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  1. Today
  2. Pictured above: Heat Signature I'm back after a lengthy hiatus with another batch of recent indie releases that may have slipped under your radar. As always, I'm not personally endorsing any of these games, just highlighting some recent titles that haven't received a lot of press and look like they might be worth checking out. Make sure you read user reviews and search YouTube to find more information on each game. A Hat in Time Gears for Breakfast $29.99 Originally slated for a 2013 release after a surprisingly successful Kickstarter, the "cute-as-heck" 3D platformer A Hat in Time is finally available on PC. You play as a space-faring little girl that has been left stranded on a nearby planet after a catastrophe leaves her ship out of fuel. The ensuing adventure takes a lot of cues from classic 3D platformer collect-a-thons from the N64 and GameCube, and features five massive worlds to explore. Despite the numerous delays, A Hat in Time seems to have been well-worth the wait, and has received positive reviews from critics and gamers alike. You can also find A Hat in Time on GOG and the Humble Store, with Xbox One and PS4 versions coming later this year. Battle Chasers: Nightwar Airship Syndicate $29.99 Battle Chasers is another anticipated title that was successfully Kickstarted some time back. Like A Hat in Time, Battle Chasers takes its inspirations from classic console games, but in this case old-school JRPGs. The game is actually based on a comic from the '90s, and features a gorgeous hand-drawn art style. Build your party based on characters from the comic series and delve into dungeons full of traps, monsters, and bosses. Opinions are a bit mixed regarding some of the game's mechanics, however, with late-game grinding being a frequent complaint. Battle Chasers is also on GOG, the Humble Store, PS4, Xbox One, and the Switch. Hob Runic Games $19.99 Runic Games is back with a new game called Hob, and it's quite the departure from their previous titles. Instead of being a loot-driven action RPG like the Torchlight series, Hob is a narrative-focused action-adventure full of exploration, puzzles, and dangerous bosses. Use your character's mechanical glove to fight enemies and traverse the environment on your quest to repair a broken world. You can also find Hob on the Humble Store, GOG, and PS4. Ruiner Reikon Games $19.99 Ruiner is a challenging top-down cyberpunk shooter that had the misfortune of coming out right before Cuphead. Cleanse the corruption destroying the metropolis of Rengkok with an arsenal of futuristic weapons, cybernetic enhancements, quick reflexes, and bone-shattering violence. Just don't expect an easy time, as Ruiner is a game that prides itself on not holding your hand. You can also find Ruiner on GOG, the Humble Store, PS4, and Xbox One. JYDGE 10tons Ltd. $14.99 Speaking of challenging futuristic shooters, JYDGE is the latest title from the developers of Crimsonland and Neon Chrome. Clean up the mean streets of Edenbyrg as a JYDGE, a cyberware-enhanced super-cop ready to dispense justice from the barrel of your heavily modified Gavel assault rifle. Customize your JYDGE with a variety of cybernetic enhancements and weapon mods that cater to your preferred play style. Tackle missions alone or with fellow JYDGEs in local co-op. Road Redemption Pixel Dash Studios, EQgames $19.99 After a successful Kickstarter and years in Early Access, the spiritual successor to Road Rash is finally done. In Road Redemption, players fight and drive their way across a post-apocalyptic world ruled by cartels and motorcycle gangs. Engage in brutal races and high-speed vehicular combat with guns, melee weapons, grabs, and kicks. Complete missions to gain loot and experience to upgrade your character and bike throughout the game's single player campaign. Road Redemption features online and local multiplayer as well, both competitive and cooperatively. Console owners will have to wait until next year to get their hands on the game. Ogre Auroch Digital $24.99 Ogre is the official digital adaptation of the classic Steve Jackson wargame. In the near future, armies clash in an endless world war. The battlefields of tomorrow are dominated by the Ogres, massive AI-controlled mobile fortresses that pack the firepower of an entire tank battalion. More than just a mere digital adaptation, Ogre comes packed with new single player campaigns, scenarios, skirmish modes, and online multiplayer. It's also available on the Humble Store. Winged Sakura: Endless Dream Winged Sakura Games $19.99 The latest Winged Sakura game looks like it can adequately be described as "Dungeon of the Endless with waifus." You'll directly control one of four playable characters on a mission to escort Mimi to each random-generated floor's exit. Much like Dungeon of the Endless, you'll also have to deploy towers to survive against waves of enemies. The waifu part comes in the form of Sakuras, cute anime girls you'll collect and level up during your adventure. You can bring six of them into each battle and assign them support roles to enhance yourself and your towers. Owners of the previous Winged Sakura games gain access to some extra waifus as a loyalty bonus. Empyre: Lords of the Sea Gates Coin Operated Games $29.99 Empyre is a strategy RPG set in an alternate 1911 Manhattan with neo-Victorian aesthetics and steampunk technology. In 1899, the world's oceans began to rise unexpectedly, leaving many coastal cities flooded. Most people fled, but some remained behind and formed independent city-states in the last patches of dry land. The Manhattan city-states are on the verge of collapse as supplies of fresh water begin to dwindle, and everyone is looking for a savior to deliver them from the coming crisis. Gather a party of adventurers and explore the drowned ruins of New York as one of four character classes. The handful of reviews I can find give Empyre a cautious recommendation, stating that its full of interesting ideas and great world-building, but with uninteresting combat and poorly implemented mechanics holding it back from greatness. Heat Signature Suspicious Developments $14.99 Finally we come to Heat Signature, the latest game from the developer of Gunpoint. Use your tiny spaceship to sneak up to larger vessels to engage in a bit of space thievery. Use a mix of stealth, gadgets, and weapons to complete your mission and escape with the loot. All the missions and ships are randomly generated, with a handful of key heists you'll unlock as the game progresses. The environments are also fully destructible, allowing you to take out a roomful of enemies with a well-placed explosive charge on the ship's hull. Heat Signature is also available on the Humble Store. That's all for now. Which of these games caught your attention?
  3. Earlier
  4. Pictured above: Aarklash Legacy If you haven't noticed yet, GOG has been running a sale for around a week now. There's over 200 games being sold at ridiculously cheap prices, with the most extreme deals reaching a staggering 95% off. Needless to say, there's a lot of games worth checking out here. I could ramble all day listing great indie games at historically low prices, but I'll keep it down to 10 for brevity's sake. Here's 10 games you should consider buying before the sale ends tomorrow: Bionic Dues Arcen Games $0.99 (90% off) Anyone who reads my sales articles knows that my fanboyism for Arcen Games is near fetishistic, and I always highlight at least one of their titles when they are discounted. This tiny indie studio produces some awesome, quirky games that rarely ever live up to their full potential, but always offer an extremely unique experience you can't really get anywhere else. One of my personal favorites is Bionic Dues, a mecha roguelike that sadly never achieved the same success as some of Arcen's other games. You have somewhere between 30 and 50 days to liberate a city that has been overrun by robotic death machines before your higher-ups turn to their last resort: Nuclear annihilation. Each mission consumes one day, and successfully completing your objective can weaken the robotic forces in one way or another. However, the robots strengthen in other ways after each level, regardless of your success or failure. The campaign features around 120 missions, and you don't have enough time to complete them all before facing a gigantic final assault by the robot forces. Some missions might delay the assault, but you can never prevent it from happening. It's definitely not a game for everyone, but I urge anyone mildly interested in the concept to at least give it a try. Arcen's other games are on sale too, so if roguelikes aren't your thing then you should consider The Last Federation or AI War. Ziggurat Milkstone Studios $4.49 (70%) Ziggurat wasn't the first game to merge roguelike procedural generation and progression with FPS gameplay, but I personally feel that it was the first that really felt good to play. It's a fairly solid and mechanically sound old-school-inspired arena shooter that uses procedural generation and randomized loot to spice things up. It avoids many of the pitfalls of this subgenre of roguelites by giving the player several guns at the beginning of a run, so it doesn't suffer as much from the early game repetition other titles in the genre have. Unfortunately, while early game variety is pretty nice, you'll eventually find that there isn't a whole lot of content overall; you'll probably only complete a handful of runs before moving on to another game. It's still fun enough to blaze through on a lazy weekend though, and the current sale price is just right. Apotheon Alientrap Games $3.79 (75% off) Apotheon isn't Alientrap's first game, but it was the one that gained them some fleeting mainstream attention. This 2D action puzzle-platformer is set in Ancient Greece and features a gorgeous art direction inspired by pottery and paintings from the time. The combat is fast and skillful, with a really nice variety of both traditional Bronze Age weapons and mythological abilities bestowed upon you by the Gods of Olympus. The controls are a bit janky at times, particularly during the game's platforming segments, but they aren't so bad that they prevented me from finishing the game. There's some light Metroidvania elements too, as you'll occasionally backtrack to reach new areas after completing certain tasks. While Apotheon is the better of the two games, you can grab Alientrap's previous title, Capsized, for only $1. Cryptark, which is their latest game, is also on sale for 50% off. Aarklash Legacy Cyanide Studios $1.99 (90% off) Aarklash Legacy is a great party-based RPG set in the beloved (but defunct) Confrontation miniature game universe. You control a group of mercenaries that have been wrongly accused of treason, and are now on the run from the Lion of Alahan's forces. While the story and voice acting aren't incredible, the combat and interesting character designs make Aarklash Legacy a worthy addition to your CRPG library. Combat is real-time with an active pause system, and in many ways it almost feels like a single player MOBA where you control multiple champions at once. Micromanaging the positioning of your party is a huge part of the game, and even many of the healing abilities need to be aimed. While the skill trees and character customization aren't quite as deep as some other isometric RPGs, you still do get to make some pretty meaningful choices when leveling up your characters, including mutually-exclusive skills that can alter the way the character plays. Age of Wonders 3 Triumph Studios $7.49 (75% off) In some ways, Age of Wonders 3 is a downgrade from its classic predecessors. The empire management isn't as complex as other 4X games, but at the same time the fun tactical combat, charming unit designs, and interesting approach to factions make it a game I still managed to put hundreds of hours into. My favorite aspect is how you can customize your faction. When building your leader, you choose their race, class, and three schools of magic or technology. While the core aspects of empire management are always the same, the combination of these choices alters your play style in more subtle ways. Races have their own set of units and preferences, your class gives you access to unique units and upgrades, and finally the schools of magic determine what your tech trees and spell books look like. There's some minor RPG elements to Age of Wonders 3 as well, including stat and ability customization for your heroes, items, and dungeons you can raid for loot and resources. The entire Age of Wonders franchise is on sale right now, and you honestly can't go wrong regardless of which game you pick. Lichdom: Battlemage Xaviant Games $1.99 (95% off) I have to be honest here, Lichdom isn't exactly a great game. It's a fantastic IDEA for a game, but its execution is pretty flawed. The concept of Lichdom is that it's a first-person RPG about being a ridiculously overpowered mage. There are no mana bars, cooldowns, or other limits to your face-freezing, flesh-sizzling magic. In theory, at least. In reality, Lichdom is more of a fantasy FPS where you shoot lightning bolts and fireballs from your fingers, and it's a damn pretty one too. The biggest problems with the game come down to boring level design, a loot-based spell crafting system that isn't as deep or interesting as it could have been, and a general lack of meaningful character progression. Like I said, it's by no means a bad game, it just didn't live up to its potential. Despite my complaints though, at 95% off you can still have a decent amount of fun blowing people up with fireballs in gorgeous HD graphics powered by CryEngine. Door Kickers KillHouse Games $3.99 (80% off) As far as game titles go, Door Kickers is pretty lame and comes off as a bad meme. Luckily, the actual gameplay of Door Kickers is pretty freaking awesome. If you are disappointed that the Rainbox Six franchise abandoned the planning phase ages ago, then Door Kickers is the top-down strategy game you need in your life, because that essentially what this game is. Control a squad of SWAT operators through dozens of deadly scenarios featuring hostages, suicide bombers, and other terrorists that have barricaded themselves inside of buildings and won't go down without a fight. Once you breached your way through all the premade scenarios you can dive into the random level generators, or even make your own missions with the game's built-in editor. Xenonauts Goldhawk Interactive $6.29 (75% off) While I do really enjoy the modern XCOM titles, gamers looking for an experience closer to the original UFO Defense need to check out Xenonauts. You play as the commander of the Xenonauts, a multinational coalition formed to repel alien invaders. It really does look and feel like what you'd expect from a straight modernization of the original X-Com, and features many of the fan-favorite mechanics that Firaxis removed. In some ways, Xenonauts manages to surpass its larger budget contemporary, particularly in regards to the UFO interception mini-game, better base construction, and a deeper inventory system for your troops. It's not quite perfect, and still lacks polish and balance in a few areas, but for the most part Xenonauts is closer to what I wanted from a modern interpretation of X-Com, even if the real reboot still turned out pretty good. Stories: The Path of Destinies Spearhead Games $3.79 (75% off) Stories is an action roguelite with some genuinely innovative ideas. It blends a pretty basic (though generally fun and well-designed) action combat system with a choose-your-own-adventure narrative that can lead to many possible outcomes. As with all roguelites, its designed to be replayed many times, but the choice-driven approach to the narrative makes it very unique in an otherwise saturated genre because of the sheer number of bizarre and tongue-in-cheek ways you can mess up. And you will mess up a lot, as the entire narrative is based around learning from your mistakes and trying something different next time...and that next time will undoubtedly also end in failure. Rebel Galaxy Double Damage Games $4.99 (75% off) Finally we come to Rebel Galaxy, a space RPG that shouldn't be confused with Rogue Galaxy from the PS2. Rebel Galaxy allows you to live out your Firefly fantasies by traveling across dangerous border systems on the edge of civilized space as you trade, mine space debris, hunt pirates, and navigate your way through the power politics of the galaxy's rival factions. The core gameplay loop of entering a new system to grind for resources so you can upgrade your ship does get repetitive after a while, but the game's fun ship-to-ship combat and excellent soundtrack will keep you busy for at least a few dozen hours. If the customization was deeper and the late-game gear was more interesting then Rebel Galaxy could have turned out to be something really special, but as it stands its merely a pretty solid space RPG. You still have around 20 hours to snap up any deals that catch your attention. Make sure you browse the sale's page though, because there are tons of other good games being sold at bargain bin prices right now.
