Top 10 Indie Games to Look Out for in 2018

Another year alive on this Earth equates to nothing but another year of gooey, gaming goodness. 2017 brought us Dead Cells, Getting Over It, Oxygen Not Included, Cuphead–too much succulent indie epicness to cram into a single paragraph in some internet article. But with the new year comes a new batch o’ games, and the creatives of the indie world just will not quit. Here are 10 upcoming titles to keep a careful watch for in 2018.

 

10. Light Fall

A fast-paced platformer with an even faster, zippity player character–Light Fall is a game that’ll have you jumping, bouncing across walls, activating cool, space-themed objects, and dodging obstacles to progress.

Already gathering praise and critical acclaim from several other indie articles and groups, Light Fall and its intergalactic art style is a surefire bet for games that’ll impress in the following year.

 

9. Below

A myriad of intricate sound design and a dark atmosphere, Below is set to be one of the indie gaming world’s many artistic masterpieces.

With RPG-inspired mechanics, each progressive level sees the main character exploring underground environs and combating colorful foes as he moves down, down, and down ever deeper–trying ever so hard to show the player what lies at the lowest recesses of the screen.

8. Death’s Gambit

“Dark Souls in 2D.” That’s the description most people will use to describe it… and they’re far from being wrong. Adult Swim is back at it again, and they certainly don’t intend to disappoint.

A dark fantasy setting, hulking foes that stand twice, sometimes triple your height, a brutal challenge that’ll send the casuals into a fit of ragequitting, and the devoted into a satisfactory light of glory–Death’s Gambit will not be a game to miss come next year.

7. Fight Knight

Of all the games on this list, this one’s sure to pack a punch. Several, in fact. Playing in the first person–and hearkening back to the days of The Elder Scrolls: ArenaFight Knight is a game that’d make Rocky proud.

A dungeon crawler at its heart, this game humorously has the player activating every NPC and killing every monster with fists and fists alone. Abandon your spells. Your swords. Your bows. Embrace the only weapon man was ever meant to wield.

6. The Last Night

Never before have we seen a title embrace the words “dynamic” and “cinematic” quite like The Last Night does. Set to the backdrop of a cyberpunk world, The Last Night is technically a platformer, but that doesn’t really describe the experience so well.

With a camera that floats and hovers just about as frequently as the characters’ expressive animations change, The Last Night was cited as one of the best looking games at E3 by far.

5. Fe

Glide through the air, climb up trees, dig your way across, or simply frolic through the dark, crystalline Nordic forest that’s brought to the table in Fe.

With a focus on its ecosystem, Fe is a strictly 3D game that presents us with a life-like world filled with soul. Discover that ecosystems many secrets, solve its side quests, and make contact with brilliant, mystical creatures–playing as one such being of your own.

4. Ashen

Are you one who craves expansive, open worlds? Is your childhood filled with memories of exemplifications of freedom like The Elder ScrollsFallout, Grand Theft Auto, and Minecraft? Look no further, for Ashen has just the cure to soothe your weary bones, traveler.

With stamina-based combat, a drop in, drop out multiplayer mechanic, and a world that doesn’t bind you down with its chains, Ashen is a roleplay-friendly title that’s just begging for you to get immersed.

3. Ori and the Will of the Wisps

A game that looks so good, it’s literally too hard to believe at times, Ori and the Will of the Wisps is a popular sequel to the critically-acclaimed Ori and the Blind Forest.

A metroidvania action platformer, this game doesn’t just stun you, it dazzles you with its ever-changing atmosphere, creative foes, and visual storytelling-based narrative. Backed by Microsoft, Ori and the Will of the Wisps is sure to be an interesting title indeed.

2. Praey for the Gods

Enjoyed battling the pantagruelian titans we saw in Shadow of the Colossus? If so, Praey for the Gods is just the game to look out for in 2018. As a member of a winter-y, wasting world, your job is to journey through this snowbound realm and uncover just what lies at the source of its slow, inevitable death.

A survival-based action-adventure game, you start with nothing but the clothes on your back. A lone wanderer in this dangerous abyss, your only hope of staying alive is to smite the very deities that you worship.

1. Kingdom Come: Deliverance

To all those who cried for a realism-based, historically-accurate, story-driven, medieval RPG, cry no more–for Kingdom Come: Deliverance is here to answer the call!

Cemented within the once real-world setting of the feudalism-based Holy Roman Empire, Kingdom Come: Deliverance has had medieval martial artists and historians alike drooling with its effective portrayal of life in these olden days. Gone are magic and spells; this is an age of smiths and swords!

