While some of the larger titles like LEGO DC Super-Villains
or Team Sonic Racing
still offer a local co-op experience, the mantle has mostly passed to indie games to sit friends and family in the same room and give them something on which they can work together. One of the good things about EGX is the number of games where multiple players can sit down on the same console and have a good time. This year was no exception. We've found five upcoming indie games that were at the show that cover a variety of genres and prove that there's plenty of life left in couch co-op gaming yet.
This title combines procedurally generated environments, quests, and events with a tabletop style turn-based RPG. Players assume the role of a party of three adventurers who answer a cry for help from the Queen of Fahrul. The King's murder has caused the underworld to rise up and bring chaos to the kingdom, and its up to you to send that chaos back to where it belongs. Up to three players can each assume a role of one of the members of the adventuring party in local or online co-op.
Distance of movement is dictated by randomised dice rolls, but players can decide where they head and in which order they wish to take on quests. Will you dismantle a strange structure, thwart an ambush on a settlement, or raid a dungeon looking for loot? As players complete tasks, more areas of the map are opened up, more enemies appear, and more diverse quests need to be tackled. Along the way, enemies will pop up on the map and you can attempt to sneak past, ambush them, or attack them directly but create enough noise to attract all of the enemies in the surrounding area at the same time. All battles are turn-based, and your success each time is determined by dice rolls, although you can use buffs to increase your chances of success. Equipment can be upgraded and new skills learned to improve your attack and defence stats. Just make sure you share the spoils of your success if you want to stay friends. You have until spring 2019 to decide just who those friends will be.
This dungeon mimic chest only contains a nasty bite
Originally supposed to be an update for the existing Kingdom: New Lands
, so much content was added to the Two Crowns
update that it had to be spun off into a separate game. Players explore the kingdom looking for resources before returning to build their kingdom. As players explore, they'll find treasure that can be used to pay for fortifications, new buildings, or labour. Archers can defend your settlement, but to be effective they'll need watch towers. Builders will happily upgrade and construct defences, and you can even employ a travelling merchant to find treasure for you. If you get bored of your pony, there's a rather fetching gryphon that's one of many alternative mounts players can use.
These were just the features available at the start of the game, but the update will also be adding many features, such as a campaign in addition to the more roguelike mindset of the modes present in New Lands
. Losing the crown will no longer mean the complete loss of progress, players instead being sent back to their previous island that's now in a state of decay. There will also be new defence elements, ruler skins, defined technology stages and season cycles. A new currency, gems, will be used to unlock places like Shrines and Hermits, although I never determined the purpose of these. Finally, Two Crowns
will be adding two-player local co-op so that players can choose to explore the world and build a kingdom together, or they can go off in different directions and create their kingdom quicker. The choice is yours when the game arrives on Xbox later this year.
I never got it to fly
In this twin-stick zombie shooter, players won't be taking on the roles of a bunch of ragtag human survivors. In fact, humans have been completely wiped out by the zombie plague. This means it's up to the animals to do the job of saving the world. Be it a pistol-wielding bear, elephant with a mini-gun, duck with a baseball bat, or a sloth with a flamethrower, up to eight players can join forces locally or online to make sure these anthropomorphic creatures are successful by defeating all of the zombies they can find.
Each animal has weapons that they can use better than others, while also having their own specialist skills. For example, the sloth can slow down time for everyone, while the elephant has an enraged charge attack that will send flying anybody that gets in his way. While the larger animals can depend on their size to survive, smaller animals are more vulnerable, but then they have the added bonus of being able to place defences like suicidal snails to help out. As the battle goes on, storks will fly across the battlefield and drop pickups that will come in handy, be it more health, grenades, or some other boost. Be wary of the special zombies that explode when near you, or those that spew toxic gas, but the real danger is the larger enemies like the demented clowns that can throw custard pies, the dinner ladies with huge and fairly heavy saucepans that they're more than happy to crack over your head. You'll be able to battle these when the game comes to Xbox One in March 2019.
London Bridge isn't quite falling yet
Officially, PC is the only platform for which Coatsink's physics puzzler is confirmed, but that's only because they can't talk about any of the others yet. Up to two players assume control of a pair of dogs that are connected together by an elastic, gelatinous mid-section. Using individual controllers or by sharing a single controller, each player will control one of the dogs as they work together to overcome the obstacles that get in their way of feeding an acorn to the giant worm that sits at the end of each level.
The concept is simple but actually putting the solution into practice is often far more difficult than it seems. Players will need to co-ordinate with each other as they stretch over gaps, grow jumpkins, herd small but irritating enemies known as munchlets, and cling on for dear life to stop the wind from blowing them away. As long as you can avoid shouting at each other, the game is a relaxing experience suitable for all ages. For now, the title will be coming to unspecified platforms in 2019.
This is easy on your own, but not so much when two players are trying to co-ordinate their actions
When told a title is a rhythm game, you likely have visions of hitting buttons in time to the beat of the music. Well, while certain elements of that are in this action adventure title, there's far more to it than that. As Melody, players must travel through the world of Symphonia while ridding it of the threat of darkness. Players must synchronise their attacks to the beat of the music if they're to be most effective. It's perfectly possible to spam attacks, but those that don't match the beat of the music will be far weaker than those that do.
With the use of a gun and a sword, you'll need to clear areas of close combat and ranged enemies to progress to the next area. Successful attacks yield blue orbs and when enough of those are collected, players have the use of a short-term ultimate attack, in this case a ferocious spinning attack that immediately wiped out most enemies. As players make their way through each level, there will be some contextual actions that need performing to the beat too, such as teleporting between islands or opening doors. The catch is you'll only successfully complete the level if you reach the end before the music finishes. It's possible for one player to do this on their own, but it's a lot more fun with up to four players locally or online. The title is due to arrive next year.
You must defeat all of those enemies before the gate at the back opens
Will you be playing any of these titles with your friends?