EGX Rezzed, First Impressions – Part 3

  1. Zombie Vikings, Zoink

zombie-vikings final fo real

Who doesn’t love a good arcade brawler?

Zombie Vikings is a hilarious 2 ½ D beat-em-up, where a crew of 4 hilariously hideous Viking zombies must cut through hordes of enemies to take back Odin’s eye from the treacherous Loki.

An immediate high point for this game is the character variety. Each zombie has not only a different design, but different moves and unique special attacks. The game provides a refreshing departure from the monotony of other beat-em-ups I could mention, which is further emphasised by the game’s wonderful design and humour.

One particular delight for me was the opportunity to perform various side quests. You must search for different items or defeat monsters, and the finale is often a 4 player fight to decide who gets the loot!

For fans of this kind of game, I cannot recommend Zombie Vikings enough.

  1. Volume, Mike Bithell Games

Voume final

After playing The Marvellous Miss Take, I was in the mood the play some more top down stealth games. Volume has a different design and feel, and offers a far more complex experience.

In Volume, you play a man in a military training simulator that focuses on stealth, ever watched over by what I must say is a hilarious AI narrator. You must navigate each level, avoiding guards and traps as you reach your goal.

This game puts a lot of emphasis on gadgets, which can range from a temporary stealth skin to a bullet that rebounds off walls and lets off a noise to distract guards.

Although I am not the best person to judge a stealth game, for me Volume was a bit hard to play. What constitutes ‘cover’ constantly seemed vague to me, and a lot of the items were hard to use.

For those that like more of a challenge, I might recommend this game, but it isn’t one I will be purchasing.

  1. S.A.L.T: A Social Story, Indieful Entertainment

Salt final

Now, this was a weird one.

S.A.L.T is a social media simulator where you play as ‘Jane Doe’, an amnesiac who rediscovers her circle of friends by reading their social media pages, and adding their friends to her own list. At first it felt very much like some kind of stalking game: you discover more about the social lives of these characters, without any idea of how on earth they relate to you. The game is also divided into days, in each of which you can only add one friend, and each morning begins with a new quote that seems dismissive of social media as a concept.

As you go on, however, you gradually gain some insight into the story of your own character. I have to say I love this kind of storytelling, and when I reached the end of the demo I felt as though I was beginning to get to grips with the real game.

For someone who enjoys a different experience with an element of mystery solving I would definitely recommend S.A.L.T.

  1. RPG Tycoon, Skatanic Studios

rpg tycoon final

It says a lot about today’s gaming industry when a promising developer can get greenlit in only 9 days for the bare bones of their new game.

The story of Matt Gambell, the developer, seems to be a labour of love. Since August he has been building RPG Tycoon: a simulator where you start your own kingdom, attracting subjects and having heroes go on quests for you. He has been open to constructive criticism throughout the creative process, trying to make a game that it as complete and appealing as possible. This has included watching Let’s Plays of his own game!

At this stage, the game is about 40% complete. You can build various buildings to attract more people to your kingdom, though the desires of your citizens will often force your hand on certain projects. It is an organic game, where you can influence your kingdom but not control it as directly as you could in a game like, say, Age of Empires.

The design is very retro-esque, putting me in the mind of classic NES fantasy games. The concept of being the hand behind the events of such games is new and, I have to say, very interesting.

With the game being at the stage it is, it may not appeal to everyone. However, I would certainly encourage fans of simulator games to keep a close eye on this one.

  1. Flame Over, Laughing Jackal

flame over final

Really, who hasn’t ever thought about Fireman Sam tackling the kind of danger we saw in Towering Inferno?

That’s exactly what we get in Flame Over, a game where you must clear a floor of raging flames, dodging hazards, traps and Death himself along the way.

The fire in this game has a very realistic feel: it will spread if you ignore it, and even if you do not combat the blaze properly. Putting out a fire with foam is fine, but unless you wet the surface it will just return from elsewhere.

The game also has a strong emphasis on escorting endangered survivors to safety. It adds a real element of danger and urgency, somewhat broken up when they give you side quests like searching for their belongings. Another thing to keep in mind is your own supplies: unless you remember to fill up your supply of water and foam, you could find yourself in a burning room with an empty tank! Finally, your character has a number of gadgets, from a defibrillator to a speed boost, to holy water that’ll slow down the grim reaper once your time in the level runs out.

Al Evans, one of the game’s developers, told me “We’re calling it a pyro-rogue like twin stick shooter… it’s a twin stick shoot-em-up!”

Well, hilarious descriptions aside, Flame Over really is about as hard and unforgiving as a real burning building. The game mechanics are concise and done extremely well, but the difficulty curve sure is steep!

Tread carefully.



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