Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Broken Age, Below, and more: The games of HORIZON

5:00 PM on 06.20.2013 // Liz Rugg

A parade of indies

As previously discussed, Venus Patrol and MOCAtv's "alternative E3 event" HORIZON was pretty interesting both conceptually and in how it was executed. But what about the games?! That's why we're even here, right!?

A few of the larger announcements to come out of the event have already been covered here at Dtoid, but what about those smaller, beautiful indie games HORIZON promised?

Broken Age

Broken Age

Developed by: Double Fine
Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, Ouya
Release Date: 2014

You may have heard of Broken Age already. It's the project that Double Fine recently Kickstarted with the help of "over 90,000 of their closest friends." The point-and-click adventure game will follow the parallel lives of a boy and a girl; the girl has been chosen by her village as a sacrifice to a terrible monster, and the boy is trying to escape the overbearing grasp of a motherly computer.

Double Fine's presentation at HORIZON focused on their mind-blowing Kickstarter experience and how they've been able to directly connect with the fans that will be playing the game and even how they have let them in to the decision-making process of the game. I could spend hours talking about the weird and wonderful world of Kickstarter, but nonetheless it will be interesting to see how the fans feel after actually playing Broken Age when it releases next year.



Developed by: Capybara Games
Platforms: Xbox One
Release Date: TBA 2014

First off, Below looks gorgeous.

Coming from CAPY, part of the group that created the much-lauded Sword & Sworcery, Below follows a rather non-descript main character traversing through epic landscapes, further and further into a mysterious cave.

At HORIZON, Nathan Vella and Kris Piotrowski of Capybara explained that the game will be one of those "no text, no dialogue, no hints and no hand-holding" allowing the player to discover everything in the game on their own initiative. Below also has an awesome trailer featuring the music of Jim Guthrie, who will also score the game.



Developed by: Media Molecule
Platforms: PlayStation Vita
Release Date: Oct. 22, 2013

Tearaway is Media Molecule's upcoming game in which players will guide a little character through a tactile, papercraft world, which the player holds in their "god-like hands."

At HORIZON, Rex Crowle and Siobhan Reddy of Media Molecule demonstrated some of the game's big and small ideas; from the way the player can use the PS Vita's touch sensors to practically physically interact with the game's world, to the little details like the "squashiness"of the ground under the game's character's feet. Tearaway seems to be heavily investing in the odd notion of "virtual tactility" and it's probably an investment that will pay off.



Developed by: Die Gute Fabrik
Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux, PlayStation 3
Release Date: Fall, 2013

Sportsfriends aims to be straightforward in intent and content: it wants to be a multiplayer, spectator-friendly game for groups and parties. No big hooks, no intricate story-lines. And it absolutely delivers that.

Featuring a collection of smallish, highly-competitive multiplayer games; Hokra, Super Pole Riders, BaraBariBall, and Johann Sebastian Joust, Sportsfriends is all about non-committal, easygoing fun. I had a chance to play Super Pole Riders (pictured) at HORIZON, and while it was totally fun, I found it oddly challenging. It's definitely the kind of game that you can get really good at if you play it enough, though.



Developed by: Die Gute Fabrik
Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux
Release Date: TBA

Mutazione sounds like it has the potential to be one of those breakout oddball gems. Developed by Die Gute Fabrik, Mutazione is about a young girl who mysteriously wakes up in a town full of mutants and monsters. The game will have almost Animal Crossing-esque features like real-time changes throughout the day and the town's different characters will be doing different things throughout dates and times.

It also has an interesting "gardening-mechanic" which will allow players to plant and grow different plants in their garden in their character's home that directly influence the ambient music in the game. Die Gute Fabrik's Doug Wilson described the gardening mechanic as allowing the players to "grown their own Brian Eno's Music for Airports" in a sense. Mutazione does not have a release date at this time, so hopefully we'll hear more about it soon!



Developed by: Honeyslug and Richard Hogg
Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita
Release Date: 2014

In Hohokum, players take control of a colorful, snake-ish, kite-like being and fly/swim through various environments. Interacting with the environment is a key part of Hohokum, whether it's carrying characters from one part of the world to another, or running into objects to create new sounds.