Stay tuned as we tackle these games and many more! Check out our top 10 picks for best indie games in 2017!

A Discarded Robot Trying to get Home – Defunct

Defunct is an indie adventure game that in a single word can be described as “awe-inspiring”. In Defunct, you control a broken robot that has fallen from the safety of your giant cargo ship. Your one goal is to get back to the ship before it’s too late.

Defunct Review

You can utilize the multiple abilities given to you such as flipping yourself upside down to connect to otherwise unreachable areas and the power to collect energy and use a super boost to traverse your way through eleven different levels with fluctuating climates and biomes. The open-world aspect of the game allows you to explore areas while looking off into the distance at beautiful landscapes. All of this while you roll around, trying to solve puzzles needed to get home. There are also a number of collectables on each of the levels which unlock new skins and special tricks. Utilize them to customize your next playthrough or while testing your skills in the time-trial mode.

The game requires you to navigate between narrow alleys and duck to evade low hanging rocks, all while being pressured by the timer looming over you. There are also multiple puzzles that, when done correctly, will allow you to continue on into farther areas, as well as unlock hidden zones where collectables can be found.

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Although the game has no narration or description of what is happening, the cutscenes scattered throughout the game display everything you need to know to understand the turmoil your robot is going through. Piece together these clips and help your robot on his journey home.

After finishing the game, each individual level will be unlocked, allowing you to take part in time trials. Time trials slightly differ from the normal game by a handful of key components. The first being the on-screen timer, displaying how long it has taken to beat the level. The second being small green items that will freeze the timer for one second. Upon completion of a time trial, a small window displaying your time and global rank pops up. Depending on what your time is. it will also give you a medal in the ranking of bronze, silver, gold, and platinum. Finally, for all the speedrunning enthusiasts out there, there is an in-game skin that is instantly unlocked. The skin allows you to sport the AGDQ logo, like a true speedrunner.

Defunct Review

All in all, this is a must buy-game masterfully created by Freshly Squeezed. For the captivating experience helping your robot home, it’s definitely worth the price. The Gameplay was entertaining and the puzzles were at times pretty challenging, but not so challenging that I was frustrated with it.

Although the controls can be a little difficult to get used to at first, it slowly becomes more natural and free-flowing. The story could have gone more in-depth, but I feel like the mystery of the land adds to the perspective of how the robot you control feels about being stranded on this strange planet.

EnomView Score: 7 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.

Dragon Sin – Tiny Human V. Massive Dragons

Looking for a game with a medieval style? How about one where you can kill dragons as a handsome mercenary. Well, I got the game just for you! Fate Dragon Studio has released Dragon Sin, a badass adventure game with surprisingly awesome combat.

The developers of the title have stated that Dragon Sin was produced in their college years, which they have since graduated. For a game that was made in one of busiest years of person’s life lives, it looks surprisingly well done.

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The team has also stated that they have a lot to add to the game, but don’t have the resources to add them yet. If they can make a game as good as this on limited resources, we could only imagine what they can do with more. The game isn’t long, only lasting about 35 minutes.

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Dragon Sin is centred around killing dragons with a little bit of story added in. You play as Greer, the offspring of the Dragon Lord. Sure the graphics aren’t GTA 5 level, but what are you really asking for from a group of college kids with limited time and money.

There’s one thing that I forgot to mention: Dragon Sin is 100% free to play. Use creative, well-thought combat mechanics and a massive sword to slice and dice your draconian enemies right now at no cost. Pick it up on Steam in the link below.

Dragon Sin on Steam: http://store.steampowered.com/app/534220/Dragons_Sin/

5 Fun Games for Less Than 10 Dollars – Bitten Toast Games Bundle

Every one of Bitten Toast Games’ titles are currently on sale. That in itself is amazing, but what’s even more amazing is that you can get all of them at the same time for under $10. Pick up a copy of the famous game What the Box? alongside their newest title, Winter Warland.

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Winter Warland, a title similar to What the Box?, has you controlling a snowman hidden among a field of statues that look exactly the same as you. Play with your friends, also disguised as quirky snowmen. Sort through the endless amount of clones in search of your real enemies.

Keep fighting until you’re the last player standing. Utilizing your long-range snowballs and carrot-shiv, clear away your enemies one by one. The Christmas themed maps are perfect for battling your friends over the holiday. Winter Warland isn’t the only thing you get when purchasing this package though!

