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TOP 10 INDIEGAME TRAILERS of MAY #1


RaginRamen

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1. Wildifre

Developer/Publisher: Sneaky Bastards/Humble Games

Some people just want to watch the world burn. And really that’s most of us when we jump into a game, right? To find and free your fellow villagers, you must master four elements.

TRAILER / STEAM / TWITTER
Release Date MAY 26

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2. Signs of the Sojourner

Developer/ Publisher: Echodog Games

Life is like a deck of cards. Here, it is quite literal as it reflects your life experiences and relationships. Explore the world. Shape your character.

TRAILER / STEAM / OFFICIAL SITE
Release Date OUT NOW on PC (SWITCH LATE 2020)

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3. Scorn

Developer/Publisher: Ebb Software

Not for the faint a horror open-world within a maze-like structure.
Contains a truly nightmarish universe plucked from the mind of H.R. Giger. He would be proud of your creation, stunning visuals.

TRAILER / STEAM / OFFICIAL SITE
Release Date TBC

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4. EMBR

Developer/Publisher: Muse Games/Curve Digital

Welcome to hyper-capitalism, where YOU can fight fire, no experience needed, we’ll take care of the paperwork! Leaving you to smash windows and javelin throw clients to safety without any worry

TRAILER / STEAM / OFFICIAL SITE
Release Date MAY 21

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5. Maid of Sker

Developer/Publisher: Wales Interactive

Inspired by Welsh folklore and set in 1898, is a blend of psychological and Gothic horror. The atmosphere and music, as can be clearly seen in the trailer, is truly chilling.
Don’t play in the dark…

TRAILER / STEAM / OFFICIAL SITE
Release Date JUNE 2020

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6. The Ascent

Developer/Publisher: Neon Giant/Curve Digital

Had a bad day at work? Try being a slave to a mega-corporation on the day it shuts down for unknown reasons, locked in with dangerous creatures from around the galaxy and all security systems have gone haywire.

TRAILER / STEAM / OFFICIAL SITE
Release Date TBC

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7. What Happened

Developer/Publisher: Genius Slackers/Sourena Studios

An atmospheric world of waking nightmares to take you on a journey that portrays the anxiety and depression of Stile’s mind. A psychological thriller that you cannot trust. Show some empathy.

TRAILER / STEAM / OFFICIAL SITE
Release Date JULY 2020

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8. Cleo: A Pirates Tales

Developer/Publisher: Christoph Schultz

Tired of a boring life serving drinks? Lucky a Pirate Journal has come your way. Join the adventure for the Treasure of Eternal Memory!
It’s a Pirates life for me!
DEMO AVAILABLE

TRAILER / ITCHIO / KICKSTARTER / TWITTER
Release Date TBC
On Kickstarter NOW

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9. Call of the Sea

Developer/Publisher: Out of the Blue/Raw Fury

A stunning tropical island hides dark secrets, lost civilisations and occult mysteries. Hot on the trail of your missing husbands' expedition, will you be able to uncover the island secrets?

TRAILER / STEAM / OFFICIAL SITE
Release Date TBC

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10. Greak: Memories of Azur

Developer/Publisher: Navegante Entertainment/Team17

The beautiful hand-drawn animation is used to show off a captivating story about family, home and union. Solve puzzles using the three characters to their strengths to explore the land of Azur.

TRAILER / STEAM / OFFICIAL SITE
Release Date 2021

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If you enjoyed this selection of IndieGames, don’t forget to subscribe and share with friends. I will be posting more content every Monday.
So sit back, relax, and DIG in.

Signed Vasco “RaginRamen”

‘The DIG’ [Dojo of IndieGames]

Want the scoop on the newest IndieGames to have landed on Steam this March? Then check out my monthly IndieGame magazine by clicking the image below. (new issue every first Wednesday of the month)

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INDIEGAME TRAILERS PICK OF THE WEEK #4


RaginRamen
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1. Ponpu

Developer/Publisher: Purple Tree Studios/Zordix Publishing

A full campaign with insane bosses, exploding eggs and a multiplayer mode full of fun. Would love to know the inspiration for the art style? Almighty Creator of the Universe — Duck God, COMPELS YOU!

TRAILER / STEAM / OFFICIAL SITE
Release Date JUNE 2020

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2. Faerie Afterlight

Developer/ Publisher: Clay Game Studio

A beautiful and mesmerising world. Explore, solve puzzles and encounter huge bosses that will try to stop you in your adventure.
As is written in the Book of Light
DEMO AVAILABLE

TRAILER / GAMEJOLT / OFFICIAL SITE
Release Date TBC

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3. Company of Crime

Developer/Publisher: Resistance Games/1C Entertainment

It’s 1960s London. Build up your criminal underworld, or tear it down as the Chief Inspector of Scotland Yard. Will you be in the Company of Crime or with the Flying Squad?

TRAILER / STEAM / OFFICIAL SITE
Release Date SUMMER 2020

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4. Those Who Remain

Developer/Publisher: Camel 101/Wired Productions

A Story-Driven Psychological Thriller in the sleepy town of Dormont. This is a test of sanity, morality and the shadows of evil. Stay in the light, if you want to survive. Horrors await.

TRAILER / STEAM / OFFICIAL SITE
Release Date JUNE 2020

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5. Tales of Tomorrow: Experiment

Developer/Publisher: Glob Games Studio/Duality Games

It's just a few simple tests. Pass them and you'll be fine. Oh, here's some more easy tests. Just keep pressing that button like I told you, don’t disobey!
.


///USE OF LETHAL FORCE AUTHORIZED

TRAILER / STEAM / TWITTER
Release Date TBC

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6. Black Book

Developer/Publisher: Morteshka/HypeTrain Digital

Welcome to an alluring world of Slavic Folktales! As a witch travel the land performing exorcisms and send out your demonic flock to do your bidding. Idle demons are dangerous, be warned.

TRAILER / KICKSTARTER / OFFICIAL SITE
Release Date TBC
Kickstarter MAY 5

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7. For The People

Developer/Publisher: Brezg Studio/101XP

Keep two steps ahead and balance your interests between the party, your country and the people. Just remember, you cannot please everyone. My advice? Develop a taste for power! Glory comrade!

TRAILER / STEAM / OFFICIAL SITE
Release Date TBC

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8. Chroma: Bloom and Blight

Developer/Publisher: Baumi

Promising a truly Free to Play platform with no packs and extra little transactions, yet delivering on lore, drafts, tournaments and all things loved in CCG games
DEMO AVAILABLE

TRAILER / KICKSTARTER / TWITTER
Release Date TBC
On Kickstarter NOW

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9. B.Ark

Developer/Publisher: TicToc Games

4 player shoot’em up. Cover each other's backs, strategize, save one other and explore the solar system searching for the secret ending. Communication with the team is important, so… BARK! BARK!

TRAILER / NINTENDO / OFFICIAL SITE
Release Date LATE 2020

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10. Super Magbot

Developer/Publisher: Astral Pixel/Team17

Using the super cool powers of Magnetism, traverse the hardcore tough as nails environments. Knowing my skills in platformers, I’ll die many times… but never give up! Leap! Swing! Fly!

TRAILER / STEAM / OFFICIAL SITE
Release Date 2021

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If you enjoyed this selection of IndieGames, don’t forget to subscribe and share with friends. I will be posting more content every Monday.
So sit back, relax, and DIG in.

Signed Vasco “RaginRamen”

‘The DIG’ [Dojo of IndieGames]

Want the scoop on the newest IndieGames to have landed on Steam this March? Then check out my monthly IndieGame magazine by clicking the image below. (new issue every first Wednesday of the month)

1*bw2WnWndVxG5SLckRTS-dg.png

 

INDIEGAME TRAILERS PICK OF THE WEEK #3


RaginRamen

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1. Savior

Developer/Publisher: Starsoft Entertainment

It’s time for a champion to rise up! Will you be that champion, that this shadowed world needs? Music and animation is so epic, it needs to be in full blast when watching the smooth parkour moves and action

TRAILER / STEAM / OFFICIAL SITE
Release Date TBC

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2. Going Under

Developer/ Publisher: Aggro Crab/Team17

A different but yet similar world to ours 🤔 Battle through failed startups and repossess their assets. Hire freelance Goblins, Date a Slime. Invest in Crypto. Set a rideshare on fire.

TRAILER / STEAM / OFFICIAL SITE
Release Date Q3 2020

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3. Airhead

Developer/Publisher: Octato/HandyGames

Don’t let your inflated head get the better of you and run away, instead work together for survival and solve puzzles in a Metroidvania world.
Where the mind and body are one… sometimes…

TRAILER / STEAM / OFFICIAL SITE
Release Date 2021

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4. Kaze and the Wild Masks

Developer/Publisher: VOX Game Studio/SOEDESCO

Is it a bird? Is it a fish? Is it a lizard? No, its Kaze!
Tickles the 90s child in me and brings back good memories with promises of new memories to create.
This won't just be a nostalgia trip. Trust me

TRAILER / STEAM / OFFICIAL SITE
Release Date TBC

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5. The Dungeon of Naheulbeuk

Developer/Publisher: Artefacts Studio/Dear Villagers

What started as a french podcast, parodying role-play games and tropes, has exploded into a whole universe called Naheulbeuk.
Enjoy these hilarious adventures come summer!

TRAILER / STEAM / OFFICIAL SITE
Release Date SUMMER 2020

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6. The Almost Gone

Developer/Publisher: Happy Volcano/Playdigious

An emotional narrative puzzle that immerses you in a game about death, loss and mental health. The appealing colours and relaxing music masks a dark story that you’ll want to learn more of

TRAILER / STEAM / OFFICIAL SITE
Release Date TBC

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7. Wingspan

Developer/Publisher: Monster Couch

I doubt there can be many things more relaxing than looking after your own bird habitat. Help a variety of birds hunt, lay eggs and live out their lives in peace. Breath in that fresh open air.

TRAILER / STEAM / OFFICIAL SITE
Release Date SPRING 2020

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8. Everhood

Developer/Publisher: Chris Nordgren, Jordi Roca/Surefire Games

Nothing is as it seems, down is left and you play as a wooden doll whose arm has been stolen. Jump the beat, talk to mushrooms and explore dungeons. You better turn the volume up!

TRAILER / STEAM / OFFICIAL SITE
Release Date Q4 2020

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9. Plunder Pack

Developer/Publisher: Friendly Fire

Ever wanted to organise your own ragtag group of Oceans [insert number]? Pick your team, learn about their special set of skills and backstory. Make a plan to the detail. Masks on, begin the heist!

TRAILER / STEAM / OFFICIAL SITE
Release Date TBC

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10. One Dreamer

Developer/Publisher: Gareth Ffoulkes

Hands up if you love beautiful pixel art! 🙌 An emotional story about an IndieDev, rediscovering his love for why he is creating a VR game. Beautiful music included.

TRAILER / STEAM / OFFICIAL SITE
Release Date TBC
FREE PROLOGUE coming in May

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If you enjoyed this selection of IndieGames, don’t forget to subscribe and share with friends. I will be posting more content every Monday.
So sit back, relax, and DIG in.

Signed Vasco “RaginRamen”

‘The DIG’ [Dojo of IndieGames]

Want the scoop on the newest IndieGames to have landed on Steam this March? Then check out my monthly IndieGame magazine by clicking the image below. (new issue every first Wednesday of the month)

1*bw2WnWndVxG5SLckRTS-dg.png

 

INDIEGAME TRAILERS PICK OF THE WEEK #2


RaginRamen

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1. Ghostrunner

Developer/Publisher: One More Level, 3D Realms/All In! Games

Free running with a samurai sword through towers filled with violence, poverty and chaos. It was once a safe place built by the Architect, now a harsh reality.
Dare to challenge the Keymaster

TRAILER / STEAM / OFFICIAL SITE
Release Date TBC

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2. A Monster’s Expedition

Developer/ Publisher: Draknek

Using the ancient art of ‘Pushing Trees Over’, create new paths around puzzles and explore the many islands. Immerse in human culture as you learn about these fascinating creatures.
New Exhibit!

TRAILER / STEAM / OFFICIAL SITE
Release Date TBC

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3. Metamorphosis

Developer/Publisher: Ovidworks/All In! Games

Waking up as a bug in this Kafka-esque puzzle adventure, you go on a journey to unravel the mystery of your transformation and why your friend Joseph has been arrested.
Surreal, beautiful and unfamiliar.

TRAILER / STEAM / OFFICIAL SITE
Release Date TBC

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4. Fights in Tight Spaces

Developer/Publisher: Ground Shatter/Mode 7

In a small room, you’re surrounded by way too many people. Get your positioning right and show off those Section Eleven Agent moves. The espionage world is dangerous. Prove your worth.

TRAILER / STEAM / OFFICIAL SITE
Release Date TBC

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5. Blue Fire

Developer/Publisher: Robi Studios

The caves and tunnels of Penumbra hold many secrets, and with secrets come deadly traps and strong adversaries. Not all is bleak In a land carved by the Goddess. Temples and Survivors await you.

TRAILER / OFFICIAL SITE
Release Date TBC

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6. Iron Vulture

Developer/Publisher: 001Studios

Customise your unique soldiers' styles with talents, tactical chips and a cooking system, Strategy is key, on and off the battlefield against the monsters. Important question, can I cook ramen?

TRAILER / STEAM / OFFICIAL SITE
Release Date TBC

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7. The Tarnishing of Juxtia

Developer/Publisher: The Tarnishing of Juxtia

The divine kingdoms have both been ripped apart by war and plague. Demons and monsters tower over you with their large weapons and teeth. Yet in this world, sometimes a friendly face can be found... Are you a knight?

TRAILER / TWITTER
Release Date TBC

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8. Rollercoaster Mechanic

Developer/Publisher: ForestLight Games/PlayWay

One screw can be the difference between a wildly fun ride becoming wildly painful. Two brothers in the family business together. Diagnose, clean, repair, and test your confidence in a ride

TRAILER / STEAM / OFFICIAL SITE
Release Date TBC

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9. Maquette

Developer/Publisher: Graceful Decay/Annapurna Interactive

In the centre of the world, you will feel like a giant towering over buildings, but venture too far out and cracks in the ground become like chasms. Explore and overcome obstacles in a modern-day love story.

TRAILER / STEAM / OFFICIAL SITE
Release Date TBC

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10. YesterMorrow

Developer/Publisher: Bitmap Galaxy/Blowfish Studios

The world is enveloped in a Never-ending night and shadows have kidnapped your family but there may be a way to fix this Travel to the past, save your family and find some answers.

TRAILER / STEAM / OFFICIAL SITE
Release Date TBC

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If you enjoyed this selection of IndieGames, don’t forget to subscribe and share with friends. I will be posting more content every Monday.
So sit back, relax, and DIG in.