Hohokum also has a beautiful trailer, with a sweet soundtrack by musician Tycho, who will also score the game. Hohokum was playable at HORIZON, but I don't think I got to experience it fully in the hustle and bustle of the mixer. It's probably a game best experienced in a meditative state, though it was lovely to look at regardless! 



Developed by: Little Flag Software
Platforms: Windows, Mac, Mobile
Release Date: TBA

Kachina is an engagingly whimsical game in which the player controls a hole in the ground that they can use to swallow up objects and characters in each level to solve puzzles or solve jokes as they make their way through the charming landscapes.

Taking place in the American Southwest, Kachina is also set to explore modern relationships between Americans and Native Americans through motifs of erasure and discovery, which personally will fascinate me to no end.

New Game from Keita Takahashi and Funomena


Developed by: Funomena
Platforms: TBD
Release Date: TBA

Funomena and Katamari Damacy creator Keita Takahashi announced at HORIZON that they're partnering to work on a new game! What's it about? Well, it's still early in development, but Takahashi says that the game's inspiration came from playing with his two-year old son and what it would be like if his son's block toys came to life.

He also added that "Katamari was about King and Prince. Noby was about Girl and Boy. This new game is about Mayor and Deputies." I'm sure we will be hearing more about Funomena and Takahashi's new game soon!

Fez II

Fez II

Developed by: Polytron
Platforms: ????
Release Date: TBA

Perhaps making the biggest splash at HORIZON was a 50-second-long trailer for Fez II. Essentially the only information we have about Fez II is that it's a collaboration between Polytron and Disasterpeace, but that's enough to get people talking.

(A Game For) Two

A Game For Two

Developed by: Simon Wiscombe (primary), Claire Hosking, Evan Stern, Andres Villareal, Jason Gibson
Platforms: Windows, Mac
Release Date: TBA

(A Game For) Two is a really fun cooperative title in which two players each control a character that has crash landed on an island and they must work together to solve puzzles and get to the other side of the island where a rescue boat awaits. There is little text and no dialogue in the game, which forces the players to actually talk to each other an use their intuition as well as perhaps trial-by-error to complete the game's challenges.

I really enjoyed playing a few levels of (A Game For) Two with friends at HORIZON. For me there was a real sense of excitement in figuring out the puzzles with other people, and a heightened sense of accomplishment once we manage to finish a level together.



Developed by: Die Gute Fabrik, Ramiro Corbetta
Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux, PlayStation 3
Release Date: Fall, 2013

Hokra is described as a "digital sports game" and it's one of the titles included in the Sportsfriends compilation. Since this requires four players and has no online multiplayer aspects, it's purely meant for four physical people competing together on one television. This sort of interpersonal connection and shared experience is what Sportsfriends is all about, of course!

Laser Cabinet

laser cabinet

Developed by: Khalil Klouche / Media Design at Geneva University of Art and Design

Perhaps the most inconspicuous piece at HORIZON, the Laser Cabinet is an actual physical wooden cabinet that doesn't look at all special, until you realize that there are two inviting buttons on each side. When the buttons are pushed, lasers illuminate a snake-style game on the cabinet's surface, once again inviting games into a sculptural area that they normally do not inhabit.

Rehearsals and Returns

Rehearsals and returns

Developed by: Peter Brinson
Platforms: Windows, Mac
Release Date: July, 2014

Thematically, Rehearsals and Returns is about conversations with famous people that will never happen. As designer Peter Brinson explains, mechanically, the game is about collecting explicitly nice, mean, or wise things to say to people like Margaret Thatcher, Genghis Khan, Lebron James, Whitney Houston, and many more.

Rehearsals and Returns was playable at HORIZON as well, and though it may be one of those games best experienced in a deep way by oneself and not at a party setting, it was really fun to hear people saying things like "Ooohh yeah, gotta collect Hate level 12!"

The UCLA Game Lab Arcade Backpack

UCLA Game Lab backpack

Developed by: UCLA Game Lab (design: David Elliott & Steven Amrhein)
Release Date: 2011

The UCLA Game Lab Arcade Backpack is exactly what it sounds like: a backpack with playable arcade games on it. The Arcade Backpack was worn by some of its creators -- Tyler Stefanich and Peter Lu -- and played by a variety of people throughout HORIZON.

