Despite being a distinctly South African event, games made overseas are usually the main focus at rAge every year.
Venture past the larger stands and the main stage, however, and you will find the Home Coded section of the convention.
Here all the games and software on show are programmed on local soil. This is where you can catch fledgling games made here that have the potential to become internationally successful.
The best recent example is Semblance – a game we played back in 2016 that went on to become the first South African game to launch on the Nintendo Switch, and that’s saying nothing of the praise it received here and overseas.
Now in 2018 we’ve visited the Home Coded stand once again to see what the local developers have to offer.
If any of these interest you make sure to check them out and support their endevours. You can also visit rAge 2018 this weekend, which ends on Sunday, 7th October.
Aside from these featured there’s even more on show, so try and make it down.
If you like cartoony hack-n-slash games with a third person perspective, Akromah’s Tale is for you.
We played an early version of the game at rAge that two-person developer I.P Gaming has been working on for around two years.
Despite being very rough around the edges, we liked what we saw and played here and there’s the promise of a deep story to tie the action together.
Aside from battling with a large dual blade sword, there’s also spells based on elemental types to dispatch your enemies. Shoot a fireball, freeze enemies in an AOE with ice, all that good classic RPG stuff.
Availability: Planned for a late 2019 release on Steam
If you didn’t get enough close combat action in Akromah’s Tale, you may want to try out 4Pillars.
The aesthetic and general tone of this game reminds us of MediEvil, but you can trace this game’s DNA to many other franchises.
The controls are rather simple: there’s an on-screen joystick, an attack that can be charged, a block and a jump.
Use these to navigate various dungeons and slay a horde of enemies that dwell inside of them, but expect to die a lot. This is a rather difficult title and we bit it several times in the few minutes we played it. Patience is something the game’s page recommends you have to finish it.
This title is completely free for your phone or tablet of choice, so click the links below and have a try.
Calling Table Realms a simple game or app is doing it a disservice. Instead this piece of software is a platform – a type of middleware that makes playing its games, or other games, much easier.
Table Realms seeks to turn your phone either into a console unto itself or as a controller for another device.
At rAge you can see it being used as controllers for several small games that are hosted on a website. This is perfect for parties or any event where you want to play something fun with a group without the need for any other hardware or any large downloads.
That’s really the point here, using what everyone already has – a phone or tablet – and giving you an easy way to play as a group.
It’s API can also be used in existing games if you’re short on input methods. One such title already using it is the South African top-down shooter Vicious Attack Llama Apocalypse (VALA for short).
If you already own the game on Steam you can opt into the testing beta where a QR code will pop up on the screen. Scan this code with the Table Realms app and you can control your very own llama-killing mech from there.
But it’s much more than that. We spoke to one of the VALA developers and he told us that certain inventory systems such as the minimap were integrated into the screen for a more streamlined experience.
But that’s just scratching the surface of what this can do, and we’re excited to use it more in the future, especially as more developers make use of it. One exciting set of features we were told about are planned rewards for playing games. Developers Celestial Games (best known for Battle Arena Drones) envisions sitting down at a fast food place, playing through a game using their app, and earning a free burger for doing so.
See more of Table Realms on their official website and, if you’re so inclined, try an early version of it out with the link below. Make sure you let the devs know if you encounter any bugs or have any suggestions.
We’ll even go first: we think this would be a great way to play certain digital boardgames.
Availability: Available in open beta on Android