Why Indie Games?

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.

Hob-game-screenshot-2017_feature.jpg

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!

product_oneshot_poster_designview_1024x1024.png

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:

1498828463793.png

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 Nintendo Switch: An Expensive but Worthwhile Investment

After a long time of waiting, debating, and pouring over whether to buy the fabled Nintendo Switch, I finally did it. After three solid years with my beloved 3DS and PS Vita, it’s come time to change gears and jump on the new generation train – Destination: More Games.

I’ve been playing around with my Switch for a couple of weeks and I thought I’d get down my thoughts on the device, praises, grievances, and all.

The Good

–  Gaming wherever and whenever

Portability has remained a major advantage for me even though I rarely get out of the house. You’d think I’d prefer gaming on hardier, more powerful platforms like the PC or Playstation 4 but the number of hours I put into my handheld far exceed the time I spend on home consoles.

First party titles, third party titles, worthwhile indies. Nintendo has covered all its bases. It’s such an amazing feeling to browse the eshop and see familiar titles from the Steam store on almost every page, the fact that I can bring my Switch and thus, those games, wherever I go makes me ridiculously overjoyed.

Over the past year of the Switch blowing past every expectation and milestone, I regularly found myself looking over a game on Steam and thinking, “I should just wait till it gets a Switch port.”

Not everyone cares about how powerful a console is, but portability is definitely one of the major considerations when buying a handheld. In the days of yore, the PSP and DS proved it. Then the 3DS and Ps Vita confirmed it. The number of units moved for the respective devices speak for themselves. Don’t discount mini-PCs either, such as the GPD Win and it’s successor, the GPD Win 2, which smashed their crowd funding goals. I’ve personally owned the first GPD Win and it was nice for indies, but it had its own problems.

–  A sizeable game collection

If you’d told me Skyrim would end up on a Nintendo console, I’d have busted a gut. But it’s no pipe dream. Skyrim, the epic RPG which has been ported to every conceivable platform and been rereleased so many times Bethesda must be swimming in cash, is playable on a handheld console. You can fusrodah assassins, khajits, dragons, and guards with arrows in their knees over cliffs and into oblivion (that isn’t the realm).

And that’s not the only major third party title that’s come to the Switch. Don’t forget about the DOOM reboot and Wolfenstein 2. But about the Switch’s first party titles? Well, you have The Legend of Zelda, Mario Odyssey, Mario Kart 8.

What’s that? You want indie games? Hell, then what about Hollow Knight, Dead Cells and Shovel Knight, and tons more that I can’t list because this post will get way too long?

Dissenters like to bring up that Nintendo is porting way too many games, Splatoon 2 being one example, but for many people buying the Switch this will be their first time with many of those games. I did not own a Wii U so I look forward to Nintendo eventually porting its library to the Switch. It might sound a little crazy, but one easy solution is to not get the game if you already have it on other platforms. Personally, if my favourite games on the 3DS do end up coming to Switch, I’ll buy it in a heartbeat.

–  Multiplayer / couch co-op madness

This point doesn’t apply to me per se, but I’ve read about many people loving the heck out of the Switch’s removable joycon ability. A couple waiting for dinner playing a match or two in Overcooked, two friends killing time during lunch with several thrilling rounds of Mario Kart. The handheld already comes with two controllers out of the box, it’s awesome that it has the option for multiplayer without needing to fork out extra cash at the start.

 

The Neutral

– The Switch’s shape and design

I have big hands. Playing the 3DS gave me cramps like you wouldn’t believe, but I eventually did get used to it. The Switch hasn’t really given me that option. With a flat back and non-ergonomic shape in general, my wrist and palms start protesting barely an hour into gaming sessions. I know I’m not an isolated case since I’ve seen a number of complaints across the internet, but similarly, there are people who have no problem with the design and have none of those problems. That’s just how the cookie crumbles I suppose.

