Rezzed 2018: The best indie games you have to play this year
Rezzed 2018 is upon us. The London-based celebration of indie games both big and small has taken up residence at the Tobacco Docks for its fourth year, as floods of keen gamers, aspiring developers and curious creators descend into its cavernous space.
Unlike previous years, which has always had a couple of big-name games to help draw the crowd, Rezzed 2018 is actually chock-full of brilliant indie games that are all certainly worth your time. The trouble is, with all of these interesting projects in one place, it’s difficult to really discover what games you should be spending your time with.
That’s where I come in. Having explored the warren-like structure that is the Tobacco Docks’ various rooms, I’ve put together a list of the most interesting titles you have to see during the show. Instead of throwing a tonne of obscure curios, or dropping a list of bigger-name games, here’s an eclectic mix of some of the best games at Rezzed 2018.
The best games to play at Rezzed 2018
Inspired by German physician Fritz Khan’s infographics of the human body, Homo Machina puts you in charge of running the human body through its daily routine. In the short section, I played you had to wake up the different centres of the brain, clear your nose and get yourself ready for breakfast. The wake-up process takes on the form of light puzzles, but it’s a sumptuous puzzle game that makes you think about the little people working away in your brain.
Pitched as a Detective RPG, Disco Elysium places you in the shoes of a disgraced cop investigating a murder at a seedy hotel. Its beautiful hand-drawn artwork does a wonderful job of conveying a world that’s been quashed by bigger forces and the hazy soundtrack gives off vibes of your typical noir-esque thriller. Gameplay is reminiscent of Wasteland, Torment and Baldur’s Gate, but instead of dishing out violence you use your stats to outwit and interrogate. It’s a brilliant take on an established genre and, despite the noise of the show floor, definitely worth spending time taking a look at.
Mao Mao Castle
The easiest way to describe Mao Mao Castle is if someone injected Nyancat directly into your eyeballs. Its loud, fast and very strange, played on a short throw projector and using a Leap Motion to control the floating cat on screen. It’s hard to really describe exactly what this high-score game really is about, but it doesn’t matter, just let the nonsense wash over you like a warm hug.
Astrologaster made our list of must-play games from EGX 2017 last year and, if you didn’t get the chance to play then, now’s a great time to go hands-on with it again. Nyamyam’s astrology curio places you in the shoes of 16th-century doctor Simon Forman, a real-life historical figure who offered consultations to troubled citizens by reading the stars to find out their future. Packed with charm via witty writing and beautiful design, it’s a great way to break away from the more hectic halls of Rezzed.
Inspired by the likes of 1930’s pulp novels, Rebellion’s Strange Brigade is a co-op shooter that evokes memories of Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris. Working as a team of four intrepid explorers, it’s your job to take on waves of undead enemies and solve environmental puzzles to progress through the story. The general aim is to save civilisations from all manner of supernatural nasties with a heap of British bravado. There are definite themes and similarities to Rebellion’s other big title, Sniper Elite, but Strange Brigade belongs in its own universe that really goes hard on hammy British adventure novels. A jolly good romp.
Other bits to see
If you’re still unsure what to take a look at during this year’s Rezzed, take a look around the Tentacle Zone for some lesser-known creative gems. Head over to the Leftfield Collection too to discover some of the stranger, more experimental titles from one-person developers or small teams working on passion projects. You won’t be disappointed.