Every year at EGX, I am always so pleased to see so many indies showing off their wares in the Rezzed section, it’s great to see. As a regular attendee of EGX, if not the Rezzed show itself, I’ve noticed some trends. One big one is that Curve Digital are carving out a nice space in the market and are doing great things for the indie scene. They had numerous title on show this year at EGX, but a couple in particular caught my eye.
Their presence overall was really good with titles that we have covered before like Human Fall Flat and Smoke and Sacrifice along with new Switch ports of Bomber Crew and The Swindle. It’s heart warming to see one indie publisher putting so much effort into the show, and I am so pleased they were present. If they weren’t, then there’s a good chance that I would have overlooked For the King and Carried Away.
Now, technically, For the King came out earlier this year on PC, in a release that I truly regret passed me by. If I had made it to Rezzed, then I’m sure to have seen it, played it, and delivered my Verdict. As it is, with a release on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and the Switch slated for early next year, developers Iron Oak Games were back, showing off their table-top, turn-based, roguelike RPG.
Try saying that out loud, and you will realise that our preconceived notions of what genre a game fits into these days are entirely defunct. A game can be anything, and For the King is one that has sucked me in with a cute art style and a feeling that my characters were moving along a tapbletop boardgame. It also looks set to be a great fit for Switch players, sharing around the gamepad when down the pub while friends dig out the classic boardgames would be entertaining.
Each character in For the King moves around the game world individually, and while working together would be the optimal strategy, especially when coming up against larger groups of foes, or in the dungeons, I’m sure that some players in co-op would want to branch off for their own adventure.
Every playthrough is unique, with procedurally generated maps, quests and events, though the overarching story of the realm of Fahrul falling into chaos after the assassination of the King will be ever present. I spent enough time with the game to know that I need to download it right now and give it the time it deserves.
Carried Away, from Hugecalf Studios was only picked up by Curve in August, but has been dangling around Early Access since late last year. Hopefully the push from Curve will help the buzz around this game grow as it is a very enjoyable bridge constructor crossed with the best skier deaths since SkiFree.
Everything is set in a lovely ski resort, one that was welcoming to all…until I got my hands on things and started building. The basic premise in the early levels that I played was to follow the helpful construction guide, build a ski lift, and after some instructional skier deaths, re-build the ski lift in a sturdier fashion. I followed the instructions to a T, only witnessing the poor skiing folk fall to the ground when the game was teaching me.
It was when the stabilisers were taken away, and I was able to construct my own elaborate designs that things started to fall apart. Literally. The poor patrons wouldn’t get five metres before the whole structure collapsed thanks to my poor engineering. Once I had things working, there was more than one perilous moment where my skier knocked their skies or snowboard on a tree, swinging their chair into an angle that the people from health and safety would have found alarming. But when they survived, it was a glorious moment.
Carried Away also lets you control your own skiers, snowboarders and snowmobiles on predefined courses, and ones where you get stuck in building suitable jumps and ramps. Switching from build mode to ride mode was slick…it’s just a shame that I sent more fools to their fate here than I did in the pure construction mode.
I heartily recommend checking out Carried Away on Steam.