– Battery life

The 3 hour or so battery life takes some getting used to, especially if you’re coming from the 3DS. It is hard not to notice how fast the battery drains, especially when you’re out the entire day with the Switch as your only source of entertainment. I’ve played with the idea of getting a power bank, but it is a difficult investment since I’ve never needed one, not even for my smartphone.

The Switch trades battery life for power, I can’t complain if it allows me to play Skyrim or DOOM during my daily commute. Other than having less gaming time and the need to lug around a power bank, I’d say the trade-off is worth the hassle.

 

The Bad

– Price of digital games

I’m glad Nintendo is dunking its feet into the indie scene, but after seeing the price tags on several games I want, I’m certain I almost had a seizure. Not all indies are culpable but some seem to be taking advantage of the ‘portability means you pay more!’ argument. This applies not only to indies, I’ve seen a fair number of triple A games guilty of this as well.

I’m someone who doesn’t mind buying the same game multiple times, I’ll go the extra mile if I adore it, but when your game costs triple the price compared to other platforms, I have a hard time justifying the purchase. Not to mention the extra eshop tax!

This problem is especially hard to ignore for people who own a PC along with the Switch. Portability might be awesome, but if I have to shell out an extra fifteen to twenty bucks so I can take it on the train, I’d just stop myself from buying it. Frankly, that’s a lose lose situation.

As of writing this article, Stardew Valley on the eshop costs around $3 more than it’s steam counterpart. Patobox, another indie title I’ve had my eye on, costs $4 to $5 more. I hope indie developers thinking of publishing or porting games to the Switch in the future take this into consideration.

Conclusion

Is the Switch a perfect console? Of course not. But is it a worthwhile investment for people who love handhelds and crave portability? A resounding YES. With a whole new way to game and more indie titles than ever to dabble in, I’ll be a happy camper for a very long time to come.

Looking for an awesome Switch title to pick up? Check out The Final Station, here!

A Vibrant, Fairy-Tale Universe – Stories: The Path of Destinies Review

Stories: Path of Destinies is set in a vibrant, fairy-tale universe, where you follow the ex-pirate and unintentional hero, Reynardo the Fox, on his journey to save the Kingdom from the Mad King. The game features charming, hand-drawn illustrations, a colourful storybook aesthetic, and a unique choice-based narrative in which players explore different storylines to find the path to victory.

This game is what I’d consider a hidden gem. It seems to have been forgotten in the annals of time, a damn shame considering how much fun I’ve had with it. It isn’t perfect, with an equal amount of cons to balance the pros, but it puts a unique spin adventure RPGs.

I didn’t know what to expect going in, but I’m pleasantly surprised by the story, and the large variety of choices offered to the player. After the opening prologue, you can choose between a series of choices, to advance to the next chapter. There are four to five chapters to get through, to get an ending.

Some decisions are obvious in their morality but others, less so. I wasn’t expecting a gut-wrenching tale, but there are moments where your bad choices culminate in a truly twisted ending. The anthropomorphic characters eradicate any sense of realism, but it plays in the game’s favor because unexpected twists feel more impactful as a result.

Your decisions have consequences, and you can choose to follow up your actions in the previous chapter, or deviate entirely. This flexibility allows for varied endings, keeping me on my toes even after my first playthrough.

The game has a total of twenty-four endings. This might sound like a nightmare, but only four are required to unlock the True End. I won’t spoil them for you, but they are easy to figure out after finishing the game once. These endings are centred on important characters, and objects, in the game.

I have mixed feelings about the gameplay. Fighting enemies is little more than button mashing, and though you have an upgradable skill tree, the skills aren’t very useful. Enemies die quicker as you level up, but the button mashing remains a constant. An interesting mechanic is the ability to impale your enemies with your sword and throw them off the platform, which eases the repetitive combat.

The combat isn’t terrible, but considering you need more than one playthrough to finish the story, it can get tiring. Level design is mostly linear, with alternate paths that can be unlocked by different swords. You craft these swords by collecting ores you find in treasure chests. Thankfully, the game isn’t stingy on that front. Gathering materials is easy enough and gave me an incentive to explore every nook and cranny of each level.

