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The Best Indies at Brasil Game Show 2017

Giving the underdogs a shot

The vast majority of the crowd present at the tenth edition of Brasil Game Show was most likely interested in upcoming titles from big companies such as Dragon Ball FighterZ, Far Cry 5, Ni No Kuni 2 and Sea of Thieves, but that doesn’t mean smaller local studios didn’t have their chance to shine. WTMG strolled up and down through the indie section of the show and found out lots of interesting titles still unknown to the rest of the world. Without further ado, these were the best indies at BGS 2017.

#5: Necrosphere

Another alumni of the Meat Boy School of Challenging Platformers, like the recently released Slime-San, Necrosphere is a fun and potentially infuriating little game developed by Cat Nigiri, presented not only at their indie booth, but also at Sony’s, in a small section dedicated to recently released and upcoming Brazilian titles coming out for the PS4.

#4: Black Iris

Developed by Hexa Game Studio on the Unreal 4 engine, Black Iris mixes Dark Souls-esque combat with elements from both Devil May Cry and especially The Witcher. The game’s main draw is the fact each enemy must be defeated with a specific type of sword, just like in Geralt’s adventures, therefore planning and strategy are essential amidst all the chaos and challenge. The game is initially planned to be released on Steam and PS4 in 2018.

#3: Valiant: Beyond the Realms / Eternity: The Last Unicorn

This dual entry comes from the same São Paulo-based developer Void Studios. Eternity is an action-RPG set in a Nordic environment due to be released next year for Steam, PS4 and Xbox One by Russian publisher 1C. Valiant is a recent project which doesn’t even have a trailer or official artwork (although there was a playable demo on Void’s booth, developed in a whopping 42 days) with an interesting premise: an open world, 2-player cooperative RPG set in a vast land with a very complex morality system, ranging not only from your dialogue actions or how violent you act in missions, but even if you initially ignore the plea for help from a sidequest-giving NPC. The morality system can affect the objectives of your missions, to the point that your co-op buddy can actually become your in-game nemesis if each player’s moralities are too divergent. Given the fact the game is still in its very early stages of development, there are no official release dates.

#2: Dolmen

Natal-based developers Massive Work’s Dolmen was one of the most enjoyable and appealing titles available at the indie booth. Developed on Unreal Engine 4 with the help of artists who’ve previously worked in titles such as Injustice 2 and World of Warcraft, Dolmen resembles a mix between Dark Souls and the never forgotten Dead Space, all coupled with an interesting story based around the fall of mankind and one warrior stranded on an alien planet trying to look for remnants of human civilization, as well as trying to recover his own humanity. Massive Work will set up a Kickstarter page in the beginning of 2018, promising a playable build on Steam’s Early Access in April. There are console ports planned for 2019 as well.

#1: Distortions

If you pay attention to the previous titles in this list, they could mostly be summarized with “it resembles game X with elements from game Y.” The same can’t exactly be said about Distortions, a game eight years in the making, developed by Among Giants on their own proprietary engine. Yes, the game features elements you’ve seen in previous games, but the list is endless, and the result is unique. There are moments in which the game is a psychological thriller. There were also moments in which the game was an adventure with a strong emphasis in narrative. In another moment present in its playable demo, you could pick up your main character’s violin and use it to play songs in order to create a barrier to defend yourself against enemies (like Zelda‘s ocarina sections, but a lot more complex, and in real time). In yet another moment, you were thrown into a vast open world full of environmental puzzles. Finally, there were some platforming moments which were way more focused in musical rhythm (like the best moments from Rayman Legends), with both songs composed by the studio itself as well as licensed music from post-rock artists such as Mogwai. Distortions is quite difficult to describe. I honestly think that more words coming from me will do it a disservice, the best thing you can do is take a look at the trailer and take your own conclusions. All I can say is that it was, by far, not only the most interesting indie from this year’s BGS, but the most interesting game overall from the show. The game is slated for a February 2018 release on Steam.

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About Leo Faria

Founder and mastermind behind Way Too Many Games, hailing from the southern swag that is São Paulo, a Sega widower who considers the Dreamcast to be the greatest console ever released, the greatest Guitar Hero and Tetris player you’ll ever meet. My favorite games include Perfect Dark, Banjo-Tooie, the Guitar Hero series, Bioshock Infinite and Star Wars Rogue Squadron II. I also own an Ouya. Never turned it on.

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