This article might start off a little bit… differently, but please! Bare with me here!
Do you remember the last time you felt awe playing a game? Campaigns that make you feel alive and refreshed are far and few these days. Half the time I play games I can predict exactly what’s going to happen. For the life of me, I can’t remember the last time I played a Call of Duty game that stimulated my narrative needs. Back in 2015, my gaming life consisted of multiplayer first-person shooters on an endless loop. From COD to Battlefield to Halo, over and over and over again. My whole gaming diet was lacking that sustenance. The slice of cake rich with plot twists, character designs, and emotional attachments. And then I found what I was looking for (which I’m going to assume you know from the title): Indie games.
Games that weren’t there to pander to massive demographics and had more to show than cleaner graphics compared to the previous year’s edition. Indie games envelop you. The titles, although sometimes unheard of, are unique and crafted by small teams, many times starting from nothing. I’ve just been going on and on about how indie games give a whole new life to gaming, but let me give you a more personal example.
For those who’ve played OneShot by Little Cat Feet, you know exactly where this is going. For those who haven’t enjoyed the game themselves, I implore you to go check out our review, here, and possibly pick up a copy, then continue reading. There will be spoilers ahead!
OneShot gave me something I haven’t felt from a game in a very long time. It gave me a connection. From the moment I entered the dimly lit, pixelated world, I knew something was going to be different about this game. The soundtrack from the moment I entered this game made my chest swell with excitement. If that wasn’t good enough, something refreshing happened that I was definitely not expecting. We were NOT the main character. In OneShot, the beautiful minds behind the game decided to have you play “God”. You were the influencer. While you did walk around and control Niko, all your interactions with him were between you and Niko. Two completely different entities.
We went the whole game watching and bonding with Niko. We explored the world with Niko. We met every individual we could spot with Niko. Helped countless people with Niko. And in the end, what does the game do? It presents you with a choice of two wrong answers. You can sacrifice Niko to save the world or you could sacrifice the world to save Niko. Reading this without playing the game might not do you much good, being that you didn’t grow that connection that felt eternal with Niko. Me myself, I didn’t know what to do. I won’t lie, it brought tears to my eyes. This poor innocent boy who’s done no wrong is faced with an ethical dilemma and turns to you, his God, for help. I couldn’t take it. I shut off the game then and there.
Too many thoughts clouded my mind, I returned the next day, ready to make a decision. The only choice that would be right was saving the world at Niko’s expense. But, when I finally hit clarity, the game threw a curve-ball that hit me in the gut as hard as a truck. I opened the game and saw this:
Indie games are your favorite stories mixed with your best friends. So, why indie games? Because they’re the closest thing to true, real games.
The Escapists: Complete Edition Makes a Break onto Nintendo Switch!
UK, 25th September 2018 – Team17, a global games label, creative partner and developer of independent, premium video games and Mouldy Toof Studios are excited to announce that The Escapists: Complete Edition is out now for Nintendo Switch™.
The Escapists: Complete Edition is the most content-packed version of the game ever and includes all the prisons from the original game plus nine bonus maps!
The Escapists: Complete Edition features:
15 unique prisons to escape – from the minimal security of Center Perks to the harsh confines of the Stalag Flucht POW camp, this is the most content-packed version of The Escapists ever released on console
Includes all DLC packs – Alcatraz, Escape Team, Duct Tapes are Forever, Santa’s Sweatshop and Fhurst Peak Correctional Facility which was previously exclusive to the PC release
Multiple ways to escape – A variety of different methods to bust your way out including digging out and prison takeovers!
10 different jobs – Take on prison jobs to fund your fiendish plans, including laundry, janitor, metal shop, kitchen, tailor, deliveries and gardener
Deep crafting system – Gather the necessary items you’ll need to craft items for your escape plan. Craft tools such as Cutters, Shovels, Sheet Ropes and weapons such as the Sock Mace, Comb Blade or Cup of Molten Chocolate!
The Escapists: Complete Edition is available to download now for Nintendo Switch™ for just £9.99 / $14.99 / 14,99 €.