The narration is a thing of art. The funny, sarcastic, wall-breaking comments livens up an otherwise mediocre game. The disembodied voice never feels overbearing. He’s an integral part of the story, narrating the dialogue of every character with flair and enthusiasm. If the story takes a turn for the dark, the narrator changes tack and matches how he speaks to the urgency of the situation.

He even has quips ready while Reynardo is engaged in combat! I often felt like I was being cheered on by a friend who was watching me play, making for a fun experience. If you know any dissenters who think voice acting isn’t important, just whip out Stories: Path of Destinies.

For anyone who wants a good RPG, with multiple endings and a well-written story, you can’t go wrong with this game. It might rough around the edges, but it’s definitely worth a buy.

Indie Games to Support on Kickstarter

 

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!


Your Adventure 

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.

The Book

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.

Here’s the link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/256827408/knight-time/description


  • A game by students and junior animators, made by fans for fans;
  • A Colorful cartoon universe based on the top English-speaking gaming YouTubers;
  • Fast gameplay with crazy and easy chainable combos;
  • Various humorous interactions to experiment inside with YouFight, a fancy parody of YouTube hosting the wildest combats!
  • Numerous Unlockables like in the Golden Era of easy to learn fighting games!
  • Fighting style impacting the narrative;
  • At least 5 Characters to Play: Poodiepie (Pewdiepie), Jackaboy (Jacksepticeye), ToastyKen (Cinnamontoastken), Markimoo (Markiplier), Unannounced Boss;
  • 3 more Characters depending on the Stretch goals: YandereMinx (RPGMinx), Cryatomic (Cryaotic), The SexBo’Bomb (Game Grumps).

Here’s the link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1886196940/subscribe-and-punch?ref=video


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.

cc4bf28875bb55f9af2361fe0739220c_original.png

You handle your misfortune with alcohol and other sins

…and in no time at all, you’ll be involved in a surrealbloody and twisted journey surrounded by quirky fellow travelers.

Gameplay

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 swordstorches and shields alongside of firearmsFlamethrower 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.)

Here’s the link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1522665641/netherworld-drugs-sex-and-pixels-adventure-game/


3b19965208d855615261f3f86c2d7d81_original.jpg

Here’s the link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/80348891/once-upon-a-coma-from-the-creator-of-pinstripe?ref=video


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 SettlersSimCity, 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 IIEuropa Universalis IV and The Guild 2-3!

Here’s the link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/polymorph-games/foundation-a-new-era-of-organic-city-building-simu?ref=video

Come Over to my Fist! – Gang Beasts Review

gangbeast1.png

Ready to take some anger out on some unsuspecting friends? Do you need a physics engine that makes very little sense with destructibles that break when you look at them funny? Well look no further! Gang Beasts has everything you need to get you started on clunky, awkward fighting as you beat the living snot out of someone and throw them, wait that didn’t work, throw them over– crap! He didn’t go over, hold on…. Throw them over the side of a building!

Gang Beasts is a multiplayer fighting game that you can play with your friends at home or online. You start out with a fairly impressive selection of player skins, although they don’t affect the gameplay a great deal, they are still fun to play. However, if it is your first time playing, get ready to start scratching your head if you either didn’t figure out the controls or don’t have anyone there to tell you how to use them. The controls and the character movement is so awkward that you need to get good with the controls in a big hurry, as those people you are playing with already have a gigantic advantage that is very hard to get over.

gangbeast3.png

However, that’s not to say you won’t still have fun playing. Even as you are getting the snot kicked out of you, there are several fun and creative ways to die throughout the large number of levels. Not to mention the fun little glitches you find along the way can be a lot of fun to look at. Even if you haven’t mastered the controls, the opponents you are facing can make some serious mistakes that you can all have a good little chuckle at. If you have the right group of people to play with, this game can be a great deal of fun.

