Published on December 12th, 2016 | by Craig Forshey0
Danish GameDev Students Release 6 Totally Free Games
With mobile gaming becoming more and more mainstream everyday universities have started to include Android as a target platform in their game development programs and in the case of one network of schools in Denmark Android has even become their default development platform altogether. Known as The National Academy Of Digital Interactive Entertainment this organization brings together students from schools all over Denmark in order to host a series of game development courses every year called DADIU that’s designed to simulate working in a fully fledged game company. Participating students are divided into six teams so that each team has all the necessary positions filled such as level designers, character artists, programmers and so on with their ultimate goal at the end of the semester to have released a AAA video game on par with or exceeding industry standards.
What’s really neat about this program is that it’s essentially a semester long game jam that gives students valuable real world experience about what it’s like to work on a fully staffed development team. Towards the end of the semester the six teams spend two months crafting their own dream game that will be launched during DADIU’s Graduation Game Production event throughout which the students can reach out to teachers and local experts in the game industry for advice but are largely left to their own devices in terms of the final product.
Interestingly, even though these are technically designed as free to play games all the in app purchases are either just for show and don’t actually cost anything or disabled altogether so players get to experience all of these games for completely free. In what’s become a bit of a tradition here at SGD we’re going to take a look at this years crop of games and see what the students have cooked up for 2016.
This dismally beautiful RTS feels like a cross between Fallout and the classic PC game Myth as players take charge of a nomadic tribe attempting to survive the post-apocalypse. Boasting a high degree of customization and great looking 3D visuals it’s up to players to lead these last dregs of humanity to relative prosperity by raiding other tribes for supplies, managing their village, and commanding them in combat. Rogue-like RPG elements such as foraging for better weaponry and a persistent upgrade system also play a large role with choosing when to fight being just as important as choosing how to fight since players can scout out upcoming levels beforehand to see if their tribe stands a reasonable chance of victory. With its excellent strategy mechanics and intricate character management it’s amazing such a great game is free.
Quest Of The Guardian
This unique pseudeo-shooter employs a clever touchscreen oriented combat system within the framework of a dungeon crawler to challenge players in a way that’s especially suited for mobile devices. As the guardian of a mystical temple that’s been mysteriously possessed by evil spirits it’s up to players to battle their way to the top and confront malevolent entities now inhabiting the temple’s sacred totem. Unlike many isometric rpgs that merely replicate controllers with a virtual gamepad Quest Of The Guardian instead uses a neat gesture command system that allows players to directly draw the path of their attacks for maximum damage to enemy hordes. In order to clear their way through each level players must defeat the evil spirits inhabiting the floor they’re haunting by whacking them about with fireballs and force fields until they turn into spiritual energy that can power the exit elevator. Well designed and highly stylized, Quest Of The Guardian is a novel entry into the dungeon crawler genre.
This chaotic arcade destruction game has a simple premise but makes great use of its physics mechanics to deliver something different. Players step into the shoes of one royally peeved off queen as they vent some anger by smashing every priceless heirloom in sight. Maximum property damage is key to winning as players must consistently destroy items like vases, paintings, and chairs in order to keep their combo going and prevent the timer from ticking down. The smashing based gameplay is further accentuated by neat physics fueled tricks like the ability to do a ground pound which flings surrounding items into the air so they can all be simultaneously batted by the queen around the environment for maximum points. A neat twist on the rampaging monster genre.
This absolutely charming three dimensional physics adventure has plenty of style to go along with its zany jetpack fueled antics. Players take on the role of a space station technician who must carefully boost around his asteroid damaged craft in order to recover his escape pod keys without getting into close encounters with malfunctioning machinery like power wires or giant fans. Endearing cel-shaded visuals, groovy music, and a hilarious quip spouting AI all help to give this 3D physics game a ton of personality. Throw that all together with great momentum based mechanics and procedurally generated levels and you’ve got a real keeper.
The Worst Knight
This clever action puzzler puts a humorous spin on your typical heroic RPG archetype as rather than achieving some daring do the objective in this game is to play as “poorly” as possible. Players take on the role of a legendary knight who is being forced into a marriage he doesn’t want as a result of his heroic deeds so they must ensure that he performs his knightly duties as badly as possible in order to tank his reputation throughout the kingdom. Rather than bash fantastical monsters in rote fashion players instead must try to get hit and overreact in front of the populace as well as engage in other self-defaming shenanigans like purposefully letting monsters terrorize the countryside. This unusual setup is used to great affect as what would normally be enemies in an RPG are instead taunted and coaxed into doing even more damage. An unexpected subversion of one genre into another with imaginative mechanics.
This frantic real time puzzler in the vein of Lemmings features challenging environmental design with a recycling motif both in its game mechanics and its narrative. In a dystopian future where global warming has reached catastrophic levels an evil corporation has declared that it is actually the penguins who are to blame and then proceeds to declare war on the fallaciously fingered flightless fowl. It’s up to players to lead these literally endangered creatures to safety by directing them out of the path of oncoming cliffs and traps set up by the corporation through the scant use of different guide posts that must be reused throughout each level. Fast paced puzzle solving and slick isometric graphics combine for some of the best gameplay of its genre.
Congratulations to all of this years DADIU students on the professional quality of their games!