This piece of EGX 2019 coverage is by guest contributor OuttaSite.
Moving back to London (from Birmingham) and this time at the ExCel center, EGX 2019 was pulsing with life from the get-go!
My daunting first impression of the huge queue for entry was quickly nullified after getting in line as thankfully, it moved down surprisingly fast. Upon entry, the usual homely feeling of contentedness came over me as I was immersed in the sights and sounds of the industry’s new and exciting offerings.
Below I’ve covered (in no particular order) a “choice” 10 titles from the event.
You’ll also find my YouTube video below with some footage from the 10 featured games.
Roki – Polygon Treehouse
Roki is a captivating title that doesn’t just pull you in with its hand-drawn art style, but with its beautiful score too.
Taking influence from retro point-and-click titles such as Monkey Island, it draws upon Scandinavian folklore and puts us in the shoes of a young girl named Tove who is setting out to save her family. Roki is a puzzle-based adventure with fluid controls that allow us to move the character, navigate the inventory and combine items for puzzle solving with ease. In the short section that I played, I’d managed to explore a few different locations, including the treetops and a crypt, along with solving a few straightforward but satisfying puzzles. To top it all off, I also ended up befriending a troll under a bridge! It really is one to look out for if you’re a fan of the genre.
Roki is set to be released in Q1 2019 on the Nintendo Switch and Steam.
Close to the Sun – Storm in a Teacup
Taking clear inspiration from Bioshock, Close to the Sun is a story-driven horror game that sees us board an art-deco filled ship entitled the Helios in search for our sister Ada. This floating utopia happens to be Nikola Tesla’s vessel in which scientific research is allowed to be conducted “unrestrained.” Featuring no weapons or means of defense, it all comes down to puzzle solving and quick thinking as a means to stay alive. Although I certainly felt as though I’d ‘been here before’ in regard to gameplay, I found the main character Rose very endearing and the haunting ship in which I was exploring a haven of secrets that beckoned to be traversed.
Close to the Sun is out now on the Epic Games Store and will be released on consoles at the end of October 2019.
3rd eye – 3rd eye project
We begin this 2D exploration/horror title as a young girl named Koishi Komeiji (featured in Touhou Project) in her room in a mental hospital. Koishi has the ability to use her third eye to explore a different world that seems to run parallel with our own. With an array of characters from the fantastical to the outright abhorrent, you’d do well to rid yourself of any solid expectations of what kind of journey 3rd eye may take you on.
3rd eye is available now on Steam.
Welcome To Elk – Triple Topping
Based on a series of true stories, Welcome To Elk takes place on the aforementioned fictional island and puts us in control of a young carpenter named Frigg. Frigg has moved from the big city to a small town and soon realizes that even though Elk is very behind-the-times, things are going to be anything less than boring. Welcome To Elk is quite a tricky one to describe in any succinct manner, really. In the demo I played, I’d ran into a couple of foul-mouthed alcoholics who were arguing with each other, guns drawn; hung out with a close friend who lives in a cave; and played three extremely enjoyable mini-games. The latter included pouring an array of decent beers, making balloon models of someone’s parents so he could remember them, and finally, whilst in a dream, sang a song to help a dead guy travel to ‘the other side.’ If you’ve an edgy or dark sense of humor then you’ll love this, I’m sure. Not to mention, it looks and sounds fantastic!
Welcome To Elk will be released on Steam in 2020
Inertial Drift – Northern Softworks
Set in a ’90s retro-future, this is a slick-looking twin-stick racer that’ll strike a chord with anyone who likes their driving games somewhat less-simulated than usual. I must admit, I found it very easy to pick up and enjoyed the method of controlling the back end of the vehicle with the right stick. I felt that this gave me a lot more control whilst making my way around those tighter turns. All in all, it’s a title that I’m definitely looking forward to playing more of.
Inertial Drift is set to release on PlayStation 4, Switch, Xbox One and PC in Spring 2020.
Check out the video below for footage of each featured game
KickFlip – PanicBarn
Keeping things simple with the tried-and-true quick-time-event control scheme, KickFlip immerses us in a series of playable skate videos. Set in London’s Southbank we chain together tricks to complete over 60 skate lines increasing in difficulty and variety. Featuring a great soundtrack, I felt that it was one of those titles that you can play on those days or evenings that demand a more laid-back mood.
KickFlip is set to release on PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch, and iOS in the first half of 2020.
Across the Grooves – Nova-Box
Utilizing the Butterfly Effect method of story development, Across the Grooves is an interactive graphic novel in which we play as 9-to-5 office worker Alice. After receiving a mysterious vinyl record that shifts Alice’s reality, she is able to re-live poignant events in her life. The way is paved for a journey of self-discovery and parallel realities, born of the very music from the record itself. The story was one that had me continually intrigued, and the ’90s indie, Portishead-style music that the narrative mood dictated was evocative to say the least. The soundtrack, we are told, is a finely crafted selection that adapts to our choices and the current mood of each plot point.
Across the Grooves will be releasing on PC and potentially Switch in Q1 2020.
Lume and the Shifting Void – Howltide
In what’s described as a cyberpop action platformer, we play as pizza delivery girl Lume! Recruited by a tech corporation to save the world, we must battle our way through the shifting void, accompanied by our sassy robot companion. One of the standout features of Lume was the highly responsive controls. The shooting and punching felt slick and intuitive, which allowed a satisfying flow to the gameplay. Coupled with the vibrant and charming aesthetic, Lume was a ton of fun to play!
Lume and the Shifting Void will be released late 2020 on all platforms.
Bird of Passage – Space Backyard
Inspired by one of the developers’ of many taxi journeys around Japan, Bird of Passage is a meditative experience through the last century of Japanese history. A narrative-driven affair, we go on taxi ride after taxi ride whilst exploring random memories that are presented to us from the protagonist’s mind. The majority of us, I’m sure, can relate to being in a mundane scenario such as commuting and know all too well the explorative, ‘deeper-thinking’ mindset that this can engender us with. Hauntingly lovely to look at, the moody aesthetic did wonders to place me firmly in the feel of the game. I came away feeling that the pensive journey that it took me on would only be exponentially captivating the longer I were to play.
Bird of Passage will be available in 2020 on PC, Mac and Mobile.
Nuts – Joon, Pol, Muutsch & Char
This is, at first, a straightforward but visually striking game in which we are tasked with observing and capturing footage of squirrels in the Melmouth Forest. Subtitled ‘an adventure in squirrel surveillance,’ we place a series of cameras around particular squirrel hot spots and attempt to study them. Why do they behave in the strange manner that they do? What is the secret that dwells within the heart of the forest itself?
Nuts will be available potentially in 2020 on PC and Mac.