Category Archives: Top Indie Games Reviews
Our latest indie gameis for La Mulana, an adventure / puzzler / platform game that may or may not become a movie starring Harrison Ford. . .
Indie Game Review: La Mulana
The first thing to strike me when writing this indie gameis that La-Mulana has none of the tutorials, flashing objectives and other instructions that are supposed to make games accessible but which ultimately get in the way. This is a good thing, we think, as the less distractions there are the more immersive the game feels.
La-Mulana throws you right into the action. On the first level you won’t be entirely certain where to go or how to get there. You’re in a 2D open world on an exploration a’la Indiana Jones. As you explore your environment you’ll find vital clues that will tell you where to go and what to do.
La Mulana pulls together the genres of platformer, adventure and puzzler, and combines those three genres with ease. It’s testament to theskills of the development team that they’re able to seamlessly blend these genres. Everything comes together smoothly: you explore areas in platformer style then find puzzles that are naturally blended into the environment. There are tons of secrets waiting to be unearthed too, which makes you thoroughly search through each location.
Puzzles take a variety of forms, ranging from riddles to breaking mysterious looking walks.
As you journey through the game you’ll find many tablets that hold important information that you need to progress. You can’t actually recall these items later, though, meaning you’ll need to write things down on a notepad. This could annoy some gamers, but those willing to truly get in the retro spirit may love the old pen n paper mechanic.
As you progress through La-Mulana you’ll pick up tons of items, weapons and power-ups. Though you’ll need to grind for gold occasionally, the economy works very well and most of the time you find yourself somewhere in the middle—not flat broke but not loaded either. Most of the time you’ll have the gold you need in order to acquire any required items. You’ll need to make sure you have the right weapons, too, as the bosses are a real challenge.
The difficult of La Mulana’s bosses comes from the fact that their vulnerable areas are hard to hit. You need to be extremely precise in your attack. In fact, the bosses are probably the worst part of the game. They require inhuman precision and will be more annoying than entertaining. Still, this is the one negative point that I have in this indie game.
The indie game review Overview
La Mulana is a very solid game that retro gamers are going to love. While the story isn’t that interesting and you probably won’t care that much about the history or La-Mulana, the basic gameplay is exceptional. Very few games bring together divergent genres as elegantly as La Mulana. The boss fights might not be perfect, but they’re the one downside of this game.
If you love a challenge and love retro adventure / puzzler / platform games, you’re going to eat La Mulana up.
Indie Game Review Score: 5 out of 5
The latest game from University of Utah Arts and Engineering degree students is Magnetic by Nature, in which players take on the role of a robot who must move through levels using magnetic powers.
The first thing to strike us about Magnetic by Nature is the intuitive feel to the controls. Controls are, of course, one of the most important elements of, so it says much to University of Utah’s credit that its students have created so high a quality control scheme.
With the XBLIG version of the game you get about an hour to an hour and a half of gaming. In that time you’ll be exposed to many different playstyles. Levels range from physics puzzles to platforming to fighting, hence touching on a truly diverse range of genres. In all play-styles you’ll be madly trying to control your robot character, who zooms through levels at breathtaking speed.
At times, the movement can feel somewhat out of control. There are times when hazardous elements of the environment move too fast, making success more a case of luck than skill. In one level a beam of light— that kills you in one touch—moves much too fast and invariably leads to frustrating deaths. Elements like this show a slight lack of polish (or perhaps a lack of time). The good news in this respect is that the game’s developers are apparently aware of the issues and are making efforts to correct the issues.
Even without the few fixes the team are making, there is a great deal about Magnetic by Nature that does University of Utah’s Arts and Engineering department proud. The game is good fun, has solid controls and the majority of the key ingredients of game design have been created professionally. This is one of the best student games we have played here at GamePlayersReview, a great representation of the work being done at University of Utah.
Our latest indie gameis for Evoland, an action-adventure RPG game from Shiro .
The RPG genre has one of the proudest lineages of any gaming genres, passing from The Legend of Zelda to Final Fantasy to Elder Scrolls and beyond. With such a proud lineage, it’s no surprise that so many new titles pay homage to the history of the RPG genre. One of the latest titles to do so is Shiro’ Evoland, a veritable love letter to the RPG genre.
The first thing that struck us in thisfor Evoland is the sheer amout of nostalgia oozing from the game’s pores.
Evoland tells the story of Clink as he journey’s to save his world. As you play through Clink’s quests, you’ll be treated to a simulated evolution of the RPG genre, as black and white environments become coloured become 3D. If you’re an older gamer, you’ll likely be drying your eyes as you recount the history of RPGs.
In journeying through Evoland you may very well wonder where the story is. The narrative is very thin. There’s little depth to the character of Clink or his story to sink your teeth into. This is a shame, to be sure. There is no reason why the multiple references to RPG games couldn’t have been turned into a whole new story. It could have followed in the steps of Inkheart (the book, nod the shoddily produced movie spin-off), which took famous old fictional characters and worked them into a brand new story. In this way, we would have had the best of both worlds: famous old elements of RPG games we know and love, reworked into a new story.
“New” really isn’t something that can be said of Evoland. There’s nothing new to the gameplay, with TBC, hack n slash and other elements being directly borrowed from other games. The result of this lack of innovation is gameplay that quickly tires.
What is lacking in gameplay is made up for in presentation. Its graphics are beautiful and the 8-bit soundtracks are the perfect accompaniment. Evoland is a treat for eyes and ears.
While it is impossible to deny the sense of frustration at Evoland’s inability or unwillingness to match its love for old with a love for new, it is equally impossible to deny the beautiful and heart-touching references the game makes to older RPG games.
I have to recommend Evoland for the beauty of its nostalgia, even though I can’t help but feel it could have been more.
