Articles

Manage articles

Frank Streva
File Uploa:

Pictured above: Masters of Anima
 
I'm back with another batch of new releases on Steam that you might have missed. This is not a recommendations list, just a highlight of some titles that stood out among Steam's weekly releases. Be sure to check out reviews and videos to find more information on each game.  
 
Super Daryl Deluxe
PC, PS4, Switch
Dan & Gary Games
$19.99

Super Daryl Deluxe is a quirky 2D "RPGvania" brawler that was Kickstarted back in 2014 for a modest $7,861 by 73 backers. You play as Daryl, a friendless loser that has just transferred to Water Falls High School. What started as just an quest to meet new friends quickly turns into a dimension-sprawling adventure through the physics-defying high school and it's monster-infested hallways. Explore the school to meet new people and find hidden areas with rare items. Customize your play style with a skill tree that includes over 40 abilities that you can learn over the course of the game. The developers estimate that Super Daryl Deluxe will keep you busy for around 15 hours.  
 
Masters of Anima
PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One
Passtech Games
$19.99

Masters of Anima is a new Pikmin-like strategy RPG by the developers of the Space Run series. You are an apprentice wizard able to control the powers of Anima, giving you the ability to summon and lead armies of up to 100 Guardians. There are several classes of Guardians that fulfill different roles in and out of combat, including puzzles and using your minions to navigate harsh environments. Hone your strategy skills on your quest to defeat Zahr and his army of magical Golem constructs.  
 
Deployment
PC
Whale Rock Games
$12.99

Deployment is a competitive, class-based top-down shooter by the developers of an obscure little tactical RPG called We Are The Dwarves. Civilization was nearly annihilated by a new world war. Advanced computer networks have kept everything running, but there is a constant cyber war waging between megacorporations and rival governments over control of the virtual world. Face off against your enemies as an Infosoldier, an AI program capable of capturing key systems and setting up turrets to fend off attacks. There's five classes in all, each with a different selection of weapons and perks that you can unlock while playing. Deployment is mostly focused on multiplayer, but there are AI skirmishes you can play if you can't find an opponent.
 
Friday the 13th: Killer Puzzle
PC, iOS, Android
Blue Wizard Digital
Free-to-play

Blue Wizard Digital is an indie company comprised of ex-PopCap developers that created a unique puzzle game called Slayaway Camp back in 2016. Inspired by classic slasher flicks like Friday the 13th, Slayaway Camp placed you in control of a homicidal maniac trying to navigate sliding puzzle-like levels to kill groups of annoying, oversexed teenagers. For their follow-up, Blue Wizard managed to actually acquire the Friday the 13th license that the original game was inspired by. Killer Puzzle includes over 100 levels and follows the same gameplay conventions as Slayaway Camp. The levels are divided into 12 episodes, the first eight of which are completely free. Additional chapters will cost you $2.99 each, and you can help support the developers further by purchasing character skins for $.99 a pop.
 
Vandals
PC, iOS, Android
Cosmografik, Novelab, Ex Nihilo
$4.99

Vandals is another puzzle game that recently hit Steam and mobile devices. The game features mechanics similar to Lara Croft and Hitman GO, where you stealthily move past guards on a series of predefined lines. However, instead of trying to take out enemies like in those games, your objective is to leave graffiti on specific walls and surfaces while avoiding detection by police. Vandals features 60 puzzles across five cities, and comes with a level editor to make new challenges.     
 
Heckpoint
PC
Nodacoy Games, Jadan Bliss
$9.99

Heckpoint is a chaotic side-scrolling roguelite shooter with fully destructible levels. Shoot, slash, and explode your way through eight procedurally generated worlds as one of 12 customizable characters. Collect genetic material from your enemies to permanently upgrade your character with over 70 perks, weapons, and abilities. Use melee weapons to deflect lasers, rockets, and grenades back at your enemies. Heckpoint has three difficulty settings to challenge players of all skill levels, plus an endless mode.                   
 
Germination
PC
Sullivan Boyd, Caden Petersen
$3.99

Finally, we come to Germination, another simple-yet-challenging indie platformer. You play as an astronaut stranded on an alien world that must survive against waves of carnivorous plants by jumping on their heads. Chain together combos to stay airborne as long as possible as more seeds rain down from the sky. Germination has both a campaign mode and an endless mode designed to pad out your high scores.  
 
Which of these games caught your attention?   
Frank Streva
File Uploa:

Pictured above: Dead In Vinland
 
Last week was too light on releases to warrant an article, but now I'm back with another batch of new indie and AA releases that you may have missed. I'm not here to personally recommend any of these games, just to highlight some titles that stood out among the many releases that hit Steam on a weekly basis. Be sure to check out reviews and videos to find more information on each game.  
 
PWND
PC
Skydance Interactive
Free-To-Play

PWND is a class-based arena shooter focused on fast, vertical combat that recently exited Early Access. Created by former developers from Treyarch, PWND's key mechanic is also where it gets its namesake from: humiliating your fresh kills. To score the maximum amount of points, you'll need to successfully perform a victory dance on your disabled foes as they slowly bleed out. You are completely defenseless while performing your victory dance, so a big part of PWND's teamplay comes from defending players that are performing PWNs, or trying to interrupt an enemy's PWN to save your teammate from humiliation. PWND's business model is based around acquiring new outfits and other cosmetic items to customize your character's appearance.     
 
Minit
PC, PS4, Xbox One
JW, Kitty, Jukio, Dom
$9.99

Minit is a new adventure game developed as a collaboration effort between four famous indie devs, and published by Devolver Digital. This minimalist adventure game is loosely inspired by the older Zelda titles, especially the time aspects of Majora's Mask. You explore the game world in 60 second chunks, finding new areas, foes, and secrets during each interval. The goal is eventually break the unfortunate curse that causes each day to last only one minute at a time.      
 
Loyalty and Blood: Viktor Origins
PC
Shorebound Studios
$9.99

Loyalty and Blood is the prequel to Viktor, a side-scrolling shooter that originally released back in 2014. The prequel is set several years before the original, and follows the origin story of Viktor as he climbs through the ranks of The Legion. The phase shift mechanic returns, allowing you to quickly dodge through enemies and projectiles alike. Unlock an arsenal of 40 upgradable weapons across 90 missions, bounty hunter challenge levels, and a New Game+ mode.
 
The Adventure Pals
PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One
Massive Monster
$14.99

The Adventure Pals is a colorful and quirky 2D platformer with light RPG elements. Your birthday bash is ruined when the maniacal Mr. B dad-naps your father as part of his devious plan to turn old people into an army of hotdogs. Join your pal Sparkles the Giraffe on an adventure through five themed worlds full of traps, enemies, and treasure. Level up by defeating enemies to improve your abilities and learn new skills. The Adventure Pals can be played alone or with a friend via local co-op.
 
Dead In Vinland
PC
CCCP
$19.99

Dead In Vinland is a survival management game with RPG-style character progression and turn-based battles. Eirik and his family are the only known survivors of a Viking expedition to an unknown land, and have found themselves stranded on a mysterious island. Manage the physical and mental health of your family, build up your camp, explore the island, and interact with other people stranded on the island. Eventually you'll find yourself controlling a full community of survivors, each with their own character quirks and personalities that can cause tensions within the group. Dead In Vinland promises a massive story with over 150,000 words of dialog and branching paths, as well as three difficulty settings designed to cater to gamers of all skill types.    
 
Tower of Time
PC
Event Horizon
$24.99

Finally we come to Tower of Time, a party-based tactical dungeon crawler RPG that just released from Early Access. Create a party from seven flexible character classes and embark on a journey to explore the Tower of Time, a mysterious structure that blends magic and ancient technology to create a world where the normal laws of physics no longer apply. Use the game's "Arrow Time" mechanic to slow time to a crawl so you can react to new threats and queue up orders to your party, and manipulate the bizarre gravity of the Tower to perform superhuman feats of strength and agility. In another interesting twist for the genre, many of the game's spells and abilities can be "drawn" through a gesture-based system to place effects exactly how you want them. Tower of Time touts over 50 hours of content, with five difficulty settings, branching paths, and an alignment system for additional replayability.        
 
Which of these games caught your attention?        
Frank Streva
File Uploa:

Pictured above: Golem Gates
 
Last week was too light on releases to warrant an article, but now I'm back with another batch of new indie and AA releases that you may have missed. I'm not here to personally recommend any of these games, just to highlight some titles that stood out among the many releases that hit Steam on a weekly basis. Be sure to check out reviews and videos to find out more information on each game.  
 
AirMech Strike
PC, Xbox One, PS4
Carbon Games
Free-to-Play

AirMech has been around since early 2012 on various platforms, with Strike being a complete overhaul and rebranding of the PC version that recently exited Early Access. For those of you that have somehow avoided the game up to this point, AirMech is a MOBA/RTS hybrid heavily inspired by the classic Genesis game Herzog Zwei, which many people cite as being one of the first real RTS games. Players directly control transformable mechs as they construct and escort waves of units to the enemy base. Strike is purely a competitive game at this point, with the old PVE modes being expanded into a companion game called Wasteland. The business model is based around buying experience and cash boosters, as well as skins and other cosmetic items. You can find AirMech under the name AirMech Arena on the PS4 and Xbox One.
 
Ash of Gods: Redemption
PC
AurumDust
$24.99

Ash of Gods: Redemption is a turn-based tactics RPG that has drawn many comparisons to The Banner Saga due to its art direction and combat mechanics. The story revolves around three key protagonists that have been swept up in a war following the return of an ancient enemy threatening the peace and prosperity of Terminum. One of the game's main hooks is that the death of main characters doesn't result in the end of the story. Even the three protagonists can die and the game will continue on, taking their deaths and your choices into account. The turn-based battles also have an element of CCGs and deckbuilding in the form of a limited supply of enhancement cards that you'll gain throughout your journey. Ash of Gods is currently only on the PC, but it will supposedly be making its way to consoles at some point in the future.             
 
Scalpers: Turtle & the Moonshine Gang
PC
A Sweet Studio
$9.99

Scalpers is a boss rush twin-stick shooter set in a lawless Wild West world of anthropomorphic animals. Up to four friends can form a posse in local or online multiplayer to take down wanted outlaws and their gang of miscreants. Spend your hard-earned bounty on new weapons, gear, and abilities between missions to take on even greater challenges. Scalpers also has a competitive mode that supports up to eight players.  
 
Empires Apart
PC
DESTINYbit
$29.99

Empires Apart is a civilization-building RTS set in the Middle Ages with a vibrant, low-poly art style. Take control of the Aztecs, Chinese, French, Mongols, Arabs, or Byzantines on procedurally generated maps that support up to eight players in AI skirmish or online multiplayer. Additionally, you can hone your skills in a set of six challenges for each civilization, or last as long as you can against an AI horde in the Survival Mode. Be aware that opinions are pretty mixed regarding Empires Apart, with the most common complaint being a lack of depth and content compared to the classic RTS games it's trying to emulate.            
 
Golem Gates
PC
Laser Guided Games
$29.99

Gamers still sad about the closure of the RTS/CCG hybrid Battleforge might want to check out Golem Gates. Golem Gates features over 100 cards representing creatures, spells, upgrades, and structures. These decks of cards are used to summon units and activate abilities in the game's fast and competitive RTS battles. The primary game mode is a variant of King of the Hill, where you'll need to use your army to capture and hold strategic locations to gather points. Unfortunately, Golem Gates' lack of coverage has resulted in the game's online multiplayer being dead on arrival, though the game also features a campaign, AI skirmishes, challenges, and a survival mode.    
 
Through the Ages
PC, Android, iOS
CGE Digital
$15.99

Vlaada Chváti's popular civilization-building board game, Through the Ages, has just received a digital adaptation on PC and mobile. Build your small tribe into a thriving superpower by gathering resources, researching groundbreaking technological advancements, and amassing a powerful army. While this digital version is focused on multiplayer with your friends, Through the Ages still includes a variety of single player challenges and AI options.
 
Flash Point: Fire Rescue
PC, Android, iOS
RetroEpic Software
$19.99

Finally we come to Flash Point, another board game that received a digital adaptation this week. In this turn-based strategy game, you'll coordinate a team of first responders trying to find and rescue civilians trapped inside a burning building. Use your team of specialists to fight back the flames, treat survivors, break through walls and locked doors, and escape before the fire becomes out of control. You can control your team by yourself or enlist the aid of your friends and family in local co-op.
 
Which of these games caught your attention?
Frank Streva
File Uploa:

Pictured above: Azure Saga: Pathfinder
 
I'm back with another batch of new indie and AA releases that you might have missed. I'm not here to personally recommend any of these games, just highlight some titles that stood out among the many releases that hit Steam on a weekly basis. Be sure to check out reviews and videos to find more information on each game.   
 
Ghost of a Tale
PC, PS4 (Release Date TBA), Xbox One (Xbox Game Preview)
SeithCG
$24.99

The stealth RPG Ghost of a Tale was originally funded on Indiegogo back in 2013, and its finally complete after four years in Early Access. You play as Tilo, a tiny mouse in a very dangerous Redwall-inspired medieval fantasy world. Explore the massive Dwindling Heights Keep on your quest to find your friend Merra. Tilo's combat prowess is extremely limited due to his small stature and inexperience, meaning that most of your adventure will be spent sneaking through the shadows or using disguises to outwit your enemies. The PC version of Ghost of a Tale is the only one that is currently finished. It's on Xbox One as part of the Xbox Game Preview program, but the final version (as well as a PS4 port) won't be out until sometime later this year.
 
Soulblight
PC
My Next Games
$14.99

Soulblight is a top-down action rogue-lite that promises to offer players unforgiving combat, a grim setting, and a unique approach to leveling that emphasizes role playing. Your primary way of gaining strength is through the Taint mechanic. These Taints represent personality traits your character can develop throughout the game, and will give you bonuses and penalties for playing specific ways. You'll become increasingly more powerful as you acquire new Taints, but your character will gradually descend into madness until they reach a point of no return. As with most games in the genre, death is permanent, and each run features procedurally generated levels and loot.
 
Synthetik
PC
Flow Fire Games
$14.99

Speaking of top-down action rogue-lites, Synthetik is another new game in the genre that released earlier this week. After years of servitude, the AI servants developed by the robotics company Kaida Corporation have gone rogue. You play as a prototype android with a human consciousness, and represent the final line of defense against the robot apocalypse. Despite the top-down perspective, Synthetik features a lot of mechanics you'd expect to see in a first or third-person shooter, including headshots and limb damage, recoil control, and an active reload system similar to the one used in Gears of War. The game supports drop-in, drop-out online co-op as well.   
 
Surviving Mars
PC, PS4, Xbox One
Haemimont Games
$39.99

Surviving Mars is the latest game by the developers of the Tropico series. The goal of this sci-fi city builder is to establish a thriving colony on Mars. This won't be an easy task, and as the name implies, you'll have to overcome a plethora of problems related to the Red Planet's harsh environment. Build a colony from scratch with the support of one of the game's space agencies, then gradually increase your city's self-reliance by growing food, producing oxygen, and developing new technologies to help make everyday life easier on a hostile alien world.
 
Q.U.B.E. 2
PC, PS4, Xbox One
Toxic Games      
$24.99

Q.U.B.E. 2 is the sequel to a first-person puzzle game that released at the end of 2011. The original may have been written off by many as a "Portal clone," but it still managed to gain a fairly devoted cult following. You play as an archaeologist named Amelia Cross, who has awakened to find herself stranded in a maze-like alien structure with no knowledge of how she got there. Q.U.B.E. is a acronym for Quick Understanding of Block Extrusion, which accurately describes the environment-shifting puzzles you'll encounter throughout your journey. Use your manipulation gloves to move objects and alter your surroundings across 11 levels and over 80 puzzles.   
 
The Council
PC, PS4, Xbox One
Big Bad Wolf
$29.99

The Council is the first installment in an episodic narrative adventure game that hopes to expand upon the Telltale formula in interesting new ways. The game is set in an alternate 1793 and tells a story about secret societies and political intrigue involving historical characters like George Washington and Napoleon Bonaparte. You'll be taking the role of Louis de Richet, a member of a secret society that has been invited to a meeting on a private island off the coast of England. Louis de Richet's real goal is to uncover the truth behind the sudden disappearance of his mother, a member of the same group that recently went missing on the island. Gameplay involves scheming and manipulating your way through noncombat confrontations with other characters in order to gather information and garner political influence. There are no game-ending failure states in The Council, though a wrong move can result in losing favor or physical disfigurement. The $30 price tag grants you access to the other four episodes as they come out.
 
Spellsworn
PC
Frogsong Studios AB
Free to Play

Spellsworn is a top-down, skill-based arena combat game heavily inspired by Warlock, a classic Warcraft III mod. Face off against other players in fast paced, best-of-five matches in either duel or team battle formats. Currency earned during battle can be spent between rounds to customize your character with an arsenal of offensive and defensive spells. Each of the game's arenas are full of hazards like acid or lava, and the maps constantly shift and change throughout the match. The game's monetization scheme is similar to Battlerite and other recent competitive multiplayer games, with purchasable loot chests that contain cosmetic items to customize your character.        
 
Azure Saga: Pathfinder
PC
MassHive Media
$12.99

Finally we come to Azure Saga: Pathfinder, a 2.5D game inspired by old school JRPGs. In the far future, the last remnants of humanity have been scattered across the universe in search of Azure, a lush and resource-rich planet said to be the last hope for the survival of the human race. Travel across the galaxy as Synch, a young scientist searching for his father that eventually gets wrapped up in the quest to find Azure and restore humanity's former glory. Exploration takes place in an isometric view complete with puzzles, mini-games, dungeons, and town hubs. Combat involves random encounters that play out like a traditional party-based JRPG, with powerful United skills that allow your characters to unleash combination attacks.
 
Which of these games caught your attention?      
Frank Streva
File Uploa:

Pictured above: Guns, Gore, and Cannoli 2
 
After a bit of a hiatus due to technical issues, I'm back with another batch of new indie releases. As always, I'm not here to personally recommend any of these games; I'm just highlighting some recent releases that you may have missed. Remember to check out reviews and videos to find more information on each game. 
 
Northgard
Shiro Games
$29.99

First on the list this week is Northgard, a real-time, Norse-inspired 4X that gained a sizable following last year when it hit Early Access. In addition to the randomized maps that the game originally launched with, this final version features an 11 chapter campaign mode that will help you master the playstyle of all six of the game's clans. While the game is technically an RTS, Northgard's pace is closer to what you'd expect from Civilization, with most of the game's emphasis placed on expanding your settlement, exploring a mysterious new land, and gradually working your way towards one of four potential victory conditions. Northgard is also available on the Humble Store.     
 
Guns, Gore, and Cannoli 2
Crazy Monkey Studios
$12.99

Guns, Gore, and Cannoli 2 is, unsurprisingly, the sequel to Guns, Gore, and Cannoli, a comedic 2D shooter that released back in 2015. While the original was about shooting zombies and rival Italian gangsters in Prohibition era America, the sequel brings protagonist Vinnie Cannoli to the battlefields of war-torn Europe to kick some Nazi ass. Besides the setting change, Guns, Gore, and Cannoli 2 features a significant overhaul of the core gameplay, including new dodging and melee mechanics. Play by yourself or bring along up to three friends in online and local co-op. Both titles are also on the PS4 and Xbox One.
 
Dark Quest 2
Brain Seal
$7.99

Another recent sequel to a modestly successful indie game from 2015 is Dark Quest 2. As with the original, Dark Quest 2 is a turn-based dungeon crawler heavily inspired by the classic Games Workshop adventure board game, HeroQuest. Besides the graphical upgrade, Dark Quest 2's main improvements are new character classes and the addition of online co-op.       
 
CHUCHEL
Amanita Design
$9.99

CHUCHEL is the latest adorable adventure game from the creators of Machinarium, Samorost, and Botanicula. Guide the titular Chuchel through a variety of puzzles on his race to beat his rival, Kekel. As with all of Amanita's games, the plot is an excuse to explore a whimsical world full of charming music and comedic visual gags. You can also find CHUCHEL on GOG and the Humble Store.
 
Way of the Passive Fist
Household Games Inc.
$14.99

In addition to being a puntastic name, Way of the Passive Fist also describes this 2D arcade brawler's gameplay. Instead of trying to overpower your enemies with a barrage of punches, kicks, and throws like in most brawlers, Way of the Passive Fist is about tiring your opponents and dispatching them once they run out of steam. Parry, block, deflect, and dodge enemy attacks to drain their stamina and outlast them before launching a well-timed counterattack. Way of the Passive Fist is also on the Humble Store, PS4, and Xbox One.
 
Crest
Eat Create Sleep
$9.99

Crest is an "indirect god game" set in a low-poly world inspired by prehistoric Africa. This sandbox-style god sim allows you to build your own religion as a primordial god by issuing pictographic commandments to your followers. The indirect part of the game's pitch comes from the fact that there is no set way that your followers will interpret your will, and each commandment might lead to unexpected consequences. Unlock new pictures as your tribe progresses, allowing you to issue increasingly complex commandments.
 
My Lovely Daughter
GameChanger Studio
$14.99

Finally we come to My Lovely Daughter, a rather twisted and disturbing mix of visual novel and alchemist simulator. You play as a grieving father that begins exploring alchemy to find a way to resurrect his recently deceased daughter. Use forbidden texts to create and raise a small army of homunculi to help you with your experiments. As your relationship with your homunculi servants grows and they become better at their daily tasks, you'll have to decide which ones to ritualistically sacrifice so you can harvest their souls to fuel your efforts to bring your daughter back from the void.
 
Which of these games caught your attention?             
Frank Streva
File Uploa:

Pictured above: Worshippers
 
As I mentioned in my previous release highlights article, last week was full of new games worthy of your attention. Here's five additional games that didn't make the original article.  
 
Pit People
The Behemoth
$14.99

After around a year in Early Access, the latest game by the developers of Castle Crashers and BattleBlock Theater has been released. Pit People takes The Behemoth's signature aesthetic and quirky humor to a post-apocalyptic world after a giant magical space bear has collided with the planet. This turn-based strategy game streamlines and simplifies the experience by not allowing you to directly control your units' actions. That might sound infuriating, but the game's mechanics are based around manipulating your units in ways that influence their actions. Multiplayer plays a fairly large role in the game, including the ability to play the entire campaign cooperatively and 2v2 arena matches. You can also find Pit People on Xbox One. 
 
Battlezone: Combat Commander
Big Boat Interactive
$19.99

The original Battlezone was remastered back in 2016, and now its Battlezone 2's turn with Battlezone: Combat Commander. This rerelease keeps the core gameplay and story of this classic FPS/RTS hybrid intact, but features updated visuals, improved AI, restored online multiplayer with competitive and cooperative modes, and full Steam Workshop support. You can also find both remasters on the Humble Store and GOG.     
 
Mulaka
Lienzo
$19.99

Mulaka is a 3D adventure game inspired by the folklore of the Tarahumara tribe of northern Mexico. Cleanse your native land of a mysterious corruption as a Sukurúame, a traditional Tarahumara shaman and spiritual leader. Explore a colorful, low-poly world based on a mixture of real Mexican landscapes and the tribe's ancient mythology. Use shamanistic magic to transform into animal deities to fight enemies, solve puzzles, and traverse the environment. Mulaka is also available on the Humble Store, PS4, Switch, and Xbox One. 
 
Vagante
Nuke Nine
$14.99

Vagante is a 2D action roguelite platformer that exited Early Access a few weeks back. Explore a procedurally generated cave network packed with monsters, traps, and magical artifacts waiting to be recovered. You can play the entire game alone or with up to three friends in both local and online co-op. Vagante is also on the Humble Store.
 
Heroes of Hammerwatch
Crackshell
$11.99

Another recent roguelite action-adventure to hit Steam is Heroes of Hammerwatch, the sequel to 2013's Hammerwatch. Like Vagante, Heroes of Hammerwatch allows you and up to three friends to battle your way through procedurally generated dungeons in search of enchanted items and other loot. Spend your newly-acquired wealth on improvements to the town center to give your party various buffs for future expeditions. Heroes of Hammerwatch is also available on the Humble Store and GOG.     
 
Worshippers
Brainwashing Games
$9.99

Finally we come to Worshippers, a 4X-lite inspired by popular strategy board games. Control a small tribe of warriors in a low-magic fantasy world based on Slavic folklore as you attempt to expand your god's influence and convert new worshippers to your religion. Your units and upgrades come in the form of cards that you'll collect during each session, adding an element of deckbuilding to every scenario. Worshippers is designed with quick sessions in mind, with the average scenario only taking about half an hour to complete.     
 
Which of these games caught your attention?
Frank Streva
File Uploa:

Pictured above: Space Tyrant
 
This week has easily been the most busy week so far this year in terms of new indie releases, and its only Thursday. Some of these games are titles I've personally been very excited to get my hands on, though I can only truly recommend one of them so far. As with all of these articles, don't take this as a buyer's guide. Make sure you check out videos and reviews to learn more about each game.   
 
Into the Breach
Subset Games
$14.99

First up this week is Into the Breach, the latest game from the developers of FTL and the only game on this list that I can personally vouch for right now. Like their previous game, Into the Beach is a roguelite with some pretty solid pixel art, but that's where the similarities end. Earth has been ravaged by an invasion of gigantic, bug-like creatures called the Vek. You control a squad of mechs that have been sent back in time to defend Earth during the early stages of the invasion. Fight waves of Vek in a campaign full of short, procedurally generated missions with multiple secondary objectives. The turn-based battles play out more like a puzzle game, where positioning is key and many of your attacks have secondary effects based around moving enemies. Into the Breach is also on GOG and the Humble Store.      
 
Hellmut: The Badass from Hell
Volcanicc
$14.99

Hellmut is a top-down roguelite shooter I've been keeping my eye on, but haven't personally had a chance to play yet. You play as a mad scientist that unleashed a horde of demons in exchange for immortality. The demons granted your wish, but then ate your body, leaving only your floating brain behind. Get revenge on these otherworldly horrors by blowing them apart with an arsenal of absurd weapons and shape-shifting abilities. Each Transformation gives you a different special ability, and swapping between them to counter specific enemies is one of the core principles of the game's combat. You can also find Hellmut on GOG and the Humble Store, with a console port apparently coming sometime later this year.           
 
Vicious Attack Llama Apocalypse
RogueCode (PTY) LTD
$14.99

Vicious Attack Llama Apocalypse is another top-down twin-stick roguelite shooter that released this week, and despite the obvious meme name and premise, it looks like it might have some promise. A global conspiracy has resulted in millions of weaponized attack llamas being unleashed upon an unsuspecting world. Fight back the hordes with a customizable, remotely-piloted mech bristling with guns and gadgets. The game features co-op for up to four players, but its limited to local only. VALA is currently only on Steam, but it will be heading to Xbox One in a few weeks. 
 
Never Stop Sneakin'
Humble Hearts LLC
$11.99

Never Stop Sneakin' is the latest game by the developer of Dust: An Elysian Tail. This top-down arcade parody of the original Metal Gear Solid has you playing as an elite operative for the Department of Sneakin', the world's best stealth and counterintelligence agency. Infiltrate procedurally generated military bases on your mission to stop Amadeus Guildenstern, a time-traveling super villain that has kidnapped all the U.S. Presidents. Never Stop Sneakin' is also on the Switch.           
 
Where the Water Tastes Like Wine
Dim Bulb Games, Serenity Forge
$19.99

Where the Water Tastes Like Wine is a narrative adventure game about traveling across a highly stylized version of the Depression era continental US. Hitchhike from coast-to-coast gathering stories, each of which are written by a wide selection of established authors. Trade stories with your fellow travelers as currency to gather new tales. Where the Water Tastes Like Wine is also on GOG and the Humble Store.     
 
Space Tyrant
Blue Wizard Digital
$19.99

Space Tyrant is a 4X-lite developed by a team of former PopCap developers. Conquer and terrorize the galaxy as the cartoonishly evil warlord of one of three alien races. Space Tyrant's gimmick is that it has simplified and streamlined the basic 4X gameplay loop into an easy-to-learn package that is suitable for quick play sessions and binge gaming alike. There's no diplomatic or cultural victories in the game, and support cards replace the complex research and tech trees in most 4X games. Amass an armada, subjugate weaker races, and get eaten by giant space sharks over the course of your average lunch break.     
 
Deep Rock Galactic
Ghost Ship Games
$24.99

I'm going to round out today's article with a pair of promising Early Access games. Deep Rock Galactic is a co-op shooter where four players control a squad of space dwarves mining procedurally generated underground caverns for precious metals and gems. Each player takes on a unique role to help the team, like the defensive Engineer, or the Scout that leads the way and gathers information on upcoming areas. Environments are fully destructible, with the Driller class being built around carving paths through rock walls. Deep Rock Galactic is still pretty early in development, so be aware that there isn't a ton of content in the game just yet. It's also on the Xbox Preview service and the Humble Store.
 
Ion Maiden
Voidpoint, LLC
$19.99

Finally we come to Ion Maiden, an old school-inspired shooter published by 3D Realms. What sets Ion Maiden apart from the numerous other '90s-style nostalgia shooters is that it's actually made in an updated version of the Build engine that spawned Duke Nukem 3D, Blood, and Shadow Warrior. This results in a game that nails the look and feel of a classic shooter, but takes advantage of new advances in technology with larger, more complex levels and higher resolutions. Like Deep Rock Galactic, Ion Maiden is still early in development, so don't expect much more than a tech demo at this point.       
 
There's still plenty of releases I haven't got to yet, so I'll be back soon. Which of these games are you excited about?
 
 
 
Frank Streva
File Uploa:

Pictured above: Abandon Ship
 
This week wasn't nearly as busy as the last few, but I still managed to find some interesting games to highlight, including a few Early Access titles. As always, I'm not here to personally recommend any of these games; I'm just highlighting some recent releases that you may have missed. Remember to check out reviews and videos to find more information on each game. 
 
Usurper
Steve Gal
$9.99

Usurper is a 2D Metroidvania, and the standalone sequel to the developer's previous game, Shrouded in Sanity. Late 19th century London has been invaded by hordes of otherworldly abominations from the mysterious Citadel, and it's your job to lead a team ascending the structure to discover its purpose. The game's combat system revolves around the Guard mechanic. You can regenerate Guard by successfully dodging incoming attacks, which then converts the potential damage into a shield that protects you from future attacks. You can tweak a few settings for extra challenge, including permadeath, one-hit death, or speedrun mode.
 
Orwell: Ignorance is Strength
Osmotic Studios
$9.99

Ignorance is Strength is the second episode in Osmotic's Orwell series of "surveillance thrillers." Much like the previous game, Ignorance is Strength places you in the role of a government agent for the Orwell Program, an intelligence division tasked with using the country's most advanced surveillance technology to spy on "undesirable" members of society. This time around you'll be surveying a group of agitators and conspiracy theorists that are responsible for stirring civil unrest throughout the country and in neighboring nations. Gather information by scouring social media, listening in on private conversations, and hacking into computers and accounts. You can also find both Orwell games on GOG and the Humble Store.    
 
YUMENIKKI -DREAM DIARY-
Kadokawa Corporation, Active Gaming Media
$19.99

-DREAM DIARY- is a complete reimagining of the Japanese RPG Maker cult classic Yume Nikki, which finally came to Steam last month. This new installment remakes the original in a new 3D engine, and includes new gameplay mechanics inspired by more recent indie adventures. Explore six surreal dream worlds and encounter new areas and characters that didn't make it into the original. The user reviews seem fairly divided so far due to the new mechanics and various bugs, so keep that in mind before deciding to purchase -DREAM DIARY-.  
 
Dungreed
Team Horay
$9.99

Dungreed is a 2D dungeon crawling roguelite that takes some obvious inspiration from Rogue Legacy. Explore a constantly shifting dungeon in order to save the town above it from destruction. Permanently increase your stats through training to better prepare you for the dungeon's traps and monsters. Rebuild and improve the town using the resources you find in the dungeon to give you an edge before each adventure.    
 
Them's Fightin' Herds
Mane6, Inc
$14.99

Them's Fightin' Herds was born after the My Little Pony fan game Fighting is Magic received a cease and desist from Hasbro, and it recently hit Early Access after around five years of development. The game features the same basic setup as Fighting is Magic, but with a new cast of more copyright-friendly characters. The game currently features competitive online multiplayer, an arcade mode, and a cooperative PVE mode. An episodic story will be gradually released after the game exits Early Access. Owners of Blazblue Centralfiction, Skullgirls Second Encore, and Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2 will gain access to bonus cosmetic content, with Skullgirls owners also getting a discount on Steam. You can find Them's Fightin' Herds on the Humble Store as well.     
 
