TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — One of many exhibitions to fall prey to the pandemic last year, Taiwan's successful handling of COVID-19 has given the Taipei Game Show (TGS) a "continue" with the online return of its networking platform for hundreds of companies and the showcasing of new titles from big-name and indie developers alike — albeit with more modest crowds than in previous years.
This year's TGS, held at Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center Thursday to Sunday (Jan. 28-31), brought back the B2C (business-to-consumer) Zone, where attendees could try their hand at new games on-site at elaborately themed booths, earn virtual prizes, watch interviews with developers as well as fast-paced esports tournaments and other competitions. One was the debut "playoffs" of DeNA's SLAM DUNK, a mobile game based on the celebrated basketball manga of the same name.
The convention also saw the return of its Board Game Wonderland, where attendees and their friends could try out the products of 25 board game-makers from Taiwan and abroad, and Indie House, where they could play bold games from independent outfits looking to bring something fresh to the industry.
Attendees watching DeNA's SLAM DUNK playoffs. (Taiwan News photo)
One such upstart company, Team9 from Taiwan, bagged Best Innovation in the Indie Game Award 2021 for Word Game." True to its name, the game's graphics are comprised entirely of words — in traditional Chinese. Players control the character for "me" (我) as they navigate puzzles and overcome monsters such as a formidable dragon, its body a composite of many small "dragons" (龍).
Co-producer Hank Chen, who was responsible for the game's script and puzzles, told Taiwan News "Word Game" was Team9's very first title, begun in 2018. He said the team wanted to try something minimalistic using Chinese characters "not only for words but also pictures and narration. The puzzles are all based on the characters."
Chen added that at first, he thought people might find the game boring due to its simplicity. However, he was pleasantly surprised Taiwanese gamers have taken to it.
Hank Chen, co-producer of Team9, whose "Word Game," was voted this year's Best Innovation. (Taiwan News photo)
A pair of convention-goers going by the names Sakura Momo and Lisa said it was their first Taipei Game Show. The two, members of the capital's cosplaying community, came mainly to play and said they were impressed with the beautiful graphics of several titles.
In addition to its consumer-oriented offerings, the TGS organized its B2B (business-to-business) Zone Thursday and Friday (Jan. 29) via its new platform GAME LINKER, which it touts as the "largest game industry business networking platform in Asia." This brought together over 300 companies, from indie developers like Funselektor to household name XBOX, in more than three dozen countries and regions.
Cosplayers strike a pose at this year's Taipei Game Show. (Taiwan News photo)
Gamers focus on new mobile game Honkai Impact 3rd x Evangelion. (Taiwan News photo)