OVERALL: **** out of 5
The moment I heard the title To The City of The Clouds I thought of Star Wars (Cloud City). . . well, I was wrong. To The City in the Clouds is Choice Of’ new title in which you play as an archaeologist who has heard word of a lost Incan city. The game is available for free on iOS and Android, but is it worthy of your time?
Like many other Choice of’ titles, you get to pick the gender of your hero in To The city of the Clouds. Once you choose your gender you’ll be introduced to the games romantic story, though the romance is a little thin it must be said.
As you play through the game you’ll get to make many important choices that determine the development of your character and story. While the romantic side of title lacks all finesse, the politics between characters and the many humorous moments of the game do well to make amends. another fantastic element of the story is the detail of imagery. You really do find yourself immersed in the game’s environments.
Probably the most annoying part of the game is the inability to save halfway though. You’ll play for hours then realise that, oops, you can’t save and either have to quit or keep on grinding on. This is such a basic flaw that it is somewhat unforgiveable and it definitely does have a negative affect no the experience.
So, what are we left with? To The City of the Clouds is a well written story with humour and solid character development, even if it is lacking in the romantic compartment. It’s not perfect, but it is entertaining, and given that its free… well, is there any reason not to play it?
Majestic-12 by Exis Interactive is a game packed full of carnage but backed with a healthy amount of depth, creating a deep and engaging gaming experience. Majestic-12 is a 3D side-scrolling shoot-em-up in which your mind will be blown as you desperately try to dodge millions of bullets.
The story behind Majestic-12 doesn’t aim to be hugely original. Aliens are wrecking Earth and you have to destroy them. Simple formula but heck, it aint broke, why fix it?
You’ll be introduced to the game comfortably through some easy early levels but before long the difficulty will rise to the level of full-blown bullet-hell. Your missions will be displayed when loading a new level and most are simple in concept but challenging to complete. You aim with a crosshair which is adequate though at times a little wonky.
Majest-c-12 has eight levels, each with a unique environment and tons of enemies that include boss battles. Some levels offer gameplay diversity by having you play on foot. There’s also co-op for 4 players and a survival mode and versus mode. There’s online play, though it’s a little laggy.
Adding to the longevity of the game are 40 achievements to be unlocked and tons of weapons. Still, it’s the basic thrill of the all-out action and carnage that will be the game’s biggest draw.
The worst aspect of the game are the graphics. It’s cartoonish, bright and matches the game’s theme, but it lacks polish and a little more attention to detail would go a heck of a long way.
The soundtrack makes up for some of the graphical issues. It’s a rocky style of music that matches both the theme and the gameplay and helps to get the gamer immersed in the experience.
Majestic-12 doesn’t concern itself with being the most unique title out there. It’s more concerned with being a solid entry in its genre, and it succeeds for the most part. If you love bullet hell carnage, Majestic-12 is more than worthy of your consideration.
For more, visit the game developers website.
Back in 2010 Monaco won the IGF with a stunning prototype that blew everyone away. Now, in 2013, the game is being released as a heist game that could very well become the best indie game of the year.
Monaco is the best indie game of 2013 so far
I’m not going to beat around the bush here: Monaco is a phenomenally unique and utterly compelling gaming experience. The game is a top-down crime game that is hard to do justice in words. Watch the trailer below and you’ll see what I mean. . .
Monaco Game Trailer
To say the least, this is a game with its own unique style. And in gaming, a unique style is extremely important. After all, it’s one thing playing a high quality iteration of a shooter you’ve played a million times before, and something altogether different to experience a genuinely new type of game.
In Monaco, each character has their own skills and abilities and each character can also pick an item. This combination of skill + item then determines the way in which the character will infiltrate the environment of whichever level they’re in (and there are a lot of levels). Characters also have unique storylines which develop throughout the game. Naturally, with unique character abilities, unique tools and multiple stories, you’ll also be getting a healthy slice of longevity with Monaco, which is the icing on an already divine cake.
In order to get through levels you’ll need to avoid police and guards while using your abilities to reach the goal. The manner in which you do so will be heavily dependent on the character you choose, and that, in itself, isn’t an easy choice given the sheer quality of character design. All players are certain to have their favourite character, and that character will lead the gamer through a unique experience.
I’m feeling a little guilty now as I’ve used the word “Unique” about a trillion times in this(my old English teachers would not be impressed). But unique really is the word for Monaco. It’s yet another indie game that seems to stick 2 fingers up at AAA game developers. Where so many major game releases fail to offer anything new, like Monaco are entirely new, and they deserve recognition.
Monaco is a game that makes me feel excited about the future of indie gaming. It’s one of those titles that makes clear that there are still tons of new ways in which games can be designed, tons of new creative ideas just waiting to be explored.
Make no mistake, ladies and gentlemen, Monaco is a masterpiece. I only have five stars to rate the game with for this, and it’s getting all five. I kinda wish I could give it 6 out of 5 though.
Don’t you just lovethat take the best elements of various genres and bring them together to create an entirely new game? I know I do, and that’s precisely what Gentleman Squid have done with Rise of the Ravager; it’s part RPG, part shooter, part Guitar Hero.
In Rise of the Ravager it’s your duty to defend a charming cartoon land from four different colours of enemy: red, blue, yellow and green by shooting them with the right colour of bullet. That sounds a little easy, but Rise of the Ravager does actually present a solid challenge, with later levels requiring a lot of skill to complete.
To set up your defence you’ll use the in-game currency that you earn through completing levels. You’ll spend currency on upgrading your stats for power, rate of fire and more, and can create automatic turrets and towers to create your devastating arsenal.
Controls in Rise of the Ravager are tight and accurate and I personally didn’t have any trouble using them. There’s also a co-op mode, though I haven’t been able to play it yet.
One of my favourite parts of this great indie game is its boss fights, which reveal some real creative spark at work in Gentleman Squid. As for the worst part of the game, I will say that I would have liked to have seen more variety to the enemies, having such a limit number of sprites does make the game feel a little repetitive. ~The same can be said of the backgrounds: there’s just not enough variety.
