So many indies struggle making themselves heard against big releases. Even in my position as someone who writes about games, you never truly grasp how many slip through the cracks. Take a look at Steam’s upcoming releases list and you’ll see what I mean: sure, Tunic and Moss: Book II were recent hits, but that’s two games in a sea of thousands. I’ve missed conventions dearly and when I walked into W.A.S.D., that was put into perspective. Showcasing over 100 games, big hitters like Football Manager and Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands were present, yet these indies are what truly shone.
Between swinging through trees as a gibbon, running a postal service as a kiwi bird, or getting invested in the majestic art of power washing, I experienced plenty that I’d have otherwise never known. My own personal standout was We Were Here Forever, developed by Dutch team Total Mayhem Games. Being perfectly honest, I wasn’t familiar with this co-op puzzle series beforehand, and Forever marks the fourth entry. Trapped inside Castle Rock by dark forces, I was joined by a stranger for this, and this demo gave us 20 minutes to escape.
This specific demo took us to the Jester’s illusion room. No frozen wastelands or abandoned castles like we’ve previously seen, me and my new friend were instead trapped inside a distorted reality. Navigating a series of doors between adjacent rooms – all symbolised by a projected icon in the middle, like playing cards or musical instruments – some doors have a matching icon above it, which only your co-op buddy can see.
Our aim was to place doors with matching symbols next to each other, rotating the room through a lever in the middle. Some locations contained a key and, once turned, new rooms would appear, eventually leading us to the Jester. If doors weren’t correctly aligned, we’d walk straight back into the room we’d tried leaving. Communication is central to this but, like previous games, Forever only allows you to speak to each other one at a time, using an in-game walkie talkie. That took some getting used to, and there’s a chance I forgot to press the talk button a few times, but details.
Thankfully, me and my new friend quickly clicked, elevating this experience immediately. Like any good co-op game, teamwork is essential to success, you can’t try gunning it solo and hoping for the best. This room was cleverly designed and solving this puzzle as a team felt rewarding. It’s not especially tricky to solve but seeing ourselves progress was encouraging. Sadly, we ran out of time before completing this demo, yet I still had fun.
I didn’t experience the wider puzzles or story elements, but the W.A.S.D showcase left me pleasantly surprised. Co-op’s never been my immediate go-to; I’ve always preferred the solo experience where possible. And yet, I was invested. Forever’s a few weeks from launch and it’s left me curious to see the rest. I’m unsure what to expect but there’s one thing I can say with certainty. That Jester creeps me out.