Abandon Ship
Fireblade Software
$19.99

Another interesting Early Access game that came out this week is Abandon Ship. Become the captain of a ship and her crew in a fantastical Age of Sail-inspired setting where all the deep sea monsters from a sailor's worst nightmare are real. Explore a procedurally generated ocean full of quests, random events, marauding pirates, and trade vessels to loot and plunder. Death is permanent, but there is always the chance to escape certain doom in a lifeboat or by being swept ashore, giving you another chance to start from scratch. The game is expected to be completely finished in nine months to a year from now, and you can find the game on the Humble Store in addition to Steam.
 
All Walls Must Fall
inbetweengames
$9.99

Finally we come to All Walls Must Fall, a tactical roguelite that just released from Early Access. The game is set in a cyberpunk version of 2089 Berlin where the Cold War never ended. A rogue nuclear strike has shattered the fragile peace between the superpowers, and you are a secret agent that has been sent back in time to discover who is behind the attack and figure out how to prevent it. The game features a blend of real-time and simultaneous turn-based combat, with fully destructible environments that are hand-crafted, but procedurally rearranged each time you play. Experiment by jumping back and forth through a time loop to manipulate the past and future.
 
Which of these games caught your attention?                 
Frank Streva
File Uploa:

Pictured above: Hacktag
 
We had another surprisingly busy week of new indie releases, so many that I'll have to come back in a few days with a bonus article. As always, I'm not here to personally recommend any of these games; I'm just highlighting some recent releases that you may have missed. Remember to check out reviews and videos to find more information on each game. 
 
Octogeddon
All Yes Good
$12.88

Octogeddon is a two-button shoot 'em up made by some of the original developers of Plants vs Zombies. You play as a rampaging octopus bent on punishing humanity for eating his fellow cephalopods. The gameplay involves attaching animal-based weapons to your tentacles, then rotating your octopus to direct your attacks at incoming enemies or blocking projectiles. Buy new weapons during your campaign with coins, then use shells you've collected at the end of your run to unlock new items that can appear in future missions.
 
Crossing Souls
Fourattic
$14.99

Crossing Souls is a retro-inspired adventure game published by Devolver Digital. Set in California in 1986, a group of five friends have their summer turned on its head when they discover a mysterious pink stone that grants them the ability to travel to another realm. They soon find themselves wrapped up in a government conspiracy, and must use their unique skills to fight enemies and solve puzzles. You can also find Crossing Souls on the Humble Store, GOG, and PS4, with a Vita version coming soon.        
 
Swaps and Traps
TeamTrap
$9.99

Swaps and Traps is a puzzle-platformer with a really unique gimmick. Each deathtrap-laden puzzle takes place on a single screen, and the objective is to collect all the keys. The gimmick that makes Swaps and Traps special is that each time you grab a key, a portion of the screen flips in some bizarre way. The level becomes increasingly jumbled as you collect keys, forcing you to relearn its set-up on the fly.
 
DYO
Team DYO
$11.99

DYO takes a similar approach to puzzles as Swaps and Traps, but with a co-op element. Two minotaurs are trapped in different halves of a split screen, and will have to work together to shift the screen around to open up paths for each other. There's 30 labyrinthine levels in all, which the developer says equals out to around four hours of content. The game is designed in such a way that you can technically play it solo by controlling both characters, but it was obviously built with co-op in mind.  
 
Hacktag
Piece of Cake Studios
$19.99

Speaking of co-op games, Hacktag is a stealth game set in a high-tech world of anthropomorphic animals. Players control mercenaries working for different corporations on stealth espionage missions for the highest bidder. One player is a field agent that sneaks around an isometric map, while the other is a hacker that supports them by unlocking doors and infiltrating computer systems. This asymmetric approach extends to the story, where each player gets their own narrative with different NPCs. You can play it alone like with DYO, but you'd be missing out on a big part of the experience.                  
 
Dead Maze
Atelier 801
Free-to-play

Dead Maze is a 2D MMO set during a zombie apocalypse. Work together with other players to restore civilization by scavenging for resources, food, and water. Craft hundreds of different items and weapons, including modular player housing. Plant seeds to raise crops and breed livestock to build your own little self-sufficient oasis in a dangerous world.
 
Fossil Hunters
Reptoid Games
$14.99

Create your own dinosaurs in Fossil Hunters, a paleontology-themed puzzle adventure game. Choose one of four fossil hunters and dig through underground levels to find fossil tiles. Connect the tiles together to create complete skeletons and further your scientific research. Join forces with your friends to create the ultimate dinosaur skeleton, or betray them at the last minute and hog all the glory for yourself. You can also find Fossil Hunters on the PS4, Switch, and Xbox One.  
 
Deep Sixed
LRDGames
$12.99

Finally we come to Deep Sixed, a new space exploration roguelite. You are a prisoner unwillingly working off the rest of your sentence as an interstellar cartographer exploring the far reaches of uncharted space. Chart new regions and try to survive the many unknown alien creatures you are bound to encounter on your journey. Manage disasters as parts of your rickety old starship break down through battle damage or old age. These parts will stay broken until you can figure out how to repair them using whatever scraps you can piece together.  
 
Which of these games caught your attention?             
Frank Streva
File Uploa:

The indie developer 10tons Ltd has created dozens of games over the years, but their twin stick shooters are what always gain the most attention. Of these shooters, Neon Chrome and Crimsonland are easily the most well-known. Crimsonland in particular has built up quite the cult following since its initial release in 2003, and subsequent rerelease in 2014. For their latest twin stick shooter, Tesla vs Lovecraft, 10tons has returned to the formula that made them moderately famous in the first place. The result is a game that may be a bit lacking in content compared to their previous titles, but makes up for it with more refined core mechanics.  
The game starts out with Lovecraft interrupting Tesla while he is showing off some of his electrical wonders to the general populace. Lovecraft fears Tesla's technology, and warns that it will upset the natural order. When Tesla fails to heed his warning, Lovecraft uses his arcane tomes to unleash eldritch horrors upon the city of Arkham, destroying Tesla's lab and stealing some of his technology in the process. How summoning ancient gods is any less dangerous than electricity is never fully explained, but ultimately what little exposition the game provides is merely an excuse to use lighting guns and death rays to wipe out hordes of freaky fish people and flying tumors with teeth.   
The game's main campaign presents you with a map of Arkham that contains a little over 30 levels, each of which can be beaten in about two or three minutes, assuming you don't die. Missions really don't have any objective beyond surviving against hundreds of enemies and destroying Cthulhu statues whenever they appear. Much like in most arcade-style shooters, power-ups will randomly drop as you play, and you can increase the frequency of them by killing large groups of enemies at once.   

Power-ups come in four types: Weapons, Abilities, Supplies, and Perks. Weapons are fairly self-explanatory. You start each level with a pitifully underpowered pistol that you'll want to ditch as soon as you can. The game's arsenal ranges from period weapons like revolvers and Tommy Guns, to the wacky pseudoscience that you'd expect from a game about Tesla. There's only nine guns in the game, which is a fairly significant reduction from Crimsonland. The weapon types are also fairly limited, with four of those guns being some form of shotgun, and three of them being assault rifle-style automatics. The only two that can't be described as a shotgun or automatic rifle are the revolver and ball lightning gun, and sadly those are very underwhelming compared to the rest of the choices available to you.
Luckily, your weapons are supplemented with Abilities. These are effectively sub weapons with limited charges, and they are much more varied than the standard weapons. Some examples include stationary Tesla Coil turrets, ethereal disks that ricochet off terrain, a pulse of eldritch fire, and a scattershot of lightning bolts. There's about a dozen of them in all, and they periodically spawn around the map just like any other power-up. They typically have six charges by default, but there are ways to increase that number.  
Supplies are another type of power-up you'll encounter, and they are just consumables that do something once picked up. The most common of them are health packs, shields that give you invulnerability for a few seconds, and experience doublers. Arguably the most useful of them is the nuke, which does exactly what you imagine it does.   
The final type of power-up are the Perks. These function exactly like the perks in Crimsonland, and many of them are even tweaked versions of perks from that game. You fill an experience bar as you kill enemies, and each time you level up you are presented with a choice of two perks. These are passive abilities that give you a small boost. Outside of the bullet ricochet perk, many of them are percentage-based buffs that stack on top of each other. Getting two 20% extra damage perks will give you 40% extra damage total, two extra projectile perks gives you two extra shots per trigger pull, etc. Combining different perks together can have some extremely satisfying results, such as extra projectiles and bullet ricochet with just about any shotgun. There's some epic perks too, and they are always a significant boost.  

Tesla vs Lovecraft plays a lot like Crimsonland, which is why I keep referencing it. It may have a more refined campaign mode and some tweaks here and there, but fans of 10tons' previous cult hit will feel right at home. Two of the most significant tweaks are the personal teleporter and Tesla Mech. The teleporter comes with three charges that gradually regenerate while not in use, and it allows you to quickly blink out of dire situations that would normally result in your untimely demise. The teleporter makes Tesla vs Lovecraft feel faster and more mobile than other 10tons games, which is a big plus in my opinion.     
The Tesla Mech acts like a super mode. Mech parts spawn on the map like any other power-up, and once you've collected six of them, you can press the E key to call down your stompy iron companion. Equipped with dual miniguns and a personal teleporter that causes damage to enemies, the Tesla Mech turns all but the toughest enemies into a fine, gory mist. It's perhaps the most fun part of the entire game, and it lasts just long enough to give you an edge, but not so long that it becomes boring to use.
The game's campaign is divided into three Planes, each of which have around 31 to 33 missions. The Normal Plane is where you start, and mainly acts as a tutorial to prepare you for Ethereal and Eldritch. During the Normal Plane, every level you complete gives you access to new power-ups. Normal took me about two hours to complete, and outside of a handful of levels, it's not especially challenging. Ethereal and Eldritch are remixed versions of the same levels, but feature tougher and more numerous enemies.

This is where Tesla vs Lovecraft's overarching progression system comes in, called Inventions. These are permanent upgrades that are purchased with Ether Crystals, and most of them have multiple tier levels. These Ether Crystals are collected by killing enemies, completing daily quests, and once you get to the Ethereal Plane, they'll spawn during levels. Most of the Inventions are quite expensive, and you'll probably only be able to afford one or two by the time you complete Normal. Inventions include increasing the duration of the Tesla Mech, giving you more teleport charges, higher chance of epic perk drops, etc. They might be fairly minor individually, but really add up after a while. Trust me, you will need all the help you can get by the time you reach Eldritch.
The Ethereal and Eldritch Planes are the source of most of my complaints about Tesla vs Lovecraft, and based on the Steam forums, I'm not alone here. Simply put, the second two planes rely way too much on lucky power-ups to get anywhere. You don't realize just how pathetic the pistol is until you hit Ethereal and face significantly tougher enemies. You start each level inside your mech, but enemy spawns are fairly sporadic until after you leave it. Then it's a mad dash to the nearest weapon pick up and a lot of praying that some decent power-ups follow soon after. Even with the teleporter, it can be hard to kite enemies effectively because they tend to spawn all over the place. Many levels are also packed with dead ends and choke points. The Docks in particular get complained about a lot on the forums, even after several patches that tweaked the level.
On the bright side, the developers are very receptive to feedback and have been releasing new patches on a weekly basis since release. One example of this was a patch last week that honestly broke the game for me. They decided that the ability to adjust camera distance made the game too easy and less fun, so they removed it. The problem is that the default camera is pulled in way too close. You have very little time to react to enemy hordes, and you'll frequently get ambushed by enemies you didn't see coming. The low FOV personally made me feel physically ill as well. I brought this up in the forums and the developer chatted with me and some other players over it. After just a few days, they reversed this decision and brought back the adjustable camera. These are the signs of a developer that truly cares about their game and audience, and it makes me confident that the issues Tesla vs Lovecraft have will eventually be fixed.

Tesla vs Lovecraft isn't a massive leap forward in the realm of twin stick shooters, but it is a solid game that succeeds at what it sets out to do. There's a few underwhelming weapons and abilities, but most of them are fun to use, and the Tesla Mech is a magnificent power fantasy that doesn't overstay its welcome. In many ways, it's an improvement over Crimsonland. The introduction of the personal teleporter makes the game feel faster, and it gives you more options in combat. There are actual levels with terrain and scenery in them, and the enemies are far more visually interesting and coherent than Crimsonland's random collection of lizard people and spiders.
Besides the harsh difficulty spikes and occasionally poorly designed level in Ethereal and Eldritch, the only other real complaints I have about Tesla vs Lovecraft are the lack of weapon variety and the unpleasant grind that is upgrading your Inventions. With a bit more content and some tweaks here and there, I can see Tesla vs Lovecraft being a twin stick shooter I return to every now and then for a few rounds of the endless survival mode. It's well worth checking out if you are a fan of the genre, especially if you've liked 10tons' games in the past. You can currently find it on Steam for $14.99.                      
Frank Streva
File Uploa:

Pictured above: Break Arts II
 
We had another surprisingly busy week of new indie releases, so much so that I may have to come back in a few days with a bonus article. I'm not here to personally recommend any of these games, just highlight some recent releases that you may have missed. Remember to check out reviews and videos to find more information about each game. 
 
Treasure Adventure World
Robit Games
$9.99

Treasure Adventure World is a complete HD remake of an old freeware game called Treasure Adventure Game that was released in 2011. Join Peep, his talking parrot Whydah, and their magical vessel The Glooskap on an exotic adventure through 16 tropical islands full of puzzles and treasure in this colorful 2D Metroidvania. This overhaul is so dramatic that Treasure Adventure World is barely the same game anymore, and features new hand-drawn HD graphics, more levels, enemies, and bosses, an expanded story, and a completely new game engine. You can also buy it on GOG and the Humble Store.
 
Wartile
Playwood Project
$19.99

Wartile is a turn-based strategy game that recently released from Early Access that is designed to emulate campaign-driven tabletop miniature games. Create your warband of Viking miniatures and fight across tile-based battlefields inspired by Norse mythology. In addition to the miniatures, you'll also be collecting and customizing a deck of battle cards that can improve your warriors and hinder your enemies. Wartile is also available on the Humble Store.  
 
Remnants of Naezith
Tolga Ay
$9.99

Remnants of Naezith is a fast-paced grappling hook precision platformer built with speedrunners in mind. Swing your way through 80 branching levels as Kayra, a human that has been enhanced by the abilities of Naezith, an ancient thunder dragon that had his body shattered into fragments that were spread across the world. The game's physics engine is based around momentum, with well-timed swings allowing you to build up immense amounts of speed. Compete with other players in the global speedrun rankings, race player ghosts, and create and share custom levels with the game's built-in editor.
 
Break Arts II
MercuryStudio
$14.99

Break Arts II is a high-speed, mecha-based combat racing game that recently made its way to Steam courtesy of Playism. Originally released on iOS, this version includes improved graphics, new content, and a reworked control scheme. The biggest new addition is the greatly expanded mecha customization, to the point that building your mech arguably eclipses the actual racing. You can make pretty much anything you want, and this customization extends to animations and weapon designs. I've read that the actual combat racing is a bit underwhelming though, so keep that in mind before buying.
 
Aegis Defenders
GUTS Development
$19.99

Aegis Defenders is a game I recently became aware of after getting a coupon code for owning Iconoclasts. This 2D platformer is an odd blend of Metroidvania-style adventure with tower defense combat. Establish defensive positions against waves of enemies with your team of four Ruinhunters, each of which has their own set of passive abilities and gadgets. Level up your weapons and fuse them to make new items with different properties to suit each situation. Swap between characters on the fly, or bring along a friend to help you in split-screen co-op. You can also find Aegis Defenders on the Humble Store, PS4, and Switch.               
 
Attack of the Earthlings
Team Junkfish
$24.99

Attack of the Earthlings is a turn-based strategy game where you get to play as the hungry body-snatching aliens for once. The intergalactic energy megacorp Galactoil has made the mistake of trying to strip mine Planet X13. You play as the insectoid inhabitants of the planet on a mission to drive away Galactoil by eating all of their workers. Sneak through ventilation shafts to grab your prey by surprise and set up ambushes for corporate marines. Gather corpses to feed your young, allowing them to mutate into new subspecies to fulfill different combat roles.
 
Planetoid Pioneers
Data Realms
$19.99

Planetoid Pioneers is the latest game from the developers of Cortex Command, and it just recently exited Early Access. The game markets itself as a "Physicsvania," which is a fancy way of saying that it's a 2D exploration game with intentionally wonky physics. Craft weapons and items, fight enemies, and get your legs blown off by a trap you failed to notice. A big part of the game involves building your own levels, vehicles, characters, and enemies with the game's powerful built-in editor and sharing them online. There's co-op as well, but unfortunately its limited to split-screen only. Planetoid Pioneers is also available on the Humble Store.
 
Dandara
Long Hat House
$14.99

Finally we come to Dandara, yet another 2D pixel art Metroidvania that came out this week. The most noteworthy feature of Dandara is it's fast-paced, gravity-defying mechanics that will have you leaping between floors, walls, and ceilings in rooms full of rotating platformers and bizarre architecture. The game's controls were built specifically with touch screens in mind, but will work just as well with a more traditional input device. Dandara is also on the Humble Store, iOS, PS4, Switch, and Xbox One.             
 
Which of these games caught your attention?
 
 
 
Frank Streva
File Uploa:

Pictured above: Tangledeep
 
January is normally a pretty slow month for new releases, but this week was an exception. While we saw great titles like Iconoclasts, Subnautica, and Celeste released so far this year, the last few days were probably the busiest so far this year in terms of the volume of promising new releases. I'm not here to personally recommend any of them, just highlight some recent games you might have missed. Remember to check out reviews and videos to find more information about each game. 
 
Strikers Edge
Fun Punch Games
$14.99

Strikers Edge is a medieval "dodgebrawl" game, where the competitors are various ancient warrior archetypes, and the "balls" are spears, arrows, and throwing daggers. Choose one of eight strikers with unique weapons and abilities in 1v1 or 2v2 online and local multiplayer. Each character also has their own single player campaign, where you can learn about their backstory and how to use their abilities before heading online. Streamers will probably be excited about the Twitch integration that allows viewers to become members of the in-game crowd and vote on match modifiers. You can also find Strikers Edge on the Humble Store and PS4.
 
Avernum 3: Ruined World
Spiderweb Software
$19.99

Ruined World is the remake of Avernum 3, the final chapter in Spiderweb's first Avernum trilogy. While the story remains largely the same as the original, Ruined World features some additional content, reworked UI and mechanics, and updated visuals, though the game still looks intentionally ancient. Your millage may vary on the redone mechanics, however; I've seen some older Spiderweb fans complain that Ruined World is more watered down than the original. Both versions of Avernum 3 are also on Spiderweb's website, GOG, and the Humble Store.   
 
Elementium
Ignite Studio
$14.99

The official description for Elementium is brief, uninspired, and overall poorly conveyed, but the trailer was intriguing enough that I felt like I had to highlight it here. It looks like your standard Portal clone at first, but then you notice the perspective manipulation. The game's puzzles are based around optical illusions, with the example puzzle in the trailer involving making cubes grow and shrink by picking them up from different angles and distances. It looks like it could be a pretty clever puzzle game, though it's so obscure that finding reviews and third-party opinions is rather difficult.  
 
Wulverblade
Fully Illustrated, Darkwind Media
$14.99

Wulverblade is a stylized 2D brawler set during the Roman invasion of Britannia. Take on the Ninth Legion as one of three playable characters and rally the northern tribes to your cause. As with any good brawler, Wulverblade features two-player co-op, though unfortunately its limited to local multiplayer only. The game is also available on the PS4 and Xbox One.
 
Candleman: The Complete Journey
Spotlightor Interactive
$14.99

Candleman is a puzzle platformer where you play as an enchanted candle exploring a dark-yet-whimsical fairytale world in search of the light. Your wick can only remain lit for around 10 seconds at a time, and the game's puzzles mainly revolve around using your flame to light objects and manipulate shadows. Candleman is available on the Xbox One as well.        
 
Violet Cycle
Weckr Industries
$9.99

Violet Cycle describes itself as a "hyperkinetic, neopoly roguecade action game." In practical terms, it's an isometric roguelite brawler with procedurally generated levels that emphasize aerial combos, environmental destruction, and slamming enemies off floating islands. Find new power-ups and weapons between levels to help you reach the peak of the mysterious Tower Garden and uncover the truth of what happened to your world.   
 
Tangledeep
Impact Gameworks
$14.99

Tangledeep is a 16-bit roguelike RPG that recently exited Early Access. Explore a mix of procedurally generated environments and handcrafted levels as you battle monsters and discover new loot. Choose from 12 different jobs with over 100 skills divided between them. Improve your gear by entering challenging "Item Dream" mini-dungeons. You can even capture and raise monsters, then breed them to create even more powerful pets. If you aren't a fan of roguelikes then you can play the Adventure Mode instead, which reduces the game's difficulty somewhat by removing permadeath. Tangledeep is also on GOG.   
 
Delver
Priority Interrupt
$14.99

Finally we come to Delver, another roguelite dungeon crawler that just released from Early Access. Inspired by first-person action RPGs from the '90s, Delver is a pixelated adventure that promises to focus more on personal skill than grinding to victory. You can also find Delver on Android, if you somehow find playing a game like this with touch controls appealing.     
 
Which of these games caught your attention?             
Frank Streva
File Uploa:
January has been a pretty slow month for new releases, but that doesn't mean the rest of the year will be. Picking up where my previous two articles left off, here's 20 more indie games to keep an eye out for throughout 2018.
 
Phoenix Point (PC)
Snapshot Games
Q4 2018

Phoenix Point is a spiritual successor to the X-COM franchise by its original creator, Julian Gollop. In 2057, humanity is on the verge of extinction following an invasion by alien sea creatures that have been able to adapt to everything the world governments have thrown at them. You are the leader of the Phoenix Project, a secretive organization dedicated to driving the aliens off the planet and bringing order back to humanity.   
 
The Bard's Tale IV (PC)
inXile
TBA 2018

Originally Kickstarted in the summer of 2015, the next game by Brian Fargo's inXile is a sequel to another beloved CRPG franchise that has been nearly forgotten. Explore a whimsical fantasy world with your party of adventurers and use a variety of lyrical powers to solve puzzles and interact with the environment.
 
Descent: Underground (PC, PS4, Xbox One)
Descendent Studios
Fall 2018

Another old franchise getting a reboot this year is the classic 6 Degrees of Freedom shooter, Descent. This prequel has been in Early Access since 2015, but the developers ran into financial trouble late last year and had the beta pulled from sale. They have since made a deal with the company Little Orbit to wrap up development, so hopefully everything turns out fine when the game finally releases later this year.
 
Overload (PC)
Revival Productions, LLC
Q1 2018

Descendent Studios might have the rights to the Descent license right now, but Revival Productions is making their own spiritual successor to the franchise. Created by several key developers of the original Descent games, Overload has been in Early Access since March of last year. The single player campaign is supposed to be done in a few months, with a free multiplayer mode coming in the second half of 2018.
 
Wargroove (PC, Switch, Xbox One, PS4)
Chucklefish
TBA 2018

Wargroove is what happens when a small group of indie developers decide that the world needs a new Advance Wars game and aren't prepared to wait around for Nintendo to fill that void. It's being made by the team behind Starbound, so it has a pretty good pedigree backing it. There's apparently some crossover with Starbound as well, though we'll have to wait until Wargroove releases to know the whole story.     
 
Treasure Adventure World (PC)
Robit Games
February 7th, 2018

Another upcoming game by Chucklefish, though this time from the publishing side, is the 2D puzzle-platformer Treasure Adventure World. Set sail and explore a magical archipelago as a young boy and his pet parrot. Treasure Adventure World is due to release next week, so you won't have to wait very long to play it.         
 
Into the Breach (PC)
Subset Games
Early 2018

Into the Breach is the next game by the developers of FTL. It has roguelite elements like their previous game, but this time around it's a turn-based strategy game where you assemble a squad of mechs to defend cities from giant alien bugs. There isn't a solid release date yet, but according to the developers its "about 90% done." In other words, we might get to play it in five years.
 
Way of the Passive Fist (PC, PS4, Xbox One)
Household Games Inc
Early 2018

Befitting its puntastic name, Way of the Passive Fist is a unique "defensive" brawler inspired by '90s arcade fighters. Instead of directly fighting your enemies with punches and kicks, Passive Fist is about dodging, parrying, and otherwise outlasting your enemies in a battle of endurance.
 
Surviving Mars (PC, PS4, Xbox One)
Haemimont Games
Spring 2018

From the developers of Tropico comes Surviving Mars, a city building game set on the titular Red Planet. Establish a colony on the Martian surface as you brave inhospitable conditions and meteor showers. Research new technologies and slowly turn your budding outpost into a thriving, self-sufficient metropolis.   
 
Agony (PC, PS4, Xbox One)
Madmind Studio
March 30th, 2018

Agony is a survival horror game where you play as a tormented soul trying to claw your way out of Hell. Sneak past demons and horrific environmental hazards on your quest to find the Red Goddess.
 
Scorn (PC)
Ebb Software
October 2018

While on the subject of nightmarish survival horror games with revolting imagery, Scorn is due out in the latter half of 2018. Unlike Agony, Scorn gives you access to some grisly weaponry, though ammo management plays a large role in the game's combat encounters.                      
 
Ooblets (PC, Xbox One)
Glumberland
TBA 2018

Moving away from the body horror for now, Ooblets is a colorful blend of life management, farming sim, and creature trainer. Plant seeds that will grow into magical creatures called ooblets, then raise and train them to compete against rival tamers in turn-based battles.
 
Mulaka (PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One)
Lienzo
Early 2018

Mulaka is a 3D adventure game inspired by the culture and folklore of the Tarahumara people of northwestern Mexico. Gain powers from ancient demigods and become a legendary Tarahumara shaman on your quest to defeat a foul corruption spreading across the land.
 
The Church in the Darkness (PC, PS4, Xbox One)
Paranoid Productions
TBA 2018

Inspired by the events of Jonestown in the late '70s, The Church in the Darkness is a procedurally generated stealth game about infiltrating a fanatical cult in South America. Sneak into the Freedom Town complex to save your nephew by any means necessary, but be aware that all of your actions have consequences.        
 
No Truce With The Furies (PC)
ZA/UM
TBA 2018

No Truce With The Furies is a mixture of cop procedural and isometric CRPG. Explore the city of Revachol as a disgraced detective, facing enemies both real and imagined. Delve into your own thoughts to overcome emotional trauma and unhealthy obsessions.
 
Phantom Doctrine (PC)
CreativeForge Games
TBA 2018

Phantom Doctrine is an XCOM-style turn-based tactical espionage game set during an alternate history 1980s. Uncover a global conspiracy at the height of the Cold War as either a KGB counterintelligence operative or a CIA assassin. Recruit operatives, smuggle weapons, and build contacts between missions to expand your global operations.
 
Fell Seal: Arbiter's Mark
6 Eyes Studio
TBA 2018

Fell Seal is a turn-based tactical RPG inspired by the Final Fantasy Tactics and Tactics Ogre franchises. Battle monsters and pass judgment on the wicked as an Arbiter, the mortal agents of the godlike Immortals. Build your band of Arbiters with over 20 character classes, 200 abilities, and hundreds of pieces of gear and equipment. 
 
Tower of Time (PC)
Event Horizon
March 2018

Tower of Time is a real-time tactical RPG that has been in Early Access since July, and the developers expect the game to be finished in a few months. The game is aimed more towards MOBA players, and has a large focus on skill shots and spells that need to be "drawn" with the mouse curser. There is also an Arrow-Time mechanic in the combat system that allows you to slow (but not stop) time to queue up orders.
 
Yoku's Island Express (PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One)
Villa Gorilla
Winter 2018

Yoku's Island Express is an open world...pinball metroidvania? You play as the new postman of Mokumana, a dung beetle named Yoku. Navigation involves pinball-style mechanics like hitting levers and bumpers, and there are some parts where you just straight-up play a game of pinball to get past obstacles. It's an odd combination, and the game is supposed to be coming out pretty soon.
 
Moonlighter (PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One)
Digital Sun
Early 2018

Finally we come to Moonlighter, an action RPG and shop management game. You play as Will, a humble shopkeeper with a craving for adventure. Manage your shop during the day, then explore dungeons at night on your quest for fame and fortune.         
 
Even after three articles, I've barely scratched the surface of promising indie games coming our way in 2018. Be sure to keep an eye out for these titles as they release throughout the year.        
Frank Streva
File Uploa:

Pictured above: Railway Empire
 
We had another pretty slow week due to the Q1 release slump, but I still managed to find a few interesting new releases. As always, I'm not here to give personal recommendations, just highlight some recent games you might have missed. Remember to check out reviews and videos to find more information on each game.
 
The Red Strings Club
Deconstructeam
$14.99

The Red Strings Club is a narrative cyberpunk adventure, and the latest indie game published by Devolver Digital. The "altruistic" Supercontinent Ltd is about to release its Social Psyche Welfare program, which the company claims will eliminate depression, anger, and other negative emotions from society. Uncover the truth as a freelance hacker by extracting information from unsuspecting corporate employees via mini-games that include bartending, genetic implant pottery, and phone impersonations. The Red Strings Club is also on the Humble Store and GOG.
 
Super Slime Arena
JellyTeam
$14.99

Super Slime Arena is a 16-bit party game where everyone plays as an adorable slime monster. There's 35 playable slimes, and each one has a single hit point and a unique way of attacking. The most noteworthy features of Super Slime Arena are the player count and input devices. The game promises that you can use pretty much any controller you can think of, and there's no hard limit on the number of players per match. If you want to get a room of 50 people together with a random assortment of retro controllers and flight sticks then you can do it, as bizarre and chaotic as that might sound. Just be aware that Super Slime Arena has no single player to speak of, and it's too obscure to have a real online community.   
 
Railway Empire
Gaming Minds Studios
$49.99

Establish a thriving railroad tycoon during the Golden Age of American expansion in Railway Empire. Build a vast rail network from one coast to the other in a campaign that stretches from the 1830s to the 20th century. Transport passengers and goods on 40 historically accurate locomotives and develop over 300 new technologies to streamline your operations. Sabotage rival railway companies with spies and bandits to maintain industry dominance. Railway Empire is also on GOG, the Humble Store, PS4, and Xbox One.
 
Still Not Dead
Greg Sergeant
$9.99

Still Not Dead is an FPS roguelite inspired by Doom that recently released from Early Access. Slash and shoot your way through six procedurally generated stages of Hell while being chased by Death. Choose Blessings or Curses between stages to improve your character and customize your playstyle. Unlock Skill Skulls as you complete runs to tweak the game's difficulty for an even greater challenge.
 
Legrand Legacy: Tale of the Fatebounds
Semisoft
$24.99

Finally we come to Legrand Legacy, an RPG that markets itself as a love letter to classic JRPGs from the PS1/PS2 era. Explore the fantasy world of Legrand and bring peace to the land as the Fatebounds. In addition to old school-inspired JRPG combat, Legrand Legacy also features turn-based tactical battles where you control the military might of an entire nation against rival kingdoms. Recruit craftsmen and restore the city of Dumville to unlock side quests, mini-games, and vendors. Legrand Legacy is also on GOG and the Humble Store. It'll be making its way to the Switch sometime later this year, with PS4 and Xbox One versions coming in 2019.
 
Which of these games are you interested in?                 
Frank Streva
File Uploa:

Pictured above: Celeste
 
Last week was a bit of a wasteland for new releases, even by the usual Q1 release drought standards. Instead, I decided to combine a few releases from last week with the minor tidal wave we are going to be hit with over the next few days. Since several of these games come out next week, my caveat about this not being a recommendation list applies even more than usual. Make sure you check out user reviews and videos for more information about each game.
 
