In 2019 we've continued to grow The PC Indie Pitch. In fact, as part of our mission to shine a light on new and undiscovered indie talent we've hosted nine different pitches across 10 locations across the globe in 2019 alone.
As part of this, since August 2019 we’ve hosted not one, not two, but four different pitches right across Europe. These included our annual Gamescom extravaganza, the return to GIC, our first-ever Romanian pitch as a part of Dev.Play 2019, and of course our bumper Very Big Indie Pitch as a part of Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki.
For those not in the know though, The Big Indie Pitch is a regular event run by the makers of PocketGamer.biz.
It gives indie developers the chance to pitch their games to industry experts and journalists in a speed-dating-style format. Teams get the opportunity to get valuable feedback on their games, as well as win great prizes such as promotional packages and, more importantly, the coveted Big Indie Pitch bat.
Across all of these pitches, we saw more than 55 developers from across the world take to the floor to showcase their latest developments to our panel of expert judges.
From a psychologically drive 2D Soulslike RPG, to a Legend of Zelda inspired adventure through dangerous dungeons filled with traps, puzzles and magical artefacts, and even as far as the mysterious adventures of a Cat on a quest to restore the memories of its elderly owner, we really have seen quite a mix of experiences on our recent European roadshow. Even better though is the fact that we're ready to share with you the very best of games, as selected by our judges. So read on to learn more about all 12 of the games that walked away with one of PC Indie Pitch prizes.
The Big Indie Pitch at Gamescom 2019
FIRST PLACE - Luna by 4HA Games
Luna is a 2D platformer that stealth and puzzle elements in order to immerse the player in a deep and engrossing story about the love between humans and animals. Utilizing a presentation that resembles a classic painting, Luna tells the story of a cat who has lost track of her best friend, the elderly human "Edubina" who has left home after losing her memories.
Fragments of these memories can be spread throughout the maze-like dystopian port city of Valparaiso. A city in which humans have been forced to surrender their memories to the control of the state. As such, Luna sets out on a quest to find her friend and restore her memories.
SECOND PLACE - Super Catboy by Team Catboy
Super Catboy is a 16-bit action platformer that unashamedly embraces all things retro and 90s. Taking inspiration from some of the all-time great action platformers, gameplay encompasses not just action platforming, but also beat'em up elements and even run-and-gun mechanics, meaning there's a little bit of everything anyone interested in either indie or classic old school gaming could hope for.
There are unconventional graphics, engaging gameplay and enough challenges to keep even the most ardent gaming occupied. Oh, and of course, Super Catboy includes a suitably retro story in which an anthropomorphic cat teams up with a girl who has a love of all things weaponry in order to take down the evil plans of a crazy scientist.
THIRD PLACE - Terraformers by Asteroidlab
In Terraformers, players take control of a band of humans attempting to colonize Mars. Throughout this arduous quest, players will have to found the colonies, cultivate them, build a society with economics and social structures, and ultimately terraform this alien planet.
Of course, whilst this might sound simple, there's a lot of challenges and conflicts that will have to be navigated if your community is to thrive. These include managing global warming and cooling through the use of seas and volcanos, interpersonal conflicts, and of course the demands of your Earth-based financial backers.
The Very Big Indie Pitch at Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki 2019
FIRST PLACE - Forbidden Factory by Twisted Ark
Forbidden Factory embodies the idea of excitement in simplicity, as in this gorgeous puzzle-platformer players must simply help navigate a cogwheel in order to interact with the environment and help solve the mystery of the forbidden factory.
Inspired by the likes of Inside, Limbo, Unravel, and Little Nightmares to name but a few, Forbidden Factory takes full advantage of both the cog's unique movements alongside the distinctive factory environment to constantly challenge players without ever frustrating. As such, this leads to an experience that judges saw as both challenging and yet relaxing at the same time.
SECOND PLACE - Starship Saboteur by Catland
Starship Saboteur is all about intense top-down spaceship action. From smashing windows to pull the pilots out into space to infiltrating the ships in order take down the crew utilising stealth or all-out action tactics in order to take the ship intact, Starship Saboteur offers players multiple ways to take down opposing faction's ships.
That's not all though, as of the game also features an extensive campaign alongside deep strategy mechanics to go alongside the action and stealth gameplay. As such, players can even sabotage an opposition ship in order to encourage a different faction to attack, in turn achieving victory without ever getting your hands dirty.
THIRD PLACE - King of Peasants by Platonic Partnership
In King of Peasants, players control two inquisition knights on a perilous assignment within the dark ages' city of Hortschloch. Designed for mature audiences, and filled with action and comedy, the game is heavily narrative-oriented, and described by the developer as being essentially "Lethal Weapon with knights"
Of course, though, there's a lot more besides the engrossing story, as the game also features presentation that is entirely hand-drawn utilizing a mix of watercolor and pencil art. Additionally, the gameplay is also just as unique, with sword fighting taking place utilizing rhythm-based mechanics.
