More than 20 independent video games will be on display at this year’s Fantastic Arcade, the third annual showcase of independent games from the organizers of Fantastic Fest.
Tournaments, panels, and special events will pack the four days of Arcade, from September 20-23. Fantastic Arcade is unlike any other games event, and the games it features ride the same unique wave of unrestrained creativity that the films at Fantastic Fest do. Even if you aren't a game buff, some of these labors of love may turn your head and introduce you to a new world of craziness.
For the very first time this year, game designers from around the world will also be participating in the new Gamemaking Frenzy- a 48 hour game creation event, based on a secret (and Fantastic) theme. Games from the Frenzy will be shown off in one of 8 custom built arcade cabinets that each house one of the featured spotlight games.
The following seven games will be showcased during Fantastic Arcade as part of the Arcade’s main competition:
FTL (Mathew Davis, Justin Ma)
FTL is a spaceship simulation roguelike-like attempting to recreate the atmosphere of running a spaceship exploring the galaxy. FTL allows you to take your ship and crew on an adventure through a randomly generated galaxy filled with glory and bitter defeat.
Hotline Miami (Dennaton Games/Devolver Digital)
Take a surreal trip back to the seedy back alleys of Miami's criminal underworld in the late 80s. You'll soon find yourself in a deadly maze of mystifying phone calls, ultraviolent encounters with the local crime syndicate and strange dreams of interrogative people wearing animal masks. What is going on and what are you willing to do to find out?
Super Hexagon (Terry Cavanagh)
Super Hexagon is a minimal arcade game that focuses on twitch reflexes and the interaction between music and gameplay.
In Unmanned you get to play the newest kind of soldier: one who remotely drops bombs on foreign soil during the day, and at night goes home to his family in the suburbs. In Unmanned, the conflict is internal -- the only blood you'll shed is from shaving cuts. But is there collateral damage in this new way of waging war?
Luftrausers is a stylish, tight & beautiful WWII meets Thunderbirds dogfighting game in which you control the experimental LUFTRAUSER airplane.
Super TIME Force (Capybara Games)
Super TIME Force is a rip-roarin’, run ‘n gun action game with a time-traveling twist that creates opportunities for both strategy and mayhem, or, “strayhem”. With an ingenious “time-rewinding” mechanic, STF takes the action to intense new peaks by allowing players to team up with their own past replays of a level in an utterly unique single-player co-op experience that sees all of your past-lives fighting together at once. It’s fun to play with yourself!
McPixel is a save-the-day guy that you guide through short challenges in an oldschool point'n'click fashion. The goal in each challenge is to prevent stuff from blowing up using available tools! You have only 20 seconds to save the day! Think quick!
In addition to the aforementioned spotlight games, Fantastic Arcade will also feature the following games throughout the four days of the festival:
Mirrormoon (Paolo Tajè, Pietro Righi Riva and Nicolò Tedeschi)
MirrorMoon is a first-person puzzle-adventure game set on a uninhabited planet that is experiencing a full solar eclipse.
Proteus (Ed Key and David Kanaga)
A game of audio-visual exploration and discovery.
Where is My Heart (Die Gute Fabrik)
In Where is my Heart? you play the story of a family of three monsters. The family lives comfortably in a tree in the woods until one day they lose their home and thus embark on a great adventure.
Octodad: Dadliest Catch (Young Horses)
Octodad: Dadliest Catch is the sequel to the splash hit, Octodad! This time, our cephaloprotagonist has gotten himself in a bind between his wife's mounting mistrust, and a disastrous trip to the local aquarium!
The Banner Saga (Stoic)
The Banner Saga is a role-playing meets turn-based strategy, wrapped into an adventure mini-series about vikings.
Realistic Summer Sports Simulator (Justin Smith)
A ridiculous multiplayer summer olympics game where the athletes are controlled by giant springs.
Scale (Steve Swink)
Scale is an experimental first person game that explores freely changing the scale of objects as a game mechanic.
POP: Methodology, Experiment one (Rob Lach)
In POP, the player plays through a series of erratic minigames stylistically tied with the music. The vignettes are interconnected by idiosyncratic videos creating a purposefully disjointed experience.
Russian Subway Dogs (Spooky Squid Games)
Experience the life of a stray Russian subway dog scavenging for food in this realistic simulator. Features doggies, Ruskies, and a proprietary vodka physics system!
Windosill is a toy-like puzzle game. There are no instructions or rules; instead, you are encouraged to discover the logic of each scene through exploration and play.
Gunpoint (Tom Francis)
Gunpoint is a creative stealth puzzle game that lets you rewire its levels to trick people. You're a freelance spy, infiltrating high security buildings with subterfuge, gratuitous face-punching, and an unusual type of electronic sabotage.
Lone Survivor (Superflat Games)
In this psychological survival adventure, the masked protagonist must escape from a city ravaged by disease, by any means necessary. Starving and exhausted, he has begun to question how much of what he sees is even real. A new kind of adventure where the choice of how to survive is up to you.
BariBariBall (Noah Sasso)
BaraBariBall is a competitive sports game for two or four players.
God of Blades (White Whale Games)
A love-song to pulp fantasy tales of yore, 70s synth-prog-landscape oddities, and forgotten places, God of Blades is a gorgeous, visceral sidescrolling physics-based sword-fighting adventure.
PID (Might and Delight)
PID is a platform game that will turn everything you know about 2D gameplay upside down.
The three founding members of Austin independent game community Juegos Rancheros -- Adam Saltsman, Wiley Wiggins & Brandon Boyer - curated this year's lineup.
About Fantastic Arcade
Fantastic Arcade introduces the worlds of fantastic film and independent games to one another over cocktails. At Fantastic Arcade, we showcase a curated selection of brand new independent games as well as a larger sampling of important groundbreaking independent games from the last couple of years, with international guest developers in attendance to show off their work, talk about the state of independent gaming via panels, and interact with attendees during play sessions and nightly parties and happy hours. We feel that video games rightfully belong side by side with shorts and feature films at Fantastic Fest. The artistic merit of these games will be honored with both audience awards and a juried competition. Admission to Fantastic Arcade is free and open to the public.
About Fantastic Fest
Fantastic Fest is the largest genre film festival in the U.S., specializing in horror, fantasy, sci-fi, action and just plain fantastic movies from all around the world. In years past the festival has been home to world premieres of THERE WILL BE BLOOD, APOCALYPTO, ZOMBIELAND and RED while the guest roster has included such talent as Mel Gibson, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Ryan Reynolds, Karl Urban, Josh Hartnett, The RZA, Dolph Lundgren, Jemaine Clement, Paul Rudd, Bill Pullman, Paul Thomas Anderson, Kevin Smith, Jon Favreau, George Romero, Darren Aronofsky and Mike Judge. Fantastic Fest also features world, national and regional premieres of new, up-and-coming genre films. The festival has launched and propelled the buzz for international genre hits like THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE, MONSTERS, TIMECRIMES and TROLLHUNTER. Fantastic Fest is held each year at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema on South Lamar in Austin, Texas. The Alamo Drafthouse was named the best cinema in America by Entertainment Weekly and features food and drink served to your seat without any disruption of the movie experience.
During his Keynote Address at the International film Festival Summit in Las Vegas, Variety president and publisher Charlie Koones listed Fantastic Fest in a list of “10 Film Festivals We Love,” a list which included industry heavy-hitters such as Cannes, Toronto and Telluride. We’ve also been named as one of the “25 coolest film festivals” and the “25 film festivals worth the entry fee” by Moviemaker Magazine.