Every year, Fantastic Arcade spotlights some of the best and weirdest up-and-coming indie games, the kind of titles you'll probably be downloading in six months or a year for your PC, Xbox One or PlayStation 4 if they're not already available. But the games are playable now for free, in arcade cabinets and on the big screen as part of free-for-all tournaments, at the event, which is open to the public at The Highball and Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar through Thursday.
As part of Fantastic Fest, the video game event benefits from its proximity to the film festival's free-form vibe and mingling.
Fantastic Arcade has posted a useful day-by-day guide to the seventh-annual event. Monday night brought an opening-night party and demo of the highly anticipated "Rez Infinite" for PlayStation VR, but there's still lots of panels, tournaments and other events happening. The fest says one change this year, however, is that attendees are asked to hit the box office for free tickets to blocks of programming. No badge is required for this.
ON STATESMAN SHOTS: Listen to Wiley Wiggins discuss Austin's indie gaming scene
And if you absolutely can't make it to Arcade, the nonprofit Juegos Rancheros is offering a $15 bundle of five games that were commissioned for Fantastic Arcade. All the proceeds go to the Austin indie-game community.
"Alphabet" - An adorable side-scrolling game in the tradition of "Loco Roco" featuring very animated letters of the alphabet. My favorite by far from the bundle.
"Nium" - A post-apocalyptic roguelike that's very easy to get into and play.
"Inspector Wolf in The Veggie Highschool" - A point-and-click adventure game with art that will remind of "Parappa The Rapper." One I intend to spend a lot more time on.
"F2oggy" - A trippy, disturbing frog fighting game about the last two living things on earth (who, obviously, must try to kill each other).
"Lassos" - A game about literal lassos and using them.
The bundle is for PC, Mac and Linux.
And some Fantastic Fest coverage:
"Arrival" is the year’s best sci-fi film, bar none
“Buster’s Mal Heart” examines Y2K paranoia with “Mr. Robot” star Rami Malek:
Tim Burton helps Austin go “Peculiar” for a day:
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