TAP TRICKS ollies up a skateboarding masterclass and walks away as Big Indie Pitch champion
Discover all the indie games pitched at our most recent 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.
After two years, it was finally time for the Big Indie Pitch to return to live in-person pitching, and what better place than our flagship show Pocket Gamer Connects London 2022!
This also meant the return of The Very Big Indie Pitch, this time sponsored by Agora and Lion Studios, with additional support from Kwalee. The Very Big Indie Pitch is our bumper edition competition where even more developers can pitch an ever-increasing range of brand new and diverse gaming experiences from some of the most exciting indie developers, not only from the UK but all across the globe.
Much like at Pocket Gamer Connects London 2020, the demand was incredible, and after filtering the submissions down we say 19 of the most exciting developers pitch their games to our panel of experts with the hope of walking away as the winner. Nevertheless, four games rose to the top, with TAP TRICKS by British developer Gesinimo Games being crowned the winner.
Of course, Leap, as you already know, was the winner, but the pitch was so close we not only had a joint 2nd prize, but also an honourable mention. So read on to discover more about not only these games, but every game that pitched as part of our return to in-person pitching.
1st Place - TAP TRICKS by Gesinimo Games
TAP TRICKS is a one-button skateboarding game in which each level becomes your very own personal skate park to mess around in. Going for an approach that favours accessibility and simplicity, what developer Gesinimo Games has done is create a game that can be enjoyed by all either in short fun bursts or repeated sessions.
Skateboarding game fan or not, the judges loved this game and thought it worked it so many ways making it an easy recommendation for all types of players. Simple, addictive, cute, and filled with creativity and possibilities. What more could you want from a game?
Joint 2nd Place - Billionworlds: Kingdoms by Billionworlds
Billionworlds: Kingdoms is a light Civilization-inspired game that places the focus squarely on multiplayer. Whilst many turn-based strategy games support multiplayer, their main focus is often on the one-player experience, as such Billionworlds saw this as an opportunity to take the deep and complex strategy games and make them faster, more intuitive, and much more multiplayer-friendly.
With support for 5v5 matches, simultaneous friendly moves, multi-platform crossplay, and asynchronous multiplayer game support with notifications, Billionworlds has created a game that they think fits their aims. Namely being a game that works around the player and their lifestyle, but without sacrificing any of the things that make turn-based strategy gaming what it is.
Joint 2nd Place - Our Last Halloween by Hamdo Games
Our Last Halloween is a thriller/mystery game that simply oozes the feeling of an 80s horror classic, as three teens attending a Halloween house party discover that not quite everything is as it seems. Within the game, players will take on the role of all three teenagers as they encounter a variety of supernatural events, all unique to that character.
As you can imagine, once the spooky occurrences begin it becomes a battle to see who, if anyone, will survive the night and uncover the truth. Survival is not a guarantee, though thanks to a range of options and possibilities players can uncover a variety of ways to make it to the sunrise in one piece thanks to the replayable experience.
Honourable Mention - MORSE by ALJO Games
In MORSE, players must use timing, tactics, and telecommunications in order to contribute to the war effort and hopefully turn the tide of The Great War. Throughout the game, players will step into the shoes of Ida Brockett, a woman working at a top-secret facility in the British Countryside, as she learns a lost language in order to send covert messages and intercept enemy orders.
That's not all though, as in between shifts, players will be able to wander the top-secret manor house and get to know a whole cast of characters within a deep narrative filled with secrets and intrigue. Do you have what it takes to change the course of human history and save the lives of millions all with the push of a button?
Antidote COVID-19 by Psyon Games
Antidote COVID-19 is a casual and addictive free-to-play tower defence title where the player assists the immune system in fighting off all manner of bacteria and viruses, including, as the name suggests, the genuinely scary SARS-CoV-2. Build as an addition to the previous Big Indie Pitch top three title Antidote, this release once again offers fun and addictive gameplay mixed in with opportunities to learn about the immune system, pathogens and how to stay safe from COVID-19.