Those graphical issues aren’t enough to stop me from praising this game. Rise of the Ravagers is a highly addictive and wonderfully playable game with great controls and a healthy amount of challenge.
Overall: 8.5 out of 10.
Fight your way through a variety of natural, urban and abstract environments in Anodyne, the indie game from independent game developer Analgesic Productions, a game which takes place entirely in a young human’s subconscious.
The game begins by giving you a very simple tutorial that let’s you know how to play. The controls are simple, with directional buttons, attack and jump. The controls belie the complexity of the game’s design.
Playing in a top-down view, Anodyne uses a static camera that simply jumps to the next screen when you walk past the edge of the screen you’re on (like old school RPGs). As you would expect, you’ll find yourself some weaponry early on with which you can dispatch various enemies, some of which offer plenty of challenge, making strategy a key component of gameplay. Of course, the biggest enemies are the bosses, which are found at the end of every dungeon. Many of them will test even the most hardcore of gamers. You’re definitely going to die many times over, but you won’t mind too much thanks to a very high quality of gameplay.
Combat, however, is not the central gameplay theme. Rather, puzzles and exploration lead the way. Anodyne recreates that magical sense of mystery you feel when exploring the best 16-bit RPGs like A Link To The Past. You’ll constantly be wondering what comes next, a sensation that keeps a sense of excitement very much alive right through Anodyne.
Though the controls and the gameplay are both excellent, my personal favourite aspect of Anodyne is the graphics and the sense of atmosphere. Combined with the slightly disturbing nature of the story (which is highly psychological), Anodyne creates a truly unique and abstract feel that I’m not sure I’ve ever experience in gaming before.
Another great achievement of Anodyne is the variety of its environments. One minutes you’ll be exploring a beautiful natural setting, the next you find yourself in an abstract and disturbing landscape. Of course, this all keeps the game feeling fresh and prevents it from ever becoming boring.
It truly is amazing the amount of content that a two-man developer can make (and the quality of that content too). Anodyne really is an exquisite and most unique title that will please retro-RPG fans and quite probably everyone else too.
I highly recommend jumping over to the game developer’s website to check out more of Anodyne!
Overall:9.2 out of 10.
Digital Eels new game Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space is a roguelike exploration / adventure / combat game set in space in the galaxy called Purple Void. The game generates a unique “instant space opera” with each play, featuring random locations, events that keep the game feeling perpetually fresh.
Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space lasts just thirty minutes, making it perfect for breaks when you get sick of work and want to kick back with some intergalactic action.
Thirty minutes, of course, isn’t a long run-time for a game. The game has no ambition for weighty stories or complex narratives, it just wants to invite you into your spaceship and have you explore the map. Depending on how you feel about short games, the thirty-minute runtime could be a complete turn off. Then again, if you just want a simple, quick and enjoyable spell of gaming, it could well be perfect for you.
Minimalism really is the main point of Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space. With next to no story or dialogue, and with gameplay based around pointing and clicking, you’re going feel familiar with the game in no time. Your main challenge will come from acquiring a high score from the loot you accrue in your thirty minutes of play, as well as character-specific goals. If you don’t complete your goals within the allotted time your score will suffer badly.
Along your way through space you’ll come across both friends and foes. You’ll need to pick your fights wisely too, as you certainly won’t win all of them. Choosing the right fights will give you rewards while allowing you to avoid the punishment of losing everything.
So far, everything I’ve written about Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space makes the game sound somewhat limited when in reality there is more to the game than meets the eyes. There’s a lot of depth to gameplay, with inventory management being particularly important. You also need to keep an eye on the clock. Visiting planets can nab you some good loot but will also knock precious minutes off the clock. Thankfully, certain items enable faster travel. By grabbing the right equipment in the early stages of play you’ll greatly increase your chances of earning a high score.
Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space is a hard game to sum-up. On the one hand, casual gamers will love it for its brevity. Then again, hardcore players will appreciate the hidden depth of gameplay. The fact that there’s a pretty solid community making mods is going to help no end too.
For its uniqueness and the fact that it can be played in just thirty minutes, which makes it perfect for busy gamers who want deep gameplay but don’t have the time for an epic, I have to recommend Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space. Head over to the game developers website for more about this most intriguing title.
It’s not about to blow anybody’s mind to discover that Star Wars Pinball is. . . uhhh. . . well, it’s Star Wars and Pinball, combined. This isn’t your average pinball game though. Being made from specialists of the genre, Zen Studios, who previously released the amazing superbZen Punball, this is absolute best that Pinball offers, set in the best fictional universe of all time: Star Wars.
At the start of a new game you’re given the option of joining either the light side or the dark side of the force (remember, kids, the dark side isn’t stronger, just more seductive). Your choice doesn’t effect the game though, it simply changes the ranking system. As you score points in the game you either progress towards the status of Jedi Master or Sith Master (shouldn’t that be Sith Lord. . . ?).
The game initially comes with only one table, based on Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. There are also tables from The Clone Ways and one based on Boba Fett. The tables contain mini-games that are based around different moments from the movies, including Degobah training and the escape from Cloud City scene from Empire Strikes Back.
When you enter into one of the mini-games, instructions are shown on the marquee that tell you how to successfully pass the scene. Doing so will not be easy as following the instructions while paying attention to what’s happening in-game requires the focus and concentration of a true Jedi Knight. You will eventually get used to it, though.
The mini-games are the one way in which Star Wars Pinball deviates from the regular Pinball. That said, what makes this game great isn’t the gameplay (which is solid) but the graphics, which are absolutely stunning. My favourite table is the Boba Fett one. It looks very solid and realistic, with a large Boba Fett action figure that makes you question why they ever took it out of the original packaging (keep that plastic wrap folks, it makes your collectibles more valuable!).
