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Saturday, 3 October 2015

Indie Game Quick Roundup

Since I neither have time to review games properly these days nor play individual games long enough to be able to give a decent review, I thought I’d run through my Steam Library list and give a quick overall impression from what little I have played of various games.

  • Alternativa – good stab at a cyberpunk adventure game, but whilst the aesthetics and atmosphere are very good, the actual puzzles aren’t so great and the gameplay mechanics a bit too laboured.
  • A Bastard’s Tale – side-scrolling sword-fighting game.  I found the difficulty curve to be incredibly steep.
  • Block Story – Minecraftalike, my daughter enjoys playing it with me but I just can’t get into this sort of game.
  • The Bug Butcher – frenetic bug-blasting inspired by Pang!  Fast-paced and extremely playable.  Funny cut scenes too. 
  • Burnstar – Bomberman turned into a puzzle game.  Good stuff, music doesn’t seem to quite fit.  Suspect it’s best as a multiplayer game but haven’t had a chance to check it in that mode yet.
  • Cannon Brawl – action-strategy game with cartoon style presentation.  On the face of it a casual game but quite a lot of depth and challenge.
  • Cherry Tree High !!  My! Girls! – I guess I just don’t understand this sort of “game”.  It’s a visual novel with minimal interaction, presented with 2D RPG style graphics and dialogue boxes.  This is an incredibly long cut scene basically.  Personally I didn’t find the story anywhere near engaging or funny enough to keep my attention.  Guess if you liked the first game that this is a spin-off of you may enjoy it.
  • Dominions 4 – absolutely massive fantasy strategy game.
  • A Golden Wake – solid adventure game with a unique setting.  I liked the parts that were specifically linked to the game’s theme more than the standard adventure-game features.
  • Hive – a board game featuring insects.  I never got very good at it!
  • Human Extinction Simulator – strategy game, very tricky at first but offers an interesting challenge and unusual gameplay style if you manage to get the hang of it.
  • iZBOT – retro platformer, good fun.
  • The Journey Down: Chapter Two – the second part of the excellent adventure game series.  Heavily stylised graphics, terrific music, good plot and puzzles, and wonderful characters.  Looking forward to Chapter Three!
  • Last Word – a unique, non-violent RPG that has won plenty of plaudits.  I have been waiting for a non-violent RPG for years and as a writer I expected to love this, but.... I’m afraid I just didn’t have the patience to play it.
  • ManaCollect – RPG meets Minesweeper.  Can’t make my mind up about this one tbh.
  • Project Temporality – a 3D puzzle-platformer at heart, seemed pretty good but unfortunately my present hardware isn’t up to the job of playing it with anything like decent specs.
  • Psichodelya – a fantasticly simple idea turns shmups on their head in this game, but even on the easiest difficulty level I couldn’t make it very far.  Playing on the keyboard didn’t help, for those without a gamepad this is crying out for mouse control but unfortunately (unless the devs have added it in the meantime) is not available.  Good idea but far too difficult to be fun (for me at any rate).
  • Remnants of Isolation – solid RPG title with some good mechanics.  Set in a prison initially, the lack of character interaction is a problem at first (you have two characters in your party, but one of them doesn’t speak.  At least not until later in the game, I’m not sure if she ever does!).
  • Retrobooster – tough cave-flyer game where you defeat enemy ships, rescue stranded humans and solve puzzlesa to complete levels.  Challenging and addictive.
  • RETSNOM – fantastic gameplay mechanic but, what with squashing zombies in fountains of blood and quitting a level by smashing your head against the ground until you die, I actually found it just too disgusting to play.
  • ROGUS – Kingdom of the Lost Souls – a “run-‘em-up”, some good ideas but it’s not really my cup of tea.  Might try to go back to it sometime, I get the idea there’s a lot more than appears on the surface here.
  • Sneaky Ninja – good mix of arcade and stealth.   Seem to remember the version I played was still pre-release so maybe didn’t see all that it had to offer.
  • So Many Me – cute retro puzzle platformer where you can split yourself into different copies.  Completing levels is generally not too hard – getting every bonus item etc is incredibly tough.
  • Technobabylon – exceptional retro adventure game with a cyberpunk setting.  Must try to do a proper full review of this one.
  • Tesla Breaks the World – interesting game and slick presentation, I’m not really sure how much fun it will be long-term though.
  • The Sacred Tears TRUE – seemed like a decent episodic JRPG, couldn’t really get into it though.
  • SanctuaryRPG – highly praised ASCII-art RPG, again I just couldn’t really get into it.  Apparently there is amazing depth og gameplay and customisation for those who do.  Maybe I just wasn’t in the mood – might revisit this one someday.
  • The Static Speaks My Name – um... I honestly have no idea what this is.  Couldn’t find any gameplay, I’m sure it’s there somewhere but I didn’t have the patience to seek further and find it.
  • Subject 13 – gah... wanted to love this one or at least like it but I found the awkward controls and unclear puzzles annoying very quickly and stopped playing it.
  • Supercharged Robot VULKAISER – retro Japanese shmup, a good one if this like this sort of game.
  • Yatagarasu Attack on Cataclysm – retro beat-em-up,  a bit mad really especially with the commentators!  If you liked 90s games such as Street Fighter 2, King of Fighters etc, you’ll probably enjoy this a lot.

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