The Big Indie Pitch at GIC 2019
FIRST PLACE - Kaku Ancient Seal by Bingobell
Kaku Ancient Seal is a game that aims to take players all the way back to the very origin of humankind through a 3D action RPG of truly ancient propositions. Themed on the adventures of primitive humankind Kaku Ancient Seal promises a chance to explore this world through a high degree of freedom, open-world maps, and constant surprises.
Additionally, the game will feature just as much depth in the gameplay too, with action, stealth, massive boss battles, and even driving mechanics using animals such as the Wooly Mammoth. Finally, as can be seen in the trailer, developer Bingobell has certainly gone to town on the graphics, in turn creating a gorgeous presentation that promises to help with the immersion.
SECOND PLACE - Biped by NExT Studios
Biped is a physics-based 3D co-op action-adventure title that utilizes two biped robots in order to encourage point to point teamwork between two players. Interestingly, in order to achieve this, the developer has opted for a somewhat conventional no button control system. One in which players must control the robots Aku and Sila through nothing more than the use of two joysticks. A control scheme that not only allows for basic walking but also more advanced maneuvers such as driving and woodcutting.
Additionally. the game features a range of beautiful locations to explore along with deep and engrossing puzzles. All in all, through the game's strong focus on two-player co-operative gameplay, Biped is squarely positioned to appeal to families and those who enjoy sitting on a sofa next to each other and playing together.
THIRD PLACE - Knightin'+ by Muzt Die Studios
Inspired by one of gaming's all-time greatest series in the form of The Legend of Zelda, Knightin'+ is not only a love letter to classic retro gaming but also a game that takes these experiences to new places. In turn offering fans even more reasons to jump in.
Developed by one lone developer Knightin'+ features classic adventure gameplay (which of course includes dungeons crawling and ingenious puzzles), a comedy infused story, 8-bit inspired graphics, and a catchy soundtrack. All in all, it would be easy to dismiss this as too close to the likes of The Legend of Zelda. However, as our judges found out, anyone who loves this classic style of game creation should keep more than an eye on this indie adventure.
The Big Indie Pitch at DevPlay 2019
FIRST PLACE - The Bleak Divine by George B. Green
Inspired by the likes of Bloodborne, Dark Souls, Hollow Knight, and Dead Cells, The Bleak Divine places players into a dark and unforgiving fantasy world. One in which you'll need to utilize all of your manoeuvrability skills, reflexes, and combat proficiency in order to survive the darkness.
Aside from deep intuitive gameplay and a stylish pixel art presentation, The Bleak Divine also offers up a story that dives into the very psychology of the mind utilising themes and theories from existentialist philosophers and the psychoanalyst C.G Jung in order to look at topics such as the struggle of humanity and the subsequent psychological growth that comes from this.
SECOND PLACE - Interrogation by Critique Gaming
Interrogation is a game that doesn't shy away from some of the most important social and criminal themes of our times. In fact, it takes these themes such as terrorism, class structures, control of society by large corporations and state power, and looks to challenge our everyday preconceptions about how society works, and in fact, if it works.
To achieve this the game utilizes a narratively immersive conversational gameplay, one which is crossed with puzzle mechanics, much like the works that have inspired the developer critique gaming, such as Papers Please. Alongside this, the game takes a healthy dose of Orwellian storytelling elements and combines them to make a game that stood long in the minds of our judges.
THIRD PLACE - FearLand by FearLand Team
In this stealth led the tactical game, players must traverse a horror infested modern sci-fi world. One in which they will have to use everything at their disposal in order to survive. Think not only stealth, defenses, but also hacking, sabotage, and even turning your enemies against each other.
In fact, you'll have to get pretty used to thinking outside the box, as in this game, you cannot actually take on the enemies directly. A fact that only adds to the tension, horror, and of course, the individuality of the game. In the words of the developers, think Commandos crossed with Resident Evil and you're very close to FearLand. Albeit one with a lot fewer guns.
Want to show off your exciting new game? We host Big Indie Pitch events throughout the year (with different editions for all developers), so be sure to keep an eye out on our events page for an event near you.
Upcoming BIPs include:
- January 20th - 21st - The Very Big Indie Pitch at Pocket Gamer Connects London 2020 (Mobile)
- January 20th - 21st - The PC Indie Pitch at Pocket Gamer Connects London 2020 (PC / Console)
- March 18th - The Big Indie Pitch at GDC 2020 (Mobile Edition)
- March 18th - The PC Indie Pitch at GDC 2020 (PC / Console Edition)