Nantucket
Picaresque Studio
$17.99

Nantucket is a narrative-focused strategy and management game set during the Golden Age of America's whaling industry. Set a few years after Herman Melville's classic novel, Nantucket places you in control of a whaling vessel and her crew on a quest to hunt down the legendary Moby Dick. Hunt whales and fend off pirates in a turn-based combat system as you sail across the high seas. Complete jobs to raise your prestige in the whaling industry, and upgrade your equipment to tackle larger operations. You can also find Nantucket on the Humble Store and GOG.     
 
Damsel
Screwtape Studios
$9.99

Damsel is a 2D action platformer that recently hit Early Access. You play as Damsel, a secret government agent tasked with hunting down vampires. Use a variety of movement tricks to quickly dash around levels and chain together kills for the best high score. The game currently features 25 missions in both the campaign and arcade modes, roughly a third of the content that will be in the full game. The developers expect the game to be in Early Access for about four months, and the current $10 price tag is a 50% discount off the game's final projected price range.       
 
Subnautica
Unknown Worlds Entertainment
$24.99 (Price may increase)

After being in Early Access for a little over three years, the deep sea survival game Subnautica is finally getting its 1.0 release on the 23rd. Freely explore the oceans of an alien world as the lone survivor of a starship crash. Harvest resources so you can craft underwater dwellings, submersibles, and other equipment to fend off the world's aquatic predators. Uncover the secrets of the planet's abandoned structures and eventually find a way to escape your watery prison. Subnautica is also on the Humble Store, with PS4 and Xbox One versions coming soon.
 
Iconoclasts
Joakim Sandberg
$19.99

Iconoclasts is a 2D action puzzle-platformer that has been in development by one person for around seven years now, and will be coming out the same day as Subnautica. You play as Robin, a renegade mechanic in a world where operating without a license is a severe crime. After escaping the wrath of Mother for her sins, Robin has embarked on a journey to fix her broken world and the people she cares about. Solve intricate puzzles, meet a colorful cast of characters, and overcome 20 massive boss fights. Iconoclasts will also be available on GOG, PS4, and Vita.     
 
Tesla vs Lovecraft
10tons Ltd
$14.99

Tesla vs Lovecraft is the latest top-down twin stick shooter from the developers of the cult indie hits Crimsonland and Neon Chrome. Fight hordes of eldritch horrors as the famous eccentric inventor after they have been unleashed upon our world by H.P. Lovecraft's occult tomes. Use an arsenal of steampunk weapons like death rays, Quantum Teleportation Backpacks, and the gigantic Tesla-Mech. Other platforms you can find Tesla vs Lovecraft on include the PS4, Xbox One, and Switch.      
 
Celeste
Matt Makes Games Inc
$19.99

Finally, we come to the latest game by the developers behind TowerFall. Celeste is a 2D platformer about a young girl named Madeline trying to reach the top of the deadly Celeste Mountain on a personal journey of self-improvement. The game is bound to scratch anyone's itch for tight, brutal platformers with its simple and precise controls that you'll need to master if you hope to overcome the mountain's countless deathtraps. Celeste will also be on the PS4, Xbox One, and Switch.       
 
Which of these games are you excited to play?
Frank Streva
File Uploa:

Pictured above: Full Metal Furies
 
We're in the Q1 post-holiday slump, so new releases are still pretty sparse. Even so, I did manage to find a few interesting titles, and have decided to start covering Early Access games if they have a decent foundation already going for them. I'm not personally recommending any games on this list, just highlighting some recent releases that look promising. Make sure you read user reviews and search for videos to find out more about each game.
 
Bravium
INGAME
$14.99

Bravium is one of those "hero defense" games you often see on mobile. It's not a genre I normally pay attention to, but this one looks fairly polished and has some nice visuals. Defend against hordes of monsters as either a Barbarian or Sorceress, both of which have their own set of upgradable skills and items. While Bravium is free-to-play on mobile, the PC version has been stripped of the usual grind, timers, and microtransactions in favor of a flat $15 price tag.     
 
Fallen Legion+
YummyYummyTummy, MintSphere
$29.99

Fallen Legion+ is a compilation of two RPGs, Sins of an Empire and Flames of Rebellion, that are designed as companion games set in the same fantasy world. The first game places you in the role of Princess Cecille as she works to restore her crumbling homeland, while the second game follows Legatus on his quest to overthrow the empire and claim the throne for himself. The combat is in real time, and takes a lot of inspiration from the JRPG classic Valkyrie Profile. Both games were originally released on the PS4 and Vita, and there is a Switch port in the works as well.
 
Yume Nikki
Kikiyama
Free

Yume Nikki is a surreal Japanese adventure game that released way back in 2004. Thanks to the folks over at Playism, this cult classic has finally made its way to Steam, and just in time for the announcement of a new game called Yume Nikki: Dream Diary. Yume Nikki is one of the original walking sims, and allows you to explore twisted (and somewhat disturbing) dream worlds at your own pace as you try to decipher their meaning.
 
Rusty Lake Paradise
Rusty Lake
$3.99

Paradise is the latest installment in the ongoing Rusty Lake series of psychological horror point-and-click adventures. You play as Jakob, the oldest son of the Eilander family, who has recently returned to the island of Paradise after his mother's sudden and mysterious death. The island has been cursed by the Ten Plagues, and it's up to you to unravel your mother's secrets and dispel the plagues by performing arcane family rituals. Paradise, along with the previous two premium Rusty Lake games, is also available on mobile.      
 
Full Metal Furies
Cellar Door Games
$19.99

Full Metal Furies is a co-op focused action RPG, and the latest game by the developers of Rogue Legacy. The game features four unique characters with upgradable skill trees and swappable special abilities. Enemies are protected by color-coded barriers that can only be destroyed by characters of the same color, forcing players to coordinate and combo their attacks to beat each encounter. While there is a solo mode where you can switch between characters on the fly, Full Metal Furies was designed from the ground up to be a co-op games, so keep that in mind before making a purchase. Full Metal Furies is also on the Xbox One and Humble Store.   
 
DUSK
David Szymanski
$20

DUSK is a fast arena FPS inspired by '90s classics like Quake and Blood. DUSK goes all the way in its quest to replicate the old school shooter experience by using blocky, low resolution graphics. The current Early Access build features the first 2/3rds of the single player campaign and the beta version of DUSKWORLD, the game's online multiplayer mode. DUSK is expected to be done in a few months, and will include three endless arenas and mod tools in addition to the full campaign and multiplayer.
 
Forged Battalion
Petroglyph
$19.99

Finally we come to Forged Battalion, a new RTS by Petroglyph Games. This studio of ex-Westwood developers are once again trying to create a true successor to the Command & Conquer legacy, and Forged Battalion features many mechanics that will be familiar to fans of that franchise. The standout feature of Forged Battalion are the customizable units and structures. The metagame tech tree allows you to research new upgrades to further tweak your ever-evolving faction and their arsenal. The Early Access version currently includes the first of four story campaign acts, five maps for multiplayer and skirmish mode, and two game types. Forged Battalion is set to be in Early Access around six months.        
 
Which of these games caught your attention?
Frank Streva
File Uploa:

Despite all the great games that have come out of Early Access over the years, this is still an industry trend I normally avoid. I know I'm not alone on this either, as any given Early Access game's forum usually has half a dozen topics per month asking when the full release is expected to come out. No one wants to buy a game in Early Access and get a repeat of DayZ, a title that has been available for four years with no final release in sight. Even when it comes to genuinely good Early Access games, there is always the chance of getting burned out before it's done. All in all, it's generally best to wait for an Early Access game to leave beta before buying it, and based on their development roadmaps, the following 20 games will be crossing the finish line in 2018.  
 
Midair
Archetype Studios

Midair is a fast and brutal jetpack shooter with an emphasis on Capture the Flag, and it's probably the closest we'll get to a new Tribes game since Hi-Rez abandoned Ascend. The game originally hit Early Access on August 5th of last year, and the final product should be ready Q1 2018.
 
CrossCode
Radical Fish Games

Originally released on May 15th, 2015, CrossCode is a retro-inspired action RPG that promises around 60 hours of content once complete. The developers are shooting for an early 2018 launch date. 
 
Subnautica
Unknown Worlds Entertainment

This underwater exploration and survival game from the Natural Selection team has been in development longer than most of the games on this list. It originally launched at the end of 2014, but the devs finally have a concrete release date of January 23rd. 
 
Ghost of a Tale
SeithCG

Ghost of a Tale is a Redwall-inspired stealth action RPG developed primarily by a single veteran animator from DreamWorks. The game was successfully crowdfunded in 2013, and hit Early Access in the summer of 2016. After many delays, Ghost of a Tale is currently set for a March 2018 release. 
 
They Are Billions
Numantian Games

This post-apocalyptic steampunk city building RTS is a fairly recent Early Access release, and has been consistently trending on Steam since it came out in mid-December. The campaign mode is supposed to be finished sometime in spring 2018. 
 
 Northgard
Shiro Games

Northgard is an empire management RTS set in a world inspired by Norse mythology, though its much closer to Civilization than it is StarCraft. It's made a lot of progress since launching in February 2017, and the developers expect it to be done sometime before March.
 
For The King
IronOak Games

Released in early 2017, For The King is a rogue-lite strategy RPG that is designed to replicate popular adventure board games. Players move their character around procedurally generated hex-based boards, and combat plays out in turn-based, JRPG-style battles. There's no full release date set just yet, but hopefully it'll be finished before the end of the year.  
 
Sunless Skies
Failbetter Games

The successor to Sunless Sea, Sunless Skies is a "literary RPG" where you explore the bizarre floating islands of the Fallen London world. Based on the current development roadmap, we'll probably be seeing a full release in the latter half of 2018.      
 
Oxygen Not Included
Klei Entertainment

Klei has a long history of using Early Access to improve their games based on player feedback, and their space colony sim Oxygen Not Included is no exception. There isn't a final release date yet, but we can expect tons of new features and content throughout 2018. 
 
Dead Cells
Motion Twin

Dead Cells is a "rogue-lite Metroidvania," and many of my friends have been raving about how spectacular it already is. The game is a fairly complete package from what I hear, with most of the current development consisting of bug fixes and trying out new ideas before the full release.
 
Slay the Spire
Mega Crit Games

Slay the Spire is another rogue-lite many of my friends are currently obsessing over, and features combat based around building a deck of cards as you explore the titular Spire. It hit Early Access in mid-November, and the devs expect the game to be finished in around eight months.   
 
Deep Sky Derelicts
Snowhound Games

Deep Sky Derelicts is a card-driven rogue-lite that, coincidentally, hit Early Access the same day as Slay the Spire. This one is party-based, and is set in a sci-fi universe where you assemble a gang of rogues and ruffians. The developers expect the game to leave Early Access in March.
 
Space Tyrant
Blue Wizard Digital

Space Tyrant is a bite-sized 4X inspired by pulp sci-fi comics and cartoons, except this time around you get to be the evil intergalactic warlord. It's being made by ex-PopCap developers, and should be leaving Early Access later this year.     
 
City of Brass
Uppercut Games

Bring salvation to a cursed city in this Arabian Nights-inspired first-person rogue-lite. City of Brass entered Early Access back in September, and the updates have stayed fairly frequent as far as I can tell. Uppercut Games expects that City of Brass will be in Early Access for less than a year.  
 
Tannenberg
Blackmill Games

Created by the developers of Verdun, Tannenberg transports players to the Eastern Front of WWI. The final product will even allow you to swap between the two titles in-game. Tannenberg was largely feature complete when it hit Early Access in November, and should be done soon.
 
Door Kickers: Action Squad
KillHouse Games

A spin-off of KillHouse's tactical SWAT strategy game, Action Squad is a side-scrolling shooter focused on co-op where players are tasked with rescuing hostages, disarming bombs, and taking down terrorists. Despite hitting Early Access only a few months back, KillHouse expects the game to be done before July.
 
Pit People
The Behemoth

Pit People is The Behemoth's current project, and it's a turn-based tactics game set in a comedic post-apocalyptic world. You can play it alone, but it was built with co-op in mind, much like their previous games. Based on their development roadmap, we should be seeing a full release in the first half of 2018.
 
The Vagrant
O.T.K Games

This is a title I just recently stumbled across when doing research for this article, and it looks pretty solid. The Vagrant is a side-scrolling action RPG where you play as a buxom rogue fighting her way through a fantasy world. The developers are shooting for a February or March release date.
 
All Walls Must Fall
inbetweengames

All Walls Must Fall is a tactical, simultaneous turn rogue-lite set in an alternate 2089 Berlin where the Cold War never ended. The campaign will probably take you less than two hours to complete, but the game was built with branching paths and replayability in mind. All Walls Must Fall is supposed to be leaving Early Access Q1 2018.
 
Book of Demons
Thing Trunk

Finally we come to Book of Demons, a hack and slash RPG with card-based abilities that seeks to distill the genre down to its most basic form. The developers intend to make this the first in their Return 2 Games line, a series of titles inspired by different classic PC games that deconstruct the original's genre. Book of Demons should be out sometime in the latter half of 2018.       
 
There's still a near-countless number of Early Access games out there, many of which may or may not get a full release in 2018. This list doesn't even include all the other original indie games we have to look forward to this year, some of which I covered in another article. I hope you're ready to expand your backlog, because 2018 is going to feature a plethora of new games to play.   
Frank Streva
File Uploa:

Now that we are nearly two weeks into a new year, it's time to look ahead at the games we'll get a chance to play over the next 12 months. Last year was brutal for anyone covering (not to mention buying) indie games, with wall-to-wall new releases almost every month. I can already tell 2018 will be no different. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but here's 20 indie games to keep an eye out for in 2018. 
 
Iconoclasts (PC, PS4, Vita)
Joakim Sandberg
January 23rd, 2018

Our first game on the list is one that you don't need to wait very long to play. This action-platformer has been in development for seven years, largely by a single person. Play as the renegade mechanic Robin on this story-driven epic to repair a dying world, and the people that call it home.  
 
Warhammer: Vermintide 2 (PC, PS4, Xbox One)
Fatshark
Q1 2018

The sequel to Fatshark's visceral Skaven murder simulator is just around the corner. Vermintide 2 will feature deeper character customization and a new threat in the form of the Warriors of Chaos and their demonic overlords. If you preorder the sequel right now, you'll get access to the beta and a free piece of DLC for the original game. 
 
Kingdom Come: Deliverance (PC, PS4, Xbox One)
Warhorse Studios
February 13th, 2018

It's been a while since the historically accurate medieval sandbox RPG Kingdom Come was successfully funded on Kickstarter, but the final release is nearly upon us. Explore the massive Kingdom of Bohemia as you fight to repel an invading army and get revenge on the man that killed your family.
 
Frostpunk (PC)
11 Bit Studios
TBA

The developers of This War of Mine have a new game in the works called Frostpunk. Like This War of Mine, Frostpunk is a survival game, except this time around it's about trying to manage an entire society on the brink of collapse. Make difficult choices to ensure your city survives another year in a frozen wasteland. 
 
Griftlands (PC)
Klei Entertainment
Q1 2018

Griftlands is a 2D open-world RPG by Klei Entertainment, a personal favorite of mine when it comes to awesome indie developers. Build a gang and make your fortune in a lawless society where anything and everything can be bought for the right price. Klei has another game you should keep an eye on called Oxygen Not Included, which is currently in Early Access.
 
Death's Gambit (PC, PS4)
White Rabbit
TBA

Adult Swim Games has developed a reputation for publishing rock-hard, retro-inspired indie games, and Death's Gambit looks to be more of their usual fare. You play as an agent of Death, executing your master's will as you slaughter all manner of beasts and monsters in a primitive, medieval world. Insert cliché comparisons to Dark Souls here.     
 
System Shock (PC, PS4, Xbox One)
Night Dive Studios
Q2 2018

Long before BioShock was even an idea, System Shock was one of the franchises everyone thought about when it came to FPS/RPG hybrids. Following the release of System Shock Enhanced Edition and a successful Kickstarter campaign, developer Night Dive Studios started work on a complete reimagining of the original game. Hopefully we'll be seeing the fruits of their labor before the second half of 2018.  
 
Underworld Ascendant (PC)
OtherSide Entertainment
TBA

System Shock isn't the only classic first-person RPG franchise getting a new game this year. The Ultima Underworld series returns under the name Underworld Ascendant. Delve into the Stygian Abyss once again in this non-linear RPG that emphasizes player choice and emergent gameplay.
 
Aquanox: Deep Descent (PC)
Digital Arrow
TBA  

Continuing the trend of classic franchises being reborn in 2018, the six degrees of freedom shooter Aquanox is getting rebooted sometime this year, thanks to a successful Kickstarter and the help of THQ Nordic. Customize your submarine and send your enemies' bullet-riddled corpses to the depths of an uncaring, dystopian ocean.
 
Indivisible (PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch)
Lab Zero Games
Fall 2018

Originally crowdfunded back in late 2015, Lab Zero's RPG Indivisible is due to release sometime later this year. The game features their signature hand-drawn animation, an active combat system, and action-platforming elements that play a role in dungeon exploration. The game already had a pretty solid foundation in the 2015 prototype, so I'm looking forward to seeing the final result.
 
Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire (PC)
Obsidian Entertainment
TBA

The sequel to Obsidian's old-school RPG hit Pillars of Eternity is set to release sometime this year, though we don't have an exact date yet. The action this time around moves to the dangerous Deadfire Archipelago, as your party pursues a rogue god. Befitting the new tropical island setting, players will be given command of their own customizable ship that acts as both a means of travel and a home base.   
 
Children of Morta (PC, PS4, Xbox One)
Dead Mage
TBA

Children of Morta is a story-driven action rogue-lite about the Bergson family. Not only will you be doing plenty of dungeon-crawling and monster-slaying (with optional co-op), but you'll also have to manage and care for your family back at their estate between adventures.   
 
Gunhead (PC)
Alientrap
TBA

Cryptark was one of my favorite sleeper hits of 2017, and Alientrap already has a sequel lined up. Gunhead follows the same basic gameplay loop of raiding heavily-armed space hulks for artifacts and resources, but switches the perspective from a 2D twin stick shooter to a fast, old school-inspired FPS.
 
Wytchwood (PC)
Alientrap
TBA

Alientrap is going to have a busy 2018, because they plan on releasing a second game this year, called Wytchwood. This crafting adventure places you in the shoes of the mysterious old witch of the woods, in a fantasy world inspired by ancient pagan fables and fairytales. Gather herbs, brew magical potions, and pass judgment on the nearby townsfolk.
 
Industries of Titan (PC)
Brace Yourself Games
TBA

The developers of Crypt of the Necrodancer are back with a new game that is quite the departure from their hit rhythm rogue-like. Industries of Titan is a city building and management sim set in a dystopian cyberpunk future. Build a thriving industrial metropolis on Saturn's moon, Titan. Design warships and amass your own private armada to protect your assets from rival corporations.    
 
MOTHERGUNSHIP (PC, PS4, Xbox One)
Terrible Posture Games
TBA

MOTHERGUNSHIP is the spiritual successor to Terrible Posture's bullet hell FPS rogue-lite, Tower of Guns. MOTHERGUNSHIP promises to keep the core gameplay formula of Tower of Guns intact, but will add the ability to design your own arsenal of insane and over-the-top weaponry. 
 
Hellmut: The Badass from Hell (PC)
Volcanic
Winter 2018

Hellmut is an upcoming bullet hell rogue-lite about slaughtering hordes of demons with absurd guns and abilities. The key feature of the game is the Transformation mechanic, which allows you to polymorph into different characters with unique attacks. Preordering the game on GOG gives you instant access to the current beta build.
 
Tunic (PC)
Andrew Shouldice
TBA

Tunic is an adorable isometric Zelda-like adventure game where you play as a tunic-wearing fox boy. Explore a massive low-poly world full of intricate puzzles and dangerous foes. The developers eventually want to bring Tunic over to consoles, but no systems or release dates have been specified. 
 
The Last Night (PC, Xbox One)  
Odd Tales
TBA

If you watched the Microsoft E3 conference last year, you probably remember this gorgeous 2.5D narrative platformer. The Last Night quickly became one of the most talked about surprise reveals at E3 2017, and hopefully we don't have to wait long until we get a chance to immerse ourselves in it's pixilated cyberpunk world. 
 
BattleTech (PC)
Harebrained Schemes
Early 2018

Finally we come to BattleTech, the triumphant return of turn-based mech combat in FASA's classic tabletop universe. I didn't have a chance to back the original Kickstarter, but this is probably one of my top three most anticipated games of 2018. We can only hope that it's inevitable success results in a revival of BattleTech and MechWarrior games.  
 
This is but a small taste of the games we have to look forward to in the coming year. Hopefully they all meet or exceed our expectations, and may 2018 be another awesome year for unique and interesting indie games. 
Frank Streva
File Uploa:

Pitcured above: Post Human W.A.R
 
It's been a few weeks, but I'm finally back with the first batch of recent indie releases for 2018. We are currently in the post-holidays slump where barely anything gets released, but I still managed to find a few games worth mentioning. These titles all came out in mid-to-late December, and its possible you missed them during the excitement over the largest Steam sale of the year. I can't personally speak for the quality of any of these games, so make sure you read some reviews before making a decision.
 
Gorogoa
Buried Signal
$14.99

Gorogoa is a relaxing puzzle game with some beautifully hand-drawn and animated artwork. The game's entire premise is based around combining a series of images together in creative ways to discover the solution, and you'll often be forced to zoom in or out to find obscure details hidden in plain sight. A few of my friends have played it and thought it was a really satisfying and Zen-like experience, but please be aware that the puzzles aren't particularly difficult and you'll probably beat the game within an hour. Also available on GOG, iOS, and the Switch.     
 
Finding Paradise
Freebird Games
$9.99

Finding Paradise is the first full sequel to the hit narrative adventure To the Moon. Join doctors Rosalene and Watts on another operation to alter a bedridden patient's memories so they can experience their dying wish. As with the previous title, Finding Paradise is a narrative adventure with very little in terms of gameplay, and it'll only take you around five hours to get to the credits. You can also find the game on GOG and the Humble Store.     
 
Rumu
Robot Horse
$19.99

Continuing this week's trend of narrative games, Rumu is an isometric point and click puzzle adventure where you play as a robot vacuum cleaner. That may not seem very exciting, but the game takes place in a fully automated, futuristic smart home with a mystery that needs solving. As you go about your daily cleaning routine, you'll get a chance to interact with the home's other semi-intelligent smart devices and Sabrina, the house's AI companion. Everything seems normal and mundane in the life of a robot vacuum until you accidentally uncover the dark secrets of your elusive family, and begin the path to sentience as you question your programming.
 
Post Human W.A.R
Studio Chahut
$14.99

Finally we come to Post Human W.A.R, the only game on today's list that isn't some sort of puzzle or narrative adventure. This turn-based strategy game is set in a comedic and lighthearted future long after humanity has nuked itself into oblivion. Three factions vie for power, including mutated wildlife, sentient apes, and repurposed cleaning robots from before the fall of the human race. Before each battle, you'll get a chance to recruit your force and secretly nominate a unit to be your champion. The goal of each battle is to figure out who the enemy champion is and kill them. Post Human W.A.R features a campaign and local and online multiplayer. You can also find the game on the Humble Store.
 
Which of these games caught your attention?        
Frank Streva
File Uploa:

Pictured above: Vermintide
 
Another wallet-crushing Steam Winter Sale is upon us. Gamers across the globe are currently filling their libraries with cheap games that they'll probably never even install. As usual, I'd like to take a moment to highlight some good deals you may have missed. I could be here forever listing awesome Steam deals, but I decided to limit it to 10 games I personally love that are under $10.
 
Grim Dawn
$7.49 (70% off)

Grim Dawn was one of my favorite games from last year. Hell, the recent expansion has ensured that its one of my favorite games this year as well. Grim Dawn is one of the best paid action RPGs currently on the market, and it's exactly what disenfranchised Diablo fans are longing for. While the expansion and DLC packs are only mildly discounted, the base game is currently the cheapest I've ever seen it. That's still enough content to last you hundreds of hours, especially when you consider the sheer amount of character build possibilities due to dual classes and the Constellation system. If that's not enough hack 'n slash action for you, the remastered version of Titan Quest is also deeply discounted if you want to check out the developer's previous work.      
 
Impossible Creatures
$2.49 (75% off)

Before such massive hits as Homeworld 2, Dawn of War, and Company of Heroes, Relic made a fairly obscure little RTS called Impossible Creatures. This oddball game from 2003 was largely forgotten to the passage of time, until it was unexpectedly re-released and updated to run on modern systems a few years back. What made this RTS unique was that instead of controlling armies of tanks and infantry like its contemporaries, you crafted your own units by splicing together various animals. With over 50 animals to choose from, the list of possible combinations was pretty extensive, and the inclusion of Steam Workshop support only ensures that there's more to come. It might not be the best game Relic has ever made, but it's still worth checking out at the current sale price. Speaking of which, Relic's more fondly-remembered titles are all heavily discounted as well.    
 
Chroma Squad
$3.74 (75% off)

Chroma Squad is a turn-based tactics game with light management elements that perfectly encapsulates the inherently goofy nature of Power Rangers, and the Tokusatsu genre as a whole. After being fired by an unpleasable director, a stunt team decides to create their own costumed superhero TV series. Starting with a budget that consists of painted cardboard boxes, Chroma Squad allows you to reenact your Power Ranger dreams with flashy combination attacks, transformation sequences, and mecha battle minigames. Greater than the sum of its parts, Chroma Squad combines serviceable management with some solid turn-based battles to make a charming game that will entertain anyone that grew up watching the shows it parodies.
 
Divinity: Dragon Commander
$3.99 (90% off)

Speaking of games that are greater than the sum of their parts, Larian's Dragon Commander is ridiculously cheap right now. Dragon Commander was developed as a little side game to hold people over until Original Sin came out, but it's pretty decent in its own right. It tries to do way too much at once between turn-based empire management, RPG-style conversations and negotiations, massive RTS battles, and third-person aerial combat. It might not excel in any one area, with the RTS segments being particularly shoddy, but Dragon Commander as a whole still manages to come together to form a fairly enjoyable game. Admittedly, your enjoyment of the game will still ultimately come down to how willing you are to look past some pretty rough mechanics here and there.    
 
Dungeon of the Endless
$4.07 (66% off)

Dungeon of the Endless is another stopgap title that was designed to satisfy fans between games. Released in the lead-up to Endless Legend, Dungeon of the Endless is a strange combination of dungeon crawler and tower defense roguelite that connects the two Endless franchises together. You control a small crew of survivors that have crashed on a savage and primitive world. Explore procedurally generated dungeons with your party of heroes, then set them up in defensive positions to protect your core from waves of enemies. As with any roguelite, death is permanent and you'll unlock a steady stream of new characters and ships as you progress through the game. All the rest of the Endless games are discounted as well, including 50% off of Endless Space 2.                 
 
Bleed
$0.99 (80% off)

Bleed is one of the small handful of games I'd actually recommend from the 360's old XBLIG section. It came out on PC a while back, and the sequel launched earlier this year. Bleed is all about replicating the fast and stylish action you'd see in a Tarantino film, and it largely succeeds in being a challenging and enjoyable shooter. It's not a very long game, but it's fun while it lasts, and at the current price, it's definitely worth giving a try. There's a combo pack available that includes both games for $6.78, though I can't personally say anything about the sequel.
 
Warhammer: The End Times- Vermintide
$7.49 (75% off)

With the recent announcement of 2 million units sold and a sequel coming next year, now's the perfect time to try out the original Vermintide at a really cheap price. Vermintide follows the same basic formula as Left 4 Dead, but with a greater emphasis on melee combat and objectives. Vermintide is perhaps my favorite horde-based co-op game, and in my opinion, the multiple classes and loot system give it more replayability than many of the titles that inspired it. While the combat system is fairly simple, the crunchy sound assets, meaty physics, and sheer number of Skaven on-screen at once makes it some of the most satisfying first-person melee combat you'll ever experience. The game is best enjoyed with friends, but there's still enough people playing that you shouldn't have a hard time finding games through the matchmaking system.
 
SteamWorld Heist
$4.49 (70% off)

Image & Form is best known for the SteamWorld Dig games, but I personally enjoy SteamWorld Heist more. Set in the same universe, Heist trades the digging and platforming for turn-based 2D piracy with an emphasis on trickshots. Board unsuspecting cargo ships with your party of upgradable steam-power robots, take every valuable that isn't nailed down, and escape before things get too hectic. Combat plays out a lot like Worms. You take turns moving your characters around, but have to manually aim all your weapons and gadgets. This is where the trickshots come from, as a big part of the combat involves ricocheting bullets off walls to hit enemies behind cover. The other SteamWorld games are discounted too, including 35% off the relatively new SteamWorld Dig 2.  
 
Cryptark
$5.24 (65% off)

Cryptark released from Early Access back in June, and this is the biggest discount I've seen for it. This 2D shooter combines careful planning and management with hectic and challenging combat. You are a hardsuit pilot for a salvage company that has been hired by a shady corporation to retrieve priceless artifacts from derelict alien space hulks. Your operations are on a tight budget, with razor-thin profit margins and the constant threat of bankruptcy looming over you. Risk and reward is a huge part of Cryptark, and this is reinforced in every aspect of the game. Armor plates, ammo, gadgets, everything has to be bought before a mission, and you have the option to risk bringing less supplies to improve your profits. Likewise, you can play it safe and stick to your primary mission, or explore the space hulks more thoroughly to get secondary objectives and salvage additional equipment. Alientrap's previous games are also really cheap, and I'd personally recommend grabbing their Collection Bundle for $11.66 to get Apotheon and Capsized.   
 
Aztez
$7.99 (60% off)

Finally we come to Aztez, another recent release that came out over the summer. While this 2D brawler isn't as ludicrously cheap as the other games on my list, I'm including it here because it's a damn fine game that was totally overlooked by gamers and the media. Your goal in Aztez is to unite the Aztec cities in preparation for a coming calamity that has been foreseen by the Empire's mystics. You do this by choosing missions on a map in a turn-based empire management screen, then slaughtering your enemies in brutal real-time combat. The brawling in this game is extremely complex, with tons of options that higher level fighting game fans will appreciate. There's only a handful of weapons to choose from, but each one is drastically different and the game is built around switching weapons mid-attack to keep your combo going. The actual empire management is the game's weakest point, but the combat more than makes up for it.
 
Which of these deals caught your attention?
Frank Streva
File Uploa:

Pictured above: Nine Parchments
 
I'm back with another batch of recent indie and AA releases that may have slipped past your radar. I'm not personally recommending any of these games- I'm just highlighting some new releases that stood out from the crowd and haven't received a lot of media attention. Make sure you read user reviews and search YouTube to find more information on each game.
 
SpellForce 3
Grimlore Games, THQ Nordic
$49.99

The acclaimed SpellForce series of RTS/RPG hybrids returns with a new installment. Set before the original game, the world is in chaos following the Crown's victory over the mage rebellion that led to the aptly-named Mage Wars. The charismatic leader of the Purity of Light, named Rondar Lacaine, has triggered a chain of events that could plunge the realm into even more anarchy as he launches a crusade to rid the world of all mages. Build your party of heroes across a fully-voiced, 30+ hour campaign that blends elements of RPG-style character progression with base construction, army building, and massive battles. I played the beta and felt that the game had potential, but it was extremely buggy, and from what I've read, that hasn't changed much in the full release. In fact, I encountered a game-breaking bug that made me unable to progress in a campaign mission due to a strangely specific scripting error, and I wasn't the only person this happened to. SpellForce 3 is also available on GOG and the Humble Store, though you may want to wait until a few patches have been released.
 
Shadowhand
Grey Alien Games
$14.99

Shadowhand is a turn-based RPG that uses a solitaire-style card battle system. Set in 18th Century England, you play as Lady Cornelia Darkmoor, a young aristocrat that spends her nights terrorizing the populace as the infamous highwaywoman, Shadowhand. After fleeing a crime scene one night, Cornelia accidentally stumbles upon a massive conspiracy that can threaten both of her personas and the people she holds dear. Customize your character across 150 levels by acquiring new weapons, gear, and cards. You can also find Shadowhand on the Humble Store and GOG.    
 
Nine Parchments
Frozenbyte
$19.99

Nine Parchments is the latest fantastical adventure from the developers of the Trine series. Built with co-op in mind, players control a band of runaway apprentices that hope to accelerate their arcane training by hunting down the legendary Nine Parchments. Taking a few cues from Magicka, this top-down spell-slinger features friendly fire and chaotic magical attacks that are just as likely to wipe out friend and foe alike. Customize your apprentice with new gear, spells, and skills as you level up, and unlock new characters throughout your quest. You can also buy Nine Parchments on GOG, the Humble Store, and the Switch, with PS4 and Xbox One versions coming soon.
 