Absolver players around the world have been looking forward to the Downfall update for a plethora of reasons. With only a small to medium player base, Absolver boasts a quality of content on par with AAA developers. Like the EnomView team, players have been hoping that this expansion is exactly what the game needs to boost its player base to levels the game deserves. Personally, I think it’s a perfectly executed step in the right direction. Here’s what the Downfall expansion is bringing to the table:
Downfall Game Mode
From the Fold, an Etheran called Iktar contacts Absolvers: his sibling Arcell is spreading Gleam deep down in the Adalian mines, and gaining power over Lost Prospects. The barrier to the Fold could be shattered, imploding the physical realities into abstractions and concepts. A path to the Fold and to Arcell can be found, beyond the Underground Temples – the truth will appear there, in a place where the fabric of reality is being torn apart…
Battle deep in the mines of Adal as a solo warrior or in online cooperative play, collecting Gleam from infected Prospects and transforming it as a reward for your deeds. The more Gleam you capture, the more powerful you become in your struggle to defeat the Corrupted, and even Arcell himself. Each run through the Mines and Temples is a unique path through a variety of challenges and situations, facing upgraded enemies, and three epic boss fights.
Faejin Combat Style
Inspired by Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do, the Faejin Combat Style blends defense and offense with percussive strikes and fluid power. The new approach is a complex style for experienced Absolvers, featuring different defensive abilities that depend on both input and stances. Faejin will feature 26 attacks for bare hands and wargloves, alongside 15 sword attacks.
In the Downfall expansion, we’re introducing a new way for players and Schools to compete with each other: School Challenges. Absolvers who have reached the Disciple rank in a school (or who are Mentors of their own) can participate in School challenges, by using their school’s decks and powers in 1v1 Combat Trials. All wins representing one’s school count in the School challenges, with individual and collective performances of the schools bringing fresh rewards every three weeks, at the end of the season.
Alongside the new Game Mode, Combat Style, and School Challenges, new equipment will be featured in the Downfall expansion, with six brand new full sets (51 total pieces of equipment), plus two prestige variants of existing sets to be found in the Essence Shop. New masks will also be found in the Mines of Adal, as well as new wargloves and swords. Finally, original emotes will also be found in the Essence shop: 6 new emotes and 3 new PvP intros.
The beauty of Indie games is how humble they are. Developers pour their hearts out for our enjoyment. The love, sweat, and tears of beautiful minds clashing and coexisting to create their dreams. It’s sad that not as many developers have the opportunities to paint their canvases. So, when we do get the chance, we should definitely consider supporting developers. Here are some epic games you can support on Kickstarter right now!
Knight Time is a wave-based survival combat game. The adventure begins with our small floating hero setting out across the kingdom on a mission to vanquish evil and set the balance straight after a great corruption.
Each new page of our dark fairy tale book holds an individual realm ready to be conquered. Each realm contains an enemy stronghold– all of which are themed differently and boast an array of enemies, challenging combat and the mighty lords themselves. Reaching the final pages of our story will produce three outcomes dependent on the overall achievement of your adventure.
Knight Time is a game that we’ve put so much time and effort into already, so we’re excited to be able to finally show everyone exactly what this adventure is all about. We’ve already built a functional and solid foundation for Knight Time, and with your help, we can make this experience something truly amazing.
For us to really make this game work and bring out its full potential, we need to start working on it full time. This is where you can make all the difference. With our small team completely focused on completing Knight Time, we can bring to you a truly epic adventure across an expansive fantasy kingdom. For you, we will build a large array of enemies, interesting new realms and heart-stopping boss battles that reach our full design potential.
NetherWorld is a horizontal side-scrolling adventure game, where character development, dialogues and narrative have a special role.
Immerse yourself in a sinister world: explore its darkest corners, get along with weird NPC’s, use flames and handguns to battle horrific bosses or just get drunk in a bar.
Your life is perfect in the dark and decadent land of NetherWorld… until your wife abandons you for a creature with longer tentacles.
You handle your misfortune with alcohol and other sins…
…and in no time at all, you’ll be involved in a surreal, bloody and twisted journey surrounded by quirky fellow travelers.
Dialogues and relationships between characters will be key for story progression. That’s why most of the fights will be against final bosses.
Fight with swords, torches and shields alongside of firearms. Flamethrower too? Of course.
Each final boss will have unique mechanics, ensuring epic and intense battles. To defeat them and help our miserable hero to get over his depression, we’ll have all kinds of weapons. However, sometimes we’ll have to use nearby objects or just flee as fast as possible. (More or less like Shadow of the Colossus with bigger pixels and more tentacles.)
Foundation is a grid-less, sprawling medieval city-building simulation with a heavy focus on organic development, monument construction and resource management.
The game features in-depth resource management akin to the Anno (Dawn of Discovery) series, expertly mixed with city building elements from Settlers, SimCity, and Pharaoh all topped with narrative encounters inspired by Crusader Kings II to create the ultimate medieval ant-farm simulation.
In this strategy city-builder economy simulation game, players must create a prosperous settlement as the newly appointed lord of a region untouched by man.
