Arts game convention review

Celebrating indie games on campus

A community of indie developers and gamers celebrates their passion

Boston Festival of Indie Games
Johnson Athletic Center
Sept. 29, 2018

Once again the annual Boston Festival of Indie Games (BFIG) reconvened at the Johnson Athletic Center. An array of analog and digital games in varying stages of production sprawled across two floors for eager participants to play. This year, a couple of friends and I checked out the festival and played as many games as possible.

On the first floor, tabletop games from magnetic marbles to strategy card games crowded the showcase. New games debuted while other studios returned with published games they demoed them the year before. My friends and I were happy to see the return of Someone has Died, a party game we happily backed after last year’s BFIG. We particularly enjoyed the demo of All According to the Master Plan, a strategy card game where players assign villains and heroes to fight for resources you need for, well, your master plan.

Among the digital games on the second floor, there were platformers, puzzlers, the experimental, and so much more. The studio Dystrophic, incubated at Harvard Innovation Labs, showcased Hexile — a puzzle platformer that explored the consequences of human destruction of the environment. Players have limited energy resources to manipulate the hexagonally-tiled world.

In addition, this year, a team of MIT students going by SophieGames was awarded Best Student Game at BFIG for their game RE:Charge. The game is a shoot-to-move platformer in a cyberpunk setting, where the main character uses a hijacked alien gun to navigate levels.

The Boston Festival of Indie Games has once again been a fantastic experience. We found interesting, unexpected games — single player magical girl RPGs, gorgeous fan art, and a passionate, enthusiastic community.