London Games Festival finished with a bang last weekend with EGX Rezzed, a three-day game convention that took place on Friday 13th to Sunday the 15th in the warren-like building of London’s Tabacco Dock. Rezzed is the younger sibling to other EGX events but it still has a lot packed into it; talks, workshops, career sessions, developer sessions and so many games to play. Rezzed featured over a hundred games to play, and since the event focuses on indie titles many of the creators were standing next to their games meaning that the developers could get feedback and discuss their games with players. I think this is what makes Rezzed special, that there is a space where players and developers can have an open discussion about games and this just isn’t possible when playing big AAA games made by a team of thirty or more people.
Regarding AAA, what surprised me the most about the convention was industry giants such as Playstation, Xbox and Nintendo had their own rooms which held a hefty amount of indie titles. It was great to see the number of indie devs being backed by larger companies. The real highlight of the event were the two giant Indie Rooms that held just under ninety games. But before a section by section break down a few words about pricing and the venue.
Tickets for Rezzed where £17.50 for a single day ticket with a Super Pass being £40, these tickets gave you access to the venue any time from 10am-6pm. I had a press pass for this year’s Rezzed but as someone who has bought tickets to gaming events before my advice would be to go for the single day pass of £17.50. If you are visiting to only play games and have a day out then a single day at Rezzed is enough. After going to all three days, I never found that I had to wait long to play a game that caught my eye and since the event is eight hours a day there is plenty of time to explore both the floors of the venue. If you are traveling to London there are plenty of other game (or non-game) sights and events to see to make the most of your journey.
Another part of Rezzed were the number of sessions, workshops and industry specialists that focused on careers in the gaming industry so if you are travelling down as an aspiring game developer then maybe cash out on the Super Pass and organise what talks you want to see and book career sessions in advance to make the most out of your ticket. Throughout the three days, there were Developer sessions and Rezzed sessions that features a number of talks about game development. Visitors could also book one-on-one sessions with people from Ukie and GamesIndustry.biz to discuss portfolios, CV checks and advice on how to break into game development.
Personally, Tobacco Dock is one of my favourite venues for conventions and its held number of events including previous Rezzed events, Hyper Japan and London Tattoo Festival. The layout of the venue covers two floors with every section being organised into separate rooms. The venue tends to stay quite cold because of its walls and ceilings, which to some might sound back but if you’ve ever been to a hot, sweaty gaming convention before then this is a blessing. Tobacco Dock is more bright and cool which is perfect for a convention.
Onto the games! This section is a quick-fire round of games that caught my attention or were the talk of the event. If you would like to know more about the games I’ve mentioned here then be sure to check out our Rezzed Gaming Highlights article with more info, trailers, screenshots and release dates about these titles. The biggest rooms were the two Indie Game rooms that featured around eighty pre-release titles for visitors to get their hands on. The stand out games from this section was the horror game changed to puzzle game Lake Ridden, the mind-bending puzzle platformer Shift Quantum, Forgotten Anne which is a studio ghilbli inspired animated adventure game and finally, in what I think will be everyone’s main take away from Rezzed, the isometric RPG Disco Elysium.
The Unreal Engine Showcase also had a number of interesting games such as demos of the animal exploration game Lost Ember, the first-person physics puzzler Q.U.B.E. 2 and the H.P Lovecraft inspired mystery adventure The Sinking City. In the Leftfield selection, there was a collection of smaller, pocket-sized games that were very different from the rest of the show. The several that stood out were Double Kick Heroes which is a rhythm-based shoot-em-up, the Japanese inspired poetry, puzzler Haiku Adventure, the experimental mix-board Wooble Garden and the already established award-winning mobile game Burry Me, My Love.
The game studio Double Fine had the demos of the charming creature collecting game Ooblets and their co-op childhood adventure game Knight and Bikes. Out of the bigger console set-ups, the Xbox showcase had a good handful of interesting game demos, the hack and slash game Children of Morta, the society survival sim Frostpunk, the shopkeeper turned adventurer game Moonlighter and the highly anticipated Below. Another surprise from the Xbox section was a game that I never thought they would present was a game called Harold Halibut, a stop-motion animated game made from puppets and textiles.
The other showcases were pretty standard, Nintendo was presenting the ports of Iconoclasts and West of Loathing, SEGA had Sonic Mania and Puyo Puyo Tetris, the Playstation section was a little thin apart from Guacamelee! 2 but arguably had the best seating (sofas!). The Rock, Paper, Shotgun room had four experimental games set up that used weird and wonderful controllers, a highlight being the multi-player Dobotone which also was at the Now Play This Exhibit. A full list of the games at Rezzed can be found on their website or through their downloadable app along with a list of the Developer and Rezzed sessions.
Overall, I would highly recommend going especially if you are into indie games like myself. Everyone was super friendly, there was a great variety of games and the Tobacco Dock is a bright and calm venue. The next EGX event this year is in Birmingham next September from the 20th-23rd, for more information you can find it on their website.
Be sure to check out the rest of our London Games Festival coverage!
|London Games Festival 2018|
|Now Play This: Experimental Game Design Exhibit|
|LGF HUB 2018 and Ensemble Exhibition|
|Trafalgar Square Games Festival|
|KeenGamer's Top Pick from Rezzed 2018|