While at Pocket Gamer Connects London back in late January, I was lucky enough to judge the PC Indie Pitch, an event in which over a dozen games enter, seeking to win a selection of prizes from the event organisers. I absolutely adore judging these panels as it’s sometimes the first time some of the games have been shown off — even if that’s not the case, it’s always interesting to spot upcoming trends in the industry.
Among the many titles entered into the PC Indie Pitch was a game I’ve had several run-ins with in the past: BFF or Die. As a matter of fact, one of the first news pieces we ran on the site over here at B3 talked about how the game was featured as part of the Square Enix Collective initiative back in May 2016.
For those unaware of the game, BFF or Die is a four-player co-operative title about a group of space-faring beings who have to restore their ship to continue their journey. It is utterly lovely in both the cutesy, family-friendly character design and the fact that co-operative play is, simply, fully enforced.
It’s also the fact that the game has each pair of characters shared over one controller — with an analogue stick and shoulder button being all that is required to control a space-farer.
Each of the game’s levels are pieced together as mazes filled with energy icons. Using a variety of tools located in booths along the bottom of the screen — gigantic flashlights, grabber claws and more — players have to help one another navigate said mazes, trigger buttons and evade enemies before finally uniting with a group high five to end the level.
The shared controller and moments where players are reliant on one another to scout ahead — or to save each other from an enemy — really drive communication and chatter which is the true, cardinal thing when it comes to local co-operative games.
You might be asking what has changed in the twenty-one months since we first talked about it. Well, aside from the development team going through a bit of a reshuffle, it’s largely been a lot of quality-of-life work.
The game is, by design, filled with dark levels — however many of the changes have worked towards ensuring that the screen is a lot less dark than in earlier iterations. Characters glow in the dark, energy icons are much easier to see and reflections and other niceties have been added. Oh, and an endless mode has been added, too: something I can truly get behind.
We've been experimenting with new lighting effects in BFF or Die. What d'ya think?
— BFF Or Die (@bffordie) December 8, 2017
BFF or Die — with its fun, family-friendly, co-operative play — is definitely one to keep an eye on. It is set to launch soon on PC, with console versions likely in the works. The best way to stay up to speed with development is either through the game’s Twitter or the newsletter available on their website.