going for it than a great name. The fighting system is typical Street Fighter fare, with fireballs and dragon punches and a handful of universal move cancels. The developers described the game’s blend of obvious sci-fi pop culture imagery as a “non-satirical Rick and Morty.” There’s a tough Ellen Ripley-type lady and a hard-bitten Blade Runner-style detective. But the influences are all unified through a gorgeous, stylized, crisp neon 1980s look that lets polygonal characters move as if they were flat 2D animations. It’s like indie Dragon Ball FighterZ.CedeCede is arguably the biggest surprise for us at the show. It’s an awesome blend of action, strategy, and impressive visuals considering the size of a team. Players control an onscreen avatar using dual-stick shooting to take on waves of monsters. But fallen monsters then becomes vegetation that spreads throughout the map. Like the ink in Splatoon, the vegetation is a pretty visual shorthand for your own advancing position. Some monsters also become special flowers that act as turrets or health pickups when watered with your (weaker) alternate fire. Turrets can even be picked up and replanted elsewhere on the battlefield. The amount of strategic options at your disposal, along with the limited amount of time you have to make those decisions, turns Cede is something far more than a brainless action shooter.Imposter DrawsterImposter Drawster is the best social party game Jackbox never made. Like an exquisite corpse for artists, players take turns adding to a single drawing. The only problem is one person doesn’t know what the subject is supposed to be and just has to try and go along with it. It’s easy enough for a faker to see one wing and then draw another. But when I added a suspicious second head to a turkey the jig was pretty much up. The only thing that saved me was guessing the answer in sudden death hangman. There’s a lot of potential for ridiculous fun here, especially since it’s free on mobile.The Game: The GameAn anti-dating sim for the #MeToo era, The Game: The Game casts players a single woman navigating the tricky world of dating as well as the dangerous, predatory men who make it an actual hell. Six different pick-up artists, based on real-life scumbugs presented through sketchy realistic art, try to flirt with you at the bar, touching you inappropriately, ignoring your disinterest. You have multiple ways of dealing with them, from firm rejections to searching for your friend to humoring them for a bit. You can even choose to sleep with the men to exert your own sexual agency. But The Game, just like the world, puts women in situations they can’t win. Hopefully we can use empathy to learn and improve.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img

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