The games that caught our eye at EGX London 2022

Transparency alert: EGX is run by Eurogamer owner ReedPop.

There was a good buzz about EGX London last weekend, a whiff of positivity about it, in that people were back together, relatively unhindered by the pandemic and playing together again. EGX felt much more like his old self. And many of us were there, roaming the aisles, hosting contests (thank you if you attended one), and playing games.

And what games were there: big, small, old, new. One of the most eye-catching installments was a pool table with a hugely warped corner, curving in the air, that made playing the game feel completely different than normal. Amazing what a simple change can do.

But many other games also caught our attention. And here, in no particular order, they are.

Lakeside, PC

Now I have accepted that any pixel art game will drive me crazy, and I also realize that I like city builders. It’s like LakeSide saw me coming. But LakeSide has some bold ideas of its own. For starters, it’s sideways, which means it’s a city builder where you can only build in two dimensions, and since you’re on an island, this severely limits your available space. It also behaves a bit like a survival game on a turbocharged clock, where the years tick by like seconds and you can beat the game quickly if you don’t keep up with housing, food, or the other demands of your city.

There are various things like fires and natural disasters, and sudden arrivals of immigrants that make you go further, but if you keep on top of the objectives (‘build X’) and reach significant population amounts, you should unlock the buildings you need to move along. .

The test will come, I think, when you run out of space, which didn’t happen before the demo ran out for me. Fortunately, LakeSide entered Steam Early Access this week so now there is more time to find out.


Wild Frost, PC

I went to see this after it was described to me as Slay The Spire. I love good deckbuilding, Rogue-like gameplay and it didn’t disappoint. I feel like Wildfrost takes Slay The Spire, adds the best parts of Monster Train, and then adds its own new twists. In particular, I really enjoyed the emphasis on card placement on the battlefield and the freedom to move any of your unit cards at any time. I also appreciate being able to call in any units other than your leader to heal them up before sending them back to the battlefield.

The other big change Wildfrost makes to the game is the counter system. Instead of energy costs to play cards, only one card can be played per round. Each unit has its own set of actions it can take once its counter reaches zero, after which it will reset to its original value. This adds a turn-based flavor and it took me a moment to adjust to that strategic thinking mindset.

I really want to play it when it is released. I can’t wait to discover the different clans, skills and charms that I will be able to experiment with. I will also probably choose Snoof to be my companion whenever possible because he is the best snow dog.

I would also like to thank the member of staff who was in charge of the booth who told me to use the headphones – the music was delicious! Thanks for sharing the concept art of the instruments with me too!

liv ngan

I also played Wildfrost (Bertie here again), drawn in a similar way to Liv, and from various recommendations from people I ran into at EGX, there seemed to be a lot of buzz about Wildfrost. The Liv’s Monster Train and Slay the Spire analogy is also apt, though I’d also rule Magic: The Gathering out, due to the fact that you can play with both creatures and abilities.

However, it took me a while to get my head around it, especially since I somehow missed the tutorial. Much of Wildfrost looks and feels really familiar from those other games, but it’s not, not entirely. The main reason is that countdown timers (when they run out, a character card usually automatically attacks) are tied to your playing cards, in the sense that when you play one, it marks one. But you can also play with these timers, so there is a lot of clearly related strategy.

Familiar and yet not so familiar, and it’s utterly beautiful, with the kind of over-the-top, glossy presentation that a game like HearthStone turned heads with, as did Wildfrost, I imagine, when it comes out next year. One to watch.


street fighter 6

Capcom’s smash hit had a fairly low-key presence on the EGX show floor, but more importantly, there were plenty of demo pods to jump into, and for four days, a small part of the ExCel Center felt like modern day. arcade where dozens of people were captivated by the latest and possibly the best iteration of this iconic fighting game.

What could make Street Fighter 6 special? In part, it’s about how it incorporates all the mechanics from recent entries, like 3-parry and 4-focus, into something that’s made even more accessible thanks to the (optional) modern control system that mimics Smash Bros. and allows you to perform specials with a single directional input. Part of it’s also because this is a Capcom product on a roll, having restored the glory of the Resident Evil series and finally breaking into the west with Monster Hunter.

But mostly, as the buzz for Street Fighter 6 on the EGX show floor attests to, it’s because this is one of those rare and incredible games that can push some of the traditional boundaries of gaming and bring people together. . I’m already counting the days until I can play it again.