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You’ll also receive a title that I’ve been wanting to pick up myself: Rocket Fist. Alongside the Rocket Fist soundtrack, you receive a title that looks energetic and fast-paced. Use rocket-propelled fists in this wacky game to subdue your friends and claim victory.

You could find the whole collection of games and purchase the bundle here: http://store.steampowered.com/app/413500/Rocket_Fist/

Have a Merry Christmas!

McRogue Launches on Steam in Under Six Hours

McRogue launches on Steam in under six hours. This hack-and-slash, or rather hack-and-smash, game features McRogue, a brawn, flame-haired man with robotic fists. Face increasingly hard enemies as you collect power-ups and amass your strength.

The indie game, created by Snare Games’ Rory Driscoll, looks action packed with very developed overhead art and stunning effects. It’s easy to expect great things from the game, especially when you take a look at Driscoll’s track record.

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The veteran of the gaming industry took part in creating some massive titles such as God of War: Ascension and Transformers: Fall of Cybertron during his time at Sony Santa Monica.

Driscoll also blogs constantly about in-depth coding info on how the game was made over on his developer company site: Snaregames.com. If you’re looking for some amazing behind the scene information on McRogue, that would be the place to find it.

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Although while in Steam Early Access McRogue offers a measly two levels, we cannot wait for this game to bloom even further and become a prominent indie title.

You can get the game here when it unlocks in just a few hours: http://store.steampowered.com/app/758150/McRogue/

Looking for some full indie titles? Check out our indie game reviews here.

Steam’s Winter Sale Launches Today – What Games Should You Look out for?

Today, Steam’s Winter sale finally begins! Ever since the Autumn Sale, I’ve been waiting to pick up some amazing new indie games for a great price. Not only that, but these games make great Christmas gifts to your gamer friends right in time for the holidays. At 6:00pm EST, hundreds of games will be available at amazing rates, and I for one cannot hold my excitement.

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Although we can’t figure out which specific games will be on sale until the sale begins, we can speculate based on the Autumn sale. Last season, we saw some amazing AAA titles, as well as smaller indie games, for as much as 75% off. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on massive titles like The Witcher III: The Wild Hunt at a whopping 60% off.

What we’re looking for though are indie titles. If massive names like The Witcher goes on sale, we can easily make assumptions that indie games like Cuphead will go on sale too. Here’s a list of indie games that we’re definitely going to keep an eye on:

th1.jpgLook out for sale updates of these games and much more over in our Indie News Section!Steam Store: http://store.steampowered.com/

We’re releasing our Best Indie Games of 2017 – Top Ten Indie Games video soon! Make sure to check out our YouTube so you don’t miss it!

Intoxicating Alchemic Madness – Opus Magnum Review

If you have spent any time on Twitter lately there’s a good chance you’ve come across satisfying gifs of intricate, whirring machines moving glass orbs to and fro, locking them into place before handing them over to rotating grippers, shifting color and transmogrifying them into new elements. It is intoxicating to look at, and, as it turns out to play as well! The name of the game is Opus Magnum, the newest project by Zachtronics, and it’s pretty damn great.

This ingenious puzzle game has an actual story to back it up. You set out as Anataeus Vaya, an alchemical prodigy who lands the job of head alchemist at one of the prestigious houses of the game’s steampunk inspired world. As the head alchemist, you are tasked with creating a variety of compounds, from fuel for the airships to a ‘stamina potion’ so the house’s prince can produce an heir. And later, as the story progresses, explosive phials and rocket propellant.

You create these items through your trusty alchemical transmutation engine, represented as a hexagon-shaped grid on which you place alchemical reagents, various mechanisms and glyphs with which you create fantastical machines. You can drag ‘instructions’ to each mechanisms timeline, making it grab or release a compound, rotating it left or having it ride along a rail until you form the compounds and lock it in place to win the puzzle. Easier said than done as mechanisms and reagents may not touch each other.

Then again, finishing the puzzle is actually not that difficult. It gets interesting when you get to see the metrics afterward. You are shown a graph on which you can see the number of people that finished the puzzle in the scores of cost, cycles, and area. These metrics take no precedence over each other and you can choose whether you want to create an efficient machine with a low amount of cycles, a cheap machine that only uses two grippers or a really small one with a low area cost. Seeing that large spike at 60 cycles while you finished the puzzle in 50 gives a real sense of accomplishment, and if you didn’t do so well you’ll be driven to optimise more or find satisfaction in a different metric. You’ll be refining each puzzle for months to come!

