Announcing XOXO Arcade
Reminder: Tomorrow — Friday, August 22 — is your last day to cancel your XOXO registration. After that, all sales are final.
Of course, you’d be insane to cancel now, as we announce our last two festival lineups this week. In case you missed them, we’ve already announced Music, Tabletop, and Story. And tomorrow, we’ll announce our Film & Animation lineup.
But today, the lineup for XOXO Arcade.
For the last two years, we’ve built our dream arcade party, projecting the best of the indie game scene huge on the walls, focusing on experimental and unreleased multiplayer games.
This year, we’re pulling out all the stops. This lineup represents some of the most creative and talented people in gaming, and we’re thrilled to have them be a part of XOXO.
Every single game at XOXO Arcade is commercially unavailable, some only available as installations and some a sneak preview before the rest of the world gets to try them, and we’re thrilled that the designers behind each game will be here to show it off and answer your questions.
Created by L.A.-based designer Brendon Chung, the highly-anticipated Quadrilateral Cowboy is a cyberpunk hacking simulator set in a fictional version of the 1980s. Much of the game takes place in virtual reality, allowing you to play multiple roles to pull off heists in a mind-bending pastiche of 1980s computer culture.
Beefy, muscular cats try to out-pose one another to defend their owners’ honor in Musclecat Showdown, an epic feline bodybuilding contest played with furry controllers. Designed by Bee and PuppyCat creator Natasha Allegri and Major Bueno. Natasha joins us from Los Angeles to show it off.
Killer Queen is the world’s only ten-player arcade game, designed for two teams of five players competing in two side-by-side cabinets. Like a lost game from the 8-bit era, play as a hive of angry bees to collect berries, ride snails, and save your Queen from destruction. Designers Nik Mikros and Josh DeBonis join us from NYC.
Edgar Rice Soirée
Some games are so big, so elaborate, you’ll never be able to play them at home. Edgar Rice Soirée has only been exhibited twice in the U.S., a competitive four-player game that uses 20 PlayStation Move controllers hanging from the ceiling, constantly shifting colors. Like a modern Tarzan, swing from vine to vine, hanging desperately to your own color while awkwardly blocking others from theirs. Designer Doug Wilson, creator of Johann Sebastian Joust, joins us from NYC.
eleVR isn’t a game, but a experiment in virtual reality video, an open-source web video player compatible with the Oculus Rift created by Andrea Hawksley, Emily Eifler, and mathemusician/badass Vi Hart, who spoke at last year’s XOXO.
Bennett Foddy’s Speed Chess
Imagine chess for 16 simultaneous players, with no waiting between turns, turning the thoughtful strategy game into a brutal, chaotic deathmatch that ends in seconds. Welcome to Bennett Foddy’s Speed Chess, from the creator of QWOP, GIRP, and Super Pole Riders, featured at last year’s XOXO.
Tenya Wanya Teens
Tenya Wanya Teens is a silly party game about adolescence and awkwardness created by Keita Takahashi, the creator of Katamari Damacy and Noby Noby Boy. Two players compete on custom 16-button controllers, “trying desperately to not say or do the wrong thing at the wrong time.” It will be presented by Wild Rumpus’s Marie Foulston and Venus Patrol’s Brandon Boyer, who both commissioned the game.
The new game from Threes! creator Asher Vollmer, Close Castles is an adorably minimalist real-time strategy/tower defense game for four players, in which players run a castle too close to its neighbors, send villagers to destroy others, and try to be the last castle standing.
Night In The Woods
Night in the Woods is a lushly-illustrated adventure game about Mae, a college dropout who moved back in with her parents in the small town of Possum Springs, uncertain about her future. With a focus on narrative and a cast of anthropomorphic animals, the game was made possible by a blockbuster Kickstarter project that raised over $200k from 7,372 fans. Aquaria designer Alec Holowka and co-writer Bethany Hockenberry will be at XOXO to share their work in progress.
Panoramical is a series of musical landscapes with analog controls, a music and visual exploration game by designer Fernando Ramallo and Proteus composer David Kanaga. Controlled with a custom DJ controller, each slider and knob affects what you see and hear. Fernando joins us from Berlin to show it off.
Please Don’t, Spacedog!
In Please Don’t, Spacedog!, you’re a space truck driving instructor teaching Spacedog to pilot a truck. He’s not a very good student. Your dashboard controls, played on the Oculus Rift with an AKAI LPD8, are modeled in virtual reality for an immersive and absurd experience. From Montreal’s KO-OP Mode, designer Bronson Zgeb will be at XOXO.