  5. Pictured above: 3030 Deathwar Redux I'm back with another batch of recent indie releases that may have slipped under your radar. I'm not personally endorsing any of these games, just highlighting some recent titles that haven't received a lot of press. Make sure you read user reviews and search YouTube to find more information on each game. Tooth and Tail Pocketwatch Games $19.99 Tooth and Tail is a streamlined RTS by the developers of Monaco that hopes to deliver a deep strategy experience without focusing on the high APM and micromanagement requirements that make more traditional games in the genre so daunting. The world of Tooth and Tail is what you'd get if Redwall was set during the October Revolution, and features an art style reminiscent of WWI imagery and early Soviet propaganda posters. Years of famine have forced once-civilized animals to resort to a carnivorous diet, and now four factions are embattled in a civil war to determine who has to be the food. Tooth and Tail features both a campaign mode and competitive multiplayer, with matches designed to last around 5-to-10 minutes. You can find the game on the Humble Store, GOG, and PS4. Hiveswap What Pumpkin Games $7.99 Hiveswap is an episodic adventure series inspired by the old LucasArts classics. The series is set in the Homestuck universe, long before the webcomic actually starts, and will be compatible with a companion series called Hauntswitch. You play as Joey Claire, a teenage girl that has been abducted from her home in 1994 and dropped on an alien world in the far future. Explore the game's hand-animated environments and solve item-based logic puzzles, albeit without the moon logic of most '90s adventure games. Be aware that this is only the first act in a four-part series, with no confirmed release date for the other episodes yet. Hiveswap is also available on the Humble Store. 3030 Deathwar Redux Bird in Sky $14.99 Speaking of adventure games, 3030 Deathwar Redux is a strange mix of a Space Quest-style narrative point 'n click with an open-universe space combat RPG. It's actually an extensively reworked version of a game from 2007, and features tons of extra content, enhanced graphics, and a major gameplay overhaul. 3030 Deathwar has comedic story-focused sequences where you solve puzzles and interact with characters like you'd expect from an adventure game, but you also have the freedom to explore the galaxy and carve your own path. Become a mercenary, haul cargo, mine asteroids, or engage in a life of piracy to afford new upgrades for your vessel. Warbands: Bushido Red Unit Studios $7.99 Warbands: Bushido is a digital miniature skirmish game that recently exited Early Access. Collect units and cards to construct your army, then challenge other players online in skirmishes on grid-based boards designed to look like tabletops, complete with animated dice rolls and paintable miniatures. Warbands features some single player scenarios, but according to many user reviews they are poorly designed, meaning that you should only consider the game if you want multiplayer. It has received mixed reception since leaving Early Access, but as a miniature gamer myself I think I'll keep an eye on it. Samurai Riot Wako Factory $14.99 Samurai Riot is a 2D brawler designed primarily with co-op in mind. Choose between two warriors, Sukane or Tsurumaru, in a branching story with eight possible endings. Players will need to choose between difficult moral choices that affect the outcome of their story, and should they disagree on a choice, they'll need to resolve their differences via a duel. Other features include upgradable character traits, new moves to learn, and co-op team attacks for taking down tougher enemies. Oriental Empires Shining Pixel Studios $29.99 Oriental Empires is a 4X strategy game where players get to shape the history of ancient China. Starting with a single tribe, players will advance through the ages by expanding their territory, researching new technology, building armies, and eventually unifying all the warring nations into the first Chinese empire. The game features 24 playable factions, covering the beginning of Chinese history through the Seven Kingdoms era. The management aspect of Oriental Empires is fantastic from what I've heard, and includes tons of authentic Chinese units, technologies, and edicts based on historical events. The combat is consistently brought up as the most lackluster element of Oriental Empires, however, because you don't directly control your forces and must rely on AI with questionable tactical prowess. Also available on the Humble Store. A Robot Named Fight! Matt Bitner Games $9.99 The new Metroid might only be available on the 3DS, but PC gamers have what looks to be a solid alternative with A Robot Named Fight! Explore procedurally-generated levels and collect randomized power-ups and item sets in this 2D Metroidvania roguelite where no play-through is ever the same. A Robot Named Fight! also features co-op, though its only available as local multiplayer. Red Obsidian Remnant Red Obsidian Studio $8.99 Finally we come to Red Obsidian Remnant, our last roguelite title this week. This cute dungeon crawler combines the procedurally-generated items, levels, and enemies that you'd expect from a roguelike, but features a fairly deep action combat system. Air juggling, swapping weapons mid-combo, blocks, parries, and cancels all play a big role in Red Obsidian's brawler-inspired combat. The biggest downside seems to be the poor English translation, which remains an issue even after almost a year in Early Access. Online multiplayer is on the way too, though there is no set release date yet. That's all for now. I'll be back soon with more indie release highlights.
  6. Pictured above: Absolver I'm back with another batch of recent indie releases that may have slipped under your radar. I'm not personally endorsing any of these games, just highlighting some recent titles that haven't been receiving a whole lot of press. Make sure you read user reviews and search YouTube to find more information on each game. 20XX Batterystable Games $14.99 Mighty No. 9 might not have been the Mega Man successor that everyone hoped it would be, but luckily we have 20XX, which just recently released from Early Access. 20XX is everything you'd expect to see in a modern Mega Man-style action platformer, but with roguelite elements. Levels shift as you play and there is an element of randomness to the special abilities and bosses you'll encounter, with more options getting unlocked the more you play. There is a permadeath element like all games in the genre, though there is a more lenient difficulty setting that gives you three lives. Also available on the Humble Store. Darkwood Acid Wizard Studio $14.99 Another anticipated indie title that recently exited Early Access is Darkwood. This atmospheric, top-down survival horror game places a big emphasis on scavenging for materials during the day and finding a place to hunker down and defend yourself at night. You can improve your character by injecting the essence of Darkwood's flora and fauna into your bloodstream, but be weary of unintended side effects. The world also changes as you play, adding an extra layer of eeriness to your exploration. Darkwood is available on the Humble Store and GOG. Sky Rogue Fractal Phase $19.99 Our next roguelite this week is Sky Rogue, an arcadey aerial combat game. Each in-game day gives you a new randomly generated level and objective, and you only have one chance to complete it. As with many roguelites, you'll earn experience, new playable fighters, and new weapons as you progress. Enemies aren't just limited to waves of fighters and enemy aces, as Sky Rogue takes a page from Ace Combat's playbook and features massive super weapons too. Sky Rogue is also available on the Humble Store. Absolver Sloclap $29.99 Absolver is a fairly unique melee-focused MMORPG dripping with martial arts combat and mechanics. The player interaction in Absolver is especially interesting, and goes beyond the usual making friends or rivals aspect that you'd expect in any multiplayer game. Players can become mentors or students to other players, thus allowing each other to use different move sets they might not have learned yet. The user reviews are pretty mixed so far, though leaning a bit more towards the positive end of the spectrum. The biggest issues with Absolver seem to be the lack of adequate servers for gamers outside of North America and Western Europe, making the game largely unplayable to anyone living outside of those regions. You can also find Absolver on the Humble Store, GOG, and the PS4, though apparently the console version is pretty buggy. Nidhogg 2 Messhof $14.99 Speaking of melee-focused multiplayer games, the sequel to 2014's hit 1v1 sword dueling game has arrived. Nidhogg 2 abandons the original's more minimalistic aesthetic for some fairly detailed pixel art, though your mileage may vary when it comes to which style you prefer. The sequel's biggest new features include additional weapons, a revamped combat system, new maps, and modifiers that can be used to spice up your duels. Be aware that some Nidhogg fans aren't too thrilled about the new direction, citing simplified combat and questionable weapon balance for the new gear as problems they have with the sequel. Nidhogg 2 is also on the Humble Store and the PS4. Rock of Ages 2: Bigger & Boulder ACE Team $14.99 The surreal, historical tower defense/giant rock bowling series returns with Rock of Ages 2. Besides the usual features that you'd expect from a sequel, Rock of Ages 2 runs on UE4 this time around, ensuring that the destruction physics have never been better. The multiplayer has also been greatly expanded upon, including 2v2 team battles with intersecting tracks. You can also grab Rock of Ages 2 on the Humble Store, Xbox One, and PS4. X-Morph: Defense EXOR Studios $19.99 X-Morph: Defense is another interesting tower defense/action hybrid that recently came out on Steam. You play as an X-Morph, a highly advanced alien species that has invaded Earth to strip mine it. Defend against humanity's counterattacks by building mazes of towers and jumping into one of several alien fighters to take a more direct approach to planetary conquest. These aerial dogfights are also how you will deal with the massive boss mecha that the humans will throw at you as they get increasingly desperate. Each mission is designed to be played co-op as well, though the multiplayer is split screen only. Also on PS4 and Xbox One. Distrust Cheerdealers $11.99 Distrust is a top-down survival game inspired by John Carpenter's The Thing. You control a group of explorers stranded in an arctic base following a deadly helicopter crash. If the frigid weather and dwindling food and resources weren't enough, bizarre entities stalk the night, feeding on the life energy of sleeping survivors. As your characters become increasingly hungry and sleep-deprived, they begin to hallucinate until they can no longer tell what is reality. You can also find Distrust on the Humble Store. Project Remedium Atomic Jelly $14.99 Finally we come to Project Remedium, a story-driven FPS where you control a heavily armed nanobot injected into a young child's bloodstream to save them from a mysterious illness. Fight your way through their heavily infected body to cure and repair the six major organs that are currently under siege. You'll find other nanobots to aid you during your journey, and can craft upgrades to your weapons and abilities to increase your antibiotic capabilities. That's all for now. I'll return soon with more overlooked release highlights.
  7. Pictured above: Phantom Trigger I'm back with another batch of recent indie releases that may have slipped under your radar. I'm not personally endorsing any of these games, just highlighting some titles that stood out among Steam's weekly releases. Make sure you read user reviews and search YouTube to find more information on each game. Sudden Strike 4 Kite Games $49.99 It's not quite indie, but obscure enough that some people may have missed it. The Sudden Strike series finally returns after a seven year hiatus, though the reception so far has been pretty mixed. Fight through over 20 famous WWII battles as the Allies, Germany, or the USSR using an arsenal of historical units. The most notable new mechanic is the Commander system, which allows you to play as one of nine historic figures that have their own play style and unique abilities. Unfortunately, long-time Sudden Strike fans seem divided over this new installment, mostly due to its more simplified mechanics, poor unit pathfinding, and high price point for the amount of content at launch. Sudden Strike 4 is also on GOG, Humble Store, and the PS4. Time Recoil 10tons Ltd $13.99 The developers of Crimsonland and Neon Chrome are back with another top-down shooter that features an interesting take on bullet time. Instead of just having a "press X to bullet time" button, in Time Recoil you must score kills to activate your slow motion powers. Subsequent kills extend your slow motion murder spree, and unlock the use of special powers, like a dash move that allows you to phase through walls. Time Recoil can also be found on the Humble Store. Cat Quest The Gentlebros $12.99 RPG fans looking for a cute and casual way to entertain yourself over a weekend might want to check out Cat Quest. This open world action RPG is set in a whimsical fantasy realm full of cat people and feline puns. Set out on a quest to rescue your kidnapped sister from a dark lord threatening this peaceful kingdom. Combat is in real time and consists of hacking, slashing, dodge rolling, and the odd magic spell or two. Character customization mostly comes in the form of gear sets that amplify particular combat styles. You can also find Cat Quest on iOS. Graceful Explosion Machine Vertex Pop $12.99 Graceful Explosion Machine is a colorful 2D shooter that originally made its debut a few months back on the Switch, to positive critical reception. You pilot the GEM, the most advanced and ridiculously overpowered fighter in the galaxy as you wage a one-ship war against an alien armada. Combo together your ship's four distinct weapons to maximize your score in each of the game's 30 levels. Also available on PS4. Phantom Trigger Bread Team $14.99 Phantom Trigger is the latest indie game to be picked up and published by tinyBuild. It has drawn a lot of comparisons to Hyper Light Drifter for being a stylish top-down brawler with pixel art graphics, though based on the Steam reviews the public reaction has been a bit more mixed. The combo-driven combat system places a heavy emphasis on stuns, freezes, interrupts, and traps, all of which can be cast mid-combo to avoid enemy counterattacks. You can also find Phantom Trigger on GOG, the Humble Store, and the Switch. Evil Genome Crystal Depths Studio $14.99 Another recent stylish brawler to find its way onto Steam is Evil Genome. It bills itself as a Metroidvania loaded with gear and special abilities to discover, but based on the reviews I've seen, Evil Genome is much more linear than most games in the genre. The Steam reviews are a bit mixed as well, with commonly cited issues being bugs and poor translation, but Evil Genome still looks promising enough to keep an eye on. Peregrin Domino Digital Limited $14.99 Peregrin is a narrative puzzle adventure published by Green Man Gaming's new publishing arm. You play as Abi, a scavenger living in the wastelands of a ruined civilization. She embarks on a journey to find a better life in the unknown world beyond the wastes. She has the unique gift to temporarily possess the bodies of the creatures around her, and will need to use their abilities to solve environmental puzzles and sneak past the deadly lost technology that remains scattered around the world. You can also find Peregrin on the Humble Store and Green Man Gaming. Lost Technology Studio 4D $2.99 Finally we come to Lost Technology, a strategy game that is essentially a mod of a mod that got expanded into its own game with the help of the original mod's creator. Players choose from around a dozen factions vying for control in a fantasy world experiencing a resurgence in technological development. The overworld map where you develop your kingdom, negotiate with other races, and move your troops is turn-based, but battles play out in real time. There are also story events, though only three of the factions are currently translated. You can still play as the others, but they don't have story events just yet due to the limited time and budget of the game's small Japanese dev team. Even though the game is technically still unfinished, it's hard to argue with a $3 price tag. That's all for now. I'll return soon with more overlooked indie game release highlights.