Signed Vasco “RaginRamen”

 

INDIEGAME TRAILERS PICK OF THE WEEK #1


RaginRamen

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1. SIGNALIS

Developer/Publisher: Rose-Engine

Nightmarish creatures in a retro-tech world. Heavy Ergo Proxy vibes emanate from the heroine Elster, a technician Replika, as you investigate dark secrets.
Dreams are never lost for long.

TRAILER / STEAM / OFFICIAL SITE
Release Date TBC

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2. Lost Words: Beyond The Page

Developer/ Publisher: Sketchbook Games/Modus Games

Leap between a fantasy land and the pages of a diary, in a story penned by Rhianna Pratchett. With beautiful watercolour art and music.
There is power in words.

TRAILER / STEAM / OFFICIAL SITE
[OUT NOW on STADIA] TBC Everywhere else

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3. Windbound

Developer/Publisher: 5 Lives Studios/Deep Silver

Design your boat to battle more than just sea creatures. Monstrous waves will be the true test as you explore, adapt and navigate the Forbidden Islands in this mystery.
Is this truly paradise?

TRAILER / STEAM / OFFICIAL SITE
Release Date AUGUST 28

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4. Hammerting

Developer/Publisher: Warpzone Studios/Team17

Deep in Dwarven mines is an operation of great renown,
Nowhere will you find such fine Swords and Crowns.
For Vampire Lords must be slain above,
And Elfish Royalty need crowns to love.

TRAILER / STEAM / OFFICIAL SITE
Release Date TBC

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5. Relicta

Developer/Publisher: Mighty Polygon/Ravenscourt

Command the powers of gravity and magnetism to solve puzzles and survive the treacherous environments of a terraformed moon. What you find, may change the fate of humanity.
The Moon holds secrets from us.

TRAILER / STEAM / OFFICIAL SITE
Release Date TBC

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6. Moncage

Developer/Publisher: OPTILLUSION

Here we go, round and round, where do we stop? Nobody knows.
Every face of the cube opens a new window. Using the optical illusion to solve puzzles and find the precious memories of a touching story.

TRAILER / STEAM / OFFICIAL SITE
Release Date TBC

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7. The Last Campfire

Developer/Publisher: Hello Games

Beautiful wilderness, strange creatures and mysterious ruins. These are but some of the things you’ll encounter on your journey as you search for meaning and a way home.
Uncover a World

TRAILER / STEAM / OFFICIAL SITE
Release Date SUMMER 2020

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8. Rising Lords

Developer/Publisher: Argonwood

The peasants are revolting, pure filth. Send some to the fields and the rest to battle. Also, spread some rumours among the other nobility, keeps them busy. And find me a new knight.
Signed, Lord Ramen

TRAILER / STEAM / OFFICIAL SITE
Release Date MAY 29

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9. Beyond the Wire

Developer/Publisher: Redstone Interactive/Offworld Industries

Brutal, bloody and messy. This is war at its worst. Large scale multiplayer set in WW1 with an emphasis on communication. Games as large as 50v50 players are not for the faint-hearted.
Trench War is hell

TRAILER / STEAM / OFFICIAL SITE
Release Date TBC

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10. Tribes of Midgard

Developer/Publisher: Norsfell

Form a tribe of up to 10 players to work together, craft weapons, fortify the village and defend it! At night come the legions of Hel, but much much worse, are the menacing giants.
Prevent for Ragnorak

TRAILER / STEAM / OFFICIAL SITE
Release Date TBC

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If you enjoyed this selection of IndieGames, don’t forget to subscribe and share with friends. I will be posting more content every Monday.
So sit back, relax, and DIG in.

Signed Vasco “RaginRamen”

 

SelekVaren

Deliver us the Moon 

Developer: KeokeN Interactive (Published by Wired Productions)

Genre: Action, Indie, Adventure, Space, Sci-Fi, Short,

Current Price (as of 1st March): £14.99 (in the 25% off sale - otherwise £19.99)

PC - Steam

I am going to pre-warn you now that this review is going to be short as I don't want to give away any spoilers. However, I felt this game was amazing and felt it was worth writing about. The controls takes some time getting used to being in third person (especially if you are not used to third person gaming). This game has been classed as a sci-fi thriller. Now upon reading this, before I started playing, I was expecting something like Event Horizon or Alien. However, being the big 'woose' that I am, I was jumpy around every corner and not having any weapons to hide behind was a new concept for me. You are accompanied by a robot called an ASE and this little fella can fit into the ventilation to open doors that may seem a little broken from one side. 

Image result for deliver us the moon ASE

The story in a nut shell is in 2032, Earth had run out of energy fuels (coal, gas etc) and decided to colonise the Moon in order to extract its resources and send the energy back to Earth via a Microwave Power Transmission (MPT). However, one day in 2054 the energy stopped being transmitted. Five years later, it is your job to travel to the moon and find out what happened and if possible, turn the MPT back on. The story is gripping right to the end, where... I will stop it there and not get carried away in telling you the ending!

You come across many obstacles and challenges but it is your mission to understand what happened and see what you can do. The puzzles can be tricky and there are many puzzles that seem far too simple, but something is thrown in your way to make it that little bit more difficult.  

Image result for deliver us the moon

The graphics within the game are great and provide detail, right down to the reflections in windows. Throughout your time on the Moon, you are presented with recordings to listen to, which tell the story and provide you with your missions. These are great to watch and remind me a little of a similar thing to the people / re-enactments during the game "Tacoma". 

Image result for deliver us the moon memories

This game took me five hours to complete from start to finish and the only downside is, there isn't anything more to do in the game. I mean, I could go back through the game and see how quickly I could complete it knowing what I know or complete the outstanding Steam Achievements but I am happy with what I have achieved. I feel that the developers have created a fantastic story and have ended it well. 

Summary

I enjoyed the game and would recommend it but not at the full price on Steam. Get the game whilst it is on a sale. Some of the puzzles are challenging and with the added time restrictions just adds to the determination of completing the mission. You get to bounce around on the Moon's surface whilst trying to save the whole of humanity. Looking for key codes and jumping from a platform that seems to be just out of reach, with an electric pool below you adds to the fun and I wasn't going to let the game beat me!  😉 
It is a shame that with these types of games there is nothing else to do once you have completed the story but to be fair, I can't actually think what the developers could do to encourage their players to play it again knowing the story line and everything. 

I am sure that you will complete the game in less time than me. If you do, remember to record your time below. Not that I have a prize for the winner or anything but it would be nice to know if it is 'do-able' in less time. 

Trailer can be found here  - 

 

 

 

Brrrr... it's cold in here - it must be some.... FROSTPUNK


SelekVaren

Image result for frostpunk

Frostpunk 

Developer: 11 bit studios

Genre: survival, city builder, 

Current Price (as of 24th January): £9.99 (otherwise £24.99 when not in a Steam sale)

PC - Steam 

PS4

Xbox One

In my opinion, there are two types of gamers in this world. Those that give up after several deaths / in-game failures and those that are determined to beat the bloody thing. If you are the former type of gamer then this game is definitely not for you. Frostpunk is a city builder survival game that brings together the Victorian Era with modern climate change issues. In-game, the entire world is covered in snow and temperatures can go beyond negative 50 degrees. The only way to survive this cold, is with a generator. The generator provides heat on various levels for the civilians of your city/town. Whilst trying to keep this plate spinning, you civilians will try to throw some curved snowballs at you, ranging from catching the common cold, to demanding better quality homes that keep them warm. Failure to comply with these demands will result in your banishment. On top of this (and to quote from a famous TV show) Winter is coming! Literally! All these plates have to be kept spinning, whilst preparing your town for the big freeze. 

Image result for frostpunk

Throughout the game, you - as the leader - are asked to make some decisions that you may or may not like. You complete this through the 'Book of Laws' where you have to make a choice. Each law you instate will take you down a different path in your leadership. You are torn between moral choices and needs for your town. Do you sign a law stating that children should be apart of the workforce or do you provide them with an education? Do you sign a law stating that everyone gets a day off work when someone dies or do you just throw the body into a snow pit and be done with it? Some of these laws makes you question yourself as a leader and test your ability to continue. 

I do feel that this game should come with a warning! Keep track of your real life time - before you know it, five hours would have passed and you will be wondering what exactly have you achieved in that time? 

The game comprises of five or six scenarios and a sandbox equivalent mode. However, with the possibilities being 'endless', I feel that I have only just scratched the surface of this giant iceberg and I currently have over 40 hours on playing time. The research tree allows for your civilisation to grow whilst the Book of Laws allow you to decide which paths you are going to allow your civilisation to take. The path of Faith or the path of Law and Order. 

Related image

Artistic Flare

Whether you are completing a mission or whether you are failing one, the cut scenes are nothing spectacular and are what I like to call, moving pictures (an item or two in a still picture that has animation) but, they are very well put together. I do feel I need to talk about the artistic work that is involved in the game. The scenery and pictures within the game are absolutely brilliant. They give you the information that you need whilst keeping the game simple. The in-game animations themselves are amazing! Watching people trying to work their way through the snow, leaving their footprints and trails in the snow is very clever. 

The soundtrack for the game is dramatic and keeps you alert and to me, makes you feel as though you are listening to a movie. The composer Piotr Musial has created a fantastic set to accompany a fantastic game! You can listen to the music by clicking on this link. Once the completion of a scenario is successful, you then find out a little secret about the game. Don't worry, I am not going to spoil it here but all I am going to say is - DON'T HIT THAT ESCAPE BUTTON! Let it play out! 

Image result for frostpunk trail in snow

 

Future

January 21st, saw the release of the second DLC pack from 11 bit Studios for this game. The DLC is called 'The Last Autumn' where you are transported further back in time before the cold and the climate issues to a time where the civilisations within the game realised that the climate issue was going to happen. You learn to build the generators and have several new buildings and laws to sign within the Book of Laws. Already, this DLC has been a monster to try and beat and I am personally loving the challenge. 

11 bit Studios have announced that there will be another DLC pack this year (2020) called 'Project TVADGYCGJR' (Not got a Scooby Doo how to pronounce that one so I will leave that to the professionals. 😄 ) However, if The Last Autumn is the standard that is being produced as a DLC from this company, then I am super excited and cannot wait for the date to be released. 

 

Summary

  • Fantastic art work within the game. 
  • Several scenarios to get your teeth sunk into.
  • DLCs are planned for to expand this game. 
  • You will lose hours in this game if you are determined to beat it! 😉 
  • I could see this game being made into a TV series and it being a huge success. 
  • The soundtrack to the game is movie-like and is very dramatic. 
  • A fantastic game that allows you to question the type of leader you want to be. 
  • Five hours will pass just like that! 
  • Your humanity is questioned!
  • You will fail - many times - but make sure you get back up and don't let the game win!

Trailer - Link 

 

Vinterspelen - indie games review


Guest kyathil

Vinterspelen - indie games review

I hope you guys had a fantastic holiday and feel prepared for the new 20s!

During the very first week of 2020 I had the privilege of trying out a few Swedish developed indie games at Vinterspelen, a gaming event in Malmö, and will kick off this year with reviewing these. The games I tried was Bad NorthStretchers and Sayonara Wild Hearts. The event itself was really well made and delightful to see and am so proud of the people who pulled it off! Extra fun that the games I played were "locally produced", developed by studios nearby.

 

Bad North 992016675_header(2).jpg.dc2c07dca175daf77e97a3efcdabe5c5.jpg

Developer:  Plausible Concept 

Release date: 16th of November 2018

Genre: Real time tactic rogue lite

Price: 14.99€ Steam (also available on iOs, Android, PS4, Switch and Xbox and there is a demo to try it out)

Must admit I wasn't exactly sure what to expect when I started playing this, actually kinda chill, little game. It's described as a real-time tactical rogue lite and wasn't too sure as of what to expect from that. If I would describe it myself it's real-time tower defense with upgradeable troops instead of towers on a map-based campaign which is increasing in difficulty featuring cute cartoony art style. 😀

As preciously mentioned, the game is map-based, with you trying to save as many islands as you can. It's also semi-turn based in the way that you get to do one action per commander, so if you have 4 commanders you could send them to 1-4 islands. On these islands your mission is to keep evil vikings from raiding your village, which basically are all small maps, where vikings will arrive in waves with the goal to burn down the buildings residing on the islands. For each building you manage to save you get a certain amount of coins that you can use to upgrade your troops in between of the rounds. In order to defend your little islands you get to deploy up to 4 commanders, starting with 2, which are commanding your troops. You unlock more commanders as you save certain islands. If your commanders die, they are out... In other words, perma death. If all of your deployed commanders die while defending an island, you can try again as long as you have more commanders. If you have no commanders, it's game over... If you allow the vikings to get passage to your islands, you also lose. 

 

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This is not a very complex game, but I did find it enjoyable and relaxing. There is one big drawback as I saw it while playing and that is the non-existing intelligence of the AI of your troops. Don't know how many times I almost yelled at the monitor because my troops just stood still instead of punching on the enemy! It also gets a bit repetitive after a while, but I can still see myself spending a bunch of hours in it! It gets a bonus point for being available on Android and iOS since I do think this would be a great game for mobiles. Haven't tried it on any mobile platform yet, got it through steam, but am planning on getting it for my upcoming phone! All in all, I had a lot of fun while slaughtering the invading vikings and did die a few times due to strategic mistakes, a note here is that you can choose the difficulty to suit your skill/patience, and is the type of game I enjoy playing when I feel like not investing myself too much into something new.

 

 

 

 

The Stretchers569e3481-7bcf-44cb-a385-c2feb7fb64c1.jpeg.1c6679c8b4d48eadff16cf3ddc1e7108.jpeg

Developer:  Tarsier Studios 

Release date: 8th of November 2019

Genre: Action, puzzle

Price: 19.99€ Switch

This has to be the game I enjoyed the most during the event! The trailer looked so derpy and silly that I just instantaneously thought I'd like it. Definitely a game for the entire family, both adults and kids will enjoy this one for sure! I only played this in multiplayer mode and I do think this is what the game was intended for.

The premise of the game is that you and your fellow medic is trying to save people that have fallen unconscious, for various reasons, driving your ambulance to the locations and using cooperation to solve puzzles and put the people on the stretcher in order to drive them away and get help. You get quests from a very... Interesting operator and, spoiler, you will be dealing with a villain who is causing distress in the population! Your job will be to become the hero stretcher you was born to be and save the people from the evil person! It's definitely not any deeper story but, it is also not a very serious game and family friendly on top of it. I found it extremely amusing and not the kind of unseriousness that it became cringey.

 

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Additionally, I found the mechanics of the game absolutely ridiculously fun! It did give me a similar vibe as Overcooked and some parts reminded me of Sims, even though the gameplay is quite different. The humor is super silly and I laughed throughout my entire experience of the game. Just driving to the locations was fun, me and my friend tried to break all sorts of rules while going from point A to B. The puzzles get more difficult as the quest line progresses, with many secrets to find and easter eggs, but didn't get to a point were they felt too difficult.

