Toronto After Dark 2012 Sidebar: Running Down the Darkcade

Over on my film blog, I just finished up my very extensive coverage of the 2012 Toronto After Dark Film Festival.

However, there were more than just films at this year’s festival.  Every night at Pub After Dark, there were a variety of independent video games on display, which was known as the Toronto After Darkcade.

In this post, I will give my brief opinions on the games I saw in the Darkcade.  Some I played hands on, while others I just observed.

Let’s Begin

Games I Played

Tales From Space: Mutant Blob Attacks
This is the only game I recalled from the week that wasn’t played on a PC.  This PSVita game is a platformer, which allows you to control a blob that devours everything it comes across.  The main goal is to devour enough objects, so you grow to the right size to pass through doors.  There is also some additional tricks, such as magnetism and using a touch screen to move obstacles. Overall, this was a very fun and well done game and I quite enjoyed playing it.

At first glance, you won’t understand why this platformfer, in which you control a flower, was included in the Darkcade.  However, a large aspect of the game includes alternate dimensions, which include darker imagery.  In addition, eventually you get to a level that’s really dark and features scary things, such as claws coming out of pits. It was definitely a fun and enjoyable little game.

European Rainbow Training 
If there is one thing I can say about this game, it’s that it would make you dizzy playing it.  You play a little coloured dot, which has to get to the middle of a maze.  It may sound easy, but the gravity in the level shifts and you have to physically walk around the table to regain your bearing.  It’s definitely a videogame that will allow you to get exercise as well.

Strike of Rage 
If there is one thing that is notable about this game, it’s that you are playing a character named Johnny Cash.  The game is a simple Beat ‘em Up, which has you fighting against a variety of disgruntled office employees (and cat people).  It was fun.

Ghost Hunters 
One of the most well-done games of the Darkcade, this is a platformer that’s clearly heavily inspired by Ghostbusters. The goal to hunt all the ghosts in a level, the location of which on hinted to you through the sound of a heartbeat.  This is probably my favourite game from the Darkcade.

This game is best described as a mix between Super Smash Bros and volleyball.  It was a fun game to play, though the controls were a bit wonky.

Man vs The World
This is your typical “fly and shoot everything in sight” game.  However, there is a twist in that there are times when you have to abandon your plane and enter another one.  This is definitely the game I died the most in (but it was still fun to play).

Nitronic Rush
This 3D racing game definitely had the most impressive graphics of the bunch.  However, the controls were a bit on the difficult side and I spent a lot of time crashing my car. Still decent though.

Games I Only Observed (but are worth mentioning) 

Hotline Miami
This is a top-down game not unlike Grand Theft Auto. From what I got from my observations  you have to make clever use of the walls you hide from the enemies shooting at you from afar.

They Bleed Pixels
Of all the games that I never got a chance to play in the Darkcade, this is the one I wish I got my hands on the most.  As you can tell from the title, this is an ultra-gory 2D platformer, which looked like a hell lot of fun.  I’m definitely going to try and seek this one out

And that concludes my rundown of the Toronto After Darkcade!

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