Blog Archives

Gather ‘Round and Avoid: Hero Siege

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Feels unfinished despite grinding for hours

Brandishing dual pistols, I charge into the wavering image of a forest far from this country village. Transferring through the portal sets my teeth on edge, but my attention returns to the task at hand as wave upon wave of twisted creatures converge on my position.

And then another wave after wave. And another. And another. And… next game.

Thus we are introduced to Hero Siege, a hack ‘n’ slash RPG with roguelike elements — because if it ain’t roguelike, it ain’t indie, it seems — initially published in January 2014 by Panic Art Studios.

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In Its Infancy: Tsioque, recommended

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In short, play it. In long, no really, play it.

Mom, don’t go. Stay. I have a bad feeling. Don’t leave me here.

Don’t leave me with that scary thing.

If he tries something like taking over the castle, I won’t have any choice but to cute-with-attitude his stupid face until he cries for his own mommy!

And honestly, I’d rather just spend the day with you, mom.

Tsioque (pronounced “sYAWK” by the way) is a charming adventure game from Polish team OhNoo Studio currently hopping about on Kickstarter, and it’s absolutely worth your time.  Read the rest of this entry

Video: Avoid Sakura Clicker

Even though it’s a pointless fee-to-pay racket, it’s still better than UnitZ/PoxelZ/ChoreZ and so forth.

Give a Shot: Phantom Breaker Battle Grounds

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Who are these people, rushing me in waves from all sides? How have I earned their ire, the copper-tasting smack of pipe across my face? Even as I mow them bloodlessly down, I struggle to understand their fury. It’s good, in the face of their violence, I’ve brought my cute jacket and scarf combo along for the ride. And a blazing magical blade, of course.

So, here’s what’s going to happen. WordPress managed to eat my post about the 2D beat ’em up Phantom Breaker Battle Grounds. I spent a few hours writing up the review, and am completely not in the mood to rewrite the entire thing piece by piece.

So let’s try something different. More brief.

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Gather ‘Round and Avoid: Sage Fusion

Come for the visuals, stay for the sleeping aid

Blaster bolts scorch past me and burst into schizoid fireflies against the wall. Safety only barely exists behind cover, but the enemy closes in even as I suck down adrenaline-flavored breaths. Why I brought a sword to this battle I never will understand.

I’m ready to pivot around the corner as the enemy approaches. Florence’s rail cannon glimmers, locked and loaded. Their steps clap closer. We cannot avoid this fight.

Welcome to the world of Sage Fusion, a hybrid RPG/visual novel that entrances with delightful visuals and thumping music before trundling headlong off a cliff composed of exposition and blank expressions. Chapter one is free at GameJolt, but the second chapter is for sale over at Itch.

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Editorial: Five Nights at Freddy’s eats/saves children, apparently

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If ever you’d like to see the nature of Internet commenting and issue-camping displayed in micro, I suggest looking up any YouTube video about the jumpscare-ridden furryfest that is Five Nights at Freddy’s.

Never have I seen such a polarized set of camps. Those who adore the screeching animatronic killers do so with cultish resolve; those who profess hatred for the Fazbear franchise dismiss it outright with such ivory tower condescension one can nearly hear the clink of their high-society wine glasses. Read the rest of this entry

Gather ‘Round And Marvel At: Being Her Darkest Friend

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At times obtuse, an entry worth your while

I can’t breathe. It’s dark. My eyelids, my eyes won’t open. There’s a tapping, muffled, somewhere not so far away but my jaw has clamped unbearably tight, so tight my teeth tremble and ache.

I can hear crackling, something dusty plinking off something dirty. Tap, tap, tap. I don’t know if I’m alive, dead or in between. The shadows saturate my skin, my hair, my fingertips. Tap, crack, crack.

Is light coming? Or are my eyes dying?

I knew precious little of what to expect from Chronerion‘s “Being Her Darkest Friend” when I snagged it from Gamejolt. Going in, I made a conscious choice to avoid reading the blurb and anything that might tell me more than I wanted to know up front.

Unfortunately, my attempt to maintain the purity of the experience created an interesting hang-up: I had no idea this game was a successor to Chronerion’s previous effort,A Fragment of Her“, until after I popped back over to the developer’s GameJolt page to grab some hyperlinks.

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In Its Infancy: Dimension Drive

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Note: While I am more than aware of the awful fate of Dimension Drive’s original Kickstarter campaign, I must point out the alpha is being reviewed here without considering those events. In keeping with the Five Tenets of Review, games are to be reviewed based on their merits and not on circumstances surrounding them.

There is a profound loneliness to the cockpit of the Manticore, even now as I guide the vessel within and without a hail of enemy fire. Here, deftly darting between wisps of photons and gnarled wreckage, the epic vacuum of space closes in on me like the legs of a dying spider.

It’s only when the river of luminescence begins to pelt the hull — splattering, somehow, in globs of particles — that I hold in that desperate breath, my ears ringing with the hum of machines and the crush of reality bending inward until its outwards become its innards and existence washes away in a puff of pink — 

Welcome to Dimension Drive, the shmup love child of developer 2Awesome Studio. After its aforementioned derailment, the project returned to Kickstarter and has gathered quite a following. Regardless of the unfortunate circumstances, it’s good to see the developers soldier on. Why?

Dimension Drive is worth it. Keeping in mind the alpha build I’m reviewing represents only a few minutes’ worth of play, this project shows tremendous potential for a modern-day space shooter. The resurgent retro-gaming trend has allowed such delightful nostalgia projects to flourish once more, but Dimension Drive is not your average effort.

If you’d like to join me, I’d like to walk you through this tasty slice of laser pie. Read the rest of this entry

Gather ‘Round and Avoid: Galagan’s Island

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Normally, I would open a review with a paragraph or two written in flowery prose, describing events as if I were the protagonist of the game.

With Galagan’s Island, a retro(ish) space shmup currently awaiting votes on Steam Greenlight, there’s no time for that. With n’ary a moment for transition from title to gameplay, we are thrust into some old-school top-down action.

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In Its Infancy: CrossCode

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A clatter of footfalls pounds out tonight’s frantic beat, whipping up the will o’ the wisps with their cornsilk blue auras and twinkling trails. I’m running harder than ever before, stabbing through the looming night, rushing, racing. My headset sizzles with the static of unwanted chatter.

I can’t stop to answer. I can’t hesitate, even when the chatter clears and that person’s voice bleeds into my ears. No matter what he saysdespite the glimmering clatter of sentry bots grinding gears in anticipation, I don’t have a spare breath to waste. His life depends on me.

Thus we are introduced to the alpha demo of CrossCode, a retro-styled action-RPG by developer Radical Fish Games that’s one part Secret of Mana and two parts Sword Art Online. The project has been through the IndieGogo wringer already and seems to have a supportive following, which is fortunate because CrossCode is totally worth following.

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