There weren't too many drawbacks to the game, as I saw it. But, there were a few bugs where either some player or object got stuck. Also, you can only use the joy-con in multiplayer mode (and you can be at most 2 people playing) which I thought was a bit weird even if I got used to the controller rather quickly. I didn't find these drawbacks to bothersome though and would genuinely recommend the game to anyone who feels like playing something incredibly silly with a friend or, perhaps, family! This game actually added a reason for me to get a Switch myself, I do not own any console at all yet. Will definitely play it again!

 

 

Sayonara Wild Hearts header.jpg.7b25d5b4972f54c81466caa5a98f34b6.jpg

Developer:  Simogo 

Release date: 12th of December 2019

Genre: Action, arcade, neon, rhythmic

Price: 10.79€ Steam

The last game that I got to try out, yet again on Switch, is a game that I find a bit hard to describe. If I would make an attempt at describing the game I would say that graphically it's basically a crazy trip in neon and the game itself is a mash of all kinds of arcade style games, such as racing, to the rhythm of one of the best soundtracks I've ever heard in a game. I do want to warn you if you want to try this game out, it's extremely fast and full of visual impressions which made it impossible for me to play more than 30 min at the time. if you are sensitive to lights and strong colors, I would not recommend this game. 

I do think there is some kind of story to the game, but am not sure as of what. Your character seems to fall asleep and get into this neon dream world at the start of the game, and if that's the case he got the trippiest dreams ever! The game itself is level based with a new level unlocked as you finish the current one, each level having unique elements (and enemies in some cases). As I played along I encountered racing segments, shooting, various kinds of boss fights, platforming, riding,  space shooter segments and much much more. Everything to the beat of the music for the specific level, as various obstacles appears to the rhythm of the music. Can really appreciate the nods to classic arcade games, blended with their unique twist to the genre! As previously mentioned, it's a very fast game and if you lose focus you quickly fail. I remember hardly having a moment to think as I was playing and going wtf more times than I can count! Not gonna lie, had to take a nap after playing due to the sheer amount of impressions which exhausted my brain.

 

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Do I recommend the game? Yes and no... I do not think the game is the best for myself, but I can really appreciate it nevertheless. If you're into quick arcade style games and don't mind the neon graphics, it might be a fun time for you... If not, you might end up having a hard time. Personally, I did enjoy it while I was playing but also couldn't take in more than 30 min at the time, it became a bit too much for my eyes and brain. The whole experience was, as mentioned before, very fast but also very smooth. All of the segments were extremely well made and never encountered any bugs or so. Even if you don't find this game to your liking, you should definitely listen to the soundtrack! It's absolutely fantastic and perfect to keep in the background as you work, as an example. I also really loved the art style, it's a graphically absolutely beautiful game and some scenes could definitely be printed out and put on a wall.  This iwas definitely a very unique experience and might pick it up again in the future!

 

 

Construct PRO - Oh no!


SelekVaren

Developer/Publisher: EnterUserNamePlease

Genre: Early Access, Construction, Simulation, 

Price: £5.79 

PC - Steam 

<ENTER TITLE HERE> - This means I should enter some witty and clever title for this game. Erm...

The idea of the game is to build a vehicle that is able to take you over an obstacle course using a computerised version of a Meccano set. It is currently on Early Access on Steam for £5.79. Being a geek and someone that loves to play with Lego, I thought this game would be great to share as my first PC game review for Indie Forge. 

There is no tutorial level/mission but there are videos that show you what to do and try to support you. I personally feel that the game would be great as a virtual reality game but in its current state as a PC game, the developers have a long way to go in order to make this a game “playable”. You begin the game with different pieces of Meccano. You spend ages trying to screw two pieces of metal together and even then, you will have to move it slightly in order to get the screw into the hole you want. I feel that a tutorial or at least a set of objectives to support you initially would be a great thing to add here. Once you have created some kind of contraption, you are then presented with an obstacle course. No matter what you do at the start, the game selects a random course so you always have to go back to the drawing board and adapt your machine. 

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THE CHALLENGE

The game is a great concept and being able to build something to take you across a map sets the challenge. You are able to build your model just floating in the air. Once you think you are finished, you can activate 'Gravity mode' which will allow you to see your flaws and adapt accordingly before taking to the map. During the game, the camera movement can be cumbersome and won't move into the direction you want it to. The keys to move the camera are all over the place and no you can not set your key bindings. Whilst holding a piece of Meccano, you cannot move the camera so you need to plan ahead and move the camera into a position that allows you to see your shelf for the piece you want and where you want to place it. 

course

Although my time playing the game is low – 68 minutes – this felt like hours and this wasn’t a good feeling – especially as I had to try and figure things out for myself.

 

Summary

Game is a great concept. Personally, just don't feel it should be classed as Early Access in its current state. Maybe an Alpha or Beta style of game? Being able to build a machine that can complete the course is your challenge but, currently there are no rewards for completing it. This game would be fantastic in VR and the Meccano pieces would fit well with the hand movements, but the keyboard controls and mouse make this game frustrating in its current state. 

If more updates happen or when the game comes out of Early  Access, I am more than happy to give the game ago again and I really hope that I will be writing a blog to retract all the negative comments in this one. 

Trailer: Here

Full Disclaimer: This game was provided free for review purposes. Thank you to EnterUserNamePlease for providing me with a key for the game. 

Lost Ember Review: Beautiful Soul


RaginRamen

1013187316_LostEmber.jpg.07c7ca52392950103c8eb201b49476fa.jpgDeveloper/Publisher: Mooneye Studios

Genre: Adventure, Exploration, Narrative

Price: £25.99
PC (Steam, GoG, Humble)
Console (PS4, XBOX1)
TBA (SWITCH)

Official Website

Breathtaking
Before playing this game, all I had seen was the trailer and it was absolutely gorgeous. The visuals and lighting were inspiring, and the music a beautiful melody. What struck me most is the concept of the game. Giving me the chance to not just run through fields of grass on four legs, but fly through the skies, trample down canyons and swim in underwater worlds. No time was wasted, soon as I could I jumped into this world.

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The story is told through memories of the past
Reincarnation seems to play a role in this world as you are wolf now but was once a human in an ancient lost city. Your companion tells you as much and you learn a lot about the story and world through him while exploring.
This floating light explains the memories you find and gives you an insight into the cultures and beliefs of the ancient civilisation. I won't go too into the story as I feel it's brilliantly told and has a beautiful message that is best experienced first hand.

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Fly, dig, crawl, climb, swim and run
Lost Ember sure give you a lot of options when exploring its vast world. Now, this isn't an open-world game, it is a linear story. However, the world designed is so large and diverse, you would be forgiven to think otherwise. There are parts where you are directed to follow a pre-determined path or follow a cool fast-paced scene (some of my favourite parts). Those are only occasionally. A large swathe of the game is very open and I found myself getting lost constantly and finding secrets and collectables. This is where clever level design comes in, for even when I was lost in my exploration and curiosity, there are visual cues such as flower paths and light. I have great respect for when a game uses the environment to guide me, it feels so natural and freeing.
Freedom of exploration is the big selling point of the game and Mooneye have succeeded brilliantly.

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To repeat an earlier statement... Breathtaking
The music is wonderfully orchestrated and fits all the scenes and emotions you will feel as you learn more of the story. The final song at the end is the winner and a favourite of mine. You will want to buy the soundtrack (or at least listen to it on Spotify), trust me.
There are not satisfied with just having beautiful sounds resonating in your ears, they have to create these awe-inspiring environments too. I will admit, the first half of the game was beautiful but repetitive in terms of colour, design and overall feel, but boy does it escalate. You will be leaving those lush greens behind to brave duststorms in the desert and canyons that evoked memories of Lion King (STAMPEEDDEEEEE), there's freezing blizzards that will white-out your screen and serene underwater worlds. The variety was very surprising and unexpected, which made me even more blown away. A nice touch was seamlessly blending the ruins of the lost civilisation into the environment. You truly felt like you stumbled on something great, it was organic.

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Replay Value
Being a linear story there isn't too much reason to replay the game. However, I am sure many of you will be like me and would love to just dive back into the world and explore freely, jumping from animal to animal and experience true freedom (hmm I wonder if there is a free roam mode? I'll have to check). There is one thing that will keep you playing after finishing the story, all you completionists out there have a heap of collectables to find from mushrooms to lost relics.

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Final Thoughts
This will probably be very predictable considering my use of words throughout the review. It's a beautiful, gorgeous crafted world to explore and live in. My expectations were met and then exceeded when I hit the midway point, the change of environments really did it for me. Music was consistently good and the story kept my attention with intrigue and curiosity and finally heartfelt and meaningful moments. I cannot recommend this game enough and implore you to go out right this minute and buy it. You will not regret it.

FULL DISCLOSURE: Game was provided free for review purposes. I thank Mooneye Studios for trusting me in providing an unbiased and thorough review and for the wonderful experience.
 

 

If any devs want to get their freshly made gems- I mean games- fully reviewed, drop me a message on here or on my email [email protected]

I will check out your page and see what article or video I can make for you. Also can help with creating Presskits and Promotions for those that need it (whether being released soon or in the far future) 

Signed: RaginRamenTITLE.thumb.png.aeae098aacdaaf2622e827c7c13223af.png

And they all died... Song of Horror - Episode 2


Guest kyathil

And they all died... Song of Horror - Episode 2

"No way! This game is cheating! That was fine in the last episode!!" - Kyathil getting a happy surprise
 

Publisher:  Raiser Games (devs Protocol Games)  628353025_header(2).jpg.0faf9caaf4e2495a620c8131a0f9be52.jpg

Release date: 31st of October 2019

Genre:  Third-person survival horror adventure

Price: 7.99€/episode (season pass 21.99€) Steam

Pre-words

Before I start with this review I want to add a few things to my previous review of episode 1, now that I've actually replayed it (for first episode and first thoughts you can read here Song of Horror Episode 1 ). I kinda grew used to the heart beat mechanic, plus I do think it was patched up, and don't find it that problematic anymore... You simply have to "follow the beat", which is not exactly simple... Depending on the character you choose to play as, interactions and comments in the game will be a bit different. Besides, the AI changes up the game quite a bit depending on how you play it! So every playthrough will not be the same and I LOVE it! Well done, developers!

Story

On our protagonist's search for the missing author, we get to the antique shop which is owned by the man that sent the cursed music box... But, something doesn't seem quite right and the people are once again missing? It's up to us to figure out what has happened and find that music box! But, tread carefully, lest we might find ourselves caught by the Presence... And that is not a pleasant experience.

 

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Gameplay

Before starting, we get to choose between 4 characters with their own unique stories and traits just like in the previous episode. This time we get to choose between 2 familiar faces, Sophie and Daniel, and two new ones, René and Erica. Many things are basically the same as in episode one, such as some of the different ways you can encounter the Presence and the heavy focus on solving puzzles, but there are also a couple of new things! There are new dangers and, as I got to experience myself, some things that worked in the first episode might not work in this one... Don't expect the same treatment as in the previous episode! The game tricked me, more than once (or I was naive haha)! Also, I definitely do think this episode was much harder versus the first one, and a lot scarier. The dangerous events seemed more frequent and more difficult, but this is just my own perception and cannot verify that it is actually the case. In fact, I got all of my characters killed... Twice. Yupp. There was some frustration going and perhaps the occasional Swedish curse word. The puzzles were quite varied, with some being easier to solve than others. Especially the last big puzzle was a bit confusing and took a couple of tries before I made it.

Considering how the frequency of the dangerous events seemingly increasing, it did increase the tension quite a notch versus before and there was a new danger added, The Silence. Since I do want to avoid spoilers as much as I can in these reviews, I'm not going to describe it too much. However, with this new danger there is a new mechanic and I still don't really know how it works. This was basically why most of my characters died, because I just didn't understand it. In the end I simply held RT during most of these events while gently tapping LT occasionally and it seemed to work. No clue if that is what you are supposed to do though and I do genuinely think it needs a better description in the tutorial! Apart from that I was not prepared for the final push of the episode, which caused the demise of my second round of characters. As previously mentioned, this episode was definitely scarier and more tense!

 

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Bugs🐞

Yes, there were a few bugs for me. At one point a character died despite seemingly passing the dangerous event and a lot of my progress was suddenly gone when I was going back to the game after a couple of days. It was a bit annoying, since I had to redo a lot of the things. Apart from that I didn't experience anything, didn't get stuck anywhere or so!

Final Thoughts

Most of my experience with episode 2 was absolutely fantastic, in a pretty terrifying way! I do love the increased frequency of dangerous events, and the variations... BUT, due to the new mechanic being a bit unclear and the weird lost progress, I had to do a lot more replay than was necessary... And not by choice. I must admit that I lost some of the interest when my second round of characters died as well and had to start it all over again. Luckily, you can change the difficulty so things get easier and if you've killed off the characters like that you will know what to do next time and thus be able to get through the game much faster versus the first experience. I couldn't help but feel that I shouldn't have to replay it all if I reached the final push, but I do understand the idea with the perma death etc. It's not that I think it's bad, it just became frustrating combined with the other parts that I just mentioned. 

The locations look great, music and sound effects are brilliant once again... The mix of familiar with new experiences lulled you into a false safety and thus made the entire thing even scarier! Loved that part, a lot! The puzzles were pretty clever, yet fun and I definitely noticed a few references to classic horror games. Despite the parts that were less enjoyable I do think Song of Horror is my horror GOTY, or maybe it has a split place with the RE2 remake. It truly brings something new and unique to the horror game table! Thank you for letting me play this episode!

For those of you interested, the next episode is released on Friday 13th... Can't wait to see what lurks in the new shadows! Yes, there is a high chance that I will do a live stream of it then!

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/Kyathil

I Gave It My All - Cathedral review


Guest kyathil

I Gave It My All - Cathedral review

Publisher:  Decemberborn Interactive 615574958_header(1).jpg.3bc5774ba83f945e9e7fb49a93db3c2a.jpg

Release date: 31st of October 2019

Genre:  2D-platformer 

Price: 13.99€ Steam link

Pre-words

My intention was to review this several weeks ago, even pre-release... But, that sadly didn't happen due to a number of different reasons. Firstly, my October was really busy with all of the horror games I was trying out. Secondly, the weekend I had planned to dive deep into the game I got really sick. Lastly, after several attempts at playing the game I realized that this game was simply not for me... Which really doesn't mean that the game is bad or anything, in fact there are so many things I can really appreciate with it despite not enjoying it myself. I'll do my very best to describe why I think it's a well-made game and also why it didn't suit my palette. Kind of a different review this time, eh?!

