The Curve Digital Games (The Swindle, Pumped BMX Plus)

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I didn’t know about Curve Digital going into “Legends of Gaming Live”. I knew of the games they publish (like “Action Henk”) and the developers they help publish (like Dan Marshall who made “The Swindle”) but I didn’t know of them. When I was talking to one of the other press people there I called them the British Devolver Digital and I stand by that. The games they have put out has been very impressive. But lets talk about the games they were showing off.

“Action Henk” was one of the games they where showing off but if you read my other article I didn’t get to play it. There seemed to be a tech fuck-up during the event which killed that part of their booth. It killed the PES16 booth as well but they got back up and running after a while. “Action Henk” sadly did not. I did get to play “The Swindle” and “Pumped Up BMX Plus” though.

“The Swindle” is the latest game from the Bafta awards wining Dan Marshall. It’s a steampunk, rogue-like thieving game. You take the place of a randomly generated thief who’s task is to pull off the hist of the century but before you can do that you must earn resources and learn skills. So come down from your space blimp and go rob a few buildings!

William Morris, 2015 "Legends of Gaming Live 2015"
William Morris, 2015
“Legends of Gaming Live 2015”

Each level is randomly generated so each level has you skulking around the security systems and stealing all you can. If you have the skills, you can hack computer systems and get to those hard to reach places and make more money. But if your thief is caught, it’s game over for them. Those securo-bots and traps aren’t there to coo you sweet sympathies, they’re there to kill you. When you thief dies a new randomly generated thief comes in and takes their place. So where’s the challenge? There is only a set amount of days before your big heist so if your not ready, tough luck your going in anyway. Each small heist takes up one day so you end up pressured into tougher locations or to be that little more risky. And it great! The controls are solid and there are many way to go through a problem. One building led me to kicking the door in and dropping down to get to the hackable terminals. Another had me skulk across the roof to get to the other side and ninja my way around, hiding up walls and boping the bots periodically. I ended up going back to it a few times over the day and as I get more experience and got better it got more fun. There is a lot of fun to be had with a game that has simple but streamlined design.

The other game I got to play was “Pumped Up BMX Plus”. The reason to the plus is that this is a port of a pair of games that where released on mobile devices. I haven’t played it on mobile devices but the one concern that I have if I do might end up being the controls. You see, BMX Plus is like the game ‘Trials’, the latest in the series being “Trials Fusion”. You are a kid on a BMX and you go through courses with flips, tricks and speed. The difference comes in that BMX Plus is much more simpler. Not just in gameplay style but in aesthetic and set-up. The graphics are in a simple cell-shaded style and there is only one bike and one character rather than giving you a selection to chose from. It being simpler means that it is much more accessible to more people. The negative side is that it is a much quicker experience and not as lasting. One of the big plus’ of “Trials” is the multiplayer, being able to race and compete against your friends. BMX Plus doesn’t have that. Although it does have a reported 50 levels with a total of 500 challenges play. Here’s to hoping that the challenges don’t get to same-y as that could kill the game rather quickly.

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