As the focus of LEVEL UP KL this year was to create more exposure for game developers, Vulcan Post was given the opportunity to see firsthand what the young budding talents in the field are currently building.
When we got to LEVEL UP KL 2016, there were booths and stalls with studios from different countries, all sharing the same passion for games. It was a fun afternoon wandering around and trying some of the games out at the exhibition booths.
We were very impressed with the designs and the variety in the gameplay on display. Some of the studios told us they spent years working on just single games, and it really shows in the quality of the games, even if some of them are still in closed beta and aren’t completely polished yet.
So here are 7 of the games that we tried our hand at and can’t wait for them to be officially launched on Google PlayStore and the App Store. Do note that some are already available but as betas, so be warned that they might still have bugs and glitches.
The latest addition into their lineup of games, Kurechii brings another fantasy-themed game called Postknight. The game focuses on you as a Postknight where your duty is to deliver letters anywhere that’s requested, despite the multiple enemies blocking your path.
This game uses a different gameplay from their older titles such as Tiny Guardians and King Odyssey, even though it revolves around the same medieval setting.
Once you start, you have the option of alternating between attacking and defending to break through the enemies and pass each level.
The game also offers upgrades for you to increase your attacks, purchase armour for additional defense, and lower down the time it takes for your health to replenish, which is handy.
It was a little tricky trying to balance between the two controls while also keeping an eye on your health that depletes rather quickly. But once I got the swing of it, it was easier to control the character and think of different strategies to win.
Although a note to Kurechii, it’s a little unfair to have such a cute art style for the enemies attacking us—it makes us feel so guilty fending them off.
2) Super SteamPuff
I have to admit, what pulled me to try this game was definitely the artwork. Animals and characters drawn quirkily in space? I’m sold.
Super Steampuff by Weyrdworks Studios is a multiplayer game that has you playing against an opponent. It uses a basic shooting concept and all you need to control are 3 buttons: one for your jetpack that pushes you up the screen, one for you to shuffle back and forth to avoid getting shot, and one for firing your own weapon.
I caught onto the controls quite fast and was able to defeat my opponent by shooting through some floating capsules that upgraded your weapons to advanced ones that could deal more damage. I can definitely see this being something you can play with friends in your free time.
The game is only available for iOS devices but will be getting a global launch by next year.
3) Alien Path
Yet another game from Appxplore studios that grabbed me with its cute graphics.
Long-time fans of this studio will know how adorably they draw their creatures, whether it be mutated crabs or flabby aliens. And Alien Path has just that.
I thought that the gameplay would be similar to its predecessor, Alien Hive, but it’s quite different. Instead of having to stack them into groups of 4, the gameplay for Alien Path requires you to battle robots by smashing into them.
How it works is you arrange arrows on tiles to create a strategic path that will kill the enemies the fastest. There’s also an option to call your ancestors that help you in different ways. For example, there’re those that envelop you in an armor of ice that freezes your enemy upon contact, calling upon a swarm of allies to aid you, and having additional arrows placed onto a tile.
Appxplore, the team behind the game, told us that Jenn Yu, the co-founder, came up with the core game idea and it evolved from the team input.
Desmond the CEO shared that one of the highlights of their journey as a game-creating team is the recognition they’ve received for their efforts. According to him, two achievements that stood out were, “Lightopus being the first game in Malaysia featured by the Apple App Store and us being the first game studio in Malaysia/SEA to go IPO under iCandy Interactive Group.”
Currently, they are aiming to have the global launch set for January next year so fellow iOS users, don’t be sad just yet!
The second I saw this, I was instantly reminded of award-winning video game called Journey. The art style was so unique that I was compelled to try it out.
I’ve always been a fan of games that make use of imagery and music to get players into the mood of playing because of how it resonates well despite not having a voiced script. Uri has these elements so I was naturally compelled to try it out.
How it works is that you are helping the little heroine cross through some obstacles by moving around a platform made of pages from a book. It’s generally a puzzle game that requires some thinking to properly pull it off.
I wasn’t able to get the full story from the short time I spent playing it but I was drawn to know more. The gameplay may look simple but the girl’s pace requires you to act fast before she falls into an obstacle and gets caught.
The team developing Uri, Dreamtree Games told us, “Uri is a collection of ideas among the three of us. It started when the programmer wanted to do something more with UI. So, we sat down and came up with mechanics, the story and art direction together. And before you know it, we have Uri.”
The game is yet to be launched but will be available for premium in the upcoming few months. You can keep an eye on their Facebook page here for more news.
5) Nez / Uba
If you enjoy memory games, then these two should be your favourites.
Essentially, what you have to do is memorise a certain number of coloured shapes and then follow as they randomly float about and go into new positions. When they stop moving, you then tap onto the shapes and then see if your memory served you right. Simple, right?
I’ve always enjoyed these games because I find them relaxing and easy to play, but this one actually proved to be a challenge as I progressed on. The developers told us that there are 110 levels that get harder as you proceed so don’t judge how simple it is just yet.
A cool feature they’ve included was having a few interesting facts about memory and the game show up on screen after a few levels.
One thing we found out about Nightmorning, the Malaysian studio behind this game: they make a new game every month! Talk about dedication. The CEO, Dave told us, “Having a team that’s crazy enough to bring completely random ideas to life makes the whole process fun.”
Both of these games were created by Abu Huraira, Nightmorning’s CFO. He was inspired by a psychological study done by Daphne Bavelier, a cognitive neuroscientist who argued that video games played a role in the degradation of cognition. However, her research proved otherwise and unveiled a deeper understanding of how video games could instead improve cognition. One of the tests developed was based on tracking multiple objects and Abu made a game out of it.
6) Stellar Fox
Just looking at the screenshot should be enough to tell you how pretty the visuals are in this game.
A game made by Korean studio, Rawple Studios, Stellar Fox tells a story about a young fox separated from its mother and is now trying to find its way back to her.
This game originally attracted me because of its visual aspects. It had a very soft and calming lighting to it with a colour palette that was reminiscent of a night’s sky slowly turning to day. I also enjoyed the glowy mystical graphics of the foxes as well.
How you help the baby fox is by drawing lines onto the screen and forming paths for it to reach the end of each level. This game allows for strategic creativity where you have a limited number of moves to make sure the pathway is drawn right but you can also try and think outside of the box too.
The game is yet to be released but the studio has said it will have its launch by the first quarter of next year.
7) Tribal Tantrum
If you’re someone who doesn’t want to think too much about strategies and just want to kill people, this game is definitely up your alley.
At first when I played it, I didn’t expect much but I was thoroughly entertained—in fact our whole team was. Tribal Tantrum is a multiplayer game made by a game developer in Egypt whereby the point is to defeat your opponents in a style reminiscent of the old fighting games.
There are about 5 creatures on each team and whoever knocks out the other player’s creatures the fastest wins. It may have a bit of strategy where you have to think about when to jump and attack but in the end, sometimes the best way is to just charge in and kill the enemies head on.
The game is not yet available for download but will be done by the first quarter of next year.
LEVEL UP KL 2016, one of Southeast Asia’s premier gaming conferences, was hosted by Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), in Kuala Lumpur from the 5th to 9th of November. The event brought together prominent international and local players in the gaming industry to interact and share knowledge on content development, fundraising, business development, marketing and more.
Feature Image Credit: Compiled from Dreamtree on FB, Postknight on FB & Alien Path on FB