Gameplay

Cathedral is another of those "character wakes up not remembering much and gotta explore the world to escape from current location" kind of games, which works well considering the premise of exploring up to 600 rooms that will feature different kinds of challenges. Some rooms feature challenges in the form of enemies, or a boss, some got some puzzles to solve, others have some kind of platforming related issues to tackle and yet some contain a bit of everything. The controls are relatively easy, but hard to master, and as such there is no big tutorial (it's not really needed). The game is heavily inspired by good old platformers like Castlevania and Metroid (not the modern versions) and does remind me a little of games like Shovel Knight and The Messenger (both are also retro style platformers). Even the music is retro style, using absolutely brilliant 8-bit music throughout the experience, which I personally really appreciated!

 

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They've been going in heavy with the contrast in the color scheme, which did add to the nostalgia but also was something my eyes didn't appreciate that much. The world is supposed to be huge, at least 600 rooms to discover after all, and features different kinds of NPCs... Sadly I never got to meet up with any and cannot comment on dialouge, eventual side quests and so on. You are also going to get better weapons, armor, abilities etc that will make your progress easier and also change up the gameplay a bit. Once again, I didn't get very far and thus cannot really comment on what the abilities are like, the fairness of weapons etc. The enemies are pretty varied and there is also plenty of them, adding something unique to each room you pass through. 

 

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Final Thoughts

At first glance I really thought Cathedral was going to be a game that I would really enjoy, seeing as I really loved Ori and the Blind Forest and Hollow Knight. Note that I never really played many platformers, such as Metroid, as a kid. Challenging bosses, puzzles, etc are all things that I really appreciate in games... Yet I just didn't enjoy this one. I remember a specific room where you have to hurry up and unlock parts of the room while a roof with spikes is crashing down and I died so many times and just didn't want to continue.Your jumps are really high in this game and most of the time I died because I jumped straight into the roof and couldn't choose to jump a little bit lower. I just didn't like that and there was a similar situation when I played Incubo which resulted in me never finishing the game. I'm all for hard boss fights, but when the fight is against the environment I just loose interest. I guess I'm more into boss battlers than hardcore platformers! Because Cathedral is definitely a hardcore platformer game.

Just because I struggled with this particular game doesn't mean it's a bad one, it simply didn't suit my taste. There are so many things that I can appreciate with it, such as the retro style music and graphics that they completely nailed. It feels like you're getting warped back in time to the 90s when you play it, and in a good way! The controls are simple and didn't experience any glithes or bugs, overall it was a smooth experience and it truly feels like a polished and well-made game! I can definitely recommend this game to people that enjoy games such as Shovel Knight, old Castlevania, Metroid and similar. It will be a pretty nice challenge for you! 

 

 

2019 - Week 48 IndieGame Releases


RaginRamen

Welcome, welcome one and all to Week 48 of 52 this year (25th November - 1st December).
Bringing your weekly dose of IndieGems pulled from the forge that have caught my eye.

 

FULL DISCLOSURE: I have not played any of these (unless mentioned), my opinion is structured through watching Let's Play videos, and analyzing reviews and stats.

Final week of November brings us another slow week. Not too many gems pulled out, but gems none the less. Some of my favourite are of the noodle persuasion (totally unbiased)

 

The Sphere of Abyss (Early Access)

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Developer/Publisher: Crazy Bear Games

Genre: Action, Adventure, RPG

Price: £11.39 PC (Steam)

Official Website

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"Faced with the challenges from the abyss, whether you choose to move carefully or dash forward, your strength and luck will be tested in The Sphere of Abyss!"

 

NUVAVULT

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Developer/Publisher: Mim Hufford

Genre: Puzzle

Price: £2.09 PC (Steam)
DEMO AVAILABLE

Official Website

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"a perspective altering puzzle game where 2D and 3D collide."

 

ERMO

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Developer/Publisher: Nonostante Games

Genre: Puzzle

Price: £1.99 PC (Steam), IOS, Android, Console (XBOXONE)

Official Website

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"A logic puzzle game about harmony and inner peace. A journey through mind challenges surrounded by an ethereal atmosphere."

 

Escape the Ayuwoki

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Developer/Publisher: Deadly Crow Games

Genre: Survival Horror

Price: £11.39 PC (Steam, Itchio)

 

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"A logic puzzle game about harmony and inner peace. A journey through mind challenges surrounded by an ethereal atmosphere."

 

Beast Agenda 2030

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Developer/Publisher: Ouch Giver Games

Genre: Action, Adventure, RPG

Price: £11.39 PC (Steam)

Official Website

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"Gadgets and Hacking focused Action RPG with optional permadeath that encourages you to use your brain."

 

ArtFormer

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Developer/Publisher: Buffa Software

Genre: Action, Adventure

Price: £15.00 PC (Steam)

Official Website

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"Be the hero of history! ArtFormer is indie action platformer PC game with RPG elements evolving in each chapter."

 

Story of a Gladiator

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Developer/Publisher: Brain Seal

Genre: Action, Beat'Em'Up

Price: £9.99 PC (Steam), Console (XBOXONE, SWITCH, PS4)

Official Website

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"Fight against waves of enemies in the arena to earn coin and fame until you are strong enough to enter the Colosseum and become champion."

 

 

 

Quantumleaper

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Developer/Publisher: Elias Sant'Ana

Genre: Adventure, Puzzle-Platformer

Price: £7.19 PC (Steam)

Official Website

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"You can use your other self to activate switches, mislead enemies and block projectiles. Sometimes, even tunnel through walls."

 

Neon Noodles - Cyberpunk Kitchen Automation

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Developer/Publisher: Vivid Helix

Genre: Automation, Simulation

Price: £11.39 PC (Steam)

Official Website

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"Set in a dark and mysterious cyberpunk world, you are in charge of the futuristic food factory known as Neon Noodles."

 

Ope

Ope.jpg.2b8798b62fa4c34ea5f58150bfbe0a94.jpg

Developer/Publisher: Campus ADN

Genre: Automation, Simulation

Price: FREE TO PLAY PC (Steam)

Official Website

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"His quest will lead him through enchanted forest and temples where he’ll need to deliver shamans from corruption before the sun sets forever."

 

Catch me again every Saturday for the weeks IndieGems that are fresh out the Forge. I brave the overwhelming out pour from Steam, so you don't have to.

Last Weeks Releases

If any devs want to get their freshly made gems- I mean games- fully reviewed, drop me a message on here or on my email [email protected]

I will check out your page and see what article or video I can make for you. Also can help with creating Presskits and Promotions for those that need it (whether being released soon or in the far future) 

Signed: RaginRamenTITLE.thumb.png.aeae098aacdaaf2622e827c7c13223af.png

Dwarves of Glistenveld - Grab an Axe and Let's Go


HappyFeet_1402

Key Information:

Developer/Publisher: Nysko Games Ltd

Genre: Strategy, RTS

Price: £10.99 (Steam)

Overview:

Dwarves of Glistenveld is a real time strategy game with elements of base building, exploration and even RPG elements, which sees you take control of a Dwarven Clan of your own to take on hordes of grubby Goblins.

Currently it’s in Early Access having released mid-October while the dev team work through a complete Six chapter single player campaign, but the initial release already includes 6 levels within Chapter One to play through, along with a sandbox skirmish mode, a couple of pre-created one off scenario maps, and a map editor for the more creative among us!

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Review:

The majority of my time so far has been spent playing on the single player campaign, which serves not only as a tutorial for the game mechanics but also provides more than a few giggles with the scripted dialogue between the Dwarves you control and come across.

You find yourself setting up fresh on each individual map with a set goal to achieve before you’ll be able to progress the story and migrate to the next section of the larger campaign map, initially you can expect to get through scenarios in a very short time indeed, essentially once you can prove your efficient enough at mining out rock walls, chopping through underground roots or teaming your Dwarves up to play whack-a-mole with the Goblins that also inhabit the underground caves.

That said, it really doesn’t take long for the campaign scenarios to ramp up potential challenge and work required to get through to the next scenario, and by the time I’d got to four/five scenarios into the game and past what I’d term the tutorial and into the real gameplay, it was taking a good hour or two to clear through a map, perfect for an evening of relaxation after a hard days work!

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Missions themselves take place on some really beautiful hexagrid maps, whether it’s the designed settings of the campaign or the procedurally generated maps within the skirmish mode, and make you truly feel like you are in a deep, dark cave system. Lighting is brighter where you send your Dwarves to explore and work, passageways and openings are blocked off by thin rock walls, and if you aren’t careful with how much you dig away you can risk a cave collapse causing all sorts of havoc for your clansmen. The design of the maps and terrain is well done, very quickly being able to see what resources are held within, or under, the walls (stone, iron, gold, gems) and also give a rough impression of whether it’s a plentiful or scarce amount of the resource as well, making it simple to plan at a glance where you want your Dwarves to begin working and how to gain the most material with the least risk of removing massive chunks of the cave.

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Setting up a base of operations is essential to progression within the game, as you’d expect from a title like this, and akin to the likes of Rimworld you can set blueprints and queue work orders for your clansmen to follow of their own volition, but also retain the ability to force them to prioritise on certain things where there is a sense of urgency to get something up and running.

On the face of things, the crafting and building within the game doesn’t seem overly complex, and my initial thoughts were that there isn’t that much to work with, however, as you start getting deeper into the game with bigger bases and more Dwarves to work with, I did begin to see some of the depth that exists, while it does currently feel that there could be more added in to the game this is one of the major points within the development plan for the game during Early Access so I wont grumble!

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Finally it’s time to talk about the Dwarves, each of which comes with a set of randomly assigned traits which provide a set of buffs and drawbacks to your clansmen, ‘Gastric’ will cause your Dwarf to fart loudly and possibly alert nearby enemies, while ‘Chunky’ makes them move slower (not sure how Dwarves can get any slower!) while also giving a buff to hit points, and these can help dictate which role they’ll best fill within your clan (gatherer, miner, fighter, engineer), which they aren’t locked in to but gain additional perks the longer the stick with it and begin leveling up.

Through my time playing I’d managed to level up a few clansmen as pretty decent specialists in fighting or gathering which I would keep set in those roles, but also created a good number of ‘all rounders’ which had perks across multiple job roles and could act as a jack-of-all-trades to switch around to where I needed bodies the most. Moving through the campaign you bring all of your Dwarves with you after exiting a map, and can bring them with you into the next stage of the campaign with all of their experience and gastric tendencies, giving me a real sense of attachment to them after they had kept leveling up!

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Final Thoughts:

Dwarves of Glistenveld offers a lot of playability considering it’s right at the beginning of it’s Early Access phase, the inclusion of the skirmish mode means that sandbox players could come back time and time again to face off on randomised maps, against multiple enemies, and due to the map generation always have a different game due to the exploration needed. The game looks beautiful, and I also hadn’t come across any bugs or crashes during my time playing, which is promising. The Devs have a solid plan for the Early Access phase (more buildings, technologies, enemy variance) and as with any game you’ve got to acknowledge that buying early on when the price is low means your backing the possibility of what the game will eventually become, and in my opinion the game is definitely on the right track to become an RTS with friendly town management but real strategic gameplay.

HappyFeet
#CraftFightSurvive

 

 

2019 - Week 46 Top IndieGame Releases


RaginRamen

Welcome, welcome one and all to Week 46 of 52 this year (11th-17th November).
Bringing you your weekly dose of IndieGems pulled from the forge that have caught my eye.

All three of these games do storytelling in distinctly different ways, proving that games is an exceptional medium for narratives. It can be dug up and interacted with, created hand in hand with the developer or told traditionally through character narration. No method is lesser than the other, but the variety is why I love games when it comes to the power of telling a story.

Below you will find my reviews of three games that caught my eye this week and hopefully (probably already has) caught yours.

Top 3 IndieGames

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Developer/Publisher: WorldWalker Games

Genre: StoryRich, RPG, Strategy

Price: £15.49 PC (Steam, Itchio)

Official Website

"It empowers you to craft iconic characters who grow through deep, rewarding battles and interactive storytelling."

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REVIEW
Anyone who is in love with storytelling like me will appreciate this game. From the very beginning, the characters you start with have randomly generated stats and traits. A very common mechanic these days to add flavour by creating a party as varied as the seven dwarfs. You'll have the grumpy one, the greedy, the cowardly and bashful one... except... this game also generates a full history for each of the characters. When first seeing this I knew I was going to enjoy the next few hours, my characters were already alive, I knew their dreams and likes and hates.

Currently in Early Access, so some campaigns aren't available yet, but the first campaign is a rich and full one that left me excited to play more. Eager to jump back in after this review, but I promise to be disciplined enough to not rush through my thoughts on this gem.

Going through the core mechanics, they are very much the same as many turn-based strategy games out there. You have your ability and movement points, your flanking, counters and area effect attacks. That hasn't changed here, so for any familiar with this genre, it should be a comfortable play style to jump straight into. What makes this stand out is how each characters personality and history effects their stats and even sometimes their abilities. For example, being a human (although I've not seen any other races... yet), gives different bonuses to stats and even a sense of wanderlust or background being a farmer, these are all factors that determine who the character is and what they can do. Alongside that, there are relationships with each of the characters, rivalries, friendships and romance can blossom between your characters leading to further influences. The depth of how your character can grow and become a living person is amazing and gives cause to an infinite amount of replayability and not to mention how attached you can get to them too. Yes... that's right, there is permadeath in Wildermyth. When their health drops to zero the first time you get to decide between letting them take a breather or die heroicly. If you let them take a breather they'll travel to the nearest town, patch up (get a cool hook hand sometimes, did I mention how your character develops in so many ways?) and they'll be ready for the next fight. However, if they are downed a second time, it's usually for good and you then get to choose if you want to memorialise their legacy forever on the Start Menu. 

Looking back on that paragraph I have a lot more to say, there are so many small details that I commend them for thinking about and it is those small details that bring life to the world and the characters in them. I won't take up too much of your time, so let me move on to another great addition to Wildermyth and that is the built-in editor. They have spent a great deal of time in tweaking the comic panels and how fluid the game plays so that YOU can create your own campaigns. Wildermyth, after all, is made by two great people (husband and wife team Nate & Ann) who have a tremendous love for pen and paper games where you create your campaigns and stories to share with friends. It was only natural to dedicate a big portion of this game into letting others have a play around too. The possibilities for the future will surely keep Wildermyth alive, especially with a growing community I envision it will receive.

 

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Developer/Publisher: Galvanic Games/Way Down Deep

Genre: Narrative, Adventure

Price: £9.99 PC (Steam), Consoles (SWITCH)

Official Website

"As you explore, the memories of the people who lived there come to life with the help of ARORA's Memory Reconstruction system."

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REVIEW
I will start by saying I loved this game and the storytelling methods, but it won't be for everyone. Now for the hard part... trying to write the review without any spoilers.

