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Studio Games Club Roundup #1

Every week, the studio takes an hour off work for something we’ve named “Chill Hour”. It’s a dedicated time slot for the team to relax, socialise and of course, play some games! Usually, Chill Hour involves multiplayer co-op games, but we’ve recently changed it up to include a Games Club.

What that means is a book club but for games, with one person recommending their game of choice, talking about why they liked it and what worked well, or not! Games are an art, and the best way to appreciate them is to talk about them to another person. For us, this also means learning from peers and celebrating other dev’s hard work! As such, this won’t be your typical games recommendation list, as we’ll be pointing out learnings or insights from a game developers’ perspective. Here’s what we played recently, enjoy!

Cult of the Lamb by Massive Monsters

Reuben showed off this lovely roguelike and town-and-farm management survival sim to the team, and the immediate point out was the fun blend of the two genres. The game has phenomenal art direction, with its character and environment design sitting between adorable and evil, fitting and complementing the themes of the game. Besides this, there’s quite a lot to do in-game, with plenty of quests from villagers, mini-games, and of course, the dungeon for players to fight monsters and explore.

One thing we noticed was the simplicity of the UI in contrast to everything on screen, which were design choices to maximise the game’s accessibility. There’s plenty of settings players can change to be able the enjoy the game, and it’s super cool to see! If you’d like to read a brief thread on the features, check out this thread by Will Mesilane, one of the devs for Cult of the Lamb.

Tangle Tower/Detective Grimoire series by SFB Games

As one of my favourite point-and-click murder mystery games, I decided to share about this delightfully charming game and its predecessors. Of interest was showing SFB Games’ past in Flash Games and their growth into a beautiful and memorable game like Tangle Tower. It was rather inspiring to see the hard work and love the devs put into these games and characters!

Besides that, I pointed out the lovely art direction in this game, and how wonderfully weird Tangle Tower, its surrounds, interior, decor and characters were. It’s a murder mystery mansion like Grimoire and Sally say, but it stands out bright and colourful against its peers- in the best way! The tie in of the game’s puzzles to the art and music made Tangle Tower really enjoyable to me, and I had an interesting time sharing this thread by Tom Vian, one of the devs from the studio, about Tangle Tower’s character animation system.

Screenshot of NBA Hangtime

NBA Hangtime by Midway Games

Ronnie shared an old childhood favourite with us, and it was great fun to see a different game genre! NBA Hangtime is a retro basketball arcade game, with plenty of special moves and effects to give the game lots of juice! To quote Ronnie, “it’s basketball, with the boring rules stripped out”. I enjoyed seeing the chaos jampacked into this simple basketball game, from flaming basketballs you’d spin and flip mid-air to dunk, to silly character creation systems. You could be anything from an NBA star to a giant werewolf shooting double dunks! (We named ours Grandpa.)

Another thing the team highlighted was the slew of entertaining and smooth animation. In particular, I enjoyed watching the over-the-top screen transitions/UI, as well as whenever a player got shoved onto their bum. It’s clear the developers prioritised fun for this simple 4 player basketball game!

That’s a wrap for this first installment of the game’s club roundup, till next time! Be sure to check out the games we shared 🙂

Pssst. We’re on Discord if you’d like to chit chat any time!


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