“You can be anyone you want, anywhere and any time. Just grab a story, a video game, or even just a foam sword.” Foam Sword 2015
After years in obscurity and too many high profile controversial law suites, video games are finally considered an art form. While big video game publishers run the market; independent developers are increasingly changing the face of the industry. The rise of the indie developer has coincided with the advent of the smart phone as well as the dominance of PC gaming across the world. Foam Sword Games is a new London based Indie developer creating a quirky, colourful exploration action adventure game ‘Knights and Bikes’.
The studio, founded by Media Molecule alumni Rex Crowle and Moo Yu launched a successful Kickstarter campaign earlier this year. ‘Knights and Bikes’ will support both local co-op and single player adventures, inspired by the 80’s classic ‘Goonies’ as well as iconic SNES games ‘Earthbound’ and ‘Secrets of Mana’.
The influence of ‘Goonies’ is evident in the trailer. The games setting; an island off the coast of what appears to be UK, is colourful and charming. The games protagonists are quirky and full of character. Nessa and Demelza will likely make many older players feel nostalgic as they explore the world of ‘Knights and Bikes’. Other than the world and characters revealed in the trailer, Daniel Pemberton’s score fills the game with a sense of grand adventure.
Rex Crowle and Moo Yu will lead the development of ‘Knights and Bikes’ while collaborating on the games sound with award winning audio designer Kenny Young along with Pemberton. The stylised hand-drawn art gives the games environment the feel of a children’s book brought to life. While many Indie developers use pixel art (to great effect) Crowle’s design is poised to help older gamers recapture their younger years.
‘Knights and Bikes’ is a game that, from the trailer, instantly steals the imagination from its senses. While many developers are struggling to find support on Kickstarter, Crowle and Yu have proven that a great idea can speak volumes. After a stream of mediocre or worse Kickstarter-funded games, potential fans and funders have become cynical; leaving Foam Sword’s debut with a lot to prove.
Yet, Crowle and Yu are making a world filled with magic, mystery and adventure. Add the feature of local co-op play, you won’t be a lone adventurer; you and a partner will be able to dive into this world together.