  8. Pictured above: Super Cloudbuilt I'm back with another batch of recent indie releases that may have slipped under your radar. I'm not personally endorsing any of these games, just highlighting some titles that stood out among Steam's weekly releases. Make sure you read user reviews and search YouTube to find more information on each game. Pyre Supergiant Games $19.99 First up we have Pyre, a game that probably doesn't need much in the way of introduction. The latest title by the developers of Transistor and Bastion may retain Supergiant's signature aesthetic and focus on music and storytelling, but takes a fairly radical departure in the gameplay department. This time around combat comes in the form of a sports RPG, where teams of three have to grab a ball and score on the opponent's goal, the titular "pyres." Another interesting departure from previous Supergiant games is the addition of a pseudo-open world with a branching storyline that contains no real failure states. Pyre is also available on PS4. Slime Rancher Monomi Park $19.99 The hugely popular and adorable Slime Rancher recently released from Early Access. You play as Beatrix LeBeau, a young rancher that has decided to travel to the distant fringes of the galaxy and make her living as a slime wrangler. In practical terms, Slime Rancher is a first-person sandbox where players capture slimes with their handy vacpack, place them in pins, care for them, and sell the fruits of their labor for profit. The challenge comes from learning the various properties of the different slime species, and figuring out the best ways to contain and care for them. Slime Rancher is also on GOG, the Humble Store, and Xbox One. Sundered Thunder Lotus Games $19.99 Sundered is a 2D metroidvania featuring gorgeous (and terrifying) hand-drawn graphics from the creators of Jotun. Explore a ruined world of shifting caverns and cosmic horrors where you must choose to embrace or resist the whispering temptations of ancient eldritch artifacts. Sundered promises multiple endings to discover based on how much of your sanity you sacrifice to harness the dark powers of its world. You can also buy Sundered on GOG, the Humble Store, and PS4. The Shrouded Isle Kitfox Games $9.99 The Shrouded Isle is another recent title about ancient powers better left forgotten. This story-driven light management game places you in control of a village of fanatical cultists that worship a slumbering Lovecraftian god. According to your village's prophecies, the god will soon reawaken and lead humanity into a new era. Survive for the next three years as the high priest of your religion by making allies, rooting out heretics, and offering sacrifices to your god to maintain his favor. Also available on the Humble Store. Solstice Chronicles: MIA Ironward $19.99 Solstice Chronicles is a top-down tactical shooter where you play as a corporate marine stranded on a dead Martian colony. The mutagenic virus that decimated Earth has spread throughout Tharsis, and you must find a way to stop it from reaching the last bastions of humanity. Accompanying you is an advanced AI-controlled drone full of useful features, and is the source of the game's interesting risk-reward mechanics. The drone can be used to unleash tons of powerful abilities against the mutant hordes in Tharsis, but using your drone too much raises the alert level and attracts more enemies to your location. You can also bring along a co-op partner, but the multiplayer is local only. Immortal Planet teedoubleuGAMES $14.99 Immortal Planet is the latest in a long line of challenging action RPGs that contain self-proclaimed "Souls-like" mechanics, such as methodical combat and losing experience upon death. Each level in the game's unforgiving world contains shortcuts back and forth to the central hub where you can cash in your experience for new abilities and gear. You can also buy Immortal Planet on GOG. Redeemer Sobaka Studio $14.99 Redeemer is a brutal new brawler that allows you to murder your enemies with everything from your fists to their own severed limbs. You play as Vasily, a former operative for the world's biggest cybernetics manufacturer that narrowly escaped after the company decided that they no longer needed him. After 20 years they have finally managed to track Vasily down, giving him a final chance to atone for his dark past. In addition to your standard combo-based brawling, you can also tackle missions with a stealthy approach...or just disarm a guard and go on a shooting spree with their assault rifle. You can also grab Redeemer on the Humble Store, and the developers worked out a deal with Devolver Digital so that owners of Mother Russia Bleeds can get the game for 10% off. Aztez Team Colorblind $19.99 Finally we come to Aztez, a black and white Aztec-inspired brawler with...turn-based strategy elements? Move and deploy your Aztec warriors across a map of the empire in the turn-based strategy metagame, then engage in frantic and brutal 2D brawler sequences to resolve combat. Face off against historic figures and mythological monsters to change the course of history. The campaign features random events and items to ensure that each play through is slightly different. You can also find Aztez on the Humble Store. Still craving new games? Why not check out one of these other recent titles as well: Fidel Dungeon Rescue, a puzzle-driven dungeon crawler where you play as a dog trying to navigate each level in the most efficient way possible. Galaxy of Pen & Paper, the sci-fi follow-up to Knights of Pen and Paper. Tragedy of Prince Rupert, a surreal 2D shooter inspired by the 1958 movie The Fabulous World of Jules Verne. Super Cloudbuilt , a speedrunning-focused parkour shooter That's all for this week. I'll return soon with more indie release highlights.
  9. Pictured above: Dungeon Defenders II If you somehow have spare money to blow after the Steam sale, why not consider trying one of these recent indie releases that may have slipped under your radar? Darkest Dungeon: The Crimson Court Red Hook Studios $9.99 The highly anticipated DLC to Darkest Dungeon has finally arrived. This expansion adds new narration and cut scenes focusing on the early days of The Ancestor, all presented in the game's signature grim and macabre aesthetic. A new dungeon has been unlocked in the form of The Courtyard, and its crawling with new monsters and bosses to defeat. You won't have to explore this new dungeon alone, however, as Crimson Court also introduces a new character class and upgrades to improve your hamlet. The new DLC is also on GOG and the Humble Store, while the PS4 and Vita versions will be out at the end of August. Dungeon Defenders II Trendy Entertainment Free to Play After a lengthy stay in Early Access and a major overhaul, Dungeon Defenders II is complete. While it was originally going to focus on a competitive MOBA-style mode, fan feedback forced Trendy to push the sequel to this beloved tower defense game closer towards the original's direction. Join up to three friends and defend the Eternia Crystals from waves of foul monsters. Gain loot and experience after each battle to upgrade your character and take on even greater challenges. The base game is free to play, with various DLC packs that give you access to more levels, exclusive items, and premium currency to spend on characters and upgrades. Serious Sam's Bogus Detour Crackshell $14.99 Several years back, Croteam held a contest to find indie developers willing to make quality spin-offs of the Serious Sam franchise. Three devs were chosen, and the first two games, The Random Encounter and Double D, were released ages ago. The third title disappeared, and remained dormant until it suddenly reappeared during the Devolver Digital E3 Conference with a release date. Serious Sam's Bogus Detour is a top-down, multiplayer-focused, twin-stick shooter interpretation of Croteam's classic series. Team up with three friends to tackle the campaign mode, or battle it out in competitive and survival modes that support 12 players. Also on GOG and the Humble Store. Nex Machina Housemarque $19.99 Nex Machina is the latest arcade shooter by Housemarque, the developer best known for Resogun, which was the only thing worth playing on the PS4 at launch. This twin-stick shooter takes much of its inspiration from arcade classics like Smash TV, and pits the player against waves of robotic foes in destructible, voxel-based environments. Unfortunately, the co-op mode is local only, though the game is full of online challenges and leaderboards to display your gaming prowess to others. You can also find Nex Machina on PS4, GOG, and the Humble Store. Ticket to Earth Robot Circus $14.99 Ticket to Earth is a unique new take on the match-3 RPG formula. In this strategy RPG, the grid-based boards that you fight on double as the match-3 board. This means that you collect power by moving your character around the map to match gems before unleashing devastating special attacks. This is just the first part of four episodes, but the entire experience is covered by the $15 price tag. Ticket to Earth was originally released on mobile, so you can find a copy there as well. Cryptark Alientrap $14.99 Finally we come to Cryptark, the newest title by the developers of Apotheon and Capsized. This 2D roguelite places you in the boots of a privateer that accepts contracts to board derelict alien space-hulks in search of valuable artifacts. Just because the ships are abandoned that doesn't mean they are safe, however, as dormant security turrets and drones guard the empty hallways from intruders. As with most roguelites, the starships in Cryptark are all procedurally generated, and the penalties for failure are severe. You can also find Cryptark on the Humble Store and PS4. That's all for this time. Which of these new games captured your attention?
  10. It's that time of the year again. Valve has blessed us with a buffet of irresistibly cheap PC games that will inevitably haunt our libraries, uninstalled and unplayed, for years to come. While many gamers might be looking to grab last year's hottest AAAs at bargain bin prices, I'd like to remind everyone not to ignore the little guys. I could be here for hours listing awesome games being sold for less than the price of a small fry at your favorite fast food chain, but I'll keep it to 10 for brevity's sake. Here's 10 indie games you might not have heard of for under $5. Expeditions: Conquistador Logic Artists $4.99 Expeditions: Conquistador was one of the first games I ever reviewed, on a site that no longer exists. This strategy RPG places you in command of a group of Spanish explorers searching for fame and fortune in the jungles of the New World. Gameplay is split between diplomatic negotiations with the natives, random events, exploration, and turn-based combat. The core mechanics in each segment are pretty basic, but they all come together to form a solid adventure in a criminally underutilized setting. I hear that Logic Artists have improved the formula significantly in their Viking-themed follow-up, but that title is still way too recent to be heavily discounted. Crimsonland 10tons Ltd $4.19 Do you want to slaughter hordes of monsters with a staggering variety of weapons, but only have a few minutes to spare? If so, you can't go wrong with Crimsonland. This is the 2014 remake of a classic shooter from 2003, and a lot has been added over the years. Pick one of five survival modes and annihilate enemies for as long as you can with dozens of grossly overpowered weapons and power-ups. There is nothing deep or sophisticated about Crimsonland, it's just mindless, gory fun. It's not as good as Nation Red in terms of bloody carnage, but it's still a satisfying way to kill some time. Infested Planet Rocket Bear Games $4.94 Speaking of alien genocide, Infested Planet is everything the Starship Troopers video games should have been. You lead a small squad of space mercenaries against a never-ending horde of alien bugs. The ground is so thick with aliens that each rocket can turn a dozen of them into red mist without even putting a dent in the chitinous swarm. Your kill count after any given mission can easily reach the tens of thousands. To make any progress you'll need to carefully micromanage your squad, positioning each soldier just right to ensure the maximum number of kills with each shot as you slowly grind your way towards the hives. The game may seem pretty easy at first, but later missions introduce alien hives with increasingly tough mutations designed to counter your favorite tactics. Contrast Compulsion Games $3.39 I'll be upfront about this one: Contrast is a very flawed game. The controls aren't very tight, and some segments can get frustrating because of the clunky camera and character movement. The game was also very buggy when I first played it back in 2013, with one puzzle becoming unsolvable because the box I needed to move decided to do its best UFO impression. With all that said, I still enjoyed Contrast enough to cautiously recommend it, especially at the current sale price. If you can get past its flaws, you'll find a gorgeous platformer with a fantastic soundtrack, some genuinely cool puzzles, an interesting world, and a touching story that deals with some pretty mature themes as seen through the eyes of a child. Tales of Maj'Eyal Netcore Games $2.37 Tales of Maj'Eyal is one of the best modern roguelikes on the market. I use the term "modern" loosely, as Maj'Eyal is just the latest iteration of a series that has been around for nearly two decades and can trace its roots back to Angband. ToME is the quintessential roguelike, an unforgiving adventure with a ludicrous amount of depth. You can easily lose a hundred hours to ToME and barely scratch the surface. It's not a game for the faint of heart, but luckily you can test the game for free on the official website. AI War: Fleet Command Arcen Games $0.99 I'm nothing if not a raging fanboy of Arcen Games, so it was just a matter of time before one of their titles made it onto this list. AI War is Arcen's most popular and well-known game, and for good reason. This unique strategy game has been steadily improved and expanded upon for six years, and all the DLC is ridiculously cheap right now as well. The basic premise of AI War is that humanity lost the war with the machines. All that remains is a tiny, insignificant resistance that would easily be slaughtered should the AI learn of its existence. What follows is a guerilla campaign where you must silently take out the AI's subcommanders, steal and sabotage enemy technology, and build your forces without attracting the AI's attention. The game has a fairly steep learning curve, but if you can get past its quirks you'll discover an infinitely replayable and satisfying strategy game unlike any other on the market. Reus Abbey Games $1.99 If a tense and deadly space war isn't your thing, then why not travel to the chill and colorful world of Reus? This god game gives you an empty world and four gods with unique abilities so you can shape it to your heart's content. Each god represents a different ecosystem with its own flora and fauna. The goal is to give humanity the resources they need to build thriving villages by placing plants, minerals, and animals in the most optimum arrangement to generate bonuses. Beware, however, as a village that becomes too prosperous can also become selfish, greedy, and warlike. The core mechanics are easy enough to grasp, but the interactions between the various resources and ecosystems can get surprisingly complex as you progress to later tech levels. Super Mutant Alien Assault Cybernate $3.29 That word salad of a title belongs to a game that pitches itself as "The Citizen Kane of Super Crate Box Clones." While that's a fairly accurate description, I feel that the developers of Super Mutant Alien Assault are selling themselves a bit short. It's functionally similar to SCB in the sense that you pick up crazy weapons and kill hordes of enemies in enclosed, arena-like levels, but SMAA does quite a bit to differentiate itself. Levels alternate between objectives like "kill all enemies" and "bring X number of objects to device Y," with crazy boss fights at the end of each level set. If you loved the core concept of Super Crate Box but wanted to see it expanded further, then Super Mutant Alien Assault is worth adding to your collection. The Swapper Facepalm Games $2.84 I'll admit that I never actually finished The Swapper. The biggest "problem" with this atmospheric and clever sci-fi puzzle platformer is that I'm far too inept to properly play it. That doesn't mean I can't appreciate it, and I highly recommend The Swapper to anyone who isn't as incompetent as I am when it comes to using their brain. The puzzles are all based around cloning yourself to be in multiple places at once, with strict rules on how you can move and place your clones. Best enjoyed with headphones and in the dark so you can really soak in the game's lonely and mysterious world. Intrusion 2 Aleksey Abramenko $2.99 Finally we come to Intrusion 2, a side-scrolling shooter made by a Russian dude with way too much spare time on his hands. Intrusion 2 isn't the most polished, precise, or advanced side scroller out there, but it is a game that oozes charm from every orifice. The physics are as janky and hilarious as they are impressive for a game in this genre, and you'll often get stuck because the giant mecha worm you just killed fell on you, but the game is just so damn fun that you don't care about its flaws. It looks and plays like something dreamed up by a hyperactive child after binge-watching a GI Joe marathon, and that's all part of what makes Intrusion 2 so memorable. So what are you waiting for? Get on Steam and help Gaben buy his 73rd solid gold yacht by spending lots of money on games you'll probably never play.
