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RaginRamen

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My passion is helping indie developers get the exposure they deserve by reviewing their games and showcasing them in Lets Plays on my youtube channel found here: http://bit.ly/RaginRamenYoutube

I am but a single man, so, unfortunately, I don't have time to look at all the amazing games coming out every week. But I try my best to help the ones that really stand out for me.
  1. 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 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) 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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)
  2. 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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)
  3. 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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)
  4. 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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”
  5. 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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”
  6. Developer/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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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:
  7. 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) Developer/Publisher: Crazy Bear Games Genre: Action, Adventure, RPG Price: £11.39 PC (Steam) Official Website "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 Developer/Publisher: Mim Hufford Genre: Puzzle Price: £2.09 PC (Steam) DEMO AVAILABLE Official Website "a perspective altering puzzle game where 2D and 3D collide." ERMO Developer/Publisher: Nonostante Games Genre: Puzzle Price: £1.99 PC (Steam), IOS, Android, Console (XBOXONE) Official Website "A logic puzzle game about harmony and inner peace. A journey through mind challenges surrounded by an ethereal atmosphere." Escape the Ayuwoki Developer/Publisher: Deadly Crow Games Genre: Survival Horror Price: £11.39 PC (Steam, Itchio) "A logic puzzle game about harmony and inner peace. A journey through mind challenges surrounded by an ethereal atmosphere." Beast Agenda 2030 Developer/Publisher: Ouch Giver Games Genre: Action, Adventure, RPG Price: £11.39 PC (Steam) Official Website "Gadgets and Hacking focused Action RPG with optional permadeath that encourages you to use your brain." ArtFormer Developer/Publisher: Buffa Software Genre: Action, Adventure Price: £15.00 PC (Steam) Official Website "Be the hero of history! ArtFormer is indie action platformer PC game with RPG elements evolving in each chapter." Story of a Gladiator Developer/Publisher: Brain Seal Genre: Action, Beat'Em'Up Price: £9.99 PC (Steam), Console (XBOXONE, SWITCH, PS4) Official Website "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 Developer/Publisher: Elias Sant'Ana Genre: Adventure, Puzzle-Platformer Price: £7.19 PC (Steam) Official Website "You can use your other self to activate switches, mislead enemies and block projectiles. Sometimes, even tunnel through walls." Neon Noodles - Cyberpunk Kitchen Automation Developer/Publisher: Vivid Helix Genre: Automation, Simulation Price: £11.39 PC (Steam) Official Website "Set in a dark and mysterious cyberpunk world, you are in charge of the futuristic food factory known as Neon Noodles." Ope Developer/Publisher: Campus ADN Genre: Automation, Simulation Price: FREE TO PLAY PC (Steam) Official Website "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:
  8. 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 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." 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. 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." 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. 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." 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:
  9. 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. Kyle is Famous Developer/Publisher: John Szymanski Genre: Narrative, Text Adventure Price: FREE TO PLAY PC (Steam, Itchio) "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) Developer/Publisher: Pixel Rice Genre: Action, Adventure, RPG Price: £7.19 PC (Steam) "Love, betrayal, humanity and rule, conspiracy and choice in apocalypse, all waiting for you to reveal." Lost Ember Developer/Publisher: MoonEye Studios Genre: Action, Adventure, Exploration Price: £25.99 PC (Steam, GoG, Humble), Console (PS4, XBOXONE) TBA (SWITCH) Official Website REVIEW PENDING "Start as a small, defenseless blob. Grow legs, arms, a tail, a new head, wings and some big, nasty teeth." Miscreation Developer/Publisher: Chronicle Ltd Genre: Platform, Adventure Price: £7.19 PC (Steam, GameJolt) DEMO AVAILABLE "Start as a small, defenseless blob. Grow legs, arms, a tail, a new head, wings and some big, nasty teeth." MOLEK-SYNTEZ Developer/Publisher: Zachtronics Genre: Simulation Price: £7.19 PC (Steam) DEMO AVAILABLE Official Website "Create small molecules with various pharmacological effects from the comfort of your small Romanian apartment." Black Future '88 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 "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) Developer/Publisher: Game-Labs Genre: Action, RPG Price: £34.99 PC (Steam) Official Website "Experience the frontier as a chief of a Native American tribe and resist the onset of the settlers." Still There Developer/Publisher: GhostShark Games / Iceberg Interactive Genre: StoryRich, Puzzle, Adventure Price: £11.39 PC (Steam, GoG, Humble), Console (SWITCH) Official Website REVIEW PENDING "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) Developer/Publisher: Mazen Games / Grab The Games Genre: Action, Puzzle Price: £7.19 PC (Steam) Official Website "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 Developer/Publisher: Moonsprout Games / Dangen Entertainment Genre: Action, Adventure, RPG Price: £15.49 PC (Steam, Humble, Itchio) Official Website "Embark on an epic quest in Bugaria in search of The Everlasting Sapling, a treasure that can grant immortality!" Guntastic (Early Access) Developer/Publisher: Ludicrous Games Genre: Action, Multiplayer, Brawler Price: £9.99 PC (Steam), Console TBA (XBOXONE, SWITCH, PS4) Official Website "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 Developer/Publisher: Mi-Clos Studio Fibre Tigre / Goblinz Studio Genre: TurnBased Strategy, Simulation, RPG Price: £15.49 PC (Steam, Humble, GoG) Official Website "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:
