So it’s that time of year again and rather than bombarding you with tens of other articles, like you would find elsewhere, we at Thumb Culture thought it might be best just to give you a bit more of a personal account of the day. So that if you have never been to an EGX show before, you will get a taste of what you might expect.
The day started with a bit of a wild goose chase trying to determine where you pick up press passes from, if only we knew that its the same place as EVERYBODY ELSE! Rather than being sent all the way to the other end of the Birmingham NEC. Once we picked up our press passes, we were straight in and faced with the familiar low light setting, noise heavy playground for gamers’ to try out the newest and latest games.
Having made a few appointments it was time for the first appointment…
When the press release came in asking if we were interested in having an interview with the Lightseekers team at EGX it intrigued me. The Augmented Reality card game available for iOS and Android devices, has interactive toys that you can purchase for use in game.
Attending the booth, we were greeted with tables in front of us and a few screens dotted around. Doing the usual handshaking and business card exchange and onto the mobile version of the game to start. The figures were brilliantly detailed and the technology inside each character was fascinating. A small micro-computer handles all the interaction that each toy has to offer, along with the gyroscope for the character knowing that they are upside down.
Packed into the game is an adventure mode, where you can build up your character’s experience points, levelling up both the character and the weapons that they might wield. Bring out the add on flight pack and now your character can fly around the screen. However move over onto the second game mode, which was sold as a series of mini games, and this is where the figures take on another facet. The game in particular that was shown off was a coin collecting move where you hold your character in your hand and by moving them around you are controlling the on-screen character as they fly through the level collecting coins. Buttons on the removable micro computer unleash your rockets at your opponent causing them to drop coins behind.
The game doesnt stop there, using AR you are able to use any of the cards from the trading card game of the same name and bring them to life within the mobile app. Another neat touch.
Now onto the previously mentioned trading card game side of Lightseekers. Having never played a TCG before I was slightly apprehensive as to what the experience would be like, but I have to admit that I am now addicted to the game. It’s simple to understand rules, and straight forward descriptions on the cards meant that it was easy to play. Having a three way battle saw us drawing cards, playing them tactically and trying to take down each others heroes.
When we stepped away from the booth and took a moment to reflect on what we had just experienced we were left with one simple question….
Why Was That So Much Fun?
So after Lightseekers and a little walking around, we moved onto our next EGX appointment which was…
Project Cars 2
So stepping into the air conditioned press room to meet Ruby from Bandai Namco and Rod from Slightly Mad Studios I knew we were in for a treat. Rod is massively passionate about his game and that came across brilliantly in the way that he was talking.
We managed to get an audio recording of our conversation, and the transcript will be coming soon…with edits 😉
So stepping out into the hot sweaty NEC and EGX moves forward. We stepped back inside and headed to our next appointment…
Curve Digital – Racing Apex and Bomber Crew
Heading to the Curve Digital area at EGX and you are greeted with bright colours and cutesy figures. Don’t let that fool you though. Sitting down to play Bomber Crew on the PC and you are greeted with a Cannon Fodder inspired game. Taking your flight crew on a mission to first take pictures of an enemy target and then head onto a more dangerous bombing run. The game was great fun, handling all areas of the plane, and handling all the fires and reviving fallen comrades. Each mission levels up your characters so that you want them to survive each time.
If you are being bombarded too much on a particular mission, you can choose to jump ship and take your chances in enemy territory. There is a chance you might get captured and your characters are lost forever, or you may be lucky enough to find your characters alive. The chance of that is all determined by particular upgrades you can equip to your plane. Equipping the homing pigeon increases this, as well as other extra add-ons.
We were lucky enough to be given a pigeon and fortunately it helped us find our way out of the NEC at the end of EGX Day 1.
Moving onto the other side of the stand and we were greeted by Racing Apex, an arcade racer with inspirations from Daytona and other polygon style racers. The game was fast and frenetic, with bright colours and drifting around every corner. The gameplay was a simple race, 4 players pitted against each other. Pick your racer from a bank of 8 and then you are tasked with selecting your car. I opted for the Formula One looking race car, and swiftly took to it like a duck to water. Sending the car at 90 degrees through the corners with ease.
After playing these two titles, it was time to head over to our next appointment….
This online only shooter set in WWII is heavily influenced by old school style gameplay such as Counter Strike and Call of Duty (at the time). This game was originally a Kickstarter campaign and absolutely smashed its target which caused both AMD and Square Enix to make contact and offer their support. The game build at EGX was a pure team deathmatch and having a play through with each of the guns you could tell there was a lot of effort that went into the game. Even down to the authenticity of the guns, and the most impressive feature was the inability to manually reload the M1 Garand rifle. Anyone that knows their guns will know that this gun only allows to you to reload when the final bullet is fired from the chamber and the magazine is automatically ejected with a satisfying PING noise. I tried spamming the R key to try and do it manually, but it was wasted energy.
We managed to capture some footage of the gameplay and that will be put on the website soon.
So moving away from Batallion 1944 we were taken around the Square Enix Collective area by their representative at EGX and we stumbled across a rare gem. A couch co-op game called..
Oh My Godheads
This game see’s you trying to take control of ancient heads of Gods…or Godheads, and trying to get them into your scoring area. This game was pure frenetic action and it couldn’t have been more fun. A small Spanish team developed this and we can only imagine that they got the idea on a Friday night after one too many cervezas, but we loved it!
Couch co-op mayhem at its purest, set over multiple maps and each having their own unique Godhead, the games lasted mere minutes, but in those minutes it was brilliant fun.
We said goodbye to the Square Enix Collective area for EGX Day 1 knowing full well that we would be back on day 2 and headed over to play…..
This 4 player co-op zombi…..oops sorry mummy killing game by Rebellion has to be one of the prettiest and most fun games that you could possibly play at this years EGX. Try and beat the level in a fast time to win a special coin to take away, which obviously we did.
So you get to pick one of four characters, each with their own weapons and abilities and you take to the stage. A narrator constantly introduces the next area and gives a running commentary of what is going on every now and again. This narration makes you feel like you are playing a game that could quite easily be misconstrued as an episode of The Twilight Zone. Taking certain inspirations and technology from the Sniper Elite series the game definitely feels familiar to a certain extent, however it has definitely started forging its own niche in the market that is over run by zombie horde games.
We also managed to get a few questions answered from one of the people involved in the game, and that will be coming soon.
So stepping back from all the madness that has gone on during the first day at EGX for us at Thumb Culture and we have experienced some great games, and there is still more to come. More announcements, more games, more interviews, and possibly some big news that we will hopefully be announcing in the weeks to come.
So I know that this has been text heavy, but its 00:30 and I wanted to let you know all about our first day.
Thanks for reading!