By not having a singular score metric the game allows you to set your own goals. It creates dynamic difficulty and rewards creativity. There are so many ways to solve each puzzle and not being locked in a ‘right way’ to go about it allows for a lot of freedom. Many puzzle games have a set solution, and while it gives off a sense of accomplishment no feeling is better than doing something in a way that is unique to you as a person. Every solution you tinker with creates an on-screen splendor for you to share with friends. These elements are well thought out with players being able to create a gif of their work at the click of a button, multiple save slots per puzzle solution, and the implementation of steam leaderboards.

The story is by and large presented through short conversations between classical looking portraits of the main characters before each puzzle. These exchanges are brief enough to not disrupt the pace of the game, but in-depth enough to provide a good understanding of what’s going on in the story, and cleverly written to boot. The story takes a backseat to the gameplay but still serves as an interesting backdrop to the true star of the game: the brilliant puzzles. It took me about ten hours to get through the five-act campaign. I could have done it a lot faster but I didn’t want to. I could see myself replaying these puzzles endlessly before wanting to move on to the next one.

Zachtronics is well known in the industry for creating logic-based puzzle games such as Infinifactory, SHENZHEN I/O and TIS-100. All of these games revolve around automating various processes and are known for having a high level of complexity, but Opus Magnum manages to be Zachtronic’s most accessible game yet with a surprising amount of depth and flexibility. Highly recommended!

EnomView Score: 9.5 out of 10

Check out the game: http://store.steampowered.com/app/558990/Opus_Magnum/

The Tear-Jerking Story that Helped a Man Understand Death – The First Tree Review

We’ve all been through the rebellious teenage years of our lives. The times where you would much rather be out with friends. The times where your home life matters little to you. The times where you refuse to notice the sacrifices made by mom and dad. Your thoughts… your actions… all things you regret and wish you could take back in your adolescent years. If this has any meaning to you, then you are not alone. Follow both a fox determined to save her young from a hungry wolf and the touching story about a son’s attempt to cope with the loss of his father in the relaxing adventure, The First Tree.

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You begin your journey in the eyes of a fox. Your children have gone missing and it is your job to find and save the poor innocent creatures from the threats that lie in the wilderness. Within the first few minutes of this visually astonishing story, you see a flock of birds fly off from a corpse on the ground. That ate-out rotted body is sadly one of your young. You sit in sorrow but have no time to grieve since your mission still stands. One more child is in jeopardy, and he will not suffer the same fate as the last. Without haste, you begin your journey in locating and saving your only other beloved child.

As you wander the beautiful verdant forest and pass the scurrying bunnies and birds, you will find beacons of light in the distant. Make your way to those and you will find the true story behind The First Tree. You can interact with the foot of these beacons to dig up an artifact that has a specific meaning to a certain someone named Joseph. Joseph is the unfortunate individual who has recently lost his father. Whether this fox digs up a wooden train or a toy car, each item has a meaning and a story. Joseph is narrating these experiences to his wife, Racheal. At the start, the stories seem mundane. Ones about a show and tell, and gifts from dad. I found The First Tree tiring, spending three minutes running from one beacon to the next, just to hear a common school tale. I simply found the game… boring for the first ten minutes, but then the story starts to get interesting. Each story begins to tie with the next and leaves you in suspense until you find your path to the next beacon. I soon found myself hooked and engaged with Josephs sorrow.

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There are no complex controls in The First Tree, but with the few the game offers, I found the movement buggy and some obstacles that should be resized. You can only run and jump, but if needed, an extra jump is granted while airborne to carry you further. If you use your second jump late, then you will travel a great distance, but a low height. If you rapidly use both jumps, then you can achieve a great height, but risk losing the distance. The choice is yours depending on the obstacles present. The only problem is that I found a couple vertical walls difficult to scale normally. I had to find unconventional paths or angles to achieve the height needed. While it may have been an issue on my understanding of the controls, I found myself in unnatural places attempting to hop a wall.

While some walls may have stood out of reach, most of the others where scalable through power-ups. Actually, I should rephrase. The one and only power-up in the game… butterflies! Yep, you heard me, colorful butterflies. Along the course of your journey, you are bound to cross paths with a circle of purple butterflies. Walk through this circle and the butterflies will follow you as you walk. Once you take that leap of faith, you will rise in the air higher than you ever could with the standard double jump. Using these butterflies will be essential at some points to progress further in the story

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During your adventure in The First Tree, you will encounter light enhanced orbs. These can be collected and presented in a counter displayed on your screen. While me revealing the use of these orbs will spoil a piece of the ending, I will say to collect as much as you can find. What you do with these orbs makes the game so much more special and unique to not only you but other players that choose to tackle the game.