  11. Pictured above: Formicide I'm back with another batch of recent indie releases that may have slipped under your radar. I'm not personally endorsing any of these games, just highlighting some games that stood out amongst Steam's weekly batch of releases. Make sure you read user reviews and search YouTube to find more information on each game. Gorescript Sergiu Bucur $9.99 First this week is Gorescript, an FPS inspired by classics from the '90s. Splatter the blood of your voxel enemies across 18 levels with an arsenal of six weapons. The game features five difficult settings, including an optional permadeath mode for extra challenge. Find secrets to upgrade your weapons and compete with other players on the global leaderboard. Pathfinder Adventures Obsidian Entertainment $24.99 Pathfinder Adventures is a digital adaptation of Paizo's Pathfinder card game, and plays exactly like fans of the physical version would expect. Explore the Pathfinder universe as the franchise's iconic characters in this card-driven battle game that emulates a mini RPG adventure. The PC version apparently has some issues to hammer out, but it still might be worth looking into if you like the card game, and Pathfinder in general. There is also a "free-to-play" version on mobile, assuming you are willing to grind countless hours to make any progress. Air Missions: HIND 3Division $16.99 Jump into the cockpit of Russia's infamous "flying tank" in Air Missions: HIND. Load your gunship full of real-world autocannons, rockets, and bombs as you destroy air and ground targets across a 15 mission campaign. The game also features co-op and competitive multiplayer, as well as full Steam Workshop support so the community can make new missions and modes. Grab the $20 Deluxe Edition and get access to the HAVOC, HIP, and HOKUM helicopters. Also on Xbox One. Witchinour Sofuto Geimu $4.99 Witchinour is a top-down bullet hell with roguelite elements and a retro-inspired aesthetic. Explore a randomly generated dungeon as Nour, a novice witch looking for her lost spell book. Clear each floor as quickly as possible to avoid raising your alert level. If your alert level gets too high then subsequent floors will become more difficult as you face greater numbers of fiercer enemies. Flood of Light Irisloft $3.99 In Flood of Light you play as a mysterious girl in a city submerged by torrential rain. Use your light to solve puzzles based around illuminating the city. Gain access to new light powers that will help you solve more advanced puzzles and lower the water level so you can reach deeper levels of the city. Find all of the game's hidden wicks to reveal the mysteries surrounding the flooded city and the unending rain. Art of Gravity Hamster On Coke Games $.99 Art of Gravity is the latest minimalistic, physics-based puzzle game by Hamster On Coke, which is possibly one of the better indie studio names I've encountered. The puzzles in Art of Gravity are, surprisingly enough, based on using gravity to manipulate objects. Drop spheres to destroy abstract voxel figures that, based on the trailer, explode in a fairly satisfying fashion. Zafehouse Diaries 2 Screwfly Studios $6.99 The sleeper hit zombie survival game from 2012 has finally received a sequel with Zafehouse Diaries 2. As with the original, this procedurally generated, text-based management game is told through the diary of a survivor during a zombie apocalypse. Manage the needs of your small group of survivors, each of which have their own personalities and skills. Complete the game's premade scenarios, or survive as long as possible in the sandbox mode. Formicide Rock Wall Games, LLC Free Finally we come to Formicide, a 2D class-based multiplayer game that promotes itself as "Worms meets Team Fortress 2." Pick from eight playable classes and face off in objective-focused battles. Capture power-ups to give your team the upper hand by unleashing special attacks. Many of the weapons and abilities are based around terrain creation and deformation, hence the comparisons to Worms. Matches are designed to be five to ten minutes in length, with an emphasis on easy-to-learn mechanics with a high skill ceiling. That's all for now. I'll be back soon with more new release highlights.
  12. Just checking in. Hope to be able to contribute some stuff about indie games. Here's a cool shot from the game Rust from Facepunch Studios.
  13. Pictured above: Starpoint Gemini Warlords I'm back with another batch of recent indie releases that may have slipped under your radar. I'm not personally endorsing any of these games, but merely highlighting some indie titles that look promising. Make sure you read user reviews and search YouTube to find more information on each game. Last week was a particularly good week for indie releases, especially if you like space games. Everspace Rocketfish Games $29.99 First up we have Everspace, a space combat game with roguelike elements and excellent visuals. Pick one of three starting ships and explore a vast, procedurally generated universe. Find blueprints to craft new weapons and equipment to give you the edge in Everspace's fierce space dogfights. Death is permanent, but you do keep some of your progress so you won't start completely from scratch each time. Everspace launched with full VR support for both the Rift and Vive, and requires a controller for those devices to play in VR mode. Also on Xbox One, GOG, and the Humble Store. Endless Space 2 Amplitude Studios $39.99 Another highly anticipated space game that recently exited Early Access is Endless Space 2. This follow-up to 2012's cult hit space 4X features, among other things, an overhauled random Galaxy Generator to greatly improve the game's replayability. Guide your budding civilization from the early years of interstellar travel to a galaxy-spanning empire. Discover ancient artifacts and unlock the secrets of the Endless, a mysterious precursor race that disappeared eons ago. The game's launch from Early Access was a bit rough at first, but Amplitude has apparently done a stellar job addressing many of the game-breaking issues as quickly as possible. Also available on the Humble Store. Starpoint Gemini Warlords Little Green Men Games $34.99 Let's keep going with our current space theme and look at Starpoint Gemini Warlords, a new installment in another fairly successful intergalactic strategy series. The Starpoint Gemini series straddles the line between space sim and strategy game by not only giving you a massive warship to directly control, but a customizable headquarters and fleet to aid you in expanding your territory. Starpoint Gemini Warlord features full Steam Workshop support to ensure that the game can build a thriving modding scene right from the beginning. You can also buy the game on GOG and the Humble Store. StarCrawlers Juggernaut Games $19.99 Screw it, let's keep talking about cool space games. StarCrawlers is now out of Early Access and hopes to be the sci-fi answer to Legend of Grimrock. This first-person dungeon crawler lets you build a crew of scum and villainy that engage in everything from bounty hunting to corporate espionage, assuming the price is right. Infiltrate procedurally generated dungeons with eight different character classes and randomized loot drops. You can also find StarCrawlers on GOG and the Humble Store. Mirage: Arcane Warfare Torn Banner Studios $29.99 The developers of the popular Chivalry: Medieval Warfare are back with another bloody and brutal competitive multiplayer game. As the name implies, Mirage: Arcane Warfare throws out the more grounded Middle Ages Europe setting for a fantastical Arabian Nights-esque world full of magic. Even with the introduction of magic, Mirage keeps Chivalry's emphasis on visceral melee combat full of severed limbs and decapitations. You can grab a copy on the Humble Store as well. Steel Division: Normandy 44 Eugen Systems $39.99 Steel Division is a spiritual successor to Eugen Systems' Wargame series of multiplayer-focused RTS games set in a 1980s Europe where WWIII has erupted between NATO and the USSR. Surprising no one whatsoever, the appropriately titled Normandy 44 brings the Wargame series' core formula of small unit tactics and attention to detail to the battlefields of WWII. Play 10-vs-10 online matches as one of six divisions involved in the Battle of Normandy, with over 400 historically accurate vehicles at your command. Also available for purchase from the Humble Store. MidBoss Kitsune Games $14.99 MidBoss is a turn-based roguelike where you play as an imp tired of being mistreated by his fellow dungeon denizens. Explore procedurally generated dungeons on your quest to defeat the boss and become the new dungeon king. The core mechanic of MidBoss is body swapping, which allows you to turn into creatures you kill in the dungeon. This gives you access to all their abilities until you swap bodies again. As with all roguelikes, you lose your saved progress upon death, but MidBoss gives you special death cards that can be burned at the start of your next run for bonuses. Caveblazers Rupeck Games $9.99 Finally we come to Caveblazers, a roguelite platformer published by The Yogscast. Go spelunking in a mysterious, shapeshifting cave filled with magical artifacts, deadly traps, and ravenous monsters. Rescue friendly characters to aid you in your journey into the cave's darkest depths. Compete against other players online in unique, one-shot daily challenges. Also available for purchase on the Humble Store. That's all for now. I'll be back soon with more new release highlights.
  14. Pictured above: Nongünz I'm back with another batch of recent indie releases that might have slipped under your radar. As always, I'm not endorsing any of these games, just highlighting some titles that look promising. Make sure you read user reviews and search YouTube to find more information on each title. Bounty Train Corbie Games $24.99 First up is Bounty Train, a historical trade sim set in the Wild West of 19th Century America. Design your locomotive, hire your crew, and transport cargo through dangerous territory. Ambushes and attempted train robberies are handled in real-time tactical battles and involve micromanaging your crew to get them to the best defensive positions. Bounty Trains' non-linear story features numerous historical events, and even gives you a chance to alter history. You can also find Bounty Train on GOG and the Humble Store. Portal Knights Keen Games $19.99 The cooperative sandbox RPG Portal Knights has finally released from Early Access. Build structures, craft gear, mine for resources, and explore procedurally generated open world environments with up to three of your friends. Construct portals that bring you to the lairs of the Portal Guardians, and engage in boss battles with the most powerful monsters in the realm. Character classes include Warrior, Ranger, and Mage, each with their own set of special abilities to unlock. Also available on the Humble Store, PS4, and Xbox One. Nongünz Brainwash Gang $6.99 Nongünz is a twisted roguelite platformer with some deck building and bullet hell elements. Raid procedurally generated dungeons for the resources you need to upgrade your graveyard, which acts as a central hub for your dungeoneering. As you play you'll gather followers at your graveyard that you can spend money at to upgrade your character. Some followers gradually harvest resources for you, giving Nongünz a few elements typically found in idle games. The deck building element comes in the form of cards you find in the dungeon, each of which gives you a new ability, or can be burned to regain some precious health. Hyper Knights Endless Loop Studios $4.99 Hyper Knights blends fast, combo-based combat against large armies with more traditional strategy elements. Recruit allies and command vast armies of minions to conquer enemy castles and outposts. Massacre dozens of enemies at once with upgradable combo attacks. Between battles you'll get a chance to upgrade your kingdom and move your armies into position for the next fight. Old Man's Journey Broken Rules $7.99 Guide an old man through his final, vibrant years in Old Man's Journey. Primarily a narrative experience about the ups and downs of life, Old Man's Journey does feature some environmental puzzles. Shape the game's hand-drawn landscapes to create the old man's path through each scene. Also available on the Humble Store and mobile devices. Regalia: Of Men And Monarchs Pixelated Milk $24.99 Regalia is a turn-based tactics RPG promising over 30 hours of content and a lighthearted storyline. After passing away unexpectedly, your father leaves you in charge of the faraway Kingdom of Ascalia. Unfortunately, your dreams of running your own kingdom are quickly shattered upon realizing that Ascalia is bankrupt and crawling with debt collectors. Recruit over 20 unique allies and do some old-fashioned dungeon crawling to return Ascalia to its former glory. Also out on GOG and the Humble Store. Mages of Mystralia Borealys Games $24.99 Help Zia master her budding magical talent in Mages of Mystralia. Zia has recently discovered that she has the ability to perform magic, but spell casting is strictly prohibited in her home realm. Curious about her new powers, Zia embarks on a journey to find exiled mages that can teach her how to control her abilities. The main mechanic in Mages of Mystralia is the ability to design your own spells by combining runes in different ways. Create custom spells to overcome enemies and puzzles however you choose. Also on the Humble Store, Xbox One, and PS4. Skylar & Plux: Adventure On Clover Island Right Nice Games $14.99 Finally we come to Skylar & Plux, a 3D platformer that draws inspiration from the genre's classics. Travel across colorful levels as Skylar and her sidekick Plux as they try to save their home from the evil CRT minions. Use gadgets like the Jet Pack, Magnetic Gloves, and Time Orb to defeat enemies and solve puzzles. Also available on the Humble Store, GOG, Xbox One, and PS4. That's all for this week. I'll be back soon with more new indie release highlights.
  15. Pictured above: Aaero I'm back with another batch of indie releases that came out while our site was down. All these games are several weeks old, but most have remained obscure enough that they probably slipped by unnoticed. I can't guarantee that these games are any good, just that they stood out from all the other new releases on Steam. Be sure to read user reviews for more information about each title. Mr. Shifty Team Shifty $14.99 Published by tinyBuild, Mr. Shifty is a new top-down action game that blends stealth with lightning-fast, one-hit kill combat. Think of it as a faster version of Hotline Miami, with far greater numbers of enemies onscreen at once. Luckily, you have the ability to teleport short distances, allowing you to phase through walls, obstructions, and even bullets. You can also find Mr. Shifty on the Humble Store, PS4, Xbox One, and the Switch. Gloom Hunchback Studio $9.99 The appropriately titled Gloom is a 2D action roguelite set in a Lovecraftian dream world. Explore procedurally generated levels full of eldritch monsters as you try to deliver yourself from this nightmare by finding the lost pages of an arcane text. Combat has the usual Soulsian inspirations that you'd expect from the art style, with a heavy emphasis on perfectly timed blocks and counterattacks. Crawl Powerhoof $14.99 Crawl has finally escaped its lengthy stay in Early Access. This pixilated dungeon crawler is focused on its asymmetrical local multiplayer, though you can play alone as well. One player is an adventurer trying to amass enough experience and loot to kill the final boss and escape the dungeon, while the other three are specters that can possess monsters and traps in the dungeon. Whoever slays the hero takes his place, and the cycle continues until one player comes out on top. Crawl is also on the Humble Store, GOG, PS4, and Xbox One. Man O' War: Corsair Evil Twin Artworks $29.99 Another game that recently exited Early Access is Man O' War: Corsair, a PC adaptation of the naval combat miniatures game set in the old Warhammer Fantasy universe. Sail the deadly seas of the Old World as a trader or pirate, amassing wealth and slowly building your fleet. Engage in ship-to-ship combat and board enemy vessels to slaughter the crew and steal everything you can find. The game is apparently still in rough shape, so it might be worth holding off on buying it right away. You can find Corsair on the Humble Store and GOG as well. Shock Tactics Point Blank Games $19.99 Shock Tactics is another game that has received mixed reviews so far, but might be worth keeping an eye on. It's more or less a budget, indie interpretation of XCOM, but this time around you are the colonizer. Lead a team of pioneers scouring the hostile world of Hephӕst for ancient alien artifacts. Establish outposts to exploit the planet's resources, and engage in turn-based tactical combat against aliens, pirates, and other rival factions looking to excavate Hephӕst's secrets. Flinthook Tribute Games Inc. $14.99 Flinthook is a 2D platformer with roguelite elements focused on fast-paced hookshot combat. Use your hookshot to move between golden rings in each level, dodging enemies and returning fire with your pistol. Activate slowmo powers to give you an edge in battle and pull off more accurate shots. Each level is generated by combining hundreds of handmade rooms, each of which is populated by randomized waves of enemies. Also on the Humble Store, Xbox One, and PS4. Asura Ogre Head Studio $9.99 Asura is a top-down action roguelite inspired by Indian mythology. Embark on a quest for vengeance against the God-King Hasirama by fighting your way through all five fortresses of the Daeva empire. As with most roguelites, death is permanent and your loot drops and skills will vary each playthrough. Even the skill tree is rerolled each time. You can also find Asura on GOG and the Humble Store. Krosmaga Ankama Studio Free-to-play Ankama is the latest company to try and capitalize on the digital card game craze with Krosmaga. Krosmaga uses the lore and characters from Ankama's popular Dofus and Wakfu franchises to create a digital card game that is less Hearthstone and more Scrolls. You'll deploy your creatures into lanes, with the goal of destroying structures at the end of each one. Krosmaga requires the use of an Ankama account to play, which allows you to transfer your progress between PC and mobile. Shiness: The Lightning Kingdom Enigami $29.99 After a moderately successful Kickstarter campaign back in 2014, the colorful action RPG Shiness has finally released. You play as Chado and his four companions in their highflying voyage across the floating Celestial Islands. The game blends traditional fighting mechanics with magical attacks in real-time combat. Each of the five playable characters have unique skills that are useful both in and out of combat, and swapping between them at the right time is a key gameplay mechanic. Shiness is also on the Humble Store, PS4, and Xbox One. The Signal From Tolva Big Robot Ltd $19.99 Finally we have The Signal From Tolva, the latest first-person action game from the developers of Sir, You Are Being Hunted. In the far future, robotic factions of scavengers fight over the ruins of an ancient civilization. After discovering a mysterious signal from the highlands of Tolva, you set out on a journey to investigate the ruins and uncover the signal's source. Recruit allies and fight skirmishes with rival factions trying to reach the signal before you do. Salvage and repair advanced weapons from long dead civilizations to give you the upper hand in the war for Tolva. The Signal From Tolva can also be purchased from GOG and the Humble Store. Not enough games for you? Here are a few other titles you may like: Spark the Electric Jester, a 16-bit platformer that takes some obvious inspiration from a certain series about a blue hedgehog. Cosmic Star Heroine, a new old school-inspired RPG from the developers of Cthulhu Saves the World. The Wild Eternal, a first-person exploration game set in the wilderness of the 17th century Himalayan Mountains. The Sexy Brutale, a murder mystery puzzle game where everything happens in a continuous 12 hour time loop. Odyssey, an educational science puzzle game where you play as a girl and her family trapped on a tropical island. Aaero, a rhythm shooter similar to everyone's favorite cult hit, Rez. That's all for now. I'll be back later with more new indie release highlights.
