My Tribeca Game Festival 2021 Thoughts and Experience


My Tribeca Game Festival 2021 Thoughts and Experience

The first ever Tribeca Game Festival took place from June 11-20, with eight games being selected that demonstrate great storytelling in video games.

The following games were selected:

  • Harold Halibut
  • Twelve Minutes
  • Norco
  • Lost in Random
  • Sable
  • Signalis
  • The Big Con
  • Kena: Bridge of Spirits

Since this was the first ever Tribeca Game Festival I didn’t see it coming, so unfortunately I was a little late to the party. What does that exactly mean? All of these games were available to sign up to play the demos in reserved time slots and the games were transmitted to the player using the Parsec app. Unfortunately, since I didn’t realize this was happening until late in the process I was only able to sign up for The Big Con, Norco, and Lost in Random.

Parsec First Timer

This was the first time I ever used the Parsec app, but I heard about it before as a good mechanism to connect local co-op games with your friends online for games without online multiplayer. Each game also had a “Timed Demo Session” with some being twenty minutes and others all the way up to sixty minutes. The process was a lot smoother than I thought it would be and connecting my controller to the Parsec app was incredibly easy.  When my time was ready I had to click an e-mail link to connect me to the game I was scheduled to play and it loaded really quickly without a hitch.

Bizarre Demo Time Limits

All three of my demo experiences started without an issue, but I was left somewhat baffled because my playtime exceeded the demo time limit and I got booted from 2 of the 3 games I played. I never got stuck in any of the games I played and I was moving at a solid pace. This led me to the conclusion that the developers didn’t playtest their own demo to determine a fair and accurate time limit. I still enjoyed the three demos I played and want to play them on release, but it’s ridiculous to get booted playing a demo before getting to the end in this type of setting.


NORCO wins

Congratulations to NORCO for winning the first ever Tribeca Game Festival award! I am not a big point-and-click gamer, but the storytelling is very well done with nice pixel graphics and a moving story that made it feel much more immersive than your typical point-and-click game. I can easily see why this game won the award even though I didn’t play all of the other games.

The jury that selected the winner was:

  • Neill Blomkamp, director (District 9, Elysium, Chappie)
  • Tanya DePass, founder and director of I Need Diverse Games (not-for-profit organization in Chicago)
  • Reggie Fils-Aimé, former President of Nintendo America
  • Elijah Wood, actor (Lord of the Rings)
  • Jen Zee, Supergiant Games Art Director (Bastion, Transistor, Hades)

I look forward to the Tribeca Games Festival again in 2022!

I wrote about The Big Con Demo here.

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