What’s more, Psyon Games has joined forces with the World Health Organization (WHO), Unicef Finland and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance in order to make sure what is included within the game is accurate and reliable. All in all, in the words of Psyon Games “Antidote COVID-19 won’t cure anyone. However, a fun game is just what you need for the dreary lockdowns and quarantines. And real knowledge is always the best cure for fear, fake news and wild rumours”.
Investory by Investory APP
Investory is a financial education game for mobile devices aimed at children between the ages of 6 and 10. Originally devised in 2020, Investory hopes to offer a solution to the global lack of financial education among parents and children.
In order to achieve this, Investory “combines the scientific principles of learning through play and experiential learning with financial lessons, puzzles and missions that develop children’s critical thinking”. Of course, as the team point out, there may be other alternatives to this global problem, but none of those engages young children in learning about how to look after their money in later life in a fun and engaging manner.
Life of Climb by Weirdos Klamber
In this climbing adventure, players will step into the boots of either Neil or Vanessa, two budding climbers each with their own strengths and weaknesses. From here you’ll then begin your mission to reach the summit of 80 vertically challenging stages that take place across a mix of both indoor and outdoor settings.
Throughout the adventure, you’ll be able to level up abilities and unlock power-ups as you journey from the climbing wall into the diverse and fascinating worlds of bouldering, sport, and trad. Of course, much like in real life there will be hazards to overcome, such as wet holds, rockfall and treacherous wildlife. Built with a focus on realistic climbing movement, ropework and falls based on 15 years of climbing experience, Life of Climb hopes to offer both climbers and non-climbers alike a fascinating experience within the exciting world of rock climbing.
Logic Gate by Solar Flare London
With a focus on good old fashioned mobile-focused gameplay, Logic Gate offers players an endless arcade rhythm puzzle game that is equal parts gameplay as it is presentation and style. The gameplay challenges players to travel vertically down the screen in an attempt to collect Logic Gates.
Of course, it’s never as simple as it sounds, and players will have to collide with wires in order to set the charge of your gate to on or off. Match the charge of the gate to the barrier and you’ll be able to proceed, get it wrong, and well I’m sure you can imagine what happens.
Skyrise by SPECTRUM48
Skyrise is a brand new driving game that places narrative and storytelling at the forefront of the experience. Set in the British city of Bristol in the year 2071, you play as Atica, who has no choice but to win the upcoming race to pay for her terminally ill brother’s healthcare. However, she’s not the only entrant with a deeply personal reason for entering and no other choice but to win the championship.
Interestingly, it’s not just the story that drives the narrative, with the gameplay doing this too. You see, each racer behaves differently on track based on your relationship and their allegiances. For example, allegiances will come to your aid whilst enemies may even forfeit positions in order to drive you out of contention. Additionally, as you might imagine given the setting, it won’t be any old vehicles you’ll be driving. No, this time players must wrestle control of high-speed anti-gravity ships, which of course includes boosting, and even shooting.
Auto Tactics - Battlebound by Z3 Bros Studios
Through Auto Tactics - Battlebound, Z3 Bros Studios hope to offer a new mobile auto-battler that is not only easy for new players to jump into, but also has a lot of depth for high-level competitive play. Unlike many auto-battlers, Z3 Bros Studios aims to offer depth in gameplay, not from excessive rules and combinations, but from strategy, placement and resource management, in turn making something different yet similar at the same time.
All in all, the goal is to create something that new players who often find themselves overwhelmed can jump straight into and enjoy, but at the same time can take this popular genre to places it has not been before.
Furrl World by Studio Maan Bijster
Cute is the name of the game when it comes to Furrl World. Focused entirely on cute little characters known as Furrls, Furrl world allows you to take your cute little buddies and place them into a range of games and challenges as you, the player, train them to be the best they can be.
Interestingly though, this training is smarter than many might think. Show your Furrl how to play a specific game and its neural network brain will gradually learn your playing style. After which you can relax and watch as the drama unfolds and your Furrl battles for the win. Of course, each Furrl has its own abilities, strengths, and cuteness factor. They’re all customisable too, all of which combines to make a game that is highly personal to each and every player.
Go Fashion by Go fashion
Go Fashion is a hybrid experience that looks to seamlessly blend the fashion world with a story-based casual game all about fashion. As such, it is being developed as both a game and a service, and promises to offer players not only the ability to enjoy a digital fashion world, but also the chance to win real life designer items, such as bags, shoes, jewellery and make-up.
