Earlier this week, ArcticStartup set up its mobile office in Helsinki’s Wanha Satama where the PG Connects: East Meets West mobile games conference took place. Apart from talking to a bunch of game publishers, indie game developers and art designers, we downed tons of coffee and test drove some really cool touchscreen games.
So kick back and take your mind off of the grim weather outside by taking a journey with us to explore the global and local mobile games scene. Who knows, maybe you’ll discover what’s your new favourite tablet or smartphone game to play inside, if mother nature decides that winter isn’t quite over yet after all.
St. Petersburg, Russia-based AMT-Games was in PG Connects with two titles: Battle For The Galaxy and Epic War 2 TD. Battle For The Galaxy can be described as Halo meets Clash of Clans: you control a settlement which generates resources for you to build armies, which you must use to attack neighbouring settlements. The same applies for Epic War 2, except this time the game is about tower defense. The two sci-fi themed games will guarantee you a solid dose of flashy lasers, explosions and big machines.
Project Tilt (PC, Mac & Linux) is a 2D multiplayer arena shooter game created and runned by a jolly group of Brazilian developers working under the name of BitCake Studio. The aim of the game is simple: Kill all your opponents before they kill you. The short match time, according to BitCake Studio, allows for players to play quick Project Tilt matches in between DOTA or LoL matches for example. Another detail worth mentioning is that BitCake Studio just finished the GameFounders accelerator program in Estonia, where they’ve spent the last three months preparing their launch.
Ocmo is the challenging iOS game created by the Finnish game studio Team Ocmo. The game features a dark, bacteria like creature that uses its tendrils to swing itself about like Tarzan. The objective? To kill the white rabbit. A peculiar detail is that the antagonist will die once it catches the bunny (though you’re still declared victorious).
The game is surprisingly difficult, but once you get the hang of the physics and you manage to graciously swing through a few levels, the sense of satisfaction is hard not to enjoy.
IFelseMedia was another rather interesting game studio from Finland. Their two flagship games, The Music Of Erich Zann (not released yet) and Sword & Glory (iOS & Android), feasted on the style of mystical macabreness.
The Music Of Erich Zann is both a game and a visualized audiobook based on a novel written by H. P. Lovecraft. The game is music based (allowing you to use your own music if you so wish), and the aim is to stop evil eyes from reaching the end of your violin’s strings (listening to the 18 minute-long novel might bring some sense to this).
Free-to-play Sword & Glory takes place in medieval Finland. Your character’s fate is driven forward through the decisions you make based on ingame dialogue, while the motivator to make the right choices is affected by the fact that death in the game is permanent. Praised by critics (with an average rating of 4,5/5), this tablet game is definitely different, dark and worth checking out.
SpaceBears is the French studio behind Kingdoms (not released yet), a strategic board game that takes influences from games like checkers and chess. Simply put (though a bit more complicated in action), players have their turn during which they must either invade tiles or build defenses in order to get to the enemy’s king. Invading multiple enemy tiles (by disconnecting areas from the area that contains the king) grants you extra turns. Needless to say, I was mercilessly beaten.
Pako is the windows, iOS and Android game created by Finnish game studio TreeMenGames. The nerve wracking game takes you into the shoes of a fugitive driving a getaway car, trapped in a large cul de sac. Your car has no brakes and the gas is pressed down at all times, which means you’ll have to do your best to dodge all obstacles and police cars who are chasing you for as long as you can. Warning: the game is highly addictive and highly difficult!
Australian Tin Man Games is the studio behind Gamebook Adventures (iOS & Android), a gamified series of books. Gamebook Adventures has a set of adventure stories which can be read on touchscreen devices. The catch is that you get to choose how the adventure unfolds, for every section of the narrative concludes with choices that you have to make. Though dark-themed adventure is the common factor, the genres range from sci-fi to vampiric romance. The newest releases includes a story on Judge Dredd.
Kouvola-based Blackland Games didn’t exactly have a stand in the conference, but will make it here because of a cool pitch they made us on their own initiative. Don’t get me wrong, their game, Planetary Guard: Defender (not yet released), is by no means less cool than the pitch itself: The game takes place in an alternative universe where humanity managed to conquer the milky way during the 1920’s. The technology is rusty and clumsy, but militarily effective nonetheless. The aim of the 3D game is to defend different targets from aerial attacks. The defence happens down from the surface of a small planet with an old-school spacetank.