While the controls felt unnatural and buggy at times, it should not undermine the heartfelt story and beautiful graphics of The First Tree. The land is vast, and the mountains are wide. The world is yours to travel and uncover the meaning of understanding death. You may come to find that Joseph and the fox are not so different after all, and the more you play, the more you will understand the true purpose of The First Tree.

EnomView Score: 8.5 out of 10

Check out the game: http://store.steampowered.com/app/555150/The_First_Tree/

 

Help a Dwarf in His Time of Need! – Ruggnar

Ruggnar feels like an old game. One that you’d find on your emulator and say “Oh, wow! I remember this game,” then sit there for an hour trying to beat it again. Composed of mysterious yet inspiring music, Ruggnar, which I assume is the name of the main character, features a bearded dwarf harboring a candle on his head. His sole objective is to collect golden coins and keys to escape the dungeon. The game has three chapters for story mode and two miscellaneous modes: random dungeons and daily dungeons, both of which require the player to complete Chapter 1 of the story mode to unlock. Join Ruggnar and help light up his path to victory!

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Immediately after launching the game you are presented with a screen letting you know that a controller is recommended for playing this game. Getting my controller ready, I first made sure that I wouldn’t rather be using my mouse and keyboard. The menu screen is navigated using the arrow keys and with enter to select. The menu screen is simple and includes the title of the game, navigational buttons, and Ruggnar, who says “I need some help. Do you want to try?” After selecting play and the first chapter on story mode, I noticed something interesting. The game included its own online leaderboard with users and their times for completing the level. Even the tutorial had a number-one time at 14.112 seconds. I thought to myself “I could probably beat this”, but after 10 frustrating minutes I gave up with a personal best of sixteen seconds. I decided it was time to delve into the actual game.

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The game revolves around your candles, whether that be the one on top of your head or the multiple that you have at the start of each level. Parts of the dungeon that aren’t already lit up by chandeliers, lava or any other light source are darkened, restricting your vision and leaving you in the dark (literally). To light the area up and see what you’re doing you have two options: move to dark spaces and risk getting killed by something you can’t see, or throw your candles and watch as it lights up the area on which it falls. Although you only have a limited amount of candles to start with, you can pick up more around the dungeon. Beware as waterfalls can extinguish the flame on top of your head, requiring you to relight the candle using one of your own. Each dungeon contains traps to kill you. These include swinging axes, spikes, lava and much more. Checkpoints, which are shown as candelabras, are littered throughout the dungeon so you don’t pull your hair out trying to finish a level. I say that because unless you’re extremely patient, you will die many times.

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The main reason will be because of a lack of knowledge on where to go and how to complete the dungeon. When you die, you leave behind a tombstone with a candle on top, creating a handy light source. Another aspect of the game are the items that you can find and pick up around a dungeon. These include a feather, enabling you to jump much higher and run faster and a light which removes all the darkness in a level for a short period of time. The dungeons get more and more complex as you continue, often requiring some time to figure out a level before beating it. The biggest potential for this game is speedruns. I can already see that the developer has this in mind because of the leaderboards. I found myself wanting to speed through each level but failing as I didn’t know the layout of the map. More experienced players can definitely make this game known for its speed run capabilities by showing off their skills as they complete each level at record time.

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The use of candles throughout the game was an interesting mechanic, but one that I didn’t find much use out of. In my experience, running through the level and using trial and error was the quickest way to complete a dungeon. Perhaps it was my lack of patience that made me choose the speedrun method, however I can’t imagine many people using the candles for their actual purpose. They have a small area of effect and take a little too long to throw. Your tombstone provides a better source of light and even acts as a little reminder so know if you need to watch out for anything. Although the music consists of one looped soundtrack, I found it fitting the game perfectly. It was mysterious, yet encouraged you to continue the level to see what you could find. The old-fashioned artwork helped give the game a nostalgic feeling, enticing players who desire games that bring back memories.

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One thing to keep in mind throughout this review is that Ruggnar is still in Alpha. It’s in its early stages but I hope to see some new elements and improvements in the near future. The potential for speed-runs in this game is huge and could be its main attraction drawing players in. Overall the game offers challenging and solid puzzles to complete, a peaceful and mysterious soundtrack all accompanied by the compelling artwork.

Enomview Score: 7 out of 10

Ruggnar Early Access: https://sirill.itch.io/ruggnar