The Leftfield Collection is always one of the highlights of EGX Rezzed for me. It is curated by David Hayward, who also organizes Feral Vector, a festival about making games and game-like things. As I mentioned in an earlier post, it’s an eclectic collection of indie games.
Some of the most memorable games I’ve played that have been featured in the Leftfield Collection include Old Man’s Journey, Haiku Adventure, What The Golf, Tala and the Flower Seed and Wobble Garden. Check out the list below for some of the great games that were on show this year!
Developed by Biome Collective, you are invited to make sweet, sweet music in the musical Garden. Initial WASD exploration lets the player pick up a variety of colourful seeds. Once planted, these seeds very quickly grow into luminescent musical flowers or baubles that have their individual beats or chimes. If you take a moment to pause and gaze at the centre of the universe, you will see a colossal floating lily. Garden is a truly immersive psychedelic experience.
Doggerland Radio is the brainchild of Amy Godliman. It caught my eye with its unique set-up comprising a fictional map, large pieces of flint and a radio. There was also a Doggerland library book with lightly redacted text titled “Seven Irons and the War of the Sheep”. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Doggerland, it’s an area of land that is now submerged beneath the North Sea. It connected Britain’s east coast to mainland Europe.
Playing Doggerland Radio involves putting on a pair of headphones and turning the dial on the radio to explore the map in front of you. You’ll catch mysterious glimpses throughout your auditory exploration: ragtime music, train whistles, the drone of airplanes, and even messages delivered from a town council. It feels a little voyeuristic and surreal at the same time; after all, how often does one silently listen in on a fictional country?
With audio by Eli Rainsberry and concept art by Alissa Chan, developer George Batchelor describes Bird Alone as “the story of a lonely bird figuring out what life’s all about”. He shared that Bird Alone is a mobile game that is meant to be played for a few minutes a day. Fancy having a conversation with a chatty and observant parrot? You can create music with your avian companion, draw a portrait of yourself with your feathered friend and discuss the meaning of life together. The game can be a tad melancholic despite its humour, and may leave you craving for more. I loved the parrot and the lovely artwork; the game’s release is something I’m definitely looking forward to!
Balloonbound by Awkward Silence Games (with music by leafcuts) is a terrific local multiplayer death match where the last player floating wins. Basically, you have to protect your own balloon while simultaneously trying to pop your friends’ balloons.
The weapons available include a flamethrower, various guns, a drone controller and many more. You don’t know what the weather will be like. You have to avoid floating bombs. Oh, and you might get hit by a plane. Happy times, ahoy.
Pokey Dokey Paradise
Remember Fingerolympics from my February list of free indie games to play? After winning the EGX and Rock Paper Shotgun Game Jam in 2018, developer Ludipe went on to collaborate with artist Karen Teixeira to create a full version of the game and re-named it as Pokey Dokey Paradise. It’s a great physics game for up to nine players, which can get pretty manic. Pressing a numbered key will allow players to thrust their corresponding fingers (or cat’s paws, or animals) into the air to accomplish tasks. This could be anything from batting a ball of yarn into a basket, or playing volleyball (keep that ball in the air, you).
This is one of the games I really wish I’d taken a good photo of – you’ll just have to ask creator Sam Wong for pics (and the chance to play it)! Moments presents five items to players. Only three of them can be placed upon three separate platforms at a time to complete puzzles. The five items are a birdbox, a candle, a pinecone, a flowerpot, and a teddy bear. It’s very gentle and I loved its calm aesthetic style. More games like this, please!
Wardialler is Paul Kilduff-Taylor’s first solo game and oh boy, what a debut it is. I’m usually a little intrigued when a game asks you to play detective and write things down. The notepad next to Wardialler was littered with scrawled notes and numbers left by numerous strangers. This is one of those games you should play in the dark, with its dark screen and green text. It’s kind of like a retro detective game with a hacker narrative. I got lost pretty quickly and watched other people play, hoping they’d get further than I did.
Can Androids Pray
Can Androids Pray is easily one of my favourite games at Rezzed this year. Written by Xalavier Nelson Jr. and developed by Natalie Clayton with incredible music by Priscilla Snow, this stunning little game had my heart on a hook. Set on a desolate plain in space, two doomed androids contemplate their existence and suicide. Everything is incredibly stylish and well-matched. I loved the excellent voice acting, the sense of impending doom as the sun began to rise, the android’s UI and the fantastic music. It’s coming out in Fall 2019, so get ready for it.
Were you at Rezzed too? Did you get a chance to play some games in The Leftfield Collection? If there are any other games you played that aren’t featured on the list above, let us know!