The PAX 10 have been chosen! In case you don't know, every year the Penny Arcade Expo features ten games that indie developers have submitted who win over "50 industry experts" and they are put on display on the show floor. I normally only get to play one or two since the area can get mobbed, so when Tycho said that we could try some today I thought what the hell!
Out of the ten games there are four that you can download and play right now. OK, well, there are six, but two of them are iOS games and I don't have one of those fancy contraptions...one of the iOS games also being on Facebook. Bleck.
Conveniently, all the buy-able games are on Steam and on sale until July 23rd for the Summer Sale!
(Disclaimer: I only played each game for 5 - 10 minutes. Just wanted to get a quick "first impressions".)
Containment: The Zombie Puzzler (normally $4.99, on sale for $2) - This game was a lot more fun than I thought it would be! It looks like a Bejeweled "match three" type game, but as it says in the Steam description it's really not. Rather than matching a certain number of colors you are trying to surround zombies with any number of the same color. So if you have some pink clad ladies near a group of zombies, you try to grab more pink clad ladies to finish a circle around them. Once the zombies are completely surrounded the little characters of the same color kill them! Then they and the zombies all disappear and everything moves down to bring more little fighters and/or zombies. There is a time element involved that made the game much more interesting and challenging - if you wait too long to take out the zombies they will start to turn surrounding fighters into zombies as well. If it gets to a point where you can't surround them anymore, you lose. It was a really good balance of RTS and puzzle that kept the game challenging and fun.
My only criticism is that looking at the level overview it looks like an extremely short game. However, I don't know if that's much of a criticism for a game I bought for $2 that is normally $5, lol.
Offspring Fling! (normally $7.99, on sale for $3.19) - This game is Super Meat Boy if it was rated PG and you were Pikachu throwing your babies. It focuses more on puzzle type blocking of your way like having to click buttons in the right order and leaving your babies in the right places rather than frighteningly lined up saw blades, but the idea is pretty much the same. Get from point A to point B without getting killed. The babies add an interesting challenge in that they weigh you down and can be used to solve some of the puzzle occasionally, but I didn't find the game particularly challenging from a puzzle perspective, at least not so far. Then again, I'm not going to win any medals for speed which like Super Meat Boy is a factor if you care. I don't regret buying it (on sale, mind you), it is a fun little game, but it just wasn't quite unique enough for me. I wish they had used the hilarious tossing babies mechanic more. It is nice that it comes stock with a level editor though. I think perhaps making levels for your friends would be the draw to the game.
Splice (normally $9.99, on sale for $4.99) - An...interesting puzzle game. I only played a few minutes of it since it very nicely had a demo on Steam. So, they definitely get points for that. It's a good thing they had the demo though since it's not really my kind of game. Basically you get these little blobs that you have to drag so that they arrange themselves in the order that the game wants them to be in. You have a certain amount of moves to accomplish this. It has pretty music and is very zen, but I got bored pretty quickly. I guess I just didn't "get it". Maybe you'll like it if you like relaxing music and puzzle games where you can randomly drag and drop things until you win.
Deity (free) - Oh man, so much fun! You are this little demon guy that pops around and takes out guards. The game is entirely left click and right click of your mouse and they used this mechanic to perfection. It is a deceptively simple play style. You have to try and avoid guards who have little flashlights they are walking around with. You take out guards by trying to attack them when their backs are turned. Light hurts you, so if you attack them when they are facing you or they find you, you lose health. You can gain health back by jumping into torches, which then turn purple to show which ones you've used / been to. Right clicking either pops your guy around in a plume of smoke or pops you into a torch. You can also hold down your right click and left click on statues or torches to follow a path of three chains. Using this method you can connect enemies together to kill them all at once or use it to reach particularly far away places without stepping back into your physical form where you can be spotted.
I really loved this game. I can see how it might get a little repetitive eventually, but I have definitely not reached that point yet. The puzzles are fun and there is a silent story, plus the graphics are pretty impressive for a freebie. Probably the best thing about this game is that it made me have fun with sneaking around. We all know how I feel about stealth. If there were nothing else to love about this game, that in itself would be enough.
Go play it fool! I don't know how long it is yet, but it's free so who cares!
EDIT: Also I should mention that I have no idea what the goal of this game is. I am killing all the little guards but I don't see a scoring system so that might not matter. You could probably just jump around avoiding them to get to the next area? I just like eating them.