One of my all-time favourite games is Thatgamecompany’s Flower for the Playstation 3. In fact, I have a soft spot for games that have a meditative quality to them (I’m looking at you, Journey). At Gamercamp 2014, on the second floor of the pop-up arcade, indie developer A Stranger Gravity was showing off a new drug for me called Apsis, which I’m sure I will end up playing for hours on end when it hits the market next year. There is still a ways to go in terms of the final product – but what I saw was enchanting, and I’m looking forward to the final product.
This is a little piece from Evan about the Sunset Overdrive Mayhem Playground event last weekend. Our review for Sunset Overdrive is coming soon. Needless to say it’s a freakin’ awesome game. – ed.
Sunset Overdrive is a bit of a treat to write about, largely because it’s a bit of a treat to play. Its unconventional premise, playful self-awareness, creative design, and frantic gameplay have quickly made it somewhat of a darling in the gaming world, and I’ve had more than a few sips of Overcharge Delirium myself.
The Gamercamp pop-up arcade can be a very overwhelming place. There are so many games that it’s hard to choose which one to play at any given moment. Sometimes, though, the crowd will guide you to your next choice – by the sheer volume of their cheers. This is how I found 13AM Games’ Runbow tucked away in one of the corners of the second floor of Hotel Ocho. One of the few Wii U titles at Gamercamp, Runbow is all about quick reflexes in the face of adversity delivered by random chance. Judging by the screaming and yelling by the folks playing the game, it looked intensely fun!
When I was at Gamercamp this year, one of the first titles that I got to observe was a very cool Oculus Rift title called Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes. The game puts an interesting spin on local co-operative game-play, not only pitting a team against the clock to solve a series of puzzles, but splitting them into two different groups who each only see a part of the overall picture. This asymmetrical format really turns everything topsy-turvy, and adds a level of tension that is positively addictive.
One week ago, Eric Weiss (from Dork Shelf) wrote a eulogy for Gamercamp. If you don’t plan on clicking past the jump here, I’d recommend that you at least read Eric’s wonderful words (with a sweet forward written by Will Perkins). I suspect that if you asked any Gamercamp participant (be they developers, organizers, or attendee) to read that passage, they would most likely harbour wet eyes and nod at least once. It’s a wonderful tribute to a fantastic annual event that saw it’s last staging last weekend. So what made it so special?
On October 25th at Yonge and Dundas Square (downtown Toronto), the chaos of Sunset City (from Sunset Overdrive) will arrive! From all indications, it sounds like it will be a fun event – but to make sure you don’t miss out on any details, you’ll need to check out Xbox Canada’s Facebook page.
Toronto Thumbs will be posting a review for Sunset Overdrive in the near future – but from all of the events that we have seen it at (and played it at), it’s a frenetic, frenzied fun freakshow. It does not disappoint. So, if you’re still on the fence, and you want to inject your Xbox One with some insanity, be sure to make your way to Mayhem Playground on the 25th. Be sure to eat a nice, healthy breakfast, too…
Vikings, in case you’re unfamiliar with the program, is a rare example of delightfully high-profile Canadian content (Canadian-Irish if you’re splitting hairs, but it still counts). The series is a compelling bit of stylized historical fiction following the adventures, struggles and glory of a Viking farmer-warrior named Ragnar Lothbrok. Though it airs on History, it has all the sharpness, grit and production values you might expect from AMC or Showtime. I confess I’m only half-way through the first season, but so far it’s got me hooked.
The show is looking forward to a third season in 2015, but the current promotion is for the Season 2 launch on DVD and Blu-ray, which hit shelves on October 14. In celebration of the launch, the show’s marketing folks have teamed up with Firkin Pubs to dish out hearty meats in hefty servings. Last week they brought a few writers in to try the spread and I was lucky to enough to join in. I hope the photos do it justice.