I’m going to have to go out on a limb and say that this is one of the best pinball experiences I’ve ever played. I am, however, bound to say that, as I sit here next to a whole cabinet full of Star War memorabilia. Yup, I’m a Star Wars freak, but even without that bias, I’d still have to recommend Star Wars Pinball very highly for its combination of stunning visuals and excellent gameplay.
If you love pinball and you love Star Wars, you’d be mad not to put 1 and 1 together and start playing Star Wars Pinball immediately!
OVERALL: 4.5 out of 5
For more, visit the game developer’s website.
When you think of board-games-turned-video-game, you probably get a bitter taste in your mouth. Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit, Cluedo and the like have been dragged through so many digital renditions that their once fresh faces are now as lifeless as poor Yorick (alas, poor Yorick, you have now been compared to Cluedo).
It’s somewhat surprising to discover that there actually are still some good board games out there that have yet to be reduced to nothing through the digital-factory-line. One such title is Abalone.
Despite being names after a sea snail, Abalone is a classic-style board game that is somewhat like a combination between sumo wrestling and Othello.
Abalone plays out on a hexagonal board that is full of divots in which you may place coloured marbles. Your mission is to choose either black or white and remove your opponents pieces from the board. To do that you have to shove the opposing player’s pieces off the board by moving your own. You can shove when you have a line of more pieces that your opponents.
. . . don’t worry, when you start playing the game it becomes a lot clearer than my slightly dodgy explanation. . .
In fact, Abalone is pretty simple once you start playing. The rules will soon become clear and as soon as they do you’ll come to recognise the great depth of strategy that the game holds. It might not be up there with chess, but you certainly will be using your brain in order to win.
The game offers a single players and a two player mode (the two player mode features many different starting positions too) and is a faithful account of the original game. It’s minimalistic but deeply strategic. If you’re a fan of Abalone, or of other games like Othello, you’re going to love this iPad rendition.
OVERALL: 4.5 out of 5
For more, visit the game developers site.
Usually it’s a safe bet to assume that a sequel is going to be closely related to its predecessor in terms of gameplay, graphics, genre and probably even story. After all, if a game is completely unrelated, why call it a sequel?
Yes, most sequels are a lot like their predecessor, but there’s always an exception to the rule. Providing a brilliant exception to the rule of sequels is Llamasoft’s Goatup2. Where the original game was an endless-jumper, Goatup2 is a platformer in which you collect items to unlock the exit. The one similarity is that it stars the same goat.
Playing as a goat, you’re able to double-jump to reach high areas, which also leads your goat to pass a toxic wind that kills foes. Death by fart. . . lovely.
With such a mechanic as a jumping-fart-of-death you might expect Goatup2 to just be stupid and simple. You’d be wrong. Goatup2 is constantly testing your brain. You’ll need to eat grass to maintain vitality (and there’s only so much grass available) and progress through the levels in a certain manner such that you may collect the items necessary to open the exit.
Not only will you be scratching your head as you try to work levels out, you’ll also be scratching your head at the insanity of the game. It’s full of references to older titles, humorous and surprising sound effects (such as a voice calling “Mind the gap” when you exit a level through the London Underground sign). There’s even humorous lines of text floating randomly around that that give various important hints.
Goatup2 is an insane game—a wonderfully insane game. It’s lacking in polish and isn’t about to win the title of most stylish or most beautifully present game ever, but it may well win acclaim for originality and for being such a bloody good laugh.
If you love old skools games with a healthy dose of insanity, then you’re going to be thrilled with Goatup2. And even if you don’t usually play retro games, there’s so much insanity and laugh-out-loud stupidity in this title that you’ll probably have a blast playing it anyway.
Overall: 4.8 out of 5.
For more, visit the game developers website
The art of War is all about deception. But it’s also about being tiny, at least according to Tiny Troopers 2: Special Ops, a game that will remind gamers of Cannon Fodder with its mix of tiny soldiers and stealth / strategy gameplay.
In Tiny Toopers 2: Special Ops, just as in the original game, you play as a group of small soldiers who must grow strong by surviving the horrors of war. On beginning a level you’ll be given missions to complete—which range from killing everyone in your path to escorting important people safely through dangerous areas. To succeed in these missions you’ll need to master stealth, strategy and the trigger.
It was thanks to this eclectic mix of different gameplay styles, that the original Tiny Troopers was able to turn itself from a humble arcade shooter to something not dissimilar to a RPG. As you play through the game you’ll garner funds that can spent on upgrading your troops and enlisting specialists to be used in single missions. You’ll also be able to upgrade weapons and armour. The goods you buy only last for one mission, so it’s important to shop wisely!
Hidden throughout levels are medals which can be used to permanently upgrade your troops. To find them you’ll have to search high and low through every level, which helps to add to the game’s longevity. The maps are also pretty extensive, meaning you’ll have to look for quite some time in order to find everything a map offers.
Tiny Troopers 2 makes sure to evolve the series by including new specialist units like the Medic, Flamer, Grenadier and Machine Gunner. You can now upgrade your weapons to shoot faster, farther and more accurately too. Finally, there are some really cool uniforms to unlock, which range from Team USA uniforms to pink camouflage. While these upgrades are purely aesthetic, they’re pretty funny and you’ll have a blast unlocking them.
It’s a shame that Tiny Troopers 2 does little to truly evolve the original game, but at least it does add some more hours of gameplay to the original formula. The original game was truly excellent, and though this new title doesn’t add much, it still holds the same brilliance as the original.
If you loved the original Tiny Troopers, you’re bound to love this one too. Just don’t expect a brand new experience.
Overall : **** out of 5
for more, visit the game developers website.
Fire Hose’ latest title Go Home Dinosaurs is available on Steam for $8.99, but is it worth your cash?
Todd Rex is one cheeky dinosaur. He’s got his greedy eyes on your BBQ steak but you’;re not about to let some fat dino steal your dinner, are you? Hell no. In Go Home Dinosaurs you’re mission is to defend that steak in a unique, BBQ-themes tower defence game.