So, I think I can say this without spoiling as it is on the Steam Page, there has been a global catastrophe of which we could not imagine. The results are a post-apocalyptic world (a favourite setting of mine) in which the air is not breathable. But let out a sigh of relief, this isn't another run of the mill fallout photocopy, it's main focus is exploration and storytelling.

Enter another setting I love, archaeology. The story and game revolve around you finding the Sunken city and exploring the environment. There is no combat, no inventory or anything, just you and the ancient world around you. This is where the diverge of opinions would come in to play, some would argue this has no gameplay, it is just a 'walking simulator', a term that I feel is used poorly for so many games. In a grain of truth, they are right that there isn't much gameplay, I find myself moving room to room, scanning clues and letters until my AI has enough evidence to recreate probable memories... then moving to another room and repeating. What kept me going was watching these memories build on top of each other, watching a seemingly unimportant past come to life in a story that I was urged to finish. Along with the past, there is a wonderful relationship being built between the two main characters. They are from different cultures and ideologies, meaning their comments and interpretations of what you find are interesting and at times funny.

Again, without going into spoiler territory... it's worth it.

There's very little to say about voice-overs, as there is none, you'll be doing lots of reading as you excavate the past. The music itself is also taking a little bit of a backseat, beautifully floating in the background. The strength of this game is weirdly the lack of sound. There are subtleties in the ambient sounds and music has very few crescendos to distract. For the most part, you are bathed in the silence of a place not explored for hundreds of years. It's fitting.

In my final thoughts, I'd like to echo what I said at the beginning, this game isn't for everyone due to its lack of gameplay, but I still recommend it to anyone with a thirst for digging up history and observing life from the perspective or others.

 

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Developer/Publisher: Breadcrumbs Interactive / Versus Evil

Genre: Adventure, Action, RPG

Price: £15.99 PC (Epic), Console (SWITCH, XBOX1, PS4)

Official Website

 

"Smash, clobber and bash... in this darkly funny action role-playing game that changes every time you play."

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REVIEW
The animation and folkloric setting were major attractions to me when scouting indie games to play this week. It keeps to that feeling and atmosphere throughout the game with its use of rhyming in the storytelling. The tropes of a greedy ruler sending you on impossible missions and the iconic Baba Yaga herself in a house on chicken legs. It brings me good feelings and memories from tales that I have read in the past.

I'll say without any doubt that I have enjoyed this game and the journey it has led me on, BUT with all it's praise (that it deserves), there are some frustrations that I have been met with. Should I start with the good or the bad? Let's get the bad out of the way, for as frustrating as it was, it didn't stop me from continuing with the game.

So here we go, the bad luck system. On paper, it's curious and fun. Adding that extra spice of challenge to make things interesting. As time goes by, your 'Bad Luck' meter increases. Other factors that will come in to effect depend on the weapon you're using and actions you decide to take when interacting with people and altars. Yes, there are ways to decrease the bad luck meter, so an attempt at balancing has been satisfied, but in my opinion, it requires just a little bit more tweaking.

What's so bad about the meter getting more and more full? Well, constantly coins will be getting dropped, forcing me to backtrack a lot to retrieve them. At first, it was a cute and cool feature, "oh look, they really thought about this", it very soon became tedious. My greatest frustration, however, was when my weapon would just break in the middle of a fight. If I had no other weapon (like the first time this happened), then I would be left to fend with nothing but my fists. After the first encounter with this, I made sure to always carry at least 3 weapons with me in case it happens again.

Now I call this a minor negative since it probably doesn't affect everyone, those with better skill than me will be scoffing at the remark and I'll not argue. Some will be fine with it, some like me might not be.

Let's talk about the awesome stuff now. Foremost at the front is the art and sound design. I am absolutely loving both. As you can see on the image above, the art is magnificent and they have done wonderful research into the lore of Slavic Mythology. Whenever I encountered a new boss, I was always at awe of the detail in the design. Matching the art for greatness is the sound design. From very well done voice overs to outstanding music performed by Romanian Hip Hop band Subcarpați. Fusing modern urban samples with folklore instruments to create something quite astonishing. Even outside of the game I have listened to the soundtrack on occasions.

On the surface, Yaga may seem like a cookie-cutter game where you explore procedural levels, kills beasts and then move onto the next one, but there is much more to learn. Some features under the hood is the crafting system, where you pick the metal that your hammer is made from and then a selection of enhancements, and there are many to pick from. Your choices will determine the kind of person you are becoming, from greedy to smart to just plain dumb. All in all, there are five personalities and five different endings you can get. My favourite mechanic has to be when you choose what day to start your adventure and the different curses and gifts you can receive. They add so much flavour to the gameplay and changes how you fight your battles. Whatever day you pick, it can give you stronger attacks or health recovery when resting, among other effects. Curses and Gifts are creatively designed, taking the edge of some difficult situations. It's best to try and collect as many as you can as they stay permanently.

In closing, I do recommend the game. The combat is really fun, rolling and attacking and throwing your hammer like Thor, only to be returned to you. It is very satisfying. The gifts and curses add that flavour I need and makes for very interesting playthroughs. And with your hand chopped off, it's always cool to see little Ivan get creative and Forge something useful as a replacement.

I love the world and setting, music is amazing and the art just as beautiful. The only thing I would tweak is the Bad Luck mechanic, but as outlined before, that me personally.

You should definitely go out and give it a go.

 

With my "short" reviews not looking so short, from here on they will be posted for each individual game instead of as a Top 3.

So keep an eye open throughout the week as I bring you my top picks fresh out the Forge. I brave the overwhelming out pour from Steam, so you don't have to.

LAST WEEKS TOP 3 INDIEGAMES

If any devs want to get their freshly made gems- I mean games- fully reviewed, drop me a message on here or on my email [email protected]

I will check out your page and see what article or video I can make for you. Also can help with creating Presskits and Promotions for those that need it (whether being released soon or in the far future) 

Signed: RaginRamenTITLE.thumb.png.aeae098aacdaaf2622e827c7c13223af.png

2019 - Week 47 IndieGame Releases


RaginRamen

Welcome, welcome one and all to Week 47 of 52 this year (18th-24th November).
Bringing your weekly dose of IndieGems pulled from the forge that have caught my eye.

 

FULL DISCLOSURE: I have not played any of these (unless mentioned), my opinion is structured through watching Let's Play videos, and analyzing reviews and stats.

This week has been slower then previous ones, but that hasn't stopped some amazing gems coming to my attention. Check them all out below!

Coming soon are reviews for my top picks.

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Kyle is Famous

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Developer/Publisher: John Szymanski

Genre: Narrative, Text Adventure

Price: FREE TO PLAY PC (Steam, Itchio)
 

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"Take Kyle's hand through 21 unique endings, each determined by what Kyle has done and who he has interacted with. He needs you. Be kind."

 

ANNIE: Last Hope (Early Access)

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Developer/Publisher: Pixel Rice

Genre: Action, Adventure, RPG

Price: £7.19 PC (Steam)

 

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"Love, betrayal, humanity and rule, conspiracy and choice in apocalypse, all waiting for you to reveal."

 

Lost Ember

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Developer/Publisher: MoonEye Studios

Genre: Action, Adventure, Exploration

Price: £25.99 PC (Steam, GoG, Humble), Console (PS4, XBOXONE) TBA (SWITCH)

Official Website

REVIEW PENDING

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"Start as a small, defenseless blob. Grow legs, arms, a tail, a new head, wings and some big, nasty teeth."

 

Miscreation

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Developer/Publisher: Chronicle Ltd

Genre: Platform, Adventure

Price: £7.19 PC (Steam, GameJolt)
DEMO AVAILABLE

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"Start as a small, defenseless blob. Grow legs, arms, a tail, a new head, wings and some big, nasty teeth."

 

MOLEK-SYNTEZ

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Developer/Publisher: Zachtronics

Genre: Simulation

Price: £7.19 PC (Steam)
DEMO AVAILABLE

Official Website

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"Create small molecules with various pharmacological effects from the comfort of your small Romanian apartment."

 

Black Future '88

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Developer/Publisher: Super Scary Snakes / Good Shepherd Entertainment

Genre: Action, Rogue-Like, Shooter

Price: £15.49 PC (Steam, GoG, Humble), Console (SWITCH)

Official Website

REVIEW PENDING

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"Shoot, slash, dash and upgrade yourself to survive the endless waves of Homicidal AI, Traps & Colossal Wardens... Before your heart explodes"

 

This Land Is My Land (Early Access)

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Developer/Publisher: Game-Labs

Genre: Action, RPG

Price: £34.99 PC (Steam)

Official Website

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"Experience the frontier as a chief of a Native American tribe and resist the onset of the settlers."

 

Still There

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Developer/Publisher: GhostShark Games / Iceberg Interactive

Genre: StoryRich, Puzzle, Adventure

Price: £11.39 PC (Steam, GoG, Humble), Console (SWITCH)

Official Website

REVIEW PENDING

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"Evade the past, welcome oblivion, make the perfect Italian coffee... A psychological adventure game about grief, technical puzzles, wacky AIs and dark humour."

 

Size Matters (Early Access)

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Developer/Publisher: Mazen Games / Grab The Games

Genre: Action, Puzzle

Price: £7.19 PC (Steam)

Official Website

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"In Size Matters you take on the role of a scientist who has unintentionally ingested a chemical which causes him to shrink every second!"

 

Bug Fables: The Everlasting Sapling

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Developer/Publisher: Moonsprout Games / Dangen Entertainment

Genre: Action, Adventure, RPG

Price: £15.49 PC (Steam, Humble, Itchio)

Official Website

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"Embark on an epic quest in Bugaria in search of The Everlasting Sapling, a treasure that can grant immortality!"

 

Guntastic (Early Access)

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Developer/Publisher: Ludicrous Games

Genre: Action, Multiplayer, Brawler

Price: £9.99 PC (Steam), Console TBA (XBOXONE, SWITCH, PS4)

Official Website

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"Battle in lightning-fast, one-shot one-kill rounds that last only 25 seconds – after which anyone who's still alive is forcibly eliminated."

 

Sigma Theory: Global Cold War

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Developer/Publisher: Mi-Clos Studio Fibre Tigre / Goblinz Studio

Genre: TurnBased Strategy, Simulation, RPG

Price: £15.49 PC (Steam, Humble, GoG)

Official Website

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"In a futuristic global cold war... Recruit a squad of special agents and run your Intel agency to secure the control of the singularity."

 

Catch me again every Saturday for the weeks IndieGems that are fresh out the Forge. I brave the overwhelming out pour from Steam, so you don't have to.

Last Weeks Releases

If any devs want to get their freshly made gems- I mean games- fully reviewed, drop me a message on here or on my email [email protected]

I will check out your page and see what article or video I can make for you. Also can help with creating Presskits and Promotions for those that need it (whether being released soon or in the far future) 

Signed: RaginRamenTITLE.thumb.png.aeae098aacdaaf2622e827c7c13223af.png

Encased - One to Watch!


HappyFeet_1402

Key Information:

Developer/Publisher: Dark Crystal Games / Black Tower Entertainment
Genre: Turn Based, Open World, RPG
Price: £23.79 Steam / Humble

Overview:

Encased is an Early Access offering from Dark Crystal Games, a sci-fi post-apocalyptic RPG that will bring back memories of Fallout while featuring brilliantly developed characters that give it a real lease of life and allows you to immerse yourself in the world that has been created. Originally a Kickstarter project, it was more than successfully backed, and is promising over 30 hours of story, a freeform open world with over 100 handcrafted locations, and a roster of almost 300 NPC's with their own part to play under The Dome.

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Review:

There is truly only one place to start with an RPG like Encased, and that's the character creation system where it becomes really clear very early on the scale of depth that Dark Crystal Games are looking to bring to the table, I actually had three goes at creating my character before settling on the first one to take through the Prologue. The Dome is home to various castes of people all filling different roles within Magellan Base, like the various cogs in a wheel, where all are needed to keep things running smoothly, and choosing from these different castes will have a very real effect on your time within the game; Orange Wing is full of criminals doing menial tasks, White Wing is the scientists, Blue Wing is full of the construction and design minded people, Silver Wing is essentially full of middle management and finally Black Wing is the military. 

Beyond the initial choice of which Wing to join, you are then given the ability to spend points tweaking your beginner stats (think the normal Charisma, Guts, Brains etc), and finally the more specific Skills that will need to see you through life in an unforgiving world. The Skills relate to three overriding aspects (Combat, Social & Smarts) before being broken down even more specifically to categories such as Heavy Weapons, Medicine or Leadership, and within each of these sub categories are where you unlock your actual active and passive abilities for use within the world itself; I'm talking Lock Picking, Crafting, special combat attacks, and I'm sure by now you can see what I was referring to when I mentioned that game has real layer of depth in the workings here!

I feel it's worth pointing out that as of the current build, while you are able to see a whole range of these active and passive abilities not all of them are actually implemented just yet, so while I was running around as part of the Black Wing with a heavy weapon, the skill's relating to those weapons weren't available for me to use, it's not at all game breaking though.

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The whole game takes place in a vast world under The Dome, and it's clear that the developers have spent a lot of time crafting a world that is truly immersible, especially within the multi-story Magellan Base that acts as the main tutorial for the game. Within this beautiful environment there are countless NPC's already within the game that you're able to interact with, each helping to build the world around you or provide interesting side quests to solve in between the main quest line teaching you the basics of the game. I completed the tutorial twice during my time playing, both times with different characters from different wings (once military, once management), and while the game is still in Early Access I can't understate how fully fleshed out this part of the game is, as I came across the same side quests/events with both characters and managed to have completely different stories and outcomes both times, now this could have been as a result of the dialogue options I chose, it may have been as a result of the items I'd looted from the map (and there is an awful lot to loot!) but either way it's a very promising sign that the decisions you make as a player do actually have a real impact on how things will play out!

Another really key point with the map's and environment themselves, apart from how beautiful they are, is that they offer an open playground and more than one way to get to your objectives. There are numerous locked doors to overcome, ventilation shafts that you can use to move around, and especially on the map of the first mission outside of the Magellan home base there are several different ways to get around that let you don your role playing cap and get into character - do you pull Schwarzenegger and go guns blazing, or try and use some brains to avoid all out confrontation. I found myself completely sidetracked by the environment and simply letting curiosity get the better of me on more than one occasion, especially when there seemed to be some goodies locked behind a door with no obvious way in.

My final thoughts on the tutorial area specifically though, are that it is a very well designed exercise in educating a player, as while you are able to fully explore the whole base and get a good few hours of game play out of it, if you are looking to simply get out into the bigger world once you've been through it that first time you can get through the essentials in a very short space of time without it seeming a frustrating experience.

