Level Up 2017 Games Worth Getting to Know

The 7th annual Level Up Showcase at the Toronto Design Exchange featured some fantastic game projects and, as always, a great time. With Sheridan students taking the lion’s share of the spotlight (and 10 of the 12 awards), students from UOIT, George Brown and other Ontario programs also brought their A-game; and of course, we have to share a few of our favourite games from development teams we see as ‘the ones to watch’.

Level Up Showcase

Disco is Dead

Taking first place overall, as well as best art and technical achievement, this zombie arcade-style competitive co-op game probably stands out best for using slapable zombie heads as input controllers. The game also has a very cool aesthetic and if you enjoy say, the Evil Dead franchise? The ‘buddy cop comedy’ Disco is Dead might appeal to you.

Shots Fired

One of the crowd-pleasers thanks to fun gameplay and vivid neon explosive projectiles, Shots Fired took home 2nd best overall game. From newcomer Bitr Blok Games, this game is perfect for a corner booth at events like the Level Up showcase – thanks in large part to the great music, which you can hear below.

Shots Fired game


Detective VR

Detective VR was an interesting game to spectate, and took 2nd best in technical innovation and 3rd in design overall. But the real reason this entry form Sixty Forty Games stood out to us was the cute dev log shared at the showcase. We also really appreciate the attention to detail in their set up, seeing as VR can be painfully difficult to demo at a showcase event.

Detective VR


Neon Ascension

This beautifully neon 3-d game combines the familiar fast puzzle environment of Tetris with the competitive gameplay of a platformer; and it’s super fun. Gameplay is very intuitive and sets a crazy fast pace which speaks to the skills of Team One, the group of U of T and OCAD students behind Neon Ascension.

Neon Ascension

Twin Switch

This competitive shooter from Scend Interactive felt really good and seemed to be one of the more polished games of the night, earning a well-deserved 3rd place for technical innovation. You can check out the team on Twitter for a closer look at their process, including some beauty screen shots.


If you were at the Level Up showcase and heard some incredible music coming from the back of the main floor, near some zombies that were getting slapped up, you probably got a taste of Lamplight. Producer Paul Chin joins Handsome Dog studio in this incredible project where you use gesture controls to capture fireflies and traverse a world filled with gorgeous music. This is one game we can’t wait to try on our own, and supposedly Lamplight is on it’s way to iOS and Android so keep an eye out!

The 7th annual Level Up showcase did a stellar job of upholding the standard this event has set, bringing the best in student game development talent together under one roof. The team at GameDev Cafe can’t wait to feature some of the talented individuals behind the games worth getting to know from Level Up 2017.




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  • On April 10, 2017