Interceptor Games brings back the 90s with asskicking music and gameplay in Rise of the Triad Thanks to a kickstarter fundraiser, Interceptor games has revamped 1994s Rise of the Triad: Dark Water. The game ticks every box any lover of 90s nostalgia could ask for, but is it good enough to stand out in 2013?…
Here at GamePlayersReview we love it when a developer sets their aims at reviving a style of game that has fallen from grace. Hard Reset does precisely that, taking the classic shooter formula and reviving it with some new inventions and upgrades. Whether or not those new inventions make things better or worse is a…
I’ve played and reviewed plenty of roguelike dungeon crawlers over the years. The formula usually remains the same: slow, tons of loot, endless enemies on endless floors. Heroes of Loot, however, takes things in a new direction, adding enough variety to make itself a truly unique game. Heroes of Loot is a fast and frantic…
Our latest indie game review is for the action packed zombie game Dead Pixels, from indie game developer CSR Studios. Indie Game Review: Dead Pixels by CSR Studios When I tell you that Dead Pixels is a zombie game you’ll likely think “Urghhh, how many do we need?!” But hold that thought. Dead Pixels is…
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Our latest indie game review is 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 game review is 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 the video game design skills 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 review.
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 video game design, 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 game review is for Evoland, an action-adventure RPG game from Shiro Games.
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 Games’ Evoland, a veritable love letter to the RPG genre.
The first thing that struck us in this review for 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