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Combat within the game is challenging, it's hard to reinvent systems and come up with something completely new, and so any Turn Based player will quickly get to grips with the basics of the system; you wait your turn, have an amount of 'action points' to spend on movement, fighting or item usage etc, and when your points are spent you grit your teeth and wait for the damage to starting coming in. However, the combat in this game is not a walk in the park, where even a few instances of fighting one-on-one without a chance to really recover health in between will leave you crossing your fingers hoping that you just about squeeze through without dying, and when you end up in combat with multiple enemies you really need to think about what you're doing. There were a few encounters within the game where I was forced to reload the most recent save file and try a brand new strategy several times before getting past the danger, and while this could become frustrating for some people I found it really refreshing that almost all combat had a life and death feeling about them!

The character you have been building along the way will have a real impact on combat, both in the way you fight but also how well you manage to do once you've decided whether to pick up a gun, or try and use some blunt weapons (or even fists) to do the talking. After a bit of playing around it appears that the skill points and abilities you choose can affect everything from the odds of you landing a hit on an enemy all the way through to the damage done and secondary effects such as reducing ability points or movement; I won't proclaim to know what's best for everyone's individual play styles, but it seems clear that the groundwork is being laid so that once the skill trees are all implemented in game you'll be able to really specialise your character as you begin levelling them up.

There are also definitely a few tips that I would pass on to anyone; see if the terrain can be used to your advantage, use bullets sparingly because they aren't easy to come across, un-jamming a weapon can be a death wish and standing completely still once a bad guy is right up in your face simply means you're going to get hit hard - repeatedly!

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Final Thoughts:

Encased is one of those games where the Early Access price can make you balk, it's a solid £20+ for around a dozen hours of fleshed out gameplay as it stands right now, however, I've seen this situation before with games such as Ark: Survival Evolved, and if the team keep improving on what's on offer right now, the early access price will seem like a steal when all is said and done, because they are truly on the right track to deliver a game that could justify a higher price when it hits full release! There are definitely a few gripes on my part, like the lack of crafting without a workbench because these were few and far between on my playthroughs, or that some tooltips/descriptions of items don't necessarily give enough information on how items affect your character, and they did cause moments of frustration but this is an early access title and you can't expect complete polish in that situation. Overall, I loved how alive the world felt while I was exploring Magellan Base, with so many NPC's to interact with and 'side quests' to complete on their behalf, and once I'd reached the end of the story that's available was genuinely disappointed there was no more to see!

I want to thank Black Tower Entertainment for providing a key for me to take Encased for a whirl, and cannot wait for more updates to land!

HappyFeet
#CraftFightSurvive

2019 - Week 46 IndieGame Releases


RaginRamen

Welcome, welcome one and all to Week 46 of 52 this year (11th-17th November).
Bringing your weekly dose of IndieGems pulled from the forge that have caught my eye.

 

FULL DISCLOSURE: I have not played any of these (unless mentioned), my opinion is structured through watching Let's Play videos, and analyzing reviews and stats.

This week has been so hard to pick my favourite IndieGames, some real gems found from epic adventures to simple meditative puzzles. There is something for everyone.

Coming soon are reviews for my below picks.

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Sparklite

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Developer/Publisher: Red Blue Games / Merge Games Maple Whispering

Genre: Action, Adventure, RPG

Price: £19.99 PC (Steam), Console (SWITCH, XBOX1, PS4)
DEMO AVAILABLE

Official Website

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"An action-adventure set in a whimsical and ever-changing land. Battle foes in top-down action using an arsenal of gadgets, guns, and gear."

 

MechCube: Escape (Early Access)

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Developer/Publisher: OGUREC APPS

Genre: Point'n'Click Adventure, Puzzle

Price: FREE TO PLAY PC (Steam, Itchio)

 

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"This is a non-linear point-and-click adventure with a lot of endings, secrets, easter eggs and references to modern pop culture."

 

Infected Shelter

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Developer/Publisher: Dark Blue Games

Genre: Action, Adventure, Beat'em Up

Price: £7.99 PC (Steam), TBA (SWITCH, PS4, XBOX1)

Official Website

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"Through randomly generated post-apocalyptic areas controlled by different enemy factions with brutal leaders and shelters occupied by infected creatures."

 

Tales of Lazo

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Developer/Publisher: DYSTANT Games

Genre: Adventure, RPG, Simulation

Price: £3.99 PC (Steam)
DEMO AVAILABLE

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"The game logic reads through your story and looks for certain keywords that make Lazo do different things."

 

Discolored

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Developer/Publisher: Jason Godbey

Genre: Adventure, Atmospheric, Puzzle

Price: £5.19 PC (Steam), Apple Arcade

Official Website

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"A lonely roadside diner in the middle of the desert. The locals say it’s lost all its color. You are sent to investigate."

 

The Legend of Bum-Bo

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Developer/Publisher: Edmund McMillen

Genre: Adventure, Strategy, Puzzle

Price: £11.39 PC (Steam)

Official Website

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"Bum-bo finds himself facing droves of deranged enemies, lost children, his fears, and eventually the beast that stole his beloved coin."

 

Yaga

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Developer/Publisher: Breadcrumbs Interactive / Versus Evil

Genre: Adventure, Action, RPG

Price: £15.99 PC (Epic), Console (SWITCH, XBOX1, PS4)

Official Website

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"Smash, clobber and bash... in this darkly funny action role-playing game that changes every time you play."

 

RUNE II

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Developer/Publisher: Human Head Studios

Genre: Adventure, Action, RPG

Price: £23.99 PC (Epic)

Official Website

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"Set in a dangerous Norse universe during the end of days... where gods, beasts, and the last remaining humans struggle to survive."

 

Superliminal

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Developer/Publisher: Pillow Castle Games

Genre: First Person, Puzzle

Price: £13.99 PC (Epic)

Official Website

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"Explore a surreal dream world and solve impossible puzzles using the ambiguity of depth and perspective."

 

Village Monsters (Early Access)

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Developer/Publisher: Josh Bossie

Genre: RPG, Life-Sim

Price: £11.39 PC (Steam, Itchio)

Official Website

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"Set in a forgotten video game world. Make monstrous friends, pursue interesting hobbies, and explore strange lands."

 

Draw Chilly

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Developer/Publisher: Josh Bossie

Genre: Action, Arcade

Price: £8.99 PC (Steam) Console (SWITCH)

Official Website

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"Take on the role of Vladimir and raise a city from the depths of Purgatory at the request of your employers, the Horsemen of the Apocalypse."

 

Tracks - The Family Friendly Open World Train Set Game

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Developer/Publisher: Whoop Group / Excaliber Games

Genre: Builder, Simulation

Price: £16.74 PC (Steam)

Official Website

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"Create colourful railway systems, decorate beautiful towns, transport commuting passengers, and even ride your train in first-person."

 

Woven

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Developer/Publisher: Alter Ego Games / StickyLock Studios

Genre: Adventure, Platformer

Price: £16.99 PC (Steam), Console (SWITCH, XBOX1, PS4)

Official Website

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"Search for hidden secrets and customize your character with different animal shapes to solve puzzles."

 

The Deed II

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Developer/Publisher: Pilgrim Adventures / GrabTheGames

Genre: Adventure, RPG, Narrative

Price: £2.89 PC (Steam)

Official Website

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"Can you commit the perfect murder?"

 

Between Two Castles

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Developer/Publisher: Daisu Games

Genre: Strategy, BoardGame

Price: £10.29 PC (Steam)

Official Website

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"In this game, you cooperate to compete - or is it the other way around?"

 

Between Two Castles

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Developer/Publisher: Sparse Game Dev

Genre: Casual, Puzzle, Meditative

Price: £5.49 PC (Steam), TBA (IOS, Android)

Official Website

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"A puzzle game about water, erosion, and watching things grow. Manipulate the landscape and bring wildflowers to life on a peaceful mountainside."

 

Catch me again every Saturday for the weeks IndieGems that are fresh out the Forge. I brave the overwhelming out pour from Steam, so you don't have to.

Last Weeks Releases

If any devs want to get their freshly made gems- I mean games- fully reviewed, drop me a message on here or on my email [email protected]

I will check out your page and see what article or video I can make for you. Also can help with creating Presskits and Promotions for those that need it (whether being released soon or in the far future) 

Signed: RaginRamenTITLE.thumb.png.aeae098aacdaaf2622e827c7c13223af.png

2019 - Week 45 IndieGame Releases


RaginRamen

Welcome, welcome one and all to Week 45 of 52 this year (4th-10th November).
Bringing you your weekly dose of IndieGems pulled from the forge that have caught my eye.

 

FULL DISCLOSURE: I have not played any of these (unless mentioned), my opinion is structured through watching Let's Play videos, and analyzing reviews and stats.
 

Action, platformer, management and strategy are some of the wide ranges of this weeks IndieGame releases. However, many this week are puzzling to say the least. So put on your thinking caps, some of these may look (deceivingly) easy, but you'll have many head-scratching moments.

Return of the Zombie King

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Developer/Publisher: Adventure Mountain

Genre: Platformer, Runner

Price: £3.99 PC (Steam), IOS

Official Website

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"Auto-runner where you use a reanimated royal corpse to collect gold to buy back your old body parts."

 

IMBROGLIO

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Developer/Publisher: Rostislav Pogosian

Genre: Sokoban Puzzler

Price: £4.79 PC (Steam)

Official Website

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"Solve sokoban-based puzzles scattered across multiple worlds"

 

Mars: Power Industries

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Developer/Publisher: 7A Games

Genre: Casual, Strategy, Puzzle

Price: £2.09 PC (Steam), IOS, Android
DEMO AVAILABLE

Official Website

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"Power up the colony, uncover the Martian mystery and figure out what happened to the first colony! "

 

Fated Kingdom

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Developer/Publisher: Game Liberty

Genre: RPG, Strategy, Board Game

Price: £7.19 PC (Steam)
DEMO AVAILABLE

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"And if for success you need to substitute, betray, or even deliver a sneaky stab in the back, then why not do it?"

 

Vecter (Early Access)

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Developer/Publisher: Taranasus

Genre: Casual, Retro, Racer

Price: FREE TO PLAY PC (Steam, Itchio, GameJolt)

Official Website

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"You get in your ship, you push the throttle on max, rip it out of the console and then try to survive for as long as possible."

 

The Story of Henry Bishop

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Developer/Publisher: Blazes Games

Genre: First Person, Horror

Price: £5.19 PC (Steam)
 

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"Explore the old mansion and learn the horrible secret of the family, which once disappeared without a trace in this house."

 

Mustache or Revenge

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Developer/Publisher: Growfall Games

Genre: Action, Platformer, Puzzle

Price: £3.99 PC (Steam)

Official Website

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"Challenging platformer taking you on an adventure through dangerous dungeons filled with ingenious traps."

 

Ritual: Crown of Horns

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Developer/Publisher: Draw Distance/Feardemic

Genre: Action, TopDown Shooter

Price: £17.99 PC (Steam, Humble), SWITCH

Official Website

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"A game about wrecking havoc on history, seeing through false narratives and embracing your inner monster."

 

The Coma 2: Vicious Sisters

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Developer/Publisher: Devespresso Games/Headup

Genre: Survival Horror

Price: £9.99 PC (Steam, Humble), TBA (SWITCH)

Official Website

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"You must precariously balance the urgency of exploration with your absolute need to survive!"

 

Ghost Grab 3000

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Developer/Publisher: Matt Glanville

Genre: Action, Arcade

Price: £3.99 PC (Steam, Itchio)

Official Website

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"Chain ghosts together then pop them all at once for points in an endless 'bullet hell' arcade apocalypse."

 

Basement

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Developer/Publisher: HalfBus

Genre: Management, Strategy, Simulation

Price: £15.49 PC (Steam)

Official Website

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"You'll start in an old uncle's basement and quickly realize how complex and unpredictable the world of drug dealing business is."

 

Down Ward

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Developer/Publisher: Fisholith

Genre: Arcade, Puzzle, Action

Price: FREE TO PLAY PC (Steam)

 

1123945967_DownWardSS.thumb.jpg.03b2d61d65dd26d84848697c9b310e1c.jpg

"Venture into the haunted wilds with Gable, a little owl, as she sets out to rekindle the dormant relics of a land long abandoned to ruin."

 

Catch me again every Saturday for the weeks IndieGems that are fresh out the Forge. I brave the overwhelming out pour from Steam, so you don't have to.

Last Weeks Releases

If any devs want to get their freshly made gems- I mean games- fully reviewed, drop me a message on here or on my email [email protected]

I will check out your page and see what article or video I can make for you. Also can help with creating Presskits and Promotions for those that need it (whether being released soon or in the far future) 

Signed: RaginRamenTITLE.thumb.png.aeae098aacdaaf2622e827c7c13223af.png

Song of Horror - Episode 1


Guest kyathil

Song of Horror - Episode 1

"I am not going to play more horror games until after New Year's Eve" - Kyathil pre discovery of Song of Horror

 

Publisher:  Raiser Games (devs Protocol Games)  header.jpg.85a8223f0c27adcf88ba898669361798.jpg

Release date: 31st of October 2019

Genre:  Third-person survival horror adventure

Price: 7.99€/episode (season pass 21.99€) Steam

 

Pre-words

First of all, I really didn't have the intention of reviewing yet another horror game... But, I really couldn't resist this one. I'm kind of amazed since this game somehow dodged my radar until shortly before the release.

Song of Horror has been under development since 2014, by the Spanish based studio Protocol Games,  with a whole lot of ups and downs in the process. They attempted to fund the game using Kickstarter twice, but both attempts were unfortunately unsuccessful which obviously had a big impact for the future of the game (in fact many considered it cancelled since nothing seemed to be happening for quite some time). There was also a change of publisher along the road. I personally really admire the decision to keep on going with the development, finding new ways to make their dream game come true, despite these bumps in the road. Yay for not giving up! On Halloween they released the first 2 episodes of the game, with more to come in the future!

Story

The famed writer Sebastian P. Husher has gone missing, along with his entire family. Worried, his editor sent an assistant to his house in order to look for him – but he never came back… These disappearances spark a set of events that will soon reveal something dreadful: a nameless, eldritch entity known only as the Presence seems to be responsible – and it’s still somewhere, out there, lurking in the shadows, awaiting you… You may die, but the horror continues – others will pick the investigation up from where you left it until you all find out the origin of The Presence and put an end to this nightmare.

Visuals&Sound

Most of the eerie atmosphere of the game comes from the sound and visuals. Visually the game looks very realistic to the environment, with great lightning and shadows, which helps the player immerse themselves into the game. However, the characters themselves look a little bit off in comparison and not nearly as realistic with pretty wonky facial animations in cut scenes. This might be intentional, can't really tell, and it doesn't have a huge impact on the game and didn't remove the spookiness , but it was something that stood out as I was playing. The sound effects are absolutely fantastic, with realistic noises from doors, clocks and what not and the sound track features some really creepy, but cute (?), melodies.

