Lucky me, I managed to buy one of the last Sunday tickets to AdventureX, which took place on 10th and 11th November 2018, just in time. As the UK’s only convention dedicated to narrative-driven gaming, tickets sold out pretty darn quickly, as I’m sure they’ve been doing ever since AdventureX started in 2011. I meant to go to as many talks as possible… but the array of indie games on offer was just too irresistible!
Luckily, the talks were recorded – you can head over to the AdventureX youtube channel to watch them. In the meantime, here are five great games I had the chance to check out.
Talesinger: Voice of the Dragon
Currently in development for PC and consoles by Welsh studio Quantum Soup, Talesinger: Voice of the Dragon is a narrative combat-free RPG where you play as an aspiring apprentice bar, Gwen, in Iron Age Wales. You could think of it a little like “The Witcher but without having to slay a gazillion monsters” in order for the story to progress. Feisty Gwen has the formidable task of uniting quarreling Celtic tribes against the Roman invasion.
With the power of words and magic, she can use songs and stories to inspire, persuade or shame other characters into action. The game will be fully localized with Welsh dialogue; it was awarded a Cymraeg 2050 grant for promoting the Welsh language. Llongyfarchiadau! If you’d like to support the game, check out its BrightLocker page.
Lord Winklebottom Investigates: The Case of the Expired Axolotl
What if Sherlock Holmes was a giraffe who was investigating the murder of an old axolotl friend? From the imagination of Cave Monsters, a Sheffield-based indie game studio, comes the colorful and comedic point-and-click murder mystery brilliantly titled “Lord Winklebottom Investigates: The Case of the Expired Axolotl.”
To be released on PC, console and tablets, the game will have you searching for clues, solving puzzles (you’ll need a pen and paper, really) and interrogating suspects including one salty peg-legged sea dog who really doesn’t like whales. Keep an eye out for Kickstarter-related news from the studio on Twitter and Facebook in early 2019.
Luna: The Shadow Dust
Lantern Studio’s debut offering, Luna: The Shadow Dust, is one of the most gorgeously illustrated games I’ve seen this year. Dialogue-free, the point-and-click game features traditional frame-by-frame animation and original music. You control two characters, a young boy named Luna and a creature of shadows, in order to solve puzzles across numerous dimensions, some of which are accessed across different levels of an enchanted crooked tower.
The demo alone features a delicious variety of puzzles with clues hidden in plain sight. Tentatively set to be released in early 2019, Luna: The Shadow Dust will be available for PC, Mac, Linux, iOS and Android – if you can’t wait, head over to their website and play the demo in the meantime.
Haven’t already bought a copy of this game from Steam? If you enjoyed Papers, Please, and want to see what life is like in post-Brexit Albion, what are you waiting for? Released in August 2018, Not Tonight is a point-and-click RPG from indie game developer PanicBarn who describes it as “a dystopian post-brexit musical adventure”.
You play as Person of European Heritage #112 who has to work as a bouncer and maintain a decent social credit score in order to continue living in the UK. The pixel art is gorgeously lit with incredible attention to detail (just look at the graffiti alone) and there’s an excellent soundtrack to match it. Not Tonight is available for PC, PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.
The Procession to Calvary
Last but not least, I had the pleasure of giggling and clicking on as much as possible in The Procession to Calvary by indie game developer Joe Richardson. I first came across this hilarious fusion of Renaissance art, classical music and Monty Python-esque humour in Joe’s earlier creation, Four Last Things. The Procession to Calvary is a sequel whereby the same protagonist returns in search of absolution.
Joe has been busy with his scissors and put together even more collages and characters for you to have a madcap adventure with through art history. The game will be released for PC, Mac and Linux in 2019 and a mobile build may be expected at a later date.
That’s it, folks! If you played any of the games at AdventureX, regardless of whether they’re listed above or not, let us know your thoughts and recommendations. Happy to hear them!