After cutting short my first day, I was back with a vengeance to experience WASD x IGN 2023 Day Two. And what a jam-packed and hectic day it was. Having missed out on a few things yesterday, I wanted to spend a full day at the event. Something which I succeeded in. I arrived at 10am and left at 6pm! And it still didn’t feel like enough time!
So many games, such little time
One of the hardest things when attending an event like this is trying to experience and cover as much as possible. There is just so dang much to see and do. And so many people to talk to. I’m not exactly the biggest social butterfly in the world, but I try my best to navigate through social situations. This time around there were more than ever. There were people who recognised me, and people I recognised. A truly surreal experience. Anyway, enough with the personal reflection. Onward towards games!
Hands-on with Zoria Age of Shattering
A week or so before the start of WASD x IGN I was invited to book a hands-on experience with the RPG game Zoria Age of Shattering. Although not my cup of tea, the gameplay and artstyle were both enough to keep me engaged. It’s fantastic to see a passionate team creating such a highly polished game.
Before I headed off to my next appointment, I squeezed in a session with Loddlenauts. This adorable game is all about cleaning up the ocean on a distant planet. And looking after Axolotl-like creatures called Loddles. It is all so very cute. And has some good satisfying gameplay to boot. I played the heck out of the demo on Steam before I even arrived at WASD, and it was great to see the booth on the show floor.
C Smash VRS: Danalogue DJ Set
Soon after my session with Loddlenauts was finished, I hustled my way over to the Rough Trade East store. Luckily it was just a stone’s throw away from where I was before. When I arrived, I picked up a limited edition EP featuring four electronic tracks from the full C Smash VRS game. There was also an exclusive DJ set starring Danalogue, one of the composers featured on the EP. Along with his band of trusty synth warriors, he played over an hour’s worth of tunes. I even got my vinyl signed! Pretty epic experience indeed.
Kicking ass and collecting taxes
Once the gig had finished, I headed back into the main building to play some more games. One such game was Tax-Force. Ever wanted to fight back against money hungry tax dodging billionaires? Well now you can! This side-scrolling beat-em-up tasks the player with collecting and redistributing tax money in a bid to clear the debt of an entire planet. Is it fun? Yes. Does it look pretty? Yes. Does it casually hold up a mirror to the modern day effects of government policy and corporate responsibility? Also yes!
Next on my list was Nivalis. Set in the same universe as Cloudpunk, this slice-of-life sim is shaping up to be something special. I only had a 20-minute session with it, but it absolutely captivated me within that time. And it felt like I had only scratched the surface. I was handed the keys to a tiny little noodle stand drenched in neon and then was left to my own devices.
Unfortunately, much of my time playing was plagued by constant drops in the framerate. It almost always chugged along no matter where I was located. And then I managed to lose some chairs and tables to a very dodgy item management system. Nivalis definitely needs some work, but what was on offer left me wanting more.
The team at Milk Bubbles Studios were also around again, along with their game GladiEATers. One of my favourites from the last show, I was super excited to see what they had been working on since then. Sadly I ran out of time to play the game, but I did manage to squeeze a quick interview in with one of the head honcos. Stay tuned for a dedicated article about that! I’ll have to play it tomorrow instead!
With that being said, here ends my coverage of WASD x IGN 2023 Day Two! Another crazy awesome day and I can’t wait for the third and final day!