A few weeks back I was lucky enough to attend an event in Shepard’s Bush, hosted by Modus. Now Modus are a publisher I am not all that familiar with, but after seeing the games that would be showcased I knew I had to be there. Hosted at Loading in Sheperd’s Bush (side-note: a very nice venue if you wish to have a video game fuelled night out), the event showcased four games. We’ll be talking about each of the games, and my experience with them.
It’s worth noting though that this piece is by no means a review of the games that were presented. These games are still in the development process, and still have some way to go before they are a finished product. I also didn’t get to play the games myself, which is a shame. Nonetheless I was shown the games, and their mechanics, and have a good understanding of each one.
Ary And The Secret Of Seasons
So, full disclosure; this game impressed me the most out of the four games I saw that day. It genuinely shocked me, and I had to take a few minutes before seeing the next game to recompose myself. Ary, as we’ll call it from now on, follows the story of Ary funnily enough. Without giving away too much of the plot, Ary is set in a world where it is possible to control and manipulate the four seasons. A mysterious force is wreaking havoc in Valdi, Ary’s world, and Ary sets out to assist the Guardians of Seasons in restoring order to the world. Plot wise, Ary is fairly standard. It’s the gameplay where it really shines.
Ary has the ability to create spheres of each of the four seasons. These spheres interact with the world around you, allowing you to explore it as well as defeat enemies. These spheres can be used to say, cross a pond. You cast a winter sphere, turn the water to ice, and cross. The seasonal sphere also affect combat. For instance, one enemy wears a coat meaning that a winter sphere will not affect it. However it is possible to cast a summer sphere to overheat the enemy and defeat them.
At points in the world there are objects resembling totems, which when triggered with a seasonal sphere extend the reach of your sphere. This mechanic becomes crucial when exploring the dungeons the game features. I saw the developer use a totem object to cast a massive spring sphere which contained water, and then cast small winter spheres inside to give him ice platforms to cross from one side of the room to the other.
Everything about the game feels very fresh, very new. The use of the seasonal spheres in, not just puzzle solving, but also combat was very nice to see. The game looks gorgeous and full of colour. One that I am very, very excited for. Ary And The Secret Of Seasons is set for release later this year, for Switch, PS4, Xbox One and Steam.
Bear With Me: The Lost Robots
Bear With Me is an episodic point and click game, in a noir style. The game series follows Amber as she tries to find her brother Flint. Accompanied by her teddy bear, Ted E. Bear, they roam Paper City solving clues as they go. Ted is a wise cracking, growly voiced teddy bear/private investigator. The whole thing keeps very true to the noir style, and does it justice.
The episode I was shown was The Lost Robots, a new episode in the series but one that is actually a prequel to everything. This episode finally lets fans of the series as the brother Flint, and explains what happened. The Lost Robots can be purchased as a standalone series, for fans that already have the collection. Those that are new to the series can purchase all episodes, and experience the full story.
The standalone episode, which releases Summer this year, is available for £3.99 while the whole collection is available for £11.99. Bear With Me is available on PS4, Xbox One, Switch, iOS and Android. While it is quite a niche audience that will like the game, if you are a fan of the noir style or point and click games then you should definitely check out the series.
Lost Words: Beyond The Page
Lost Words is a narrative game based within a young girl’s diary. The player follows Izzy as she sets about attempting to write her first story. The game is a 2D side scrolling platformer, that tells the story of a young girl writing a story as a coping mechanism to deal with a great grief in her life.
Some sections of the game play in Izzy’s journal, showing her actually writing the story. The player must use the words on the page to traverse the diary as well as picking certain words for Izzy’s story, such as the colour of a character’s hair or how they would be described. The other sections of the game feature a full world, Estoria. This section of the game features the other characters in the story, and from what I can gather are used to convey big events in Izzy’s story.
While playing in this section of the game, it is possible to use the words that the player interacted with in the journal section of the game to interact with Etoria. Only some of the words can be used in Estoria. The example I saw was the use of the word “rise” to make a platform in Estoria grow so that the rest of the area could be explored.
Lost Words is a game that had me really interested, mainly because of its mechanics. While it does remind me of Scribblenauts, it’s still a mechanic I do really love. The idea of a good narrative with that mechanic has me really pumped for Lost Words. The game is set to release some point this year, costing £15.99 and releasing on PS4, Xbox One and Steam.
Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince
Trine 4 is a return to old Trine! Going back to a 2.5D style, this instalment in the series sees the three heroes sent on a quest to retrieve a troubled prince; Prince Selius. Prince Selius is experiencing an issue. He suffers from some rather dark dreams and his magical talents means his nightmares are escaping into the real world, causing some havoc. The heroes must find him before it’s too late!
Trine 4 promises a new revamped combat system to fight the nightmarish beast. This can be done solo, local co-op or online co-op. There are also new skills, unlockable in skill tree of the game (one for each character). These skills are unlocked by collecting XP vials throughout the levels.
The most interesting aspect for me was the puzzle solving. It’s not enough that Trine 4 features physic-based puzzles, but the solutions to these puzzles differ on the number of players. If you complete a level solo and then return later with a friend, the solution to solve the same puzzle will be different. I thought this was rather clever, however I’m not sure how often you’ll find yourself experiencing this. How often will you go back and recomplete a level with a friend that you have already completed solo?
Trine 4 is set to release Autumn 2019 for PS4, Xbox One, Steam and Switch. The game will set you back £24.99, or £29.99 if you buy it on Switch. It is also possible to own all four Trine games, thanks to the Trine: Ultimate Collection. The collection will feature all four Trine games, and a limited run physical edition will be available to select retailers. This physical edition will feature; all 4 games, a physical map of the Trine world, a download code for the soundtracks of each game and a download code for a Trine artbook.