Hooray For The Indie Games Arcade Winner!

By RPS on September 25th, 2011 at 1:22 pm.


If you were (or are, as it’s still going on) lucky enough to be among the gaming hordes at the Eurogamer Expo you might have noticed a booth with “PC Gaming Since 1873″ emblazoned upon it. Inside are twelve games. Some of them are even PC games! We saw them. We judged them.

Find out which one was the winner of our yearly super-indie award accolade, below!

These are the games of the show:

At a Distance – Terry Cavanagh
Blocks That Matter – Swing Swing Submarine
Fotonica – Santa Ragione
Molecat Twist – iwait4 Developers
Pineapple Smash Crew – RichMakeGame
Really Big Sky – Boss Baddie
Rimelands: Hammer of Thor – Dicework Games
Smuggle Truck – Owlchemy Labs
Stellar Impact – Tindalos Interactive
These Robotic Hearts of Mine – Alan Hazeldean
Waves – Squid In A Box
Xenonauts – Chris England

A special thanks has to go to Smuggle Truck, for being hilarious and nightmarish. We should also thank Terry Cavanagh for putting up with Alec and myself failing and jumping in his incredible ultra-lo-fi FPS co-op spatial puzzler, At A Distance. The game is a remarkable feat of cleverness, with the two players never meeting, but nevertheless being forced to work together. I almost don’t want to talk about it, actually, because it’s one of those games you’ll need and want to play without knowing too much about it. Amazing stuff.

Xenonauts is looking fantastic, too – fully faithful to the ways of X-Com, and superbly constructed. We just know it’s going to make a certain sector of PC gamers quite happy indeed. I also had a fun time with Stellar Impact, the spaceship duelling game that puts positioning and tactics over twitchiness. It was an genuinely interesting title, and we’ll take a closer look at it on RPS soon.

Anyway, the winner of 2011′s Indie Games Arcade is…. *DRUMROLL*

!!!

Pineapple Smash Crew, by RichMakeGame!

Pineapple Smash Crew is a single-player top-down shooter when you control a squad of tiny cuboid space-marine type dudes who race around splatting aliens with lasers and an array of pleasing turrets/bombs/grenades/missles/super-lasers. The game is what Alien Breed would have been like if it had been made by the Sensible Software team. That is to say that it’s like Cannon Fodder in space, with a superb pace and a stylish sense for lo-fi visuals. It’s also a game with a grin on its face, and easy to get to grips with (and possibly quite hard to master). We can’t wait to get a swing at the full thing, and it’s amazing that this the one-man team’s first game.

It was a unanimous decision between the judges that Pineapple Smash Crew be game of the show.

So congratulations to Rich Edwards on being so good at making games. And here’s a video of the winning title in action:

Thanks to David Hayward for once again tirelessly organising all this stuff.

SEGA, who sponsored the Indie Arcade this year, are offering an extra special prize to the winner, too. So thanks to them! Well done all, it was a brilliant selection of games, again.

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46 Comments »

  1. pakoito says:

    Are we getting the Niddhogg syndrome and this games will never ever be released?

    • Icarus says:

      I was wondering that myself- No sign of a release date on the game’s page.

    • cosmicolor says:

      Has there even been a reason given as to why that game hasn’t come out yet?

    • BathroomCitizen says:

      I’m still weeping about Niddhogg not being on my hard disk.

      Maybe it could be in the usb storage key right by my mouse.
      No, still not there.

      :’(

    • nihilocrat says:

      Nidhogg is intentionally not getting released to the general public, ’cause it’s intended to be played in a crowd of people at an event. Experiencing it twice, I can understand the reasoning: the game is so much better when everyone hoots and hollers along with the action. However, I can understand how it would really suck if you don’t show up to one of these events.

      I really doubt Pineapple and the rest aren’t getting released, since it’s a singleplayer game, he’s probably just going to be strategic about the release so that, for example, he’ll be able to pay his rent with it.