Go Home Dinosaurs is a game that’s perfect for kids and adults alike. Its theme is universal, but it offers a depth of strategy that will get you hooked into its defence gameplay regardless of your age. In the game, you set up your weapons (which are manned by cute-looking gophers) and have them attack that pesky dinosaur.
Every level of Go Home Dinosaurs has a unique map on which you can position your defensive effort around the paths the dino will walk down. In order to get hold of your weapons you’ll need to unlock them by completing level. As with most Tower Defence game you must take finance into account. The currency in Go Home Dinosaurs! Is coconuts, which are obtained from palm trees. Click on a palm tree and you’ll grab coconuts. Clicking on the tree will also move your character to that spot. Once you have your coconuts you can spend them on cards, which are essentially towers.
The gameplay set-up is easy to grasp. Both younger and older gamers will get to grips with it quickly, but thanks to the strategy involved there is also a healthy level of longevity.
Possibly the best part of Go Home Dinosaurs is the graphics. They’re super cute—kids will love them—they’re bright, colourful and a joy for the eyes. Being a guy obsessed with cute stuff like Disney, I have to say the graphics in Go Home Dinosaurs! Definitely brought a smile to my face. The sounds aren’t quite as good, however. Some of the music is a little too childlike an the sound effects are painfully generic and repetitive. All in all the presentation is definitely for kids only, which is a shame. While the gameplay finds itself perfectly positioned to appeal to both kids and adults, the graphics and sound limit the game’s market to younger player’s only.
Concluding thisisn’t easy. The gameplay in Go Home Dinosaurs! is great and there’s enough strategy to create longevity and depth of play. But the graphics and sound so unfortunately limit the game’s market. I personally love cute games, so most of Go Home Dinosaurs! is great. . . for me. There are many other gamers and reviewers, however, who will be put off by the style of the game.
Kids are going to absolutely adore Go Home Dinosaurs! And it even has enough strategy to appeal to adults too.
Overall: 4 out of 5.
for more visit the game developers website.
Being that I am something of a master of tea myself, being a Brit who drinks about 7 cups a day, I was naturally pretty excited to play Gaslight’ Master of the Seven Teas, a wonderfully unique game in which you play as the captain of a miniature vessel waging war in a tea cup.
In Master of the Seven Teas you’ll be nabbing all kinds of power-ups and blasting away your enemies in single player or local mutliplayers.
Master of the Seven Teas is a simple game that all players will quickly get to grips with. It’s packed full of action and offers a single player campaign and numerous modes that can be played multiplayer.
In the main campaign you’ll be facing off against waves of enemies in different tea cups. The cups all end with large boss fights leading to yet another cup.
Though the gameplay is very simple, it is nevertheless good fun. You move your ship with the analogue stick and use the trigger buttons to fire canons. I personally found the controls to be intuitive and had no problems whatsoever using them.
As you play through the game you’ll pick up power-ups that include different weapons (sharks, ninja and more). You’ll also encounter different enemies, though all are essentially the same from a gameplay point of view, they only look different.
The main source of variety in the game is offered through different environments. The cups all look different and pay different too, with obstacles like sugar cubes and flies all creating different environmental conditions. This is not enough to prevent the game from feeling all too familiar a little too soon.
Four multiplayer modes are on offer. Loot has you nabbing goods, while Last Pirate Standing is a survival mode (and is my personal favourite mode). All modes are variations on the central theme of defeating enemies and grabbing power-ups.
Graphically speaking, Master of the Seven Teas is pleasing. It makes the most of the idea of setting a game in tea cups. The music is somewhat annoying, however, featuring one tune being repeated throughout.
The music sums up the issues with the game. It’s repetitive. While you will have fun in the unique environment and with the intuitive controls, you’ll also tire of the game quite quickly. This is a shame. I can’t help but feel that if a little more effort had been put into offering more variety with the gameplay, the enemies and the sound, Master of the Seven Teas could have been so much better. As it is, it is an enjoyable but all too limited game.
Overall: *** out of 5
Phoenix Online Studio’s Cognition: Episode 2—The Wise Monkey is a point and click adventure game starring a psychic detective called Erica Reed. For those who have played the first episode of the game, this sequel will feel instantly familiar. For this reason, the general gameplay has been reviewed in our coverage of Episode 1, so let’s cover the story and presentation here.
Kicking off only a few hours after the conclusion of Episode 1, it isn’t long before Erica Reed is met with more tragedy and sets out on another detective quest.
This quest is much darker than the previous one. It’s moodier, more atmospheric and more graphic. Eric is on the chase of The Wise Monkey, a serial killer who has a particularly disgusting way of dealing with enemies, by cutting out their eyes, tongue and ears.
You’ll be meeting the same characters in this game as in the predecessor, but you’ll get to know them much better as some characters who were given little game time in Episode 1 have made their way to centre stage in Episode 2. Sadly, a couple of these characters have are rendered utterly unbelievable thanks to some dodgy voice acting. This wouldn’t be too bad if it wasn’t for the fact that the voice actor for lead character Erica Reed hardly puts in a stellar performance herself.
If you’re a fan of point and click adventure games you are probably most interested in the story, which is good news as it’s here that The Wise Monkey shines. The scenes, which feature both scenes from Episode 1 as well as some all new ones, are atmospheric and serve to get your imagination hooked in the game. The cinematics, which is where most of the story develops, are excellent, featuring some of top of the line production values, and the plot itself is gripping.
I can’t help but feel a little irritated with the lack of finesse in this game. The story is great, the gameplay is solid and there are moments when you truly find yourself immersed in the game’s world, but it’s let down by occasionally dodgy character animations and by completely unbelievable voice acting.
