Lunar New Year Steam Sale – Indie Games

10. Slay the Spire

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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

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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

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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

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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.

Pick up the game at 40% off here! 

5. Dead Cells

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.

We mentioned this game in our Top 10 Indie Games of 2017 article, which you can check out here.

Check it out at 25% off here!

 

4.  Human Fall Flat

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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.

Check out the game here at 50% off here!

3.  The Long Dark

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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.

Our review of this awesome survival game is coming soon, but you can start playing it here!

2.  Cuphead

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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!

We’ve talked about this game a ton over the past few months. Check out our review here, and the game at 15% off here!

1.  Enter the Gungeon

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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.

We LOVE this game. Definitely check out our review here, and pick up this addicting game at 50% off here!

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

10 Best Indie Games to Buy – Steam Winter Sale

  1. Rain World

Very few games will make you scream “EVERYTHING WANTS TO EAT ME!” faster than Rain World. Curiously brought to us by Adult Swim, like Robot Unicorn Attack, Rain World is a challenging game that scores a lot of points for its artistic atmosphere and visuals.

Using your slug-shaped cat player-character, you navigate through the ruins of a dark, broken world–utilizing gameplay mechanics which include elements of shoot-em-ups, stealth, and even survival to surpass challenges and battle the various monsters that try to undo your efforts every step of the way. This game may prove alien for a few, but it’s hard to deny that–between the art and the animations–this is one of the best-looking 2D games on the market.

  1. Antichamber

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.

  1. Stick Fight: The Game

Fun, fun, fun! Stick Fight sure is filled with it when you’ve got friends to play with and a solid internet connection. Shoot. Stab. Punch. Do all of these things and more with your doodle-based posse.

This game is great because it not only offers an entertaining experience but has the propensity to really make you laugh, too. From the shared shenanigans of you and your comrades to the squirmy animations that make your character models look like two-dimensional Totally Accurate Battle Simulator units on 2x speed, you’re sure to have a blast.

  1. Dungeon of the Endless

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.

  1. Don’t Starve

The game may be called “Don’t Starve”, 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.

  1. Dead Cells

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.

We mentioned this game in our Top 10 Indie Games of 2017 article, which you can check out here.

  1. Starbound

Teleport down from your own personal spaceship to worlds unknown–exploring rich environments, fighting challenging foes, and learning interesting backstories. Starbound is a proper exemplification of the Terraria formula done right.

Break digital blocks. Wander into caves. Scavenge for resources. Then–finally–craft it all into brilliant items. And the cherry on top? Adding friends to the mix. Much like Minecraft with its procedurally-generated worlds and biomes, the amount of fun to be had here is truly infinite–to say nothing of the interesting stories accompanying each intergalactic race.

  1. Plague Inc. Evolved

Ever wanted to create the perfect disease and destroy all of humanity with it? No? Well, now’s your chance, as that’s exactly what Plague Inc. Evolved allows you to do! Starting with patient zero, you level up with infection and upgrade your pathogen through various skill trees which unlock different abilities with different benefits and consequences–dependent upon the situation.

Spread the pandemic. Infect every continent with your illness. Shatter the world with your pitiless plague.

  1. Oxygen Not Included

Build a subterranean colony, deep from the under earth, that provides for every need and desire. Every need except for one: oxygen. Catering to colonists with different traits that cause different effects, Oxygen Not Included is all about a struggle to keep them alive.

This game will have you constantly searching for pockets filled to the brim with water, food, oxygen, hydrogen–you name it. Made by the developers of Don’t Starve, this is one of the first games I’ve ever seen that brings a smile to my face with its randomly generated worlds–always providing for a different experience every playthrough.

We also mentioned this game in our Top 10 Indie Games of 2017 article, which you can check out here.

  1. Terraria

A model of sandbox design for many game developers, Terraria is a must-have for all those who’d call themselves adventurers and creative.

Terraria has what many call the “16-bit sidescroller take” on Minecraft’s expansive formula. And just like Minecraft, the amount of stuff to be done is truly boundless. From the dungeons you explore to the pixelated enemies you fight, there’s always something to occupy yourself with here. Just like the holes you dig, things only deepen as you progress.