The Average Gamer

Three Highlights from Radius Festival 2014

Radius Festival 2014 - Volume
Radius Festival is happening right now near London’s Leicester Square, a celebration of video games driven by independent developers. I spoke with organiser Keith Stuart during the first day of the show to find out what it’s all about. “Radius Festival is the more professional sequel to EToo, which we did last year. We said ‘Let’s do our own E3 right here in London’ and we got together with James Dance who owned the Loading Bar in Soho. We put up our own show and we just invited loads of indie developers to come along and we got it all sorted in three weeks.

“It was really good fun and we thought ‘Well, let’s do it again this year.’ So we put a bit more time and effort into organising it, we found this lovely venue and we just thought ‘It’s the same principle. Let’s just make it free to attend for everybody – for developers, and for gamers and let’s just try and get a really good context of British and European developers from all over the place. Get them to show off their game whatever they are, in a really vibrant and inclusive atmosphere.’ That’s the idea and somehow it’s come off.”

Radius Festival is open for one more evening at White Space London and has free entry until 4:30pm, thanks to sponsorship from SEGA, Mike Bithell and others. You can also buy tickets for tonight’s panel show (which includes Steam codes for 4 games) or watch the show streamed live over Twitch from 6pm.

They’ve been showing 21 games every day and I stopped by on Thursday to check out what was on. Some highlights:

Mucho Party

Mucho Party is an iPad game designed for up to 8 players on local multiplayer. Comprising a set of fast-paced mini games, you start out by taking photos of face in neutral, happy and sad poses. These will bob about on the screen in vegetable hats to show your rivals that you really mean business. In the mini games you’ll do such things as trying to cover more of the floor with paint by driving a vehicle, in the allotted time, or flicking all your markers through a hole onto your opponents side, while trying to prevent them from doing the same to your side.

Every game is frantic and fast-paced and there are plenty of opportunities for dirty tricks. Ricochet your opponent’s marker away from the goal or paint over their colour. Every players starts with a whack-a-mole skill test that determines their level of difficulty as a form of handicap, so there’s no need to hold back if you’re playing with young children or anyone new to the game.

Mucho Party is out now for iOS 4.3 and later.

Rock Boshers DX

Rock Boshers DX has a deliberately retro feel, with an art style taken straight from the ZX Spectrum era. You’ll be boshing rocks down in the mines and rushing about the claustrophobic twin-stick shooter on your quest to escape, while picking up tea and scones along the way.

Rock Boshers DX is out on PlayStation Mobile and coming to PS4 later this year.

Rock Boshers DX - Snoring

Hatoful Boyfriend

This pigeon-dating adventure started life as a parody of the popular Japanese Dating Sim genre. You play as a human girl who’s just enrolled in the local school, St.Pigeonation’s, which happens to be populated by birds. All your school friends are doves and pigeons, and are surprisingly good at sprinting, as you’ll learn in your first gym class. The game is surprisingly complex, with dozens of paths and endings. It’s essentially a choose-your-own-adventure so every class you attend and who you sit with at lunch will have an effect on your stats and open or close new branching pathways. Mediatonic are working very closely with original creator Hato Moa to preserve the purity of the stories, while polishing up the graphics for a July release on Windows and Mac.