Setting to redefine the city-builder genre, Foundation puts the emphasis on the organic aspects of urbanism in the cities of old, powered by Polymorph Games’ in-house game engine, Hurricane, which allows for full mod support and is optimized for the thousands of moving parts that come with building humongous cities.
Among other things, the engine provides the player with robust building tools to create countless unique monuments that can then integrated into your settlement.
With medieval architecture and urbanism at the forefront of its design, Foundation’s vision is to allow players to recreate cities of that period as they envision them or even as they really were.
Grow your untapped land into a great sprawling kingdom as you appease the political factions of your area, all while listening to a beautiful original soundtrack by the veteran composers who’ve created music for Paradox Interactive’s Crusader Kings II, Europa Universalis IV and The Guild 2-3!
Roguelikes have been a dime and a dozen over the last decade. While it is an interesting video game genre with a high difficulty level and clever progression mechanics, many of the games that belong to it have flown past the radar for many because they failed to differentiate themselves from kingpins like Rogue Legacy and Spelunky. Not only that, but all too many games seem to be implementing Roguelike elements into their gameplay seemingly at random. But despite the over-saturated market Slay the Spire, which just released on Steam early access, manages to feel fresh and engaging.
I know, I know, it’s heresy to review a game while it’s in early access, but this is one of those games that deserved to be checked out now. You’re not missing out on any story (of which there is none, in typical roguelike fashion) and all mechanics are in place. All to be added is some additional game modes, characters and cards. ‘Cards?’, I hear you ask. Yes, cards. In this game, you defeat your enemy using a deck of cards, each with unique offensive, defensive or skill based powers. You use these cards in turn based fashion to deplete your enemies health pool while saving your own hide. If you are thinking Hearthstone, then you are on the right track. Check out our full review of Slay the Spire here!
Slay the Spire is on sale for 20% off on steam! Click here!
9. Hollow Knight
Come one, come all to those with creative minds, a willingness to learn, and patient, patient souls. In this, the player moves from chamber to chamber–room to room–in an attempt to solve first-person puzzles to progress.
While it may get a little too well-acquainted with this games stylized art approach, Antichamber’s game designers clearly had originality in mind–and their game will get your critical thinking juices flowing any day.
8. Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition
The forest of Nibel is dying. After a powerful storm sets a series of devastating events in motion, Ori must journey to find courage and confront a dark nemesis to save the forest of Nibel. “Ori and the Blind Forest” tells the tale of a young orphan destined for heroics, through a visually stunning Action-Platformer crafted by Moon Studios. Featuring hand-painted artwork, meticulously animated character performance, a fully orchestrated score and dozens of new features in the Definitive Edition, “Ori and the Blind Forest” explores a deeply emotional story about love and sacrifice, and the hope that exists in us all.
With a sequel coming out, it’s the perfect time to pick up Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition. At 50% off, click here to check it out!
7. Oxygen Not Included
Not everyone likes the sound of a tower defense, but the RPG elements intertwined within Dungeon of the Endless have a way of pulling you in. As the member of the crew that fell victim to a crash landing, your goal is to go deeper. Deeper. And deeper into the depths of a strange dungeon–as implied by the name.
While this game is definitely a tower defense, expect to feel like you’re also sometimes playing a top-down dungeon crawler like Pokemon Mystery Dungeon. Advance through every floor and find out if it ever truly ends.
6. Don’t Starve Together
The game may be called “Don’t Starve Together”, but there are a lot more ways to die than pure starvation in this colorful, but bleak little world. Playing as a scientist, your job is–fittingly–to experiment with your surroundings to learn best how to survive.
Just about everything you encounter will beg the hopeful question of “Can this help me survive?” and the not-so-hopeful question of “Will messing with this get me killed?” A grimdark naturalist will be forever at home here.
Very few rogue-lite, Metroidvania, action platformers hit the nail on the head like does Dead Cells. Controlling a character without a head, you battle through and delve across a perilous castle with enemies galore.
There are no repeats in this game. No saves. No respawns. No checkpoints. To quote the description on Steam: “Kill, die, learn, repeat.” Though that description leaves out the key difference that you always keep all your upgrades–unlike other games in this genre. If you want a real challenge that’ll leave you feeling like a champion after your first playthrough, then this is the game for you.