  10. 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. Sparklite 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 "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) Developer/Publisher: OGUREC APPS Genre: Point'n'Click Adventure, Puzzle Price: FREE TO PLAY PC (Steam, Itchio) "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 Developer/Publisher: Dark Blue Games Genre: Action, Adventure, Beat'em Up Price: £7.99 PC (Steam), TBA (SWITCH, PS4, XBOX1) Official Website "Through randomly generated post-apocalyptic areas controlled by different enemy factions with brutal leaders and shelters occupied by infected creatures." Tales of Lazo Developer/Publisher: DYSTANT Games Genre: Adventure, RPG, Simulation Price: £3.99 PC (Steam) DEMO AVAILABLE "The game logic reads through your story and looks for certain keywords that make Lazo do different things." Discolored Developer/Publisher: Jason Godbey Genre: Adventure, Atmospheric, Puzzle Price: £5.19 PC (Steam), Apple Arcade Official Website "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 Developer/Publisher: Edmund McMillen Genre: Adventure, Strategy, Puzzle Price: £11.39 PC (Steam) Official Website "Bum-bo finds himself facing droves of deranged enemies, lost children, his fears, and eventually the beast that stole his beloved coin." Yaga 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." RUNE II Developer/Publisher: Human Head Studios Genre: Adventure, Action, RPG Price: £23.99 PC (Epic) Official Website "Set in a dangerous Norse universe during the end of days... where gods, beasts, and the last remaining humans struggle to survive." Superliminal Developer/Publisher: Pillow Castle Games Genre: First Person, Puzzle Price: £13.99 PC (Epic) Official Website "Explore a surreal dream world and solve impossible puzzles using the ambiguity of depth and perspective." Village Monsters (Early Access) Developer/Publisher: Josh Bossie Genre: RPG, Life-Sim Price: £11.39 PC (Steam, Itchio) Official Website "Set in a forgotten video game world. Make monstrous friends, pursue interesting hobbies, and explore strange lands." Draw Chilly Developer/Publisher: Josh Bossie Genre: Action, Arcade Price: £8.99 PC (Steam) Console (SWITCH) Official Website "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 Developer/Publisher: Whoop Group / Excaliber Games Genre: Builder, Simulation Price: £16.74 PC (Steam) Official Website "Create colourful railway systems, decorate beautiful towns, transport commuting passengers, and even ride your train in first-person." Woven Developer/Publisher: Alter Ego Games / StickyLock Studios Genre: Adventure, Platformer Price: £16.99 PC (Steam), Console (SWITCH, XBOX1, PS4) Official Website "Search for hidden secrets and customize your character with different animal shapes to solve puzzles." The Deed II Developer/Publisher: Pilgrim Adventures / GrabTheGames Genre: Adventure, RPG, Narrative Price: £2.89 PC (Steam) Official Website "Can you commit the perfect murder?" Between Two Castles Developer/Publisher: Daisu Games Genre: Strategy, BoardGame Price: £10.29 PC (Steam) Official Website "In this game, you cooperate to compete - or is it the other way around?" Between Two Castles Developer/Publisher: Sparse Game Dev Genre: Casual, Puzzle, Meditative Price: £5.49 PC (Steam), TBA (IOS, Android) Official Website "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:
  11. 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 Developer/Publisher: Adventure Mountain Genre: Platformer, Runner Price: £3.99 PC (Steam), IOS Official Website "Auto-runner where you use a reanimated royal corpse to collect gold to buy back your old body parts." IMBROGLIO Developer/Publisher: Rostislav Pogosian Genre: Sokoban Puzzler Price: £4.79 PC (Steam) Official Website "Solve sokoban-based puzzles scattered across multiple worlds" Mars: Power Industries Developer/Publisher: 7A Games Genre: Casual, Strategy, Puzzle Price: £2.09 PC (Steam), IOS, Android DEMO AVAILABLE Official Website "Power up the colony, uncover the Martian mystery and figure out what happened to the first colony! " Fated Kingdom Developer/Publisher: Game Liberty Genre: RPG, Strategy, Board Game Price: £7.19 PC (Steam) DEMO AVAILABLE "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) Developer/Publisher: Taranasus Genre: Casual, Retro, Racer Price: FREE TO PLAY PC (Steam, Itchio, GameJolt) Official Website "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 Developer/Publisher: Blazes Games Genre: First Person, Horror Price: £5.19 PC (Steam) "Explore the old mansion and learn the horrible secret of the family, which once disappeared without a trace in this house." Mustache or Revenge Developer/Publisher: Growfall Games Genre: Action, Platformer, Puzzle Price: £3.99 PC (Steam) Official Website "Challenging platformer taking you on an adventure through dangerous dungeons filled with ingenious traps." Ritual: Crown of Horns Developer/Publisher: Draw Distance/Feardemic Genre: Action, TopDown Shooter Price: £17.99 PC (Steam, Humble), SWITCH Official Website "A game about wrecking havoc on history, seeing through false narratives and embracing your inner monster." The Coma 2: Vicious Sisters Developer/Publisher: Devespresso Games/Headup Genre: Survival Horror Price: £9.99 PC (Steam, Humble), TBA (SWITCH) Official Website "You must precariously balance the urgency of exploration with your absolute need to survive!" Ghost Grab 3000 Developer/Publisher: Matt Glanville Genre: Action, Arcade Price: £3.99 PC (Steam, Itchio) Official Website "Chain ghosts together then pop them all at once for points in an endless 'bullet hell' arcade apocalypse." Basement Developer/Publisher: HalfBus Genre: Management, Strategy, Simulation Price: £15.49 PC (Steam) Official Website "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 Developer/Publisher: Fisholith Genre: Arcade, Puzzle, Action Price: FREE TO PLAY PC (Steam) "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:
