Guest Blog Post - Thoughts on Bit Bazaar from Mega Power Games

Along with Brian Yoon the other day, Antonio Miceli from Mega Power Games got to try out some games at the recent Bit Bazaar last week, as well as Gaming Garage at CNE. He was kind enough to write up some thoughts on the recent event. While reading his thoughts make sure to check out Shift from Mega Power Games.

On the weekend of August 25-27 I had the opportunity to participate in the first edition of the
CNE Gaming Garage (CNEGG) and Bit Bazaar. Here of some of the highlights of the weekend:

From the moment you walk through the doors of the CNE Gaming Garage, you are greeted with
the clacks and dings of modern and restored pinball machines. There were approximately 15-20
machines set up for free play where anyone could hop on a machine and go to town. On the
Friday and Saturday there were qualifiers for a pinball tournament (the CNEPC 2017, run by the
Toronto Pinball League). As someone who had never participated in a pinball tournament
before, my results were expected (I stunk up the joint). My favourite pinball machine was one of
the oldest: a machine called Jungle Queen where I posted my best individual result.

In one corner of the Garage there was an area where CNE goers could sit down, grab a board
game and play.
There were also vendors selling board games in booths nearby. I was lucky enough to have
time to play Uncaged: World Warriors, an MMA deck building game from ZeMind Games. As an
MMA fan I was pleased to see a board game encapsulate the strategy one would use in an
MMA fight.

Northern Arena
A large part of the Gaming Garage was devoted to esports and VR, all run by Northern Arena.
This was arguably one of the most popular fixtures inside the garage, as there were consistent
lineups to play VR games, as well as esports games finals being broadcast on the mainstage.

Bit Bazaar
Garage goers would have noticed a long line of tables along the side with games on display that
they may have never heard of before. The Bit Bazaar has been running since 2013, and thanks
to assistance from the Ontario Media Development Corporation, Gamma Space TO managed to
secure some table space to host their eighth edition of the event. Here are only a small subset
of games that you would have found at the event (and that I had a chance to play):

Way Of the Passive Fist - Household Games
This was one of the games that I was looking forward to playing. The artstyle evokes classic
games made in the 90s, but the strategy that you need in this tactical brawler definitely lives up to the standards of today’s modern games. HH Games built a custom arcade machine to show
off at the CNEGG on the Friday and Saturday before packing the machine up and driving across
the continent for PAX.

Tribes of Teldar - Boat Rocker Games
A free mobile turn based strategy game, Tribes of Teldar is a board capture game which is
reminiscent (at least to me) to Go...if each Go piece had a warrior on it that could directly fight
other warriors. The art style is fantastic, the gameplay is easy to pick up, and there’s a lot of
replay value.

Block Droppin’ - Rocketship Park
I read about this game before the CNE Gaming Garage started, and the style intrigued me.
Turns out the gameplay is just as fun as the game looks. Released last week, Block Droppin’ is
a puzzle game where the board is divided into two halves. In the top half, players slide colored
blocks to create shapes by matching colors. Once created, those shapes drop into a grid below
where they’ll need to complete horizontal lines to score points. The game plays smooth, and is
something I could easily see myself playing everyday (if I had an IPhone that is).

Dungeon Crew - Clockwork Kraken
Don’t be fooled by the game’s artstyle. While gorgeous and kid friendly, this demo packs a lot of
tactical elements. The game is level based where you take four warriors out into the battlefield
to battle waves of enemies. Unlike in Final Fantasy where your warriors are stationary and
susceptible to damage, this game allows you to dynamically switch your warriors to adjust
depending what appears in the enemy lanes. The boys at Clockwork Kraken were looking for
feedback for their game all weekend, and from what I can see, the game looks absolutely
promising. Watch out for the the finished product, folks.

Breakforcist - Lucid Sheep Games x Pete Ellison
Breakforcist is the most adorable brick breaker game I have ever played. As waffles fall from the
sky, you need to bat the ball to break them and earn points before they hit the bottom of the
screen. The game made me happy, as well as hungry. If you seek out this game, give it a whirl.

Thanks again to Antonio and Brian for writing up some things about the Gaming Garage/Bit Bazaar since I couldn't make it out!