GamingEGX 2022 – Thunderful Games Showcase

EGX 2022 – Thunderful Games Showcase

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Thunderful Group is a group of companies that develops, publishes and invests in games as well as distributes Nintendo products, games, game accessories and toys. Founded in 2017 Thunderful Games is one of the two business segments in Thunderful Group, the other being Thunderful Distribution. Over the last few years Thunderful Games has, organically and via acquisitions, grown into a global organization with eight development studios and over 300 employees. Besides the award-winning internal development pipeline, Thunderful Games also publishes a large number of third-party titles and invests in external game projects.

– Thunderful Games

Thunderful Games at EGX 2022

Astonishingly it’s been over a week ago now since EGX 2022. One of the biggest booths there was from Thunderful Games showcasing no less than six games! All the games provided were in different stages of development, but all were fantastic and offered something for everyone.

I got to spend time with the team from Thunderful Games and sample all the games they brought with them! So here’s my take on each one.  

Planet of Lana

On a planet of undisturbed peace between humans, animals, and nature things are about to change for a young girl and her loyal animal companion. This is the epic sci-fi setting for Planet of Lana, the new game from Wishfully and published by Thunderful Games.

In this wonderfully cinematic puzzle adventure platformer, you play as both the young girl and through unique control mechanics, the loyal friend too. The pair set off on a rescue mission as the world’s harmony is coming undone from the arrival of machines.

Here the game begins. The stage I played was beautiful to look at, the hand-painted art style is both charming and mesmerising. I loved the art and the character models. Also, the animal companion is adorable, and I want one!

The companion does more than just look adorable though, as you progress, they learn new abilities that you can use to help you solve certain geographic navigation puzzles. The controls are as you would expect with a unique mechanism. You can direct your loyal companion to stay or follow as well as move to different locations. All these movements become vital for solving certain aspects, such as activating platform controls and more. How this works in practice is excellent and provides a new dimension to this genre of game.

I can’t stress enough how beautiful this game is, and how relaxing this game was to play. It wasn’t all combat and combined with the soundtrack made it a wonderful experience.

Planet of Lana is currently in development for a 2023 release. It should be available on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and PC. Find out more at the official website!

Togges

From Regular Studio comes their debut project, Togges. Published again by Thunderful Games. Togges was a great 3D platformer that features a vast number of new mechanics. In the game you are tasked by King President to dominate the universe… so you can save it, of course!

In the game, you play as a Roomba dropping and collecting blocks (Togges) that enable you to complete puzzles in the landscape and collect fruit and other tokens. You can traverse each world (which plays as the surfaces of globes so feels very 3D when traveling) to work out where you need to go, and to find the fruits you need to collect. It isn’t that simple though. You always need your Togges with you! Spreading, and stacking is the only way anything can be done in this collect-A-thon game as it’s the Togges that do the work. You have a limit of cubes you can lay so careful planning, and tactical thinking is key. You can hoover up these cubes and relay them as necessary if you go wrong – but it’s vital to take them with you!

What I found fascinating about this game was how complex this mechanic made the puzzles. From having to get over running rivers to open forcefield gates by stacking a certain number. In addition, different colour Togges have different powers. The ones I saw were the basic red cubes and then the yellow ones that had a higher stack limit. What’s more, you can only lay certain ones down depending on the Togge available.

The worlds I saw were varied and the fun cartoon art style made the game visually interesting and joyful to look at. The fun carried over into the soundtrack which was lively and catchy.

Togges is a game to lose hours in! Set for a 2022 multiplatform release Togges is one to watch if you want a unique platformer in your life. Don’t let King President down… you know you do. Find out more at the official website!  

Wavetale

From Thunderful Games comes Wavetale. This is a game already released on, of all things, Google Stadia. I have never considered even looking at Stadia before I got hands-on with this game! If it isn’t enough that Wavetale is the game that made me look at Stadia, I’ll tell you more.

Now I should preface this by saying that don’t worry – although the news broke that Google is shutting down Stadia services in January 2023, Wavetale will be coming to PC and consoles soon. You can download the Steam demo currently.  

Wavetale is a story-driven action-adventure game that stole my heart. So brilliantly charming, so visually beautiful, and wow was it fun. Exploring a vast open sea on the decaying world, you play as Sigrid, a young girl who befriends a shadow that gives her unique powers.

These powers form the main basis of travel and puzzle solving. Firstly, Sigrid can walk on water, and she uses this ability to surf the calm waters and bigger waves. I cannot stress how fun this was! You can speed up, perform jumps, and, spinning your net around, helicopter down from insane heights.

Playing part of the story I traveled through the waters to various areas to capture energy to restore power to the populated area. Each section felt unique with fluid combat, and environmental puzzles to solve. The pacing was fast, but the controls always felt responsive. What really stunned me was the camera work as it followed Sigrid performing a variety of jumps as she swung up to different levels. This felt like a tracking camera in an action movie.

Wavetale is a unique concept and is set to deliver a heart-warming story combined with beautiful graphics, great music and voiceover, and challenging puzzles. Find out more at the Thunderful Games website!

Tinkertown

What do you get if you cross classic Zelda and Minecraft? Well, that would be Tinkertown! From Headup and published by Thunderful Games this was an action-adventure/crafter that was initially released in 2020.

