The 2nd annual Boston Festival of Indie Games (BFIG) took over the MIT campus in Cambridge on September 24th. This year promised to be bigger and better as the organizers took to crowd funding via kickstarter to get more space, more games, and still keep attendance free for the gaming masses!
I covered the event for 2old2play last year but since the only people who read our front page are the other writers and my mom here’s their run down of what its all about:
Boston Festival of Indie Games celebrates independent game development in New England and neighboring regions. Our goal is to create an accessible environment for everybody who enjoys and appreciates games in whatever shape or form, both as players and game developers. The festival seeks to support and showcase the efforts of independent game developers in a free public event, offering games in different formats: video games, location-based games, tabletop games and live role-playing games, amongst others. Games featured demonstrate both the emerging and established talent of the game community in the American northeast. Festival invites attendees to become game developers themselves, by participating in game jams, creating their own board and card games, and attending screenings and lectures on the process of making games. Produced under the non-profit auspices of Be Epic, a Boston-area live action games production group, the Boston Festival of Indie Games fosters an inclusive community of academic, professional and independent developers creating games for the people. Boston FIG was conceptualized by members of Boston Indies, and brought to life via a community effort in collaboration with major stakeholders in the Massachusetts-area gaming community.
If you’re lazy or hate italics the short version is:
We Don’t Need No Stinking Board Games
This year I had a lot more time to explore which was great since it was spread across a few buildings of the campus. My main focus was on the video games but I did check out the board game area as well. It was in a large but un air-conditioned room which would have reinforced any stereotyping about gamers being smelly. But they definitely had some cool stuff! I got a hands on look at Cards Against Humanity’s ‘Bigger Blacker Box’ due out this fall. And Ice Cubris was extra exciting in a room that was at least 80 degrees! I would have loved to have sat and checked out Funemployed but the need for fresher air prevailed!
Video Killed the Radio Star
Video games had a much larger area this year occupying the MIT gymnasium. I think their angry beaver athletic team logo might be my new favorite thing!
So right video games! There was a lot of stuff I had seen last year that had made great progress. Father Octopus’ Rite had a bunch more playable levels and still a long line to check it out hands on.
Another I enjoyed last year was Phoenix Online. Their final episode of Cognition hit Steam September 19th and I’m working on a play through. Look for a review of the excellent series to date soon. I really hope they don’t screw up the ending!
I was also happy to see more new adventure games. I plan to check out Route 28 Studios who not only had adventure games but French Canadian accents and super cute art!
An even more indie new adventure game I’m really looking forward to is The Beard in the Mirror. An adventure game that involves pirates written by fans of Lucas Arts and Sierra?! After watching their greenlight trailer I’m mostly just mad my husband and I didn’t do this first!
If adventure games aren’t your thing and you go more for simulations, Soda Drinker Pro was on hand. I was way jealous their developer was drinking an actual Bonus Soda!
And for a super realistic simulator Depression Quest was exhibiting complete with a sort a blanket fort for an almost too realistic experience of what it feels like to not be able to get out of bed.
Silly Rabbit, Video Games are for Kids!
Being that we’re 2old2play there are probably many of you that want to encourage your kids to become gamers at an early age. Well the indie scene has you covered! There were lots of kids and lots of games that would appeal to a younger age group.
My favorite of the field was Puzzle Axe. Touch device jigsaw puzzles help you avoid your mean older sibling toppling over all your hours of hard work. Bonus points for animated cut scenes as puzzle completion rewards.
Another standout was educational titles from Test Tube Games. Brings back memories of my years playing Math Blaster and Carmen San Diego. Octopuses, monkeys and dinosaurs to teach kids about science?! Sign my nieces and nephews up!
Muzzy Lane was another interesting one. If Texas is the controller all of our textbooks, at least a game studio in Massachusetts seems to have cornered the edutainment games market. Hopefully indoctrinating impressionable young gamers on a critical thinking with their titles which cover things like government civics, math, and history.
Make a vacation out of it!
New England is beautiful in the fall and this is a great excuse to visit! The indie games festival was even better in its sophomore year. Only growing pain complaint was a bit of a mix up between their mobile app, printed schedule, and posted signage on the timing of keynotes and speakers. I totally missed out on finding out what Dante Hicks from Clerks has to do with video games.