  16. Pictured above: The Tenth Line I'm back with another batch of indie releases that came out while our site was down. All these games are several weeks old, but most have remained obscure enough that they probably slipped by unnoticed. I can't guarantee that these games are any good, just that they stood out from all the other new releases on Steam. Be sure to read user reviews for more information about each title. Kona Parabole $19.99 One of the more popular games on today's list is Kona, an atmospheric first-person adventure game with survival elements. You play as Carl Faubert, a private detective that has been hired to investigate reports of vandalism and property damage at a hunting manor in northern Canada. What Carl finds is a surreal and seemingly abandoned rural community with no signs of human inhabitants. Worse yet, an almost supernatural blizzard has left Carl stranded, forcing him to battle the elements as he looks for his client and any clues as to what happened. You can also find Kona on GOG, the Humble Store, PS4, and Xbox One. 64.0 rebel rabbit $2.99 Another game that managed to find a decent sized audience is 64.0, an extremely minimalistic and abstract rhythm shooter. The core gameplay is simple: Shoot squares that are the same color as the background, and survive for 64 seconds. The challenging part is that the background (and the color of squares you must shoot) is constantly changing, and "friendly" squares that you can't shoot are thrown into the mix. The action is all synced to the game's catchy retro-inspired chiptune soundtrack. CTHON Gravity Games $4.99 CTHON is an old-school FPS inspired by the likes of Doom and System Shock. In the 24th century, the mining colony of Pythos in the Epsilon Eridani system has disturbed an ancient evil. Navigate the colony's randomly generated labyrinth and try to survive all 9 levels of this roguelite shooter. Modify your body with advanced cybernetic enhancements created by a long dead alien civilization to give you an edge against the horrifying biomechanical constructs overrunning the colony. 100ft Robot Golf No Goblin $19.99 The developers of Roundabout are back with a new game, 100ft Robot Golf. Unsurprisingly, it's a golf game where everyone controls a giant robot in fully destructible environments. The game supports up to four players in split screen and online multiplayer, or solo play via a campaign full of cheap and cheesy '90s-inspired cutscenes. The game is real-time by default, but there is a turn-based mode and various other custom rules. You can also find 100ft Robot Golf on Humble Store and PS4. Codex of Victory Ino-Co Plus $14.99 In Codex of Victory, players control drone armies in an intergalactic war to defend humanity from a faction of transhuman cyborgs bent on "liberating" everyone from their fleshy shells. This strategy title has a lot of elements to it, including an almost XCOM-like base management and research hub, and turn-based battles set on hex grid maps. Codex of Victory promises a lengthy campaign clocking in at over 20 hours, and 25 units with countless upgrades to research. You can also buy Codex of Victory from the Humble Store. Tacopocalypse Cherry Pie Games $9.99 The world is on the verge of destruction and it's up to you to stylishly deliver tacos to the masses in Tacopocalypse. The game plays like what you'd expect from a '90s 3D skateboarding game, except you are controlling a food truck. Avoid hazards, perform stunts to boost your income, and make your taco deliveries on time. Snowflake's Chance CarlMorganArt $6.99 Fans of fiendishly difficult platformers may want to check out Snowflake's Chance. You play as a hapless rabbit trying to escape The Pit, a hellish horror world full of monstrous beasts and murderous traps. Run, dodge, and sneak your way past enemies that have no goal in life other than devouring defenseless bunnies like yourself. The game consists of 21 levels in all, and you have 99 chances to complete the campaign before its game over. The Tenth Line Sungazer Software $9.99 Finally we come to The Tenth Line, a console-style RPG with some platforming elements and an active turn-based battle system. You play as the princess of the small nation of Easania, and are currently on the run from a mysterious cult. Along the way, you'll encounter a colorful cast of characters that agree to help you escape the cult and return home. Combat is turn-based, but with a heavy emphasis on timing your attacks just right. Character progression is handled solely through the collection of the game's countless sets of gear and items. That's all for now. I'll be back with more new indie highlights soon.
  17. Pictured above: Faeria We've been having a lot of problems with IGS following a software update, hence the lengthy hiatus. The website still has a long way to go, but its operable enough for me to play a bit of catch-up and highlight obscure indie games from the last few weeks. I can't guarantee that these games are any good, just that they stood out from all the other new releases on Steam. Be sure to read user reviews for more information about each title. 2Dark Gloomywood $24.99 2Dark is a top-down stealth horror game developed by Frédérick Raynal, the creator of Alone in the Dark. After witnessing the murder of his wife and abduction of his children, former detective Smith sets out to bring those responsible to justice. What he uncovers is the dark underbelly of the city of Gloomywood, where an unknown group has been abducting children for a mysterious purpose. Infiltrate the most sinister places in Gloomywood to rescue the children, and bring an end to the terror gripping the city. You can also find 2Dark on PS4 and Xbox One. Reflex Arena Turbo Pixel Studios $9.99 Reflex Arena is a fast and competitive arena shooter that harkens back to the days of Quake and Unreal Tournament. The game already has many of the features players would expect from an old school arena shooter, including LAN support, custom servers, mutators like big head mode and instagib, and a map editor with full Steam Workshop support. Upcoming features include bots and seasonal leagues. DESYNC The Foregone Syndicate $14.99 DESYNC is the latest ridiculously challenging title to be released under Adult Swim's publishing studio. This neon-lit FPS takes a few ideas from the cult favorite Bulletstorm, most notably a combo system that rewards you for killing enemies in creative ways. This system also comes into play when fighting "synced" enemies, difficult foes that can only be killed by chaining together attack sequences. Loot Rascals Hollow Ponds $14.99 Loot Rascals is a roguelike that features collectable cards and resource management. Loot comes in the form of cards that can be played for special effects, or sacrificed to heal or gain other benefits. In an interesting take on player interaction, enemies can steal your cards and transport them to other players' worlds. Sometimes you'll defeat an elite enemy that drops one of these stolen cards, and you can choose to keep it or send it back to its owner. Returning it will allow you to summon a helper hologram, while stealing might result in a hologram of that player's character appearing to take the card back by force. Also available on PS4. River City Ransom: Underground Conatus Creative Inc $19.99 After a successful Kickstarter back in 2013, the NES classic beat'em up is back with River City Ransom: Underground. This new installment features 10 playable characters, which totals out to over 500 unique moves and dozens of weapons. You can play alone or with up to 3 friends in both local and online co-op. Faeria Abrakam SA Free-to-play Faeria has finally made its way to Steam following a lengthy open beta. While it may look like another Hearthstone clone at first glance, Faeria actually plays more like a board game. You build decks of cards like in your typical CCG, but battles are played on a grid. The grid starts with nothing on it, and over the course of the game players will build their battlefield by placing land tiles. The types of land tiles you have determine what color of creatures and structures you can deploy. You can also find Faeria on mobile, and for $35 you can purchase a starter set on Steam that will give you a nice boost to your collection. Davyria: Heroes of Eternity Sebastian Groll $8.99 Davyria is a skill-based, top-down action RPG that takes a few cues from Dark Souls. The game focuses primarily on its challenging combat, which involves a lot of timing, dodging, and precision. Davyria promises a variety of weapon types as well, each of which have a unique fighting style that makes them useful against specific enemy types. Furious Angels MorfeoDev $6.99 Finally we come to Furious Angels, a top-down, arcade-style sci-fi shooter. Survive as long as you can against increasingly difficult waves of enemy ships, the larger of which have subsystems that you can strategically destroy. In addition to the standard wave-based gameplay, Furious Angels offers daily leaderboard challenges to overcome. Not enough games for you? Here's a few extra releases that you might want to check out: Blink, a puzzle-platformer based around manipulating light and after-images. Stories Untold, a compilation of experimental text adventures published by Devolver Digital. Bad Dream: Coma, a surreal horror point 'n click with a minimalistic art style. Disc Jam, a fast and frantic action-sports game for up to 4 players that blends elements of tennis and air hockey. That's all for this week. I'll be back soon with more overlooked indie releases.
  18. Brut@l is a top-down dungeon crawler that pitches itself as a love letter to old ASCII Roguelikes, but with modern mechanics and graphics. In practical terms, it's a fairly basic hack 'n slash with permadeath, procedurally generated rooms, and a charming aesthetic where everything is made of ASCII symbols. As a fan of Roguelikes/lites, I was looking forward to Brut@l. It's a new entry in a genre I really enjoy, and it features rather striking visuals. Unfortunately, Brut@l's presentation is the only thing it really has going for it. You start a dungeon run by choosing from one of four classes. This is your first warning that the game you are about to play is fairly bland and uninteresting, as each class really isn't all that different. They have different health totals and starting skills, but they all start with the same inventory of a battered shield and unlit torch. Each class even has the same skill trees, though calling them "trees" is charitable. In reality, its four linear paths of six skills each, and most of them are just passives that let you equip certain items or craft more complex gear. The only truly unique class is the Mage, who comes with a magic bolt attack that recharges every few seconds. The goal of any given run is to conquer all 26 procedurally generated floors. Each floor consists of a dozen or so rooms and can be cleared in about 8 to 12 minutes, depending on how devoted you are to exploring everything and finding secrets. Most of the rooms are fairly straightforward, often containing a group of monsters to slay and maybe a sprinkling of traps or explosive barrels to watch out for. Sometimes you'll encounter a maze room, or extremely rudimentary "puzzles" where you must hit the right lever to open a cage containing loot. The most infuriating rooms have acid or fire coating the floors. Such rooms serve only as a cheap way to eat up some of your precious health, because there is no way to avoid taking damage as you run through them outside of a Potion of Protection. You'll occasionally encounter floating platforms with instant death bottomless pits. These extremely basic platforming sections can also be pretty frustrating and accounted for most of my deaths. Between the graphics style and camera angle, these bottomless pits can occasionally be a bit difficult to see at first glance. Pretty much every room is full of barrels and other objects that can be smashed for a small amount of experience and the possibility of loot. This loot could be gold, crafting materials, food, ASCII runes, weapon codices, or armor. Outside of limited use wands, you'll never find an actual weapon, only recipes that allow you to forge one out of ASCII runes. This makes the early floors particularly boring, as you'll probably be stuck with your bare hands until you find a weapon codex and all the ASCII symbols you need to craft it. Things don't actually get much better once you have a weapon, because they are all pretty boring. Weapons come in several classes, like swords, polearms, bows, and hammers. In general, swords have average attack speed and reach, polearms have the most reach, and hammers are slower, but have the added benefit of being able to smash weak walls to access secret rooms. As you delve deeper into the dungeon you'll find weapons that do slightly more damage, but are otherwise identical to lower tier weapons. Enchanting makes combat a bit more interesting. Throughout the dungeon you'll find special ASCII symbols that can be used to imbue your weapons with elemental effects, like fire, poison, electricity, arcane energies, ice, etc. These elements add a minor damage-over-time effect to your weapons, and some elements have extra powers, like how ice can freeze enemies, or arcane has a chance to transmogrify them into weaker foes. You'll encounter enemies with elemental types too, but oddly enough there are no elemental weaknesses or strengths as far as I can tell. Feel free to murder a fire enemy with your flaming sword, it doesn't seem to actually matter. The exception are zombies, which can only be killed with a fire weapon or a lit torch. Sometimes you'll encounter doors or chests that can only be opened by hitting them with specific elemental weapons, but in general elemental items do nothing besides give you a slight edge in combat. There's some other crafting elements as well, most notably potions. There are 8 potions total, each of which are a different color. These colors are randomized each run, so you'll need to experiment every game to figure them out. This can be done either by drinking it or throwing it on an enemy. Potions have a variety of effects, and can heal you, cause damage to restore health, turn you invisible, or cause you to rapidly spin and deal damage to anything you come into contact with. The potion brewing is just as basic as Brut@l's other mechanics, with each color of potion requiring two items and an empty bottle to make. "Basic" sums up Brut@l in general. Combat involves little more than a standard three-hit combo system for melee weapons. Defensive moves come in the form of your shield and an extremely finicky dodge roll. Blocking reduces damage, while a well-timed parry negates all damage and leaves the enemy open to a counterattack. The dodge move requires such an awkward combination of buttons that you are better off just double jumping over enemies to avoid them. Besides, most enemies spend so long telegraphing their attacks that you could complete a round-trip flight from New York to Japan before they are finished with their swing. Each skill tree has a super move you can learn that gradually charges over time. These super moves require a specific type of weapon be equipped before you can perform it, but they all do pretty much the same thing. No matter what the move is called, the end result is always just dealing massive damage to enemies within a certain radius around you. You can throw your shield as a basic ranged attack, and there are some dedicated ranged weapons like bows and wands. The controls on keyboard and mouse are pretty bad, so you better bring a controller on this adventure. Of course, the problem with bringing a controller is that it makes aiming at specific enemies in a large mob rather difficult. In general though, I found that ranged combat wasn't too viable most of the time because of how fast many of the enemies are and the complete lack of defensible positions in most rooms. The enemies that are slow enough to be kitted and taken out at range have so much health and armor that it just isn't really worth it. Brut@l's other big fault is that it just doesn't feel particularly rewarding. In a bizarre inverse of genre norms, loot seems to become increasingly scarce the deeper you go. Within the first 8 floors you'll probably find more weapons than you'll ever actually need, while later on you can go several floors without finding anything noteworthy. Even when you do find new weapons, they'll often function the same as what you already have, just with slightly higher damage. Armor is even more bland. There aren't multiple classes of armor, and you won't find armor with cool passive bonuses or anything like that. There is just a single chest piece, a single helmet, a single pair of gauntlets, and a single pair of greaves, and all they do is reduce damage by a set amount until they eventually break. "Loot," which is just a generic term for "money" in this game, only has one function. You'll occasionally stumble across altars that you can donate money to for the chance of gaining an extra life. The amount of money you donate increases your chances, but it's still just random chance. There's nothing wrong with that, indeed the genre is built off of random chance, but it's disappointing that this is the only thing you can do with money. There are no shops or places to spend money for items, just these life altars. The bland loot and increasing difficulty create a situation where you aren't really rewarded for going deeper into the dungeon. The only reason you keep going is because, well, that's the point of the game. You are supposed to see if you can survive all 26 floors, but there isn't anything interesting on those floors to keep you going. In fact, as I said a few paragraphs back, the loot becomes more scarce the deeper you go. The enemies, however, only become bigger, stronger, and more bullet (Sword? Arrow?) spongy. Why should I keep playing if all I'm faced with are stronger enemies, but no increasingly cool rewards? It's all risk with no really payoff. Despite all the bad points I've brought up in this review, I don't think Brut@l is an awful game. It has the foundations of a pretty cool dungeon crawler, and I love the art style. Brut@l's biggest problem is that it's a generic, bland, and extremely basic game in a genre flooded with really good titles. Heart&Slash is a similar dungeon crawler with a basic combat system, but it has a ton of cool and interesting weapons to compensate for its basic mechanics. I can't help but feel that Brut@l came out about 4 or 5 years too late. Had it released before the Roguelite genre saw a boom in popularity from titles like The Binding of Isaac, then I may have been more forgiving on it. As a game that came out in 2017 (Late 2016 on PS4), however, Brut@l is competing with dozens of other games that do the same thing it does, only much better. I've put about 10 hours into Brut@l and got roughly halfway through on my best run, but I have no interest in playing more or trying to beat it. There just isn't enough content or unique items to motivate me to play more. In Enter the Gungeon I can find a bullet that shoots guns that shoot bullets. In Brut@l, I can find a pike that does 5 more damage than my current pike. Brut@l could be a good game if it just had more to it, but not now and not at the current price tag. You can find Brut@l on Steam, Humble Bundle, and PS4 for $14.99.
