Five Video Games Made in Columbus (That You Can Play Right Now!)
You may be unaware that Columbus has an extremely active game development community. If that is the case, then do I have some cool things to show you! Columbus is the home to plenty of growing and established Game Developers, who have been creating video games for years. Let’s go through some of these developers and their games, that you can (and really should) play right now!
Lemma by Evan Todd
Lemma is what you get when you combine Science Fiction with YouTube parkour videos. The game plunges you into its surreal environment off the bat, and lets your parkour skills do the rest. After a short tutorial on the basic mechanics of the game, Lemma really opens up, allowing players to create new terrain while they move through the world. Using these mechanics, the player must climb their way through more and more abstract environments, solving puzzles by creating and destroying the environment around you as you play. There’s just something satisfying about running to the end of a platform and performing a roll to extend the ground beneath you, then using that ground to dropkick your way through the solution of a puzzle.
Smiling Cat Entertainment
OK, so I’m already breaking my own rules here, but Duke from Smiling Cat Entertainment has way too many great ideas to only highlight just one of his games. Smiling Cat is masterful at creating games based on some of the craziest concepts. Do you want to be a hoarder who needs to clean up your collecting habits before you get kicked out of your community? Then Dehoarder and its upcoming sequel, Dehoarder 2, is just for you! Maybe you’d rather play as an enraged restaurant patron who received a dirty fork with their meal, and decides that the best course of action is to start throwing food at everything and everyone in the room, in Dirty Fork: Unleash the Mayhem. Smiling Cat has a knack at making the mundane the absurd, and I’m always incredibly excited anytime I hear that Duke is up to another project.
You can play Dirty Fork right now on Kongregate (note that the game only works on Firefox), or download the game on the Smiling Cat website. You can also vote for Dehoarder 2 to make it onto the Steam platform on their Steam Greenlight Project, give them a yes and tell him Underground sent ya!
Forge Quest by Open Realms
Forge Quest takes what works great in dungeon crawling RPGs like Diablo and throws it into a Minecraft-style world made of blocks, thrusting you into a fun and lighthearted adventure. Forge Quest charm however, comes frome the game’s great sense of humor, such as a DMV style Adventurer License Bureau, where you can read through the journal of a would be potion master who starved to death waiting in line. Capped by solid gameplay mechanics, and a 4-player Cooperative mode that is a blast to play with some friends, Forge Quest is a great game to get a group of friends together and have a locally sourced adventure. Not to mention, you can throw chickens. What else do you need in a game?!
Hatch-It! by Multivarious Games
Let’s move from PC Games to the mobile market, and what better place to start than the company that I am a partner in and our first game. Hatch-It! is an iOS puzzle game that puts you in the role of a hastily built robot made by Dr. T, a modern day Tyrannous Rex scientist that has traveled back in time to save his prehistoric ancestors. You are then charged with the task of hatching and rescuing various types of dinos, then using their unique skills to solve over 70 levels. We are incredibly happy with the art style and feel like the game has the perfect mixture of difficulty to allow for everyone to enjoy saving the cutest little dinos from a fiery meteor-induced death!
You can download Hatch-It! on iOS now, with an Android port coming very soon.
Cubis by FreshGames
Rounding off our list is a game from Columbus’ most established studio, FreshGames. Headed by Stephan Smith, FreshGames was founded in 2002 and have since found a very comfortable home creating games for mobile platforms. My personal favorite game from Fresh is their first, Cubis, an interesting take on the match 3 puzzle game. In the game, players must solve premade puzzles by sliding different colored blocks from all directions and creating combos, known as a “Cubis”, to get the highest score. What really stands out to me in the gameplay however, is the addition of a 3rd dimension into the puzzles, allowing the cubes to be stacked by the game designers and players alike. Giving players blocks such as the “wedge,” that will put whatever block it hits on top of itself, turns Cubis from a standard match-three game into a 3D logic puzzle, allowing players to set up satisfying combos that require thought and skill in place of luck.
An upgraded version of Cubis can be downloaded for both Android and iOS for free right now, with the original version of the game hosted on FreshGames’ website.
So there you have it, five games from Columbus that you can play right now! What’s crazy about the Columbus GameDev community is that this isn’t even the tip of the iceberg. If I missed your favorite game made in Columbus, put them in the comments below or yell at me through twitter (@CodyWuzHere). Also, let me know what you would like to see featured in these articles or any questions you may have about the games industry.