On 12-14 March, 2015, at London's Tobacco Docks, EGX Rezzed celebrates the best of gaming's thriving indie scene. No show like it – including its elder cousin EGX – offers as great a variety of video games, from virtual reality stealth YouTubers and minimalist space exploration to Victorian bird lawyers and steampunk burglars.
Trawling through the countless games on offer at the event, we picked out our five favourites. If you're venturing down to the show this weekend be sure to check them out, and even if you're not these are games to keep an eye on.
Game Freak's Tembo The Badasss Elephant would have made our list, but due to Rezzed being the first opportunity for anyone – press or public – to play it, we previewed it separately.
The Marvellous Miss Take
A stealth game with no tight neoprene outfits, no gun-toting guards and no neck-breaking: The Marvellous Miss Take is a stylish and fun PC game about art thief Sophia Take, who sneaks through galleries and museums stealing priceless works while avoiding and confounding patrolling security.
A handful of the opening levels are available at Rezzed and offer a great peak at how the game works. Mechanics are introduced slowly and naturally, as Take deals with the unpredictable guard AI. Cheerfully non-violent and well designed, The Marvellous Miss Take is available now on PC with a smartphone version also in the works.
The latest from Size Five Games is a procedurally generated "steampunk cybercrime caper" which is essentially Spelunky for the stealth genre. Levels are randomly generated, but what's never random is the amount of money hidden within.
Players are tasked with finding as much of that cash as possible and lugging it back to the transporter at the start of each level. In the way are numerous threats: security bots and cameras will alert authorities (also robots) and bring down hefty doors if you enter their field of vision, making progression a lot trickier - and there are also bombs lying about which blow open new paths.
Getting to grips with how the game works took a few attempts but once I was in the flow I nabbed the high score on that level (admittedly at the very start of the day). The Swindle is heading to PC, PS4, Xbox One, Wii U, PS3 and Xbox 360 this summer.
Not A Hero
Not A Hero could be described as a political satire, it is after all about aiding an election candidate in their bid for victory. That said the candidate is an alien being called BunnyLord and the player must violently clean England's streets of crime.
So it's a political satire, but also a violent side-scrolling cover-based shooter. Players must select which professional assassin they wish to deal out unfair justice with, each with their own perks and abilities. What follows is a blistering shower of violence in which the player can slide along dispatching of foes and taking cover in chaotic shoot-outs.
It offers a thrill reminiscent of Hotline Miami, a game with which it shares not only a publisher in Devolver Digital, but a penchant for wanton violence. Not A Hero is "coming soon" to PC, PS4 and PS Vita.
Another game to remind me of Hotline Miami was Heat Signature, a space exploration game being developed by Tom Francis with art from John Roberts and music from Ivan Semidolin. In it players must control a ship through the vast nothing of space to find something - a little green box that dishes out missions.
These missions come in two flavours at the moment (steal or assassinate), each requiring the player to carefully catch up with, dock and board randomly generated space craft. Once aboard the gameplay switches to a top down style similar to Hotline Miami – players must sneak and strike with precision. Once the objective has been achieved they can also continue searching the craft for collectables.
Heat Signature has a long way to go yet (Tom is constantly updating fans during the development) but there's a lot of reason to be hopeful for the full game – which will greatly expand on the ideas present in this demo.
Remember the good old days of Goldeneye for the N64 or Timesplitters on the PS2? Remember how everyone (and I mean everyone) at some time or another glanced at their opponents screens to see where they were and plan their attack?
Well now there's a whole game based on that very concept. In Screencheat players are invisible, meaning you need to judge where your opponents are from their screen and then go in for the kill. It's an interesting concept cleverly brought to life.
The game shows its budget but has a great sense of humour in its weapons and kill messages. I won three games in a row, which probably says a lot about my old Goldeneye habits. I should probably apologise to my brother. Screen Cheat is available now on PC.