Gamescom is a massive consumer-focused gaming event in Germany. Every year, people from all over the world come to see a ton of games, watch game announcements at their Gamescom Afterparty, and generally hang out with other gamers. The venue is huge, covering multiple floors, with AAA-focused areas, stand-alone areas, and a whole business section that is more for meetings and viewing booths from specific countries.
I’ve been going to Gamescom every year for quite some time, and I can even judge the games that are in attendance through the Indie Arena Booth. With so many games in one place, it’s impossible to play them all.
I spent a few days trying to get my hands on as many indie games at Gamescom as I could, and I wanted to share my favorites with you, in no particular order.
Dirty Animal Theft Simulator
I’m a big fan of couch co-op, where you and your friends can play wacky characters. Dirty Animal Theft Simulator, while it can be played single player, it shines when you have your friends to play with you. You all become mutated animals, who are also criminals, controlled by Tony, a human.
He assigns you various heists for which you need to use your mutant abilities. These levels are wacky, they feel a bit like a Gang Beast in the game, but with so many different things to do. You can pick up your bag to try to make money when you rob a bank, knock out guards, and end up turning into a ball that needs to be flushed down the toilet to respawn. It’s wild, silly, chaotic fun.
Desta: The memories between
From creators of monument valley Y SunriseI was able to play a demo of Desta: The memories between. This turn based game had so much emotion and meaning in a beautifully made world. you play as destiny, who has just returned home after being away. They left their home and family in a fragmented and broken way, leaving relationships on the brink of despair. Growing up, his father taught the local youth how to use a dodgeball, throwing it back and forth, to communicate their feelings.
Now it’s something you’re tasked with doing, to speak your mind and set the record straight among your friends. The main mechanics of the game are throwing the dodgeball, collecting new ones, and communicating, but these levels are broken up with beautifully done and voiced cut-scenes, showing more of the emotional story.
Dorfantik is an awesome tile based puzzle game where you can create your own little world, blooming and coming alive. In each level, you receive a bunch of procedurally generated tiles, which can be placed in a grid. These tiles have different biomes, rivers, trees, houses, and more. Some of them come with quests, which are hinted at using the bubble that appears around the placed tile.
If you figure out how to solve these quests, you are awarded more tiles to continue building your world. Building your own place is really where Dorfantik shines. As you create a forest, suddenly you can see running deer. Your rivers have ships, moving between areas. The lights are turned on in the houses when it gets dark. This world feels like it’s alive, breathing and it becomes so wonderful to watch.
Blueberry is another emotional and story-driven game. This platform game makes you go through the mind of a woman, to understand more about her life and fix her memories. It’s a game about coping with her trauma and trying to undo some of what she learned growing up, so that she can be a better father to her daughter named Blueberry. You end up diving into his childhood, starting out as a kid who just wants cookies, collecting shards of puzzle pieces to make up for your broken past.
There are different options, in the story, that can help you manage BlueberryDepression and being there for her. Many of the scenes within the game feel familiar and closely resemble childhood memories that anyone might have. It’s an interesting way to explore your past and learn more about how you became who you are today.
let’s cook together 2
let’s cook together 2 is another couch co-op, aimed at two to four players, where you’re looking to cook something up quickly! In the future, there is no homemade food, but everyone eats a strange pasta. You and your friends really remember how to create food, so you open makeshift kitchens in any building you can find, cooking for whoever wants food.
When you play, most of these kitchens are partitioned, so you actually have to throw ingredients at each other, combine ingredients, prep them, and otherwise keep your orders flowing. This type of game is one that has a lot of yelling and communication, it’s really fun to play and try to master, especially with the chaotic cooking that takes place.
Gamescom is an awesome event if you like video games and one that you should definitely attend if you ever get the chance! I hope to try more games next year.
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