In this day and age there really isn’t an excuse for bad voice acting. Being an actor myself I’m more than aware of the number of talented voice actors out there who will work for nothing more than a credit written in small font at the end of a game. The same is probably true for character animators. Artist in this day and age are two a penny (no offense, artists. .. heck, I’m one of you). In fact, it is also worth mentioning, with regard to voice actors, that often it isn’t the actor’s fault but more to do with the fact that game developers often don’t know how to direct. . . but heck, that gets into a whole different argument and actually sounds like a feature article I might write soon. . .
I wrote it sooner than expected: How to work with a voice actor on a game
Get the voice acting right and polish up the animation and you’ve got a hit. As it is, you’ve got a good, reasonably solid title with a great story.
Overall: 3.5 out of 5: It’s solid, has a great story and will certainly entertain, but you’ll be left wondering why a little more effort wasn’t put into ironing out the creases.
for more visit the game developer’s website .
Bearbarians is our game of the day today. Your village has been destroyed by enemies and it’s up to you to rebuild you team and save the day.
- A: Attack
- D: Block
- Num Keys: Issue order to team mate
- S: Shoot
- fire: a
- jump: up
- movement: arrow
In Slamjet Stadium you play as a team of two vehicle inside a stadium. On control your vehicles you slide your finger behind them and let go. This sends them zooming around the arena. A team of two opposing vehicles are on the other side of the field and a ball is in the middle. Your aim is to score goals.
Though the game begins like some mad version of Dodgems as you batter the heck out of your opponents, inadvertently scoring own goals as you do so, it quickly develops into a competitive title which matches arcade style action with strategy.
As though the game weren’t mad enough already, the chaos only heightens when you take into account the arenas themselves. The packed full of hazardous like spinning blades or lava. All in all this makes for hilarious and action packed carnage which is truly entertaining.
Though the single player game is a lot of fun, it’s nowhere near as good as the brilliant multiplayer. Playing two player on one device adds real life madness to the already chaotic title, as you nudge one another out the way.
There’s a real spark of that old arcade feel to Slamjet Stadium. It’s literally bursting with action. Indie developers should take a lesson from this game. There are very few iPad titles out there that are as much fun as this.
Glitch Game’s new title Forever Lost: Episode 1 is the first in their series of P&C adventures. In the games, you find yourself inside a sinister looking building suffering from amnesia. Your mission is simple: escape. But just where is the exit and how did you get in the building in the first place?
Forever Lost isn’t an original type of game, but perhaps this doesn’t matter given that the graphics and music make it feel like a new experience even if it does rely on existing gameplay mechanics.
You’ll definitely find yourself wanting to explore the mysterious place in which you are lost. You’ll find bizarre, often creepy and mysterious writings on surfaces, along with diaries that spark your imagination and want to uncover the truth about your whereabouts.
The main challenge in Forever Lost Episode 1 comes from the puzzles, which take a logical nature but also include maths and various object-related puzzles. Thankfully there are hints available that stop you from ever getting stuck.
Though a little random in places, Glitchhave made sure to include enough concepts and creative elements to keep you playing. My personal favourite is when you find an iPad and play Zelda on it. Little touches like this keep the game feeling exciting.
Though Forever Lost is not particularly long, you do feel like you’re getting good value thanks to high production values and the sheer creativity the developer shows.
As always, one of the main things I look for in reviews is uniqueness and creativity. A game that offers a new experience is always a good thing. Forever Lost does precisely that, for which I have to recommend it highly.
Runner 2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien oozes personality and style.
The title for Gaijin’s new game sounds like the super cool, ultra-modernistic title of a Nike trainer released in the not to distant future. The game’s called “Runner 2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien.” With a name like that you know Gaijin are aiming for a hip title that can appeal to a wide market. But to achieve that aim, they need to match the cool name with great gameplay and an eye-catching visual style. Do they achieve this?
Runner 2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien is a rhythm-based running platform game that forces your brain to think fast and your finger fitness to be at near athletic levels.
You already know (probably) what you have to do in the game: run from one point to another while avoiding obstacles. It’s the classic runner gameplay. What’s new about this one is the amount of stunt-like moves you can perform. You’ll be jumping, springboarding and ducking like a gymnast on a sugar rush.
Gameplay wise Runner 2 is slick and stylish. There are very few games that feel as intuitive and playabe as this. Add to the basic playability a healthy number of alternate pathways and unlockable items and you’ve got a genuinely high quality game.
Even better than the gameplay is the audio and visual production values. The graphics ooze personality. They’re not spectacularly complex or detailed, they’re just very well designed. They remind developers that personal style and flair is the true diadem of game design. And then there’s the audio, which is simply spectacular.
All in all, Runner 2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien is a stylish, modernistic and utterly compelling gaming experience. We’re entering an age of gaming where personality and style is what sets the top games apart from the rest. Gaijin know this and because of it, their games sit proudly among the very best.
For more visit Gaijin. Games
Anrew Gleeson’s new game Melodisle casts you out at sea on a lonely island. You play as a little character who looks a lot like Fez. As this little guy, you’ll be running and jumping in typical platform-game style but, uniquely, you’ll also be engaging in some singing, hence the title “Melodisle.” That’s right, this is a music platformer in which you affect the environment by using your voice.
See, this is why I love, for the innovation of gamelplay ideas like this.
You move using the [ARROW] keys and jump with [Z]. Using [X] you can use various machinery littered about the island. The most important part of the gameplay, however, is the ability to sing different tones by using the keyboard. Using your different pitches you can affect the environment. With these controls you’ll need to set about finding the musical quavers, which will turn into a key allowing you to exit a door.
The main challenge in Melodisle comes from puzzles, some of which are relatively straight forward, some moderately complex and others. . . well, they’ll leave you screaming rather than singing.
Being a game reviewer who loves nothing more than new and unique gameplay styles and genuine creative endeavour from developers, I truly have to rate Melodisle highly. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not perfect and at times it’s frustrating. But what Melodisle does right is presenting its own charming little style of game which creates a new experience for gamers. And anytime I can say a game offers something genuinely new, I have to applaud the developer.
