After five long years residing at Earls Court in London and following the success of last year’s Rezzed, EGX has transitioned to its new home 100 miles north at the Birmingham NEC. With this move came a new approach, as the larger NEC allowed for a much bigger show to be put on. That said, I must admit to being slightly disappointment with the content on show this year.
A large portion was devoted to games that were already out, have had a large deal of existing coverage or had massive pre-release demo/beta access available. Titles such as Mad Max, Destiny, Darksiders, Elite Dangerous, FIFA, Metal Gear Solid and many more took up more of the stands than the ‘to be released’ or teaser games that we have seen in years past.
So, instead of doing an in-depth of each of the games on show, most of which you probably know a lot about, I will pick a few that impressed me the most and also focus on some of the technology on show, and the huge selection of Indie games that took up a large section of the EGX Show floor.
New Technology at the show came from both the VR headsets residing at the Sony and HTC booth’s and although I did not get the pleasure of a hands on myself, discussions with those leaving the booths make me very excited about what Occulus can do for our big black box. On the other side of the hall the Leftfield and indie sections had some rather unusual controllers on display.
Mindfork, from Zaubug really made an impression with their “banana” controller. This was not a controller in the shape of a banana… it literally was a banana. Sensor wires were inserted into a banana that had been cut in half, and attaching a simple sensor to your finger allowed the circuit to be completed. Touching the left half of banana turned left, right half turns right. So simple, elegant and utterly bizarre. The Developers even invited us to bring a fruit of choice should banana’s not be our thing.
This simple game sees you guide a ship around a rapidly altering arena, with the aim of surviving as long as possible. Mindfork was sufficiently addictive in itself, and though they are currently aiming at the mobile market, with a more mainstream version running on an iPad at the stand, the developers have confirmed their intent to release on consoles in the future. If they do, I hope they release a fruit controller special edition.
Next up has to be the most bizarre controller of the show, even more so than the banana controller. Line Wobbler was an Exile Game Jam entry from creator Robin Baumgarten. Using a strip of LED lights, a metal Spring Door Stopper and an accelerometer, Robin has crafted what has to be the most unusual and tactile game I have experienced in a long time. It goes to show that inspiration can strike you anywhere, as the main catalyst for this game was Robin watching the video of a cat twanging a door stopper from the other side of a door that made the viral rounds a year or so ago.
The idea behind the game is exceeding simple. you control the green “player” as he travels from the start of the dungeon, (one end of the strip). to the other. Pushing forward on the modified door stopper moves you up the path and releasing or pulling back returns to the beginning.
Along the way you will encounter enemies (red LED’s), lava (yellow and Orange LEDs) and conveyor belts (white LED’s) which you must overcome to reach the dungeon end. waggling the stopper side to side converts you to attacking mode, so timing your attacks on the enemies is key, and yellow lava is passable where Orange means instant death.
It is unlikely that this will ever make it into our homes, but the developer has confirmed that he is currently looking at an official arcade version and even considering a multiplayer version in the future, so this may be making appearances at future game shows.