When Gaming Irresponsibly made it over to this year’s E3, we had the pleasure of making our way to the IndieCade booth for some one-on-one time with upcoming indie games. For those who don’t already know, IndieCade is one of the largest independent gaming events in the world. In previous years, IndieCade has played host to many of the industry’s leading indie games such as Limbo and Fez. This year, at E3, IndieCade did not disappoint. Games from all different genres, backgrounds and platforms were on display, and we had the chance to get our hands on some.
Coalesce is currently still under development from creator Jeremy Gibson, currently a game design faculty member at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts. While talking to Jeremy, he showed me some of Coalesce’s mechanics and gameplay. The game utilizes the touch screen mechanics of the iPad letting players touch and drag a line across the screen in an attempt to connect orbs of similar colors together.
While playing through the first few levels, there were only a few colors, and a few orbs. This was a great introduction to someone who has never played the game before, but as the previous levels were completed, the game became more challenging to complete. After the first few levels, Coalesce began adding more orbs, and more colors. The objective of the game is easy, in theory, but as the phrase goes, it is easier said than done.
The problem you will encounter with Coalesce is that when you mix even one orb of a different color in to an already existing array of orbs, the collection of colored orbs will scatter out, leaving you in an even worse position than you originally started. This makes drawing sharp lines and planning future moves very important as to not cause chaos. The mechanics were spot on, and the games was wildly addictive. Many profanities were echoed as I would place the last blue orb with the rest of its collected family, only to notice as the orbs drew closer together, that a yellow or pink orb had slipped in, scattering my cohesive family of blue orbs across the screen.
The game sounds easy and fun, but there is a catch. What really makes a game such as Coalesce stand out is the multiplayer. The game can support up to 4 players, all touching the same screen, trying to collect similar colored orbs together during the same level. This proves to be more difficult, as Jeremy, myself and another player were all trying to connect the orbs, while at the same time trying not to spoil already collected formations and trying to avoid stepping on each others toes…er fingers. This feature makes Coalesce a game that friends can play together, while interacting on the same screen at the same time, giving you that reminiscent feeling of playing multiplayer games locally with friends.
Coalesce looks like it will be a solid indie game for the iPad when it finally arrives in the app store, connecting friends together to achieve a common goal. Currently, the game is close to being finished, but with Jeremy busy with teaching at such a prestigious school, in a growing and successful department, he assured me that a September to December release date in most likely. Regardless of the release date, Coalesce looks like it will be an amazing game, and for those of you who love indie games, and have an iPad, it is definitely something to watch for.
Gaming Irresponsibly will be bringing you more hands on looks at some of the indie games featured at this years IndieCade E3 booth. Stay tuned for more updates on great indie games from developers all over the world, coming directly from the largest event dedicated to indie games, IndieCade. You can learn more about IndieCade at their website, www.indiecade.com!