With last month’s sales having dropped 25% from this time last year, there’s no denying that video games are currently suffering a serious decline.
The current response from most major games developers seems to be lowering the amount of work necessary to release a new game. This is the primary reason for the increase in the number of sequels. It costs less both to make and to market a new game in an already existing franchise than to create something totally new.
This is a strategy that can only last so long. Eventually, gamers will tire of playing the same old game in the same old franchise, and will look for something new. Though this will likely be greeted as a serious problem by many games developers, for the gaming industry as a whole it could be a blessing in disguise.
While sales of console games are in decline, sales in independent and casual games are currently going through a boom period, seeing a strong surge in sales.
What independent games and casual games offer that major console title seem reluctant to is genuine creative development. While games like God of War Ascension failed to offer anything genuinely new, independent games are a hotbed for creativity.
God of War Ascension failed to deliver a genuinely new experience
like Fast Than Light, a spaceship simulation roguelike title, have wowed gamers with their originality. Faster Than Light is certainly not alone here. Other titles like Spelunky and Journey (and a whole host of other titles) have genuinely developed gaming and have seen profit as a result.
like Faster Than Light and Journey created new gaming experiences and did extremely well as a result
If the current decline in console games leads to a surge in creativity as we are currently witnessing with independent games, the financial bust could very well turn into a creative boom, with more and more titles being released that genuinely create something new. If this is the case, though we gamers may witness the death of many cherished franchises, we will also witness the birth of an entirely new, creativity-driven era in games.
IN this list of games like Faster Than Light we’ve considered games for a number of factors. First off, we’ve considered games of the same genre: top down real time strategy games. We’ve also considered science fiction games that share FTLs theme. Finally, we’ve considered things like whether the game is a roguelike, whether it’s indie etc etc.
Bear in mind, however, that part of the reason why Faster Than Light has gained such popularity is because of its originality. There aren’t a ton of games like Faster Then Light out there!
So, here are the games most like Faster Than Light
Like Faster Than Light
Anomaly: Warzone Earth
Sins of a Solar Empire
Or try standard RTSs like Age of Empires / Total War / Medieval etc.
Minesweeper is surely one of the most played games of all time. I mean, even people who don’t play games have turned their PC on and seen the little mine icon and played the game for ten minutes. So, in a lot of ways, Zombie Minesweeper has a leg-up on the competition, simply because of the marketability of familiarity.
Naturally, what Zombie Minesweeper does with the game is add zombies. . . kinda obvious. In Zombie Minesweeper zombies are chasing after you and you need to move across the minefield without being eaten by a zombie or blown up by a mine.
To play, you tap the grid to get your character moving. As she approaches squares they show numbers that tell you how many mines are nearby. You then plant a flag where you think a mine will be. You have to be quick though otherwise the zombies are going to chow down on your cerebellum like its fried chicken.
The best part about Zombie Minesweeper is that it makes you think quickly. Minesweeper to me was always kinda dull because you’d sit there staring at the screen. But when there are zombies chasing after you its a whole different game. Suddenly its action packed and fast paced and a heck of a lot more fun.
So, where does this leave the?
Zombie Minesweeper is a top quality reinvention of one of the most classic PC games of all time. For many, mines + zombies = death. For this classic game, though, mines + zombies = a new surge in life.
You can imagine how flabbergasted Moon Logic Enterprises were to find a massive tower on a supposedly uninhabited plant. Naturally, they hurried to investigate. What they found shocked them more. On the planet were stone tablets that appear to have belonged to some long lost civilization. Excavations are still going on now to determine precisely what is happening on the planet. But for now, it’s up to you, as Professor of Xenolinguistics, to translate the text on those tablets.
If you can work those tablets out we’ll have a chance at uncovering the truth about the planet and the civilization that once inhabited it.
. . .That was my narrative introduction to Stuart Madafiglio’s new game, Stranger than Fiction. It’s a puzzle game where you have to solve cryptic puzzles to learn about an alien mythology. To succeed, you’ll need to reconstruct the alien language’s alphabet.
The puzzles, to be honest, are somewhat too easy. From a gameplay perspective, Stranger than Fiction really would have benefited from gradually increasing the difficulty. As it is, you won’t be taxed at all and so instead will find yourself more interested in the story than the gameplay.
Thankfully, the story is a decent one; actually, it’s really good. It’s got a terrific sense of pacing and it fits perfectly with the gameplay. As you solve a puzzle you discover an extra little bit of the story. This motivates you to keep going so you can gradually piece together the whole mystery.
It’s not perfect, but Stranger Than Fiction is a unique game that feels unlike anything else, and with the great story development there’s plenty of reason to give it a playthrough.
Check out the developer’s website for more.
Looking for some great games like Alan Wake and games like Heavy Rain, with strong, story driven action and deep narrative? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Here are the games like Alan Wake and games like Heavy Rain that I personally recommend.
Like Alan Wake and Like Heavy Rain
The Witcher 2,
Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood
Dead Space 1 & 2
Alone in the Dark.
Resident Evil 5
Hit NEXT for moreLike. . .
Independent games developer Glass Bottom’ new title “Jones on Fire” is an auto-runner platform game starring firefighter Emma Jones. Your mission is simple: escape the inferno while saving as many kities as you can.
Controls in Jones on Fire are simple and intuitive. You can easily pick up the game and be playing it in seconds. All you do is tap the screen on the left side to make Jones jump, or tap on the right to make her slide. With these controls alone you’ll be sliding under obstacles, jumping logs and fire and picking up kitties like it’s going out of fashion.
The gameplay in Jones on Fire can feel a tad repetitive at times. The game features ten levels and a load of upgrades. The upgrades include increases to health and charge, improves jumping abilities and numerous pick-ups like catnip.
