Five amazing indie videogames @BonusStage 2018

6min read
Videogames Indie Game

May 1, 2018

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A cozy gaming bar filled with passionate game developers showing their creations. These are the essential words to describe the Bonus Stage event.

It’s Sunday 15 April, the last day of the London Games Week.
I take the bus, heading to Dalston where the Loading bar is full of shiny games to try. I’m just arrived and, after opening the door, I discover a real paradise.

Oooh the Konami logo, so many memories

The first thing that I notice is an old Konami arcade. Near the joysticks there is a little board with the rules for the event: one vote per person, the winning game takes the “Diamond Geezer” trophy.

I grab a beer and then I go for a quick tour of the first floor: I start talking with a couple of Italian guys.
One of them is Luciano, an indie developer who is working on Swords of Calengal. This game is currently in development and it’s really promising: last year it won the technical production award at Svilupparty (an Italian videogame developers event). Unfortunately the game is not part of Bonus Stage line-up and I cannot try it today.

The other Italian guy is Enrico, the sound designer of Ruya:


Developed by Miracle Tea Studios, Ruya is a very a cool (in every sense) puzzle game for Android and iOS.

I really like the aesthetics and the concept of the game. It’s not just a game about matching pieces together, it’s an intense experience: just watch the first minute of the video, I was completely mesmerized. Enrico, you did a great job with music and sound effects! I’m really astonished!

Now it’s time for me to try some other video games; every game station is occupied at the moment, but downstairs there are more game ready to be played: Black Friday and Disobedient Sheep.

Black Friday

The game starts in a shopping mall corridor: you hit the fire alarm and then you enter in the actual shop, ready to smash every item that cross your road! You have a limited amount of time, so you need to hurry and choose your path carefully, aiming for the most expensive items.
The design is straightforward, but the gameplay is surely a ton of insane fun. It can hardly be explained by my words, you should really try it!
Unfortunately there is no playable demo available at the moment, but keep tuned, you will probably be able to have it soon, on Linux and OSX as well!

Okay, after some “alternative shopping”, I move to the table nearby where I try the next game.

Disobedient Sheep

Disobedient Sheep is a local coop game, developed by Laurie. In this game you control a cute dog who needs to save sheeps from dangerous items falling from the sky!

I sit, ready to play a game with a really friendly girl, but wait… where is the second controller? Isn’t this supposed to be a multiplayer game?

Laurie, noting my wonder, clarifies that the game is meant to be played with a single controller: I will use the left analog stick, she will use the right stick. So, after selecting our favourite dogs, we start running through sheeps: from the beginning, it’s clear that you need coordination with your friend.

Well done Laurie, I really enjoyed the gameplay! The main mechanic communicates a really important message: to overcome the challenges it’s important to understand the game, as well as it is to understand your partner.

Now I just finished my beer, and it’s time to go upstairs and refill.
While heading to the bar, a free PC station capture my attention!

Elemental Flow

Elemental Flow

Elemental Flow is a single player game about “understanding other people” and handling discussions. The gamplay is really difficult to explain in simple words, it’s actually easier to try the game by going to Tea Powered’s page (unfortunately, there is no Linux release at the moment). For who enjoys my bad English, feel free to keep reading.

You are in control of a female character, inside a bar. The music and the art style set a dreamlike mood.

The main gameplay starts when you start talking with other people: you have a limited amount of time, to sort the discussion in a good way. To do this, you have to preserve “health points” of both speakers.
In a discussion it’s important to recognize when to listen and when to speak: if the other person is complaining, it’s a better to just listen. If you decide to shout and talk over him, then both characters will probably loose energy.

Playing this game, various thoughts start rambling inside my mind: am I too harsh sometines? Do I hurt others with my words?
Elemental Flow is a really introspective game. I personally like this kind of adventures, keep it going TeaPoweredGames!

Now it’s almost time to vote, but I still didn’t try all the games. Damn, I don’t have enough time, I pick the pen and express my preference (top secret information :P).
Nonetheless, I want to try other games as well, so I take a quick look around and I notice a really colorful game: let’s go!

Detective Case and Clown Bot

Case and Bot

As soon as I come close to the gaming station, Diogo, one of the creators of Case and Bot, asks me if I want a pitch for the game: sure!

He energetically starts describing the game as a point and click adventure setted in the Portugal of the ’80s.
The game is hilarious, and the presentation is awesome: the characters seem really well written. You start laughing right after the very first dialogue!

Wow Diogo, your pitch was awesome, now I’m sincerely eager to explore this game (yes, even if I’m not a fan of this genre)!

Unfortunately I didn’t have much time to play the game, because the speaker has just announced the final part of the event.

Announcing the winner

People are gathering around the speaker. Drumrolls during the announcement: the winner of the Bonus Stage event is… Black Friday!

Fast paced gameplay, familiar setting and a bit of crazy humor: a mix of elements that most of the people seem to have enjoyed! Congratulations Chel!

But congratulations also to every other developer, I personally enjoyed every single game that I tried. They all looked unique and worth playing.

Keep creating and sharing your games, there are a lot of people who will be really happy for your work, and I will be the first one.

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