 

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Gameplay

A famous author has gone missing, his assistant who was supposed to find him never returns and the only logical conclusion is for you to follow in their footsteps. Survival instincts are never great in horror games! The game is very story-driven, with the character(s) investigating what's going on at the house of previously mentioned writer. You're off to discover what kind of horror lurks around, but also a bit about the people affected by it. Before the episode starts you get to choose between a couple of different characters, with different associations to the house and the missing people, that will serve as your investigator. The characters have different backgrounds, personalities and personal possessions that will have a certain impact on your game experience. If any of the characters die, you will get to choose a new one that will pick up the torch from the deceased one. I did read that deceased characters might return at a later point, probably in a future episode, but how or why that would happen I cannot tell! 

Paying homage to the 90s, A Song of Horror uses a third-person perspective and a semi frozen camera angle which definitely gave some cosy, nostalgic, flash backs to old classics like the original Resident Evil and Silent Hill. The third-person perspective did make the game a bit less scary for me personally, but not in a bad way. It actually felt really nice not having jump scares served in your face every now and then, like so many modern horror games do!  Not that the game won't provide you with some scares at all, mind you... Some were so clever and unexpected that I almost jumped. 

H. P. Lovecraft 's work has also been a big inspiration for the story and mechanics of the the game. There is, of course, the Presence... A mysterious entity that seems to be chasing the characters and for some reason resides in the house you're investigating. Several people are missing, most likely connected to this entity. There are objects that seem to resonate with the otherworldly and paranormal events that will send chills down the spines of yourself and the character you play as. But, in order to really convey this fear to the players themselves they cleverly added things such as a heart beat, vibrating with your controller, whenever your character is unnerved. I'm convinced that sometimes this was added just to spook the player, while everything being perfectly safe in the game itself! However, tread carefully as you investigate this mystery. You never know what lurks behind a door or corner and carelessness will punish you....

 

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There are two things that the devs high lighted a lot in this game, the behaviour of the Presence and that the actions of your characters will affect future events. Apparently the AI for the Presence will note how players tackle obstacles in the game and adapt accordingly, making the game experience a bit different depending on your play style. This was not something I reflected upon a lot as I was playing, but when I watched other people play the game I did notice a some differences! It actually made me wanna give the game another whirl with a character I haven't played as, yet, and try to change my own play style a bit in order to see how different the game experience will be. Needless to say, I really love this aspect! With regards to actions potentially affecting future events I cannot judge, since I only played one episode so far, but looking forward to see if my actions so far will affect future episodes!

Bugs 🐞

I didn't encounter a lot of bugs as I was playing, but there were a few and I do think they are worth mentioning. A few times it seemed like the marker for interactable objects glitched out and either didn't disappear after doing one-time interactions or you could see a marker, but not interact with it. Additionally I got stuck in stair cases a couple times, it was almost as if the characters simply tried to nope out from the game. Definitely not judging them for wanting do that, would do the same! It even caused me some stress during a tense situation, where I wanted to quickly get away but was quickly very stuck instead. 

Final Thoughts

Most of the controls and mechanics worked smoothly, but a few were a little clunky such as a certain heart beat mechanism... This and the bugs could definitely be improved. All in all though, this is a really well made horror game. I absolutely loved the focus on solving a mystery, the story, the 90s vibes, the characters and their quirks, and most of the puzzles. It's spooky and creepy, sometimes also pretty darn scary, without being downright terrifying as some other horror games are. It offers plenty of replayability, both with the adaptive AI and the different play styles of the characters. It didn't feel like a haunted house experience, where you simply wait for the next scare, instead every puzzle piece you put together invoke  a curiosity for the next one and a determination to solve the case! Looking forward to playing the next episode and want to thank Protocol Games for providing Indie Forged with a key!

 

 

 

Hello I'm a Centaur man - Legend of the Keepers: Prologue Review


bravster

Key info :

Title : Legend of the Keepers: Prologue

Studio : Goblinz Studio

Price : Free
Genre : Management Sim / Strategy

Release date : 10/11/2019

Steam Link : Legend of the Keepers

As a kid playing make believe many would have wanted to be the hero. 

To be a dashing knight, off on a quest to save the damsel in distress or make a daring raid on an arch villains hideout. To restore prosperity and wealth to the neighbouring town and be that shining beacon of hope that their imaginary world needed so much.
But there was always that one kid who enjoyed playing the villain, sometimes a little too much...

Legend of the Keepers is that child some years later, albeit with more legs than I recall and they've been hired to keep adventurers and heroes out of a local dungeon.
Someones got to do it right?
Think Dungeon Keeper fused with Darkest Dungeon and you've got a pretty good overview on this one.

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Gameplay splits into two areas.


One side you'll manage the dungeon - events will be randomly generated and your response is usually to spend a resource of some kind; money, blood or blue blood? As well as the option to just say no on many scenarios.


The second portion is its combat portion - you'll face various heroes each with different abilities and your goal is to decimate or scare them off.
Enemies have two life bars - health and morale, you can affect these in various ways; from spike traps, burning, spells, poison darts or just a good old fashioned axe to the face.
Each action from either party also affects a different position in the field, so party position is very important in the setup as is the type of monster you field, you don't really want your squishy succubus or skeleton in the front lines where they'll get one shot by a pesky rogue,
by the same token you don't want your ice giant sat in the back getting bombarded by fireballs which he is extremely weak to.

Monsters are levelled up in the management portion of the game, and as death is not really an issue to your minions you can develop a powerful anti hero team. 

Should your minions fall within the encounter and your traps fail to stop the oncoming heroes you will take to the fray as your avatar.
In the prologue this is a centaur and you are ripped! You feel like a total bad ass stomping those worthless weak humans, although if you fail its game over... no second chances.


The game is quick to play and simple to pick up.
I smashed through a campaign in just shy of 2 hours and there is an element of replayability to the game as no encounter is exactly the same, there's even a neat talent point system which levels up your avatar before each game.
Although this is in no way reflective of the full game as this is a demo after all - a good glance but a demo all the same.
As a note it was a nice touch to see some Halloween skins over the spooky period; pumpkins, witches that sort of thing.

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Overall I like it, but it needs something to keep the player coming back. 

It's not as punishing as similar titles and lacks that challenge and progression which may well be implemented in the full game, I would be hopeful for such as I love a good challenge in this genre!
Other avatars are coming but I'd like to see them bring different things to the management side of the game as currently its very simple, there needs to be more consequence and things to actually manage rather than click through context menus that can have little baring if you're smart and learn how to skip each one.

If you like Darkest Dungeons and want something from the other side give it a look.
It's free and quite entertaining!
Now if you'll excuse me I'm off to sharpen my buzz saws.

2019 - Week 44 Top IndieGame Releases


RaginRamen

Welcome, welcome one and all to Week 44 of 52 this year.
Bringing you your weekly dose of IndieGems pulled from the forge that have caught my eye.

Below you will find my Top 3 IndieGame releases this week, no surprise that they are mostly... actually all... horror related. Even though they are all horror games, they have different styles and ways of doing it. From messing with your mind, bringing slow dread or finding the beauty in whats monstrous.

Some weeks (such as this one) there will be an extra review for a game that I had high hopes for, but has fallen short of my expectations. That review can be found at the end of the article.

Top 3 IndieGames

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Developer/Publisher: Shadow Knights Studio

Genre: Investigative Thriller, Horror

Price: £18.99 PC (Steam, VR), Date TBA (XBOX1, PS4)

Official Website

"Uniquely crafted thriller with glimpses into psychotic and alternate dimensions."

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REVIEW
For a game that is still in Early Access, I am massively impressed. The environment design is amazing with going as far as little details like cobwebs and door stoppers. Framing the environment is cinematic lighting, giving you an experience that is both beautiful and terrifying. Genuine tingles ran up my spine at times as I was truly immersed.

Enough gushing about the visuals, I'm sure if you watch the trailer yourself, it'll be clear. What you really want to know is how terrifying of a horror it is.

To start, this is one of my favourite types of horror themes. It is purely a psychological driven horror. No blood or gore, no jump scares. What you get instead is slow spine-tingling dread and surreal sprints through corridors that mess with your mind. In a way, it reminds me a little of Layers of Fear... if Layers of Fear had a huge graphical face lift.

Puzzles are hit and miss for me. Some are well designed but a lot of them rely on you having a very keen eye for details rather than a sharp mind. Eventually, after searching every nook and cranny I would find what I need, but the time spent searching takes you out of the immersion and story. There it is, my only complaint. Oh, and it was much too short of a game, but... then I guess it is still in Early Access and not finished, so will hold my breath on that till future updates.

Sound design is brilliant and atmospheric, music is lovely and eerie. I do recommend this game to any horror fans, especially those who love the twists and turns you get from psychological thrillers, just a word of warning that for its price, it is quite short... it's worth it because of the amazing work that has gone into it, but just fair warning. I still loved it.

 

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Developer/Publisher: Protocol Games/Raiser Games

Genre: Survival Horror, Adventure

Price: (Each Episode) £6.99 PC (Steam), Consoles (TBA)

Official Website

"Face the manifestations of the Presence, an unpredictable, eldritch AI that reacts to your way of playing"

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REVIEW
Our second horror of the article is different from the first in many ways, but it does not hold back the scares in the least. An episodic horror game living up to its name by bringing its excellent sound design to the front and making us all paranoid with fear.

I believe that the best horrors are not the ones that make you jump, but the ones that fill you with slow dread, making you second guess your every action. Your greatest enemy is yourself after all, and your biggest fears live within the realms of your imagination.

Song of Horror takes advantage of this brilliantly.

Highly recommend you wear headphones for this game. As you travel room to room, or down dark corridors, the sound of creaking floorboards and shoes scuffing in a hurry... but not your feet, these sounds come from upstairs. Or there is crying to be heard on the other side of a door. You can't trust your senses, but at the same time, you must rely on them to survive. Building this paranoia within you is fantastic and very Lovecraftian at its purest without relying on monsters and scares. Very few games make you doubt your choices like this one.

There are two unique features in this game I have no seen very often. The first is a mysterious one, I have read that the 'Presence' is a clever AI that remembers what you do and changes their scare tactics based on it. Hard for me to judge or experiment to see quite how that works, but on paper, it sounds really interesting and cool. The second feature I can talk more on, instead of giving you lives or health bars, you are given a cast of characters. Each of these characters has a different personality in how they interact with objects and clues and also different stats. I played my first playthrough as Etienne (it goes without saying that he did not survive until the end). What is cool is that when you die, that character is gone for good. You then pick another character to enter the haunted house with and once you find the body you can pick up your old inventory. This is excellent and adds to how tense the game can become when you know it could be your characters last breath.

Highly recommend this game, it's inexpensive and to echo many other reviewers out there, it has an essence of classic Resident Evil and Silent Hill, but with some new twists.

 

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Developer/Publisher: LaBelle Games/ARTE France

Genre: Point'n'Click, Adventure

Price: £12.99 PC (Steam), TBA (IOS, Android, SWITCH)

Official Website

"Play as the Creature, a wanderer without memory or past... A thousand miles from the horror stories"

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REVIEW
Living poetry, a breathing painting that you experience. 

From the moment you awaken and open your eyes, the world is painted before you as you explore and learn what life is. You may be this huge creature, but your mind is like a child, seeing for the first time a deer and the flowers blossoming. To me, it almost doesn't feel like a game, it is much more akin to an experience. There are game play mechanics and puzzles to solve sure, but you are so absorbed in the story and the character, you forget it's a game you're playing.

The art is a wonderful watercolour style and enhanced by the music that accompanies it. Even in the times of silence, it is filled with birds chirping or streams running, there is life in this enclosed world that you journey through. Headphones are a must when experiencing this story. Sound design is mastered perfectly, with silence being used to drive emotion when at times needed.

As is to be expected, some will compare it to the original story, as is done with many works of re-interpretation. What makes this very interesting is that you are given choice over matters. The story itself is different from the book but no less heartwrenching as you see through the eyes of the creature and hear his inner thoughts. You begin to empathise with him and as you decide how he reacts to certain situations, you begin to live through him, for better or worse. 

Emotion is key to storytelling. It's a belief of mine that real art and a good story makes you feel and The Wanderer takes you through happiness, regret, sadness and anger.

I can not recommend this game enough. Some may turn away because of its length (3hrs), but I tell you it is worth it. I hope that the developers continue to tell beautiful stories that we can experience and learn from, I'll be there waiting for more.

 

Um... Meh

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Developer/Publisher: Night School Studio

Genre: Point'n'Click, Adventure

Price: £15.99 PC (Epic), Console £16.74 (PS4, XBOX1)

Official Website

"But there’s a loophole: outdrink Satan and he’ll grant you re-entry to Earth."

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REVIEW
I have included this game in the article because it is a game I have been looking forward to for a long time. Like many, I am a big fan of NightSchools previous game "Oxenfree". The free-flowing conversations that touched on heavy subjects and themes so effortlessly and provided us with emotion in the story and characters that we loved.

When I first heard the announcement of AfterParty and watched their first trailer, I was more than excited. It didn't look like it would be as deep of a story as Oxenfree was, definitely a more casual fun trip through hell with colours and plenty of humour and I was ok with that. What I didn't know at the time is that this casual trip would be a long walk with not much to say.

Oxenfree, for those unfamiliar, is famous for their free-flowing conversations and well-written dialogue. In AfterParty, it is instead held back by a heavy load of exposition that doesn't go anywhere. Like a joke with no punchline, this exposition is then repeated on those long walks, thinking maybe the conversation is going somewhere... but no. 

Much of the game felt very flat to me, and if it wasn't for the conversations filling the void, I would not have made it to the end of the game. This is because a large portion of the game is walking from A to B and doing what you're told. There is very little choice to be made and what choice you do have is an illusion. Often this kind of railroading of a player can be forgiven in my eyes, many amazing games are extremely linear and make up for it in other aspects, usually story. Unfortunately, I have already mentioned how the story disappointed me, so combined with the very "go here do that" game style, it was a very slow crawl.

There are redeeming parts of the game. The voice acting is brilliant and you could tell the little inflexions and range of emotions performed making it enjoyable to listen to. The characters have thought out personalities that lend to the voices and they're likeable. I grew to like many of them, even if the story did let it down.

In conclusion, it's not a bad game, there were entertaining moments with some funny jokes, but I never felt like I needed to keep playing, I just felt... meh.

 

 

Catch me again every Monday for the weeks IndieGems that are fresh out the Forge. I brave the overwhelming out pour from Steam, so you don't have to.

If any devs want to get their freshly made gems- I mean games- fully reviewed, drop me a message on here or on my email [email protected]

I will check out your page and see what article or video I can make for you. Also can help with creating Presskits and Promotions for those that need it (whether being released soon or in the far future) 

Signed: RaginRamenTITLE.thumb.png.aeae098aacdaaf2622e827c7c13223af.png

2019 - Week 44 IndieGame Releases


RaginRamen

Welcome, welcome one and all to Week 44 of 52 this year.
Bringing you your weekly dose of IndieGems pulled from the forge that have caught my eye.