Lots of fun games, nice people, and humbling to see it all while roaming the hallowed halls of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. If you want more info on any of the games I mentioned or the many more at the show check out the list from the digital showcase.
Welcome boys and ghouls to this weeks horror filled releases. For those of you in the Halloween spirit there is plenty to sate your appetite for taking on another form, from pirates to interstellar rebels to good old shoot ‘em ups and a retro game given new life on today's consoles. So grab some treats and get ready for some tricks.
Coming out this week
Angry Birds: Star Wars (Xbox 360, PS3, Vita, PC, Wii, Wii U, 3DS)
In a galaxy far, far away...or your nearest game store. Get ready to immerse yourself in the most recent addition to the Angry Birds series. Now you can launch till your hearts content or at least to the twenty new levels remastered for the consoles. Enjoy cooperative and multiplayer game play while wielding a lightsaber or using the Force. Coming to a rebel base near you on October 29th.
Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag (Xbox 360, PS3)
Arrr, if it be booty yer after look no further matey’s. Coming in from the seven seas be Cap’n Edward Kenway and his fearsome crew on the mighty Jackdaw. Sail the Caribbean seas lootin’ and plunder’n and striking fear in all them landlubbers. So what say ye wog, are ye ready for the life of a pirate, if ye be October 29 be the day to sign up and ship out.
Battlefield 4 (Xbox 360, PS3, PC)
Featuring a larger world and better gameplay, Battlefield 4 offers players an immersive world where you can jump in any vehicle; aerial, aquatic or land based to dish out a can of good ol whoop...well you know. Giving the gamer the ability to change the world around them with interactive environments that change based on your actions. Be ready for the carnage on October 29th.
Pac-man and the Ghostly Adventures (PS3, XBOX 360, Wii U)
If you were hoping for a new game based on the animated series of Pac-Man and Ghostly Adventures, well look no further. This game has all the adventure and excitement from the show now in your control. Take the lead as Pac-man and his friend as you try and free your world from the ghostly and other baddies. Releasing Oct. 29th
Sonic Lost Worlds (Wii U, 3DS)
Coming exclusively to the Nintendo systems, Sonic Lost Worlds boasts new levels,new powers and new adventures. In this installment of the Sonic series you will go and do things never thought of before. Dashing into stores Oct. 29th.
Honorable Mentions (Xbox 360, PS3, PC)
For you budget minded gamers there are a few multipacks coming out that may be of interest. First up, 2K Power Pack Collection, featuring three games: Darkness 2, Bioshock 2 and Mafia 2 (Xbox 360, PS3). Also from 2K, Definitive Strategy Collection featuring: XCOM: Enemy Unknown and Civilization V (PC), also World of Warcraft Battlechest featuring WoW, WoW: Burning Crusade Expansion Pack, WoW: Wrath of the LIch King Expansion Pack, WoW: Cataclysm Expansion Pack and first month of play (PC). All releasing on Oct. 29th.
The gaming season is starting to pick up! There are a ton of new releases this week. Some are re-releases and bundles featuring great deals on some great games. As we approach the release of the new consoles, it’s only going to get more hectic and better from here on out. Enjoy these last couple of weeks gaming on the current generation while you can!
Coming out this week
Batman: Arkham Origins (360, PS3, Wii U, PC)
Taking place before the two previous entries in the Batman: Arkham series, Batman: Arkham Origins features a younger hero just starting to clean the streets of Gotham City. It’s like he is growing up before your very eyes, dishing out justice as only Batman can. Batman: Arkham Origins hits store shelves on October 25th.
This week games release for all the platforms! Last gen, next gen, handheld, 3-D, and even Mac gets some love! There is even some bonus info on a game Telltale snuck in towards the end of last week.
Five weeks and counting until the new consoles release but really the excitement of the Fall/Winter release season kicks off this week with the release of such highly anticipated titles like Beyond: Two Souls and Pokémon X and Y.
