Home Coded shows us amazing South African games


With the majority of videogames coming out of powerhouses like the US and Japan, it’s easy to think that the industry ends there. But this weekend at rAge we made it over to the Home Coded stand and got our mitts on the latest builds of several games conceptualised, programmed and made in South Africa.

Some of the games below are already out and available for purchase, while others are still in Alpha stage. For each we’ll indicate the game’s availability, but if they impress you enough every single one is playable this weekend at The Ticketpro Dome.

Clutch Fighter & Astro Gunner by Paul Campbell Potgieter

Clutch Fighter is a versus top down game that pits two players against each other to see who can turn the other to scrap the fastest. You’ll engage in a ballet of death as you drift and boost in a car around a field looking for a weapon pick-up while trying to avoid getting a rocket up your tailpipe. The game is instantly fun and stressful and we see a few grudges being settled.

Campbell's homemade enclosure for the hardware to run the game reminds us of an arcade

Campbell’s homemade enclosure for the hardware to run the game reminds us of an arcade

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Paul Campbell Potgieter, the games creator says that Clutch Fighter is still in Alpha and he’s unsure on how to proceed. The game will either be released directly to Steam soon with a smaller scope, or a crowdfunding campaign will be used to raise the funds and drastically expand it. You can follow its development @clutchfighter.

Astro Gunner isn’t at the Home Coded stand but Paul demoed it for us on his personal phone. The game has you taking the helm of a spaceship that uses your phone’s motion- sensors to aim its cannons in space. We were spinning around on the spot like a possessed merry-go-around shooting asteroids before they turned us to paste.

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No word yet as to when this will be released; Paul said he may just release it through the app store, but we’ll let you know if anything happens with it, because it needs to be played.

Invader Crush, Beat Attack & No More Boxes by Twoplus Games

Invader Crush is a: puzzle shoot-’em-up rogue-like game. Sound confusing? It’s easier in practice: shoot coloured blocks to try and force matches, which will advance you through level and award powerups. Die and the gig is up; all the powerups and advancements go down the drain and you’re back at the beginning. We won’t lie, we didn’t now exactly what we were doing here, but it was fun, damn it.

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Beat Attack is a little more straight forward as a rhythm puzzle versus game. Okay, we lied. Unlike Invader Crash this is just as difficult in play as it is in description. Two players (or one vs. AI) compete to match coloured blocks by moving them within a confined space. The only problem is that the movement of the cursor used to select the blocks ticks a long on its own with the player having minimal control. Oh, and the other player can attack you when they get a combo. Another huge feature of this game is that it is entirely controlled with a single input, which means it works great on the go.

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No More Boxes was probably the most fun we’ve had with boxes since Metal Gear Solid. It’s a straight up deathmatch where the only weapon is the titular cardboard cube. Each character has their own way of throwing, teleporting and punching boxes to kill the opposition, and death means switching to a new character with a new skill. It’s fast, it’s silly and it will trigger wrap rage.

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All of Twoplus Games’ projects can be caught up with on their website and they also earned many points in our books for the way they came up with to quickly switch between their three games. Using an Arduino connected to three buttons, a quick push will switch over to the required game in a flash.

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Ginjah by RetroEpic

Ginjah is a memory-matching game: flip two tiles over at a time and try and get a match. If you do the tiles stay face up, if you don’t they flip over and you need to remember their positions. Very simple, and not very exciting. But Ginjah makes it much better with the avatar of the internet: an asshole cat. While you play, said cat will mix the tiles around, block your options for play and generally just be a pain.

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Keep your cat’s eye on the RetroEpic site for Ginjah’s upcoming release.

Cadence by Made With Monster Love

Cadence is as much a music-creation tool as it is a videogame. By joining different points and forming shapes, you also create music. Waves of sounds pulse through the lines between points and need to be managed so they don’t shake the shape apart or collide with each other. Instead of a puzzler that rewards you with a new level, Cadence rewards with an awesome beat that you created.

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Expect Cadence on Steam’s early access sometime around February 2016, and keep up with Made With Monster Love on their site.

Battle Arena Drones (BAD) by Celestial

BAD will immediately be familiar if you’ve ever played Quake, with one big difference: you’re a flying drone. Moving and shooting in a 3D space is a really cool experience and the camera movement is seamless as you duck and dive. Every drone can be equipped with two different weapons, and we went full close range with double flak canons. This yielded… mixed results.

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If you’d like to play BAD, but can’t make it to rAge, Celestial is having a Beat which you can sign up for.

Among the Innocent by Zero Degrees Games

Among the Innocent is a first-person adventure game packed with equal parts mystery, seclusion and isolation. The small section playable has you tasked with escaping a cabin in the woods, but of course its not as easy as walking through the front door. If you get a chance to play this wear the headphones as the sound design is really important to getting the creepiness  through.

Among-the-Innocent-rAge-Home-Coded A public demo of the game is slated for next month with the full game coming next year. Another reason to head down and play this game: finishing the portion of the game on offer will end with a reward of a full comic giving some explanation and back story to the universe of the game.

Skadonk Showdown by Red Dot Lab

Skadonk Showdown is probably our favourite game from the Home Coded stand. Not only is it an absolute blast, but it is the most South African game we’ve ever seen. Think Crazy Taxi, mixed with Mario kart, and then make all the vehicles taxis. If you’re an internaational reader, we don’t mean the yellow cab or Uber variant, but the rolling Mad Max-esque vehicles widely used in this country.

The best part of it, though? There’s a button dedicated to sticking your arm out the wind, fist waving, while cussing out the opposition (in a made-up language).

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A single person is working on this game in his spare time from a full-time job, so it won’t be out “for quite a while”. If you want to check out the progress on it, head over to the official site.

Because on the above, and all the other awesome Home Coded games, we suggest you either head to rAge 2015 this weekend or follow the games externally. But preferably both, obviously.

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