Hoo-boy, there were a bunch of top games we saw during the Very Big Indie Pitch at Pocket Gamer Connects in San Francisco.
So many in fact that I simply do not have time to faff about writing filler fluff here in this opening paragraph, so let's just get on and see all the games that didn't quite snag the 1st place prize, shall we?
Battle Plans - C4M
In a shock surprise, the judges couldn't decide on a second and third place winner, so we decided to split the difference.
Battle Plans is the first of our second placers, and asks you to attack bases using units and heroes, and dominate the battlefield in order to clinch victory. Once you've done that, you need to then defend that location, setting up complex strategies in order to outwit your opponents.
Puzzle Drome - Asinine Games
Our second second place is Puzzle Drome, which is a play on words of "palindrome", as you're presented a grid of symbols and line them up in a way that looks the same forwards as it does backwards. If you're a perfectionist this game is absolutely for you, and will no doubt drive you mad in your quest for order.
Impulse GP – Ecotorque
There's a lot to be said for Impulse GP, a super quick racer with smooth controls and a satisfying boost mechanic.
Veiled Alliances – Bushi Go Inc
Less game, more filmic animation you can direct a little, the aspirations of Veiled Alliances were a lot more impressive than what the developer is currently showing.
Pigu's Polar Puzzle Pandemonium – A Puzzle a Day
The most adorable game I've seen at the event so far, you guide a penguin around an ice field to its mother, using obstacles to forge your path through the landscape.
Teetsie – Backpack Software
Let's be honest, Teetsie's visuals are a mess. But deep down there's the framework of a perfectly passable puzzle game here.
Sleep Furiously – Playmation Studios
You know those magnetic words you slap on your fridge and try to make linguistically surreal, often hilarious sentences out of? This is that, but digital.
Dirty Hal – PhyneGames
WarioWare by way of Ren & Stimpy. We only saw a little over 20 minigames in this attractively ugly compilation, but each seemed decent, and the character is strong.
Bazaar - Temple Gate Games
Shown on Samsung VR, Bazaar is an on-rails item collection game set in an Arabian landscape that just looks fantastic.
2Play Tap - 2Play Games
Tap your coloured dots, don't tap your opponent's coloured dots, collect bonus power ups, use the bonus power ups to mess with your opponent, in this single screen multiplayer title.
Fruit Folly – Stonethunder Games
Another title with slightly weak visual presentation but a decent game underneath. You guide a cheerful piece of fruit through a level collecting bits and bobs along the way.
Follow the White Rabbit – XEO Design
Oh man I'm excited for Follow the White Rabbit. Featuring talent from the team behind Myst, and sporting a dreamlike look, this first person VR adventure is shaping up very well indeed.
Puzzle Keep – Rocktastic
This was a slick free-to-play match-3 puzzle with a fantasy theme. It's not the most innovative thing we saw, but if this gets picked up by a big publisher, then it has the potential to go big.
Battle Group 2 – Bane Games
The best way I can describe this is "Missile Command, but way more explosive". You pick a huge battle cruiser, shoot enemies out the air, and look awesome doing it.
Chronoblade – nWay
A technically accomplished ARPG with an aesthetic skewed to an Eastern audience that places the emphasis on PvP combat and character customisation.
Moving Mazes – Cre80ve Games
The core idea of Moving Mazes – roll a ball about a landscape attempting to move through mazes – is fine. But the execution has already been done far far better by games that came out 5 years ago.
Smash Time – Bica Studios
So with Smash Time you see monsters rock up onto the playfield, and you then have to tap on them. But if they open their mouths first, don't tap on them, because they'll eat you. Weird, but oddly fun.
Precious Bees – Pixelbizarre
You control a bee and must guide it onto seeds to pollinate flowers. The flicking mechanic is definitely satisfying, and the presentation is all sorts of lovely.
Trial By Viking - Last Life Games
This was a solid platformer with neat ideas about special power ups and combat. It's coming to touchscreen devices, though the controls felt a little awkward and unresponsive at this stage.
Wizards of Prestige – Loqheart
How this didn't get into the group of winners I'll never know. Take a bit of the Harry Potter series, a sprinkling of Theme Hospital, a dash of The Sims, and mix it all up, and you've got this blinder.
Death Block – Polycarbon Games
A two player single device multiplayer game that was basically an evil Connect 4. The visuals could use another pass, but the fundamentals are undeniably solid.
The Painter's Apprentice – Luminosity Mobile
A game about art in which the art isn't good... The Painter's Apprentice also has clumsy controls for an action platformer where you want precision and accuracy over where you're jumping.
The Bridge – No, You Shut Up Games
This co-operative space sim has you command a specific section of a ship and working with others in an attempt to pilot through the galaxy and defend yourself from harm. Lots of promise here.
Puzzle Mayor – Digital Possum
By matching three numbered tiles of the same colour together you combine them into a higher figure, with the ultimate goal being to build out an entire town of ever more complex constructions.
Fliggles Rescue Adventure – Five Fans Productions
Fliggles is a puzzle platformer where you tilt the device to guide a little purple dude around increasingly more complex stages, utilising his ability to inflate and float occasionally.
A Tale of Two Blocks – BriGeorge Entertainment
Co-op puzzler where two players must work together to guide the block they each control to an end goal. A simple idea, executed with aplomb, and one we're keeping an eye out for.
For a chance to win thousands of dollars of advertising and to see your game in an article like this one, register now for the Big Indie Pitch at Gamescom and the Very Big Indie Pitch at PGC Helsinki.