The seventh episode of a short series on games I discovered at EGX Rezzed 2017.
Taking your game to an exhibition is an intense affair, especially if it’s a work-in-progress and this your chance to make a good first impression. Despite good intentions, exhibitions are littered with buggy first impressions and developers are often coding in fixes on the fly. I came across a good number of bugs while working my way through Rezzed this year. But it’s good to be tolerant of such issues as, from a player perspective, you may not get another chance to see the game in action for a while.
Flotsam from Pajama Llama was in early alpha, rife with not just bugs but inadvertent user misdirection. Initially, it looked like some sort of garbage collection game, with the player sending a boat out to retrieve debris from the sea. When I sent the boat to retrieve a person, the game asked if I wanted him to join my town… and it all became clear. This was a town building game, Banished (Shining Rock, 2014) on the sea.
Resources are the titular flotsam collected from the sea and a few survivors can be found amongst the waves to start your pocket Atlantis. The sea theme means there are some interesting departures from the standard city builder: you cannot just build on open space, you require a form a scaffolding to build on; while towns are navigated relatively peacefully on foot, venturing into the blue beyond can only be done via boat. I also saw a whale which I’d assume was a threat.
Bugs and UI problems frustrated my attempts to make progress and I didn’t get very far but, at least, was able to piece together the basics. What Pajama Llama will make out of Flotsam remains to be seen.
Interested in other games I've dabbled with? Check out the series index!