Human: Fall Flat is an open-ended physics based puzzle game in which you take control of builder Bob helping him resolve the mysteries behind his recurring dreams of falling. Your goal is to escape those dreams full of puzzles, dangers and surprises using everything you find in the levels. The world of Bob dreams is built on his daily experiences, hopes, fears and memories interweaved in a net so sticky and hard to escape. All this mess is actually a carefully crafted work of… wait! You are the one to find it out! Bob is a human. Just a human. No hero. Zero superpowers. Period. Bob is more handy than he’s handsome, but latter would not help much in:
pulling the stuff around
pushing the stuff with hands
pushing the stuff with feet
carrying the stuff
climbing the stuff
breaking the stuff
using stuff to interact the other stuff
With open-ended simulator at its core “Human: Fall Flat” allows you to relive Bobs story your own way. Every shortcut can be taken, every solution is welcome! The game requires creativity and imagination. These often surreal environments do obey very real laws of the physics, if you think an object could be moved then rest assured it can. Replay value is limited only by your imagination.
How Far Will You Go to Survive? Imagine the lights go out, never to return. Bright aurora flare across the sky, and all humanity’s technological might is laid to waste, neutralized in a kind of quiet apocalypse. Everything that has shielded humanity from the disinterested power of Mother Nature is suddenly wrenched from us, dropping us a few links down the food chain. Food and water are scarce. The roads are no longer safe. And winter approaches… Welcome to The Long Dark —an immersive survival simulation set in the aftermath of a geomagnetic disaster. Experience a unique first-person survival simulation that will force you to think and push you to your limits with its thought-provoking gameplay and mature storytelling.
Cuphead is a classic run and gun action game heavily focused on boss battles. Inspired by cartoons of the 1930s, the visuals and audio are painstakingly created with the same techniques of the era, i.e. traditional hand-drawn cel animation, watercolor backgrounds, and original jazz recordings. Play as Cuphead or Mugman (in single player or local co-op) as you traverse strange worlds, acquire new weapons, learn powerful super moves, and discover hidden secrets while you try to pay your debt back to the devil!
Enter the Gungeon is a gunfight dungeon crawler following a band of misfits seeking to shoot, loot, dodge roll and table-flip their way to personal absolution by reaching the legendary Gungeon’s ultimate treasure: the gun that can kill the past. Select a hero and battle your way to the bottom of the Gungeon by surviving a challenging and evolving series of floors filled with the dangerously adorable Gundead and fearsome Gungeon bosses armed to the teeth. Gather precious loot, discover hidden secrets, and chat with opportunistic merchants and shopkeepers to purchase powerful items to gain an edge.
From the publishers of the Tropico series, Rise of Industry is currently out on Steam Early Access. Travel back to the early 20th as an industrialist in a beautiful, procedurally generated world. What drew me to the tycoon experience was the unique design. The simplistic color palette and modelling truly personify a 20th-century world.
Rise of Industry Early Access Trailer
RISE OF INDUSTRY IS A STRATEGIC TYCOON GAME THAT PUTS YOU IN THE SHOES OF AN EARLY 20TH-CENTURY INDUSTRIALIST.
As a budding entrepreneur, you will build factories, construct efficient transport lines, move raw materials, produce finished goods, and arrange trade with the world’s developing cities, providing them with the resources they need to flourish – for as they grow and prosper, so do you.
Designed with an eye towards both accessibility and depth, Rise of Industry has enough strategic complexity and replayability to satisfy the most experienced fans of the genre, while its simple-to-understand mechanics ensure that new players will love it as well.
We’re looking forward to more of this simplistic, 20th-century business world. Check out the game here: http://store.steampowered.com/app/671440/Rise_of_Industry/
I remember waking up every day as a young child. I’d grab a bowl of crisp and cool cereal at six in the morning then plop myself down for some much awaited cartoons. I was wired to do it each and every Saturday. I’d scramble for my television remote and flick until I saw the old-timey goodness of Tom and Jerry. Althought embarrassing to admit, I feel like that each and every time I play Cuphead.
There probably isn’t a single gamer on the planet that doesn’t know that two-syllable title. Cuphead is an above average run-and-gun game which focusses on boss battles. Forget going through painstaking hours of effort to reach the boss, just hop right into it! After that small summary, Cuphead may not seem like anything special. Sure, you fight boss after boss until you face the main boss, The Devil King. But that’s not the special part…
Every time I take a bite of spicy food, my tongue hates me. But, for some odd reason, I can’t help but keep eating. I don’t care how much pain my mouth suffers, the experience is diabolically enjoyable. It’s the same for Cuphead. While my blood boils and my fingers ache from a rage-induced grip on my controller, it’s like eating spicy food. It’s diabolically enjoyable.
When it comes to graphics, Cuphead is by far my number one choice. Computer-generated worlds with every pixel perfectly detailed are great and all, but I couldn’t feel for it what I feel for the Cuphead’s beautiful, hand-drawn, cel-animated, 2D world.
