Ahoy me mateys, IWOCon is here! So, set sail for the gaming islands in this pirate-themed virtual convention. IWOCon has done an excellent job at mimicking real convention booths in an unreal setting. Choose your avatar and set sail for the high seas! Yes, in IWOCon, you have your very own pirate ship to sail, complete with cannons. You have the option of visiting the islands by your boat or using the fast travel system on the islands. Once you’re ready to anchor at an island, grab a hat and a parrot and see everything IWOCon has on offer! Does that sound like something you want to get involved in? It’s free to download on Steam!
There are so many booths to see, but I thought I’d highlight some of my favourites. I’ve mentioned a little bit about each game, as well as the IWOCon island and booth number, so you know where to find them. So, choose an island and take a look:
The Love Islands are my favourite; with many smaller islands to explore, there are many fun games to check out here. There is also a rollercoaster to find on the Love Islands! Unfortunately, it hasn’t quite worked for me, but I’ve seen it working for others, and it looks like lots of fun.
Play as Carol, a little girl full of energy and imagination. One night she is awoken when a portal opens in her bedroom. A strange creature comes out of the portal and steals her favourite plushie Bunbun. Carol doesn’t hesitate to jump in the portal after them to rescue her plushie!
Zniw’s mother’s hatch day is coming up, and she wants to find the best present she can! Unfortunately, she gets lost on her way home and stumbles into a neighbouring village that needs help. Will you help Zniw on her journey and learn about dinosaurs at the same time?
Bay Dawes has been thrown into a forgotten wonderland, her mother has been kidnapped, and she might be framed for the murder of a missing boy if she can’t find him. Oh, and her pet rabbit has risen from his grave. Framing Dawes is a bizarre and interesting point and click.
Long Gone Days
Long Gone Days is an RPG about modern-day conflicts, language barriers, and the human cost of war. After being deployed to his first mission, Rourke leaves The Core’s base for the very first time, only to discover the dark truth about the operation he’s part of and the consequences of deserting an inescapable war.
Baby Dino Adventures
Inspired by classic retro games, Baby Dino Adventures is a super cute platformer. Help baby dino find their way back to their parents. A cute combat-free game where you solve puzzles and make allies instead of enemies.
Play as Skippy, the square, flexible skeleton who has recently risen from the grave to save the day. Crush your enemies and then use their body parts and weapons to fight your way through Squaruman’s endless hordes.
A gorgeous looking VR game, Rinlo is an immersive adventure in a steam-powered world. Follow Agatha, cast out from her home town, on an epic quest to unlock the truth hiding behind its familiar, winding streets.
Chorus is a little treefrog, which means society expects them to go into religious studies, but they want to be a warrior! Chorus decides to move to Boreala to train under a wise old veteran. They realise things aren’t going to be as easy as they expected, especially with an army on the way and a mysterious rumour to solve.
Ever want to be a wizard’s apprentice? In Witchery Academy, you’ll do just that. Attend classes to improve your magical skills and learn how to brew potions. You’ll also get to meet other apprentices and explore the world outside the academy.
Explore vast, open worlds as you jump, dive, slash and glide your way through unique landscapes in a technicolour cyberpunk wonderland! Uncover the secrets lurking beneath the fantastical charade of the Nanoverse and forge life-long friendships along the way!
Sayri: The Beginning
Forced to flee their homeland, Sayri has crashed on a stunning planet known as Ayris. Discover the secrets of Ayris, find new friends and solve puzzles while on a quest to find a new home.
Ninja Marshmallow Island
Unbound: Worlds Apart
After an ancient sickness is unleashed on Soli’s world, Soli must use their portal power to bring peace and health back to the world. Unbound: Worlds apart is a combat-free metroidvania platformer that uses magic portals to solve puzzles, surrounded by a beautiful world.
A Juggler’s Tale
Abby, a string puppet artiste, held captive at a circus, spends all day entertaining the audience and all night in a cage, longing for freedom. One day, she escapes the circus and gets to explore a mystical world. Danger is ahead though, will she ever escape her strings and find freedom?
Swords ‘n Magic and Stuff
Grab your friends and set out for adventure in a world of swords, magic, and stuff. Explore a large open world with friends or alone. Swords ‘n Magic and Stuff is a game of discovering the world and yourself. With no classes, character levels or restrictions, you can be whoever you want to be. Do you want to go on an epic adventure or maybe run your own farm, craft furniture or be a travelling merchant? Anything is possible in Swords ‘n Magic and Stuff.
Inspired by Stardew Valley, Pokemon and Slime Rancher, Ova Magica is a bright and cute farming sim. Befriend the mysterious blob creatures that live side by side with the people of Clover Town, and they will help you manage the farm and participate in battles. There’s no HP or levelling here though, make your blobs stronger by looking after them well.
The Girl from Arkanya
Join Marisa and her capybara companion as they go on an adventure deep into the jungles of Amazonia. Discover a deep alternate world history, and amass your fortune as you strive to become the world’s greatest treasure hunter!
Minute of Islands
Mo sleeps underground, comforted by the hum and clunk of the machines that keep them all alive. Until one day, they stop. There is silence, and that is never good in her world. Wielding the powerful Omni switch, Mo must go up to the surface to restore power and the air purifiers that keep out the poison.
Concord, a little purple grape, is now as guardian, and it’s their job to restore the island. It’s a lot of responsibility for one little grape, but Concord has great friends! With their help, take on the dangerous Rot and find ways to encourage other residents to assist in the efforts.
Big city cat Momo is looking for a more rewarding life than the 9 – 5 grind. Along with her childhood friends, she’s moving to a lovely island paradise to farm, fish, and build to turn the ruined village into a thriving new home. The downside? The island is cursed! Momo will explore the island to find the cause of the mysterious miasma and monsters lurking on the island.
As the newest employee of Cosmo’s Quickstop, it’s your job to provide stellar customer service to the strangest creatures in the galaxy. Pump gas, clean ships and the dreaded glorp room. It’s time to get chaotic solo or (preferably) with some friends to keep all those customers happy.
Neko Ghost Jump
Neko Ghost Jump isn’t just any platformer; it is both a 2D and 3D platformer! Change your perspective to solve puzzles along the way. Nekoman can also transform into a ghost at will. With all this power, can he save all his friends and family from the Space Dog Pirates?
Join cute fox Fennel and his animal friends on their quest to save their local arcade from closing down and being bought out by greedy fat cat Peppermint Pepperbottom. Enter a bright world filled with quirky characters, arcade games and floating islands. Make friends, play arcade games, solve puzzles, and complete quests while saving the arcade.
If this has you excited to get into some of these games (and more), you can also check out the festival page on Steam for sales and demos. IWOCon is a bunch of fun to explore and an excellent jump into the world of virtual conventions, but it isn’t without issues. I was hoping that the booths would have more information, especially mentioning whether a demo is available for the games. I’m also not sure what we do with those coins! It’s also a solo adventure. It’s great to wander around a convention without people, but it also feels like it’s missing a bit of its soul.
IWOCon was an ambitious project and, hopefully, becomes something for other virtual conventions to aspire to. Here’s hoping we see more of this in the future so that conventions can become a global thing!