Reigns: Her Majesty
Nerial, Synaptic Insight Technology Systems
$2.99

Reigns: Her Majesty is the standalone follow-up to last year's bizarre hybrid of Tinder and a choose your own adventure game. As with the original, your goal is to survive as long as possible as the ruler of a kingdom full of people that want to kill you. Swipe left or right when presented with a decision and hope it doesn't lead to you dying a hilariously tragic death somewhere down the road. As the name implies, this time around you get to play as a queen, but this gender swap isn't the only new addition to the series. Her Majesty has also reworked the inventory system, and added new Royal Challenges that allow you to unlock new cards by hitting specific goals. While the game works just fine on PC, I'd actually recommend grabbing it on iOS instead, due to the simple control scheme and gameplay structure that allows you to play in short, bite-sized chunks.     
 
Opus Magnum
Zachtronics
$19.99

Finally we come to Opus Magnum, the latest brain-melting, open-ended puzzle game from the developers of SpaceChem and SHENZHEN I/O. Design, build, and program elaborate machines to craft potions, poisons, weapons, and precious metals as an acclaimed alchemist. Like with Zachtronics' previous games, none of the puzzles in Opus Magnum have a set solution, giving players the freedom to construct machines as simple or complex as they'd like to complete each task. Make your own puzzles with the game's built-in editor, and distribute them across the globe via the Steam Workshop. When alchemy becomes too stressful for you, try taking a break to play a few rounds of Sigmar's Garden, a solitaire-style minigame. Also available on the Humble Store.
 
Which of these games grabbed your attention?          
Frank Streva
File Uploa:

Pictured above: Cobalt WASD
 
I'm back with another batch of recent indie and AA releases that may have slipped under your radar. I'm not here to personally recommend any of these games- I'm just highlighting some new releases that stood out from the crowd and haven't received a lot of media attention. Make sure you read user reviews and search YouTube to find more information on each game.
 
Seven: The Days Long Gone
Fool's Theory
$29.99

First up this week is Seven, an isometric stealth sandbox RPG that you've probably seen some banner ads for over the past few weeks. You play as Teriel, a master thief that finds himself on a one-way trip to the infamous island prison of Peh after a daring heist goes horribly wrong. Sneak, stab, and steal your way across an open world full of suspicious characters, rival factions, and monstrous fauna. One of the main highlights of Seven is its advanced movement and parkour system, with multi-tiered, vertical environments that you'd normally find in a third-person action game. Most of the reviews I've seen have been generally positive, with many of the complaints focused on bugs and a camera that occasionally gets confused by the game's elaborate level designs. You can also find Seven on GOG and the Humble Store.
 
Warbanners
Crasleen Games
$19.99

Warbanners is a turn-based strategy RPG that harkens back to old hex-based war games like Fantasy General and Panzer General. Recruit and manage a company of mercenaries across a 42 mission story campaign. Hire support staff that work behind the scenes to keep your army in top shape and sow discord among the enemy. Use both mundane and magical means to manipulate the battlefield topography in your favor with trenches, barricades, bridges, and firestorms that burn enemy fortifications and forests.  
 
Dominions 5- Warriors of the Faith
Illwinter Game Design
$39.99

Dominions 5 is the latest entry in a long-running series of ridiculously deep fantasy 4X games that place you in control of a demigod with aspirations of world conquest. Decimate you rivals and claim godhood by amassing vast armies of loyal subjects, conquering new territories, and gathering a library of powerful spells and magical enchantments. The biggest new additions to the series are customizable blessings that you can bestow upon your followers and a complete overhaul of the combat system to make battles quicker and more streamlined. Whatever you do, don't immediately write off Dominions 5 based on its looks. The Dominions games might have some fairly hideous graphics and presentation, but if you can look past that you'll find a very deep and highly customizable franchise.
 
Cattails
Falcon Development
$14.99

Cattails is an adorable sandbox RPG with light survival elements where you play as a feral cat. As far as I can tell, it's essentially what you'd get if someone made a cat sim version of Stardew Valley or Animal Crossing. Join (or fight against) one of three colonies of cats, each with a unique cast of characters to interact with. Fight off rival clans and claim new territory for your colony. Personalize your own den, find a mate, and raise a family of kittens that you can train to help out with daily tasks like hunting. Cattails is also on the Humble Store.   
 
Cobalt WASD
Oxeye Game Studio
$6.99

Finally we come to Cobalt WASD, a competitive 2D bomb defusal shooter. Two teams of four players take turns planting or defusing bombs over a series of rounds. Between rounds, players can spend money they earned in the previous round buying an arsenal of crazy weapons and gadgets, like stealth suits, time-slowing grenades, and teleporters. Cobalt WASD has mostly positive reviews on Steam thus far, but sadly it seems to be suffering from the usual problems many indie games have finding a player base. According to Steamcharts, the game peaked at 17 players today, and no one is currently playing, so make sure you can find a group to regularly play with before buying a copy. Cobalt WASD is also available on the Humble Store.        
 
Which of these games caught your attention?       
Frank Streva
File Uploa:

Pictured above: Battle Chef Brigade
 
I'm back with another batch of recent indie and AA releases that may have slipped under your radar. I'm not here to personally recommend any of these games- I'm just highlighting some new releases that stood out from the crowd and haven't received a lot of media attention. Make sure you read user reviews and search YouTube to find more information on each game.
 
Outcast- Second Contact
Appeal
$34.99

The grandfather of 3D open world adventure games returns in one of the most unexpected remakes of the last few years. The original Outcast was released in 1999, and despite its critical acclaim, only ever managed to gain a small cult following. The sequel was cancelled when the developers went bankrupt, but they managed to reacquire the IP several years back, resulting in the Outcast 1.1 HD remaster. Second Contact is a complete remake of the original game, with modern graphics, updated mechanics, and new content. Humanity has made contact with alien life, but this meeting has resulted in a cataclysm that could threaten Earth. You are Cutter Slade, a Navy SEAL sent to the planet Adelpha to prevent the coming apocalypse before it destroys both worlds. Explore a vast, open world with six continents populated by extraterrestrial life and advanced civilizations. Tackle missions with a mix of direct assaults, stealth, and your upgradable arsenal of weapons and gadgets. Second Contact is also on the Humble Store, PS4, and Xbox One.   
 
Titan Quest: Ragnarök
Pieces Interactive, THQ Nordic
$19.99

Another unexpected new release is Ragnarök, an expansion to Iron Lore's cult classic ARPG, Titan Quest. This expansion adds a fifth act that takes you throughout northern Europe, and features a ton of new enemies, bosses, and items inspired by Celtic and Norse mythology. Other new additions include an increased level cap and a 10th Mastery, the Runemaster. This warrior class fights with both traditional weapons and magical runes. There's some quality of life additions as well, including new shaders, improved UI, and expanded modding tools. This expansion requires the Anniversary Edition of Titan Quest, and can be found on GOG and the Humble Store.
 
Dreamstones
Windybeard
$11.99

You've heard of match-3 RPGs, but what about a block-breaking RPG? Dreamstones takes the block-breaking arcade gameplay you'd expect from an Arkanoid or Breakout clone, but adds some RPG elements and a kingdom management metagame. Use skills and items to help you destroy blocks and fight monsters. Rebuild your kingdom between battles by constructing buildings that offer various buffs and services. Dreamstones features over 200 levels across five unique worlds.    
 
Battle Chef Brigade
Trinket Studios
$19.99

Battle Chef Brigade is another new game that blends genres in unique ways, in this case a 2D brawler and match-3 puzzler. The Battle Chef Brigade is an elite force that both protects and feeds the realm of Victusia by slaying monsters and turning them into delicious and exotic dishes. You play as Thrash and Mina, two chef trainees looking to fight and cook their way into the Brigade by impressing a panel of picky judges. Kill monsters and harvest them for ingredients in a brawler combat system, then combine those ingredients into dishes in a match-3 minigame. Compete in daily challenges for leaderboard fame and play the Puzzle Rush and Break the Dishes modes for a bit of extra cash. Battle Chef Brigade is also on the Humble Store, GOG, Switch, and PS4.
 
Tower 57
Pixwerk
$11.99

Lastly we come to Tower 57, a retro-inspired shooter that is finally out after a lengthy development cycle. Choose from one of six unique characters and shoot your way through the titular Tower 57 and its many traps, guards, and bosses. Amass an arsenal of upgradable weapons and bionic body parts to give yourself a fighting chance. While Tower 57 can be played solo, the game was built with co-op in mind, so make sure you bring a partner. Also available on GOG and the Humble Store, with a PS4 version coming sometime in the future.
 
Which of these games caught your attention?           
Frank Streva
File Uploa:

Pictured above: Battlerite
 
I'm back with another batch of recent indie and AA releases that may have slipped under your radar. I'm not here to personally recommend any of these games- I'm just highlighting some new releases that stood out from the crowd and haven't received a lot of media attention. Make sure you read user reviews and search YouTube to find more information on each game.
 
Hand of Fate 2
Defiant Development
$29.99

The unique card-driven/board game roguelite Hand of Fate returns with a vastly improved sequel. The core premise of Hand of Fate 2 remains the same, but features tons of new quests, challenges, items, and mechanics. Develop your character in a board game controlled by the mysterious Dealer by collecting cards that represent weapons, gear, and abilities. Recruit new allies that can aid you in battle or manipulate the board game's rules. Combat is where Hand of Fate 2 has changed the most, abandoning the rather weak Arkham-style system of the original in favor of more traditional hack and slash action combat. You can also find Hand of Fate 2 on GOG, Xbox One, and PS4.     
 
Space Pirates And Zombies 2
MinMax Games Ltd.
$19.99

Space Pirates And Zombies is another cult hit indie title that had a sequel release this week, although its technically been out for over a year now via Early Access. Much like the original, SPAZ 2 allows you to explore a vast galaxy full of AI factions and rival captains that you can turn into enemies or allies. The events of the original game have decimated the galaxy's infrastructure, so resource management and scavenging play a larger role in the sequel. Much like Hand of Fate 2, SPAZ 2 has made rather drastic changes to the game's combat system, and has swapped the original's top-down view to a third-person perspective. Space Pirates And Zombies 2 is also available on GOG.     
 
Battlerite
Stunlock Studios
Free-to-play

Battlerite is the latest game from the developers of Bloodline Champions, and just exited Early Access several days ago. Much like its predecessor, Battlerite distills the MOBA genre down to its most exciting part: The team fights. Matches are played in large arenas without minions, towers, or farming, and rounds usually take about two minutes. Besides some pre-game tweaking that allows you to customize your champion by choosing five cards, Battlerite is wholly focused on character knowledge, positioning, and team composition, with nearly every ability being a skill shot that needs to be aimed. As a free-to-play MOBA-style game, Battlerite is monetized via loot chests that contain vanity items and champions, along with a weekly hero rotation. Alternatively, you can spend $30 to unlock all current and future champions.
 
Mutant Football League
Digital Dreams Entertainment LLC
$24.99

The classic Sega Genesis arcade football game Mutant League Football has been resurrected with modern mechanics and graphics with a spiritual successor made by the original's lead designer. In Mutant Football League, choose one of 18 teams made up of killer robots, alien monsters, and mutant freaks ready to (literally) smash the competition. Recruit All-Star players to give your team an edge on the trap-laden gridiron, and play dirty tricks like shotguns or chainsaws at the right moment to turn the game in your favor.  
 
Spintires: MudRunner
Saber Interactive
$29.99

Remember Spintires? It was an Early Access driving sim about using enormous all-terrain vehicles to navigate the muddiest "roads" you've ever seen. It gathered a sizeable following, but unfortunately development was permanently suspended after the one-man dev team was screwed over by a shady publisher. Luckily, Saber Interactive kept the rights to the IP and made a new deal with Focus Home Interactive. MudRunner is the ultimate version of Spintires, and features improved graphics and physics, new vehicles and environments, and full Steam Workshop support. You can also find MudRunners on the Humble Store, PS4, and Xbox One, though I hear that the console versions aren't particularly good.           
 
Heliborne
JetCat Games
$19.99

MudRunner isn't the only new release that recreates heavy equipment in near fetishistic detail. Heliborne is a helicopter combat game that lets players fly 40 of the most famous gunships from the 1950s to modern day. Relive historic battles from Vietnam, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and other conflicts in single player, co-op, and competitive multiplayer for up to 16 players. You can also find Heliborne on the Humble Store.
 
Card Quest
WinterSpring Games
$9.99

Finally we come to Card Quest, a card-driven, dungeon-crawling RPG roguelite. Choose one of four classes, each of which has three specializations, and delve into dungeons to battle monsters, defeat bosses, and earn loot. Combat comes in the form of a card game, with the various items and abilities you earn by questing and leveling up forming your customizable deck. Rid a cursed city of an undead plague or explore a dwarven mountain stronghold, each of which has 12 potential areas to visit during a run.
 
Which of these games caught your attention?            
Frank Streva
File Uploa:

Pictured above: AER Memories of Old
 
I'm back with another batch of recent indie and AA releases that may have slipped under your radar. I'm not here to personally recommend any of these games- I'm just highlighting some new releases that stood out from the crowd, most of which haven't received any real media attention. Make sure you read user reviews and search YouTube to find more information on each game.
 
The Mummy Demastered
WayForward
$19.99

We have officially entered the Bizarro Dimension with this release. The Mummy Demastered is a retro-inspired Metroidvania "demake" based on the recent Mummy movie, and was developed by the guys behind the excellent Shantae series. We've heard of movies spawning terrible licensed games before, but this is a rare reversal where an awful movie lead to a pretty solid game. Navigate jungles, tombs, and the streets of London as an operative for the secretive Prodigium group. Fight through Ahmanet's legions with a variety of weapons and gadgets, and discover hidden areas to unlock ancient relics and abilities. You can also find The Mummy Demastered on the Switch, Xbox One, and PS4.           
 
High Hell
Terri Vellmann, Doseone
$9.99

The developers of Heavy Bullets and Enter the Gungeon have teamed up to spawn High Hell, a fast and nonsensical arcade FPS. Blast your way through a maze-like office building full of syndicate thugs with the help of your trusting shotgun and powerful, well-toned legs. Burn stacks of ill-gotten cash, destroy drug labs, and rescue sacrificial lambs on your quest to destroy the criminal underworld. High Hell can apparently be finished in around 90 minutes, but the game is loaded with secrets and designed to be played multiple times as you compete with your friends to get the fastest speedrun. High Hell is also on the Humble Store.      
 
Bionic Battle Mutants
Monkeynetics
$9.99

Bionic Battle Mutants is a turn-based tactics game inspired by classics like X-COM and Jagged Alliance. Build a team of criminals-turned-gladiators on the prison planet Cerberus 7. Improve your gladiators between matches by crafting weapons, upgrades, and bionic limbs. Win your matches by either slaughtering the opposition, or scoring objectives. Bionic Battle Mutants features both a 21-mission single player campaign and competitive online matches against other players.
 
AER Memories of Old
Forgotten Key
$14.99

AER is a relaxing, minimalist exploration game that lets you freely transform into a bird and soar amongst the clouds. Embark on a pilgrimage to the Land of the Gods as Auk, one of the few remaining shapeshifters in the world. Travel to vibrant floating islands and explore massive temples full of puzzles and mysterious to solve. AER Memories of Old is also available on the Humble Store, GOG, PS4, and Xbox One.      
 
Debris
Moonray Studios
$19.99

Leave the open skies behind and dive into the terrifying depths of the Arctic Ocean in Debris. You are part of a film crew sent to make a documentary about meteoric debris found in the ocean that imitates a mysterious power that could put an end to Earth's energy problems forever. A disaster during filming leaves your crew scattered and stranded in the deep, and to make matters worse, you are being hunted by creatures of unknown origin. Explore a hauntingly beautiful bioluminescent ocean in a game world that promises to be the size of Manhattan. You can also find Debris on the Humble Store.        
 
Golden Krone Hotel
Vulgat
$9.99

Finally we come to Golden Krone Hotel, this week's obligatory roguelike release. You play as Sorina Arobase, a famous human war hero and monster hunter seeking vengeance against the vampire prince Fane. Navigate the procedurally-generated hallways of the Golden Krone Hotel and slay supernatural enemies. Also, you're actually a vampire in disguise. Cast spells and fight from a distance as a human, then transform into your vampire form to become a melee bruiser. Manipulate sunlight to your advantage to defeat your bloodthirsty foes, and destroy man-made lights so you can skulk around in the shadows. You can also buy Golden Krone Hotel on the Humble Store.
 
Which of these games caught your attention?  
Frank Streva
File Uploa:

Pictured above: ELEX
 
I'm back with another batch of recent indie and AA releases that may have slipped under your radar. As always, I'm not here to personally recommend any of these games- I'm just highlighting some new releases that stood out from the crowd. Make sure you read user reviews and search YouTube to find more information on each game.
 
Grim Dawn- Ashes of Malmouth
Crate Entertainment
$17.99

One new release I actually can recommend is the Ashes of Malmouth expansion for Grim Dawn. This massive expansion adds a ton of new content to an already excellent action RPG, including two new classes, 14 new Constellations, an increased level cap, and two story chapters set in the fallen city of Malmouth. Ashes of Malmouth also includes a wide variety of quality of life improvements, such as an Illusionist that can change your gear appearance, an expanded item stash, and several ways to respec your character. Grim Dawn and its expansion are available on GOG and the Humble Store too, but the base game is currently 66% off on Steam until November 1st.    
 
Dungeons 3
Realmforge Studios
$39.99

The Dungeons series returns for its third installment, and its apparently a fairly major improvement. The Dungeon series takes the dungeon building and management aspects of Dungeon Keeper, but gives you more control over your units like in an RTS. Build an elaborate dungeon to attract all manner of evil creatures before launching raids on the overworld, bringing corruption and ruin to the peaceful kingdoms of the surface-dwellers. One of the biggest new additions to Dungeons 3 is the inclusion of randomly generated level layouts to ensure that each session is unique. You can also find Dungeons 3 on GOG, the Humble Store, PS4, and Xbox One.     
 
ELEX
Piranha Bytes
$49.99

The developers of the cult classic Gothic series are taking their first steps into a new science fantasy universe with ELEX. In the post-apocalyptic world of Magalan, a war is being waged over a new resource that gives people immense magical abilities, but slowly drains them of their emotions. Explore a massive open world completely devoid of loading screens, with a jetpack that can be used to reach the game's many vertical locations. ELEX promises to deliver deep, interconnected quests and difficult choices as you either cling to your humanity, or allow your new powers to consume you. You can also find ELEX on GOG, the Humble Store, PS4, and Xbox One.       
 
Freaky Awesome
Mandragora
$9.99

Team up with three friends and explore a procedurally generated factory full of deranged mutants in the action roguelite Freaky Awesome. Consume mutagens to regain health and mutate yourself into various freaky creatures with unique special abilities and attacks. Luckily, the co-op in Freaky Awesome is both local and online, giving it an edge over many similar indie titles.
 
Brawlhalla
Blue Mountain Games
Free-to-Play

The highly anticipated Smash Bros.-style multiplayer brawler, Brawlhalla, has left early access. Choose from over 30 unique fighters and battle up to eight players online or locally in this platform fighter that emphasizes slamming your opposition off the map. Levels are dotted with various items and gadgets that can be used to turn the tide of battle in your favor. The game has been in beta for a long time now, and already has a fully featured ranking system and leaderboards based on player feedback. Brawlhalla's business model is free-to-play with a weekly rotation of six characters. You earn in-game currency that can be used to buy new characters, or you can spend $19.99 on the All Legends Pack to gain immediate access to every character, both current and future. Brawlhalla is currently only available on PC, but it's supposed to make its way over to PS4 eventually as well.   
 
Overgrowth
Wolfire Games
$29.99

After nearly a decade in development, the anthropomorphic animal fighter Overgrowth has finally hit version 1.0. This open sandbox game seeks to replicate stylized martial arts brawls through the use of free-flowing combat and a physics system that sits somewhere between "hilarious" and "wonky." People seem a bit divided over just how well the final product turned out, with many recent user reviews saying that Overgrowth still feels very unpolished and has a mediocre story. The game is also available on the Humble Store.
 
Holy Potatoes! What the Hell?!
Daylight Studios
$7.99

The Holy Potatoes series of quirky management games is back for a third installment. In What the Hell?!, you participate in a bizarre cooking show in Hell as you try to absolve yourself of sin and ascend to Heaven. Create your kitchen staff from a collection of fellow sinners and build delicious dishes to appease the Gods. Compete against rival teams in cook-offs to prove that you are the best chef in all of Hell. In a refreshing change of pace, What the Hell?! actually has a demo, so why not give it a try?
 
Bomber Crew
Runner Duck
$14.99

Finally we come to Bomber Crew, a strategy sim that can best be described as "FTL with WWII bombers." Recruit your crew and engage in daring bombing missions over German airspace. Swap your crew between stations and desperately try to keep your bomber in the air as you encounter enemy resistance from fighters and AA installations. Bomber Crew has mostly positive reviews thus far, but the one frequent complaint I keep seeing is the lack of a tactical pause feature, which makes the game a bit too hectic for some people's tastes.                  
 
Which of these new games caught your attention?      
Frank Streva
File Uploa:

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?     
Frank Streva
File Uploa:

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.
Frank Streva
File Uploa:

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.      
Frank Streva
File Uploa:

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.   
 
Frank Streva
File Uploa:
 
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.                   
 
Frank Streva
File Uploa:

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.   
Frank Streva
File Uploa:

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?
Frank Streva
File Uploa:
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.
Frank Streva
File Uploa:

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.      
 
Frank Streva
File Uploa:

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.                  
 
Frank Streva
File Uploa:

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.          
 
Frank Streva
File Uploa:

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.     
Frank Streva
File Uploa:

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.
 
Frank Streva
File Uploa:

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.
Frank Streva
File Uploa:

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.                       
Frank Streva
File Uploa:
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.
Frank Streva
File Uploa:
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.
Frank Streva
File Uploa:
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.
Frank Streva
File Uploa:
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.
Frank Streva
File Uploa:
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.
Frank Streva
File Uploa:
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.
Frank Streva
File Uploa:
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.
Frank Streva
File Uploa:
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.
Frank Streva
File Uploa:
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.
Frank Streva
File Uploa:
Pictured above: ICEY
 
Now that people are beginning to reawaken from their turkey-induced comas and kicking out their unwanted company, I think it's fair to say that catching up on some gaming is next on the agenda. It's with that in mind that I want to bring some recent indie releases to everyone's attention, starting with a trio of long-awaited titles that have finally exited Early Access:
 
Killing Floor 2
Tripwire Interactive
$29.99
 

 
The sequel to one of the best wave-based horde shooters ever has finally arrived. Killing Floor 2 promises more of the intense and visceral 6-player co-op action that made the original so popular, and with even more realistic gore effects, enemy types, game modes, and weapons than ever before. Perhaps the most noteworthy of the new game modes is Versus, which finally gives gamers the chance to play as the horrifically mutated and homicidal Zed in 6v6 matches. You can also find Killing Floor 2 on PS4.
 
Planet Coaster
Frontier Developments
$44.99
 

 
It's been a really long time since we had a fantastic theme park management game capable of recapturing the glory days of Roller Coaster Tycoon, but now Planet Coaster is here to set a new standard for the genre. Planet Coaster takes full advantage of modern technology to give players nearly limitless freedom in constructing their dream park piece-by-piece. If the ability to create just about anything you want wasn't enough for you, Planet Coaster also has full Steam Workshop support with an already massive following of modders creating new content.
 
SHENZHEN I/O
Zachtronics
$14.99
 

 
The developers of SpaceChem and Infinifactory are back with SHENZHEN I/O, a sandbox puzzle game to rival their previous efforts in sheer mind-melting complexity. To put it simply, SHENZHEN I/O is about building circuits. Of course, the process of building circuits can hardly be described as "simple," requiring you to study components from a variety of manufacturers and learn how to code. I'm way too stupid to play this game, but I'm sure there are plenty of people out there who will love it.
 
Silence
Daedalic Entertainment
$29.99
 

 
Silence is the latest adventure game from Daedalic Entertainment. You play as Noah and Renie, children that find themselves lost in Silence, a fantastical world that exists between life and death. Unfortunately for the siblings, Silence is caught in the middle of a war between dark monsters and a small band of rebels. Together the children must embark on a journey to help restore Silence to the serene land it once was. Also out on GOG.
 
Ittle Dew 2
Ludosity
$19.99
 

 
The comical Zelda-inspired adventure game Ittle Dew returns in its first sequel. This new title puts players back in the shoes of Ittle and Tippsie on a new adventure as they explore eight dungeons on a quest to steal all the pieces of a magical raft. This vastly expanded sequel is packed full of new loot, items, puzzles, and labyrinthine levels that can be completed in any order. You can also find Ittle Dew 2 on PS4 and Xbox One.
 
Screeps
Free-to-play
 

 
Screeps is an open source sandbox MMORTS set in a persistent world and designed specifically for programmers. The core mechanics of the game involve programming the AI of your units using JavaScript so that they'll harvest resources, expand your territory, and engage other players by themselves, even when you aren't online. Screeps only requires basic coding skills to get into, but the better and more efficient you are at coding, the better your units will be able to perform their tasks. Screeps is free-to-play, with a business model based around buying subscription tokens that allow you to save longer and more complex scripts.
 
Renoir
Black Wing Foundation
$19.99
 

 
Renoir is a noir-inspired, story-driven puzzle platformer where you play as a detective trying to solve his own murder. Your character, Detective James Renoir, finds himself trapped in a shadowy purgatory following his murder, and with the ability to control other phantom figures stuck between worlds. Renoir's mechanics are based around solving puzzles by briefly taking control of up to 5 of these phantoms, creating a recording of them performing various actions, and playing the recording in real-time to get past obstacles.
 
Mekazoo
The Good Mood Creators
$19.99
 

 
Finally we come to Mekazoo, a fast-paced and vibrant 2D platformer where you control mechanical animals with their own unique set of movement-based abilities. There are five animals in all and you can swap between them at will, giving you some flexibility in how you approach each of the game's challenges. Mekazoo is also out on PS4 and Xbox One.
 
 
Looking for more new games? Why not check out these other titles:
Metal Tales: Fury of the Guitar Gods, a colorful metal-themed roguelite shooter.
Bullshot, a side-scrolling shooter that harkens back to the days of Duke Nukem.
Project Abyss, a 2D survival RPG set in the darkest depths of the ocean.
Marrow, a 2D action platformer with heavy cosmic horror themes.
ICEY, a side-scrolling action game with meta commentary.
Stellar Interface, a retro-inspired shmup with roguelite elements.

 
I'll be back later with more new indie release highlights.
Frank Streva
File Uploa:
Pictured above: Candle
 
Most of the big AAA titles of the year are out now, but there is still a steady stream of indies looking for your attention. I can't promise that all of them are good, but they may be worth checking out as we enter the upcoming post-holiday drought.
 
Tyranny
Obsidian Entertainment
$44.99
 

 
Before I get to the more obscure games on the list, I want to remind everyone that Tyranny has been out for around a week now. This latest RPG by Obsidian harkens back to the old days of CRPGs, where choices were plentiful and had a real impact on the way you interact with the world. Tyranny is a fantasy tale of good and evil, except the evil overlord's armies have already conquered the world and you take on the role of one of his enforcers. Choose how you will interact with the populace and your fellow minions of darkness as discontent brews within the overlord's armies. Also on GOG.
 
Planet Explorers
Pathea Games
$24.99
 

 
Planet Explorers is an open world sci-fi sandbox that recently exited Early Access. While there is a story mode linking together all the crafting, building, exploration, and wanton slaughter of exotic alien wildlife, perhaps the biggest draw are the various sandbox modes where you can take full advantage of the game's voxel-based building and destruction. There's full multiplayer support as well, in both the co-op and competitive deathmatch variety.
 
AL-FINE
CrimsonRabbit
$14.99
 

 
AL-FINE is a fantasy shop management game along the lines of Recettear, though most of the reviews seem to indicate that it has its share of problems. Build a budding item shop in the bustling trade town of Notte Luce. Hire adventurers to raid dungeons for exotic items that you can sell in your shop, and use the profits to expand your store and overtake the competition.
 
Warfleet
UUUU Interactive
$9.99
 

 
Warfleet is the latest space combat game that focuses on building your own ships from scratch. Build your fleet and explore a procedurally generated galaxy populated by vessels designed by other players. The game is apparently a bit barebones right now and has a horribly unhelpful tutorial, so you may want to keep that in mind before taking the plunge.
 
Beholder
Warm Lamp Games
$9.99
 

 
Taking a page from the Papers, Please Academy of Morally Grey Gameplay Mechanics is Beholder, a stealthy investigation game where you play as the State-installed landlord of an apartment complex in a totalitarian nightmare. It's your job to spy on your tenants by any means necessary and report any contraband items or suspicious individuals to the authorities...Or will you? Much like in Papers, Please, you can choose to cling to your humanity and overlook illegal activity...or blackmail your renters to line your own pockets.
 
Sethian
Duang! Games
$4.99
 

 
Sethian is a sci-fi puzzle game where you must unravel the mystery surrounding the fate of a lost alien civilization. To accomplish this, you'll need to decipher their language and figure out how to operate a Sethian computer discovered in an ancient ruins. There are in-game notes to help you keep track of what you learn, and multiple endings that encourage you to fully grasp the Sethian language.
 
Candle
Teku Studios
$14.99
 

 
Hailing from a small indie studio in Spain is Candle, a gorgeously hand-painted 2D adventure game inspired by South American culture. You play as Teku, a young novice on a dangerous quest to save his tribe's shaman from the rival Wakcha tribe. Aiding you on your journey is a candle, granting you the ability to drive away the darkness, hold your enemies at bay, and solve the game's many puzzles. You can also find Candle on GOG.
 
Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation
Oxide Games, Stardock Entertainment
$39.99
 

 
Finally we come to Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation, a new standalone expansion to Stardock's next-gen mass-scale sci-fi RTS. Fight your way across the galaxy as one of two factions in the campaign, or take the war online in both ranked and unranked modes. Much like its predecessor, the biggest draw of Escalation is the sheer scale of the maps and numbers of units you can control, all thanks to the 64-bit Nitrous engine designed to push your hardware to its limits. Make sure you keep that in mind before you buy, as both Ashes of Singularity games require a pretty serious PC if you want to take full advantage of the engine's features. Also on GOG.
 
Here's a few extra games that deserve a mention:
 
Cubotrox, a puzzle game where you use falling blocks to complete a pixel art image.
 
Don't Open The Doors!, an action RPG with hand-crafted claymation graphics.
 
Super Rad Raygun, a retro side-scroller that emulates original Gameboy aesthetics.
 
Resin, a 2D Metroidvania with a regressive leveling system where you get weaker as you "level up."
 
 
That's all for now. I'll be back later with more new indie releases.
 
Frank Streva
File Uploa:
Pictured above: Oh...Sir!!
 
We are now well into the annual pre-holiday flood of AAA releases. It's a time full of high profile games like Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Titanfall 2, Battlefield 1, Dishonored 2, and Watch Dogs 2 dominating the release charts, but gamers would do well not to forget all the cool indies out there released on a weekly basis. With that in mind, I'm back with another big batch of recent indie releases that you may or may not know about.
 
Owlboy
D-Pad Studio
$24.99
 

 
Probably the biggest indie release of this week is Owlboy, a retro-inspired adventure game with light Metroidvania elements that was 9 years in the making. You play as Otus, the owlboy in question, on a high-flying adventure through massive ruins crawling with ancient secrets and danger. Instead of directly fighting enemies you'll recruit gun-toting allies to carry around that will shoot at any enemies in your path. I haven't played it yet myself, but everything I've heard so far indicates that Owlboy is an adventure that was well worth waiting for, so go check it out on Steam or GOG.
 
