The Eurogamer Expo visited Leeds and London last week, featuring all the big AAA titles that gamers will be playing over the Christmas period and beyond. The part of the expo I was most interested in, however, was the Indie Game Arcade setup, showing off some of the big indie titles in development (or recently released) by a range of different indie developers.

You can find a roundup of all my thoughts on the games and the arcade itself just below the cut. For some of the titles which just blew me away, I'll be making separate posts regarding those too to give you all a more indepth analysis.

Annoyingly, in a moment of distraction I put my camera down and failed to pick it back up again. Fortunately, it turns out gamers are the nicest kind of people and it was handed in to the Eurogamer guys, who are posting it back to me. Hence, I'll be putting up pictures and videos from the expo later in the week, but for now Rob Fearon has given me permission to use his own photos - you can find his whole collection here.

timefuck.JPGThe Indie Game Arcade featured a great range of new, upcoming and classic indie releases, most of which we've covering previously on IndieGames. The likes of Edmund McMillen's Time Kufc, Robert Fearon's SYNSO2: Squid Harder, Hayden Scott-Baron's Tumbledrop and Michael Boxleiter's Fig. 8 were all on display and all four were both delighting and, from time to time, confusing the punters. It's worth remembering that the majority of the gamers who found themselves wandering into the arcade were most likely not accustomed to the kind of games on offer here, so while some were intrigued by the games on display, others seemed less impressed and now and again I'd hear people expressing to their friends that certain games were simply too difficult or that they weren't sure what they were meant to be doing. This was only a small number of people, mind, but it definitely felt like there is still a way to go before indie gaming in general becomes more widely accepted.

Introversion were in full force to show off the upcoming Darwinia+, a mashup for Xbox Live Arcade of their previous titles Darwinia and Multiwinia. During a talk on the Friday, Mark Morris and Chris Delay discussed the rocky path from getting asked by Microsoft to bring a version of Darwinia to the Live Arcade service, all the way up to the point they are at now. Microsoft were adamant that Darwinia should have a multiplayer mode, and in trying to work out the best formula for this, the Introversion guys stumbled many a time before finally getting to where they are at now. The build on display looked polished and ready for action, so let's hope for a release sometime soon.


Rudolf Kremers and Alex May's Eufloria was available to play, with the men themselves showing players the basics. Rudolf told me that a number of their fans had been working on modding the game and creating new, more difficult campaign scenarios, which will be a more than welcome addition to a game which was maybe a little too easy. Terry Cavanagh was also on hand, hovering around his latest creation VVVVVV and getting feedback from gamers. I had a chat with him during a lunch break over near the Tower of London, in which he told me VVVVVV is hopefully going to be ready for launch sometime in the next month. Definitely something to look forward to.

Over in the far corner of the arcade sat Beatnik Games' Plain Sight. I'd played Plain Sight earlier in the year during one of their beta periods, and while it clearly had potential, I wasn't a huge fan. This time, however, it feels far more enjoyable. Controls felt a lot more fluid and blowing yourself up (and taking others with you) was more than satisfying. Back on my 'Games to Watch' list, me thinks.


Tunatech's Cletus Clay was certainly being enjoyed by many. With all the visuals made completely out of modelling clay animation (think Wallace and Gromit), it looks wonderful in action. The build on offer showed off a good 10 minutes of play, in which players control Cletus as he punches aliens in the face and blow their heads off with a shotgun. All good fun. Paolo Pedercini's Ergon/Logos was on the other side of the room - I didn't feature this at the time it was released, as it didn't really appeal to me, but it was getting lots of positive reactions from those who gave it a whirl.


One of the highlights of the show for many was Hello Games' Joe Danger. I'm not going to go into detail about it here as I'm going to give the game its own feature post a little later on, but in a nutshell, it starts off looking and feeling a little like a casual take on Trials 2, yet turns out to be so much more, with a lovely variety of game modes, visuals and brilliant sound effects. Again, I'll be going into more depth in a separate post very soon.

Anna Anthropy aka AuntiePixelante took 6 of her past Klik of the Month creations, stuck them all together with glue and sticky tape and out popped Starcade. If you've tried any of her KOTM games in the past, you'll know to expect a great amount of wtf. The likes of Gay Sniper successfully confused those who dared click on it, while the two player entries were fantastically silly - Space Escapers in particular is an incredibly one-sided game, yet for the underdog, the thought of actually managing to win makes you want to keep playing. If you want to give it a go, Anna has posted it up on her blog. Great stuff.


I hadn't checked out AirPlay's Super Yum Yum: Baby Rescue before attending the event, as it simply didn't look like my kind of game, but it turned out to be pleasantly entertaining. Fruit is scattered around the map and the hero, a sort of chameleon thing, can only eat fruit which matches his colour. A nice casual puzzler! Last but definitely not least, Steven Lavelle aka increpare's Happening Game was on display. It has such a fantastic concept behind it that I'm going to go into detail regarding it in a separate post, but for now let's just say it's simple yet utterly fantastic and leave it at that.


On the whole, the Indie Game Arcade was a great success. At the London leg of the tour, it was tucked away in a room away from the main expo which was a bit of a shame (in Leeds this wasn't the case, however), but a great number of people still made sure to check it out and the room was constantly packed. The wide range of different styles was more than welcome and hopefully those who wouldn't normally indulge in a little indie gaming will have come away with a better view of what it's all about.

All that's left to say is congratulations to the organisers and all the featured developers, and roll on next year!