Edge Create Challenge 2012: Best of the rest
While there could only be one winner and two runners-up in our recent Edge Create Challenge, the diversity and quality displayed across all 50 entries to the competition, which tasked entrants with developing a game using Unity with the theme 'edge', is testament to the intelligence and creativity of the teams involved.
You can read more about the winning entries, along with interviews with their creators, in issue 243 of Edge, out July 4. Here, though, we showcase some of the games that, while not quite making it to the top three, made an impression on us and the judging panel.
By Murray Rogers
Missing a podium finish by a whisker, Rogers' entry delivers some Minteresque twitch shooting on the surface of a cube. Navigating a ship around the edges of the cube, players must shoot panels which appear on its edges before they turn red. As you progress through the levels, panels appear in greater numbers and change colour more quickly, while blobs that move around the edges and restrict your choice of path complicate things further. This is great zone gaming, and well worth a go.
By Giuseppe Longo, Giovanni Lucio Colì and Piero Molino
No, Birdie, No! sees you dangling off a cliff by your finger tips while the titular avian pecks at them. In order to avoid falling to a watery grave, you must hold down the ASDF keys, releasing the relevant key when the bird pecks at a finger. It's funny, of course, and perfectly captures the theme of the competition, but the odd decision to use the same keys for both hands over-complicates things.
If you've seen Vincnezo Natali's sci-fi film Cube, or played with Rubik's most famous toy, PopupAsylum's entry will feel disturbingly familiar. The goal is to collect a number of glowing orbs from within a maze of interconnected chambers which can be rotated, changing the orientation of rooms and the doorways between them. The position of orbs can be seen through walls in order to help you locate the remainder, but despite this visual aid, collecting the last few is a frustrating task. While the link above is to the game we judged, the team has since published an updated version with full instructions and a score sheet which you can find here.
By Minionworks Games
Red Chasm is a firstperson adventure in which you must solve puzzles to progress through a series of chambers set into a cliff face on Mars, where you're working as a scientist excavating recently discovered ruins. Progress is complicated by a solar-powered suit that powers both your torch, and 'oxygen converter'. Spend too long out of the sunlight and you'll perish – a curious design flaw for a suit worn to dig underground. Still, the presence of glowing, subterranean plant life mitigates the issue enough to let you spend longer periods exploring, and there's a competently delivered story between levels.
By Evandro Lins and Diogo Bazante
Rescher emulates the likes of Fez and Echochrome with its disorienting distortion of perspective. This isometric platformer allows you to switch between surfaces as you collect coins and keys in order to reach the exit. It looks great, and the idea's sound, but the whole game is hampered by unintuitive controls that resulted in us falling into the water below over and over again. With some finessing, however, Rescher could be a great puzzler.
By Daniel Vanches, Rodrigo Plata and Brizia Aquiles
Heaven's Edge takes the most satisfying part of Luigi's Mansion – the vacuum capture of ghosts – and applies it to a top-down arcade hunt in which you must try to clear a graveyard of ghosts. The spectres will chase you if you get too close, and are alerted by the sound of your Evil-cleaner Vacuum, so you must sneak up behind your quarry before flicking the switch and gradually draining its energy. Tension is ramped up by the fact that you can't move while using the vacuum, leaving you pinned to the spot as nearby ghosts bear down on you.
By Samu Aapa, Mikki Partanen and Allan Haapalainen
A promising concept, Crime Spree puts you in charge of a city's police force and asks you to fight crime on a budget. After creating a police unit, players set two waypoints between which it will patrol. Each beat costs money, but successfully capturing criminals – who randomly pop up around the city to the sound of alarm bells – before they reach the city limits adds to your coffers. You can give units a temporary speed boost, but the game's detailed 3D city makes it hard to locate your patrols and it ultimately suffers from a lack of depth.
By Evil Indie Games
EdgeWar is a clever distillation of the RTS genre that puts you in control of a blue army attempting to defeat your red opponents, but rather than control individual vehicles and harvesting resources, you send coloured cubes along the edges of larger cubes to take control of each corner. It makes clearer sense in motion, but each army starts at opposing corners of a stage – ranging from a single cube to more complex structures – and over a short period of time your corner will swell and take on a more intense colour.
Clicking one of your corners and then another will send a line of coloured cubes along the edge, either capturing an unoccupied corner, or weakening an enemy stronghold. Sending units to between your own corners will strengthen them, allowing you to charge from the front line and eventually take all corners to win. Rather than the mess of attrition this brings to mind, gameplay becomes a frantic scramble to control the best points on the map and manage supply lines. We'd love to see more levels added in future.