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These developers stole the show at Pocket Gamer’s indie game competition

by Lewis Leong on Jan 31, 2019

Pocket Gamer Connects is an event that brings together everyone from the mobile games industry and every year, the conference plays host to an indie game competition, The Big Indie Pitch.

The competition was established in 2013 and takes place around the world at various Pocket Gamer events. Developers pitch their games to a panel of judges who then give them valuable feedback and several thousand dollars worth of advertising across Steel Media’s network of sites. The Very Big Indie Pitch, a variation of The Big Indie Pitch, increases the number of teams allowed to participate and winners are decided via a combination of judges and conferencegoers. Plus, the promotional prize awarded at the end is bigger.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the five winners of this year’s Very Big Indie Pitch at Pocket Gamer Connects London.

Location Games Ltd – Run An Empire

In first place, we have Run An Empire (Android | iOS), a location-based game developed by Location Games Ltd. The game, targeted at runners, allows players to conquer land as they go on their run. The game layers in more game elements like leading your people through the ages, starting from the stone age and going into the future. Think of it as Ingress for runners.

Run An Empire is brilliant as it gamifies exercise. Like Pokémon Go, it rewards players for exploring new places, playing with friends, and competing with rivals. It also hooks into the popular app running and cycling app Strava. The game was recently updated to support both Android and iOS.

Radical Forge – White Paw

White Paw is a new game from developer Radical Forge. The premise of the game is that you play as the cat of an evil villain who has just been murdered. You’ll solve puzzles to try and uncover who killed your master. This mix of puzzle and story makes White Paw unique among puzzle games. The move mechanic is reminiscent of turn-based RPGs and chess, forcing players to think a few steps ahead in order to solve puzzles.

While the game is still in production, we got a sneak peek of what in the short gameplay demo above. The game will be available on Android, iOS, Nintendo Switch, and PC.

Sung Jin Kim – Makeone

Makeone is a simple puzzle game that takes inspiration from popular games like Threes and 2048. Players combine hexagonal tiles until a single tile is left. The UI is super minimal, forcing players to experiment a little, but the mechanic is learned within seconds.

Like with other hyper-casual games, Makeone uses plenty of minimalist design, distilling the game down to its core mechanic. By doing this, Kim created a game that’s simple to play, easy to understand, and addictive. The game also implements a hint and time travel feature that helps players progress so they won’t become frustrated by difficult levels.

Kim says there are a total of 150 levels for a combined playtime of at least 10 hours. Makeone is available only on Android at this time.

Huey Games Ltd. – Wreckout

If the gameplay and style of Wreckout looks familiar to you, that’s because developer Huey Games took inspiration from Speedball 2, Arkanoid, and Rocket League. This multiplayer game pits two vehicles against one another in an enclosed arena, much like Rocket League. But instead of having a goal like in Rocket League, Wreckout features rows of bricks that each player has to destroy by lobbing a ball. Last one standing wins. The game is colorful and looks addictive from the trailer above. Huey Games plans on bringing Wreckout to the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox, PC, and Mac.

Electric Noir Studios – Dead Man’s Phone

Dead Man’s Phone from Electric Noir Studios on Vimeo.

What if instead of using your mobile phone as a means to play a game, your physical phone was actually part of the game. That’s the idea behind Dead Man’s Phone by Electric Noir Studios. This interactive crime drama lets you investigate and solve murders through the smartphones of victims.

According to the devs, the first episode, titled “Redman,” players will have to solve the murder of a 16-year-old boy who was pushed out of the 20th flood of a London tower block. Using his phone, you’ll have to extract clues, team up with police, and carry out FaceTime-style interactive interrogations with suspects. This game looks super intense and immersive, and we can’t wait to play it.

It’s great to see such variety of developers and games chosen as the winner of The Very Big Indie Pitch at Pocket Gamer Connects London. From casual puzzle games to immersive murder mysteries, it has never been a better time to be a gamer. Congratulations to the winners and we can’t wait to see what they come up with next!

Lewis Leong is AppLovin's Content Marketing Manager.