Buying upgrades requires that you pick up Ks (for “Kitties”) or GKs (for “Golden Kitties”) during the game. It can take a while to get enough Ks and GKs for the upgrades you want, but a multiplier is available to help you out.
In terms of health, you’ve got 2 health bars and 3 lives. Get hit by something or miss a slide and kiss a health bar goodbye. Lose both health bars and you’re back at the start of the level. Lose 3 lives and you either go back to the very beginning or pay GK to continue.
“Jones on Fire” Graphics
Jones on Fire is bright and fiery (as you may well expect), but also dark and moody in places. It creates a good amount of contrast that really makes the visuals jump out at you.
I love the blocky characters too. They’re so cute! There’s a childlike innocence to them that makes the game as much fun to look at as it is to play.
Jones on Fire Audio
The music in Jones on Fire is very relaxing and makes for a chilled-out experience. The noises of the cats can get a little repetitive, meowing every time you pick them up. You can just turn the sound effects down if you want to, though, so it’s not really an issue.
Jones on Fire Overall
Jones on Fire has hours of gameplay, looks cute, and is so easy to pick up and play that your grandma could get to grips with it in seconds. All in all that’s a recipe for success.
for more on Jones on Fire, visit the game developers website at Glass Bottom Games.
You may remember independent game developer We Get Signal from their title Super Busker. Now they’re releasing their new title, Glaciators, a downloadable game for PC that costs just $1. It’s an action packed title with super cute characters.
In Glaciators, each player (up to four) takes control of a team of three skaters. This isn’t regular skating though. Instead, you’re killing other teams by throwing javelins at them (which, honestly is pretty awesome). The aim is to be the last surviving team when the sixty-second match comes to an end.
You play against three other teams, which can either be controlled by another player or by AI. The AI is fairly decent; good enough at least to provide for some good games. That said, the computer will occasionally send its skaters hurtling into walls. .. so it’s a little suicidal at times.
Suicide notwithstanding; Glaciators is lots of fun, mostly thanks to the fact that you’re throwing javelins at the opposing team of skaters. “Javelins on ice” is always a winner (actually, “Javelins on Ice” would be a good name for this game, IMO).
To control your characters you just use the directional keys and a key to throw the javelins. It’s simple, which is great because it means you can enjoy the laughs of the game without worrying about the controls. The only problem is that your skater wont respond until you click the mouse on the playfield. It’s not a massive issue, it just shows a little lack of polish to the game.
The presentation in Glaciators is bright and crisp and the soundtrack is upbeat and fun. For some bizarre reason massive blue blocks representing holes in the ice appear out of nowhere. It wouldn’t have taken long to make them look a little nicer and, again, this is another area showing lack of polish.
Perhaps I’m being a bit harsh with the “lack of polish” comments though. I mean, odds are you’re not going to play Glaciators for it’s graphics. You’re going to play it because its simple and a heck of a lot of fun.
If you , like any sane individual, love the idea of throwing javelins at skaters (and I know I do) then pick up a copy of Glaciators from We Get Signal today. It’s simple-minded hilarity at its best.
Orz Laboratory’s new game Rexzilla is a retro platformer starring a young kid in a dinosaur outfit. With gumballs, aliens, space travel and more—not to mention the generous 50 levels—there’s plenty of content in Rexzilla to sink your teeth into.
Rex went off to bed late one night only to wake up a little later. Stepping out to the balcony he takes a look outside only to see two aliens skulking into darkness bragging about the number of gumballs they’ve stolen from Rex.
Rex puts his dinosaur outfit on, becoming half-duno-half-kid and follows the aliens into the night.
Rexzilla’s gameplay is all about walking, jumping and shooting, as Rex goes about finding his gumballs before activating a teleporter to exit the stage. Rex can jump on enemies to dispatch them, but it’s important to be nippy on your feet to keep Rex safe. You’ll need to think fast, be accurate and work your brain to solve puzzles if you’re to make it to the end of Rexzilla.
Rexzilla is such a childike, playful and innocent game that honestly, I’d feel kinda guilty to give it a less than positive. Thankfully, itls also a good game. It’s simple but fun, not exactly jaw-droppingly beautiful, but of a high enough presentation to make you want to play, and there’s also a fair bit of challenge.
Check out Rexzilla over at Orzlaboratory for more.
A Valley Without Wind 2 carries the trait of all the best games: taking the best of various genres and blending them together seamlessly to create a new gaming experience.
A Valley Without Wind 2 combines the best of old-school platform-shooter games with TBS games. You can choose where and how to explore the game world, how you want to upgrade your characters, their classes, the abilities you want to unlock and how you want to fight the enemies in your path.
In A Valley Without Wind 2 you play as a mage whose aim is to share to power of immortality—which the evil Demonica has been using to spread tyranny through the land—and in doing so see an end to the evil.
Though the idea of having immortality, which the game grants, might seem to kill any challenge, there’s actually a good deal of difficulty in A Valley Without Wind 2. You must lead your band of resistance to take back the land the overlord now resides over. To do so, you’ll have to recruit allies, build structures and unlock all manner of secrets.
You’ll also be engaging in side-scrolling mission in order to reach the wind generators and destroy them. This opens a further segment of the map.
Key to your success will be the perks that you have chosen for your character to have, as these change your stats. Should you die, you’ll be whisked back to Drmonaica’s lair, the resistance’s morale being shattered.
Initially, the learning curve of A Valley Without Wind 2 seems high and can easily put off new players. Thanks to an abundance of hints, however, you never feel like you’ve been thrown in the deep end without a paddle.
The graphics are significantly better this time around than in the games predecessor. Some wooden animations here and there don’t help, but there are tons of sprites and spells and the overall quality is fairly high. Better than the graphics is the soundtrack. It’s atmospheric and deep, with quite a range of variety to it too.
Overall, the artistry with which the developer has brought together such an eclectic mix of genres in A Valley Without Wind 2 serves to create a unique and memorable experience that is highly recommended .