Small bookstore, PC

Books are by far my biggest vice – my ‘To Read’ stack is over 25 volumes and growing, so Tiny Bookshop easily caught my eye at EGX and I’m incredibly happy it did. Tiny Bookshop, a relaxing management simulator, takes you on a journey through a seaside town on the lofty mission of selling books in a wooden wagon that, yes, you can customize.

Running the bookstore caravan is, on the surface, pretty simple: Fill the shelves with used books bought through the local newspaper, before sitting back and watching customers come up to you. However, with limited shelf space and six genres to sell, organizing your bookcase can turn you into a ruthless bookcase despite the cozy aesthetic. Do you simply stock your shelves with what’s popular, or do you carefully balance genders to appeal to a larger audience at the risk of lower profits?

I brought back boxes of crime novels from someone’s attic during my game, but my hope that they would become best sellers was dashed when customers decided they preferred the classic. Luckily I still made enough money to buy fairy lights to decorate the caravan!

Tiny Book Shop is in early development, with a planned release window of spring 2024, but regardless of the wait, I can’t wait to get back to this little shop by the sea.


Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty, PS5

I wish I could have spent more time with this demo. I had just beaten the big tiger monster before I died (again), and my brief time with Wo Long was over. Talking to others who played the demo on console, I learned that there was a boss at the end that I didn’t even get to see!

As a game similar to Soulsborne, I knew it would be difficult, so I tried to spend less time looking at the depth of Wo Long and more time trying to see its breadth. Obviously I didn’t do very well, considering I missed the second half of the demo.

Don’t get me wrong though, I had a great time! I’m always up for the tough challenge of From Software games, and Wo Long has caught my eye ever since it was announced. I enjoyed the combat and the particular emphasis on blocking and parrying at the right time, but wished I could have explored martial arts more.

One of the features that really stands out in my mind is the dynamics that vertical movement adds. You can jump and climb walls, adding another dimension to exploration and combat. Movement in general felt much smoother and faster than previous Soulsborne games I’ve played. The combination of that fluidity and martial arts is something I’m really looking forward to learning when the game comes out and I’m free to spend as much time as I need to.

Morse, personal computer

Bertie playing a Morse code game on EGX.  There's a wooden box on a bench with the familiar little Morse Code clicker and a big launch button nearby.  Bertie seems absorbed.
Bertie seems absorbed.

So one of the other games with slightly wacky controls, or at least ones that will surprise you when you see them, is Morse. And no, it’s not an Inspector Morse game, because it would be, I don’t know, boring? Or maybe amazing? It’s a Morse Code game. And it works a bit like Battleships in that you order sequences of dots and dashes in Morse code to identify certain squares and then drop bombs on them.

there are a demo of the game on Steam, so now you can play it at home, but doing so won’t recreate the experience of playing it on a replica Morse code machine at the EGX show. Even though you know you’re playing with a prop, the wooden-cased machine and era-appropriate headphones add such an atmosphere to the experience that you could be cooped up in a submarine in WWII playing these war games for real. . (although I doubt it was that simple).


Secrets of the soil, PC

I’m kind of cheating when I say I played this, because my partner played it, but I was watching, so I’m going to claim it anyway. Secrets of Soil is more of an educational journey than a game, but it’s fascinating: a literal journey into the soil and all the connected underground networks that are so important to the world we live in, and an explanation of them. all while you fly.

Secrets of Soil is available for free on Steam right now.


Telus fax, PC

I tend to gravitate towards alternate controllers at shows, and the highlight was a faithful Teletext creation from this year’s Leftfield Collection.

Telusfax is a detective game where you go through colorful lists to make an assigned list of personalities from a piece of paper. This simple setup is an effective reminder of the joys and frustrations of how Teletext used to work: from having to laboriously return to previous pages when you’ve taken a wrong turn, to the delightful sight of numbers scrolling across the top of the screen while you wait for your query to load.


The icing on the cake, of course, was the presentation beyond the game itself: a bulky CRT humming and playing remote, complete with a sweet note asking attendees to move the power cord if the inputs don’t work. they register. You can play Telusfax yourself courtesy of Itch.iobut I suspect that, as with all the best nostalgia trips, half the magic is played out on the original hardware.

matthew reynolds

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