Even though EGX Rezzed is an indie showcase, there’s often a notable presence from some larger companies wanting to pitch their upcoming games to attendees. One such company who had a large presence was Double Fine, keen to not only show off the soon-to-be-released Full Throttle Remastered, but also provide a platform for some of their other games, such as the recently released Everything – which you can read Tuffcub’s review of here.
Full Throttle Remastered | PC, PS4, PS Vita | Double Fine | April 18 2017
Here’s an interesting little fact: the demo shown at Rezzed was apparently a purposefully remastered version of the original demo that was shown to the press in the 1990s, rather than a cut of the final project. It’s a nice touch for showing off a small slice of the game.
With the retouched visuals, with their widescreen and higher resolutions, mean that switching between both retro and remastered modes reveals just how much has gone into sprucing Full Throttle for modern systems. It’s somewhat difficult to believe that Full Throttle isn’t currently commercially available on digital platforms, given that practically every other LucasArts adventure game except for the later Monkey Island games and Sam & Max: Freelance Police is.
The main changes to the gameplay mean cater to the use of a gamepad, requiring you to hold a button to bring up the options, then select the option you want – you can try to lick the dumpster, but it doesn’t get you very far! – then let go of the button. You can also use the right stick to highlight points of interest, which should make that pesky “secret door” puzzle far easier.
Chatting with Greg Rice of Double Fine about the remaster, he told me that the original recordings and assets were stored in archives at the Skywalker Ranch. He also said that Full Throttle is the last of the Tim Schafer games due for remastering, meaning that future remastering projects would probably need some more negotiation with LucasArts. It’s certainly my hope that Curse of Monkey Island or Sam & Max: Freelance Police get the remastering touch.
Ooblets | PC, Xbox One | Glumberland & Double Fine | 2018
What was shown of Ooblets was of a very early build of a game that looks like a mix between Pokémon, Animal Crossing, and a little bit of Harvest Moon. Wandering around town, it seemed that defeated monsters and trainers give you seeds, which you then plant and grow to cultivate crops to help befriend other Ooblets.
It’s certainly an endearing effort, though time will tell just how this game will appear in its release form next year. That said, what was demoed was so early, that it could be subject to huge additions down the line such as running your own shop and selling your surplus crops.
According to Greg Rice, the game is being developed by two developers with assistance from a third for things like Ooblet designs. Ooblets is very far from being completed when compared to other games at the show, but may be one of those rare games that would appeal to a wide audience, particularly those with smaller children.
Knights and Bikes | Foam Sword & Double Fine | 2017
Ever the ones for theatrics, Double Fine had opted for some unusual seating in the form of custom bikes. There was some sniggering when I sat on the smaller of the two sets of bikes, but I think that was mostly directed at Greg Rice who came in as my Player 2 and showed me around this imaginative game.
Courtesy of two Media Molecule alumni who wanted to branch out to make their own games, Knights and Bikes has two characters wandering around a world that has been conjured from their imagination. While the gameplay is simple to pick up, it has impromptu moments of competition in what is otherwise a purely cooperative game. Set in what is essentially a Stranger Things rendition Cornwall, there are a lot of British colloquialisms thrown in for good measure.
Players control two characters Both can attack normally, dodge roll, and also have a heavy attack that requires recharging. They even have attacks that require the both of them to coordinate, such as the water bomb heavy attack leaving a pool for the kicking heavy attack to splash in, covering a larger area.
There are also the bikes, which require a bit of pedalling and even have an inhaler to indicate when they are tired – they’re not actually asthmatic according to the devs.
If you think the visual style looks somewhat like Tearaway, bear in mind that Rex Crowle was the Creative Lead, bringing with him some of that delightful aesthetic from his time at Media Molecule. When chatting to co-creator Moo Yu, he described the art as being Rex’s signature style, and it’s certainly striking.
GNOG | PS4, PC, iOS | KO_OP & Double Fine | PS4 – May 2, 2017 (PC & iOS release – 2017)
A game about playing with “virtual toys”, GNOG is essentially The Room only with a more cartoony and trippy aesthetic. Puzzles are rather easy to grasp the main concepts for, and you can get through by clicking lots of different points until something happens. The levels I played included a tutorial to ensure the concepts were grasped, a level where I needed to free butterflies from a cyclops frog, and a space shuttle that needed repairs.
Releasing on PS4 with PSVR support in May, and launching later in the year for Steam and iOS, there are a couple of puzzles that went above my head during my short time with it. It was somewhat fitting that GNOG was to be found in the Leftfield Collection, as there were certainly some abstract thinking involved in solving the demo.
First I’d like to thank Greg Rice for being not only a pleasure to chat to, but also for being my guide to all the Double Fine games, as well as putting up with those tiny bike seats. We’ll have more coverage from EGX Rezzed soon, and you can check out our previews for Octahedron (with video footage here), Oh My Godheads and Augmented Empire from the show.