No matter how fun the game can be, though, the controls and the game itself has its shortcomings that cannot be overlooked. Saying that the physics engine can be a problem is a serious understatement. You could be fighting someone for around ten seconds in one place and your platform could fall out from under you, killing you and whoever was on it with you when it happened. Then there are game glitches such as the same level repeating over and over again as you put the maps on random.

gangbeast2.png

When it comes to the overall experience, there isn’t a whole lot to look at here. It has no story mode, not that it really needs it, but it also doesn’t have a whole lot of content. There is a versus mode, a co-op mode, and there is also soccer (or the Football that is not American) mode. Beyond that, there is not a great deal to go off of. Once you are done playing through two random free-for-all matches with friends two or three times, you will probably be getting a headache with the game controls, and no, that is not an exaggeration, you will get a headache. There is probably a good two hours of gameplay overall.

The best method of playing when you first start out will definitely be the co-op mode, but as said before, you still need the right group of people to play with before you venture into this territory. Learning the controls is top priority, or you’re going to be losing, and losing a lot. It is a quirky game that will leave you flabbergasted in the wake of what it has in store for you, for better or worse. It can be a lot of fun to watch your friends make idiots out of themselves with one of the weirdest physics engines ever created, and it can be a gas surprising yourself with what you can do with it. If you have a group of friends to play with, this game is fairly well recommended. If not then it may be best to hold out on buying it until you get a few of the game’s flaws sorted out for yourself, either by walkthroughs or playing the game at someone else’s expense.

Survival Horror – Do’s and Don’t’s (1)

Survival horror is perhaps one of the most slippery slopes in gaming. That feeling you get when you walk into a room you have never been in. You can barely see, the shadows in the room take on forms that look ominous, the silence in the room is louder than any noise that you will ever hear, and everything is still, motionless, eerie. There is a creeping feeling in your brain that tells you that you should not be there, and the darkness begins to take its toll on your nerves. There is a sudden flash from outside the black curtains in front of the window that makes you stop in your tracks as all of the forms of the room are brought to light for a single instant, but that only makes it worse as the darkness returns. One sudden motion, and your heart can skip a beat, you begin to feel the dreading that something is watching you, something is coming for you, something is about to crawl out from underneath the furniture that is covered in white sheets and grab your ankles, pulling you into a place unknown, a shadowy place of which there is no return.

It is up to the game developers to first capture that feeling in a setting for your character, and simulate that feeling of absolute helplessness. Do you have a weapon with which to defend yourself? Can you survive if something truly does lurk in the shadows? Well, that’s where we start to get into the true cusp of a much larger world, one that has captured the hearts of millions, but also caused some of the largest disappointments ever seen in the gaming world, rivalling that of E.T. for the Atari.

efml1mtfqbmtgkzambyh.png

Truly terrifying horror games are some of the most difficult things to write and develop. While there have been some terrific successes, there have also been some horrific failures that completely trounce the number of good games that are meant to invoke fear. When you step out from the middle of the trees, and get a good look at the forest for what it is, you can start to see where the successes bleed together. They have certain elements in them that are worth noting and if used properly, can truly give the player what they came to see and feel, true terror!

Horror movie fans are normally the target audience. Those people that go to the theater to see a scary film, even if chances are it is not going to be good, they are willing to risk it. These are the ones that want to take that extra step further and live in that world. They want to interact with that horror movie and be a part of it. If you can make your audience feel like that, you have won the race that is called survival horror, and you will be greatly rewarded for your efforts.

PT2

Then there are attempts that just miss the point entirely, or do not have the means nor the know-how to truly make the player become engulfed in their dark, horrific reality. This could be from a lack of funding, a lack of skill, or just a simple lack of knowledge on the subject. Some people think it’s just as simple as shoving someone into a dark room and have people talk cryptic nonsense.

In the next article, we will go over some important items involved with making survival horror video games in detail. Stay tuned and be sure to keep an eye out.

