For the first time since the founding of the Tribeca Film Festival in 2002, the festival features video games. The Tribeca Official Showcase includes eight games from small developers (though some have the backing of big publishers) coming to PC and consoles. These are games that festival goers can virtually try out, and the entire suite was shown on yesterday’s Tribeca Games Spotlight (see video below).
Some of these are games that I have played. Others are games that I am going to try next week. Each of them is unique and fascinating, and varies in genre and style, from action-adventure games to puzzles and story-based titles. All of Tribeca’s selections are creative and artistic titles that stand out from what you’ll find in the big AAA productions.
Here’s a look at each of the selections from this year’s festival. Each game includes a screenshot and quote from the creator of each game and the inspiration behind each title.
The big scam, Created by Mighty Yell and published by Skybound Games
This one is inspired by the scams of the 90s. You sneak around wearing costumes, pickpockets and solving puzzles and interacting with a cast of colorful characters. Sounds like a game for the bad guys in all of us.
“Doing The big scam, we were heavily inspired by the 90s, including Nickelodeon, Ghost world, Monkey Island, Toejam and Earland movies like The magician, Blank check, impostors. “~ Dave Proctor, Mighty Yell Game Director
Harold’s Halibut, created and published by Slow Bros.
A game about Harold, a laboratory assistant to a ship’s chief scientist, aboard an underwater ship. Life grows stale for Harold until “a fateful encounter plunges Harold into an unknown world.” I love the Claymation art style of this game.
“Harold’s Halibut had so many influences, from stop-motion in general, from the classic Czech animated films, Aardman Animations’ Wallace and Gromit, Wes Anderson, 90s science fiction and fantasy films such as ET or The abyss, Pixar, Wong Kar-wai, Japanese film and animation, including Miyazaki, Satoshi Kon, Katsuhiro Otomo, Mamoru Oshii, etc. ”~ Ole Tillmann, Slow Bros Art Director
Kena: Bridge of Spirits, created and published by Ember Lab
I will have a full preview of my time with Kena: Bridge of Spirits see you soon. It is a charming and wonderfully animated action adventure game and the first Ember Lab title, which is hugely impressive. Kena is a spiritual guide who discovers an abandoned town and goes on a mysterious mission. She is accompanied by those adorable little parsley called Rot.
“We were inspired by many of the adventure games that have come before us, in particular, Zelda. Additionally, our time living in Japan exposed us to the works of Miyazaki and other cultural influences that have shaped the themes of many of our independent projects. “~ Josh Grier, Co-Founder and COO of Ember Lab
Lost at random, created by Zoink and published by Electronic Arts
Lost at random is a gothic fairy tale set in the Kingdom of Random. Combine tactical combat, card collection, and dice game together with a really cool dark burtonesque world.
“The macabre, beautiful, and highly visual Kingdom of Random was inspired by the works of the likes of Shaun Tan, Tim Burton and Alice in Wonderland. “~ Klaus Lyngeled, CEO and Chief Creative Officer, Zoink
Norco, created by Geography of Robots and published by Raw Fury
A Southern Gothic sci-fi adventure about “the sinking suburbs and industrial swamps of Louisana’s petrochemical hinterland.” This one has a really cool pixel art look and drippy atmosphere.
“NORCO draws on a wide range of sources: Southern Gothic authors such as William Faulkner, Flannery O’Connor, or Cormac McCarthy, and many urban theorists and environmental justice scholars, including Robert Bullard, Eyal Weizman, and Mike Davis. Other influences include New Orleans visual artists Max Seckel, Hannah Chalew, and Pippin Frisbie-Calder, Hideo Kojima’s early visual text adventures, many sound artists and musicians such as Laurie Spiegel, Coil, Ghost Box Records, Bohren, and Der Club of Gore and Plone. And we can’t forget the beautiful indie games from developers like Sonoshee, Yames or Jessica Harvey. “~ Robot Geography
Saber, created by Shedworks and published by Raw Fury
Destination Satisfies Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, basically. We saw a glimpse of this at Summer Game Fest, and like the rest of these games, it’s available for demo in Tribeca this year. You play as Sable as he glides through a desert landscape littered with debris from fallen spaceships in his Star Wars-style hovercraft. I love the artistic style.
“French and Belgian artists using the clair ligne style of the 80s / 90s and films created by Studio Ghibli such as Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. “~ Gregorios Kythereotis, Creative Director, Shedworks
Signalis, created by rose-engine and published by Humble Games
You play as a Replika named Elster in a dark dystopian world as she searches for a lost dream. Sounds mysterious!
“Nothing can be created in a vacuum without inspiration; naturally, many artists and their works have left a strong impression on us and have subtly influenced the way we approach our own work. In order to Signalis, the works of Tsutomu Nihei, David Lynch, Stanley Kubrick and Mamoru Oshii have had a great influence. “~ pink engine
Twelve minutes, created by Luis Antonio and published by Annapurna Interactive
Think Ground pork day But you’re reliving a break-in where Willem Defoe kills you and your wife. Find out how to stop it. It is not stressful in the least! I played a little demo of this and it’s pretty foreground and as exciting as it sounds.
“Twelve minutes draws inspirations from movies including Memento, rear window Y The shining “. ~ Luis Antonio, Creative Director
Check out these games and hear from their developers and a host of celebrity guests at the Tribeca Games Featured video below:
The video includes appearances by Kahlief Adams, Neill Blomkamp, Japanese Breakfast, Guillermo del Toro, Tanya DePass, Reggie Fils-Aimé, Bing Gordon, Melissa Joan Hart, Geoff Keighley, Hideo Kojima, Sam Lake, James McAvoy, Norman Reedus, Kiki Wolfkill, Elijah Wood, Jen Zee. So there are only a handful of big names!
Look at all these games and book a virtual demo right here.