That's not all though, as players will also be able to attend fashion shows via integrated AR technology. All in all Go Fashion promises to be a fascinating blending of games and the real world, and is a title fashion fans should keep a close eye on.
Aequaland by Aequaland Studio
Aequaland is an inclusive educational platform for kids that aims to place self-discovery and emotional intelligence at the heart of its brand new vision for the metaverse. Of course, given the focus on building a child-friendly platform, one of the priorities is on making Aequaland an inclusive and safe space. As not only is this vitally important for safety reasons, but it’s also important for encouraging learning and limitless creativity.
Beyond this, ensuring that the educational elements are delivered through fun and engaging gamification is another focus, as is making sure that Aequaland provides children with opportunities to develop the emotional and cognitive skills that are vitally important to 21st-century life.
eQuoo - Lodestar by PsycApps
In many ways, eQuoo can be seen as more than just a game. Whilst successful as an evidence-based mental health game that was made with the aim to boost resilience, relationship skills, enhance personal growth and lower anxiety, developer PsycApps has recently decided to take this premise to the next level by adding a narrative and core game.
This isn’t just any core game though, as the 52 stage Lodestar adventure seamlessly blends the psychological benefits with in-depth gameplay and narrative. A narrative that sees players taking on the challenge of finding the psychologically transformed Lodestar people in order to help rid the world of greed, corruption and pain, all of which has become collectively known as The Quavering.
Scooteroo by Oddbrain
Do you hate all those electric scooters that keep appearing in cities across the world? Well if so, they do we have a game for you. Based on the idea of taking revenge upon the neverending array of scooters, in this comedy filled game, you must act fast and eliminate all of the scooters as efficiently as possible.
Gameplay focuses on a mixed-genre reflex and tower defence mechanic, and of course, as you might imagine, things are not as simple as they may seem. If you’re not fast enough then scooter fans will become angrier and angrier before trying to stop your mission. Although, you can of course enlist the help of fellow civilians and build a team to help release some of the stress of everyday commute in the scooter-polluted cities.
Cepheus: Space Mercenary by Apophenic
Cepheus: Space Mercenary' is a narrative-driven 2D retro sci-fi action-adventure. One that includes a range of interesting offerings, including pausable real-time combat, conversation choices, randomly generated levels, and even a deck-builder style narrative progression.
Of course, that’s not all, as, in order to survive, players will be faced with having to loot spaceships, fight off intruders, rescue survivors, purge infestations and even explore strange worlds. All of this will of course shape your reputation. However, whether that reputation is positive, negative, fearsome, tactical, cowardly, or anything in between is entirely up to you and your actions.
Goalscorer by SG Organisations
Taking inspiration from the Granddaddy of all games Chess, Goalscorer is a game that looks to blends the deep timeless strategy of Chess with all the thrills of the world’s most popular sport, Football. So if you love football, but would rather play a game that focuses on step-by-step strategy play, then this could be the game for you.
Utilising a fully custom traditional format strategy game template, Goalscorer offers both single-player and multi-player Synchronous gameplay options, alongside tournament modes and of course a range of customizable in-game features such as teams and stadiums. What’s more, this will all be offered as a free to play experience, so as many as possible can enjoy the deep strategy of the beautiful game.
Secret Hero Circus by Silver Stream Studio
Secret Hero Circus is a mid-core RPG for mobile with management and idle elements. Within the game, the player manages a circus populated by ex-adventurers who tackle problems in the town the circus visits.
The game is currently in the early stages of development, and as such we sadly don’t have much we can show you. However, we can say that the judges really praised the building mechanics which they believe offer something new to a well-established genre, alongside the distinctive art style.
Stay tuned for more in the future.
Genie Battle by Narenjo
In Genie Battle players must utilise friendly Genies in order to take on horde upon horde of enemy skulls. Throughout the game, you’ll be able to acquire magical powers, enhance your powers, and even collect new genies to aid you on your quest.
There’s even a PvP competition mode so you can take on friends and foes alike as you look to become the best Genie collector the world has ever seen.