EGX Rezzed

Until 1 April, at London's Tobacco Dock, EGX Rezzed celebrates the best of gaming's wonderful indie scene. No show like it – including its bigger cousin EGX – offers as great a variety of innovative and unusual games for the public to get their hands on.

At this year's event people will be able to play a game about a dad who throws his child as a weapon, another that's a two-button fighting game, a stealth game about cleaning up crime scenes and ever-present brawler Gang Beasts.

In the Leftfield Collection, attendees will also be able to find even stranger games far removed from the shooters and sports games that dominate modern gaming.

While indie games are certainly the focus, there are a few bigger budget games from major publishers, such as Blizzard's Overwatch, highly anticipated JRPG Persona 5 and real-time strategy sequel Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War 3.

During the first day of the event, we at IBTimes UK go to play dozens of the games on offer, and have picked out a few of our favourites. If you're heading to the show this weekend, be sure to check them out, and even if you're not these are games you'll certainly want to keep an eye on.

Rime EGX Rezzed
An island, and a curse, in Rime Tequila Works

Rime (PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch)

Once thought to be dead in the water, former PlayStation-exclusive Rime is finally nearing release having resurfaced last year. It's an adventure game with a focus on puzzling and exploring its gorgeous, vibrant world.

In motion it looks just as good as in the screenshots, if not better, and the focus is entirely on simple puzzles and platforming. It may have taken a while to get here, but Rime seems to have been worth the wait.

Little Nightmares EGX Rezzed
Escape your kidnappers, in Little Nightmares Tarsier Studios

Little Nightmares (PS4, Xbox One, PC)

Tarsier Studios' indie horror is an atmospheric must. In it, players are cast as a nine-year-old girl, once kidnapped, now trying to escape her brutish captors and the surreal world of The Maw.

Using the child's relative frailty to enhance the game's feeling of creeping dread works wonderfully well, putting to use – much like Limbo and Inside – our shared natural instinct to keep children out of harm's way.

The puzzles also evoke Playdead's classics, with simple, physics-based environment puzzles complementing the shadowy, stealth-based movement. Some great sound design (the chef in the demo is creepy and disconcerting, largely down to the monstrous noises it makes) also aids the foreboding atmosphere.

Knights and Bikes EGX Rezzed
Embark on a pedal-powered quest, in Knights and Bikes Foam Sword

Knights & Bikes (PS4, PC)

Foam Sword is a small new studio founded by Rex Crowle and Moo Yu, two developers who previously worked for Media Molecule on the LittleBigPlanet series. Rex was also creative lead on PS Vita favourite Tearaway and Moo was programmer on Ratchet and Clank.

Together with a small group of collaborators, they're making Knights & Bikes, a co-op and single-player game "inspired by The Goonies and Earthbound". Its gorgeous art brings to life a story of childhood adventure that sees its two heroes saving librarians and battling burning foam swords. Why? We're not sure, but it's certainly a game worth trying.

Battalion 1944 EGX Rezzed
Battalion, taking the Second World War into the next generation

Battalion 1944 (PS4, Xbox One, PC)

Between First World War-set Battlefield 1 last year and Call of Duty's reported "return to its roots" later this year comes Battalion 1944 – a multiplayer shooter set during the Second World War hoping to appeal to fans who miss the glory days of Medal of Honor and earlier CoD titles.

The team at Bulkhead Interactive were targeting the look and feel of those games, and it's safe to say they've nailed it – perhaps a little too well. I sank many hours into Call of Duty 2 back in the day and Battalion plays exactly how I remember it. Expect a queue unless you get there early enough.

Songbringer EGX Rezzed 2017
Explore unique worlds stocked with ancient artefacts, in Songbringer Wizard Fu

Songbringer (PS4, Xbox One, PC)

Songbringer is an adventure RPG inspired by and paying homage to Nintendo's original Legend of Zelda for NES. Unlike that game however, Songbringer spawns a unique world seeding from the six-letter combination that players themselves enter at the start.

This means millions of potential game worlds, and codes that will result in the same world no matter who enters it – meaning players can share certain world layouts with one another.

Each world is laid out on an over-world consisting of 45 'screens', containing 10 dungeons (themselves 9x5) and each with their own set boss. This is the backdrop for furious swordplay and tons of exploration.

Four Last Things EGX Rezzed
Playing against a Renaissance background, in Four Last Things Joe Richardson

Four Last Things (PC)

Mechanically, Four Last Things is a fairly simple point-and-click adventure game, but what makes it worth checking out is the witty writing of developer Joe Richardson and the creative use of (public domain) Renaissance-era paintings.

The overall effect is Monty Python-esque, but the imitation doesn't ring hollow, it's wholehearted, genuine and worthy of the comparison. Any game in which you can slap bishops has to be worth your time.

Sonic Mania EGX Rezzed
Echoing Sonic the Hedgehog's visual style, Sonic Mania Sega

Sonic Mania (PS4, Xbox One, PC)

At this point approaching a new Sonic game with anything other than extreme caution is a fool's game, but with Sonic Mania Sega is playing it as safe as possible. This is as close to the original, beloved games as you're ever likely to get and, perhaps crucially, development isn't being handled by Sega themselves.

Those at Headcannon and PagodaWest Games previously worked on various ports of the classic games, so they know what makes Sonic tick. At Rezzed, you'll be able to play the iconic Green Hill Zone level, but also a brand new one: Studiopolis Zone.

Scanner Sombre EGX Rezzed
Pick out speckled shapes, in Scanner Sombre Introversion Games

Scanner Sombre (PC)

A few years ago Unfinished Song started players in front of a pure white screen, then asked them to throw paint to coat the world's features and obstacles. In Scanner Sombre, you begin in a tent that opens up into a vast black expanse. You're underground – deep underground – with not a single dependable light source.

Ahead of the player is an in-game virtual reality headset and a scanner, with which players scan the deep caverns to create a virtual representation covered in dots. The result looks like a cross between those dots you see all over Andy Serkis and the result of going HAM with Microsoft Paint's spray can.

Players simply move through the environment scanning as they go to find the correct path. The dot system works with a colour gradient, to establish depth, so blue dots are further away, red dots are closer, and the effect it creates is never disorientating. In fact it's often quite stunning, making Scanner Sombre well worth checking out.

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