A few months ago Grasshopper Manufacture announced a new initiative that would not only give budding game developers a chance to test their skills, but also create the opportunity for some cool indie games to be released on the PSN. The Grasshopper backed Game Campus Festa program consisted of the famed studio supplying game development schools in Japan with PlayStation Vita dev kits with the purpose being to get the creative juices flowing in completely original projects. Now Grasshopper has revealed some of the projects that came forth from the initiative and thankfully things look rather good – even if we may not have the faintest clue as to what’s going on.
Right now nine student projects are to be judged by Grasshopper Manufacture and those that are most impressive have the chance of being released on the PlayStation Store for Vita gamers to enjoy. As expected the games devised by the students are far from boring as some are some side-scrolling action games while others are abstract puzzle titles which somehow involve pencils as a key gameplay mechanic. Figuring out what is going on in some of these games or what the backstory is may be difficult unless you speak Japanese, but looking at some screenshots in a way is enough to realize that yes, some of these games could be good.
Out of the nine games up to be judged, the standouts for me have to be The Chronicles of Light and Eledive. From the looks of things The Chronicles of Light is a traditional side-scrolling adventure game but the visual style looks interesting and one can hope that the game brings a fresh take to the genre or at least is worthy of our attention – that’s of course pending if it gets chosen to appear on the PSN.
Eledive on the other hand could be something I love: an abstract but stylish puzzle game. Seeing an anime designed female character and a bunch of blocks really doesn’t paint a clear picture on the game, but Eledive does appear to have some sort of puzzle/strategy backing which I always enjoy seeing in games.
When we can expect to hear who the winner or winners of this program hasn’t been announced nor has it been guaranteed that said winners will be immediately put on the PSN. Potentially seeing Grasshopper Manufacture take one of the winning projects under their wing to fine tune and release later in the year would be a mighty nice thing to do and it would present something truly original and fresh for the PlayStation Vita.