After two years, we got to see and experience ESGS 2022. As far as comebacks go, it was an impressive return to form for one of the country’s biggest gaming conventions. 

We got to see big names like Riot Games and Sega have impressive setups that saw long queues of people lining up to experience the booths and try out games. There were also a good amount of esports tournaments and events in the three-day event, which was a lot of fun to watch.

One of the best things about ESGS is seeing local game developers showcase their own video games at the Globe Indie Party Stage. In past ESGS events, we got to play games like Project Xandata and Bayani: Fighting Game. This year was no different, with a wide selection of games ready to be played.

Here are some of the games we were able to play during the event!

Engkanto (De La Salle College of Saint Benilde)

The first game we got to play was Engkanto, developed by DLS-CSB students. It’s a dungeon crawler set in pre-colonial Philippines where the main character has to defend the island of Mactan against various creatures from Filipino mythology.

The island of Mactan acts like a hub world where you can access different dungeons (think The Legend of Zelda), and interact with different characters to begin quests and progress through the story. The visuals of the game are colorful, with voxel-like character models adding in extra detail and life. The game’s dungeons offer some nice combat, and the vastness of some areas show the potential to create an even bigger world. Overall, Engkanto is a game that will become a really solid adventure once a full release comes around.

Art Within (De La Salle College of Saint Benilde)

Another game from DLS-CSB was Art Within developed by Tropalogy Entertainment. A coming-of-age, the game has you play as Celf, a student who wants to pursue his passion for studying art in college. You follow Celf as he enters the dream world and tackles his pursuit head-on, and finds the courage to convince his parents.

This 2.5D adventure puzzler offers a nice balance between exploration, combat, and clever puzzles. The action sequences are well-paced, and the puzzles offer a nice brain exercise. Unlocking story sections feel rewarding, and the story gives us a feel-good moment that feels satisfying. While short, Art Within is a relatable adventure that depicts pursuing your passion really well. 

You can download Art Within here or on a “name your own price” basis.

Lightbringer (Polylab Studio)

Lightbringer is a dungeon-crawling boomer shooter by Polylab Studio, and is arguably one of the most action-packed games in the event. Reminiscent of 90s shooters like Doom, Quake, and Hexen, Lightbringer offers fast-paced gunplay, a nice selection of fantasy weapons, challenging enemies, and a nice bullet-time style mechanic that allows you to slow down time to flank enemies.

The game’s combat is addictive, and the ammo and health systems are easy to understand, allowing you to focus on the action in front of you. There’s also a nice resource management aspect as well, since choosing guns will cost points, which means picking the right weapon makes a huge difference. While still in early development, this is another game that shows a lot of potential to become another solid boomer shooter. 

Tiny Terrors (iAcademy)

In Tiny Terrors, you play as a sentient teddy bear that’s trying to protect its human from hordes of toy robots. The game utilizes a flashlight during battles, which runs out of batteries if you’re not careful, and various toy-based traps to shoot and slow down enemies. Don’t let the game’s cuteness fool you – it might look easy at the start, but it could get stressful later on.

Meet Me on the Mountain (Psychic City Games)

Meet Me on the Mountain is an interactive fiction game that follows budding photographer Julia, who’s trying to make sense of her shattered memories through exploration and puzzles. The game itself looks like a watercolor painting in action, and the color-changing mechanic is a unique way to find items and advance the story. Topped with calming in-game music, Meet Me on the Mountain has the potential to tug at players’ heartstrings.

Psychic City Games won Best Game in Asia, Best Sound Design, and Game of the Year at Game Jam Plus earlier this year. The team plans to launch the full game by next year. Experience Meet Me on the Mountain for yourself by downloading the early access demo here.

Mathligaya (Senshi.labs)

Originally created to help grade six students exercise their math skills outside of class, Mathligaya lets you man a sari-sari store and compute your products’ prices. It’s a fun time management game that requires you to use your brain (or calculator) to solve math problems before the timer runs out.

This educational game can be downloaded here for free or on a “name your own price” basis.

Mythica Inception (University of San Jose – Recoletos)

Mythica Inception is an isometric open-world RPG set in pre-colonial Philippines. It lets you tame mythical creatures, which you can transform into to kill other creatures and complete quests. Your character switches between the real world and a dungeon in her dreams. In the former, you’ll meet several NPCs around the island who might give you side quests. 

Mythica Inception is still in its early stages, so it’s normal for some glitches to happen. But it shows promise for a game that was mostly created by one person in the span of only six months. Plus, its Persona-esque mechanic of collecting mythical creatures gives it an edge.

Eureka (De La Salle University)

What do you get when you make a card game based on chemistry? You’ll get Eureka. It basically lets you play and combine elements, such as hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, and the rest of the periodic table, to defeat enemies. The game can be tricky at times, but thankfully it has a guide you can follow when creating compounds with stronger attacks. It’s an addicting, educational game that people of all ages would definitely enjoy. 

And don’t worry! You don’t have to be well-versed in chemistry to figure out Eureka’s gameplay mechanics. It’s a pretty friendly game even for beginners.

This year’s selection of games has been really impressive and a lot of fun to play. We’re surely excited to see some of these released soon, and watch out for more developers making their own games too!

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