The Enthusiast Gaming Live Expo (EGLX) was held in Toronto from April 29 to May 1. It was the first EGLX, and largest ever convention for video games held in Canada, with an attendance of over 10,000 people. There was a lot going on – including YouTube celeb meet-and-greets, cosplayers, vendors, VR demonstrations, multiple gaming tournaments, and much more. But most interesting, not to mention fun, were the many indie games on display. Here are five favorites from the show.
Part of the appeal of indie games is that they’re more able (or willing) to provide local split-screen gaming modes. Keel-Haul, by Summa Games, does a great job with this. Up to four players can be involved at the same time: three controlling various choosable classes of old sailing ships, and one as the dreaded Kraken sea monster. The objective is for the ships to hook onto a floating barrel full of treasure and haul it back to their island base. These salty sailors have various weapons at their disposal to accomplish (or stop their opponents from accomplishing) this task, including your mainstay cannons, or a floating bomb they can leave in their wave. In the meantime, the Kraken prowls the seas, able to submerge and remain undetected until bubbling to the surface and dragging an unwary ship down to Davy Jones’ Locker. Keel-Haul is looking for a release on Steam Greenlight in six month’s time and is expected to include online matchmaking and dedicated server support.
Auto Age: Standoff
Invoking the feeling of Twisted Metal or Interstate ’76, Auto Age: Standoff is a face-paced car-combat game that is another great example of fun split-screen action. Two teams race across desert wastes to blow up the other’s stronghold. Choose a chassis weight for your vehicle, arm and upgrade your rides with weapons such as missile launchers and mines, and hit the road hard. Along with the local and online multiplayer co-op and adversarial modes, you get a single-player campaign dealing with the battle between Val Vega and Dark Jaw. Made by Phantom Compass, Auto Age: Standoff will make its way to Steam Early Access in the fall, and possibly on to PSN.
Coming across like a combination of Asteroids and Rocket League is Quasar, from OSnap! Games. It is a top-down shooter where up to ten players fly customizable spaceships around an arena. Various power-ups, a wide breadth of space ships to choose from, and a new procedurally generated arena every game keep things interesting and chaotic. You’ve also got four various game modes to choose from, including Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Onslaught and a capture the flag mode where players pick up bombs and use them to blow up the other team’s base. Look for Quasar for PC, Mac and Linux on Steam in August.
Tower defense games are a dime a dozen these days, but Onion Force from Queen Bee Games brings more to the table than just towers and tear-inducing vegetables. It adds action-adventure and RPG elements into the mix, along with an art style very reminiscent of John K., of The Ren & Stimpy Show fame. In the service of protecting your king from harm, players can build and upgrade towers, as well as find thousands of pieces of equipment for one of the three playable heroes to equip. And of course, there are the titular onions to find and trade for power-ups. Onion Force is available now on Steam for PC and Mac.
These angry birds shoot arrows — not themselves — at their enemies. In this two to four-player isometric archery game, players run around a map scattered with traps and power-ups, trying to plug each other with arrows. On a controller, players move with the left stick, and pull back on the right stick to aim their arrows and then release to fire. A dotted line shows the trajectory of the arrow as it is drawn back, and any hit is a one-shot kill. The first player to cause 10 deaths emerges victorious. There is a slow-mo kill cam for the last shot in each round, along with the hilarious ability for dead birds to flop their corpses around to mess up the remaining players. Made by OddBird Studio, a design team of students in the Sheridan College Bachelor of Game Design program, avian archers can expect a January release for the game on Steam.