WASD has just been and gone and after missing it last year due to catching COVID right before I was meant to travel. I’m glad to say I made it to this year’s event and headed there on Friday to get hands-on with some great-looking Indie Games.
Here are my favourite games from the event. Don’t forget many of the playable games from the event still have demos available!
I do enjoy a good park-builder, and management-style game. I’ve spent hours on the like of Roller Coaster Tycoon, Planet Coaster, and more.
Park Beyond is the latest in line to let you get your creative ideas flowing. You’ll be building roller coasters that defy the laws of physics as cannons fire you from one section of a track to another.
The demo I played was really only the tutorial but it gave you a good feel for how creative you can get when building a ride as you build a track winding through a city’s streets. It’s a very pretty game and will be sure to scratch that casual management itch whilst you build your wildest creations.
Sentry blends the tower-defense genre with FPS combat as you look to defend your spaceship from alien invaders. Playable in co-op (although I played solo) you will set up traps, build turrets, and create chock points of destruction around your base as you fight off waves of enemies. With each passing phase, your challenge will increase. As you fight off enemies you will collect scrap that enables you to build more defenses or restock on ammo and health.
I really enjoyed the demo I got to play and can see how things will escalate to hugely enjoyable amounts of mayhem.
Viewfinder is one of those games that really messes with your head. Using a camera you will take pictures that will reshape the world around you. Literally letting you step into them to solve puzzles, find objects, and progress. The first time I saw someone placing a picture in front of them and stepping into it melted my mind a little bit.
Beautiful in its design Viewfinder seems to be a really inventive and innovative game. Additionally, it seemed to be a big hit among the WASD goers. The stand was constantly busy with people clamoring to get a look in. If you’re a fan of games like The Witness then I’m sure Viewfinder will be one for you.
As for the event itself. I was glad to see that there was a decent number of games that aren’t yet out rather than an overwhelming amount that have already been released. The event was smaller than I was expecting. However, there was a good variation of games to try out and most likely something there to suit everyone’s tastes. Although, having to come from outside of London it’s tough to justify traveling just for the event. The costs are just becoming too great.
Ok, this isn’t exactly a WASD issue, however, the weekend in London cost me (and my partner) over £500 for travel and hotels. Maybe it is time to consider a cheaper destination. If I lived in London I would absolutely go every year. But staying for a night or two is too expensive. I could travel it in one day. But sometimes it’s hard to know if that will be enough time to try everything I’d like to. Plus I’d probably have to leave my house at about 5 am to make it in a decent time. I can’t imagine what the journey is like for people further North.
Out of curiosity, I looked into a day trip to London from Newcastle getting to London around 10 am and leaving at 5 pm – the rough times of the event. It was £180 with a travel time of 7 hours. To me, that doesn’t seem like it would be doable for a lot of people.
What I’d like to see is some other cities considered, it’s not like the big ones couldn’t host it. If I knew that WAS was coming to Bristol in a year or two I’d be very excited. I know it’s not as simple as that. However, it would be nice to not always have to travel to London, the most expensive place in the UK.
Other than that I thought it was a really nice event. It was busy, but not overly busy. There were some really good games. It felt pretty well run and organised. The food looked a lot better than at other events I’ve been to. I’d love to go again. But unfortunately, the financial side will majorly impact that decision.