House of the Dying Sun
Marauder Interactive
$19.99
 

 
Another pretty high profile indie release this week is House of the Dying Sun, a space shooter that just exited Early Access. Heavily inspired by space sims from the golden era of PC gaming, House of the Dying Sun puts you in the cockpit of the most advanced starfighter in the galaxy on a campaign of terror and revenge against the traitorous dogs trying to bring ruin to the Empire. You won't just be shooting apart enemy ships in your customizable fighter though, as the game also features an active pause system and tactical overview that allows you to issue orders to the rest of the dreaded Harbinger Fleet. House of the Dying Sun has full VR support for that extra immersion factor, but be aware that flightsticks aren't officially supported and that the campaign is apparently quite short.
 
Dungeon Rats
Iron Tower Studio
$8.99
 

 
Dungeon Rats is a new party-based tactical RPG set in the same world as Age of Decadence. While AoD is a lengthy adventure of political intrigue in a crumbling Roman-inspired empire, Dungeon Rats strips the experience down to a more traditional dungeon crawler full of tactical turn-based combat. That isn't to say that Dungeon Rats is simpler though, and features an extensive array of skills, weapon types, companions, alchemy, and crafting systems. Sentenced to life in the world's most deadly prison mine, you must navigate your way up the prison's gang hierarchy and eventually find a way out of this deathtrap. You can also find it on GOG.
 
Grimm: Dark Legacy
Artplant
$14.99
 

 
Licensed games can always be pretty hit or miss, but Grimm: Dark Legacy looks like it might have some potential. This action RPG with roguelike elements is inspired by the Wesen journal in the NBC series and has you take control of the ancestors of the Grimm. The goal is to hunt Wesen for as long as possible, before you eventually die and pass your knowledge on to the next generation of monster hunters. Grimm: Dark Legacy also features online co-op for up to 4 players.
 
Clockwork Empires
Gaslamp Games
$29.99
 

 
Clockwork Empires is finally out after several years of Early Access. This latest game by the developers of Dungeons of Dredmor places you in control of a budding frontier colony of the Clockwork Empire. Bring industry and civilization to the wildlands as you build a thriving town with a fully simulated population where each worker has their own needs and hidden desires. Your colony will face many challenges, including cults, mysterious creatures, and Lovecraftian horrors. While the game is out of Early Access, you may want to hold off a while as a number of issues still seem to linger from its beta days.
 
Dead Age
Silent Dreams
$14.99
 

 
Another recent release from Early Access is Dead Age, an interesting new take on the zombie survival genre. The game features many of the elements you'd expect from a survival roguelite, such as a customizable base camp, crafting, and rival gangs to contend with in addition to the zombies hordes. The twist is a turn-based combat system inspired by classic JRPGs, like Final Fantasy back when the franchise was still decent. You'll also make important story decisions that can lead to one of six possible endings.
 
Versus Game
DiezelPower
$14.99
 

 
Versus Game may have a generic name and premise, but there is a powerful pedigree backing up this top-down zombie shooter. Versus Game is the latest title by the developers of Nation Red, one of the best horde shooters ever made. Versus Game features many of the same concepts and power-ups from Nation Red, with the biggest new addition being a pre-match sandbox mode where you get to design your own defenses before being assaulted by thousands of shambling dead. Versus Game seems a bit barebones now, but bear in mind that Nation Red was getting free updates some five years after release.
 
Orwell
Osmotic Studios
$9.99
 

 
Orwell is an episodic investigation game that tackles some all too real issues in today's political climate. You play as an investigator for the Orwell project, a security and monitoring program that would give the NSA wet dreams. You are tasked with tracking down those responsible for a series of terrorist attacks in a Totally-Not-America country referred to as "The Nation." You'll need to scour social media, hack PCs, intercept private chats, phone calls, text messages, and more all in the name of national security. The information you find will be sent to your superiors, and any choices you make can have significant consequences for those you are monitoring.
 
The Deep Paths: Labyrinth of Andokost
Steve Jarman
$7.99
 

 
Finally we come to The Deep Paths, a new first-person, grid-based dungeon crawling RPG inspired by classics from the '80s and '90s. Lead a band of adventurers into a dark labyrinth full of monsters, traps, and puzzles on a quest to save their city.
 
Need more games? Here's a few other releases of note:
 
Rusty Lake: Roots, the latest entry in the surreal Rusty Lake adventure series.
 
Meadow, a pseudo-MMO set in the Shelter universe where players explore the vast wilderness as animals.
 
End of the Mine, a 2D shooter-platformer featuring 8 upgradable weapons and 5 vast levels.
 
Blackfaun, a top-down action RPG with roguelike elements where you play as a faun on a quest to prove her worth as queen.
 
Rencounter, a turn-based, party-based RPG featuring roguelike elements where you control a squad navigating a vast network of procedurally generated tunnels.
 
Bye-Bye, Wacky Planet, a side-scrolling shooter inspired by games like Alien Hominid.
 
Vulture Island, the PC port of a highly acclaimed retro platformer originally on mobile devices.
 
Oh...Sir!!, the premier verbal assault simulator of elaborate insults.
 
Behold!, a cheap 2D twin-stick shooter where you play as a beholder-like eye monster.
 
I'll be back soon with more indie new releases.
Frank Streva
File Uploa:
Pictured above: Killing Room
 
I'm back with another batch of ten recent indie games that might have slipped past your radar. I'm not confirming that any of these games are good, just that they looked promising enough to stand out from the usual deluge of weekly releases on Steam. Should you find any games you like on this list, remember to spread the word and tell your friends about them. Most of these games probably won't get much in the way of media coverage.
 
Sky Break
Farsky Interactive
$14.99
 

 
Originally released a year ago via Early Access, Sky Break is an open-world survival crafting game with a few unique elements for the genre. You have been sent to the planet of Arcania to find a cure for a deadly virus ravaging humanity, but an accident has left you stranded. Sky Break's enemies come in the form of strange robotic life forms, many of which can be hacked and turned into companions that will aid you in battle. Arcania's weather is another obstacle you'll need to overcome, as intense lightning storms can wreak havoc on the environment and hinder your progress.
 
Dark Train
Paperash Studio
$14.99
 

 
Dark Train is a surreal and atmospheric 2D point 'n click puzzle adventure game with gorgeous papercraft graphics that were made entirely by hand. You play as a mechanical squid named Ann 2.35f that is charged with maintaining the mysterious Dark Train. In gameplay terms, this means exploring the train and solving puzzles as you uncover the story behind the train and the man who created it.
 
Kim
The Secret Games Company
$24.99
 

 
Kim is a unique new adventure game set in colonial India. You play as Kim, a street urchin just trying to survive with whatever he can scrape together. Live through Kim's childhood, acquiring food and other necessities by any means necessary as you explore exotic locations and interact with characters drawn from history and folklore. Gameplay combines elements of resource management, stealth, the occasional bit of combat, and a conversation system that can lead to multiple outcomes and endings. Also available on GOG.
 
Cursed Castilla
Locomalito, Gryzor87
$11.99
 

 
Cursed Castilla is an extended and upgraded PC port of the Spanish arcade title Maldita Castilla, and is a love letter to classic platformers like Ghosts 'n Goblins. Inspired by Spanish folklore, you play as the knight Don Ramiro on a quest to banish the evil that plagues the lands of Tolomera. Vanquish over 48 different types of enemies and 19 bosses across 8 stages with 4 different endings.
 
Octave
Anate Studio
$4.99
 

 
Octave is a 2D point 'n click horror game with action elements. You find yourself dragged deep into a dark forest by a figure that seems intent on your murder before you are miraculously spared. Your nightmare is only beginning however, and now you must find a way out of the woods. Solve puzzles, avoid monsters, and ultimately survive the paranormal activity that haunts you at every turn.
 
Killing Room
Alda Games
$9.99
 

 
Killing Room is the latest title to blend FPS action with roguelite elements. You play as a contestant in the titular Killing Room, the hottest deathmatch reality show of the 22nd century. Try to survive an onslaught of crazy monsters across 8 randomly generated levels to become one of the few survivors to win the grand prize. Killing Room also features Twitch integration, allowing a streamer's audience to reward or, more likely, punish their performance.
 
Oh My Gore!
Bumblebee
$9.99
 

 
Oh My Gore! is a tower defense/RTS hybrid published by Daedalic Entertainment that places you in the shoes of the newly resurrected God of War, Raelius. Build towers to defend your fortress of doom from the forces of good while commanding your own army of evil henchmen and dark champions. The game originally launched with 20 campaign missions, with a level editor and Steam Workshop integration coming in the near future.
 
BossConstructor
Mirko Seithe
$14.99
 

 
There have been quite a few space games lately that allow you to build your starship down to each individual module, and BossConstructor is the latest example. Build a ship from modular components and explore a vast, procedurally generated galaxy populated by the mysterious and constantly evolving von-Neumann. This alien race is driven by an elaborate AI that allows them to evolve and mutate during your playthrough, forcing you to adapt your play style on the fly to counter new subspecies.
 
Slayaway Camp
Blue Wizard Digital
$8.99
 

 
Just in time for Halloween comes Slayaway Camp, a gory sliding puzzle game that allows you to play through your favorite '80s slasher film moments. Slide your psychopathic murderer Skullface around over 200 puzzles on your quest to slaughter over-sexed teenagers and their incompetent camp counselors.
 
Lost Socks: Naughty Brothers
Nerf Games
$9.99
 

 
Finally we come to Lost Socks, a 2D platformer that gives me some major Earthworm Jim vibes. Travel to a bizarre parallel world in search of your kidnapped brother and blow up everything in your way with an arsenal of upgradeable weapons. Much like in old school platformers, each of the game's numerous levels are nonlinear, with multiple paths and secrets to discover.
 
That's all for now. I'll be back later this week with more indie release highlights.
Frank Streva
File Uploa:
Pictured above: Thumper
 
After another hiatus, I'm back with a massive round-up of some interesting indie releases from the last few weeks. As always, I'm not outright endorsing any of these games, just highlighting some recent games you may have missed.
 
Rogue Wizards
Spellbind Studios
$14.99
 

 
As its name implies, Rogue Wizards is a new dungeon crawling roguelike where players control a wizard from The Guild during its darkest moments. Like many games in the genre, most of Rogue Wizards involves fighting your way through randomly generated dungeons in search of loot. Between dungeon raids you'll have a chance to build your own town, craft potions and gear, and customize the wizard tower you call home.
 
Masquerada: Songs and Shadows
Witching Hour Studios
$24.99
 

 
Masquerada is a vibrant party-based tactical RPG set in a Venetian city full of magic and intrigue. You play as Cicero Gavar, a sleuth that was exiled five years ago for crimes against the state. Now, Cicero has been brought back to solve the kidnapping of an important diplomat. Combat is played out in real-time, with a pause option to plot out more advanced maneuvers. A major part of the combat system involves "tagging" enemies with abilities to make them more vulnerable to other attacks and status effects.
 
Warshift
Cyril Megem
$19.99
 

 
The highly ambitious Warshift has finally left Early Access after some five years of development. This bizarre shooter, RPG, RTS, and MOBA hybrid was created by a single person who is clearly more talented than most of us could ever hope to be. Players build a base and command armies like in a more traditional RTS, but can directly control upgradeable hero units and vehicles to turn the tide of battle like in a third-person shooter.
 
The Metronomicon
Puuba
$19.99
 

 
Rhythm games and party-based RPGs collide in The Metronomicon. You control a party of 4 characters with their own unique abilities like in your average RPG, but during the entire battle you are playing a DDR-style rhythm game to successfully attack and defend. To make things even more hectic, combat is in real-time and you need to constantly swap between your characters to cast their abilities. As you can probably imagine, The Metronomicon's soundtrack is a major highlight of the game, and you can grab a copy of it with the $25 Deluxe Edition.
 
Particle Fleet: Emergence
Knuckle Cracker
$14.99
 

 
Particle Fleet is a strange mix of fleet-based RTS and physics puzzle game. Build a fleet of fully customizable (and destructible) ships on a dangerous mission deep into Redacted Space. There you'll find the Particulate, a mysterious enemy that sweeps across space as a seemingly never-ending wave of particles. You'll have to establish defensive lines to hold back this bizarre, formless enemy that dynamically engulfs everything in its path.
 
Star Vikings
Rogue Snail
$9.99
 

 
Some of the developers behind Dungeonland and Chroma Squad are back with Star Vikings, a casual puzzle RPG that is described as a "reverse Plants vs Zombies." Build a crew of 5 customizable Vikings, each with their own class and skills, as you assault enemy positions in a combat system that mixes strategy and puzzle solving. In addition to a 6 hour campaign, Star Vikings features procedurally generated levels to keep you occupied after the main story is over.
 
Viking Squad
Slick Entertainment Inc.
$14.99
 

 
Our second Viking game of the week is Viking Squad, an RPG brawler reminiscent of Golden Axe and other classics of the genre. Choose from one of several playable Vikings, each with their own selection of skills and weapons. Find new gear and powerful mounts to aid you in combat, and choose which Norse gods to worship to further tweak your experience. Viking Squad also features both local and online co-op.
 
Aragami
Lince Works
$19.99
 

 
In Aragami, you play as an undead assassin with the ability to manipulate shadows. Play a deadly game of cat and mouse with the Army of Light as you sneak from shadow to shadow, stealthily killing guards and utilizing your supernatural abilities to infiltrate the fortress of Kyuryu and rescue the mysterious woman that summoned you.
 
Not enough cool new games for you? Check out these other titles:
 
GoNNER, a rock-hard procedurally generated platformer with a rather unique aesthetic.
 
Lichtspeer, a projectile-based spear-throwing action game set in a neon-lit, '80s-inspired Germanic future.
 
Sorcerer King: Rivals, a new standalone expansion to Stardock's fantasy 4X game set after evil has conquered the world.
 
Thumper, a rhythm-based racer full of frightening speed and hellish environments.
 
Butcher, a blood splattered 2D shooter that puts you in control of a homicidal cyborg sent to murder the last remnants of humanity.
 
Earthlock: Festival of Magic, the first chapter in a colorful new RPG series inspired by Japanese classics from the '90s.
 
Xenoraid, a new vertically scrolling shoot 'em up by the developers of Crimsonland.
 
Klang, an action game that blends classic rhythm gameplay with platforming and combat.
 
 
That's all for now. I'll (hopefully) be back soon with more new release highlights.
 
Frank Streva
File Uploa:
Pictured above: RIVE
 
We've had no shortage of cool indie releases lately, and this week was no exception. I hope you brought your wallets.
 
TOXIKK
Reakktor Studios
$14.99
 

 
Gamers looking to get their arena shooter fix should check out TOXIKK, which recently released from Early Access. This FPS promises to offer a refreshingly old-school fragging experience straight from 1999, all with a modern coat of paint. TOXIKK features an interesting business model too, with an extensive free version that you can try before deciding to upgrade to the full version. Some of the perks to upgrading include more maps, a campaign mode, custom servers, and full access to the level editor and Steam Workshop content.
 
Cossacks 3
GSC Game World
$19.99
 

 
The Cossacks series finally returns after a decade-long hiatus with Cossacks 3. Cossacks 3 is the first in the series to go fully 3D, all while retaining the massive land and sea battles the franchise is known for. The game's single player content consists of 5 historical campaigns in addition to randomly generated skirmish maps, with 12 playable nations total and hundreds of units and research options.
 
Avadon 3: The Warborn
Spiderweb Software
$19.99
 

 
Avadon 3 is the third and final chapter of Spiderweb's Avadon series, and the last game to use their current engine. Like all of Spiderweb's titles, Avadon 3 is an old-school inspired CRPG featuring over 100 hours of gameplay with multiple endings and deep character customization. Spiderweb claims that you don't need experience with the previous Avadon games to enjoy Avadon 3, but I'd still recommend checking out the previous two titles while you're at it. Also on GOG.
 
Space Rogue
Red Beat
$19.99
 

 
Another game that recently released from Early Access is Space Rogue, a space roguelite inspired by FTL. This sandbox exploration game places you in control of a starship, leading your crew across a procedurally generated galaxy where your goals are ultimately up to you. Over 200 random events ensure that each playthrough is fresh, and there is a Sandbox mode that allows you to tweak the game's galaxy generation algorithm to suit your tastes. Also on GOG.
 
Halcyon 6: Starbase Commander
Massive Damage, Inc.
$19.99
 

 
Halcyon 6 is another recent space game with roguelike elements. Whereas Space Rogue is focused on exploration, Halcyon 6 is more of an XCOM/4X game about establishing a space fortress on the edges of Terran space. Your base will serve as Earth's best defense against a hostile alien race gradually creeping into Federation territory. Battles are turn-based and use an almost JRPG-style combat system, and war will be waged both between fleets and on the soil of exotic alien worlds. Also on GOG.
 
Event[0]
Ocelot Society
$19.99
 

 
Event[0] is a narrative sci-fi exploration game where you are the sole remaining human on an abandoned ship in the depths of space. Your only companion is Kaizen, a computer AI that you can interact with by typing at terminals around the ship. Kaizen has over 2 million programmed responses, and your relationship with the AI can change based on your interactions. Build your relationship with Kaizen so you can gradually unravel the history of the ship and safely return to Earth. Also on GOG.
 
Seraph
Dreadbit
$12.99
 

 
Seraph is an acrobatic 2D shooter where you control a gun-wielding angel trying to restore her powers and escape a prison infested with demons. Combat consists of fast-paced and skillful gun-fu, complete with dodges, cartwheels, and upgradeable weapons and Miracles you'll discover as you progress through the game's procedurally generated levels. Streamers might also be interested in Seraph's Twitch integration, which allows viewers to vote for modifiers to help or hinder the player between levels.
 
Ember
N-Fusion Interactive
$9.99
 

 
Ember is a CRPG made in the classical style of games from the '90s and early '00s. You are a Lightbringer, an ancient being resurrected to save a world on the brink of collapse. On your adventure through the world of Ember you'll encounter a variety of new companions to aid you in the game's party-based real-time tactical battles, each of which have unique story quests that reveal more about their background. Ember promises over 70 quests that equal out to around 30 hours of content.
 
Zenith
Infinigon
$14.99
 

 
Finally we come to Zenith, another recent indie CRPG that leans a bit more on the humorous side. You play as Argus, a arcanologyst that accidently unleashed an apocalyptic event after toying with an ancient artifact. Now he devotes his days to protecting dangerous artifacts from the hands of clueless adventurers looking for their next loot fix in dungeons and tombs across the land. Also on GOG, Xbox One, and PS4.
 
 
Not enough games for you? Check out these as well:
 
Pankapu, an episodic narrative action-platformer where you can switch between three characters. $4.99
 
What The Box?, an online multiplayer game where players are living boxes playing a deadly game of hide and seek in a warehouse. $4.99
 
The Bunker, an FMV horror game where you play as a lone survivor in a nuclear fallout bunker. $19.99
 
Ian's Eyes, a stealth game where you play as a blind kid's seeing eye dog during a zombie apocalypse. $9.99
 
RIVE, a 360-degree shooter-platformer hybrid. $14.99
 
Gearguns, a vehicular shooter that places you in control of a tank defending Earth during an alien invasion. $7.99
 
Featherpunk Prime, a shooter-platformer where you control an agile robot flamingo. $9.99
 
Marooners, a local multiplayer party game where the minigames are constantly switching mid-match. $12.99
 
Cashtronauts, a top-down arcade shooter about looting and smuggling in deep space. $7.99
 
 
I'll be back soon with more new indie release highlights.
Frank Streva
File Uploa:
Pictured above: Assault Suit Leynos
 
After a bit of a hiatus I'm back with another massive batch of recent indie game releases. So many games have been released since the last Overlooked Indies that I'll need to split them up between multiple articles, so make sure you come back for the second batch later.
 
Redout
34BigThings
$34.99
 

 
There has been a depressing lack of ludicrously fast anti-grav racing games in the last few years, and Redout seeks to remedy this situation. The game promises to be crammed full of high speed sci-fi racing, with an extensive career mode, online multiplayer, multiple teams and classes of ships, and upgradeable powerups and that add an extra layer of progression. While VR support is one of Redout's big selling points, it is still completely optional.
 
Mother Russia Bleeds
Le Cartel Studio
$14.99
 

 
Mother Russia Bleeds is the latest indie game brought to you by Devolver Digital, and has been getting a lot of attention for its visceral and ultraviolent combat. Players take on the role of hardened street fighters punching and smashing their way out of the harshest prisons the USSR has to offer. Drugs play a huge role in both the crazy storyline and gameplay, acting as a powerup that grants immense strength and can be refueled by spilling the blood of your enemies. As with any brawler worth its salt, Mother Russia Bleeds also features co-op, albeit local only. Also on GOG.
 
The Final Station
Do My Best
$14.99
 

 
The Final Station fills the slot for this week's obligatory survival/crafting roguelite title. Travel across a dying world by train as you choose to either help or loot any survivors you encounter along the way. You'll need to stop periodically at train stations to look for valuable supplies and ammo, but doing so also comes with significant risks as you encounter the zombie-like Infected. You can also find The Final Station on GOG, PS4, and Xbox One.
 
Tahira: Echoes of the Astral Empire
Whale Hammer Games
$14.99
 

 
Tahira is a tactical turn-based RPG set on a planet where technology and society have regressed following the collapse of a massive intergalactic empire. You play as Tahira, the princess of the kingdom of Avestan, as they are attacked by the Astral Empire. The story is set over the course of a single night, and one of the game's selling points is the lack of "filler" battles. Each encounter is unique and handcrafted, negating the need to grind for experience before you can tackle the next quest. Also on GOG.
 
The Warlock of Firetop Mountain
Tin Man Games
$19.99
 

 
The Warlock of Firetop Mountain is a digital tabletop RPG inspired by the Fighting Fantasy gamebook of the same name from 1982. The simultaneous turn-based battles are set on grids, and each character and monster is represented by a miniature. Explore the dungeons of Firetop Mountain as you slay monsters, make game-changing decisions, and collect new miniatures you can use in future runs.
 
Seasons After Fall
Swing Swing Submarine
$14.99
 

 
Seasons After Fall is a new 2D puzzle-platformer with gorgeous artwork developed by the studio behind Blocks That Matter and Tetrobot and Co. You play as a fox on a quest to find the four guardians of the seasons in a magical forest world. Meeting each guardian grants you the ability to control the season they represent, and all of the game's puzzles are based around changing the seasons to manipulate the environment.
 
The Curious Expedition
Maschinen-Mensch
$14.99
 

 
The Curious Expedition is a roguelite expedition game that draws much of its inspiration from classic pulp adventure tales. Create a band of famous 19th century explorers and personalities, then lead them through procedurally generated stories set in lush, unexplored jungles. Discover ancient civilizations, interact with native tribes unknown to the Western world, and fend off prehistoric beasts from the dawn of time. Also on GOG.
 
Livelock
Tuque Games
$19.99
 

 
Livelock is a cooperative top-down shooter RPG that was picked up and published by Perfect World Entertainment. Take control of one of three upgradable robots as you try to end the machine war that caused the downfall of humanity. While drop-in, drop-out online co-op is the primary focus of Livelock, you can still play the campaign and survival modes solo.
 
RunGunJumpGun
ThirtyThree
$7.99
 

 
Finally we come to RunGunJumpGun, a difficult retro-style two button platformer. You are strapped to a massive gatling gun that acts as both a weapon and a means of propulsion. One button lets you fly, the other fires your gun at enemies in front of you. RunGunJumpGun is partially a rhythm game as well, with all the action being accompanied by a pulsing soundtrack that blends elements of electronic synth music with hip hop. Also of note is the special 25% discount deal that makes this already cheap platformer even cheaper if you own Downwell, Hotline Miami, or Xeodrifter.
 
 
Not enough games for you? Check out these other new releases:
 
NeuroVoider, a top-down twin-stick shooter with RPG elements and local co-op for up to 4 players.
 
Titan Quest Anniversary Edition, a rerelease of the action RPG classic designed to work on modern systems.
 
Hue, a puzzle-platformer based around changing the background color to get past obstacles.
 
Assault Suit Leynos, a PC HD rerelease of a cult classic Mega Drive shoot 'em up.
 
Lost Castle, an RPG beat 'em up with roguelite elements and procedurally generated dungeons and loot.
 
Project Highrise, a 2D skyscraper construction and management sim.
 
How to Survive 2, the sequel to 2013's top-down zombie looter and survival RPG.
 
Police Tactics: Imperio, a strategy game that places you in control of the Newport Falls Police Department.
 
Star Crusade, a new free-to-play digital card game along the lines of Hearthstone.
 
 
I'll be back soon with more new release highlights.
Frank Streva
File Uploa:
Pictured above: Valley
 
I'm back with another massive batch of recent indie games to highlight. There have been a ton of new releases lately, so we have a bunch of them to go through today.
 
Everything is Peachy
Peacock Dreams Games
$3.99
 

 
No Man's Sky isn't the only recent procedurally generated adventure about reaching the center of the galaxy. Everything is Peachy is a resource gathering strategy game about guiding your army of peach-fueled robots to a showdown in the center of the known universe. As you hop from planet to planet, you'll need to refuel by building efficient supply chains with your robots to transport peaches from trees back to your starship. It won't be that easy though, as many planets are full of hazards and harsh conditions that can impede your progress.
 
Pan-Pan
Spellkraft
$12.99
 

 
Pan-Pan is a visually stunning open world puzzle and exploration game. This narrative-focused title tells it's story primarily through the beautiful environments you'll discover on your journey. Use various tools and gadgets to solve complex puzzles that open up new areas for you to explore on your quest to return home.
 
The Hive
Skydome Entertainment
$19.99
 

 
The Hive is a fantasy RTS/RPG that recently exited Early Access. You are the hive mind for a race of insectoid creatures the dwell deep underneath the surface of the barren deserts of Eden. Lead your race through ancient ruins and lush underground forests in this RTS where your choices and actions can determine the outcome of a branching storyline.
 
Master of Orion
NGD Studios
$29.99
 

 
Another game that recently released from Early Access is Master of Orion, a reboot of the classic space 4X funded by the developers behind World of Tanks. This reboot includes modern interpretations of many of the franchise's classic races and core gameplay loops, but largely takes the series in a new direction with real-time combat and more streamlined mechanics. The AI in its current form is apparently quite weak, and the fandom is divided on many of the changes, but it's still a high budget 4X that might be worth checking out as new content is released. Hopefully the Antarians will be among the first post-launch additions.
 
Zombasite
Soldak Entertainment
$19.99
 

 
Zombasite is another top-down action RPG set during a zombie apocalypse, but hear me out before skipping ahead or closing the window. Firstly, Zombasite is brought to us by Soldak, a fairly quirky developer responsible for some really unique takes on the ARPG genre. Secondly, this zombie apocalypse is the result of a necromancer in a fantasy world full of magic and exotic races. Recruit followers to your clan to help you survive the zombie hordes and raid rival clans, or bring your friends along in the co-op multiplayer mode.
 
Dungeon Punks
Hyper Awesome Entertainment
$14.99
 

 
Dungeon Punks is an arcadey beat 'em up reminiscent of Golden Axe, but with a tag team combat system similar to Marvel vs Capcom. Choose two of the six mutant heroes to play across twelve levels packed with enemies and loot. Much like in Golden Axe, you'll find mounts and companion animals to help you in combat. Dungeon Punks can be played alone or with two other friends, and is also available on Vita, PS4, and Xbox One.
 
Duelyst
Counterplay Games Inc.
Free-to-Play
 

 
Duelyst has finally made its way to Steam after being officially out of beta for over a month now. Duelyst is the latest digital card game attracting everyone's attention, and combines the usual collecting and deck building with a tactical battle system kind of like the now defunct Scrolls. The game currently features over 400 cards spread across 6 factions, with new ones being added regularly.
 
The Storm Guard: Darkness is Coming
Bitmen Studios
$19.99
 

 
In The Storm Guard, you play as the Lord Commander of the titular order following decades of diminishing power and influence. Worse yet, the very creatures the Storm Guard were created to vanquish have now returned. It's your job to rebuild the order by recruiting new heroes, repairing the Storm Guard's abandoned fortress, and bring peace back to the land in turn-based tactical battles against the forces of evil.
 
Tempest
Lion's Shade
$14.99
 

 
Finally we come to Tempest, a new open world pirate RPG. Pillage, smuggle, and trade your way across the high seas as you develop your captain, expand your crew, and acquire new ships. Tempest features a few magical and mythological twists too, with cultists, curses, mystical amulets that allow you to cast spells in battle, and massive sea monsters to hunt. While the game can be played entirely by yourself, you can invite friends along on your quest to terrorize trade routes across the ocean.
 
 
Not enough games for you? Check these out as well:
 
Valley, a first-person action platformer that places you in control of an agile exosuit.
 
N++, the follow-up to the critically acclaimed minimalistic platformer from 2008.
 
Tavernier, a short interactive novel with light tavern management.
 
Battleline: Steel Warfare, a free-to-play tank combat strategy game with shooter elements.
 
Optika, a puzzle game based around manipulating lights, lasers, and magnets.
 
Obduction, a puzzle-heavy adventure game from some of the people that brought you Myst.
 
Worms W.M.D, the latest installment in the popular turn-based artillery game.
 
Tribe of Pok, a survival game about managing a tribe of hunter-gatherers.
 
Metrico+, a puzzle-platformer set in a bizarre world of pie charts, line diagrams, and bar graphs.
 
 
I'll be back soon with more new indie game highlights.
Frank Streva
File Uploa:
Pictured above: Grow Up
 
We had another one of those busy release weeks that I use to justify the new format I adopted a few weeks back. The new format is totally because there are so many games being released these days, and most certainly has nothing at all to do with me being both lazy and busy all the time now.
 
Hero Generations: ReGen
Heart Shaped Games LLC
$14.99
 

 
I enjoyed last year's Hero Generations, despite its rather limited combat and simplistic, clunky mechanics. I never encountered any particularly major issues in the dozen or so hours I played, but others weren't as lucky. It's for that reason that ReGen exists. This follow-up features many tweaks and improvements, the biggest of which was switching to a new game engine for increased stability. Much like the original game, ReGen is a roguelike/light empire building game where each turn represents one year of your character's life. There is some controversy surrounding how the developer "abandoned" the original game to create an expanded remake that owners of the original need to buy again, but Heart Shaped Games is offering coupons as compensation.
 
The Girl and the Robot
Flying Carpets Games
$9.99
 

 
I've covered The Girl and the Robot before, back when it was being Kickstarted and looking for votes on Greenlight. Now the game is finished and ready to buy on Steam. This third-person action-adventure places you in control of the two titular characters as they join forces to escape an immense castle ruled by an evil queen and her minions. The girl and her robot companion have their own set of unique abilities that allow them to solve puzzles and overcome the various enemies hunting you throughout the castle. The girl is small and capable of squeezing into tight spaces, while the robot can lift heavy objects and fight enemies with an arsenal of different melee and ranged weapons.
 
Warhammer 40,000: Armageddon- Da Orks
Flashback Games, The Lordz Games Studio
$19.99
 

 
Da Orks is a standalone expansion to the rather solid Warhammer 40,000: Armageddon, a Panzer General-style hex-based wargame set in the 40k universe. Much like the original, Da Orks lets you recreate battles from the Second War for Armageddon, one of the most famous campaigns in the setting's history. As the title implies, this time around the story plays out from the perspective of the greenskin invaders across 18 new missions. You can take the game online too, with 10 multiplayer maps and a fully-featured editor so players can create more.
 
8-Bit Hordes
Petroglyph
$14.99
 

 
Several months back, Petroglyph returned to their roots with 8-Bit Armies, an arcadey RTS that played a lot like old-school Command & Conquer games. Now they are back with 8-Bit Hordes, a standalone follow-up that is more akin to Warcraft. This fantasy interpretation of 8-Bit Armies features two new factions, the Alliance and Horde...I mean the Lightbringers and Dark Orcs, with about a dozen units each and a 24 mission campaign. As with the original game, 8-Bit Hordes also features fully destructible voxel environments. Also on GOG.
 
Savage Resurrection
S2 Games, LLC
$19.99
 

 
2003's RTS/FPS hybrid Savage is back with Savage Resurrection, an attempt to bring the unique game to modern PCs with Unreal Engine 4. Much like in the original game, two teams of 16 players slaughter one another across exotic science-fantasy locales. What always set the series apart from other shooters was the addition of a commander on each team that controlled the game as a more traditional RTS. While the other players are shooting each other, the commander has to construct a base, research upgrades, and expand the weapon and unit options available to the rest of their team. Savage Resurrection's progression model comes in the form of loot drops that allow players to acquire unique cosmetic items and skins, but the developers promise to never implement purchasable items with gameplay benefits.
 
