Whilst Latitude Festival has won plaudits for being one of the most inclusive music festivals in the area, if you’re looking for fun video gaming then there are few better places than the upcoming Norwich Gaming Festival, which takes place from Monday 28th May until Sunday 3rd June. The event has been in existence since 2014 and since its inception, more than 100 independent gaming developers have showcased their work to the wider gaming public – the event itself attracted around 52,000 visitors from all over the world in 2016 alone. In addition to this, the festival is a fantastic opportunity for talented locals and aspiring developers who have been inspired to create their own projects to present their ideas to a knowledgeable and appreciative audience.
For those who are keen on making inroads within the gaming world, industry-leading experts are invited in for talks and workshops in order to encourage future developers to pick up the baton and push the boundaries of gaming to the next level. For those simply turning up to get their button-bashing fix, the 2018 festival promises to be one of the best yet. Whether you’re keen on sampling some of the new and upcoming games on offer or simply fancy reminiscing about years gone by with some of the best retro games, there is an eclectic mix of titles on offer to appeal to even the most hard-to-please gamers. With that being said, we’ve prepared a quick rundown of the games on offer, handily grouped by theme for your convenience.
For the more traditional gamers out there, Colour Chess is a board game which brings an exciting twist to the game of Chess by introducing new elements of strategy to the complex calculation already required to play the original game. Also developed by DogEared Games, Lure is an entirely new strategy game which is played on the chessboard but with different pieces and rules with varying degrees of difficulty to suit anything from a beginner all the way through to the current World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen himself. For those who enjoy solving problems of a more virtual nature, Bip is a 3D puzzle platform game for the PC based on overcoming adversity. Playing as Bip the robot, you must solve various puzzles and interact with the game’s environment whilst simultaneously avoiding being vaporised by lasers and giant mechanical monsters. Bip will be looking to build on the success of established mobile strategy games such as Supercell’s Clash of Clans, which was reportedly bringing as much as $5 million revenue a day in 2014.
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The standout horror game at this year’s Norwich Gaming Festival has to be Nature’s Zombie Apocalypse, developed by Aniode. The game is set in a world where animals are the ones saving the world from a zombie apocalypse as opposed to the humans (who are the zombies). With the option of playing as a sloth with a flamethrower or a bear with a bazooka, it’s fair to say that Nature’s Zombie Apocalypse successfully blurs the line between humour, horror and downright surrealism. There have been various other mobile/PC games who have successfully amalgamated horror and humour, including Pizza Delivery, which takes the cake (or pizza) with regards to the comedy horror genre, featuring floating corpses and creepy Michael Jackson-styled music. There’s also the Lost Vegas online slot game from Betway, which requires the player to join forces with Elvis and his undead horde in order to turn single wilds into stacked wilds until every reel is infected – Nature’s Zombie Apocalypse will be hoping for a similar response. If you’re after a game where it’s difficult to know whether to scream, laugh or cry, VectorCell’s AMY ticks all the boxes, if not always for the right reasons. Guard Duty, on the other hand, is a point and click adventure game firmly rooted in a medieval setting with locations varying from enchanted forests to dystopian visions of cities in total ruin. No matter the setting, the high quality animation and and full motion cut scenes feel real enough to get you on the edge of your seat, especially with some of the otherworldly monsters you encounter.
Head to Head/Competitive Games
Perhaps the most hotly anticipated title of the whole festival is the new Danger Mouse racing game entitled The Danger Games, which is now available for the Nintendo Switch. Players can play as fan favourite characters such as Baron Greenback, Penfold and even Jeopardy Mouse whilst battling real players from all over the world. Whether you fancy shrinking your competitors with a Shrinkatizer, covering the track behind you with jam (yes, jam) or chucking milk bottles at your opponent, the name of the game is to cross the finish line first – and anything goes. Once your competitive juices are really flowing, Beyond the Void will provide a more stern head to head test in a conquer or be conquered environment. The aim of the game is to forge a strong enough fleet to take over your opponent’s home planet and with lifelike graphics and sharp animation, Beyond the Void looks set to be a big hit in competitive gaming category. Unlike other successful games in this category such as Faster Than Light, Beyond the Void makes use of ethereum blockchain technology and is the first indie game in the world to do so.
It’s a No-Brainer if You’re in or Around Norwich
There’s no disputing that Norwich and indeed the rest of East Anglia is a hive of activity around the start of the summer months, but if you’ve got some time to spare and are in the area then it’s certainly worth popping down to the Forum to see what the fuss is all about. Even if playing games isn’t strictly your thing, there’s a lot to be said for listening to the industry experts and guest speakers who provide a valuable insight into what it’s like to be successful in business – or some humorous commentary, like YouTube star Ashens’ presentations, who has amassed an impressive 1.3 million subscribers on the platform. Who knows, you may just take hold of the controller and find yourself immersed in one of the latest releases. There’s only one way to find out!
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