  19. Pictured above: Totemori I'm back with another batch of recent indie releases that may have slipped past your radar. As always, I don't guarantee that these games are good, just that they stood out amongst Steam's usual tidal wave of weekly releases. Be sure to read user reviews for more information about each title. Splasher Splashteam $14.99 Let's start with Splasher, a challenging 2D platformer made by some of the developers behind the pair of Rayman games from a few years ago. The Inkorp company has been taken over by a maniacal dictator, and it's up to you to use the prototype splatter cannon to end his reign of terror. The cannon is loaded with several types of liquid that you can spray on the environment to alter its properties, such as sticky ink, bouncy ink, etc. Splasher is currently only on PC and Mac, but it will be making its way to consoles later this spring. Giga Wrecker Game Freak $19.99 Giga Wrecker is a 2D puzzle-platformer developed by Game Freak. Yes, Game Freak does occasionally make cool games that aren't related to Pokemon. You play as Reika, a girl with the ability to manipulate random bits of debris. This comes in the form of using rubble to solve puzzles and create platforms, as well as weaponizing garbage to fight against an invasion of evil robots. The built-in level editor and community hub ensures that the game will keep you busy long after you finish the campaign. Bleed 2 Ian Campbell $9.99 As its name implies, Bleed 2 is the sequel to a criminally underrated action-platformer from 2012. Jump back into the shoes of Wryn on her quest to become the greatest hero of all time. In addition to your arsenal of conventional firearms, Wryn can also deflect bullets and momentarily slow time. Bleed 2 promises 7 levels, 25 boss fights, and 4 difficulty settings that alter enemy placement and attack patterns. 8-Bit Armies: Arena Petroglyph $4.99 Arena is a stripped down, multiplayer-only version of Petroglyph's three recent 8-Bit RTS games. This $5 title gives you full access to the multiplayer portion of the game, including all 30 maps, 6 factions, and community content. If you aren't sure about jumping into the full version of Arena, then consider checking out the free demo version that is restricted to one playable faction per day. LogicBots Incandescent Games $19.99 LogicBots is a puzzle game where you design, build, and program robots to complete various logic puzzles. The game includes 40 levels, each of which have bonus objectives to complete. Some levels give you direct control of your robot, while others require you to program your robot to perform the level's tasks on its own. LogicBots also includes a level editor and Steam Workshop support for additional replayability. Ananias Roguelike Slashware Interactive $4.99 Ananias Roguelike is a traditional, turn-based roguelike that's been around for a few years, but has just recently made its way onto Steam. Choose from 8 character classes and try to survive all 5 of the procedurally generated realms. The game can be linked to an online server to save your progress or share your high scores with other players. Ananias Roguelike is available on Android as well. Brut@l Stormcloud Games $14.99 Finally we come to Brut@l, a modern action roguelike with an aesthetic loosely inspired by classic ASCII games. Choose your hero and fight hordes of enemies to survive all 26 floors of a procedurally generated dungeon. You start with nothing more than a torch and a battered shield. Crafting in Brut@l includes weapons, potions, enchantments, and talismans, all based on recipes you'll find as you venture deeper into the dungeon. You can also find Brut@l on PS4. Not enough games? Check out these other titles that didn't make it to the full article: Induction, an abstract puzzle game based on traveling back in time and creating paradoxes. Kult of Ktulu: Olympic, a text-based adventure full of Lovecraftian horror. Western 1849 Reloaded, a third-person shooting gallery-style game set in the Old West. Totemori, a free physics-based brawler about building towers and toppling the competition. That's all for now. I'll be back soon with more overlooked new releases.
  20. Pictured above: Causality I'm back with another batch of recent indie releases that may have slipped past your radar. As always I don't guarantee that these games are good, just that they stood out amongst Steam's usual weekly releases. Be sure to read user reviews for more information about each title. Diluvion Arachnid Games $19.99 Let's kick things off with Diluvion, an FTL-like submarine combat game set in a Jules Verne-esque deep sea world. Centuries ago, the Great Flood engulf the planet. Whole kingdoms and cultures have developed beneath the sea, and as a fresh-faced submarine captain with a crew of greenhorns, you are given the opportunity to explore the unknown depths for fame and fortune. Manage your crew and limited resources as you venture ever further from civilization. All the management takes place in a 2D representation of your vessel, while navigation and combat comes in the form of a 3D shooter. You can also find Diluvion on GOG. A House of Many Doors Pixel Trickery $12.99 A House of Many Doors is another recent title all about exploring a bizarre new universe. Recruit your crew, board your scuttling mechanical centipede train, and explore The House, a parasite dimension that steals resources from other worlds. The game is heavily inspired by Sunless Sea and the Fallen London series, and even received some support from Failbetter Games. Much like the games that influenced it, A House of Many Doors features a branching story told through lengthy and atmospheric text-based encounters, with a bit of turn-based combat thrown in for good measure. Warlock's Tower Midipixel $9.99 Warlock's Tower is a punishingly difficult real-time puzzle game with a graphical aesthetic pulled right from the original Gameboy. Dodge enemies and solve puzzles in all 100+ rooms to escape the tower. The trick is that each step costs you a life, forcing you to carefully plot out each move before committing. You can also find Warlock's Tower on mobile, Vita, and 3DS. Rosenkreuzstilette [erka:es] $9.99 The incomprehensibly titled Rosenkreuzstilette is the latest Japanese indie action platformer to be localized by Playism. This German word salad is essentially an NES Megaman game with 100% more chibi anime waifus. You can tackle the game's levels in any order you choose, with the boss of each level granting you a new power that can make future encounters easier to beat. Poi PolyKid $14.99 Poi is a new 3D platformer that recently released from Early Access and is inspired by classics from the N64 and PS1 era. Play as one of two kids and explore uncharted lands in search of all 100 Explorer Medallions to gain the title of Master Explorer. Alwa's Awakening Elden Pixels $9.99 Alwa's Awakening is an 8-bit Metroidvania that hopes to recreate the look and feel of popular NES games. The game features over 400 unique rooms full of enemies, puzzles, and secrets to discover. The puzzles usually revolve around your upgradable magic staff and its ability to conjure blocks and other objects to overcome the game's trap-laden dungeons. Double Dragon IV Arc System Works $6.99 Another retro-inspired new release is Double Dragon IV, brought to you by the developers of the popular Guilty Gear franchise. This latest game brings the series back to its '80s arcade roots, both in terms of mechanics and visuals. Unfortunately, the game has a mixed reception thus far, with frequent complaints being the lack of online multiplayer and mechanics that are perhaps a tad too old school for some players. Gunman Taco Truck Romero Games $11.99 Finally we come to Gunman Taco Truck, a post-apocalyptic adventure where mutants roam the world and tacos are scarce. Travel between towns in your taco truck, killing mutants along the way to harvest their parts as ingredients for your delicious tacos. Use your taco profits to upgrade your truck's weaponry and restock on supplies so you can make it to North America's final safe haven. Not enough games for you? Check out some of these other titles as well: Causality, a mind-melting puzzle game about creating time paradoxes. The Videokid, a modern interpretation of the classic Paperboy formula. Linelight, a minimalistic yet elegant puzzle game about lines. The Frostrune, a point 'n click adventure game inspired by Norse mythology and folklore. That's all for this week. I'll be back soon with more overlooked indie releases.
  21. Pictured above: Dungetris I'm back with another batch of new indie releases from the past week. As usual, I can't guarantee that these games are good, just that they stood out among Steam's usual tidal wave of new releases. Be sure to skim through the user reviews to learn more about each game. Vector 36 Red River Studio LLC $24.99 Lets kick things off with Vector 36, one of the rare VR games to make it on these weekly lists. Vector 36 is a high speed, physics-based racing game where players pilot fully customizable skimmers across the barren deserts of Mars. The skimmers are a bit like the space ships in Kerbal Space Program, and are built from scratch with almost every aspect of their construction affecting their performance. While Vector 36 was built with VR in mind, it can be played via more traditional means as well. Mainlining Rebelephant $9.99 Mainlining is a mix of light hacking sim, puzzle, and adventure game, and is played entirely from a fictional computer's desktop. MI7 has been brought to its knees following a massive security breach, and it's up to you to investigate leads and bring these cyber terrorists to justice. The game is broken into 13 cases in all, with the first two being free as part of the official demo. Cases 8-13 are due sometime later this week. A Normal Lost Phone Accidental Queens $2.99 Speaking of adventure games played through a fictional device's interface, A Normal Lost Phone is about exploring a stranger's phone. Navigate the smart phone's interface and dig through the former owner's text messages, pictures, and apps to learn more about them and their eventual fate. Fittingly enough, A Normal Lost Phone is also available on mobile devices. CAYNE The Brotherhood Free CAYNE is a free spin-off to 2015's critically-acclaimed isometric horror game STASIS. You play as Hadley, a pregnant woman who wakes up in a grimy facility with no recollection of how she got there. Explore the facility, solve puzzles, and unravel the horrifying mystery surrounding your unborn child. The game is totally free, but you can support the developers by purchasing a $7 bundle that includes the soundtrack, artwork, and various other behind the scenes material. Memoranda Bit Byterz $14.99 Memoranda is a surreal 2D point 'n click adventure game inspired by the short stories of Haruki Murakami. You play as a young woman who is gradually losing her memory. Or is she? Explore a quiet town full of colorful characters, all of whom need your help regaining what they have lost. Nefarious StarBlade $14.99 Nefarious is a unique puzzle platformer that puts you in the shoes of a mustache-twirling villain kidnapping princesses to fulfill your evil master plan. Each level involves you kidnapping a princess in a different world inspired by classic video games. Where Nefarious really gets unique is with its "reverse boss fights." Each fight places you in control of a giant death machine that you must use to squish the heroes, including a turn-based RPG level where you are essentially a Final Fantasy boss. Dungetris EfimovMax $4.99 As the name implies, Dungetris is a truly bizarre mash-up of dungeon crawling and Tetris. The monster-infested dungeons you'll be exploring in Dungetris are built by placing Tetris-style room blocks each time you go into a new area. Loot and items come in the form of playing cards, adding a resource management element to the game. The goal of each dungeon is to build it up to a certain height and defeat the boss that spawns in the final room tile. Hellencia The Dragonloft $19.99 Finally we come to Hellencia, a strategy RPG set in a steampunk version of Ancient Greece. You play as a bear warrior summoned by Artemis to bring order to the Greek city-states following a magic-infused industrial revolution. The combat mechanics revolve around strategic unit positioning, which can be altered by the use of pushes and throws. Hellencia also promises a lengthy, branching storyline set across multiple lifetimes as you are continuously reincarnated. That's all for now. I'll be back soon with more overlooked indie releases.