    • gwathdring says:

      I can sort of understand that. But it also seems odd to generate so much excitement and press about their game and not sell it to willing buyers. Unless they don’t want to front the cash and take the risk involved in distribution or some such. That I would understand more. I guess it seems like an odd decision to me. I’ve never quite understood exclusivity in the arts, especially not something interactive like gaming–unless that exclusivity were tied to profit. I suppose they could be making more money this way then by selling the game … but I really doubt it. Renting the spaces they show their games at, travel fees, and so forth seems a much higher up-front cost than digital distribution to my inexperienced eye.

      I find it a bizarre decision without more qualification and rationalization from the developers. To a certain extent this comes from desire and entitlement. But I also believe that art is a communal experience. It gains power and worth from its audience as much as, and at times more than, from its creators. With something interactive like a game … I am bemused by both the practical and philosophical implications of drawing so much attention to the game only to maintain the exclusive status quo.

      Oh well.

    • pipman3000 says:

      hey guys i have this totally awesome game. no you’re not allowed to play it in your filthy peasant hovel because that would ruin the art of the moment or something.

    • JuJuCam says:

      If it helps at all, think of it as them selling a live experience that happens to involve a piece of interactive multimedia. They’re interested in the performance of it more than having people actually play. Think of it as a band that tours incessantly but rarely releases albums because that’s not the type of experience that they’re interested in giving to people.

      Sure it’s a very strange an unusual thing in gaming, but I’d rather embrace the uniqueness of it than allow myself to be disappointed in it.

    • DK says:

      Yeah…no. A Band that tours a lot still releases albums. They might say that the Live Performance is how it sounds best, but they still let people listen to it at home. You know why? Because they make music so it’s listened to. And by letting people listen to your music you get fans.

      By letting people not play your game you do the opposite. You make people not like you.

    • yiqiwanga says:

      The glory from the world famous, it’s self-confidence, your wonderful! Quickly a shopping spree now!

      http://tinyurl.com/3wvabn3

    • RichMakeGame says:

      Hi guys! The truth is pretty simple- I was really busy getting the game ready for the expo and I only just had time to get a simple page up with screens and a video.. I was really taken by surprise by the award and basically I didn’t forsee the situation where people would be getting frustrated by lack of release information. I’ve updated the page now with a little more info (I’m afraid I don’t have anything concrete worked out yet, but any news will be available on my blog (www.richmakegame.com) and twitter (@RichMakeGame)

      All I can say in my defense is I’m a one man ‘team’ and I spent all the time before the expo working on the game.. So I’m really sorry for any frustration caused. I’m learning a lot as I go along!

      The game has a couple of months more development for polish and taking on board all the fantastic eurogamer expo feedback. Rest assured I’m very eager to release and you *will* be seeing the game on sale in the near future!

  2. elvis says:

    Anyone else notice “We can’t stop here! This is bat country!” @ 00:30?
    Anyway, looks good. Here’s hoping that this will come out soon!

  3. bill says:

    Looks like syndicate on some kind of speedy drug.

    Did you guys just pick it cos you’re all pissed off about the syndicate remake? ;-)

  4. SoyBob says:

    I’m really glad I checked out the indie game section this year, but putting them in that tiny tent was the dumbest idea ever.

  5. Mechanicus_ says:

    I stopped by the Xenonauts booth yesterday and had a chat to Chris England about it; even at this still early stage Xenonauts is really coming together – all those people who stuff up threads about the new XCOM FPS with complaints need to literally put their money where their mouth is and pre-order this; if you don’t you are proving 2k right.

    Also, why on Earth was the entire indie arcade in one tiny booth with an enclosed roof? The expo hall itself was fairly toasty, so the indie booth just became sweltering heave of sweaty bodies. I feel sorry for the developers who’ve been stuck in there since Thursday.

    • HermitUK says:

      A bit more floorspace inside wouldn’t have gone amiss, either. There was a fair amount of free floorspace in the near vicinity of the arcade; it could have been used to provide a space less like a corridor and more like a room.

  6. sonicblastoise says:

    it looks way better than it did when it was WIP.

    here’s to hoping for a full release

  7. President Weasel says:

    really, RPS? The gaming ‘hoards’?
    unless you’re trying to say they’re amongst a secret stash of gaming treasure, which I suppose could apply, the word you want is ‘hordes’. I expect this sort of thing from Eurogamer, but not from you.

    Thank you for fixing that; it’s a pet hate.

