TOP 3 NEW INDIEGAMES JULY 15TH-21ST
I will be posting once a week with my Top 3 New Releases every Monday and my Top 3 Early Access games every Tuesday.
Meet a carpenter wolf, large giants, and stags with bling, Summer Catchers is a very interesting runner game with an adventure to 'catch the sun' as the title suggests. Its crowning achievement has to be the adorable and charming art style.
Probably my favorite of these three is Horace, the story has so much heart and it has left me with a mile-long smile. He is an astonishing character that I've grown to love and the world Horace lives in is one I want to learn more about, the characters he meets I want to meet. Come explore this world through the eyes of a robot that wants to clean the world.
I've waited a long time Nowhere Prophet, the art style and theme of Desert Punk or Sand Punk or any other variation of punk (or diesel?) that has been thrown around. It's unique and different, the only thing left that the game needs is a brilliant card mechanic. It's almost there. So close.
Check them out below and tell me what you think. Any of these grab your attention like it did mine?
Summer Catchers (http://summercatchers.com/)
Genre: Action, Adventure, Racing
Price: $10.19/£7.89 (-15% until July 23)
Publisher: Noodlecake Studios
Release Date: 16th June 2019
Available on PC
"Take control of Chu, a young girl who lives in the frozen north and has never seen summer, the ocean or anything but the snowy forest. With her trusty wooden car, you must travel to distant lands full of mystery and strange creatures who ready to both help and stop you from completing your quest of finally seeing summer.
The journey won't be easy though. On your way through shadowy forests, dark swamps, vast valleys, and underground cities you will encounter obstacles and larger than life situations you will need your trusty travel bag to help overcome. By equipping the right tools at the right time, you can work your way through these uncharted lands and just like in real life, find a few friends and secrets along the way."
The first character you meet is a wolf in a sweater doing a bit of carpentry. If that strikes you as odd, just you wait to see what else this game has in store for you. So it starts off with the wolf building you a cool little buggy and taking you through a short tutorial to teach you to jump, smash and boost. Sounds simple, you can buy these between runs at the store with... well, mushrooms. Now here comes the little kicker, the wolf has swindled you, for you can buy as many items as you'd like, but beware the tricksy RNG. Mr wolf never told me about the RNG (Random-Numerical-Generator).
Lots of fun still had on this game, more interesting characters met such as a crystal disco stag and a rude yeti that would not leave me alone. It's only the start of the game and I believe there is lots more to be enjoyed and experienced. The music and pixel art blow me away, the colour palette is gorgeous and I really really do want to see more... but this RNG, it makes it tiring. Playing a game should not be tiring or a chore, it should be fun. Looking at other reviews of the game it seems to be a common observation from bad as well as good reviews.
I'm conflicted. I do really like the game and enjoy it... but can I recommend it when an aspect (a big aspect) of the game is bringing it down?
Genre: Action, Adventure, Platformer
Developer: Paul Helman, Sean Scaplehorn
Publisher: 505 Games
Release Date: 18th July 2019
Available on PC
"Learn how to master your strongest robot abilities and reunite Horace with his long-lost family. Adventure across the world - and time and space - to save mankind from total destruction. Run and jump your way through a comical but touching story told by the charming robot protagonist and use your wits to overcome classic 2D platforming challenges, all whilst cleaning up the mess left behind from the Robot War! Experience tons of variety along the way with parodies of classic mini-games ranging from rhythm action to FPS."
I was expecting a standard platformer, similar to many others that I have played, but after several deaths and my unwavering determination to push forward, I soon realized its almost morning and I have been playing for too long. It grabbed me, it has that perfect just one more feeling and tickles my need for tidiness as Horace (the robot) is striving for his life long mission to clean 1 million items. A herculean task that will surely keep you playing for a long time. Anyone out there a completionist like me?
The story is brilliantly written with characters I adore, from the Old Man to grumpy Dent and the mischievious Silton. Obviously cannot forget the charming daughter Heather. There are twists and turns and plenty more interesting characters along the journey with hilarious British humour and pop culture references that had me pointing with nostalgic glee. Running through all this is something much darker though, the world changing and a war that had started while you were 'asleep'. This mystery kept me intrigued and searching for more clues to what happened.
As a platformer, you have to do more than the standard run and jump and the mechanics introduced in here are really well done. The antigrav shoes make for really good puzzles (and dizzying runs... don't play when sleep-deprived, you've been warned), they were challenging but not impossible and although I got frustrated, I never felt like giving up, especially when it gave me extra lives for dying so many times.
Finally the music, ooooh the music. It's gorgeous. You know that face he makes when Horace plays games for the first time? Oh right you haven't played it yet, you're reading this first.
My face people, when the music dropped for the first time.
Mozart but played in retro chiptune, it was a whole new symphony to my ears and fit the aesthetic of the game perfectly.
So go buy the game, trust me, it is worth every penny. You'll be playing for hours... Just don't blame me if you lose sleep.
Nowhere Prophet (http://www.nowhereprophet.com/)
Genre: Strategy, Card-Based, Rogue-Lite
Price: $22.49/£17.54 (-10% till July 26)
Developer: Sharkbomb Studios
Publisher: No More Robots
Release Date: 19th July 2019
Available on PC
"Take on the role of a powerful leader and mystic. Empowered with the gifts of technopathy, the ability to sense and affect electrical currents.
You are the last hope to a band of outcasts and refugees. Lead them across the randomly generated wastelands. Pick fights with greedy slavers and crazy machines using the turn-based card combat. Can you survive long enough to reach the mysterious Crypt?"
It's good being a powerful prophetic leader, especially when the world has been reduced to a wasteland. So as I traveled with my entourage of followers, seeking out justice for myself, it became a constant thirst for more power. You would guess correctly if you assumed my playthrough was the opposite of altruistic. Now it may be that I haven't played enough of the game to learn more, but the story isn't so deep yet. The little mission dialogues are cool and give a sense of a harsh world, but they haven't given me signs of a grand scheme. The lore of the world expands and yet I am a wandering man with followers foolish enough to join me. Maybe I'll get more story as I move forward in the game.
So the FTL aspect of the game works and is enjoyable, the navigation is smooth and the UI is very readable and easy to follow. However, there is one game mechanic that falls short and it's a big one... The deck building and the combat AI. It's not terrible, but it could do with a lot of improvement.
Let us start with deck-building. You need to be able to create a deck to suit your strategy with cards that synergize and this isn't always the case. There are over 300 cards to pick and yet the most effective deck is an agro deck, its worked for me many times almost too easily. Getting the battle over quick is better than suffering repeated damage chipping away at my health, so throw away those long strategies just brute force it instead. Which brings me to the combat AI, their choices seem to be at times really bad or pretty good. It's a constant see-saw that confuses me and makes it seem incredibly random, and with this randomness, you'll be lucky to face an enemy that knows the meaning of strategy as no moves seem to be thought ahead.
This puts me in a predicament. I love the game and have had hours of fun, its addictive and I want to keep playing it, but I'm not sure why. The art style and music is really awesome, maybe that is what's keeping me playing... I'm not sure. I'll cautiously recommend the game in the hopes that some changes will come to the Enemy AI and maybe even changes to how the deck is built. It has huge potential and I'm not sure it's there yet.
Check back every Monday for my Top 3 New Releases. Thank you and till next time.