  22. Pictured above: She Remembered Caterpillars I'm back with another batch of indie games that may have slipped under your radar this week. We had quite a few promising new releases, but as always I want to stress that I'm not personally recommending any of these games because I haven't played them yet. Luckily, most of them have a decent amount of user reviews to help with your buying decisions. Warhammer 40,000: Sanctus Reach Straylight Entertainment $29.99 Sanctus Reach is the latest 40k-themed turn-based strategy game to be published by Slitherine. The game is loosely based on one of the tabletop game's 2-player starter bundles and allows you to lead a company of Space Wolves as they desperately try to defend Alaric Prime from the massive green tide of Orks. Sanctus Reach features two Space Wolf campaigns with upgradable units that persist from mission to mission, assuming they don't die horribly due to your tactical incompetence. While they don't have a campaign of their own, the Orks are playable in AI skirmish maps and online multiplayer. Urban Empire Reborn Games $39.99 Urban Empire is a political city management game with a few interesting twists. Unlike most games in the genre, Urban Empire is less about building the city and more about leading a mayoral dynasty through 200 years of history. This means that the gameplay is focused more on outmaneuvering your political rivals, winning elections, and guiding your city and its citizenry through the laws and policies you implement. Unfortunately, Urban Empire seems to be the quintessential Kalypso Media game and is plagued with issues both technical and mechanical. The user reviews are pretty evenly split, but it might be worth following in case the game's kinks can be worked out in future patches. Death's Hangover Retro Army Limited $4.99 Death's Hangover is the latest game from the developer of the underappreciated isometric shooter Super Trench Attack! The game retains the dev's signature retro aesthetic and oddball humor, but goes in a completely different direction in terms of gameplay. It's more or less a cheesy horror-themed Breakout clone, complete with boss fights, puzzle levels, whacky power-ups, and branching paths throughout the story mode. Red's Kingdom Cobra Mobile Limited $8.99 Red's Kingdom combines sliding puzzle gameplay with combat, platforming, and Metroidvania elements. As with most games in the genre, your character will continue going forward in a straight line until you contact something, and all of the game's puzzles are based around this concept. The game's 17 levels are full of hidden areas to explore, many of which you'll need to come back to after unlocking new abilities. You can also find Red's Kingdom on iOS. The Legend of Dark Witch 2 Inside System $9.99 The Legend of Dark Witch 2 is the latest game in the series to make its way to PC. As with the previous title, The Legend of Dark Witch 2 is a fairly simple and straightforward 2D shooter-platformer featuring 8 cutesy characters with their own array of upgradable skills and abilities. Each of the game's stages ends with a boss that, upon beating, grants you a new weapon based on their powers similar to Mega Man. The Legend of Dark Witch 2 is also on 3DS. Hive Jump Graphite Lab $19.99 Hive Jump is a cooperative 2D shooter that recently exited Early Access. You and up to 3 friends must fight through hordes of aliens in procedurally generated missions throughout an ongoing strategic campaign to reclaim the sector. Hive Jump features an interesting take on permadeath, where players get unlimited respawns so long as they can keep the team's transponder backpack operational. Rounding out the package are daily and weekly challenges to keep the experience fresh. Siegecraft Commander Blowfish Studios $19.99 Siegecraft Commander is a bizarre RTS with precision aiming and physics-based construction/destruction. Players start with a central keep that they must protect by building a network of walls and structures. To do this, you fling buildings where you want them, gradually growing your base as its spreads across the map. While there are buildings that produce units, the primary way of destroying your opponent's castle involves the use of manually-aimed projectiles. The game was built with VR and motion controls in mind, but it's also playable via traditional methods. Stars in Shadow Ashdar Games $24.99 Finally we come to Stars in Shadow, a new sci-fi turn-based 4X strategy game. Choose one of 7 races and guide your faction from the early years of space travel into an intergalactic empire. Besides just technological differences, each race also has different environmental needs and default racial relations. Combat comes in the form of 2D turn-based tactical battles, and Stars in Shadow promises a variety of quality of life features designed to reduce the tedium of controlling even the most massive of armadas. Not enough new games to play? Check out these other titles that released this week: RED, a short and free 2D action RPG where you play as young werewolf girl with multiple forms. I Am The Hero, a 2D brawler featuring local and online co-op. Command & Colors: The Great War, a WWI strategy war game based on the board game of the same name. She Remembered Caterpillars, a color-based puzzle game set in a surreal fungi fantasy world. That's all for this week. I'll be back later with more weekly indie release highlights.
  23. Pictured above: Heroine Anthem Zero After a fairly lengthy hiatus I'm back with the first round of new indie release highlights of 2017. Releases have been pretty light over the last few weeks (hence the hiatus) but I still managed to scrounge up a list of recent games that may have slipped under your radar. Shantae: Half-Genie Hero WayForward $19.99 First up we have Shantae: Half-Genie Hero, the fourth title in this popular series of retro-inspired Metroidvania platformers. This time around the series has dropped its traditional pixel art graphics in favor of clean and colorful HD animation. Classic characters and abilities make a return alongside plenty of new additions, including a Relic System that allows you to customize Shantae's moves to fit your play style. You can also find Half-Genie Hero on PS4, Vita, Xbox One, and Wii U. Rise & Shine Super Mega Team $14.99 Another noteworthy release is Rise & Shine, the latest indie game to be released under Adult Swim's publishing division. You play as a boy named Rise, who with the help of his sentient gun Shine, must save the once-peaceful world of Gamearth from an invasion by the bombastic and over budgeted forces of Nexgen. The game blends elements of traditional puzzle-platforming with fast and challenging bullet hell combat across its various game-themed, hand drawn levels. Also available on Xbox One. 8-Bit Invaders Petroglyph $14.99 8-Bit Invaders is the latest stand-alone installment to Petroglyph's ongoing series of RTS games. As with the previous two 8-Bit games, Invaders is heavily inspired by RTS classics like Command & Conquer and features fully destructible voxel environments. The game introduces two new sci-fi races, both of which can be used against the other factions from the previous games. In addition to the 24 mission campaign, 8-Bit Invaders also includes 10 co-op missions, multiplayer, and a new Conquer The Multiverse strategic metagame. Also available on GOG. Reconquest StormCube Games $17.99 Reconquest is another recent RTS that wears its C&C inspirations on its sleeve, though its reception has been far more mixed. Reconquest is set in the aftermath of WWIII, and involves two factions battling for control of Earth's remaining resources. While the game seems promising, its apparently quite rough at the moment, with a fairly limited amount of content and various issues with the UI and core mechanics. It looks like it might be worth checking out after a few more updates, though. HoPiKo Laser Dog $6.99 HoPiKo has been described as a really fast version of the barrel chains in Donkey Kong Country. The game is all about perfectly timing your jumps as you rocket around hundreds of levels at insane speeds. The levels are short and designed to appeal to speed runners looking beat each level in the fastest, most efficient way possible. You can also find HoPiKo on iOS, PS4, and Xbox One. 99Vidas QUByte Interactive $12.99 99Vidas is a 16-bit love letter to classic 2D brawlers from the '80s and '90s. The game currently features 11 playable characters, each with their own unique set of upgradable combos and abilities. There are six full stages and two bonus stages so far, with the promise of more in the future. You can play 99Vidas alone or with up to three friends in both local and online multiplayer. Alien Shooter TD Sigma Team Inc. $9.99 The cult classic Alien Shooter series is back with a tower defense spin-off. Defend you positions against an onslaught of hundreds of alien creatures per level with your squad of elite soldiers. There are seven classes of soldiers in all, each with their own specializations and customizable loadout of weapons. In an interesting twist for the TD genre, each of your "towers" have limited ammo and must be resupplied during combat. You also have a variety of support powers to help fight the alien horde, like mines and drones. Heroine Anthem Zero WindThunder Studio $14.99 Finally we come to Heroine Anthem Zero, the third game in the Heroine Anthem series and the first to get an official English translation. This 2D action RPG is inspired by Norse mythology, but viewed through an anime lens. Character progression is tied more closely to your weapons and gear than your stats, and your weapons also have uses outside of combat when it comes to solving the game's various environmental puzzles. Be aware that this is only the first chapter of the game, with the rest being released episodically in the future. That's all for this week. I'll be back soon with more indie release highlights.
  24. Pictured above: Anomaly 2 Ten dollars doesn't go very far anymore...Unless you hit a Steam sale. During Steam sales, ten dollars can easily get you ten awesome indie games, maybe even more if you dig deep enough through the bargain bin. Here's my list of 10 games you can currently buy for less than the price of a popcorn and soda combo at your local movie theater. Cthulhu Saves the World and Breath of Death VII Double Pack Zeboyd Games $0.95 (Regular $2.99) Cthulhu Saves the World is a classic in the realm of cheap and quirky indie games. This parody RPG is a cheeky throwback to classic JRPGs of the '90s, and can be completed in under 10 hours. As the name implies, Cthulhu Saves the World places you in the slimy boots of everyone's favorite tentacle-faced lord of insanity on a quest to save the world...so he can regain the powers he needs to destroy it. As a bonus, this double pack also includes Breath of Death VII, Zeboyd Games' original parody RPG. Depths of Fear :: Knossos Dirigo Games $0.89 (Regular $5.99) Depths of Fear is an acquired taste. It's clunky, the animations are hilariously janky, the bizarre '80s synth track feels out of place, and the game is overall full of bad design decisions. Yet, even after all those caveats, there is something just so damn charming about it. Depths of Fear is the closest you'll probably ever get to playing in a classic Ray Harryhausen movie, and my inner 10-year-old loves it. For all its faults, Depths of Fear and its developer have a lot of heart, and for that reason I recommend checking it out. Electronic Super Joy Michael Todd Games $0.79 (Regular $7.99) Electronic Super Joy is what you get if you combine Super Meat Boy, an acid trip, and stock moaning sounds from a porno. It's another torture platformer designed for masochists, and while it isn't as polished or as tight as Super Meat Boy, it's trippy visuals and excellent sound track make it worth checking out if you like the genre. It's a shame that the soundtrack and sequel aren't on sale too, but the first game is generally considered to be better anyway. UBERMOSH Walter Machado $0.49 (Regular $4.99) UBERMOSH is an incredibly simple, arcade-style shooter where the only goal is to survive as long as possible to beat your previous high score. There's a few different classes to choose from that alter your play style and number of lives, but UBERMOSH ultimately comes down to using your sword to deflect bullets and hack apart any nearby enemies. It's not a game you'll sit down to play for hours at a time, but it's still a really fun time sink that can be played in short bursts. This particular deal is a bundle that includes the soundtrack, and there is another bundle available that includes all three UBERMOSH games for $1.19. Serious Sam Double D XXL Mommy's Best Games $0.99 (Regular $9.99) I'm sure that most people know about the Serious Sam franchise. This popular FPS series first came out in the early 2000s as a throwback to classic shooters from the '90s, and unlike the games it was inspired by, it's modern iterations have stayed pretty consistent in terms of quality. What you may not have heard of are the various indie games Croteam approved of. Probably the best of those titles is Double D, a side-scrolling shooter who's main gimmick is its ridiculous gun stacking mechanic. Basically, you use these wrench-shaped connectors to attach guns to your guns, because the developers heard you like guns. It's an interesting take on the Serious Sam franchise and worth a few hours of fun at the current sales price. Teslagrad Rain Games $0.99 (Regular $9.99) Teslagrad is a gorgeous 2D Metroidvania puzzle-platformer that, for whatever reason, never caught on the same way that similar indie darlings did. Set in a steampunk vision of early 20th century Europe, you play as a young boy on the run after a tyrannical new regime takes control. Teslagrad's puzzles are all based around electricity and magnetism, and many of them were too complex for my tiny, insignificant brain to comprehend. Complicated puzzles and frustrating boss fights aside, Teslagrad is a beautiful puzzle-platformer with some pretty unique mechanics. Anomaly 2 11 bit studios $1.49 (Regular $14.99) Before they gained massive critical acclaim with This War of Mine, 11 bit studios created the Anomaly series that first popularized the concept of "tower offense" games. Anomaly turned the tower defense genre on its head by placing you in command of a convoy of upgradeable units that you had to safely escort through a death maze full of powerful alien towers. I chose to highlight Anomaly 2 in particular because I think it's the best game in the series, due in large part to the introduction of transformable units. That said, the entire franchise is really good and can be purchased as a bundle for $2.99. Unstoppable Gorg Futuremark $0.99 (Regular $9.99) Another solid tower defense game with interesting mechanics is Unstoppable Gorg. Set in a cheesy 1950s pulp sci-fi world, Unstoppable Gorg tasks you with defending planets from invading aliens by building satellites on orbital rings that surround them. You can only place towers at specific points, but you can rotate each of the orbital rings to reposition your towers on the fly. The game is intentionally designed in a way that prevents you from placing enough towers to defend every possible path the aliens will take, forcing you to really think about tower placement and how you will rotate your orbits to fight new threats. The presentation of Unstoppable Gorg is another huge highlight of the game, with black and white cutscenes featuring live actors in corny costumes and intentionally awful acting and special effects. Not The Robots 2DArray $0.99 (Regular $9.99) Not The Robots is a stealth roguelite where you play as a furniture-eating robot navigating cluttered office rooms full of traps and killer security droids. You have no weapons, so your only choice is to use cover to sneak past enemies and get to the elevator. Complicating matters is your constantly draining battery, and the only way to replenish it is to eat the very furniture you are using as cover. As bizarre as the core gameplay sounds, the story is even more ridiculous and gradually unfolds as you collect journals and data sheets within each room. Ring Runner: Flight of the Sages Triple.B.Titles $0.49 (Regular $4.99) Finally we come to Ring Runner, an awesome top-down space shooter that didn't get nearly as much attention as it deserves. You awake on a mysterious space station only to discover that your brain has been replaced with a neuro-HUD AI named Nero. What ensues is a roughly 30 hour story where you encounter fierce space gladiators, rival scavenger gangs, and aggressive space keyboard salesmen. The campaign starts out really slow, with a tutorial that lasts entirely too long, but eventually opens up and allows you to travel across the galaxy and build your own custom ships from hundreds of different parts. Ring Runner also features a variety of great multiplayer modes, including a MOBA-style one called Space Defense League. The multiplayer is dead these days, as expected of an obscure indie game from nearly 4 years ago, but you can grab a 4-pack for only $1.89 if you want to get a group of friends together to play online. That's all for my list of 10 cool indie games you can grab for $10. The sale continues until Monday, so by the time this article goes live you'll still have almost two full days to grab some of these cheap gems.