Designed to bring gaming to a public space, the Arcade Backpack becomes a bit of an interactive performance piece, though it's funny because while the player is interacting with the games, they are not necessarily interacting with the person wearing the backpack, so the wearer essentially becomes a stand-in for a traditional cabinet. The backpack is definitely a conversation starter though, and it featured several playable games which were cycled through throughout the event.

All in all, HORIZON was an event about indie games, but for everyone. The talent that was showcased was strong, but paled in comparison to the excitement and joy everyone had about the expression and encouragement of delightful and fascinating ideas, and honestly I can't wait to play all of them!

Liz Rugg, Contributing Editor
 Follow Blog + disclosure LizRugg Tips
Liz Rugg is the Community Manager over at Destructoid's sister site; Flixist! She also works full time as a receptionist at an animal hospital in Chicago, IL. She is tough as nails and soft as a ... more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

Status updates from C-bloggers

Samsneeze avatarSamsneeze
I'm currently writing a review for a mobile game, but only because I'm enjoying the hell out it. I'm honestly enjoying it far more than Puzzles and Dragons.
Ticklefist avatarTicklefist
Steam sale is on. Just buying one game with this new format. Mad Max or Shadow of Mordor?
Zer0t0nin avatarZer0t0nin
Damn, I think I'm Bruce Willis from Unbreakable. Just fell of a 12-foot ladder and all I got was a little scratch on my finger.
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
After I finish Fallout 4 I'm thinking of 100%ing Skyrim and then installing a TON of dinosaur mods on it.
voex avatarvoex
4 hours into Hotline Miami 2 and I'm finding it just as fun as the original. So far it's a good balance between frustration and satisfaction. Still have no idea what the story is about.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
1. Start playing Ocarina of Time again. 2. Start having fun. 3. Discover fishing area. 4. Stop having fun.
AvtrSpirit avatarAvtrSpirit
A 2-d hovercraft platforming exploration game just came out today. Have fun collecting the coins! My record so far is 140.
Occams avatarOccams
Holy shit the new David Bowie video/song is just lovely.
Barry Kelly avatarBarry Kelly
So many people angry at Play-Asia right now. Totally not exactly the kind of backlash Tecmo were trying to avoid by not releasing the game here in the first place.
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
If you're a UK kid there's a Wii U 32 GB Wind Waker Premium Pack on Amazon for £240. It says sale... I dunno how much of a saving that is. You tell me.
Archelon avatarArchelon
Community Question: Not strictly speaking video game-related, but screw it. Team Captain America or Team Iron Man?
ikiryou avatarikiryou
I want Just Cause 2 and Metal Gear Solid V + Peace Walker to fornicate together so we can have a beautiful big open world to blow up and/or fulton. Then I want to build an infinitely-sized base of soldiers, each with their own personalities and stats.
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
When SFV drops next year we gotta get some DTOID noob battles on, practice with online lag with friends, be really bad casuals together. We can call it Kanye Night Fights. #Swerve on FNF (just kidding...maybe).
Solar Pony Django avatarSolar Pony Django
So someone messaged me on a Lightning fast, comment board that bow they're super depressed. And I worry for them now. Because a comment board is not something to get depressed over, just because someone disagrees with you if your an ass, people will be 2.
arkane9 avatararkane9
Guys, a sequel to Retro City Rampage: Shakedown Hawaii! Someone should really write about it. Lots of Dtoid staff were in the RCR after all.
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
Fuck racism man, shit ain't fair. Can't stand it and I shouldn't have to. Nobody should.
Robo Panda Z avatarRobo Panda Z
Embedded pictures in Quickposts seem to be broken for me right now.
Flegma avatarFlegma
To my surprise, I've more or less figured out Rodea Wii U controls. Still a different game from the Wii version, but not as decidedly inferior in my eyes. Did the legacy medals do anything in Wii version?
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
"Am I a kid, or a squid?" I ponder as I stare off into the horizon. A wise man once told me "Son, you can be whatever you want to be. You are only limited by your lack of ambition " And I want to be a squid. A squid now.
Parismio avatarParismio
Captain America: Civil War trailer dropped!: [youtube][/youtube]
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -