As I've said before (and will continue to do so until I'm blue in the face), the Eurogamer Expo contained more than big-name titles from enormous emergent monopolies. The Indie Games Arcade showcased sev We've already covered Scoregasm, Revenge of the Titans, Skulls of the Shogun and Frozen Synapse- and here are two more incredible Indie experiences for your delectation. Fractal and Gemini Rue deserve your rapt attention, guys- so don't let them slip under your radar!
SCUMM Point 'n' click adventures used to be all the rage back in the day- and Gemini Rue plans to ride the hefty wave of nostalgia by providing a delightfully retro experience along with a gritty Blade Runner-eque vibe. Players will follow the lengthy twisting narrative from two perspectives: a private investigator named Azriel Odin and a mysterious escapee known as Delta Six. The world of Gemini is bleak, grimy and swathed in perpetual rain; providing a stylish and oppressive setting in which to explore, unravel a conspiracy and occasionally engage in some action sequences.
Rather than the cluttered interfaces offered by most classic adventure games, Gemini Rue uses a simple 2-click menu that gives us the choice of interacting with the world using hands, feet, mouth or ears. It's simple and effective, allowing us to focus on solving puzzles rather than grappling with obscure terminology and horribly clunky GUIs. Further improving the accessibility of the title are fully-accessible terminals and computer consoles that feature drag and drop functionality. Apparently Gemini Rue will also feature some action sequences that will be "fair" to fans of slower-paced adventures.
Gemini Rue will feature over 80 areas in the full release (date TBA), and reached the final stages of this year's prestigious Independent Game Festival Student Showcase category. Joshua Nuernberger (aka JBurger) is sculpting a potential masterpiece, and I highly recommend keeping a close eye on this one. I certainly will be.
Let's face it: we all love matching gems together from time to time. Casual puzzle games are gradually clawing a progressively larger part of the gaming pie- both in terms of profit and players- and Cipher Prime's Fractal is set to become a new obsession.
The objective of every game mode is to match the titular Fractals (hexagonal gems) to create enormous blooms that score points, clear the board and create chain reactions. It's a familiar basic concept to anyone who's played Bejeweled etc... but you can't manipulate individual Fractals directly. Instead, players can 'push' on groups of hexagons, requiring them to think several moves ahead and develop an entirely new mindset. Several game modes (including a frantic arcade gametype) provide a huge amount of conent, and the beautiful graphical style and serene music makes Fractal stand out from the rest of the competition. It doesn't shout and scream to get attention; rather, it draws us in with seductive whispers and by simply being drop dead gorgeous.
Fractal is currently available to purchase from Cipher Prime for $9.99; which is a steal considering the massive value, replayability and sheer content you'll receive in return. Puzzle fans should definitely consider checking this one out... and remember to feed the pets, kiss goodbye to your partner and take a few sick days before booting it up!