Going into the event, there was a bittersweet feeling in the air. After what seems like an aeon ago, this would be the final Playup Perth to be run at SK Games as they move on to greener pastures. So, what better way to end the legacy of Playups at SK than another one? Filled with great games and keen developers, the night was a great time for everyone involved. If you missed out, don’t fret, I’ve got the run-down on the games just for you (well, the ones I got around to, at least!).
If there’s one thing I don’t do, it’s play mobile games, but Endless Runner definitely made me smile a bit more than I expected. Sort of like a flipped Temple Runner, Endless Runner involves running through an infinite corridor while jumping up the walls to get through barriers at various heights. It felt like a perfect time-waster for when you’re sitting on a train, and I could feel myself wanting to get further than my last run each time it ended. Hopefully Endless Runner makes a return to Playup in the future so I can see what’s being added… And beat my last run.
Zombies may have reached critical cultural mass a few years back, but Final Days is totally cool with a bit more zombie shooting. The game is a twin-stick top-down shooter that has you fight hordes and hordes of zombies, which is a solid formula for any game these days. Funnily enough, I’ve talked to the dev, Michael, since Playup to give him even more feedback, which is kind of what Playup’s all about. He seemed pretty chuffed to be receiving more than the usual, “Oh, it’s pretty good,” and it’ll be interesting to see how it evolves from what he’s receiving.
Bringing the ‘80s back to the future was Vectonic, a simple game about slamming your opponents in hovercrafts. There wasn’t much else to the game than jumping up and slamming down into others, unless you count the ability to spam emojis, but that was enough to sell me. The controls were barebones, only requiring a few buttons to allow the player to move and jump around, but the mechanics were solid as all hell. After having a chat with the dev, I’m sure the game will make a return to Playup later, so I’m excited for that!
If you’ve ever played slith.io, you’ll have a good idea of what Wes’ yet unnamed game was all about. The idea was to take Snake and make it into a multiplayer board game, with each player ‘programming’ in their moves well in advance. By doing so, short snakes could still change their trajectory every three turns or so, while huge snakes had to wait 10+ turns to reprogram. It’s an ingenious idea, and I’m very excited to see where Wes takes it.
Everyone loves space. It’s a fact. So, when I was offered an iPad with Starlost on it, how could I refuse? The game involves guiding your spaceship around to collect resources and bring them back to the mothership. Of course, there are plenty of enemies trying to stop you, which is where your lasers come into play. For a game so early in development, it looked fantastic, and the combat was faster that a warp drive being engaged for the first time. Not much was shown off on the night, but there’s certainly a lot of potential there for something very cool.
The general reaction to Desert Child was along the lines of, “I have no idea what’s going. This is awesome.” The game has you race against an opponent on a hoverbike, and don’t worry, there’s plenty of lasers and whatnot to destroy anything that gets in your way. It reminded me of Another World, except instead of being focused on a story about prisoners, it was just a crazy race with debris flying everywhere. It was controlled chaos, possibly without the control, and I’m really eager to see what changes this game goes through in the future!
With all the games tried and tested, it was time for everyone to go home and for the devs to mull over all the feedback they’d received. It may not be happening at SK anymore, but Playup Perth will be back very soon. Thankfully, we won’t be running the event in a void; you can catch us down at the delightful Nostalgia Box! Stay tuned for more info!