It’s beginning to look alot like Christmas. Well, not really, but the holiday release schedule is almost upon us! The upcoming weeks feature a number of hotly anticipated releases and the transition into the long awaited next generation of gaming. I don’t know about the rest of the gaming community but I am certainly looking forward to the next few months. It’s an exciting time to be a gamer, isn’t it? This week’s new releases feature an HD remake of a Nintendo classic, the return of the preeminent hoops franchise, a new F1 racer and a couple of 3DS RPG’s.
Hey, everybody, guess what!?! The games industry didn’t stop making new games after last week’s release of GTA 5. There’s actually more games coming out this week!
Labor Day, or Labour Day depending on where you’re from, is over and done. The last long weekend of the summer season is kaput. The ramp up to the Christmas season begins from both a game standpoint and, sadly, a retail one as well. I like both summer and Christmas but I believe there needs to be more than a couple hours in between. I was in Walmart yesterday and their back to school section was already taken over by Halloween and Christmas.
The upside to this is that more games are being released and more importantly...the kids are back to school! I totally feel like the dad in that Staples commercial dancing through the aisles as the kids get their supplies. I never thought I would feel like that about my own children or, at the very least, I would feel guilty for feeling like that but...I do...and I don’t!
On to the games!
Diablo III (XBOX 360, PS3)
Diablo III on your console complete with online and couch sharing co-op! As soon as I finish writing this I am heading to somewhere to buy Blizzard’s hack and slash RPG. I loved Diablo (never finished it), I loved Diablo II (never finished it), and I loved Diablo III on my PC (never finished it). I wholeheartedly plan on never finishing Diablo III on my console as well. I admit I have a problem. However, Mrs. Soup loves some RPG and some co-op gameplay so not only do I have a totally valid excuse but maybe I'll actually finish one of these games. Diablo III attacked store shelves on September 3rd.
Rayman Legends (WiiU, XBOX 360, PS3, PC, Vita)
WiiU fans your wait is finally over. Your limbless hero arrives at last! It’s been a long wait and I know it’s a bit tough to swallow that your once console exclusive now graces the disc trays of the competition. You may take solace in the fact that the wait was well worth it. From what I read, Rayman Legends garnered some great early reviews regardless of platform. Rayman Legends bounced into stores on September 3rd.
Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate (XBOX 360, PS3)
It’s Dead or Alive. It’s #5 and it’s Ultimate! The game promises 2 vs 2 online co-op tag team mode, team fight mode, more polished moves, more destructible environments, lots of DLC carried over from DoA 5, more costumes of less material and more independent boob jiggles! Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate is ultimately not a bad deal if you haven’t already bought DoA 5. Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate wiggled and jiggled its way into stores on September 3rd.
Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons (PC, PS3)
Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, already released to critical acclaim on the XBOX 360, is now set to grace the PS3 and PC as well. Each thumbstick controls one of the two brothers and while a little odd at first it becomes a very interesting and engrossing game. You can download Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons via Steam or the Playstation Store beginning September 3rd.
Disney Castle of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse (PC, PS3, XBOX 360)
Sega updated the the much beloved (and winner of longest game title) Sega Genesis original with HD graphics and gameplay. If you played the original then you are old like me. If you were fond of the original then you may want to leave those memories in the past. However, the kids might enjoy bouncing as the mouse that built the house of Disney. Download Disney Castle of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse beginning September 3rd.
Total War: Rome II
If you enjoy both strategy in your gaming and commanding thousands of soldiers to either march to victory or their death, then you have likely already played a Total War game and I don’t need to tell you anything else about Total War: Rome II. Only that I wish I was good at these games...
The new game offerings this summer have been drier than West Texas in August. I don’t understand why we have a holiday season glut and a summer drought. If they spaced the new releases more evenly we wouldn’t be reviewing free to play shit games and DLC in July and August. Whatever, it’s over now and the gaming preseason is here, and it’s hotter than Derek Nolan’s basement on a Monday night. This week a planet gets misplaced for the third time, the Japanese make use of Roman numerals, an E3 favorite makes a killing, Madden assumes the position, and you’ll fall in love with the PSP...and die.
So Sam Fisher, Sully, Captain Jack, the Saints and some creepy aliens walked into a bar...yeah that’s all I got but it gives you an idea of what to expect this week.