Casual Connect Asia was last week and we had a great time meeting and talking to the extremely talented game development teams there. It was an amazing showcase and every year I’m blown away at the amazing quality of the contestants at Indie Prize. There was so many games that deserved to win and we’ll handle our own list later, for now here we have the Indie Prize winners! Congratulations to each and every one of you!
Best Game Audio – The Big Journey by Catfishbox (Ukraine)
Developed as a part-time project by indie studio Catfishbox, the music in The Big Journey was recorded by a local Ukranian band. The lighthearted music in the trailer is on par with this adorable little adventure game where like the trailer demonstrates, you help roll this fat cat by rotating the world to collect bugs and dumplings (why dumplings I’m not sure but he does get fatter when he eats them). The art, music and gameplay are more than endearing in The Big Journey.
Best Game Design & Best Mobile Game – Slashy Hero by The Gentle Bros (Singapore)
Developed by a Singaporean indie company The Gentle Bros (with one Gentle Gal), Slashy Hero is an easy to play dungeon crawler with a fun Halloween theme. Simply draw the path of attack for your hero to slash away at enemies and get all the candy! It’s a flawless game design that’s simple but keeps things interesting with the variety of monsters, obstacles and hazards that you have to navigate through. You can download Slashy Hero for free on the iOS and Google Play store.
Best Game Art – Lamia’s Game Room by Digital Crafter (Taiwan)
Have you ever played the old school classic children’s card games like Donkey or Old Maid? The game goes by a few other names as well but it’s mainly choosing cards from another player’s to make pairs with the cards you do have in your hand. You continue taking one card from player to player until a person is left with the last un-matched pair, that person is the loser. Lamia’s Game Room works on those principles with the twist on you and your decision on how to react when a person is about to draw a card from your hand. The original story of Lamia who you play is to learn more about how you ended up in this room playing card games with everybody. The art style is set in classic gothic anime, which brings the whole feel of the game together.
Most Promising Game in Development – Zombie Rollerz by Zing Games (China)
Another post-zombie apocalypse you groan? Well have you ever played zombie pinball? Zombie Rollerz is a cute variation of the classic pinball mechanics. As the player you take on a band of heroes controlling a giant ship fortress known as the ARK that’s equipped with a main cannon aka your pinball that launch at enemies, supported by hero magic and side flippers. There are a variety of different flippers, cannon balls and magic to collect and level up. The game is planning to release on mobile, iOS and Android sometime in Q4, 2016 with PvE, Co-Op as well as PvP. I can see this becoming a pretty addictive mobile game.
Best Game Narrative – Désiré by Sylvain Seccia (France)
A deeply immersive game, from the very first click. Playing this game in Casual Connect I was pretty reluctant to give up my controls to let anybody else play because I had gotten so caught up in the life of Désiré. You play as a young French boy that is colourblind both physically and emotionally, but its this lack of emotion as well as the game’s somewhat more mature and darker themes that suck you into Désiré’s world. It’s out now on Steam and once I’m done with all my Casual Connect articles you can bet that I’ll definitely be playing it!
Best Multiplayer – Captain Strike by Joy Entertainment (Vietnam)
Counter Strike is now on mobile! Except it’s called Captain Strike and its a third person shooter game. Filled up with all that eSports action we love to hate Captain Strike pits two teams against each other for a battle to the death. There are Free For Alls, Team Battles, Team Deathmatches, VIP Protection (which I assume is something like hostage rescue), Bomb Defusal and Boss Fights. Don’t have enough friends to play with? No problem there are up to 5 chapters of PvE, out now on Google Play and iOS.
Best Kids & Family Game – The Adventure Pals by Massive Monster (Australia)
The Adventure Pals has it all! A pet rock, kawaii animated graphics, a father that’s about to get turned into a sausage and an adorable giraffe that fits in your backpack. Originally called Super Adventure Pals 2, this open world co-op game is a bright and colourful platformer full of adventure and laughter. In classic RPG style you can improve your weapons, stats, hats and fight a wide range of enemies and bosses and best of all this is a co-op game. I know the award says Best Kids & Family Game but those kids will need to get in line! Already Greenlit by Steam I’ll be buying it when it comes out!
Best In Show & Most Innovative Game – Enigm Box by Benoît Freslon (France)
An addictive puzzle game EnigmBox justifiably won the award for Most Innovative Game and Best In Show. Instead of the general touchscreen puzzle game components that most other mobile games incorporate, EnigmBox takes it one step further by literally thinking outside of the box. In order to solve the puzzles you’re required to only use your phone screen but your phone’s keyboard, charger, microphone etc. Making it a much more interesting and interactive game.
Audience Choice – Tap Summoner by OY Games (Malaysia)
The gameplay of Tap Summoner is pretty much what it implies. A tapping game where you summon tiny minions to take care of the waves of monsters coming at you. Similar to the mechanics of Crab War by Appxplore, Tap Summoner has an additional strategic aspect of summoning different tiers of minions to deal damage. Longer taps use up more energy and summon stronger minions, while others deal smaller minions with more minimal damage. These different levels of tapping break up the gameplay from it being just another rapid tapping game.