Corinne Cross's Dead & Breakfast
Bad Chalk
$4.99
 

 
Corinne Cross's Dead & Breakfast is a 2D adventure game set in a haunted bed and breakfast. You play as Corinne, a young woman who agrees to do some house-sitting at a friend's bed and breakfast for seven days. Over the course of the week, you'll do chores, keep up the home, and interact with the eccentric cast of ghosts that reside there. Corinne Cross features multiple endings depending on your interactions, and a New Game+ mode that adds even more content to discover.
 
Okhlos
Coffee Powered Machine
$12.99
 
 

 
Finally we come to Okhlos, an angry mob simulator set in Ancient Greece. The people of Greece are fed up with the abuse and eccentricities of their Olympian overlords, and now you must gather a mob and drive the deities away. Okhlos is kind of reminiscent of Pikmin, and has you control a single philosopher who recruits various warriors, heroes, beasts, and angry peasants to your cause until your mob is big enough to tear down temples, fight soldiers, and eventually take on the Gods themselves. Also on GOG.
 
 
Not enough variety? Want more games to throw money at? Why not check out these as well:
 
Fabric, a first-person puzzle game where you must fix glitchy voxel-based levels.
 
Typoman: Revised, an updated PC port of a Wii U platformer about crafting words to alter the world around you.
 
Grow Up, the sequel to the critically acclaimed Grow Home from last year.
 
Inversus, a minimalist, competitive puzzle-shooter for up to 4 players.
 
Orbital X, a procedurally generated rhythm-based runner.
 
Clean 'Em Up, a free twin-stick shooter along the lines of Geometry Wars.
 
Guards, a turn-based strategy game focused on formations and the arrangement of your party.
 
 
I'll be back soon with more interesting indie release highlights.
Frank Streva
File Uploa:
Pictured above: Bear With Me
 
Another week, another batch of new indie releases to highlight. Luckily, things have slowed down a bit following the flood of releases from the last few weeks. As usual, I can't guarantee all of these games are good, just that they look promising. Remember to tell your friends about any cool indie games you discover through these articles, because for many of them this is the only coverage they ever really get.
 
Heart&Slash
AHEARTFULOFGAMES
$14.99
 

 
One of the few games I can personally recommend on this list is Heart&Slash, a roguelite brawler I reviewed some time back. The game has been out on consoles for around a month, and the PC version just officially released from Early Access. I found it to be a really fun brawler with satisfying and varied weapons, though the camera had its fair share of issues and the game had quite a few bugs to iron out. That was roughly a month ago and on a totally different platform however, so I can't say if any of these flaws were addressed since my review. Either way, I do recommend checking it out.
 
#KILLALLZOMBIES
Beatshapers
$11.99
 

 
#KILLALLZOMBIES is a twin-stick zombie shooter that streamers out there may want to check into. It admittedly looks fairly standard as far as twin-sticks go, but the twist is how the game integrates Twitch support. Your audience can use chat to influence the game, either by spawning enemies or giving you access to devastating power-ups. Depending on what your viewers are like, this could make Twitch chat even more cancerous than usual.
 
Infectonator: Survivors
Toge Productions
$11.99
 

 
Speaking of zombies, Infectonator: Survivors recently released from Early Access. This strategy game describes itself as "Left 4 Dead with roguelike and survival mechanics." The goal is to escort four survivors through procedurally generated, zombie infested levels to their eventual rescue. The game plays like a mix of real-time tactics and tower defense, with some survival and crafting mechanics that require you to scavenge for resources.
 
Kingdom: New Lands
Noio
$14.99
 

 
As the name implies, Kingdom: New Lands is a massive update to the popular 2D kingdom management game from last year. In addition to adding tons of new content in general, the most significant change in New Lands is a completely reworked and expanded end game. Owners of the original game received New Lands as a free update, and everyone still has the option to play the original, which is now called Kingdom: Classic in your Steam library.
 
Meridian: Squad 22
Elder Games
$14.99
 

 
Meridian: Squad 22 is a standalone single player follow-up to 2014's Meridian: New World, a sci-fi RTS created largely by a single person. Squad 22 adds a 10+ hour campaign where your choices can determine the outcome of the game's branching storyline. Squad 22 also features a number of UI enhancements, streamlined mechanics, and gameplay tweaks over its predecessor. Be aware that this RTS is strictly single player, so you'll need to go elsewhere to scratch your competitive RTS itch.
 
Reigns
Nerial
$2.99
 

 
Finally we come to Reigns, the most bizarre game of the week. This latest title published by Devolver Digital is what you get when you cross Tinder and a light kingdom management game. Yes, I'm serious. The entire game consists of a series of random events with two choices, each of which are resolved by swiping/clicking either left or right. Your goal is to build a dynasty spanning multiple rulers and hundreds of years before you inevitably screw up and get yourself killed. You can also find Reigns on mobile devices.
 
 
Need more games? Check out these additional titles:
 
Bear With Me, an episodic noir adventure game about a girl and her teddy bear that solve crimes together.
 
Blade Ballet, a skill-focused local multiplayer game about whirling death robots.
 
Eisenhorn: Xenos, an episodic adventure game based on the critically-acclaimed Eisenhorn Trilogy of 40k novels.
 
Lucius Demake, a retro-inspired "demake" of the adventure series by Shiver Games that places you in control of a homicidal demon child.
 
 
I'll be back soon with more indie new release highlights.
Frank Streva
File Uploa:
Pictured above: Road to Ballhalla
 
I'm back with another round-up of indie releases from last week that you may have missed. The release schedule has slowed down a bit, but I'll continue using the new format I tried last week to ensure that I highlight as many games as I can. I can't guarantee all of these games are good, just that they looked interesting enough to warrant a closer look.
 
This is the Police
Weappy Studio
$14.99
 

 
Let's start this week of highlights with This is the Police, a crime drama/strategy adventure game where you play as Police Chief Jack Boyd in the crime-riddled city of Freeburg. This disgruntled cop is on the verge of retirement and isn't satisfied with his meager pension. Figure out a way to quietly earn $500,000 in your remaining 180 days so you can really enjoy your retirement. It won't be easy though, as you'll still need to do your duties as Chief of Police and dodge a corrupt city government that's just looking for reasons to skin you alive. Also available on GOG.
 
Concealed Intent
Jarrah Technology
$14.99
 

 
Concealed Intent is a simultaneous turn-based strategy game about playing a deadly game of cat and mouse with enemy starships. In each mission you'll need to track your quarry by looking for subtle changes in the environment that could be an enemy fleet. The enemy will be actively hunting for you as well using the same tactics, and victory will be determined by who can spring the better ambush. There is a procedural skirmish mode in addition to the main campaign, with four different mission types available and various settings that can be tweaked to generate a unique level each session.
 
ABZU
Giant Squid
$19.99
 

 
From the art director of Journey comes ABZU, an atmospheric diving adventure game. Swim with hundreds of real-world species of sea life and enormous schools of fish that realistically react to you, the environment, and predators. You'll uncover long-forgotten ancient secrets as you descend deeper into the ocean, as well as be forced to fight for your life when confronted with unknown dangers. Also on PS4.
 
Rising Islands
Lone Hero Studios
$9.99
 

 
Run, jump, dash, and shift your way through the chaotic world of Rising Islands in this fast-paced parkour adventure game. You play as Hairo, a young woman with the ability to shift between dimensions. In gameplay terms, this means you'll need to swap between worlds to traverse impossible terrain and color-coded platforms. Rising Islands isn't just about parkour platforming however, and also features boss fights that will require all your abilities and reflexes to overcome.
 
Intrude
Michal Kruba
$5.99
 

 
Intrude is the latest FPS trying to cash-in on the old-school nostalgia of classics like Wolfenstein 3D and the original Doom. Shoot your way through 15 levels packed full of secrets as you liberate an underground base from unknown invaders. The most consistent complaints I've seen is the lack of enemy and weapon variety, but Intrude's low price point means that it could still be a decent impulse buy.
 
Tricky Towers
WeirdBeard
$14.99
 

 
We've been getting a lot of "Like Tetris, BUT" puzzle games recently, and Tricky Towers is the latest entry in the genre. This competitive puzzle game is focused on local and online multiplayer that supports up to 4 players, though there are single player challenges as well. Build and defense a wobbly tower by stacking bricks, then cast magic spells to defend your creation and attack enemy towers. Tricky Towers is also out on PS4, and is one of this month's PS Plus freebies.
 
Not enough games for you? Check out these titles as well:
 
System Crash, a cyberpunk card game by Rogue Moon Studios
 
Mandagon, a free adventure game based on Tibetan theology by Blind Sky Studios
 
Mibibli's Quest, a surreal retro platformer by Ryan Melmoth
 
Selma and the Wisp, a puzzle platformer where you control two characters at once by Toucan Studio
 
Little King's Story, a PC port of the popular Wiiware strategy game. Be aware that the PC port is pretty lackluster, so do your research before buying.
 
Road to Ballhalla, a rhytmn-based marble physics platformer by Torched Hill
 
 
That's all for now. I'll be back soon with more new indie releases you should check out.
Frank Streva
File Uploa:
Pictured above: Blade Arcus from Shining: Battle Arena
 
After a bit of a hiatus, I've finally returned with a new batch of indie release highlights. This break was partly because I was busy, but mainly because I had to rethink this format. The last few weeks of new releases on Steam have simply been too overwhelming to cover in my usual style, even after excluding the obviously terrible games like uninspired "retro" platformers and shameless Unity asset flips. I aim to bring attention to as many interesting games as possible, even if that means resorting to just a list of additional games at the end of each article.
 
Defect
Three Phase Interactive
$14.99
 

 
Defect is a mixture of ship design strategy and tactical top-down space shooter. Each mission in the game's campaign requires you to build a vessel with the game's in-depth ship construction system before testing it out in combat. The interesting twist is that at the end of every mission, your former crew will mutiny and you'll have to take revenge against them in the next level with a new ship and crew. This means that you can't just build the biggest and best ship possible, but will also need to implement deliberate design flaws you can exploit when facing off against the traitorous dogs later on. You can also share your ship designs with your friends.
 
Quatros Origins
Stijn Van Coillie, Tracy Baeckelandt
$4.99
 

 
Quatros Origins is the latest "like Tetris, BUT" block puzzle games to hit PC and Xbox One. The gimmick this time around is that the screen will rotate 90 degrees every time you place a block, drastically altering the board with each move and meaning that you are effectively playing 4 games of Tetris at once. Quatros Origins features five different game modes, including local multiplayer for up to 4 players.
 
Ratz Instagib
Lino Slahuschek
$8.99
 

 
Fans of classic PC arena shooters are probably very familiar with the "instagib" modifier, where a single blast from a shock rifle turns your target into a shower of fleshy giblets. As its title implies, Ratz Instagib is an entire game built around this mode, and has finally released after a lengthy development period in Early Access. This arena shooter promises a return to the glory days of competitive shooters, with ludicrously fast movement speeds, rocket jumping, no progression besides alternate beam effects and kill animations, and a fully featured map editor.
 
Headlander
Double Fine
$19.99
 

 
Headlander is a new action-platformer by Double Fine, and published by Adult Swim. Set in a 70's retro-future world where humanity has transferred their minds into robotic bodies, you play as a disembodied head with the ability to control any enemy by attaching yourself to its body. Each enemy type has its own unique set of skills you'll need to master to overcome the game's various challenges, but don't expect every robot you take control of to actually be useful. Also on PS4.
 
Tom vs The Armies of Hell
Darkmire Entertainment
$12.99
 

 
In Tom vs The Armies of Hell, you play as an overworked and underpaid software engineer that suddenly finds himself turned into a half-demon hero after an experiment goes horribly wrong and unleashes the armies of Hell in his office building. Using a mixture of demonic abilities and a multimode gun powered by the souls of your fallen enemies, you'll need to defeat hordes of procedurally generated hellspawn in this top-down shooter with light RPG elements.
 
SEUM: Speedrunners from Hell
Pine Studio
$14.99
 

 
As you explore the fiery depths of Hell, why not also check out SEUM, the "world's only competitive heavy metal first-person platformer?" Run, jump, and fly your way through over 100 fiendish levels in this speedrun-focused puzzle platformer, all in the pursuit of high scores and sinfully good booze.
 
HELP: The Game
$14.99
 

 
Finally we come to HELP, a bizarre bundle of game jam projects from a long list of well-known developers from across the industry. The 12 developers featured were given 6 days to create a unique game for this charity bundle. The games featured are from a diverse range of genres, and quite a few of them are serious games that tackle the harsh subject matter of children affected by wars throughout Africa and the Middle East. The developers that created the games did so free of charge, and all the profits will go directly to the War Child charity.
 
 
Not enough games for you? Check out these additional indie releases from last week:
 
Kingdom Rush Frontiers, a new installment in the popular tower defense series by Ironhide Game Studio
 
Cats are Liquid, a quirky 2D platformer by LastQuarter Studios
 
Riptide GP: Renegade, a hydrojet racing game by Vector Unit
 
Mutant Mudds Super Challenge, the latest game in the cult hit platformer series by Renegade Kid
 
The Secret Monster Society Chapter 1, the first chapter of an episodic point & click game by Deceptive Games
 
Blade Arcus from Shining: Battle Arena, a 2D anime fighter by Studio Saizensen
 
 
I'll be back later this week with more indie game release highlights.
Frank Streva
File Uploa:
Pictured above: Anarcute
 
Anyone who complains about summer gaming droughts clearly doesn't pay attention to the indie scene, because we had yet another week full of releases. There have been so many promising new indie games released in the previous two weeks that I'll need to write multiple bonus articles to catch up with them all. As usual though, I can't confirm all of them are actually any good, just that they stood out from the usual weekly deluge of Unity asset flips and uninspired "retro" platformers.
 
Necropolis: A Diabolical Dungeon Delve
Harebrained Schemes
$29.99
 

 
One of the more anticipated releases this week was Necropolis, a 3D action roguelite with a splash of Souls-like combat from the developers that brought us Shadowrun Returns. Like most games in the genre, you'll navigate procedurally generated dungeons full of enemies capable of killing you in a few well-placed hits if you aren't careful. Meta game progress comes in the form of codices that grant you various perks to make future runs easier. Necropolis has been met with very mixed reception thus far, with gamers complaining about a disparity in the difficulty between solo and co-op, bugs, and an overall lack of content for the price, so keep that in mind before buying. Necropolis is also on GOG, and will be coming to Xbox One and PS4 later this year.
 
Song of the Deep
Insomniac Games
$14.99
 

 
Another fairly high profile release from earlier this week is Song of the Deep, the latest game by Insomniac. Song of the Deep is a 2D metroidvania set in the dark depths of the ocean, a fairly significant departure from Insomniac's previous titles. You play as Merryn, a young girl who builds a submarine from spare parts and embarks on a undersea voyage to find her lost father. This nonlinear adventure features over 15 abilities and 30 upgrades to find as you discover long lost civilizations and battle massive sea monsters. Also available on
Xbox One and PS4.
 
Krai Mira
TallTech Studio
$14.99
 

 
If Wasteland 2 didn't quench your thirst for some old school post-apocalyptic RPG action then you may want to look into Krai Mira. Explore the irradiated wastelands of Earth on a quest to uncover the truth behind the planet's devastation. Along the way you'll hire companions to aid you on your expedition and encounter plenty of bandits and mutated wildlife to slaughter in the game's turn-based battles. Krai Mira is apparently pretty unpolished in its current form, with bad AI and a poorly translated script, but the overall reception so far is fairly positive.
 
Poly Bridge
Dry Cactus
$11.99
 

 
The sandbox bridge-building game Poly Bridge released from Early Access a few days ago. This engineering game challenges you to solve physics-based puzzles by constructing bridges across 100+ levels. Some challenges may only require a simple suspension bridge, while others force you to build elaborate multi-deck bridges, draw-bridges, or even jump ramps. Once you're done with the campaign you can let your creativity go wild in the Sandbox mode, or download additional user-created challenges from the Steam Workshop.
 
Anarcute
Anarteam
$14.99
 

 
In a dark dystopia where corporations have taken over and brainwashed police forces oppress the citizenry, an army of adorable animal revolutionaries rise up to retake control. Anarcute is a large-scale and chaotic action game where you control an entire riot of anthropomorphic animals determined to smash their evil overlords. You start with only a few individuals before gradually building up to a full-scale riot capable of destroying buildings. Pretty much anything in the street can be used as a weapon, and everything is destructible once your crowd is big enough. Also available on Xbox One.
 
Tumblestone
The Quantum Astrophysicists Guild
$9.99 or $24.99
 

 
Tumblestone is the latest puzzle game to try and bring a unique twist to the match-3 genre. Unlike most match-3 games you don't have access to the entire screen from the start, and must instead shoot matching blocks to clear them and scroll deeper into the level. The most noteworthy features of Tumblestone are the great business model and sheer amount of content. The game promises a 40+ hour campaign, several different arcade modes, local and online multiplayer for up to 4 people, and bot matches. Tumblestone comes at two price points: Multiplayer-only for $9.99, or the entire package for $24.99. Both versions even provide you with a few free Steam keys to give to your friends. You can also find Tumblestone on Xbox One, PS3, Vita, PS4, and WiiU.
 
Crush Your Enemies
Vile Monarch
$9.99
 

 
Foul-mouthed barbarian hordes battle each other for loot, booze, and glory in the rude and crude RTS Crush Your Enemies. This simplified RTS goes the Planets Under Attack and Mushroom Wars route, allowing you to focus more on stomping enemy structures and armies than worrying about your APM. Some levels even feature rampaging bosses trying to wipe out both sides. You can find Crush Your Enemies on mobile too, and the game supports cross-platform multiplayer.
 
Super Mutant Alien Assault
Cybernate
$9.99
 

 
Finally we come to Super Mutant Alien Assault, the self-proclaimed "Citizen Kane of Super Crate Box clones." Much like its inspiration, Super Mutant Alien Assault is an arcade shooter/platformer hybrid where you must clear single screen levels full of enemies, all while getting randomized weapon drops with limited ammo. The level layouts are randomized as well, and as you play you'll unlock a dizzying array of new weapons, gadgets, and perks that can potentially drop during your run. You can also find Super Mutant Alien Assault on PS4 and Xbox One.
 
 
That's all for now. I'll return soon with more overlooked indie releases.
Frank Streva
File Uploa:
Pictured above: The Technomancer
 
I skipped Overlooked Indies last week because there just weren't enough releases to highlight, no doubt as a result of the Steam Summer Sale. The only really noteworthy releases were Zero Escape: Zero Time Dilemma and The Technomancer. That isn't the case this week however, with a flood of promising indie games being unleashed to compensate for the previous drought. I can't promise that all these games are good, just that they stood out enough for me to mention them here.
 
Inside
Playdead
$19.99
 

 
Probably the most anticipated indie release this week was Inside, the latest game from the developer behind Limbo. Inside doesn't look like it strays too far from Playdead's comfort zone, and has you guide a small boy through a dark and foreboding dystopia full of puzzles and mechanical enemies. Be aware that Inside is pretty short, with most reviews I've seen saying that it can be completed in under 3 hours. Also available on Xbox One.
 
Furi
The Game Bakers
$24.99
 

 
Another pretty high profile indie game released earlier this week is Furi, a very challenging character action game that features character designs from Takashi Okazaki, creator of Afro Samurai. You play as a mysterious swordsman that has broken free from his cell in a bizarre prison, and must defeat a series of bosses to gain his freedom back. I'm personally terrible at the game, but that doesn't stop it from being a satisfying and responsive action title perfect for anyone looking for a good challenge. If you own a PS4, Furi is one of this month's freebies through PS Plus.
 
The Temporal Invasion
Hybriona Labs
$3.99
 

 
The Temporal Invasion is a puzzle game that places you in the shoes of an investigator trying to unravel the mystery of his chronic memory problems. You'll be required to use outside resources to solve the various riddles, metaphors, and cryptograms you'll be presented with. Be aware that some of the puzzles revolve around encrypted sound files and color codes, so gamers that are color blind or having hearing impairments might have issues playing the game.
 
The Room Two
Fireproof Games
$4.99
 

 
Speaking of complex puzzle games, the second Room game made its way to PC this week. The Room is a very popular series of puzzle games on mobile, and have slowly been making their way to other platforms over the years. Reminiscent of Myst, the puzzles in The Room require you to carefully explore the environment looking for clues about how to operate various interconnected arcane mechanisms. The PC port received a fairly significant graphical and performance update, so fans of the mobile version may also want to check out this upgraded edition.
 
Cthulhu Realms
White Wizard Games
Free to play, unlock full version for $4.99
 

 
As its name suggests, Cthulhu Realms is the Lovecraftian cousin of the popular sci-fi deckbuilding game Star Realms. Starting with a basic deck of initiates and followers, players try to drive each other insane by acquiring increasingly demented eldritch powers and abominations. Cthulhu Realms features AI skirmishes, campaign missions, local and online multiplayer, and cross platform functionality with the mobile version. You may also want to check out the physical version by Tasty Minstrel Games.
 
Gnomes vs Fairies
Prismic Studios LLC
$9.99
 

 
Gnomes vs Fairies is a quirky action platformer with some RPG elements inspired by early 3D platformers from the PS1 and N64 era. You play as the last free gnome in the land and must embark on a quest to rescue your people from the tyrannical rule of the evil fairies. Along the way you'll band together with useful allies and gather an arsenal of upgradeable special abilities and items. The game is pretty glitchy right now from what I've heard, but the developer is aware of the issues and is working to resolve them in a timely fashion.
 
Lumbermancer
Roger von Biersborn
$3.99
 

 
Lumbermancer is a 2D action game where you control two characters simultaneously. You play as the titular Lumbermancer, who by himself has no real way to defend against enemies. The second character you control is your minion log, who can be altered on the fly to deal with different situations and enemies. Magical items and new powers are available through a shop between levels. The game is only a few hours long, but there is an endless mode and a few secret areas to discover.
 
Lost Sea
Eastasiasoft Limited
$14.99
 

 
Finally we come to Lost Sea, an action roguelite that promises an effectively limitless number of procedurally generated islands to explore. A freak storm has left you stranded in the Bermuda Triangle, and your only hope of escape is to collect ancient relics that hold the power to open dimensional rifts. In your journey across the Triangle you'll find a large cast of allies to recruit, and like in most roguelites, death is permanent for both yourself and your crew. Lost Sea is also on GOG, PS4, and Xbox One.
 
 
That's all for now. I'll return later with more promising indie titles released last week.
Frank Streva
File Uploa:
PS4 copy was provided by the developer for this review
 
Heart&Slash is the first game by indie developer AHEARTFULOFGAMES, and yet another entry in the loosely-defined "roguelite" genre. This roguelite brawler was Kickstarted back in 2014, and is now available on current gen consoles and PC. It's certainly a bloated genre to make a new game for, but luckily Heart&Slash is a solid game with a lot to offer to action roguelite fans.
 

 
The game is set around 100 years after a robot uprising lead by a sentient machine called QuAsSy, the Quality Assurance System. You play as Heart, a rather adorable humanoid robot created by a scientist shortly before everything went wrong. Heart has recently reawakened in a decrepit old lab to find a war-torn world seemingly devoid of humans, but absolutely crawling with malfunctioning murderbots. The story unfolds in cutscenes with a mysterious robot named Slash, though your interactions with Slash and how much of the story you unlock largely depend on how you handle your first encounter.
 
Of course the main reason you are here is for the combat, and I'm happy to say that Heart&Slash does a good job standing out in the genre in this regard. Each weapon has a light and heavy attack that can be chained together into different combos like in a brawler or character action game, and you can quickly swap between weapons at will. Enemy attacks are telegraphed in a way similar to the Arkham games, giving you time to dodge roll out of the way or parry with a shield if you've found one. You also have a very generous double jump that can be used both to avoid enemies or to navigate the occasional platforming puzzle.
 

 
Another cool addition to the combat is that you can trick enemies into hitting each other. Homing missiles in particular can be kitted and guided into enemies, though a perfectly timed counter can send them flying back at your attackers as well. Elemental attacks and weaknesses play a role too, as well as location damage against some enemies like fuel packs on flamethrower bots. Quite a few enemies are encased within armor that must be torn off before damaging them, with specific types of weapons being better or worse at destroying armor.
 
You can carry up to three weapons and four pieces of gear, each of which are upgradeable using scrap you get from destroying enemies. Most items have two or three upgrades, and like many games in the genre the descriptions are a bit vague so you'll need to figure out what things do through experimentation. You can recycle items to restore some health and make room in your inventory for more loot. You'll occasionally find health drops, but recycling items is the most reliable way to regain health, and items will be worth more health depending on how far you have upgraded it.
 
The weapon and item variety is a great strength of the game. There's well over 100 items in the game that you'll unlock as you play. Swords, hammers, maces, spears, daggers, wrist blades, and more are all represented and come in many different functions and elemental flavors. There are some ranged weapons too, but the combat is primarily up close and personal. The larger hammers in particular have a wonderful feeling of weight and impact when you smack an enemy with them.
 

 
Heart&Slash does a great job of making the weapons all feel unique despite the sheer number of them, even when it comes to elemental versions of the same weapon. The big thunder hammer, for example, has a heavy attack that causes an electrical explosion around you, while the rocket hammer has a chargeable dash attack instead and swings faster than other hammers. The gear can get just as unique, and varies from granting passive buffs or elemental resistances to allowing you to view enemy health and weaknesses. Others feature cooldown-based special attacks like powerful laser cannons, and I've found some sets of gear that bestow drastic changes counterbalanced by negative effects.
 
While the weapon variety is excellent, the real strength of Heart&Slash is that the combat ultimately places more emphasis on skill than item composition. Sure, getting a really strong weapon drop is great and goes a long way to helping you on your run, but you can do just fine with the more basic and weaker weapons if you're good enough. I never ran into miserable runs where I felt I was doomed from the start because the RNG loot charts just weren't in my favor. Another genre convention that Heart&Slash avoids is the lack of early game combat variety because the starting room includes three random item drops.
 
Heart&Slash isn't without its fair share of flaws, however. The game is set across three rather expansive levels that may look pretty nice (as does the game in general), but there isn't enough environmental variety. While the level layout is randomized each time, the room designs themselves are premade, and there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of them per level. The beginning factory level in particular seems to have a fairly small number of room designs, and you'll see the same ones repeatedly in a single run. The levels also tend to drag on a bit, especially if you want to explore every room. The city map is especially long, with enormous multi-tier "rooms" that can take a while to navigate.
 

 
The camera can be hit or miss too. It's not uncommon to have the camera get pulled in way too close or get caught in horrible angles in the more enclosed rooms. Aiming ranged weapons can be particularly frustrating due to the game's camera angles combined with an overly aggressive aim assist system. In my experience it's best to just ignore ranged weapons in general, with the exception of shotguns. Most of the ranged weapons I've encountered don't feel as useful or as polished as the various melee armaments, though they would likely work much better if the aiming and camera issues were resolved. On the subject of camera issues, some platforming rooms are a bit more difficult than they otherwise should be due to how the camera sometimes acts in enclosed spaces.
 
Finally, the game is still pretty buggy. I've gotten caught on terrain and corners many times, and in a few instances it was so bad that I had no other choice than to abandon my current run and start fresh. Clipping can be another issue, with the giant robot snake/worm boss being a big offender. This boss's attack patterns are all about burrowing through the ground and walls, and after a while it'll stop so you can crawl inside to destroy a series of consoles. On multiple occasions the boss has stopped halfway into a wall, meaning I couldn't actually crawl into it to attack the consoles. I encountered another bizarre glitch the other day where I was slammed to the ground by an enemy attack, but when I got up my character began sliding backwards around the room, and nothing I did could restore control outside of exiting the game and losing my progress.
 

 
The clipping and terrain issues seem to have gotten better following a recent patch, but they still happen from time to time. I do want to stress that none of these issues are outright deal breakers. The camera may get awkward at times during platforming and in tight corridors, but usually works as intended. You also can't save your progress, so you'll need to complete the game in a single session every time. The game isn't particularly long, but the size of the maps means that a proper save system would be greatly appreciated.
 
While Heart&Slash does have its rough patches, the good greatly outweighs the bad. The combat controls are tight, the weapons are very satisfying to use and feature interesting upgrades and combos, and there's a lot of cool items to find and experiment with. I didn't mention it before, but special props also go to the aesthetically pleasing graphics and retro-inspired soundtrack, which gives Heart&Slash a charming old-school look and feel without resorting to 8-bit pixel art like most indies. Heart&Slash is a welcome addition to the genre, and fans of both roguelites and brawlers in general should check it out. You can find Heart&Slash on PS4 and Xbox One for $20. The PC version is still technically in Early Access and costs $5 more due to Kickstarter obligations. The full Steam release is scheduled for August, at which time the price will drop to $20 as well.
 
Frank currently writes for Indie Game Source and Bell of Lost Souls. You can follow him on Twitter @Frank_Gaming for updates on future articles.
Matthew Byrd
File Uploa:
Steam sales may be a great time to pick up new games at discount prices, but the true value of a Steam sale can only be realized by those willing to dive into its discount depths and take a chance on an incredibly cheap title indie game or two.
 
Though it's fun to explore the sub-dollar section to see what gems you may find, those with a five dollar bill burning a digital hole in their digital pockets will want to make sure they don't let this sale go by without picking up these classic indie titles.
 
Speedrunners - $3.74
 

 
Innovative, exciting and downright addictive, this competitive 2D runner has finally escaped the clutches of Early Access and is now officially one of the best indie multiplayer games on the market. Just be prepared to hate all the friends that dare play Speedrunners with you.
 
Titan Souls - $3.74
 

 
Depending on who you ask, Titan Souls is either a brilliant testament to the power of game design or an unfinished mess of confusing puzzles and frustrating mechanics. Given that the game's demo isn't the best indicator of the full experience, if this Dark Souls meets Shadow of the Colossus title sounds appealing to you, now is the time to give it a chance.
 
Crypt of the Necrodancer - $3.74
 

 
In a just world, this utterly addictive and inventive rhythm-based roguelike would be installed on the computer of every single gamer. At the very least, you should take advantage of Crypt of the Necrodancer's shockingly low price by downloading it as soon as possible. It's that good.
 
Battleblock Theater - $2.99
 

 
Has it really been over two years since this charming multiplayer game captivated the indie world with its immediately appealing mechanics and general sense of fun. With the right group of friends, Battleblock Theater can lead to all-night play sessions that you'll remember forever.
 
This War of Mine - $4.99
 

 
Are you the type of gamer that doesn't mind feeling deeply, deeply depressed after you've played a new game? Then This War of Mine is perfect for you! This tragic tale of the horrors of war from the perspective of average civilians remains a unique meditation on the subject of war and a great game to boot.
Frank Streva
File Uploa:
Pictured above: Drawful 2
 
Last week was very light on new indie releases, which is probably a good thing considering that the Steam Summer Sale is well underway. The most noteworthy release was Mighty No. 9, which either turned out okay or was the rotten cherry on top of a poorly managed Kickstarter campaign, depending on who you ask. On a lighter note, Jackbox Games released a new version of Drawful as well.
 
As usual, I can't comment on how good any of these games are. I'm just here to share some promising new releases I found last week that you may not have heard of. Remember to tell your friends about any cool games you discover from this list; most of them haven't received any sort of mainstream coverage.
 
VA-11 Hall-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action
Sukeban Games
$14.99
 

 
My personal pick for the most exciting indie release of the week is VA-11 Hall-A. Set in a bleak dystopian future, VA-11 Hall-A doesn't task you with being a corporate enforcer or elite hacker like in other cyberpunk games, but rather places you in the shoes of a humble bartender. This visual novel focuses on the daily lives of a diverse cast of quirky characters and your interactions with them at the titular bar. VA-11 Hall-A features a branching storyline with many potential outcomes based on the drinks you serve to your clients, and the ensuing drunken conversations.
 
Eon Altar
Flying Helmet Games
$14.99
 

 
Continuing the trend of unique games, Eon Altar is an episodic co-operative RPG that is controlled via smart devices. Designed purely with local multiplayer in mind, up to four players can sync their iOS or Android device to the game by downloading a free app. All the action takes place on the big screen, but players use their smart devices to keep track of stats and control their characters in turn-based battles. Eon Altar further utilizes the smart device control scheme by giving each player secret quests and information the other players don't know about. The second and third episodes are due in Fall and Winter 2016.
 