Another aspect that helped nail the nostalgic feeling was the custom, melodic music that enhanced each and every battle. Although it’s more behind the scenes, if you haven’t seen Cuphead‘s music being produced, you can check out the recording of the Floral Fury soundtrack, here. The great jazz beneath each moment of the game held me concentrated every time I picked up my controller.
When it comes to the story of Cuphead, I was really able to connect with my childhood. A wacky adventure perpetrated by a fun-loving, bendy, cartoon cup and his equally appealing brother, a mug, was straight out of the Disney textbook. Sent out to defeat an onslaught of creative characters right out of the 1930’s, Cuphead wanders around dishing out finger blasts and collecting the souls of the indebted. Then, Cuphead travels towards the Devil King’s casino to use his newfound strength on the Devil himself.
When it comes down to it, Cuphead deserves every ounce of fame it gets. I can’t think of any other indie game off the top of my head that was produced with this much effort. From every boss phase transition to the music heard as you stroll around Inkwell Isle One. Each detail of the game provides an experience unlike any other.
Become the savior of Inkwell Isle, slay the Devil King, and finger-blast some carrots! Pick up the game here: Cuphead on Steam
Indie games come out every day. Sadly though, many of the incredible titles released never gain the publicity they deserve. Here are three games released this week on steam that deserved to be checked out!
“You are being stalked by evil dolls in an old black-and-white film”
Witchkin is a first person ‘hide-and-sneak’ survival horror game in the vein of Slender or Five Nights at Freddie’s.
The player takes the role of a child attempting to find his abducted little sister in an abandoned Texas farmhouse in the 1920’s. This house is home to the Witchkin–a family of terrifying toys, the children of a deranged woman known as the Candy Lady. Using her “children” she will do everything in her power to keep all who enter the house from ever leaving.
The base play mechanics of Witchkin are primarily stealth. Sneaking, hiding, staying quiet and aware of the toys and your surroundings are skills required throughout the game. Witchkin boasts a very strong and unique art style reminiscent of early silent movies, painted in the eerie sepia tones of postmortem photos and the murky shadows of nightmares.
Witchkin is a one-man show, only one person created the game: art, music, voice (with a little help from family members), and programming.
Cause some distress in this fast-paced arcade platformer. Speed through each arena taking on vampires, rescuing hostages, disarming bombs, hacking servers and much more. Super tight and responsive controls let you take on the darkness with precision and style. Balance frenetic action with split-second choices, and watch your back – you never know what direction the next vamp will come from! Armed with her powerful ultraviolet shotgun, Ra, make the undead see the light; or get in close and personal with devastating melee attacks. Or maybe, save up your shots and use Damsel’s powerful (and deadly) dash.
String together attacks and movement while collecting the mysterious arcane skulls that litter each environment. Challenge yourself to pull off combos and special moves and wear your high score as a badge of honor! Experiment in each mission to discover that perfect sequence of moves and shots that maximise your effectiveness. Damsel is a ballet, and you’re the choreographer.
– Super fast, frantic gameplay with that “just one more go!” feel.
– Quick, nimble platforming in over a dozen beautiful environments.
– Bite-sized missions, for those with busy schedules.
– Use your enemies and environment to your advantage. Temp your foes into taking each other out, then go in and clean up the rest.
– Rack up massive scores and hit the top of the leaderboard by completing bonus challenges and performing tricky moves.
– Play through the game in campaign mode, where you can hone your skills, or arcade mode, a classic challenge that sorts the women from the girls.
– Coffin loads of extra challenges and bonuses to extend your play time.
– Awesome original soundtrack.
– Dive into virtual reality and blast away waves of evil robots in an immersive arcade style shooter.
– Defend the crystal from the 5 ruthless enemy types with awesome sci-fi weaponry.
– Three different arenas of varying difficulties for you to master.
– Compete in online and local leaderboards for the top score.
How far will you push yourself to protect the crystal from the robot onslaught?
A fast and fun turn-based adventure where you use top-down tactical combat and collectible card mechanics to master your strategy. Summoners Fate is a top-down adventure that combines exploration, card collecting and tactical combat. You control the fate of your Summoner and command an ever-changing band of companions. Defeat monstrous hordes and reap the rewards of treasures, allies, and powerful spells as you advance deeper into unknown lands. Are these chance encounters or do they connect to a greater meaning? Combat in Summoners Fate is turn-based, quick and gratifying. Hide behind trees or play a card that brings them to life. Douse your enemies in oil and ignite them with a fireball. Set a trap with a gravity spell to pull an enemy into your clutches. The possibilities are endless.