Read Part 2, and in-depth list of features to include or not include, here: Part 2

Want to see more Game Development articles? Check out our article on Marketing your Indie Game, here!

Challenging Cuteness – Bounce Rescue Review

When I first looked at Bounce Rescue, I thought this would be a quick walk in the park. Boy, was I wrong. Bounce Rescue is a platforming game which tells the story of a bouncy protagonist whose friends have all been kidnapped! It’s now up to you to rescue them, begin your adventure fighting monsters, collecting coins, and breaking records on amazing levels with multiple challenges to overcome.

From the first level, you can tell the game won’t be easy. Your jumps take precise timing and some of the items require a substantial amount of backtracking to get. Throughout the levels, there are doors blocking your path. For these doors, you will need to find keys hidden throughout the level and use them to unlock the doors. Some keys are in obscure places surrounded by enemies and difficult jumps, and if you fall off or die then you will die, losing your key and any crystals you have picked up since your last checkpoint.

Bounce Rescue! - Screenshot 02

The artwork in the game is in a word, cute. It has a nice sort of art that makes it look friendly to children, plenty of bright colors that pop out at you, with similarly bright colored enemies and items.

While playing the game, there are other characters you can unlock with different abilities or characteristics, but they aren’t going to be easy to get. The 50 levels offer a lot of fun and should take a substantial amount of time to complete as well. But, there is also more game modes to try. There is a section where you can view global scores, so you can try to raise yourself on the global leaderboards for each level. Also, there is a time attack mode, which takes your in-game timer and sets it on a leaderboard, too.

A few tips while playing though: First, you should definitely get yourself a controller to play as the controls on keyboards can be a little uncomfortable due to their positioning, and there is no controls tab for keyboard controls, just the controller setup on loading screens. Watch your jumps. Sometimes the jump won’t take off the way you want and you will just fall down, but can do another jump, this could be helpful for a quick save in a tight spot.
Bounce Rescue! - Screenshot 08

In my opinion, the game looks amazing and seems like it will be a lot of fun to finish, but would be better if the keyboard was able to be used as easily as the controller. The game’s difficulty is exactly where I believe it should be which might be a bit challenging for some, but others will find it simplistic. I definitely recommend picking up this game once it releases on steam on February 1st, 2018.

And one final note, the developers have decided to have a contest on speedrun.com for anyone willing to do a speedrun of Bounce Rescue. They stated that on April 2nd, the player with the number one spot on their speedrun.com leaderboard will be awarded a “trophy for your heroic deeds” I know I’ll be racing in this, hope to see you all there as well.

Enomview rating: 8.5/10

Darkly Atmospheric – Darkwood Review

There’s a quiet and tense energy that pervades the world of Darkwood. It’s not a traditional horror game in that there are monsters leaping out at you from every shadow – but it’s this that makes it even scarier.

Developers Acid Wizard Studio reportedly decided to create a horror game of their own as a result of not being fans of the genre, and after a successful Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, and a sometimes difficult four years of development in Steam Early Access, Darkwood officially launched in August 2017.

In many ways, this lack of background in horror shines through positively throughout the game. For a start, the top-down mechanic is at least rare, if not unique, in the genre. And all too often, horror games go for the jump scares, while Darkwood prefers a more psychological brand of terror.

2018-01-11 18_31_36-Greenshot.jpg

It begins innocuously enough – in the prologue, you play as a man living in a forest cabin and the game teaches you how to move around and manage your inventory. Things get a bit more sinister as you decide whether or not to euthanise your dying dog, and shortly afterwards Darkwood takes a deep breath and takes a long journey into the strange and surreal.

One of the first lessons you learn is to never, ever, under any circumstances, go outside during the night, because you will die a horrible and painful death. The lifeblood of this notion is the gasoline that fuels the generator in your shelter; as long as the lights are on, the paranormal beasties will stay away. Mostly. There are exceptions, such as the foreboding but unaggressive figure who imparts this nocturnal advice, standing with the body of a man and the head of a wolf.

