Behind The Frame paints a perfect picture and walks away winner of The Big Indie Pitch at Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5
Discover all the indie games pitched at our most recent digital Big Indie Pitch
The mobile games industry has long been known for all of the unique and different independent games that can be found around every corner within the various app stores. From the likes of Florence, to former Big Indie Pitch winners like What The Golf!?, we’ve seen many go from breakout hit to stardom. Nevertheless, with the potential next big thing hidden behind every corner, it can sometimes be somewhat hard to discover that next indie gem.
Well, this problem is exactly why we set up our regular international competition for indie developers, The Big Indie Pitch, around 8 years ago. From San Francisco to Hong Kong and everywhere in between, we currently run around 20 of these global events a year in order to showcase all the amazing new indie games in development. Of course, there are prizes and international recognition, but the reward is the chance to show all of you readers some of the latest games in development.
It’s 2021, and whilst we’re still keeping socially distant, that doesn’t mean that The Big Indie Pitch can’t continue to highlight all of the amazing indie talent found all over the globe. 2020 saw us place the spotlight on so many amazing games, all of which were covered right here on Pocket Gamer, so whilst we obviously can’t wait to get back on the road, we were understandably excited for the first digital pitch of 2021.
Much like with our previous digital pitches, the demand for our next digital pitches was as high as ever, with 13 of the most exciting developers battling it out for the crown. Nevertheless, three games rose to the top, with Taiwan-based Silver Lining Studio’s Behind The Frame being crowned the winner.
Of course, Behind The Frame, as you already know, was the winner, but we always award prizes for the top three. So read on to not only find out more about Behind The Frame, but also our runners-up and honourable mentions from The Big Indie Pitch at Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5 sponsored by Kwalee.
1st Place - Behind The Frame by Silver Lining Studio
Behind The Frame is a game that seamlessly blends escape rooms room mechanics with a deep narrative. All of which has been done with the aim of creating a profoundly interactive storytelling experience that focuses on the characters' emotions and plot development.
What's more, it does this by utilising 360° panorama techniques and a gorgeous hand-painted art style in order to truly take the player into the world of Behind The Frame. To say that the judges were impressed with this game doesn't do it justice. In fact, it was considered to be one of the most complete games we've seen at the pitch, and in many ways was like an animated film come to life.
2nd Place - Cards of Terra by Everyone Is Solid
Cards of Terra is a game that seamlessly combines ideas from a wide range of globally popular card games, including the likes of Magic: The Gathering through to Solitaire. On top of this, it also features a charming story about an alien process stranded in a fantasy realm.
As such, what began as an abstract game about subtracting numbers on the cards of different colours, evolved into a heartwarming story about loyalty, belonging and being selfless. Of course, on top of the new mechanics and the deep story, players can also look forward to 80 campaign levels and a deep and diverse deck-building game where players can create their own unique and custom decks.
3rd Place - Arenas of Ryst by Forgotten Machine
Arenas of Ryst offers a simple yet exceedingly tantalising prospect. Imagine Clash Royale meets League of Legends and you've got the idea for this deeply addictive arena battler.
Within the short and snappy PvP / PvE, up to four players have three minutes to claim victory as they compete across three different arenas. For those who love fast-paced and addictive arena battlers, this may just be one key game to watch as it prepares for release next year.
Honourable Mention - Gleem Lands by 1titled Studio
In Gleem Lands players are offered a deeply strategic mobile-first game. One filled with collectable cards and multiple game modes, all of which promise to offer the player a slow burn of newly revealed content over the course of their time with it.
Of course, it's not just new gameplay that's on offer, as Gleem Lands looks to constantly keep itself fresh and new through collectable rewards, ungradable troops and strategic multiplayer action alongside it's evolving gameplay.
Honourable Mention - Archipelago by Shalev Moran
Described as a cyclical adventure game, Archipelago is an experience in which each day in the real world offers up its own unique and fresh stage. As such, creating what you might call the ultimate bite-sized experience that encourages repeat play but never outstays its welcome.
What's more, as players return to the game, they will slowly uncover more and more secrets over time. In turn, seamlessly blending traditional adventure game narrative design with the "daily challenges" of modern casual games.
Police Sentri by Studio Kamii
Taking its inspiration from the age-old childhood games of “Cops and Robbers'' and “Hide and Seek”, Police Sentri is a multiplayer co-op party game in which players take the role of either a police officer or thief before trying to either capture or evade the other players. For the police to win they simply need to apprehend the criminals. However, for a criminal to win they must be holding the stolen goods when the timer hits zero.
