As I stepped into the Microsoft building for the PlayCrafting NYC weekend event I knew I as in for something special. Rooms and hallways were full of computers and controllers with excited independent developers behind them. All eager to share their newest creation whether they were working on it for months or a year or longer. There wre mobile games, card games, VR experiences, and more traditional games for interested attendies to check out. I met and chatted with cool developers and gamers alike. Here is a list of some of the games that grabbed my attention.

Blade Ballet by Dreamsail Games | Platform: PS4
Blade Ballet is a local multiplayer dance to the death. Players take control of whirling robots armed with laser swords and slash each other to bits. Each bot will have unique special abilities and players will be able to battle across many different arenas.  Frantic duels to the death with 4 up to players
Spinning and stabbing combat system that allows for simultaneously hectic and skillful clashes
Multiple Blade-Bot models to play as, each with their own special abilities
Different arenas each with unique level mechanics to learn and use to your advantage

My Take
This seems like it will be a fun little couch co-op game for when a bunch of friends are over, similar to Mario Kart or Smash Bros. Although if you have those games you may be playing them instead.

Squad Of Saviors Trailer 09-2015 from Zack on Vimeo.

Squad of Saviors by | Platform: PC / Mac
Squad Of Saviors is a cooperative tactical shooter set in a future dystopia. You and your teammate are the only humans not manipulated by the mind control technology. A computer terminal calls on you to save the world.

SOS is XCOM meets Monaco, focusing on player communication and coordination. Together you infiltrate military bases to destroy mind control machines and escape before enemy reinforcements arrive. Different situations force you to come up with different tactics, and new equipment gives you more power for your strategies. Finally, the actions you take, will influence how the story goes and ends.

My Take
The demo of this game was short, only a few minutes, but what I played was fun. As I sat down and played the same level a few times with the developer it’s clear he’s on to something special here. There were quite a few time’s I alerted enemy sentry units of our location and quite a few times we saved each other’s asses in the middle of a shootout. I’m keeping an eye on this one.

Treasure Adventure World by Robit Games | Platform: PC / Mac
Treasure Adventure World is an epic metroidvania platform game. Sail the world, searching for ancient artifacts that were once powerful weapons used to fight an evil demon. Upgrade your sail-boat and find gear to enhance your treasure-hunting and fighting potential. Along the way, discover clues to your forgotten past and uncover the mysterious origins of the archipelagic world you live on.

My Take
This game is very much inspired by Metroid and Zelda like many games before it. Even still, the art is charming as is the soundtrack and dialogue. There is a demo you can download for Windows and I suggest you look into it if you’re interested in a more laid back adventure game.

Neon Krieger Yamato by LIONPLEX | Platform: PC / Mac / Wii U
A platformer mixed with fighting game elements, its goal is to capture a mix of stylish combos, fast paced action, and twitch combat puzzles, presented in a pixel art cyberpunk aesthetic.

My Take
I grabbed a controller and had a blast playing this with a random attendee sitting next to me. Together we cut through multiple enemies and destoyed barriers that were holding us back. You have to really communicate and think on your feet to solve puzzles that are blocking your forward progression while also pushing through all the enemies in your way.

Monarch Black by Mirrorfish Media | Platform: PC / Mac
In Monarch Black players become a butterfly to explore changing abstract procedural environments filled with laser firing insects. Fly un-constrained through drowned cities and snowy forests to find glowing pollen grains. As you progress you\’ll unlock new weapons and capabilities to evolve your avatar and fly deeper into this strange and beautiful world.

My Take:
The procedurally generated cubes throughout each level are gorgeous. Flying as a butterfly was calming. Well, until I received enemy fire anyway. Maybe I have to get used to the controls but aiming seemed “floaty” and I found myself often aiming a second or so after I told the controller to do so. I’d love to check this game out again with tighter aiming and a bigger variety of enemies. Epic boss battles would be nice too.

r.e.B.E.R.t.h. by reBerth team | Platform: PC / Mac
In r.e.B.E.R.t.h., you play Mel, a refugee seeking escape from her home planet as it falls to a greedy, morally bankrupt Galactic Federation. Mel is the lone survivor of the attack, armed only with her ship, and an inherited ability to see the Background Energy of Reality: an energy that stems from the threads of The Universe itself and manifests to those who can perceive it as music. Mel is on a path to discover the root of the devastation that befell her homeworld and find her place in The Universe.

The team is creating a truly unique game experience where just about every aspect of the game synchronizes to the and the music is altered by game events. The music score becomes a driver for all in-game events allowing Composer Larry Hong to simultaneously design levels. Percussion becomes laser fire, melodies pace the action, and tempo changes shift the game dynamics; all in real time. Think; “Game linked to its score” and think less like “rhythm game.”

My Take
The demo for this game was very short as well. I like what the team is going for having everything alter the soundtrack, but the build I played felt like most other arcade shooters in nature.

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