2018-01-11 16_25_42-Greenshot.jpg

Cleverly, Darkwood slowly descends into madness, instead of plunging straight in deep. For the first few nights, not much might happen. But I recall early into the story, I was huddled in the bedroom of my shelter when the door swung open. There was nothing there. Another time I was pacing impatiently when I turned back around to find a person sat crying on the bed, desperate to go home.

As the loading screen warns you, Darkwood doesn’t hold you by the hand. Hence my confusion when, despite the earlier warning to never, EVER go outside at night, someone or something began knocking at the door after darkness had fallen. In such a situation, you’re gripped by a terrible indecision; do you go and open the door, or do you ignore it? It’s moments like these that truly set Darkwood aside from other horror games.

2018-01-11 14_28_33-Greenshot

Suffice to say that these are just the tip of a psychedelic iceberg that descends into trippier and scarier depths as the game continues, but I wouldn’t want to be the one to ruin the experience for a new player.

Despite the strange and terrible things that occur, there’s a reassuring logic that sits somewhere in the background; while it doesn’t hold your hand, neither does the game try and trip you up by changing the rules on you for the sake of adding confusion.

While it’s good, things aren’t perfect. The combat system feels very clunky to operate, and particularly from the mid-game on, it’s really difficult to walk away from a fight – and not in an “I appreciated the challenge” type of way.

But that’s a relatively small part of an otherwise phenomenal game. I’m a big fan of minimalist graphic styles, and here we can see an example of a game that basically just uses different shades of grey throughout and look amazing.

2018-01-12 09_47_28-Greenshot.jpg

And the sound quality alone is almost worth the cost of admission – moody, sombre drones ramp up the feeling of dread without you even realising it, particularly when you go anywhere near your lupine acquaintance.

Despite a somewhat clunky combat system, Darkwood presents a fresh and engaging take on the horror genre, which stays true to its roots at the same time as striking off in a new direction. Developed by guys who don’t normally like horror games, this one is bound to appeal to scare junkies and newcomers alike.

EnomView Score: 8 out of 10

Inner Space Releases this Tuesday – Trailer

A space flight adventure game developed by Polyknights called Inner Space is being released on Tuesday, tomorrow. Inner Space is an exploration flying game set in a world where physics are inverted. Take command of an unnamed cartographer as you adventure the bubble worlds, collect relics, and encounter each bubbles deity to discover more about its history. You can pick up this game on Linux, Mac OSX, PS4, Switch, Windows, and Xbox One on January 18, 2018!

Note from the creators:

We started PolyKnight Games back in college, when we would meet after class to talk about new challenges in game design. We became fixated on one question in particular: “What would a flying game be like in a universe of inside-out planets?” To answer that question, we decided to put aside our career plans and form our own indie studio.

If you like the idea of a plane that transforms into a submarine, then dives inside the belly of an ancient demigod, you’re in the right place.

 

 

Inner Space Trailer:

You can check out the game’s Steam page here or their website, here.

Indie Game Award Finalists Include “Cuphead” and “Night in the Woods.”

The Independent Games Festival revealed their finalists for the 2018 indie gaming awards. The award can go to Infinite Falls’ “Night in the woods” or StudioMDHR’s “Cuphead.” With both games being highly praised, it is a tough choice.

header.jpg

“Night in the woods” is up for Seumas McNally award as well as many awards for its art and visual aesthetics.

572dc161-0e1c-4ff2-ae9f-bfc4d03ecb08.jpg

“Cuphead” is up there for audiovisual awards and an honorable mention for the grand prize.

Other games such as Bennett Foddy’s “Getting over it”, were good choices, but none can compare to “Cuphead” and its one million copies sold. Also, backed by Microsoft, “Cuphead” is a juggernaut of an indie game. The award will be given out on March 21st, 2018. Tune in to EnomView.com often or our Enomview Youtube channel for more news like this!