Tinkertown is pitched as a multiplayer sandbox (although there is a single-player mode too) where you must collect resources to build items, shelters, and more. Once you’ve crafted these items you can begin your adventure! You can go explore the procedurally generated worlds, collecting more exotic resources. As with most builders – you can eventually unlock recipes to craft better quality gear. Once this is done, it’s time to complete quests and, more importantly. Delve headfirst into dungeons to find treasure and beat bosses!

The top world is relatively danger-free comparatively, but this is by no means the case everywhere. You will come up across difficult foes right from the outset that you either need to fight or find a path around. Once you enter the dungeons though, it’s a very different story! Combat is challenging. Almost Soulsborne challenging, which I didn’t expect from this type of game but found refreshing and immensely enjoyed.

For me, I found controller play difficult, I attempted to kill a skeleton with a potato at one point, but over time you get used to the control layout. I think I would prefer a keyboard and mouse for this title though.

The art style reminds me of classic Zelda, and it made me smile. Tinkertown is an enjoyable experience for fans of classic action-adventure games who enjoy the survival/crafting experiences of games like Minecraft. It’s certainly one I can’t wait to jump back into!

Tinkertown is available now on PC in Early Access. Find out more at the official website!

Worldless

Next up was a stylised, turn-based, 2D adventure platformer developed by Noname Studios and published by Coatsink. With Ori and Hollow Knight vibes, I jumped right in! Worldless is set in an abstract reality full of entities with opposite goals. It is this dichotomy that is explored as you traverse the shapeless world.

As you progress in the game, you learn new abilities collected from the beings you fight, through the traumatic process of absorption. The puzzles were interesting and exploring this hauntingly beautiful world was a joy. I managed to catch a bit of the soundtrack amidst the buzz of the convention, and it fits perfectly. This is a platformer I can see myself shutting out the world for!

Combat in the game is very interesting. It’s turn-based and highly strategic. The movements are all very fluid and the animations of the monsters are fantastic. What I really enjoyed though was having to time my offensive and defensive capabilities to be victorious. Killing these monsters is crucial to get new abilities that allow you to explore further and do more in the world. Abilities include increasing jump capability, dashing and more. Honestly, it all felt great to experience and the controls were logical and responsive. Worldless is a game to get lost in, enjoy how it makes you feel and think, and ultimately, unlock destiny.

Playing the game, I quickly fell in love with the simplistic art style. It was atmospheric, haunting, yet strangely soothing. I also really enjoyed learning more about the progression tree which reminded me of a constellation and offers many abilities to develop and improve. All of which are key to progression!

Worldless is set for a 2023 release and will be available on Xbox and PC. For more information check out the official website!

The Last Hero of Nostalgaia

One of the funniest games I got to play at EGX 2022 must be The Last Hero of Nostalgaia. Developed by Over The Moon and published by Coatsink this is a Souls-like action-adventure like nothing you will have experienced before.

Nostalgaia is the world of videogames and it’s in trouble! Collapsing back from beautiful fidelity into a mysterious pixelated version of itself. Even the memories are going. Heroes are very much not welcome here, but one, unlikely hero, is stepping up to the challenge of saving everyone.

You play as the most pixelated hero ever to spawn, a stick man. The action-adventure is driven by story and features impressive combat mechanics and a variety of gear that can be improved along the way with full character customisation.

The Souls-like combat is certainly a challenge. If you’re familiar with the type of game and timing of defensive and offensive moves, you should be able to survive for a few seconds longer than most! What makes this game less frustrating, and more motivating is the narrator.

The most sarcastic narrator in a game I’ve ever heard basically hates your very existence and that makes for comedy. And motivation to succeed!

Jumping into the game, I picked my character class (an homage to the Dark Souls games) and set off on my adventure. The game looked fantastic with the blend of modern graphics and pixelation as the world decays. The controls felt good and combat, during the time I was alive, felt responsive.

Having had some time away from the game now I can say one thing… by the time it releases I will very determined to prove that narrator wrong!

The Last Hero of Nostalgia releases on October 19 on PC, Xbox Series X|S, and Xbox One. For more information see the official game website!

Final Thoughts on the Thunderful Games Booth

What can I say, Thunderful Games really delivered at EGX 2022, and I can’t wait to spend more time with all these games when they release. I appreciate the time the team spent with me showing me around the booth and the wide variety of games on offer. For more information about Thunderful Games check out their website!

James Refelian
James Refelianhttps://linktr.ee/refelian66
When I was seven years old, I tried to write a spy novel. It was terrible; in case you wondered, but I’ve always loved stories. Then I got to play video games and suddenly here were stories that could be told in so many ways, coming to life in front of my eyes. I’ve been hooked ever since and enjoy games on pretty much every platform you can imagine! (Primarily PS5, Switch and PC (Steam Deck) with a lot of retro SEGA, Sony, and Nintendo). When I’m not gaming, I’m still writing that spy novel. If you love stories too, I hope my reviews and features help you discover something new! Find me on Twitter @Refelian66. Check out 60 Second Game Reviews on YouTube. Contact me with business inquiries at jamesrefelian(at)gmail(dot)com.

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