  25. Pictured above: Anomaly 2 Ten dollars doesn't go very far anymore...Unless you hit a Steam sale. During Steam sales, ten dollars can easily get you ten awesome indie games, maybe even more if you dig deep enough through the bargain bin. Here's my list of 10 games you can currently buy for less than the price of a popcorn and soda combo at your local movie theater. Cthulhu Saves the World and Breath of Death VII Double Pack Zeboyd Games $0.95 (Regular $2.99) Cthulhu Saves the World is a classic in the realm of cheap and quirky indie games. This parody RPG is a cheeky throwback to classic JRPGs of the '90s, and can be completed in under 10 hours. As the name implies, Cthulhu Saves the World places you in the slimy boots of everyone's favorite tentacle-faced lord of insanity on a quest to save the world...so he can regain the powers he needs to destroy it. As a bonus, this double pack also includes Breath of Death VII, Zeboyd Games' original parody RPG. Depths of Fear :: Knossos Dirigo Games $0.89 (Regular $5.99) Depths of Fear is an acquired taste. It's clunky, the animations are hilariously janky, the bizarre '80s synth track feels out of place, and the game is overall full of bad design decisions. Yet, even after all those caveats, there is something just so damn charming about it. Depths of Fear is the closest you'll probably ever get to playing in a classic Ray Harryhausen movie, and my inner 10-year-old loves it. For all its faults, Depths of Fear and its developer have a lot of heart, and for that reason I recommend checking it out. Electronic Super Joy Michael Todd Games $0.79 (Regular $7.99) Electronic Super Joy is what you get if you combine Super Meat Boy, an acid trip, and stock moaning sounds from a porno. It's another torture platformer designed for masochists, and while it isn't as polished or as tight as Super Meat Boy, it's trippy visuals and excellent sound track make it worth checking out if you like the genre. It's a shame that the soundtrack and sequel aren't on sale too, but the first game is generally considered to be better anyway. UBERMOSH Walter Machado $0.49 (Regular $4.99) UBERMOSH is an incredibly simple, arcade-style shooter where the only goal is to survive as long as possible to beat your previous high score. There's a few different classes to choose from that alter your play style and number of lives, but UBERMOSH ultimately comes down to using your sword to deflect bullets and hack apart any nearby enemies. It's not a game you'll sit down to play for hours at a time, but it's still a really fun time sink that can be played in short bursts. This particular deal is a bundle that includes the soundtrack, and there is another bundle available that includes all three UBERMOSH games for $1.19. Serious Sam Double D XXL Mommy's Best Games $0.99 (Regular $9.99) I'm sure that most people know about the Serious Sam franchise. This popular FPS series first came out in the early 2000s as a throwback to classic shooters from the '90s, and unlike the games it was inspired by, it's modern iterations have stayed pretty consistent in terms of quality. What you may not have heard of are the various indie games Croteam approved of. Probably the best of those titles is Double D, a side-scrolling shooter who's main gimmick is its ridiculous gun stacking mechanic. Basically, you use these wrench-shaped connectors to attach guns to your guns, because the developers heard you like guns. It's an interesting take on the Serious Sam franchise and worth a few hours of fun at the current sales price. Teslagrad Rain Games $0.99 (Regular $9.99) Teslagrad is a gorgeous 2D Metroidvania puzzle-platformer that, for whatever reason, never caught on the same way that similar indie darlings did. Set in a steampunk vision of early 20th century Europe, you play as a young boy on the run after a tyrannical new regime takes control. Teslagrad's puzzles are all based around electricity and magnetism, and many of them were too complex for my tiny, insignificant brain to comprehend. Complicated puzzles and frustrating boss fights aside, Teslagrad is a beautiful puzzle-platformer with some pretty unique mechanics. Anomaly 2 11 bit studios $1.49 (Regular $14.99) Before they gained massive critical acclaim with This War of Mine, 11 bit studios created the Anomaly series that first popularized the concept of "tower offense" games. Anomaly turned the tower defense genre on its head by placing you in command of a convoy of upgradeable units that you had to safely escort through a death maze full of powerful alien towers. I chose to highlight Anomaly 2 in particular because I think it's the best game in the series, due in large part to the introduction of transformable units. That said, the entire franchise is really good and can be purchased as a bundle for $2.99. Unstoppable Gorg Futuremark $0.99 (Regular $9.99) Another solid tower defense game with interesting mechanics is Unstoppable Gorg. Set in a cheesy 1950s pulp sci-fi world, Unstoppable Gorg tasks you with defending planets from invading aliens by building satellites on orbital rings that surround them. You can only place towers at specific points, but you can rotate each of the orbital rings to reposition your towers on the fly. The game is intentionally designed in a way that prevents you from placing enough towers to defend every possible path the aliens will take, forcing you to really think about tower placement and how you will rotate your orbits to fight new threats. The presentation of Unstoppable Gorg is another huge highlight of the game, with black and white cutscenes featuring live actors in corny costumes and intentionally awful acting and special effects. Not The Robots 2DArray $0.99 (Regular $9.99) Not The Robots is a stealth roguelite where you play as a furniture-eating robot navigating cluttered office rooms full of traps and killer security droids. You have no weapons, so your only choice is to use cover to sneak past enemies and get to the elevator. Complicating matters is your constantly draining battery, and the only way to replenish it is to eat the very furniture you are using as cover. As bizarre as the core gameplay sounds, the story is even more ridiculous and gradually unfolds as you collect journals and data sheets within each room. Ring Runner: Flight of the Sages Triple.B.Titles $0.49 (Regular $4.99) Finally we come to Ring Runner, an awesome top-down space shooter that didn't get nearly as much attention as it deserves. You awake on a mysterious space station only to discover that your brain has been replaced with a neuro-HUD AI named Nero. What ensues is a roughly 30 hour story where you encounter fierce space gladiators, rival scavenger gangs, and aggressive space keyboard salesmen. The campaign starts out really slow, with a tutorial that lasts entirely too long, but eventually opens up and allows you to travel across the galaxy and build your own custom ships from hundreds of different parts. Ring Runner also features a variety of great multiplayer modes, including a MOBA-style one called Space Defense League. The multiplayer is dead these days, as expected of an obscure indie game from nearly 4 years ago, but you can grab a 4-pack for only $1.89 if you want to get a group of friends together to play online. That's all for my list of 10 cool indie games you can grab for $10. The sale continues until Monday, so by the time this article goes live you'll still have almost two full days to grab some of these cheap gems.
  26. Pictured above: Filthy Lucre With only a few weeks left in December, this could end up being the last Overlooked Indies for 2016. We had another busy year of indie games, and this article is no exception. As usual, I can't speak for the quality of these games personally, so make sure you do your research before making any purchases. Space Hulk: Deathwing Streum On Studio $39.99 The biggest release of the week is Space Hulk: Deathwing, a new FPS set in the Warhammer 40k universe. Created by the same team that made the cult hit E.Y.E: Divine Cybermancy, Deathwing is focused primarily on 4-player co-op as players don suits of the dreaded Tactical Dreadnought Armor and cleanse space hulks of xenos filth using an arsenal of destructive heavy weaponry. Unfortunately the game seems to have many performance and connectivity issues right now, so you may want to give it a pass for the time being. Deathwing is also on PS4 and Xbox One. Super Dungeon Tactics Underbite Games $19.99 Speaking of PC adaptations of popular tabletop games, Super Dungeon Tactics came out this week as well. This tactical turn-based dungeon crawler is based on the Super Dungeon Explore series of miniature-based board games by Soda Pop Miniatures and Ninja Division. Much like the board game it's based on, Super Dungeon Tactics tasks you with assembling a party of adventurers to complete quests in dangerous dungeons. This one also has some pretty mixed reviews at the moment, so you may want to hold off on purchasing it right away. Indie Game Sim Lost Decade Games, LLC $7.99 Indie Game Sim is a new light management game that combines elements of Game Dev Tycoon and Mario Maker. The game uses a simple built-in editor that allows you to make fairly basic 2D platformers that you then sell on the fictional "Vault" online game store. Use your profits to upgrade your software and potentially make better, more successful titles. The game seems to have some meta commentary elements weaved into the narrative as well. OneShot Team Oneshot $9.99 OneShot is another new game that has jumped on the meta narrative bandwagon popularized by titles like The Stanley Parable and Undertale. You'll guide an adorable little cat-like protagonist through a surreal world full of puzzles and adventure to restore light to a dead world. It's already gained a pretty sizable number of positive reviews on Steam, so it may be worth checking out if you like games based around interacting with the player in unique ways. Her Majesty's SPIFFING Billy Goat Entertainment Ltd $18.99 Her Majesty's SPIFFING is a cheeky point and click adventure game stuffed full of British wit and humor. Her Majesty has decided that the only way to restore the UK to its former glory is to establish a new intergalactic British Empire. To accomplish this, the HMSS Imperialise space ship is constructed and sent out to explore the depths of space with her crew Captain Frank Lee English and his colleague Aled. Together they'll travel across the galaxy on their mission to claim planets for Queen and Country, all while trying to avoid a horrible death in the depths of space. Drive!Drive!Drive! different cloth $19.99 Drive!Drive!Drive! is a mind-melting new racing game where you race on multiple tracks at once. You directly control one car at a time, with the goal of getting all of your cars to the finish line in first place. An AI controls your other cars, but said AI is intentionally designed to be incompetent, forcing you to regularly swap between your cars to win. Drive!Drive!Drive! promises players a ton of content for the price, with a campaign mode, challenge modes, track editor with Steam Workshop support, four different gameplay modes, and online multiplayer. Just be aware that the game requires a controller to play. Ley Lines Miria Studios Free Ley Lines is a short, free puzzle adventure game created by a small group of students attending the Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy. Master 5 powers based around light, gravity, time manipulation, teleportation, and levitation to solve puzzles and restore the severed ley lines of a ruined planet. Its free and only lasts about an hour from what I've heard, so why not check it out? Hunger Dungeon Buka Game Studio Free-to-Play Finally we come to Hunger Dungeon, a new 2D MOBA-like action game focused on boss raids. Up to six players can battle each other in free-for-all and team deathmatch modes, or they can band together to fight enormous and challenging dragon bosses. The base game is free with a rotating roster of 4 heroes each week. Dropping $12 on the Deluxe Edition upgrade unlocks all 12 characters and a copy of the game's soundtrack. Those aren't the only interesting games that came out this week. Check out these other titles as well: The Little Acre, a point and click adventure game with hand-drawn animations and graphics. Force of Nature, a single player open world sandbox survival game with procedurally generated environments. Filthy Lucre, a top-down stealth game where players cooperate to pull off daring heists. Pocket Kingdom, a 2D puzzle adventure game reminiscent of classic Amiga titles. Sally Face, an episodic 2D psychological horror game about a boy with a prosthetic face and a dark past. Castle Torgeath, a first-person RPG heavily inspired by King's Field. That's all for now. Hopefully everyone reading this will have a happy holiday season full of family and awesome new video games.
  27. Pictured above: Earth's Dawn We might be in the final weeks of 2016, but that has done little to stem the tide of new indie games being released on Steam and GOG. The Dwarves KING Art $39.99 First we have The Dwarves, a tactical RPG that was Kickstarted some time back. Based on the fantasy novel of the same name, The Dwarves features 15 playable heroes total, each with their own set of skills and abilities. The most notable feature that sets the game apart from other tactical RPGs are the massive battles that put your small band of dwarves against hordes of orcs and monsters. Physics play a big part in combat too, with many skills designed to send swaths of enemies flying off cliffs and other hazards. The Dwarves is also on GOG, PS4, and Xbox One, though be aware that the console versions apparently have major performance issues. Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun Mimimi Productions $39.99 Shadow Tactics is a revival of classic top-down, squad-based stealth games like Commandos and Desperados. Much like in those titles, Shadow Tactics tasks you with infiltrating enemy strongholds across feudal Japan with your team of 5 elite specialists. Take on vastly superior numbers of enemy sentries by using traps, distractions, and clever tactics. Shadow Tactics also adds an extra layer of verticality to your sneaking by allowing your ninjas to traverse rooftops. You can grab the game on GOG as well, with a free demo available on both platforms. King Lucas Devilish Games $12.99 King Lucas is a 2.5D retro-inspired metroidvania that can be played alone or in competitive multiplayer. You take on the role of a knight trying to rescue three princesses locked away in a magical castle by their father, King Lucas. The game takes procedural generation to a whole new level, as every time you find a princess the castle unlocks a new region and reconfigures itself. Maize Finish Line Games $19.99 Maize is a quirky new first-person adventure game where you play as a sarcastic Russian teddy bear robot exploring an abandoned farm full of sentient corn. That should tell you all you need to know about the tone of this nonsensical title. Gameplay comes in the form of environmental puzzles and item management, but the primary focus is squarely on the absurd story and characters you'll encounter as you uncover the secrets surrounding the government experiment that accidentally created the living corn people. Maize is on GOG as well. Rad Rodgers: World One Interceptor Entertainment $11.99 Published by 3D Realms, Rad Rodgers is a new Commander Keen game in all but name. You play as Rad, a young boy that finds himself sucked into a video game with his foul-mouthed game console Dusty. Jump and shoot your way through 7 stages full of crude humor and Easter eggs based on classic Apogee/3D Realms titles from the '90s. John St John even makes an appearance voicing several characters throughout the game. Also available on GOG. Earth's Dawn oneoreight $29.99 Earth's Dawn is a 2D shooter/beat 'em up with a fairly striking visual aesthetic and massive boss battles. You control a customizable super soldier fighting to reclaim Earth following an alien invasion. Defeat your enemies using both ranged weapons and combo-driven melee attacks. As you gain experience you'll be able to unlock new abilities from a large skill tree and craft powerful weapons and armor. Earth's Dawn is also on PS4 and Xbox One. Dungeon Souls Lamina Studios $12.99 Finally we come to Dungeon Souls, the obligatory action roguelite for this week's article. As with most games in the genre, you'll explore procedurally generated dungeons full of enemies, challenging boss encounters, and loot to plunder. Dungeon Souls features 10 playable characters in all, each with their own skill trees and unique special abilities. You can also find it on GOG. That's all for now. I'll be back later with more new indie release highlights.
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