 

FULL DISCLOSURE: I have not played any of these (unless mentioned), my opinion is structured through watching Let's Play videos, and analyzing reviews and stats. For full reviews of my Top Picks of the Week, follow here
 

So this week we have a range of interesting IndieGames that have been released, half of which are on the spookier side as can be expected for the end of October. Check them out below and let me know if you've picked any of them up and given them a go.

Lee Inside TV

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Developer/Publisher: Kyrios Game Studio

Genre: Adventure, Puzzle-Platformer

Price: £1.99 PC (Steam)

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"Where gameplay is always changing and each level feels unique

 

Raindancer

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Developer/Publisher: Strange Creatures Studio

Genre: Action, Adventure, RPG

Price: £0.79 PC (Steam)

Official Website

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"A ONE-HIT-DEATH boss-rush action adventure"

 

Spooky Station

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Developer/Publisher: Estúdio Vaca Roxa

Genre: ArenaBrawler, TextAdventure, Action, Puzzle, Rogue-Like

Price: £3.99 PC (Steam)

Official Website

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"9 Ghostly games... this bundle is certain to spook your socks off!"

 

Quest for Conquest

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Developer/Publisher: Pixel Pinecone

Genre: Adventure, Caravan Management

Price: £4.99 PC (Steam)

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"...the ruler is doing nothing about it, so maybe it's time to replace them."

 

Ball-Pit Simulator

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Developer/Publisher: Drew J. Stivers

Genre: Adventure, Platformer

Price: £3.99 PC (Steam, Itchio, Gamejolt)

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"There is only one rule in the ball pit, don't touch the green balls!"

 

Cathedral

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Developer/Publisher: DecemberBorn Interactive 

Genre: Action, Adventure, Metroidvania

Price: £11.99 PC (Steam, GoG)

Official Website

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"A world full of secrets, hidden rooms, dungeons and towns; Cathedral features a vast world, meant for exploring!"

 

 

Pixamal Zoo (Early Access)

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Developer/Publisher: Twitter Monkey Maneuvers

Genre: Tycoon, Simulation, RPG

Price: £12.99 PC (Steam)

Official Website

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"Only you can save the zoo! So, do you want the job?"

 

Catch me again every Saturday for the weeks IndieGems that are fresh out the Forge. I brave the overwhelming out pour from Steam, so you don't have to.

If any devs want to get their freshly made gems- I mean games- fully reviewed, drop me a message on here or on my email [email protected]

I will check out your page and see what article or video I can make for you. Also can help with creating Presskits and Promotions for those that need it (whether being released soon or in the far future) 

Signed: RaginRamenTITLE.thumb.png.aeae098aacdaaf2622e827c7c13223af.png

Sin Slayers - The Seven Deadly Sins


HappyFeet_1402

Key Information:

Developer/Publisher: Goonswarm/Black Tower Entertainment
Genre: RPG, Turn Based Strategy, Rogue-lite
Price: £11.39 (Steam, Humble)

"Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy, Pride; these are the seven deadly sins men and women are confronted with throughout their time on this mortal plane of existence, temptations borne within the hearts and souls of us all, the slippery path set before us to lead us all into damnation."

The words reverberated around the cold stone walls of the chapel, not spoken in raised tone but with a solemnity that granted them both power and presence. The Warrior was tense, for he had no recollection of how they had arrived in this place nor whether the elderly man before them was complicit in this mystery, though for now it seemed wisest to stay silent and listen.

"For aeons we had believed that those hedonistic traits were nothing more than bedtime horror tales, told to keep children and adult alike on the narrow path of virtuousness, designed to keep the masses in line while our Noblemen & Women pursued a much freer life, where the judgmental eyes of the keepers of the faith did not watch."

The Huntress & Priestess flanked the Warrior, focused less on the speaker and far more alert to their surroundings. Faint light crept from hanging candles in the corners of the chapel hall, casting ungodly shadows across the baroque statues based around the pillars supporting the towering ceiling, as if the shadows themselves held a life of their own.

"Foolish we all were to discard the warnings of scripture as nothing more than manipulative writings, our lack of belief has deceived us all. Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy & Pride; we caved to our primal desires, and as each and every one of us traveled that path we opened the door to them. Further we debased our virtue, and we lent credence to them, granting them substance."

The lights around the chapel grew dimmer, the shadows growing in thickness and seeming to move with a real energy around the hall. All three of them now focused solely on the heavy words falling from the old mans lips, reverberating around the now unseen walls.

"The Sin Lords, accompanied by the lost and ruinous, the damned and possessed, hold dominion over this realm. There is no escaping from this reality, there is only the hard trail of redemption, and if you wish to feel the warmth of a bright summer day or taste the freshness of spring water upon your lips again then you must face those hedonistic desires within and overcome the Seven Deadly Sins" 

Overview:

Sin Slayers is a new offering from Goonswarm which offers quick turn based combat, RPG progression and Rogue-lite adventuring on procedurally generated gothic maps, ensuring no two playthroughs are exactly the same.

Review:

The vast majority of your time will be spent on the atmospheric procedurally generated maps outside of the Church safe haven, tentatively exploring through the fog of war in search of your quarry, while also expecting something horrible to happen with every move into an unexplored tile. There are a whole range of text based events to come across, allowing you to rummage through graves and all manner of other things for some items of note, as well as static traps, traders, resting points, and of course enemy encounters. 

The trio of heroes you decide to bring on an adventure will allow you some tools to make exploring a little easier (the Warrior will reveal tiles of interest within a small range), though it’s worth thinking about when you decide to use these abilities, as there are cooldown timers that only tick over as you move through unexplored portions of the map, so using the Priestesses group heal prematurely can really haunt you if you encounter a bruising battle straight after!

These maps are also where one of the games stand out features begins to play out, the Sin Meter, which will increase as you undertake certain actions on the map, and are very thematically tied to the Sin Lord which rules over the part of the world you’ve set foot in. Gluttony will punish players for using food items, Sloth punishes use of the healing/resting fountains, Envy will punish any crafting done while on the map. These all provide a slightly different handicap to players, as if you haven’t prepared carefully for the Sin you are facing, the inhabitants of the map will get increasingly more powerful as your sin meter increases. 

Remember here though, that with greater risk comes greater reward, and while managing your Sin level to keep it low will offer a quicker and easier journey, if you can handle the greater punishment the game will reward you with greater payouts after battles!

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The remainder of your time will be spent within the sanctuary of the Church, a place full of NPCs you’ve encountered on your journeys, and where you have the ability to use traders, change up the trio of adventurers you’re using, progress through the main quests, as well as explore the deeper parts of the crafting system.

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Sin Slayers can feel a little light in the RPG progression department if you’re looking for a game that offers deep customisation and a crafting system worthy of needing a degree education, however, this isn’t a bad thing when you look at what the game is actually trying to achieve.

Each of your heroes will be able to level up five times, increasing base stats (like health) in a fixed way, as well as having 5 levels of abilities to choose from as you get deeper into the game, and tweaking the active and passive abilities does give you a chance to have heroes fill certain needs within your squad. One of the surprises I liked was that unlocking ability choices doesn’t appear dependent on character level, as different craftable items (stones of knowledge) are used to get deeper into the ability tree, meaning you could unlock a new heroes skill tree immediately upon recruiting them if you desired it!

Crafting can either be done mid-adventure with some items (food, potions, other 1 use items) while the deeper gear crafting will be  available as you steadily progress the capabilities of the Smith in the church. One thing I learnt for too late was the it can be well worth keeping hold of older ‘useless’ gear as they become ingredients in the recipes for better gear; the Old Broken Axe is needed for a Battle Axe, and that in turn is required to craft the Inquisitors Axe which ends up being a solid weapon choice!

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Combat within Sin Slayers offers up no major surprises to any turn based strategy player, as your heroes line up against all manner of depraved and possessed enemies, before proceeding to take chunks out of each other in an initiative based order. The majority of fights aren’t particularly time consuming, but as the game implements a rock, paper, scissors system of resistances and weaknesses against differing types of damage (physical, holy, projectile amongst others) you can very quickly find yourself struggling against enemies which hold some advantages over you in this department. Given that there are 40 normal enemies, on top of the 7 mini bosses & 8 Sin Lords, the random encounter fights have enough variety to keep them engaging.

Your 10 heroes themselves fit a variety of slightly different roles on the battlefield, bringing damage, abilities, and utility to your squad, and it’s well worth thinking about what synergies you can create on the battlefield! I’m currently running with the Inquisitor, Paladin & Warrior, all 3 are physical damage based, but with high armour (which unlike health, always replenishes for each battle) and the passive once a turn heal the Paladin offers give a hard hitting, durable trio with some self sustain.

One last word of advice within battles, make sure you hover your mouse over the battlefield items, as the game will occasionally hide some free items within some inconspicuous looking crates/bottles/tables that would be easily dismissed as nothing but decoration.

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Final Thoughts:

I’ve put a fair few hours into Sin Slayers since getting hold of a key, and while I’m now done with writing the review, the best compliment I can give the game is that I am not done playing this one just yet! There’s plenty of challenge to be found within the game if you decide to push your sin meter to the max, and even without handicapping yourself that way Sin Slayers is not a walk in the park once you progress past the first Sin Lord. The game offers another great option for people who are looking to relax for a couple of hours in a shorter gaming session, while still feeling like you’ve had some reward even if you’re adventure finished in failure overall!

I want to thank Black Tower Entertainment for providing us with a key to take Sin Slayers for a spin, and if you’ve got any thoughts let me know below!

HappyFeet
#CraftFightSurvive

Ape Out Review - Smash! Grab! Escape!


RaginRamen

Key Info:

Developer/Publisher: Gabe Cuzzillo/Devolver Digital

Genre: Top-Down, Action, Smash'em Up

Price: £10.99 PC (Steam, GoG, Humble, Itchio), SWITCH
DEMO AVAILABLE

Official Website

Ever have those moments of pure anger where you run away into your mind, turn into a huge ape and brutally pulverise everyone in the building into a pulp during a mad run to the exit? No?... Well if you did, it would look like this. 

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- Pros
Intense Bold Beautiful Art I could just watch for hours.
Punch in the face Jazz Orchestra that is procedurally generated by how Apeshit (sorry) crazy it is getting.
Simple Controls. Move. Grab. Punch. That's it.
Satisfyingly Hard. It has that 'Just one more try' worm that burrows in your head, telling you, you can do it.
Shakes it up every level. Enemies change, surprises come into play, your strategy must evolve as you progress.
Angry Violent Ape (good stress reliever).

- Cons
Too Short (only took me 2 hours to complete).


Ape in Cage. Ape Mad, Ape break out and go on a violence-induced sprint to exit
This isn't really a narrative game and that's ok. It's not meant to be and I wouldn't expect it to.
However, between the bloody corridors and guards running on fire, there is a very loose visual narrative. You start in a lab, you've been experimented on and later in the next few stages, there is a progression of sorts with each of the 4 stages occupying a different environment. All these stages (presented as Vinyl Albums, so cool) work as 4 different vignettes or slices of a great Angry Ape who just wants freedom... at any cost.

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You would think it is just a smash, grab, have a nice day kind of game
But let me tell you about my first play-through. I was immediately engrossed in the carnage and the completionist in my head said to get revenge on every single one of these men for imprisoning me, hunt them down, rip them apart and be rewarded by the satisfying cymbal crash... But no, as I picked up a dismembered arm to fling at another incoming enemy, a spray of bullets from a shotgun burst towards me, and then it hit me. I'm meant to escape. 
In the beginning, I thought the game frustrating, but when I started actively trying to escape, it became the mad rush it was meant to be. New levels brought more surprises, in one level lingering close to a window meant getting shot by snipers, soon I encountered explosive experts, flamethrowers, mortars falling from the sky, the variation kept coming and made everything fresh, constantly pushing me to re-evaluate my strategy.
"In most games, procedural generation is there to add replayability and add very divergent outcomes. In this game, it's about forcing you to improvise. - Gabe Cuzzillo
You can't rely on knowing the layout of the building or position of the guards, you have to take each moment as it comes. For those that know me, I normally get turned off a game at the mention of procedural generation, there's no authorship to the design and structure, but in the case of Ape Out, it is for a reason and a reason that works for me.

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You've got to admit, the music is pretty fantastic
So it's no wonder that during production, it became a linchpin and focus that Gabe Cuzzillo latched onto. "You've Got to Have Freedom" by saxophonist Pharoah Sanders, THAT is the linchpin that drove it home.

"It really spoke to me on a deep level" - Gabe Cuzzillo

But we're here to talk about the music in Ape Out, an algorithmic masterpiece of a score by Matt Boch. Double time drums set the pace and the rhythm of your heartbeat, growing louder and more intense as violence escalates. Loud cymbals crash into the track with every man you smash, ratatat of guns and explosions and the wet squishing sound of carpet drenched in blood. This is a symphony of carnage and the urgency to escape, blended into a head-bobbing jazz track that you control. Does it all fit and work? It most certainly does and it gives you the satisfaction that it was your rampage that created this soundtrack.
On top of this amazing soundtrack, we've got the sharp colours and shapes that pull you in and compliment the harshness of the saxophone. The inspiration for the art style sits heavily with Saul Bass, who is famous for strong colour, simplicity in shapes and lack of tonality that creates a striking image. This was brilliantly re-created by Bennet Foddy.
The tall parallel walls give that vertigo feel and tightness, making you feel like a rat, trapped in a maze as you scurry around looking for the exit and avoiding the dangers. This little detail took me a while to notice, but when I did I loved it. There is no health bar telling you how weak you are, but instead the more damage you take, the bigger the pool of blood that trails behind you. This is the kind of game design I love. When the visuals and music don't just look and sound good but work to make the game better.


As mentioned in the Pros and Cons, this is not a very long game and depending on your level of skill, you could complete this game in a very short time. Thankfully there is an arcade mode that scores you for how far you can get without dying and a harder difficulty mode too. 
For me, those modes don't interest me. For others, it will add maybe an extra hour or two to your fun.


Final Thoughts
Ape Out is a hugely enjoyable game, it lived up to what I wanted and it gave me plenty of pleasant surprises that kept the repetitive gameplay fresh and interesting. The music is amazing (I'll be buying the soundtrack right after this) and the visuals were pure art for my eyes to drink up. 
My only con is that the game was too short, but in actual fact, its a double-sided coin for me. Yes, it did not take long to finish the game, but at the same time, if it had lasted any longer, it would have risked becoming stale. The game was exactly as long as it should be, despite the brevity. 
Still, I can't help but want more. More Albums and more music to smash people to the rhythm of. Highly recommend the game to anyone with anger problems, a love for jazz, or just wants a short game to enjoy. Or anyone really... I mean who doesn't like Apes, Jazz, and Violence?


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