With January nearly over, Codec Moments decided to take a look at some of the games that are scheduled for release in 2014. Later in the week we’ll be looking at some of the most hotly anticipated games due in 2014, but now for something completely different… Here are a few of the more unusual games coming your way in 2014.
Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (3DS), MAR-2014.
Law & Order is the third longest running series in the history of television in the United States, behind Gunsmoke and the Simpsons. The police procedural where criminal investigation formed the first part of each episode and judicial process the second, would open each week by stating: “In the Criminal Justice System, the people are represented by two separate, yet equally important groups; the police, who investigate crime and the District Attorneys, who prosecute the offenders. These are their stories.” Sadly, the coming together of two of Nintendo’s handheld titans is not as dramatic, nor as promising.
The game will feature two distinct styles of gameplay, Adventure and Witch Trial, which closely resemble the gameplay styles of the two respective series. In Adventure sections players can hunt for clues as Professor Layton and explore the world solving puzzles. During the Witch Trial you will control Phoenix Wright and defend clients by cross examining witnesses and looking for contradictions between their testimony and their witness statements. How these sections mesh together is yet to be seen; it would be nice to have Phoenix take Layton apart on the stand, exposing him for his lackadaisical attitude toward paperwork and not properly observing the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, but something tells me that’s unlikely.
Throw Trucks with Your Mind (PC and Mac), MAR-2014.
The fantastically titled ‘Throw Trucks with Your Mind’ came about when games industry veteran, Lat Ware, launched a Kickstarter campaign raising $47,287 from 584 backers last year; the game is going to be a multiplayer game that harnesses the power of a player’s mind, to lift objects and hurl them across the map at the opposition. Larger objects will do far more damage, but will require greater mental control to lift and throw; this will be impeded by other players slowly chipping away at you with smaller objects. To do this the player will have to use the NeuroSky MindWave controller (or other compatible device) to measure your calm and focus, which will control the strength of the powers you can use in the game; calmness will control lifting and pulling of items, slow-fall and force field powers whilst focus will control throwing objects, super jump and invisibility powers. Not everything is mind controlled though, as players will use first-person keyboard and mouse controls to move and aim.
Game modes promised include your average Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch, alongside the more interestingly titled Capture The Fridge, King Of The Hill and Hunt The Hunters. Hunt the Hunters pitches AI characters armed with guns against you and your friends, armed with trucks and whatever else you can telekinetically transport in their direction. Capture the Fridge is unsurprisingly a take on your standard Capture the Flag mode, where the flag is a fridge; the interesting spin comes from the fact the fridge is the only large object in the map so throwing it at your opponents can be devastating for them, but it might just land nearer their base and make their job easier for them.
The concept art looks stylish and the developers describe their vision as silly, yet competitive; it’s slated for release in March 2014 and seems to coming on well (menus were added on 13-Jan according to their Twitter feed). My only question is: Will the game be enough to sell not only itself, but the essential peripheral too, which alone costs around £75.00 in the UK?
Bacon Man: An Adventure (PC and Mac), UNK-2014.
This quirky title from Massachusetts based developer, Skymap, was enough to pique our interest even though details are still thin on the ground. All we know at this time is that in this platform game you will play as the titular Bacon Man, the rightful heir to the Meat Throne, battling a ferocious fight across a planet filled with vibrant characters and epic lore. The game will feature online coop and there will be a toaster gun, which you can use to shoot cooked bread at your enemies. What’s not to love? We have, of course, requested some review code!
Boulder Dash – 30th Anniversary Edition (iOS, Android, PC and Mac), UNK-2014.
Several members of the Codec Moments team have fond memories of the original Boulder Dash that was first released for the Commodore 64 by First Star in 1984, before the NES version came along in 1990. This year sees the 30th anniversary and the original creators, Peter Liepa and Chris Gray, are collaborating for the first time since the release of the original to bring us the freemium title ‘Boulder Dash – 30th Anniversary Edition’. The new game will feature new puzzles and gameplay mechanics including advanced physics, diagonal movement and ramps, which will allow the introduction of over 50 brand new levels.
BigFest (PS Vita, PS4, iOS and Android), UNK-2014.
BigFest is an exciting looking free-to-play title from SCEE and developed by Sheffield based On The Metal, which puts you in charge of your very own music festival. The aim of the game is to build your festival from a disco on the village green, to a full on competitor with the likes of Glasto and Download. Helping you to do this is Big Dave and his team of roadies, who will guide you through the process of improving your festival by choosing artists and food, keeping the peace, repairing facilities and correctly placing speakers for the optimal experience amongst other things; the more you do, the better the vibe, which will please a growing crowd who provide appropriate feedback and allow you to expand your festival.
The most interesting aspect of BigFest is that you will select the acts playing your festival from a regularly updated catalogue featuring unsigned artists and a wide range of musical tastes; by growing your festival and creating a good vibe, you will promote these artists to your friends and other gamers through the game’s strong sense of community spirit and asynchronous multiplayer. This will also allow you to visit your friends’ festivals to rate them, or even create mischief by pulling audacious pranks, stealing their artists or sabotaging the event. BigFest looks like it could be the love child of Theme Park and MySpace and I for one, love the sound of that!