The Moment: Demos of Team17 Indie Games Show Much Promise In The Eyes Of Isaac

By Isaac Espinosa

Recently, I had the honor of attending a game demo event in Manhattan, organized by Team17, a British organization that publishes Indie titles. They’ve put forth some incredible games such as Trepang 2, Earthless, and Undead Inc. But at this event, I was able to play through four different demos, each of which showcased not only talent and creativity, but also an immense amount of passion from the developers responsible. 

The first I experienced was Moving Out 2, a sequel to the original Moving Out developed by Devm Games and SMG Studio. From what I was able to see, Moving Out 2 has much more content than its predecessor, like minigames that are meant to be a diverting break from the main modes. Each of these incorporates core aspects of the level design as a way to introduce it to players, like a bunch of candy you have to place in specific zones that demonstrates how objects in the game can only be moved onto specific trucks. And the main mode of the game has changed drastically, including new levels that introduce the new zones and changes to doors that make it so you have to enter a level in a specific way – and even moving IN levels, where you have to move furniture into a property rather than move it out! It’s apparent how much time and effort the developers put into making Moving Out 2 an insanely good time, and I can’t wait for its official release to the public later this year. Unfortunately, the release date has yet to be announced. 

The next game I played was Blasphemous 2, a platformer developed by The Game Kitchen and scheduled for release on August 24th. It’s another sequel, as its name indicates. I was unfamiliar with the first Blasphemous, although that didn’t prevent me from enjoying this one. The original was reportedly a fun, brutal action-platformer set in the nightmare world of Cvstodia. And Blasphemous 2 also takes on that same genre, with similar inspired by Catholic, Arabic, and even gothic imagery. Unlike the original where you only had one weapon, you’re given a choice of three: a chained mace, a rapier, and a scimitar. Each has its own attack patterns and its own abilities, both in combat and beyond, where you can use them for puzzle solving in the overworld. According to the developers, this was done to ensure that every weapon had a purpose throughout the game. 

Next up was Gord, a mythic community development game created by Covenant.Dev. Its Polish developers were inspired by Slovak folklore and want to familiarize more people with that rich culture throughout. The visuals, with their nod to the medieval and gothic, harken back to games such as The Witcher 3. As for the gameplay, it’s all about forging a Gord, a medieval Slavic settlement in the name of your King, assembling materials and managing the preservation of both your new civilization and any new face that wishes to settle within it. Everyone within your Gord can help to gather resources, but they all need things in order to keep them mentally healthy during these trying times. Provide them proper care with breaks and even celebrations, and you’ll keep their sanity meter at an optimal level. With all of these mechanics to explore, I believe Gord will be tough to put down once it releases on August 8th.

Lastly, I was able to get my hands on Classified: France 44. Classified: France 44 has you take control of a Special Forces squad responsible for causing catastrophic damage before June 6th, 1944 (better known as D-Day). According to the developers, they wished both to shed light on this vital part of history and to simulate how WWII felt to the soldiers. The gameplay effectively conveyed this unique take on a tactical strategy game, with the mechanics communicating what real shooting was like. Elements like flanking, morale meters and sneak attacks showed the importance of every single shot, every vital move. The game is due to be released on Steam later this year. 

It’s always fascinating to learn about the love and care that goes into Indie titles. Not only are they some of the most interesting takes on what a video game can be, but they are also the lifeblood of the gaming community as a whole. Indie Games are what inspire a lot of us to try and make our own video games, and I was grateful for the opportunity to see what Team17 has in store.

Bronx native Isaac Espinosa is a senior intern at the New York Videogame Critics Circle. Along with being named the Circle’s first assistant mentor, Isaac also published his first story in The Verge.

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