Top 4 Prospects from the Wales Games Development Show 2015

WalesGameDevShow2015 (12)After writing up about the events of this year’s Wales Games Development show I thought I should also talk about some of the games I got to play while attending the event. During the day I got the chance to play a number of games made by local developers and students. Just to name a few there was a narrative driven PC game being created by a number of third year students called The Old Gods Are Dead (National Insecurities), Rouge Vector’s multiplayer survival game Solitude and OysterWorld’s upcoming game their keeping rather secret codenamed Pooka. As much as I’d like to keep going on about every single game I got to experience it might be a bit much so instead here are some personal favourites from the day.

WalesGameDevShow2015 (1)XD Studios – Street Fist 2

XD Studios are a Swansea based independent company who are currently developing their first game Street Fist 2, a side-scrolling beat-em’-up with a heads up to the classic 90’s brawlers. At the event they were giving away printed comics which essentially tell the events leading up to the game.

In this early development demo I got the chance to take to the streets of Retro City as the beefy ex-cop Chuck. There was also a taster of what coop would be like as one of the developers assisted me in the initial stages as the energetic Cynthia. The game looked visually fantastic with its comic-like approach to art style. Control wise the game handled rather well. There was a nice choice of attacks at your disposal from your short combo flurry, an aerial kick and a body slam to send foes flying and a special technique to deal a devastating ground pound attack (although in this build it was hugely underpowered and inaccurate). In terms of audio the punches and kicks all had a satisfying feel behind every blow and background music was upbeat and addictive. No matter where I went I couldn’t get the beat out of my head.

Overall I really enjoyed my time with the game (and not just because I bagged myself a free comic book), and is a title I would definitely recommend people to keep an eye out for. Street Fist 2 is currently in development and the developers are hoping to release the game later this year.

WalesGameDevShow2015 (2)Force of Habit – Friendship Club

Attending the event from Bristol were developers Force of Habit who showcased their fast-paced twin-stick shooter Friendship Club.

The game is a local multiplayer experience that pits you in fast-paced chaotic battles for glory in a range of different mode with the aim of being the last man standing. You are armed with a gun with funky bullets that will endlessly bounce around the environments, well almost endlessly as you also have a shield which, if timed correctly, allows you to pick up the bullet and fire it back with greater speed and density. Failing that you can also use the shield as a battering ram to knock opponents blocks off. There’s a good range of modes to play with their own unique rule sets and there’s even the option to create your modes. Probably my favourite addition is the fact you can change the speed of the game with 25% being super slow-mo leading to Matrix-like bullet dodges and 200% being insanely quick-fire matches that’ll leave your head spinning.

Friendship Club was my standout game of the day that had me come back and try it twice, the second time to try out the pure chaos of 8-player mode. The game is currently on Steams early access for you to try out, as for a full release well not even the developers are sure at this time.

BlindSkyStudiosBlind Sky Studios – Biolith Lite

Coffee fuelled team Blind Sky Studios showcased a demo for their android and iOS title Biolith Lite. At this event they were also had a level for their upcoming “almost horror game” Adam.

Biolith Lite is a real-time strategy game in which you must guide your cicada to safety across a board with units that want to crush him. You can destroy the pawn like enemies by tapping on them but only units that colours correspond with the towers on the edge of the board. As time ticks by the enemy will gradually get closer and closer which adds a sense of urgency to your strategies. The game is played out in waves and with every successful wave you’re able to purchase upgrades for your bug to make him move faster and boost his luck. The gameplay is rather simplistic and there’s quite a bit of reliance on luck but it’s surprisingly addictive and later waves can offer a decent challenge. In fact it’s so addictive that I’ve downloaded the game after the event in hope of besting my score.

A demo of Biolith Lite is currently available to download for android and iOS.

WalesGameDevShow2015 (10)16 Swans – Fury Survivors

16 Swans are a Swansea based indie developer (as if their name wasn’t a giveaway already) who showcased a game that they all created in their spare time Furry Survivor.

In this game you need to help the brave little pug Iggy find his missing owner Fiona in their house which is now infested with Zombies. To help him you’ll need to draw him a path to safety while also collecting stars and dodging a number of unique types of Zombies. Now being a dog Iggy isn’t going to do well if he happens to cross by one of the undead wanders so to help him avoid and survive them he has access to a number of items such as armour to help him take hits from Zombie spit and fire and ice-cream that’ll give him brain freeze and halt him in his tracks. The games main concept is a little unoriginal but the addition of power-ups makes it stand out a little more and its bright, quirky artstyle is enjoyable.

Furry Survivor developers are hoping to have the game out on android later this year.

So there you are, some of my personal highlights from the Wales Game Development Show 2015. Sorry I couldn’t include every game I got to play at the event (as much as I really wanted to). So did anyone else go to the event this year, interested in going next year or are you interested in hearing more about some of this year’s games? Let us know by dropping us a comment below.

This feature was originally published on the site GamersFTW which unfortunately has now been taken down.

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