Fighting game tournament and fan event Evo will be expanding the range of available activities for attendees this summer by showcasing competitive indie games on the floor for the first time this year. Though I’ve never been to the show myself, I’ve often heard rumors of less respected fighting titles being the focus of cash games in seedy hotel rooms occurring contemporaneously with the main show (The Kung Fu Master Jackie Chan being one of them). EIther that, or it’s merely a cover-up for the Morris Principle (i.e. all fan events are an excuse to engage in mass copulation). In either case, while Shaq-Fu may not be available for fans to play in an official capacity, it’s great that Evo is making the effort to focus on lesser known titles.

Here’s a briefing of the titles.

Developed by Team Colorblind, Aztez is a side-scrolling beat ‘em up with an Aztec inspired art direction and sparse color palette. The game apparently has a kingdom building element that’s determined by turn-based strategy gameplay, but it doesn’t make an appearance in the this video showing off some combat:

BaraBariBall is best described as if someone had designed Super Smash Bros, and combined it with volleyball rules during the heyday of the Atari. Check out this video and revel in its awesomeness:

DIVEKICK is a parody of fighting games which limits player actions to moving, jumping and divekicking. With one-hit kills, ridiculous DLC references, and an all-caps attitude, DIVEKICK is a humorous diversion.

The uniquely named Nidhogg has been floating around conventions for a while, and I’m legitimately angry that I’ve not had the chance to play it yet. Like, BaraBariBall, the game has a blocky art style, but has a much more measured fighting pace. Using swords and fists, players attempt to reach opposing sides of a map. Even looking at this video makes me pissed that I haven’t played it- it looks so fun!

Chris Hecker’s SpyParty has been slowly rising up through the media for a couple of years now. It’s a two player game where one player has to shoot another player who is doing their best to blend into a crowd of A.I. characters. Think Assassin’s Creed multiplayer, but with more subtlety and lots more tension. The game is currently in a buy-in beta. Here’s Hecker giving a tutorial on how to play the game:

Super Comboman is a 2D beat ‘em up that incorporates a fighting game-esque combo style. Here’s a video of the dev exploring various pieces of the game:

Made by Capy (the same team behind the wonderful Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery EP), Super T.I.M.E. Force is a bullet hell side scroller game that uses a player-recorded mechanic in the style of The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom. If that description was too vague, I’d understand. Watch the video below, it will demonstrate it much better than my bumbling writing can: