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Here are the amazing games to play at the 2022 alt.ctrl.GDC showcase

This year, 15 games were chosen as part of the alt.ctrl.GDC showcase—and one of them will win the brand-new Audience Award.

Game Developer, Staff

January 19, 2022

5 Min Read

Co-piloting a handcar to freedom, making the perfect burger, trying to beat an animatronic crow at his own game. Anything is possible at alt.ctrl.GDC!

Organizers of the 2022 Game Developers Conference are excited to debut the 15 games chosen to exhibit at alt.ctrl.GDC. This exhibition, co-helmed by indie curator John Polson, showcases some of the most unique, offbeat, and innovative controllers in modern gaming. Visitors can come into this collaborative community space to play video games using alternative controllers—and meet the developers behind these interesting projects.

We're also debuting the Audience Award this year! On-site attendees will have the chance to vote for their favorite exhibit. Voting will be open while the exhibit is ongoing with winners announced after the exhibit has closed. The winning alt.ctrl.GDC exhibiting game will receive 2 All Access (or equivalent) passes to GDC 2023.

Health and safety measures remain paramount at GDC 2022, and we’re committed to following city and Moscone Center guidelines to deliver a safe and exceptional experience. Be sure to bookmark our Health and Safety page for the latest updates.

2022 is shaping up to be a one-of-a-kind creativity showcase for alt.ctrl.GDC. Here is this year's roster of finalists:

MORSE (ALJO Games): MORSE has players take on the role of a telegraphist who must communicate orders in Morse Code—calling artillery strikes against enemy ships, biplanes, and trenches during World War I (and yes, the above image does spell "alt.ctrl.GDC" in Morse Code!).

Two Busy To Escape (Team “bee boop”): Two Busy To Escape sees two players working in tandem to push a handcar down a railroad track, trying desperately to evade pursuit.

NumberCruncher (Whaaat!? Lab): NumberCruncher loosely parodies the concept of mining for cryptocurrency. Players use their body to solve math problems, violently smash the numbers into raw material, break apart the rock to reveal their coin, then collect it to buy, umm, energy drinks or something?

NeuroState Trainer (Q-neuro): NeuroState Trainer incorporates brain and physiological sensors for augmented game control, having players control a ship with their head movement and unlock throttle levels and shields with their heart rate and breathing.

Alghrab (Michael Perce): Algrab has players trying to beat an arrogant animatronic crow at its own card game to earn a prophecy.

Scrapeboard (Frank DeMarco and Blake Andrews): Scrapeboard is a Simon Says-style time attack game that uses a real skateboard as the controller.

Gambling Paradise: The Escape Call (Gambling Paradise: The Escape Call Team): Gambling Paradise: The Escape Call has players guiding their AI accomplice through a casino—using a television, phone, and security cameras—so their partner can break out with the loot.

Teletext WRN1 (Jonas Müller, Nils Lange, Nino Coaz, Stefan Kraft): WRN1 is a multi-/nonlinear narrative space inside Teletext, with players using their TV remote to investigate a mystery taking place on their television.

PASTRY PANIC (with cat) (Yong Zhen Zhou): PASTRY PANIC (with cat) is all about making enough pastry dough before the end of the workday, using haptic feedback sliders to cut, knead, and otherwise prepare the dough.

Ready? Set. Haiya! (Geeky Panda Studio): Ready? Set. Haiya! is a motion-based fighting rhythm game, where players use a live-sized kung fu wooden dummy and try to imitate various kung-fu poses displayed on the screen.

Dérive (Dérive Team): Dérive is a battle arcade game where two players vie for control of their pirate ship, fighting their way to the ship’s wheel to steer it where they want it to go.

Color Crush (Jungu Guo): Color Crush lets players throw physical balls into a virtual world for classic games like Connect Four, Arcade Basketball, and Candy Crush.

Buy! Sell! (Mouse & the Billionaire): Buy! Sell! has players calling frantically into analog telephones to try and buy or sell their stocks.

Tinycade (ACME Lab): Tinycade is a DIY platform for people to make their own arcades, using a smartphone and materials found around the home.

Plinko Burger (Zayna Sheikh & David Vicker): Plinko Burger has players working a Plinko machine designed to make burgers, using condiment squeeze bottles and voice control to craft the perfect meal.

The alt.ctrl.GDC showcase takes place March 23 to March 25, during the final three days of GDC 2022 at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco.

GDC returns in-person to San Francisco, March 21-25, 2022—registration is open! For more information on GDC 2022, including our virtual options, be sure to visit our website and follow the #GDC22 hashtag on social media.

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