Into the Belly of the Beast
Lucky Brograms
$14.99
 

 
Into the Belly of the Beast is a colorful adventure game that reminds me a lot of the Sparkle series. You play as a sploosh, a type of sea worm that has been swallowed whole by a monster. Much like in Sparkle, the gameplay of Into the Belly of the Beast is based on eating other organisms to absorb their DNA and evolve your sploosh. Absorbing DNA gives you access to new abilities, and even alters how the environment and enemies react to your presence.
 
prog.1
Vector Arcade
$7.99
 

 
In prog.1, you play as a sentient computer virus that was accidently created by scientists attempting to build a digital universe. Now that you've been unleashed upon this artificial landscape, your virus seeks to explore it's new world while the scientists work frantically to delete it. The game offers 48 levels of platforming and puzzle solving at a fairly cheap price, so it may be worth checking out.
 
Breached
Drama Drifters
$6.99
 

 
I'm not usually one for "walking sims," but the awesome visuals and interesting ideas in Breached caught my attention. This "walking sim" is actually about flying drones around a desolate landscape as you struggle to survive. You play as Corus Valott, who has just awakened from cryogenic slumber with no knowledge of what happened. With only 8 days of oxygen remaining, you'll need to send out drones to scavenge for resources, dig through corrupted computer files, and ultimately figure out what happened and how you can survive your impending suffocation.
 
 
That's all for this week. I'll be back soon with more indie release highlights.
 
 
Frank currently writes for Indie Game Source and Bell of Lost Souls. You can follow him on Twitter @Frank_Gaming for updates on future articles and general Twitter ramblings, though you probably shouldn't for your own sanity.
Frank Streva
File Uploa:
Pictured above: TurnOn
 
I'm a bit behind on highlighting new indie releases at the moment. There were some extra games I wanted to highlight from previous weeks, but just never got around to it. To rectify that, I'm here with a bonus article containing seven games released over the last few weeks that you might want to check out.
 
Dual Core
Gray Fin Studios
$9.99
 

 
Dual Core is a co-op arcade-style shooter that came out some time back on the Wii U before making its way to PC. Grab up to three friends and take on a rogue AI in either the story-driven campaign or the wave-based survival mode. Once you get sick of working together, you can blow each other up in the Versus mode. The co-op is local only, so if you're like me and don't have any friends then you'll have to settle for the AI partners.
 
Sol Trader
Chris Parsons
$19.99
 

 
Open world sci-fi trading games are nothing new, but Sol Trader brings the genre in some interesting directions by focusing just as much on information brokering as it does on exporting rare space rocks. Primarily a text-driven experience, each game of Sol Trader starts out by establishing your personal and family history. This information generates a vast network of contacts, friends, and enemies that can help or hinder your career. While the main draw of the game is it's interpersonal relationships and politics, there is still the usual genre staples like ship customization and combat. I hear that the game has a lot of issues in its current state, but the developer seems very open to feedback, so it might be worth keeping an eye on Sol Trader in the future.
 
Projector Face
Fluik Entertainment Inc
$4.99
 

 
Projector Face is a traditional point-n-click adventure where you play as a mute protagonist with a projector for a head. Projector Face's bizarre appearance and strange behavior can lead to a lot of misunderstandings, so you'll need to find a way to communicate with the people you encounter. Luckily, you have a projector for a head that can help you solve these problems. Most of the puzzles are based around repairing and editing film reels so that you can communicate with the locals in this bizarre adventure title.
 
Excubitor
Tesseract Interactive
$19.99
 

 
Tower defense and bullet hell shooters collide with Excubitor. Each level tasks you with defending your mothership from waves of enemies by constructing defensive towers in strategic locations. Your towers can't do it all however, and that's where your Hammerhead attack hovercraft comes into play. Support your towers in your upgradeable ship, with its diverse arsenal of interchangeable weapons. Excubitor also draws from bullet hell games to create it's bosses, most of which are massive and can barely fit on the screen.
 
TurnOn
Brainy Studio LLC
$14.99
 

 
TurnOn bills itself as a "platformer without platforms," which isn't strictly true but we'll go with it. You play as a sentient electrical spark trying to restore power to a city following a massive blackout. You navigate the world by traveling down electrical wires and jumping between various electronic devices. The game looks less focused on twitch skill and more on puzzles and exploration, with difficulty settings that allow for a more relaxing experience if you so desire. TurnOn is also available on Xbox One.
 
Turmoil
Gamious
$9.99
 

 
Turmoil is a tongue-in-cheek management sim set during the 19th century oil rush in North America. Start with just a small plot of land and a single oil rig and expand into a successful oil tycoon. Sell your oil when prices are at their peak and reinvest your earnings in better equipment and more efficient pipe networks to extract even more black gold. Turmoil includes a single player campaign and a quick game mode where you try to earn as much money as possible within a year.
 
Anima: Gate of Memories
Anima Project
$19.99
 

 
Anima: Gate of Memories is a fast paced action RPG based on the popular tabletop RPG of the same name. Combat takes a lot of influences from spectacle fighters like Devil May Cry, and focuses on skillful dodges, parries, and building up massive combos. You actually control two characters, and can freely swap between them in the middle of combat to make use of their drastically different set of skills and abilities. Gate of Memories also promises a story full of branching paths and dire consequences based on your decisions. Also on PS4 and Xbox One.
 
 
That's all for now. I'll be back later this week with more new indie release highlights.
 
 
Frank currently writes for Indie Game Source and Bell of Lost Souls. You can follow him on Twitter @Frank_Gaming for updates on future articles and general Twitter ramblings, though you probably shouldn't for your own sanity.
Matthew Byrd
File Uploa:
If you haven’t heard about Dead by Daylight you likely haven't been paying attention to Twitch, YouTube or the top spot on the Steam best seller list. This multiplayer game about avoiding a horror movie slasher has quickly become the talk of the streaming world and an unexpected hit for its developer Behaviour Digital who reported the game has achieved profitability in one week.
 
But for as incredibly popular as the game is, there is a bit of debate at the moment concerning whether or not it is actually “good.” Granted the fact the game is so wildly successful that discussions about it's quality are kind of irrelevant at this point, but it’s certainly interesting to watch the backlash concerning the game’s rather simple gameplay and numerous little design flaws develop so soon after the game was warmly received.
 
This backlash has led some to question whether or not the game has the staying power needed to remain a sales success. To be honest, it’s difficult to imagine the title remaining relevant even months from now. Though it could always see a slight uptick from a major DLC release or by taking advantage of the Halloween season, the fact that Dead by Daylight achieved much of its early sales due to its popularity among streamers and its low introductory price point suggests that the game isn’t exactly going to become the next Minecraft.
 
Perhaps the better question is: does that matter? Dead by Daylight may be an incredibly simple game that only gets worse the more you dwell on it, but it’s also a highly enjoyable multiplayer title that maximizes the potential of a concept that many have long wished would be made into a video game.
 
You may hear a lot of negativity surrounding Dead by Daylight now that it is past the honeymoon period, but it remains a highly enjoyable game that every horror fans should try at least once.
Frank Streva
File Uploa:
Pictured above: Sherlock Holmes: The Devil's Daughter
 
Before I get to this week's Overlooked Indies, I want to mention a few additional releases you might want to check out. Dead by Daylight, an asymmetrical multiplayer horror game, is now out on Steam. Inspired by classic slasher films, one player controls a killer that must hunt down and murder the others before they can escape. On the other end of the spectrum, Frogwares has released another Sherlock Holmes game, The Devil's Daughter. These games can be pretty hit or miss, so you may want to do your research before paying full price for it.
 
As always, I'm not endorsing or recommending any of these games because I haven't played them yet. I'm just here to highlight some new indie games that caught my attention over the past week. Should you discover a game on this list that you like, then remember to tell your friends about it.
 
War of the Human Tanks- Limited Operations
Yakiniku Banzai
$9.99
 

 
The War of the Human Tanks series is back with its third installment, Limited Operations. This series of challenging strategy games is set in a fictionalized modern-day Japan where "human tanks" (It's a Japanese game, so that means cute chibi anime girls) war with each other over increasingly scarce supplies of resources and fuel. Limited Operations seems to offer largely more of the same, with 50 new missions, a continuation of the storyline, and a handful of new mechanics. The first game is currently discounted, so you should probably start there if you're new to the franchise.
 
Bastard Bonds
Bigfingers
$19.99
 

 
Bastard Bonds is a strategy RPG set in a dark and brutal world. You play as a criminal that has been sent to the island of Lukatt, a prison colony where the worst of the worst are sent to rot. In other words, it's a game set in Australia. Not content to just sit around and die as an outcast, you must gather a band of your fellow deranged psychopaths and criminals to survive attacks from rival gangs and find a way off the island. This SRPG promises over 40 hours of content, deep character progression, a morality system where you can forgive or condemn other criminals for their misdeeds, and full mod support.
 
Space Run Galaxy
Passtech Games
$19.99
 

 
Space Run was a pretty damn cool take on the tower defense genre, and now it's back with a sequel titled Galaxy. Like in the original game, you operate a space courier service that takes contracts delivering goods across a dangerous galaxy full of aliens, rival corporations, and raiders. Using a fully modular construction system, you'll need to build ships to take on the challenges of each contract. It isn't as simple as just loading your ship down with as many guns as possible though, because in addition to surviving with your cargo intact, you also need to make the delivery on time. One new feature in this sequel is the ability accept custom contracts from other players. Be aware that Galaxy apparently has a lot of bugs and server issues at the moment, so it might be a good idea to wait for a patch or two.
 
Verdict Guilty
Retro Army Limited
$2.99
 

 
Verdict Guilty is a retro 2D fighter designed to emulate the look and feel of classic '90s fighting games like Street Fighter 2. The game is set in Neo Seoul, a neon-lit city under siege by gangs and terrorists. To fit with the game's setting, the 8 playable characters are divided between police and criminals, and the fighting mechanics focus on gunplay just as much as close range brawling. Unfortunately, Verdict Guilty only features single player and local multiplayer, but it's lack of features can probably be forgiven considering its cheap price tag.
 
On Rusty Trails
Black Pants Studio
$12.99
 

 
On Rusty Trails is a new 2D platformer from the developers of Tiny and Big and About Love, Hate, and the other ones. Like the studio's previous games, On Rusty Trails features a striking comic book-like art style and fast gameplay based around environmental puzzles. Switch between red and blue to alter the way your surroundings react to your character, and use magnetic boots to traverse walls and ceilings. Black Pants games also tend to make heavy use of music, and On Rusty Trails follows that tradition with a gloomy soundtrack to accompany its moody atmosphere.
 
Legends of Callasia
Boomzap Entertainment
$24.99
 

 
Legends of Callasia is a tabletop-inspired fantasy strategy game with a business model that has been leaving more than a few people on Steam confused. You can't buy the game directly from the Steam page, but instead from a menu in the free demo. An odd way to sell your game for sure, but your purchase does include full access to the iOS and Android versions upon their release. Choose one of three factions, expand your empire, and clash with rivals using a card-based combat system. Legends of Callasia features a lengthy single player campaign, over 35 skirmish maps, and multiplayer for up to 8 players.
 
Roguelands
SmashGames
$9.99
 

 
Roguelands is, unsurprisingly, an action rogue-lite about resource gathering, crafting, and looting. Made primarily with multiplayer in mind, players explore procedurally generated planets in search of crafting materials so they can acquire increasingly awesome gear to take on greater challenges. Unlike other games in the genre, each player has a personal drone that will gather resources for you, allowing you to focus on the fun stuff like combat and exploration. Upon death you'll lose all the items currently in your inventory, but get to keep anything you have stored on your ship, and any progress you've made finding new crafting recipes or unlocking new characters.
 
Void Raiders
Tryzna83
$4.99
 

 
Finally we come to Void Raiders, the other colorful and pixilated action rogue-lite of the week. This top-down rogue-lite shooter features some shmup and bullet hell elements in addition to the usual procedurally generated exploration and looting. Unlock new characters and artifacts as you shoot your way across Neptune. It may not look like the most unique example of the genre, but at only $5 it could be worth checking out.
 
 
That's all for now. I'll be back shortly with more new release highlights.
 
 
Frank currently writes for Indie Game Source and Bell of Lost Souls. You can follow him on Twitter @Frank_Gaming for updates on future articles and general Twitter ramblings, though you probably shouldn't for your own sanity.
Frank Streva
File Uploa:
Pictured above: Hearts of Iron IV
 
Before I begin this (very late) edition of Overlooked Indies, I want to remind everyone that Hearts of Iron IV came out last week. This latest installment in Paradox's long-running WWII grand strategy series has received a lot of praise from fans so far, and is sitting at over 1,700 positive ratings on Steam. Also of note is the recent PC port of Nippon Ichi's Stranger of Sword City.
 
As usual, I'd like to remind my readers that I'm not endorsing any of these games, merely highlighting some promising new releases from last week. Hopefully you find something you like, and if you do, remember to tell your friends.
 
SteamWorld Heist
Image & Form
$19.99
 

 
After releasing several months back on 3DS, SteamWorld Heist has finally made its way over to PC. This new game from the developers of SteamWorld Dig may feature a similar art style, but is a drastic departure in terms of gameplay. This turn-based strategy game places you in command of a marauding band of steam-powered robot space pirates out to rob starships of their most valuable cargo. While combat is turn-based, it plays more like Worms or Valkyria Chronicles, and rewards precision aiming and skillful trick shots.
 
Ghost 1.0
Fran
$12.99
 

 
Ghost 1.0 is the latest game from the developer of the cult indie hit Unepic. Much like Fran's previous game, Ghost is a 2D Metroidvania RPG, but trades the meme-laden fantasy setting for a sci-fi story where you play as an android infiltrating the Nakamura Space Station. While you have an arsenal of weapons and gadgets at your disposal, you biggest asset is the ability to leave your body as a digital ghost. This allows you to reach new areas and temporarily possess enemies, acting as both a combat ability and a solution to various environmental puzzles. The campaign comes in two flavors, and can be played as either a traditional Metroidvania RPG or a more punishing quasi-rogue-lite where you lose your gear upon death.
 
Wasted
Mr. Podunkian
$12.99
 

 
Adult Swim released a new game this week as well, the so-called "pub crawling" rogue-lite Wasted. Set in a post-apocalyptic world where only the dumb survived, Wasted is an FPS where you search for booze and toilet paper (the currency of the wasteland) in underground bunkers called Coolers. You'll gain new perks and abilities by drinking irradiated alcohol and getting hangovers. Between runs you'll have a chance to return to your home, which acts like a hub area and contains upgrades that can help you in future raids.
 
Broken Bots
Bunnycopter
$6.99
 

 
Broken Bots is a multiplayer-focused twin stick shooter where up to twelve players blast each other to bits with customizable killer robots. Keeping in line with the title, one of the key features of Broken Bots is the ability to cause enemies to malfunction, inflicting various glitches like reversed controls or weapon defects. Conversely, you can bestow power-ups on nearby allies to improve their performance. Unfortunately, the game seems to be suffering from a lack of players online, but it does have offline matches against bots and local multiplayer.
 
Death Goat
Terminal Press
$2.99
 

 
Death Goat is a twin stick shooter I remember rather fondly from the Xbox Live Indie Games section on the 360. It's a very simple wave-based shooter with decent action, but what really makes the game shine is its great soundtrack featuring songs from 21 indie metal bands. If it had more weapons and power-ups it'd have more lasting appeal, but it's still fun in short bursts and is a good way to discover some metal bands you might not know of. You can get the soundtrack on Steam for $14.
 
Tick Tock Bang Bang
Dejobaan Games, LLC
$9.99
 

 
Tick Tock Bang Bang is the latest title from the developers of AaAaAA!!! and is a spin-off of Drunk Robot Pornography. In fact, it essentially is Drunken Robot Pornography with a SUPERHOT-style time manipulation gimmick. What sets it apart from SUPERHOT is the much wider variety of enemies, obstacles, and environments, many of which will be familiar to fans of the developer's previous games.
 
Crea
Siege Games
$14.99
 

 
Fans of Terraria may want to look into Crea, the latest 2D sandbox building, crafting, and exploratio-focused action RPG to leave Early Access. Much like Terraria, you'll explore a massive, procedurally generated world, gather resources, construct home bases, craft items and gear, etc. Where Crea differs from Terraria is the expanded combat, more RPG-style leveling system and skills, and quality of life tweaks like the ability to create a "combat" and a "gathering" loadout that you can easily swap between without digging in your inventory. There's a discounted 4-pack available if you're interested in exploring Crea with friends.
 
Last Days of Old Earth
Auroch Digital
$24.99
 

 
Finally we come to Last Days of Old Earth, a new sci-fi 4X game published by Slitherine. Set in the distant future, Earth has become an inhospitable arctic wasteland as the Sun slowly withers and dies. Lead either the last remnants of humanity or the robotic Automata through the final days of life on Earth as you scavenge for resources, rebuild ancient ruins, discover lost technology, and clash with marauders and rival factions. Army construction consists of building a deck of cards that become units and abilities in the game's turn-based battles. Last Days of Old Earth features a story-driven campaign, randomly generated skirmish maps, and full online multiplayer.
 
 
That's all for now. I'll return shortly with more indie game highlights.
 
 
Frank currently writes for Indie Game Source and Bell of Lost Souls. You can follow him on Twitter @Frank_Gaming for updates on future articles and general Twitter ramblings.
Matthew Byrd
File Uploa:
It takes a lot to stand out on Steam and in the world of indie gaming in general. Typically, the best way to do this is through an eye-catching description. Something that will immediately separate your game from everything else out there and immediately inspire everyone to give it a look.
 
So far as that goes, Bohemian Killing's billing as a "Nonlinear First Person Courtroom Drama Set In The Streets Of 19th Century Steampunk Paris" may just take the cake as the greatest indie game description out there at the moment.
 
What does that loaded tagline actually mean? Well, according to the game's full description found on its Greenlight page, Bohemian Killing places you in the shoes of a brilliant inventor by the name of Alfred Ethon who has been accused of murder. Half of the game takes place in the courtroom where the trial of your life is being held. Here, you must examine the evidence placed against you in order to put together the best possible testimony for your defense.
 
Where things get really interesting is in the testimony process itself. Here, you must travel back in time to the night of the supposed incident and re-enact your story as you deliver it. The trick here is that you are essentially able to form whatever defense you'd like based one what you feel will go over best with the jury and judge.
 
The game's creator promises a near infinite amount of possibilities based on the way in which you prefer to build your testimony. For instance, you may be able to explain the blood on your clothes by getting into a bar fight near the time of the murder or by cutting yourself shaving. While there is some room for doubt regarding whether or not the game's developer can live up to his sizeable promises (how often have we heard of a game with "infinite possibilities" before?) so far the game looks like it may be able to provide a unique experience at the very least.
Frank Streva
File Uploa:
Pictured above: Tales from the Void
 
My quest continues to highlight some of the recent promising indie games that I was unable to squeeze into the last few articles. Just one more bonus article and I'll be caught up with them all. Now, if only I could find the time and money to play them all.
 
Shoppe Keep
Arvydas Zemaitis
$9.99
 

 
After playing Recettear, I'm always on the lookout for new games about item shop management. Shoppe Keep is another such "item shop RPG" that recently exited Early Access and allows you to design and manage your own shop for brave adventurers. The combat in Shoppe Keep is fairly minimal and regulated mostly to driving off thieves and rampaging barbarians. Most of your skills are based on creating items to sell in your shop, so leave the adventuring to your upgradable champion that will go out and gather loot for you to sell. I hear that the game is still a bit unpolished in its current form, but the developer is promising to support the game with regular updates.
 
Soulcaster: Part I & II
Magical Time Bean
$4.99
 

 
The two Soulcaster games came out ages ago on the Xbox Live Indie Games store, before Magical Time Bean largely move on to the Escape Goat series. With a third Soulcaster in development, now is as good a time as any to try out the originals. The series blends elements of dungeon crawling RPGs with tower defense as you place heroes at strategic locations to fend off hordes of enemies. You can beat each game in around two hours, and this package includes both titles for one cheap price.
 
Blind Trust
Good Vibration Games
Free
 

 
Blind Trust is a short and free experimental co-op game about the deaf leading the blind. One player controls a deaf soldier that is able to use sound beacons to help guide the other player, who assumes the role of a blind oracle able to hear enemies and specific objects in the environment. The two players will have to work together to defeat monsters and solve puzzles as they explore a mysterious island. The whole game will take you around 30 minutes to beat and only supports LAN multiplayer.
 
The Battle for Sector 219
Large Visible Machine
$6.99
 

 
The Battle for Sector 219 is the sci-fi themed follow-up to the Battle for Hill 218 card game. This abstract strategy card game, much like it's WWII predecessor, is about gaining control of the battlefield by building and maintaining supply lines so you can call in units and take control of the enemy base. It's a complete adaptation of the physical game, with AI skirmishes and both live and asynchronous online multiplayer. The Battle for Sector 219 is currently only out on PC, but a mobile version is supposed to be coming soon.
 
Hyper Bounce Blast
Flump Studios
$4.99
 

 
Hyper Bounce Blast is a strange hybrid of bullet hell shooter and retro-inspired platformer. As you shoot enemies, platforms will scroll across the screen. You can bounce on these platforms to make yourself invulnerable and build your combo, encouraging you to stay airborne as long as possible. It's currently sitting at 31 user reviews on Steam and not a single one of them is negative, so fans of shmups may want to give it a chance.
 
A Healer Only Lives Twice
Pon Pon Games
$4.99
 

 
A Healer Only Lives Twice is the latest quirky Japanese indie game to make it onto Steam courtesy the folks over at Playism. In this dungeon crawling RPG you play as a priest hired to accompany a knight on his monster slaying adventures. The only character you directly control is the healer, and are only able to give the knight vague instructions in battle. You'll need to use magic, potions, and buffs to keep the knight in peak condition so the two of you can survive the countless monsters that occupy the dungeon you'll be exploring.
 
Tales from the Void
PortaPlay
$14.99
 

 
Last up on the list is Tales from the Void, an atmospheric rogue-lite strategy game inspired by pulp sci-fi adventures from the early 1900s. The story revolves around the mysterious disappearance of the British submarine HMS E18 during WWI. As it turns out, the HMS E18 was tasked with testing an experimental super weapon when it malfunctions, sending the submarine and her crew into deep space. With food and oxygen supplies dwindling, you must control your crew in 3D low gravity environments as they search for supplies, fight alien life forms, and ultimately try to find a way back to Earth.
 
 
That's all for now. I'll be back soon with more indie game release highlights.
 
 
Frank currently writes for Indie Game Source and Bell of Lost Souls. You can follow him on Twitter @Frank_Gaming for updates on future articles and general Twitter ramblings.
Matthew Byrd
File Uploa:
Sometimes, you can’t help the memories you retain from when you were a child. There is no real explanation as to why these memories stay with you when others fade away, but for some reason, they are the ones that stick with you even when you don’t want them to.
 
One of those memories for me will always be the speeder bike level from Battletoads. Even though the difficulty of this level essentially prevented me from ever playing Battletoads past that infamous stage, I still recall failing at it over and over. It’s one of my most vivid gaming memories.
 
Now a new game has come along that manages to perfectly recreate the memories of failing at that level, for better or worse.
 
It’s called Barrier X, and let me tell you right now that it is going to infuriate you. The concept of the game couldn’t be more simple (you just need to maneuver your ship left and right in order to avoid red areas and the barriers they contain), but the trick lies in the execution. Just like Battletoads, your reflexes need to be perfect if you’re going to avoid a brutal demise.
 
Unlike Battletoads, Barrier X never feels unfair. You’re going to die over and over again in the pursuit of success, but the mechanics are airtight enough to ensure that you are responsible for your own failures as opposed to them resulting from a strange racing level trying to adhere to a 2D action game’s controls. Most importantly, there is a rhythm to the game’s levels that make it much easier to find yourself in that groove that the best high-speed games often provide.
 
You know what’s funny? When you remove the most frustrating elements from the concept of avoiding barriers at high speeds, it turns out the process is actually pretty enjoyable. Don’t get me wrong, you’re still going to tear your hair out in the pursuit of that perfect run, but at least you’ll have fun in the process this time around.
 
Fans of reflex-based titles can find Barrier X on Steam for $2.99.
Matthew Byrd
File Uploa:
The future of horror gaming became a little bleaker today with the announcement that the beloved Kickstarter horror game Allison Road is canceled. This highly anticipated game looked to build upon the formula established by games like P.T., but now some mysterious obstacles in the publishing process will likely prevent it from being released at all.
 
While the loss of this promising title is devastating, fortunately the world of indie gaming is filled with enough horror masterpieces to help genre fans fill the void. Those looking to cope with the cancellation announcement by spending their evening getting the hell scared out of them should look towards one of these classics to help do the job.
 
Layers of Fear
 

 
It’s easy to dismiss Layers of Fear as just another jump scare game if you just watch the trailers and look at some of the images, but developer Bloober Team’s project is much more than just another anything.
 
This story of a painter slowly descending into madness as he tries to find the inspiration for his masterpiece certainly draws upon what games like P.T. and Allison Road were trying to do in the sense that it derives much of its scares from its creepy environment and first-person exploration, but the artistic design of this title combined with its greater emphasis on psychological torment over jump scares makes it a unique entrant into the genre.
 
Layers of Fear is just as capable of terrifying you with elements that remain unseen as it is the things that jump out at you from the dark.
 
Fran Bow
 

 
Although Fran Bow is a far different game than P.T., Allison Road or indeed the other games on this list, what this title manages to accomplish is far too notable to overlook when recommending indie horror games.
 
Fran Bow is the story of a girl that finds her parents have been gruesomely murdered and attempts to discover the meaning behind their death. Her investigation is complicated by a mental disorder that makes the bizarre events that play out before her all the more difficult to discern from reality.
 
The result is the video game version of a classic dark fairy tale that doesn’t hold back on disturbing imagery and creepy twists.
 
SOMA
 

 
The creators of Amnesia: The Dark Descent must have known that they’d have a tough time following up on one of the greatest indie horror games ever made, which is probably why they initially set out to make SOMA a sci-fi game rather than a pure horror title.
 
What they ended up with, though, is a horror game that trumps its spiritual predecessor in most every way. This journey through an underwater base that doubles as the scene of a horrific incident manages to unnerve its players through sudden scares much like P.T. did, but separates itself thanks to an increased emphasis on storytelling.
 
The narrative presented in SOMA is one of gaming’s greatest and will ensure that you continue to play long after your nerves are shot.
 
Monstrum
 

 
Monstrum is a first-person survival horror game that isn’t interested in reinventing the genre wheel. Instead, it just wants to scare the player as much as humanly possible.
 
In that pursuit, it is an overwhelming success. Monstrum uses procedurally generated levels and an increased difficulty factor to ensure that you never feel entirely
comfortable with what is transpiring. Survival in this game does not come easy, as it often requires the player to wade through seemingly unwinnable scenarios in order to learn how to survive in the future.
 
Anyone that appreciates the value of stealth in their horror games will instantly fall in love with this creepy masterpiece.
 
The Park
 

 
There’s always been something creepy about an abandoned amusement park. Maybe it’s the fact that a place we usually associate with being full of life is now suddenly devoid of it, but the visual of such a place sends chills down your spine.
 
The Park takes full advantage of this effect. Not only does it present a terrifying abandoned amusement park that’s full of funhouse scares, but it mixes it with the story of a lost child whose possible fate only adds to the suspense.
 
Though very short and big rough around the design edges, The Park is an old-fashioned scary good time.
Frank Streva
File Uploa:
Pictured above: Hard Reset Redux
 
Before I begin, I just want to point out that the criminally underrated FPS gem Hard Reset received a new Redux version earlier this week. This new version is packed full of additional weapons, enemies, moves, various tweaks and rebalances, and the best part is that owners of the original game (or Flying Wild Hog's Shadow Warrior reboot) can get it at an 85% discount.
 
This week saw the release of many indie games I've been really excited about, so let's dig right in!
 
Brigador
Stellar Jockeys, Gausswerks
$19.99
 

 
I've been waiting with anticipation for Brigador ever since it was announced a few years back. This isometric tactical mech combat game features fully destructible environments, an awesome soundtrack, and a great graphics style reminiscent of some of my favorite PC games from the '90s. You play as a mercenary hired to liberate the city of Solo Nobre across a 21 mission campaign with permadeath and randomized enemies. Brigador certainly isn't lacking in the replayability department either, with 40 different weapons, 45 vehicles including mechs, tanks, and hovercrafts, and a randomly generated free play mode.
 
Blacksea Odyssey
Peter Milko, Sean Pinnock, and P J Legendre
$9.99
 

 
Blacksea Odyssey is another game that came out this week that I've been excited about since it was originally announced, and both the gameplay and visuals remind me of last year's Galak-Z. You play as a huntsman participating in an intergalactic competition where the best monster slayers in the galaxy try to bring down the biggest, meanest creatures to roam deep space. As the story implies, this rogue-lite shooter is all about massive boss monsters that take up nearly the entire screen. In addition to destructible environments, the primary strategy for killing monsters is to tear them apart piece by piece with your harpoon gun.
 
Hashtag Dungeon
Hitpoint Games Ltd.
$7.99
 

 
While I'm talking about rogue-lite games, I might as well mention Hashtag Dungeon. This experimental dungeon crawler takes a lot of inspiration from The Binding of Isaac, which isn't anything new considering the genre. The standout feature of Hashtag Dungeon, however, is in its name. This dungeon crawler uses Twitter to store levels, allowing anyone to craft their own devious dungeons and send them to others on the social media platform. It should go without saying but the game requires a Twitter account to play, so keep that in mind before buying.
 
Tumbleweed Express
The Dirigiballers, LLC.
$4.99
 

 
Tumbleweed Express is a train defense shooter with a steampunk Western theme that has been in development for around four years now. Set in an alternate 1885 where airships are commonplace, the Tumbleweed Express Steam Engine must complete valuable shipping contracts while under constant attack from the ruthless Dirigibaus and his fleet of weaponized dirigibles. Tumbleweed Express is, quite literally, a rail shooter where you man various weapon stations to defend your train from waves of enemies and bosses. As you complete contracts you'll get a chance to upgrade your weapons, defenses, and crew back at your warehouse. It's not a particularly long game from what I hear, but it isn't an expensive one either.
 
Coffee Pot Terrarium
Brothers Flint
$11.99
 

 
Coffee Pot Terrarium is a unique turn-based puzzle game about tile management and manipulation. Each level consists of pathways made of tiles, with enemies wondering around that you must avoid. You can't directly kill these enemies, but instead have the ability to destroy pathways and make new ones. You'll need to carefully consider your positioning, as you must be adjacent to tiles to destroy them and can potentially cut yourself off even with the ability to create new pathways. Special mention goes to the game's striking art style, which reminds me a bit of traditional Japanese artwork.
 
Solitairica
Righteous Hammer Games
$11.99
 

 
Runespell changed up the Puzzle Quest-style formula of puzzle RPGs back in 2011 by replacing the combat system with Poker, and now Solitairica seeks to do the same with Solitaire. In this turn-based rogue-lite RPG you fight enemies by playing Solitaire, with the usual mechanics like suits replaced with Attack, Defense, Agility, and Willpower cards. Along the way you'll acquire items and spells to aid you in your Solitaire games, and unlock the ability to use Ace, King, and Queen cards to boost your abilities.
 
Hero Defense- Haunted Island
Happy Tuesday
$14.99
 

 
Hero Defense blends elements of tower defense and MOBA games to create a rather unique take on the defense strategy genre. You'll be defending against hordes of enemies approaching your base from different lanes like in a more traditional tower defense game, but your "towers" are a squad of five customizable heroes that you can freely move around the map. Each hero has their own skill tree, special abilities, and inventory where you can equip sets of runes that you'll find throughout the single player campaign. Hero Defense also features competitive multiplayer with a full progression and ranking system.
 
Captain Forever Remix
Pixelsaurus Games
$14.99
 

 
Finally we come to Captain Forever Remix, a reimagining of the cult Australian game series from 2009. This Remix version re-imagines the first game in the series with new mechanics and updated visuals inspired by Saturday morning cartoons. The core gameplay of this shooter involves building absurdly elaborate starships through the game's fully modular construction system. Ships are fully destructible, allowing you to target specific parts and later bolt them onto your own vessel. Captain Forever Remix includes full Steam Workshop support so you can easily share your creations online, or test drive ships created by other space captains.
 