    • Unaco says:

      Does the Pendant Bus Service run on a Sunday? It’s probably reduced service, so you might have to wait a while. It’ll be along eventually though.

    • Mirqy says:

      ‘Pendant’ was deliberate, right?

    • Koozer says:

      I remember the days when people were happy with being pedantic instead of pedants.

    • Hematite says:

      Actually, nobody at RPS can spell. All those puns? Not really puns. Can’t spell.

    • BirdsUseStars says:

      You latch on to Hoards/Hordes, but give them a free pass for “shooter when you control of tiny cuboid space-marine type dudes”?

    • Snakejuice says:

      “this the one-man team’s first game” :D

    • Mattressi says:

      That’s twice I’ve seen Unaco call someone a pendant. I can’t tell whether he’s being ironic, whether he actually can’t spell (even more ironic) or whether he’s an insane, retired jeweler who’s by chance replied to two reply-threads which have pedantic OPs and happened to ask people whether a magical pendant vehicle will be here soon. Could go any of the three ways, I think.

    • Chris D says:

      @Mattresi

      I believe he’s referencing an incident a couple of weeks ago in which one of the hivemind intended to write “All aboard the pedant bus” or something similar but mis-spelt it and was gently mocked for almost a page of comments.

  8. HermitUK says:

    This was a pretty damn fantastic year for the indie arcade. Really like PSC’s Cannon Fodder vibe. And Waves looks more and more cracking every time it pops up. Already stuck in a preorder for Xenonauts due to the bit of hands-on time I got with it, too.

    Only let-down was the Awesomenauts folks who were right outside the arcade. Who have made this brilliant side-scrolling platformer/DotA hybrid. With jetpacks. And a monkey with a laser. But they can’t confirm a PC release :<

  9. Alexander Norris says:

    I have this to report:

    Xenonauts looks fucking gorgeous, on account of looking crisp as all hell at whatever (high) resolution the indie arcade monitors were running at, and I had no idea it was anywhere near that far along. If the bits and bobs that were on display is any indication, it’s going to be a new X-Com game.

    Pineapple Smash Crew is Cannon Fodder updated for modern indie sensibilities and was pretty fun, but I’m not sure how long I’d actually play it for.

    Rimelands is fun and I’d probably pay a tenner for the full game, assuming it’s meaty enough. The only thing I didn’t like was the terrible art for the protagonist (she lives in Arctic climes and fights bad guys, but she wears “armour” that bares her midriff and has a cleavage window?). Having the RNG actually show you the dice rolls and being able to manipulate them is neat, and makes it feel a lot like a boardgame.

    Really Big Sky really, really pretty and quite fun, which has caused me to buy it.

    Wish I’d gotten my hands on At a Distance but the PCs never seemed to be free.

    • Stompywitch says:

      Rimelands coming to the PC? I’ve got it for my iPod, it’s a pretty neat tactics / board game hybrid! I’d really like multiplayer though…

  10. Jockie says:

    I was pretty baffled by at a distance, the chap with whom I played it seemed trapped in a trance like state, crossed with utter bewilderment. Visually very striking.

  11. dan. says:

    That is to say that it’s like Cannon Fodder in space…

    So… Cannon Fodder 2, then? :p

  12. Spinks says:

    Really enjoyed the Indie Arcade this year, good choices of games!

    We loved the molerats (they were adorable) and spent far far too long with the robotic hearts.

  13. Kollega says:

    Pineapple Smash Crew does look rather lovely and goofy, the chiptune music is very good, and that title! You can’t go wrong with a title like “Pineapple Smash Crew”. It has both goofiness (“Pineapple”) and badassness (“Smash Crew”) in it. Really is a good choice for a title – “Pineapple Smash Crew”.

  14. maverik315 says:

    Right when I saw the video I thought it was about TMNT lol.

  15. hypercrisis says:

    Underwhelming

  16. Will762 says:

    Goes to show the passion of Indie developers – Rich (of Rich Make Game aka Red Produkt) was there, next to his stand at EG, pen and paper in hand, taking feedback from players. I chatted for a while and he’s a nice guy – glad he’s won this and hopefully his special SEGA prize is awesome.

  17. aircool says:

    That’s a lot of great sounding games *hugs PC*

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