This weekend, TGR was at the Insomnia Gaming Festival at the Telford International Centre.
Insomnia is a three day “Gaming Festival”, and this weekend was the fiftieth event, so was quite a landmark event for Multiplay, the organisation behind it.
The event itself is split into two halls, one, a massive “Bring your own PC” hall, the other was full of exhibitors and events.
We were day visitors so mainly spent our time in the exhibitors hall, where there were plenty of stalls selling everything from Aperture Science mugs to Zelda courier bags:- retro games, board games, peripherals, figurines, t-shirts, flags, hoodies, all sorts of gaming, comic book and film memorabilia.
In addition to Battlefield 4 LAN gaming, Halo 4 and COD Ghosts tournaments, and an Xbox One zone, they had a Minecraft Zone, hosting Parkour and Hunger Games tournaments, but the thing that caught my eye was the Indie Games Zone. Unfortunately we didn’t have chance to see them all (so apologies to those exhibitors we missed), but here are a few that really stood out.
Chompy Chomp Chomp
Chompy Chomp Chomp is a frantic local multiplayer currently out on Xbox 360 and PC, and soon on the Wii U.
You control one of up to 4 Chompies in a top down single screen level filled with power ups and hazards. Each Chompy is a different colour, and will be randomly given a different Chompy as his or her target. This asymmetrical gameplay rapidly become frantic as the four players start chasing each other around the screen trying to chomp their target while avoiding being chomped by whoever is targeting them.
Throw in power ups that teleport you, speed you up, or even reverse your controls, and chaos ensues.
Find out more atÂ www.utopianworldofsandwiches.
Ace of Spades: Battle Builder
At first glance this looks like a Minecraft clone, but this has more in common with team based FPSs like Team Fortress. But with a dash of the M-word thrown in for good measure.
Up to 32 players can play together in team based multiplayer objectives, containing such favourites as Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag and Zombie Mode. Other modes like Diamond Mine (dig up diamonds and protect your miner as he carries them back to your base), Occupation (protect your base from enemy attack – with bombs) and the obligatory “and more”.
The main twist here, is that in addition to playing just like your favourite team based multiplayers, you have the Minecraft twist of being able to build and demolish the scenery around you. On top of that you can customise and design your own maps and game modes too.
Take a look over at aceofspades.com
At its most basic level, this is a top-down co-op game, where two players with varying tools, need to work together to get to the exit.
Some levels are straightforward shooters, you both have a shotgun, and need to take out the enemies, avoiding getting caught in the explosions of TNT crates or getting crushed by a giant spiky roller.
One clever example has one player with special goggles that reveal hidden mines, while the other player has a permanently “on” laser cannon (which can kill your partner), so you need to work together to find a safe path through the level.
Some fun tools are also available such as the Helicopter backpack, and the Gravity Gloves (that let you move livestock around to place on pressure pads) – the developers also joked about letting you turn the carried pigs into weapons by squeezing them, but hadn’t quite worked out how to best implement that yet.
One level in particular was so tricky that the developer claimed, after two full days of Insomnia patrons playing it, only three pairs of players had managed to complete it – so don’t be fooled by the cute, blocky, cell-shaded graphics, there is quite a challenge here.
The game is still in early development, and the alpha can be downloaded for free fromÂ spacefarmers.bumpkinbrothers.
Apologies to the many indie games on show at Insomnia that we didn’t get chance to try out, but that just shows how much there is to see and do. And I haven’t even mentioned our experience with the Oculus Rift!
We can thoroughly recommend these Gaming Festivals for anyone with a passing interest to meet up with fellow gamers – whatever flavour of gaming you currently enjoy, whether it be board games, consoles, cutting edge PCs, or indie games, there will be something there for you.
Did you make it to Insomnia this weekend? What caught your eye while you were there? Let us know in the comments.