In a cozy space, dominated by the largest television screen I have ever personally laid eyes upon, laid Devolver Digital. Seriously, this thing was like the 2001‘s monolith except players could game on it. Devolver was certainly proud of it. In the booth itself were three games on show: Okhlos, Enter The Gungeon and OmniBus.
Okhlos itself has an intriguing concept. The player starts as a lone philosopher. As he travels the Greek town, he gathers followers, who can then be directed to trash the place and defeat guards in the way. Large numbers aren’t the only tool. Various power ups and people types can be found throughout the world. While the mob might consist of peasants at first, soon enough armored troops can be recruited as the movement expands in influence. Money can be earned to upgrade the mob, granting additional perks. It helps that the controls are intuitive. Expanding and contracting the group is a cinch, as is blocking telegraphed attacks. As the game goes on, the mob will soon be facing off against mythical beasts and even the gods themselves. Imagine a pixel styled violent Katamari Damacy mixed with good, old fashioned deicide (like Grandma used to make). Developer Coffee Powered Machine looks to have created a cyclops-crushing good time.
Enter the Gungeon, developed by Dodge Roll, treated players to a top down, pixel styled shooter. It could remind one of Nuclear Throne at first blush, but playing it reveals that it is a different animal. A violent animal, sure, but different. The players are tasked with exploring a dungeon filled to the brim with enemies to gun down and loot to collect. There are tons of different weapons to pick up and try. Doing so could prove to be challenging. The dungeon itself is procedurally generated with prebuilt rooms, in the style of Binding of Isaac. Also similar to that gaming staple is how treasure is laid out. Each floor has a treasure room as well as a number of secret rooms, based on the floor.
The feel of the actual play is different, though. Boasting 360 degrees of fire, players can defend themselves better than the poor kid with the crazy mother. There is also a dodge mechanic that grants a couple of frames of invincibility. Considering the amount of ordinance (both anthropomorphised enemy types, as well as what they are firing) filling the screen at one time as the game progresses, this will be necessary. One thing is confirmed: the developer chose the correct name for themselves.
The last game featured in the booth was OmniBus from Buddy Cops. This one has players take control of a bus that cannot stop nor slow down. In fact, it will only increase speed. The task is to make it in one piece. Basically, it’s a twist on the movie Speed without a young Sandra Bullock (or Keanu Reeves) to ogle.
When I first heard that the developers were shooting for a PS1 graphical look, I was skeptical. I loved the PlayStation back in the day, but the 3D games did not age well. That said, Buddycops nailed a clean look for this one. The solid shapes and bold colors really help this game pop. It helps that the controls seem to be balanced well enough to provide the feel of having a decent handle on the situation while still showcasing the chaos of the situation. This one does have a demo available to the public right now and it is highly recommended that it be checked out.
Needless to say, I had a great time visiting this booth. I even temporarily rocked the toga for the giveaway (no pictures. I really don’t wish to inflict my face on the populace). There are some gaps in my collection that I have not been able to rectify and this seemed like a good opportunity. Devolver Digital just releases so many quality titles that it’s hard to keep up and these three add to that ever growing stack in style. Expect them all to release later this year.