  12. 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 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." 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. 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" 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. 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" 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 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." 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:
  13. 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 Developer/Publisher: Kyrios Game Studio Genre: Adventure, Puzzle-Platformer Price: £1.99 PC (Steam) "Where gameplay is always changing and each level feels unique Raindancer Developer/Publisher: Strange Creatures Studio Genre: Action, Adventure, RPG Price: £0.79 PC (Steam) Official Website "A ONE-HIT-DEATH boss-rush action adventure" Spooky Station Developer/Publisher: Estúdio Vaca Roxa Genre: ArenaBrawler, TextAdventure, Action, Puzzle, Rogue-Like Price: £3.99 PC (Steam) Official Website "9 Ghostly games... this bundle is certain to spook your socks off!" Quest for Conquest Developer/Publisher: Pixel Pinecone Genre: Adventure, Caravan Management Price: £4.99 PC (Steam) "...the ruler is doing nothing about it, so maybe it's time to replace them." Ball-Pit Simulator Developer/Publisher: Drew J. Stivers Genre: Adventure, Platformer Price: £3.99 PC (Steam, Itchio, Gamejolt) "There is only one rule in the ball pit, don't touch the green balls!" Cathedral Developer/Publisher: DecemberBorn Interactive Genre: Action, Adventure, Metroidvania Price: £11.99 PC (Steam, GoG) Official Website "A world full of secrets, hidden rooms, dungeons and towns; Cathedral features a vast world, meant for exploring!" Pixamal Zoo (Early Access) Developer/Publisher: Twitter Monkey Maneuvers Genre: Tycoon, Simulation, RPG Price: £12.99 PC (Steam) Official Website "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:
  14. 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. - 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. 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. 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?
  15. Game: Swords and Souls: Neverseen Publisher: Armor Games Studio Price: $14.99/£11.39 Release Date: 22nd July 2019 Genre: Adventure, Turn-Based RPG Multiple warnings were provided to me about the addictive nature of this game, but it wasn't until I found myself at 4 in the morning, birds chirping, and my alarm to get up for work just a few hours away... that I realised maybe I have a problem here. The story is a simple one that brings familiar tones and notes that are common with every fantasy story. You play a voiceless hero who has stumbled onto the island of Neverseen, only to be immediately approached with trouble and tales of a powerful witch in a tower. There is a mighty quest for magical items and weapons to defeat this witch and meat fodder sidekicks along for the adventure. What makes the narrative stand out particularly in this game is the characters and tongue in cheek humour. The sarcastic Sir Pupset who reluctantly trains you and Hop the Innkeeper with his monstrous pet Pupsy. It all may seem rather a cliche and that is part of the charm as it works more akin to a parody then a sweeping epic... plus the twist at the end will surely make you double-take and think back to clues that were placed along the journey. There is a 'kookiness' that I love and even when I was nearing the end of the game and was met with a few surprises, it kept that light-heartedness while still delivering a worthy antagonist and plot. At first glance, the gameplay may seem rather simple, but with every victorious battle I emerged from, a new mechanic was introduced, a new fun toy to play with. Whether it was mercenaries, taming wild beasts to raise as your own or simply investing into the town -maybe building yourself a new little house- there was always a sense of achievement. Furthermore, every time I played around with the new mechanics, I discovered that it isn't just aesthetic, it has a purpose. My investment has made me filthy rich, my house gives me XP bonuses, and fixing up the training camp helps you level up the ranks quicker to reach that coveted Soulmaster tier. This is a meaty game, for even after completing the story there are still more hidden secrets to uncover, fish and monsters to catch and pets to train up to be powerful allies. All this and I haven't yet mentioned the Endless Mode that you unlock once the main story is over and done with. Truly you will be occupied for a while, making this a good hearty purchase. There is always something to do in this game. I am never bored and every time I load up the game it sucks me deeper into a black hole filled with fun, and the thirst to train till I am the strongest hero of the land. This game really should come with warning labels.
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