CRISPR Crunch virus busting, gene-editing puzzler reigns supreme and takes the crown at The Big Indie Pitch at Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #6
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 to continue highlighting the best indie games in development through our next digital Big Indie Pitch.
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 French developer Play Curious’ CRISPR Crunch being crowned the winner.
Of course, CRISPR Crunch, 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 CRISPR Crunch, but also our runners-up from The Big Indie Pitch at Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #6 sponsored by Kwalee.
1st Place - CRISPR Crunch by Play Curious
You'd be forgiven for being sick of viruses, bacteria and all things related given the year we've had, but that fact alone speaks to how engaging and interesting CRISPR Crunch is. Despite this, the game was able to grab hold of the judge's attention and not let go thanks to a range of new and exciting ideas that are seamlessly blended with some of mobile gaming's most established mechanics.
As such, players can look forward to a free-to-play and mobile-first tile-matching puzzler in which players must defend their bacterial cell against waves of attacking viruses by matching their DNA sequences. This isn't all though, as the game also looks to immerse the player in a fascinating world of microbiology and real science. Finally, through the aforementioned Crispr, players will even be introduced to ideas such as gene-editing and the potential to alter life itself.
2nd Place - Giants: Feats of History by Pocket Sun
In this collectable card game, players will be able to collect and then battle with an array of powerful and influential figures from the history of humanity which have all been stylishly redesigned. That's not all though, as this is done whilst travelling through the ages and achieving amazing feats, such as toppling kingdoms, the foundation of philosophies, or even the creation of items we now take for granted such as the lightbulb and the internet.
In fact, these feats aren't just for show, as each of them will grant players powerful bonuses that will assist their progress, and the first to achieve three feats will ultimately win the game. Additionally, in Giants, you will also be given the opportunity to choose a powerful, life shattering-event, such as the fall of Rome, in order to completely refresh the game and turn the tables in your favour. Through the game, Pocket Sun seems to be in a perfect position to create an engaging and exciting game that shines a light on humanity's past, whilst also introducing new and refreshing mechanics to the collectable card game genre.
3rd Place - HIX by GAMEDIA
In this charming puzzle game, players must assist Hix in his quest to restore a range of islands after a destructive event caused by his brother Dix. You see, Hix and Dix aren't usual brothers, in fact, they both have God-like powers. These powers have always been used for the good of the islands, that is until something caused Dix to use his for destruction, specifically, destruction of the beautiful islands they inhabit.
As such, it's now up to Hix to restore order. To do so, players will take control of Hix and utilise his powers in order to swap land tiles and ensure all roads lead to where they once led. This in turn will allow the citizens to slowly return to their normal lives and help in the rebuilding process. Of course, that's not all though, as along the way you'll also be able to recover some of Hix's most valued possessions from Dix all whilst visiting a variety of different islands across 180 levels in a quest to hopefully mend your broken brotherly relationship.
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 the game.
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 its evolving gameplay.
Box It Up! Inc. by team TAPE
Welcome to Box It Up! Inc., a vertical scrolling action-puzzle game set within a sweet pixelated universe. Within the game, players take control of a box packing line and must place the right packages in the right boxes before the end of the conveyor belt. Of course, as with any good puzzle game, things get more and more challenging over time, with unique challenges and living conveyor belts.
However, the developer team TAPE is determined to make the game as accessible and enjoyable as possible. As such, alongside a challenge that is accessible to all, the game also offers accessibility support for the colour blind, 11 languages, and no requirement for internet access. Finally, the game of course offers a range of collectables such as unique skills and accessories to help increase the cute factor even more, alongside a range of mini-games to keep you playing long after all the orders have been sent.
Gamedev Beatdown by QYJO Private
If you were a game developer, what kind of developer would you be, and what kind of games would you want to create? These are all questions the Gamedev Beatdown puts at the core of its game. Want to create a game for good? You can do that. However, equally, you’re free to put your team under crunch within this turn-based combat and narrative game in which you take on the role of a leading game developer.
If that sounds a little too simple though, then that’s because it is. You see, whilst you can do what you want, you may find that your colleagues have something to say about these decisions too, and in many cases, they may fight you every step of the way. What’s more, you may find that the arenas for your combat could in some cases resemble the game you’re actually looking to create. As such, creating an experience that is not only unique but also blurs the lines between the developers' world and the experience you’re wanting to create.
Super Ball Jump: Bounce Adventures by VUXIA
Imagine a traditional 2D platformer, but with the control scheme of Angry Birds and you’ve got Super Ball Jump. It sounds like it shouldn't work, but actually what VUXIA has created here is a unique platforming experience, one that encourages precise movements, and is perfect for touch screen controls.
That’s not all there is to the game of course though. As much like any good platformer, there’s a wide range of obstacles and enemies to work your way through as you look to rescue all of the roller Yeebees, all of which exist across more than 80 uniquely crafted colourful and engaging levels. Oh, and who could forget the mascot, who in this case is a loveable and spirited blue bouncy ball.
Drift Royale by Zaibatsu Interactive
Drifting is the name of the game within Zaibatsu Interactive’s latest production. However, it’s not the only skill you’ll have to master if you want to be victorious in this dangerous arena where the last vehicle standing is not just the winner, but the only one allowed to leave.
You see, within the world of Drift Royale players must drive across a variety of war-torn battlefields, scavenging for new weapons and upgrades for their precious vehicle, all whilst exploiting all of their driving skills, and every item and upgrade at their disposal in order to both dodge and destroy their opponent's vehicle.
SAI Warriors by Shezo Games
In SAI Warriors you are one of the most elite teams of space troopers the universe has ever known. Of course, this means that it’s your responsibility to protect the colony from the various invading alien spacecrafts.
The gameplay itself takes the form of a match-3, and despite utilising an established gameplay mechanic, there will of course be many challenges to overcome. However, alongside this, players will not only be able to test their skills against other players within the PvP Arena, but they will also be able to team up in order to take down some of the more challenging invaders. Finally, there will of course be a variety of different weapons and ships to collect and utilise as the increasingly more powerful invaders arrive.
BlazeRacing by Velocitorq Games
Created by just two developers, BlazeRacing is a real-time online multiplayer racing game developed first and foremost for mobile platforms. As such, players can look forward to a game that will allow them to compete against other players from all over the world in real-time, whilst also offering graphics created using the Unreal Engine, and an extensive range of vehicles and courses.
That’s not all though, as players will also be able to pull off stunts mid-race in order to earn coins, whilst also being able to duke it out for that coveted place at the top of the various leaderboards. Finally, there will of course be a single-player mode for those who want to duke it out against the computer or practice their skills before heading online.
Beyond Space by Made With Jam
Inspired by the classic shmups of old, but infused with a little bit of modern mobile sensibilities, Beyond Space is a stylish hyper-casual lane-dodging space game. One in which the player must dodge enemy fire, battle through the waves of enemies, and face down skilled bosses. It’s also built so that it can be played exclusively with one hand, and in very small bites too, making it the perfect game for byte-sized gaming.
SUPERPUNK Tactics by LIVA Interactive
SUPERPUNK Tactics is an asynchronous, PvP turn-based tactical RPG in which three factions find themselves locked within an eternal conflict. You take the role of a fighter within one of these factions, before embarking on a quest to lead your faction to victory.
As with any great tactical RPG, players will have a lot of different abilities and teammates at their disposal in order to lead them to victory. These include the ability to manipulate the environment, a variety of status effects and weapons, and of course unique talents. All of which can be combined in a variety of different ways in order to make a strategy truly your own.