Of course, this sounds simple, but players will be able to use a range of comedic power-ups and abilities, including potholes, radar locators, banana peels, lock-picks, and even the fury of a Goose in order to claim victory. Through Police Sentrii, Studio Kamii hopes to take everyone back to their childhood whilst also taking the ever increasingly popular party genre to the next level.
The Firefighter by OCD-2D Studio
In this endless runner, you take on the role of a firefighting cow named TeeTee who utilises its udderley brilliant body to put out fires through the use of natural milk. Moving seamlessly from one world to another, it’s TeeTee’s job to tirelessly protect the world from errant fires that seemingly won’t stop sparking.
Of course, on top of TeeTee’s natural Milk, players can also use special abilities throughout the game, collect special skins, and even discover secret levels if certain conditions are met. Finally, it isn’t just endless firefighting as TeeTee will also be challenged with overcoming challenging bosses.
Spyris by BuildMoreFun
In the words of the developer “Spyris is a pulse-pounding, brain-twisting, colour-matching game”. These words may come directly from the developer, but they are hard to argue against.
In Spyris players must perfectly drop crystal blocks in an extra-terrestrial environment, all whilst avoiding black holes and other obstacles. This is all backed up by a fitting soundtrack and a range of special effects, all of which create an atmosphere of fast and frantic action.
Idle Tower Builder by Airraport
Idle Tower Builder is the latest game from the award-winning indie game development team Airraport, and already has had more than 10 million players online. In Idle Tower Builder you are in charge of building the world's highest tower. To achieve this you will have to mine resources, utilise the help of the local people and animals alike, and of course, buy and sell your ever-expanding array of resources. Resources that begin as simple tools, but later can expand to scientific knowledge and never before seen artefacts.
Sounds simple right? Well, that all depends on you, as you’ll be able to make this tower in any way you want. Fancy adding a blimp refuelling station? Well, you can do that. Or maybe attaching it to the Moon? You can do that too. In fact, your imagination may be your biggest obstacle.
Jumpers Zone by Mehregan Games
Jumpers Zone is a new take on the classic mobile genre of the endless runner. As you might expect, within the game the player will be able to jump, slide, and even utilise special power-ups as they look to keep powering on for as long as they can.
Of course, as you would expect, the further you go, the more coins and rewards you will earn. All of which can be used in order to buy not only booster skills that will help you go even further, but also new characters and skins to play as the next time you step up to the start line.
Stevie Wonders Where The Keys Are by Have and Share
Stevie Wonders Where The Keys Are is a game that focuses on highlighting the everyday challenges of the visually impaired. Within the game, the lead character Stevie was once the very best Robot Pianist, that is until his visual processing unit was overloaded leaving him visually impaired.
Following this accident Stevie finds his eyesight to be either blurry, or sadly non-existent, and this is something replicated in the rhythm-based gameplay. As such, players are challenged to tap or hold the falling tiles, all whilst navigating with Stevie’s impairments and using their memory.
Finally, Stevie Wonders Where The Keys Are doesn't just look to give an insight into the world of the visually impaired but also hopes to improve their lives too by donating 50% of the game’s revenue to charities that benefit visually impaired people.
Neyon Clash by Reaktor Berlin
Neyon Clash is a real-world AR game that looks to take laser tag outside and onto the streets by blending the likes of competitive FPS gaming with AR features made popular through games such as Pokemon Go. Using this, they hope to create the world's first blockbuster real-world multiplayer action game.
Of course, in order to achieve this there is a lot of background expertise being put into the matchmaking and GPS functions in order to make the game both scalable, and most importantly fun. Maybe sometime in the future, your next battle with your friends may also put to test your local knowledge as well as your action-gaming prowess.
Click and Collect by Peacock Pie Productions
Click and Collect is a management video game that centres itself on the deceptively challenging life of a Customer Services Assistant. Some may think it’s as simple as merely serving the customers, however, you’ll soon learn there’s a lot more to juggle if you’re going to make your store a success.
From keeping customers happy, filling the shelves, taking deliveries, and even dealing with thefts and accidents, this is a game that will test all of your multitasking skills to the max. The game itself is split into stages that are scored out of three stars, with more challenging stages, power-ups and even an endless mode available once you have earned enough stars.