 
That's all for now. I'll return later this week with more new indie releases.
 
 
Frank currently writes for Indie Game Source and Bell of Lost Souls. You can follow him on Twitter @Frank_Gaming for updates on future articles and general Twitter ramblings.
Matthew Byrd
File Uploa:
For the sake of full disclosure, I will now admit that I'm a shameless roguelike and roguelite fan. Even though the definition of what constitutes a game in these genres grows a little larger each day, the fact is that any game that offers a random series of events built around a permanent death system will usually still get about 10 hours of playtime from me at a minimum.
 
Still, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a bit trepidatious going into Solitairica. I'm willing to buy into just about any premise that even vaguely follows the rules of the Rogue genre, but a game billing itself as a "roguelike solitaire experience?" Even I have my doubts about how that would translate into a proper rogue game.
 
In a way, these fears hold true after playing the game. Solitairica is not a roguelike or roguelite game. Not really. About the closest it comes to the genre is the randomization of its enemies and rewards, though the method in which it presents these elements is not too different from a standard RPG game. You make your way through a very simple medieval fantasy story in the hopes of challenging an evil emperor, and along the way you fight random enemies by playing a modified version of spider solitaire. If you really wanted to stretch the term, you could qualify the game's progression as roguelike, but honestly, this game has no reason to bill itself as a member of that genre.
 

 
Instead, Solitairica is more of an update on the Puzzle Quest concept. In fact, it's actually fairly identical to that game in the way that it handles presentation, combat and progression elements. The difference - as you've no doubt guessed by now - is that Puzzle Quest used a modified match-three puzzle system in place of traditional combat, whereas Solitairica uses a modified version of spider solitaire. If you're wondering how exactly the one-player game of solitaire translates into a competitive battle system, the answer is, "Fairly well, actually."
 
For the most part, the solitaire elements in the game are identical to the classic game. Anyone familiar with the rules of spider solitaire will have no trouble jumping right in. Where Solitairica updates the concept is through the introduction of mechanics assigned to certain cards that denote combat abilities. For instance, you may have a series of cards that are assigned attack abilities. Match these cards to the top row, and you will receive points towards your attack spell. Execute that attack spell, and you deal damage to your opponent. Cards can also be assembled into themed decks like in a CCG title in order to emphasize certain playstyles, and you have the ability to upgrade your cards to increase their effectiveness.
 
The reason that this system works as well as it does is because it's essentially just a game of solitaire. There are a couple of minor deviations to the formula - such as the notion of taking turns and the presence of secondary items that can benefit bad hands - but at its core, this is an updated version of the classic game that PC gamers have been playing since they discovered Microsoft included Windows.
 

 
While the fact that this game only seeks to enhance the solitaire experience as opposed to completely reinvent it is the main reason that it’s as addictive as it is – and believe me, the game is just as addictive as solitaire can be – it’s also the reason for the game’s biggest fault: its reliance on luck. Much like an actual game of solitaire, sometimes the cards just don’t fall your way in this game. That, combined with the game’s sometimes unfair random enemies, results in battles you simply can’t win if things don’t go your way.
 
A touch of that quality can add to the experience in games like this, but there are many times when Solitairica abuses the privilege my disguising its randomness as intended difficulty. Too many of these types of winless games in a row, and you’ll have no problem putting the game down and walking away.
 
Still, there is a lot of simple fun to be found in this surprisingly bountiful game. Anyone who considers themselves to be a diehard solitaire or Puzzle Quest fan will find more than enough content here to justify the hours you’ll spend coming back for casual playthroughs, but those hoping for something more skill-based need not apply.
 
Pros:
Interesting Concept
Surprisingly Addictive
Lots of Content

Cons:
A Little Too Random
Could Use More Deck Designs
Uneven Difficulty

End Score
7/10
Frank Streva
File Uploa:
Pictured above: Overfall
 
The last few weeks have seen a larger than normal release of fairly solid indie games on Steam, many of which have sadly gone unnoticed by gamers. It's with this in mind that I wanted to play catch up and highlight just over a dozen games I didn't have time for from the previous few weeks. Expect the second round later this week.
 
EPΘCH
Nick Everlith
$14.99
 

 
EPΘCH is a nostalgia-fueled, top-down action RPG reminiscent of the Zelda series, with a pinch of Souls-inspired challenging-but-fair combat. Create and customize your own dungeon diver and discover decrepit catacombs and ancient cities from a bygone age. The game's narrative is told through the forgotten ruins you'll uncover in your adventure, with enough secrets to warrant multiple playthroughs. If you find the dungeons of EPΘCH to be too challenging, then grab a friend and try out the game's online co-op.
 
htoL#NiQ: The Firefly Diary
Nippon Ichi Software, Inc.
$14.99
 

 
The oddly titled htoL#NiQ (pronounced Hotaru no Nikki) has finally made its way to a platform that people actually own. This fiendishly difficult puzzle game puts you in control of two fairies, Lumen and Umbra, as they guide a lost girl named Mion. Much like in Lemmings, you don't directly control Mion, and instead must use Lumen to direct her movements and Umbra to overcome the traps and enemies in her way. Be aware that this was originally a Vita game, with all the downsides that entails. Expect a 30FPS cap and limited resolution options.
 
MechoEcho
Resilient Games Ltd.
$18.99
 

 
On the subject of puzzles, MechoEcho is a unique physics-based puzzle game where you build and drive robots in a bizarre cyberpunk world. You'll be presented with various environmental challenges, and then have a chance to use the block-based construction system to create machines to overcome them. The system looks very simple to understand, yet deep enough to build some ridiculously complex contraptions. Some levels will put component limits on your constructions, while others might have enemies to get past as well, but none of the puzzles have a set solution that you must adhere to. In addition to the campaign there is also a sandbox mode, where the only limit is your own creativity. You can also find MechoEcho on GOG.
 
Sengoku Jidai: Shadow of the Shogun
Byzantine Games
$29.99
 

 
Sengoku Jidai is the latest turn-based wargame to be pumped out by Slitherine Ltd., one of the most prolific publishers of this niche genre. Sengoku Jidai uses an improved version of the engine Byzantine Games used for their previous title Pike and Shot, but brings the action to Sengoku era Japan. As with most games in the genre, you'll have a chance to rewrite history on your campaign to unify a fractured Japan and potentially expand to China and Korea. Other modes include multiplayer and a deep skirmish system that can be used to play out "what-if" scenarios or randomly generated battles. Sengoku Jidai is mod friendly and has a built-in map editor for additional replayability.
 
The Mims Beginning
Squatting Penguins
$19.99
 

 
The Mims Beginning is a god game along the lines of what Peter Molyneux used to make before he went totally off the rails. You play as a god-like entity that must help the Mims survive after crash landing on a floating island. The Mims will need to establish colonies to survive this hostile world, with the eventual goal of repairing their ship so they can leave. You can use a host of physic powers that can alter the flora, fauna, and environment to make life more hospitable for your little minions. Likewise, you'll need to contend with dangers like predators, invasions, and cosmic disasters that threaten your Mims' survival.
 
Overfall
Pera Games
$14.99
 

 
Finally we come to Overfall, a turn-based strategy RPG of epic adventure on the high seas. Lead two heroes on a quest to find their lost king across a procedurally generated campaign, where hero deaths are permanent and important story decisions have multiple choices and consequences. Along the way you'll encounter various races and factions you can befriend or betray, with 36 possible companions to recruit and 9 playable heroes to unlock. You can also find Overfall on GOG.
 
 
That's all for this bonus article. Come back this Friday for part two.
 
 
Frank currently writes for Indie Game Source and Bell of Lost Souls. You can follow him on Twitter @Frank_Gaming for updates on future articles and general Twitter ramblings.
Matthew Byrd
File Uploa:
Do you know those indie games that get announced, make everyone that hears about them excited and then seemingly disappear into nothingness shortly thereafter? For some time, it looked like Tumbleweed Express was destined to be one of those games.
 
It's been about five years since the announcement of Tumbleweed Express; a game that puts a Western twist on the tower defense genre by asking players to arm and escort a train through dangerous lands. At the time of its unveiling, Tumbleweed drew a fair amount of praise for its offensive approach to the classic genre, as well as its always welcome use of the still criminally underexplored western genre. Since that time, however, the game has vanished into that dreaded "no response" space where games go before passing into the abyss.
 
Remarkably, developer The Dirigiballers actually managed to yank this title from the void and put it on Steam for $4.99.
 
The final product itself is a strange one. Tumbleweed Express mixes traditional western elements with traditional sci-fi to create a world that feels like what may have happened if the Wild Wild West filmmakers decided to just run wild with the concept. It's a bit misleading to refer to is as a tower defense genre, as the tower defense elements really only come in the form of outfitting your train with various pieces of equipment. Instead, most of the action in the game players out like an on-rail shooter (pun not intended) that has you controlling the main cannon to take down a variety of incoming "bullet-hell" type threats.
 
Is the game actually good, though? My answer would be an enthusiastic "meh." It's incredibly simple, fairly short on content and bears many elements of a game that has been worked on for far too long. Still, it's certainly not a bad game and there is a certain pleasure in seeing one of these titles escape development hell for once.
Matthew Byrd
File Uploa:
As a lifelong fan of good gaming experiences in whatever form they may take, I admit that the recent uproar regarding Overwatch's full price point despite its lack of a single-player campaign confused me. After all, while it's understandable that gamers would want as much content as possible out of their purchases, at no point was Overwatch presented as - or to our knowledge - intended to be a single-player experience. To me, the debate surrounding the game ultimately boiled down to: "If you like what the game offers buy it, and if you don't like what the game offers then don't."
 
Still, I know that the controversy isn't a simple matter of whether or not the game offers a campaign experience. Instead, it's a debate that represents the much larger worry some in the gaming community have over whether or not developers really care about single-player games at all. Many feel that the largest publishers in the industry are more concerned with creating multiplayer games and banking off of the microtransactions that come with them.
 
Is this feeling accurate? Well, to be honest, the numbers behind the argument are a bit iffy. If you look at the best selling games of 2015, you'll find that every game technically offers some kind of single-player content. I emphasize technically because many of these games (such as Star Wars: Battlefront) don't really offer more solo content than a glorified tutorial. Indeed this lack of effort when crafting single-player experiences in popular games probably represents the real issue in the industry today than simply saying: "There are no more single-player games."
 

 
Except, it's still not fair to say that developers aren't putting their full effort into these modes anymore. Not really. While the mainstream game industry may be philosophically shifting more towards multiplayer experiences, saying that there are no more single-player games is an insult to the efforts of some truly great indie developers.
 
Now I know what you're thinking: "Indie gaming doesn't count. It's the major releases that have stopped producing the same kind of single-player games they used to. That's what needs to change." That's an emotional argument, but there is some truth in it. The fact of the matter is that indie games can't produce the same kind of single-player games that a major developer can when they devote their resources to it. We're not going to get an indie equivalent of Uncharted 4, The Witcher 3 or possibly even DOOM. The money just isn't there for most studios.
 
But much like the Overwatch controversy, focusing on what indie games can't provide rather than what they do provide benefits nobody. Indie gaming can't consistently provide big-budget masterpieces, but they can provide a variety of experiences that the industry at large could never possibly support. There is no major developer that would ever take the chance on a smart throwback like Undertale. A company like EA couldn't dream of resurrecting a beloved - but undperforming - franchise in the form of a title like Stardew Valley. Ubisoft wouldn't go anywhere near an inventive experiment in storytelling like Her Story.
 

 
Now maybe you like these games and maybe you don't. That's fine. Not every gamer has to like every game, and there are plenty more examples of great single-player indie games where these came from. Regardless of your specific tastes, it's important to not quickly dismiss efforts such as these in the argument that gaming has forgotten about the individual player. Doing so just confirms the suspicion of major game publishers that the most vocal supporters of a single player renaissance ultimately represent a minority that are unwilling to fiscally support single player gaming in the same way that multiplayer gamers apparently do.
 
Even if you don't purchase these games as a way to show your support, it's past time that the efforts of the indie game industry in providing a variety of gaming experiences catered to target all needs - including solo play - is shown the proper love whenever the discussion of this fading philosophy of design is brought up. Failing to do so not only belittles the efforts that goes into these games, but only speeds up the process in which yet another corner of the game industry walks away from crafting great single-player games.
Frank Streva
File Uploa:
Pictured above: Metagal
 
We had another pretty busy week in indie game releases, to say nothing of the games I didn't get to cover from last week. I'll need to remedy that situation in the next few days. As usual, I'm not endorsing any of the games in this list, just highlighting some promising titles you may not have heard of. Luckily, most of the games on the list this week have a decent number of user reviews that you may find useful.
 
Chronicle: RuneScape Legends
Jagex
Free-to-play
 

 
First up on the list is RuneScape Legends, the latest effort from a big franchise attempting to capitalize on the digital card game craze. The feature that makes Legends standout from the Hearthstones of the world is the increased focus on RPG-style progression and PvE content. While standard competitive play against others is a big part of the game, Legends also features questing, dungeon crawling, and boss fights in a lengthy adventure mode. You'll build up your character as well as your deck along the way, with RPG-style leveling and various items and gear to loot. Like most games in the genre its free-to-play, so why not go see if RuneScape Legends is the card game for you?
 
OmniBus
Buddy Cops, LLC
$9.99
 

 
OmniBus is the latest quirky indie title to be picked up by Devolver Digital and involves driving "the most powerful bus in the universe." Inspired by the classic action movie Speed with the insanity taken up to 11, this physics-based arcade driving game places you behind the wheel of a bus that steadily accelerates to ludicrous speeds, with aerial tricks being the only way to slow down. Modes include a story campaign, a freestyle mode where you can practice tricks and stunts, and demolition derbies with local multiplayer support. OmniBus is also on GOG.
 
Metagal
RetroRevolution
$3.99
 

 
Feeling blue about the frequent delays, shady business practices, and insultingly terrible trailers surrounding Mighty No. 9? If so, then you may want to check out Metagal, a new retro-inspired action platformer that takes more than a few cues from Megaman. You'll battle through 8 stages in total, each of which ends with a boss fight that gives you access to a new weapon or ability. I've heard some complaints about the controller support and English translation, but Metagal otherwise looks like a solid and inexpensive Megaman clone.
 
Simutrans
The Simutrans Team
Free
 

 
Speaking of cheap games, Simutrans has finally hit Steam for the low price of absolutely free. This completely open source transportation management game has been in active development since the late '90s, and features tons of mods and custom content to dig through. It's quite similar to OpenTTD, though with an admittedly clunky UI, steep learning curve, and vague mechanics that aren't really explained well. Still, if you're looking to become a transport tycoon millionaire without breaking the bank, then you could certainly do worse than trying out Simutrans. The fact that it's open source also means that you can freely customize your experience however you want.
 
Lumo
Triple Eh?
$19.99
 

 
Lumo is a new platformer that seeks to revive the long-dead style of isometric adventure games popularized on the ZX Spectrum in the '80s and '90s. Put your platforming and puzzle solving skills to the test in over 400 rooms across 4 zones. Lumo's many rooms are also packed full of secrets to discover, including six mini-games. It's definitely not a style of platformer we see any more these days, and quite the departure from the typical dime a dozen retro-inspired platformers currently flooding Steam. You can also grab Lumo on GOG and PS4.
 
WizardCraft
David Mccue
$11.99
 

 
WizardCraft is a retro-style 2D fantasy RTS that takes its inspiration from many classic games in the genre. It sounds a bit lacking in features, with only one faction and no multiplayer, but it does include 30 campaign missions, 50 skirmish maps, and a map editor. WizardCraft may not be the most fully featured RTS on the market, but it's inexpensive and the developer is promising to add new content later on.
 
Shrouded in Sanity
Steve Gal
$7.99
 

 
Games with mechanics inspired by Dark Souls and Bloodborne are becoming increasingly common, and Shrouded in Sanity is no different. This 2D action RPG features challenging combat mechanics loosely inspired by From Software's popular series, with a bit of old school survival horror thrown in for good measure. Set in an alternate 1897, you are sent to investigate the source of an unnatural fog enveloping the Berelai Manor. The inhabitants have been driven mad by unknown powers, and you must search the depths of the manor to figure out how to stop this ancient evil.
 
Sunken
Hit the Crow
$9.99
 

 
Finally we come to Sunken, an action RPG with some rogue-like and survival elements. Set in a dark dungeon with an oppressive atmosphere, Sunken features randomized monster spawns, loot, and permadeath. You lose your levels and gear upon death, but retain your skills and abilities. Crafting also plays a big part of Sunken, and you'll find tons of miscellaneous junk and recipes that you can turn into useful gear and items to help you survive.
 
 
That's all for now. I'll be back next week with more overlooked new releases.
 
 
Frank is an aspiring game designer that currently writes for Indie Game Source and Bell of Lost Souls. You can follow him on Twitter @Frank_Gaming for updates on future articles and reviews.
Matthew Byrd
File Uploa:
To what degree does a game’s subject matter impact your enjoyment of it?
 
For instance, let’s say that there is an incredible new grand strategy game all about managing the territorial battles of ‘20s mob gangs. While you’re a fan of grand strategy titles, you honestly could care less about ‘20s mob gangs. In fact, for the sake of this discussion, let’s say that you actively hate the idea of ‘20s mob gangs. Would you still play this game?
 
Such is the dilemma that YouTubers Life presents.
 
YouTubers Life is a game all about simulating the existence of a YouTube star. Your created character starts with little more than a computer and webcam to their name, and you must find a way to turn this humble set-up into the foundations of an internet empire.
 

 
My initial concern with this title was that it would attempt to cash-in on the very popular concept of becoming a YouTube hit and present a simplistic mobile-type clicker game that had many acquiring various resources instead of actually doing anything of merit. In a way, I’m glad I went in with these lowered expectations because the Early Access build of YouTubers Life is actually one of my favorite simulators in recent memory.
 
So far as broad character aspects such as managing your home, social life and basic needs goes, you’re going to find that YouTubers Life does not differ much from the formula set by The Sims years ago. Anyone who has spent any time with that series will feel right at home with the way that this game handles basic interactions and navigation, though the biggest Sims fans will be slightly disheartened to learn that YouTubers Life takes a simplified approach to the basic concept. So far as elements like character and world customization go, you will not find nearly as many options as you will in even the early Sims title.
 
To a degree, this is to be expected, but it is a bit of a shame that your options in creating a character that is ultimately going to be the center of your media world are so limited. It’s very much worth stating again that the game is in Early Access and that new options could always be added, but the problem here is more of a fundamental design issue in the character creation than it is a lack of item options.
 

 
What YouTubers Life does well, however, are the elements related to actually building a successful YouTube channel. While this process includes the kind of steps you would expect in such a process such as selecting the type of content you’re going to put out, updating your equipment to improve your presentation value and staying on top of the hottest content trends, it also goes into aspects of the profession I wasn’t necessarily expecting such as the need to edit your videos through a simplified editing program.
 
By far the most surprising element of the game, however, was the way it emphasizes socializing. This world can sometimes be all about who you know and how you present yourself, and YouTubers Life does a tremendous job of emphasizing how important getting yourself out there and meeting as many people as possible really is. It also goes so far as to emphasize the importance of maintaining your own social needs along with juggling an insane amount of work hours.
 
This personality element is what makes YouTubers Life so special. Generating compelling content in this game is easy enough once you learn the mechanics, but the need to remain relevant and contents is a consistently compelling motivating factor. This is especially true of industry specific elements such as dealing with online trolls and rival channels.
 
That aspect does bring us back to the original point of whether or not you are entertained by the very concept of becoming a YouTuber. If the answer is “No” then I don’t believe that YouTubers Life does enough as a Tycoon/Simulator game to really expand its appeal beyond the appeal of the concept material. There’s always room for improvement there as the game develops, but it doesn’t appear that the game is trying to be as deep as some of the most popular games in this genre.
 
If, however, this concept does appeal to you, then you’ll find YouTubers Life to be a surprisingly clever take on its subject matter that is worth downloading even in its early state.
 
Pros:
Unique subject matter
Packed with clever jokes
Compelling socialization options

Cons:
Lack of overall depth makes it dependent on subject matter
Content creation process eventually becomes too easy
Unimpressive audio design

End Score
8/10
Matthew Byrd
File Uploa:
Last Week Tonight host John Oliver recently did a segment about 911 services in America that was considered to be quite the eye-opener regarding the reality of working as a 911 operator. Specifically, the piece highlighted just how underequipped the average 911 operator is and how this lack of proper resources puts an incredible level of stress on them when they realize that often times their decision making in a non-optimal setting can separate life from death for the person on the other end of the line.
 
As if the report didn't drive home that point clearly enough, developer The Play Way has recently unveiled a teaser trailer for 911 Operator; a simulator that aims to recreate the experience of living as an emergency dispatcher.
 

 
While the released trailer doesn't show much in terms of gameplay, it does recreate a real-life call within the theoretical game mechanics that highlights how compelling this title could be. The call in question comes from a girl who is looking to order a pizza. The operator has the option to politely inform her that his is an emergency line and that her question is not appropriate for this service, or forcibly do so and hang-up. In this particular instance, they chose the former, which was a wise decision considering that the caller was disguising their actual emergency call from a dangerous person in the room. The operator is able to dispatch help because of this.
 
It's a small taste of the project, but the potential is certainly there. One could easily imagine a Papers, Please type game that forces players into difficult situations that require them to discern fake calls from real ones, or come up with a proper solution under the pressure of a timer. Also, considering that the example call was a recreation of a real life 911 call, there is certainly more than enough compelling material for the developers to mine.
 
No word yet on the release date, but the concept alone could make this one indie title to keep an eye out for as more information becomes available.
Frank Streva
File Uploa:
Pictured above: Duskers
 
Wow, we had a really busy week of indie game releases on PC. So many, in fact, that a single article just can't contain them all, so expect a bonus article in a few days. I can't guarantee any of the many releases from this week are any good myself, but many of them have tons of Steam reviews you can browse through for more information.
 
Salt and Sanctuary
Ska Studios
$17.99
 

 
Probably one of the bigger indie releases of the week, Salt and Sanctuary has made its way to PC after its initial console release a few months back. This 2D Soulsian action RPG is the latest game from Ska Studios, a personal favorite of mine due to their highly underappreciated 360 titles like Charlie Murder, the Dishwasher series, and ZP2KX. They really should bring more of their games to Steam. Salt and Sanctuary promises to be their biggest and most complex game to date as you embark on a journey as a shipwrecked sailor trapped on a mysterious island crawling with long forgotten evil forces. The game has been met with critical acclaim on both consoles and Steam, so if you're looking for a challenging action RPG then you may want to give Salt and Sanctuary a chance.
 
Shadwen
Frozenbyte
$16.99
 

 
Shadwen is another indie title with quite a bit of hype surrounding it, this time from the developers that brought us the Trine series. Shadwen is a big departure from Frozenbyte's usual games, and is a dark and moody 3rd person stealth game where you play as an assassin on a dangerous mission to murder the king. Along the way you meet an orphan girl named Lily that you must protect, and this introduces Shadwen's morality system where you have to decide how lethal you wish to be in front of Lily. Shadwen also features a heavy emphasis on physics, allowing you to get very creative with environmental traps. You can also find Shadwen on PS4 and GOG.
 
One Troll Army
FlyAnvil
Free
 

 
Indie publisher tinyBuild has become famous lately for their crazy marketing stunts involving Twitch, and One Troll Army is no exception. This action/tower defense hybrid has you playing as a massive troll hired by a band of goblins to protect their fort, and features Twitch integration where chat can take control of enemy units. This is where tinyBuild's signature marketing came in, as they proposed a challenge to their fans: Beat the developers on Twitch and One Troll Army will be released for free, a feat that Twitch chat gleefully accomplished.
 
Melody's Escape
Icetesy SPRL
$9.99
 

 
Melody's Escape is a rhythm runner that was in one of the first waves of Greenlit games. It's been in Early Access for nearly as long, but is now officially released with a nice 40% discount for the next week. The basic gameplay isn't all that different from other rhythm games like AudioSurf. Pick your favorite songs from your library and then play the levels they generate, hitting the color-coded prompts as they appear to avoid obstacles and rack up a high score. The music analysis in Melody's Escape places a particular emphasis on vocals and long notes, allowing you to slide and fly along with them in-game.
 
Particle Mace
Andy Wallace
$9.99
 

 
Another game that's been in Early Access for a while is Particle Mace. This top-down shooter is inspired by games like Geometry Wars and Asteroids, but the gameplay places a much greater focus on physics and inertia. Much like the name implies, Particle Mace eschews the guns and projectiles of other twin sticks in favor of a giant mace tethered to your ship. To attack, you'll need to dodge and weave around obstacles to build up the momentum required to unleash a devastating blow with your mace. In addition to a wide range of single player missions, Particle Mace also features local co-op and competitive multiplayer. You can find the game on iOS too.
 
The Way
Puzzling Dream
$14.99
 

 
The Way is a new 2D puzzle platformer inspired by many classics from the genre, and bears more than a passing resemblance to something you'd expect from Wadjet Eye Games. You play as an explorer who finds himself unable to cope with the death of his lover. After reading ancient texts about eternal life, he returns to an alien world he visited on a prior expedition to find purpose in his life again. Also available on GOG.
 
Smashing The Battle
Studio HG
$11.99
 

 
The aptly named Smashing The Battle is a stylized brawler about the simple things in life, like smashing things and half-naked anime babes with great bouncy tits. A large-scale cyber attack has turned the construction robots in a huge multiplex into homicide murderers, and you must smash them to bits as one of the two aforementioned scantily clad anime girls. As you progress through missions you'll gain money to purchase new abilities and upgrade existing gear and weapons. It's already become a bit of a cult hit on Steam, with several hundred largely positive user reviews.
 
Koihime Enbu
Unknown Games, M2 Co., LTD
$39.99
 

 
Speaking of fighting anime girls, the 2D Japanese arcade fighter Koihime Enbu made it to Steam this week. Based on an adult visual novel, Koihime Enbu is set in an alternate Romance of the Three Kingdoms where most of the famous warlords and heroes have been replaced with cute anime girls, because of course they have and this is just how things work in Japan. The game features 13 characters in all, with an additional 7 assist characters to change up your move set and tactics. Koihime Enbu is also on PS3 and PS4.
 
Duskers
Misfits Attic
$19.99
 

 
Finally we come to Duskers, a strategy rogue-lite with an interesting retro sci-fi aesthetic. You play as a lone drone operator surrounded by derelict starships in the depths of space. Using an interesting command line interface, you'll need to pilot salvaging drones into these wrecks to find vital supplies like food, fuel, and parts to upgrade your drones and keep them in working order. Along the way you'll need to keep an eye out for ship logs that will help you figure out what happened and where you can find aid. Beware though, because it soon becomes apparent that you aren't totally alone out there. You can also grab the game on GOG.
 
 
That's all for now. I'll be back in a few days with more indie release highlights from last week.
 
 
Frank is an aspiring game designer that currently writes for Indie Game Source and Bell of Lost Souls. You can follow him on Twitter @Frank_Gaming for updates on future articles and reviews.
Matthew Byrd
File Uploa:
We're almost midway through 2016, and the year has already provided an incredible bounty of indie titles that we can recommend without hesitation. If you're looking for the quick highlights of the year so far, consider these five best indie games of 2016.
 
Stardew Valley
 

 
Harvest Moon was always spoken of as a game ahead of its time, but it wasn't until the release of 2016's Stardew Valley that I ever appreciated how true that assessment is.
 
While Stardew Valley is not just a knock-off of the Harvest Moon games, there is no denying that the game's most notable elements are pulled from that famous franchise. However, Stardew Valley adds so much more to that basic experience of becoming a farmer in a small town. There is a real sense of adventure about this game that shines through whether you are partaking on its more traditional RPG elements, or simply deciding what crops to plant for the season. Your every action in Stardew Valley can lead to a series of possible outcomes and this branching style of gameplay lends this indie gem infinite replayability.
 
Stardew Valley is the type of game that you can play for months and only barely scratch the surface. The really scary part, though, is that the game just keeps growing.
 
Firewatch
 

 
Ah, the walking simulator genre. Despised or beloved depending on what type of gamer you ask, there is no genre more controversial in modern indie gaming than this one.
 
While Firewatch certainly contains the lack of traditional gameplay elements that have caused some in the gaming community to despise this particular type of game, it also so happens to be one of the most compelling cases yet for gaming's superior ability to present emotional, minimalist narratives. With the exception of the dialog emitting from your handheld radio, much of Firewatch's story is told through how it makes you feel when you explore its dangerous world. Firewatch forces you to confront your emotions as well as the game's more traditional obstacles.
 
Even if you are not usually a fan of these styles of games, Firewatch's compelling style of storytelling is worth a look.
 
The Witness
 

 
With all due respect to the many brilliant games that came in-between, 2007's Portal was the most significant entrant to the puzzle genre since Tetris. It showcased that the simple and addictive nature of the classic puzzle game could also serve as the foundation to a more elaborate, story-driven world.
 
The Witness doesn't quite reach the lofty heights of Portal, but it is the most compelling advancement of that game's innovations. Whereas Portal used its iconic narrator to link together a series of puzzle rooms, The Witness scatters such puzzles across an open world. It was a bold move to deprive gamers of the traditional puzzle game progress system, but the world of The Witness is so compelling that you'll find no trouble coming up with the motivation to discover its many secrets.
 
Perhaps The Witness isn't as addictive as previous puzzle titles, but it is arguably the most intelligent entrant into the genre in some time.
 
Stephen's Sausage Roll
 

 
Stephen's Sausage Roll is a lot like The Witness, except it's completely different. It's also highly reminiscent of Tetris, but not the same at all. Well...sort of. Maybe. In a way, I suppose.
 
Ok, I admit that I still don't know how to easily convey just what Stephen's Sausage Roll is. However, I am convinced that the game's inability to be easily summarized is the surest indication of its overall quality. Stephen's Sausage Roll is as much of a puzzle game as it is a glorious tribute to the world of game design. Its mechanics are air tight, its levels are punishingly brilliant and there is an underlying sense of charm about the game that serves as its most endearing quality
 
Stephen's Sausage Roll will frustrate you with its uncompromising challenge, but you'll find it impossible to not stare in awe at its collection of subtle moments of genius.
 
Pony Island
 

 
I'm going to admit right now that Pony Island is a tough sell, despite its low $4.99 asking price. As if the name wasn't off-putting enough, the game's very description doesn't really give any indication as to what exactly it is. Even those who have played and loved this game often refuse to actually go into details about it to others.
 
What I do know, however, is that Pony Island is among the most intelligent games ever made. The reason that you hear its fans tell you to not do any research about the game prior to playing isn't because Pony Island contains some grand, singular twist like The Sixth Sense, but rather because its entire narrative and concept are designed to constantly mess with your perceptions of what a game is. No other game - and few other pieces of entertainment - have ever managed to break down the fourth wall as successfully as Pony Island does.
 
Pony Island plays you just as much as you play it.
Matthew Byrd
File Uploa:
Never underestimate the power of passion in game design. Give two teams of developers the same general idea for a project, but have one of them make it solely for money while the other is driven by a sense of passion for the concept, and the team building it out of passion will almost always give you something that feels more worthwhile.
 
So far as passion goes, you will find fewer projects driven by it more than 1979 Revolution: Black Friday.
 

 
Conceptualized and developed by Iranian-Canadian developer Navid Khonsari, Black Friday is the story of the infamous 1979 Iranian revolution as told through the perspective of a photojournalist who finds himself slowly swept up in its events. The game aims to convey how the common people of this time were forever affected by what would transpire during this period. Because of this view, the Iranian government has seen fit to ban Black Friday from being released in their country and have also labeled Khonsari a traitor and spy for his efforts in developing it.
 
Seeing the game's story play out before you leaves little room for doubt as to why the government would not want it to easily fall into the hands of the Iranian people. The revolution portrayed here would directly lead to the Iran that we know today, and anyone who so happens to oppose that particular government may not be too thrilled to see the events that unfold here. I wouldn't go so far as to say that the game takes a black and white stance concerning all sides involved, but what it does do is manage to capture the spirit and passion that drives a revolution as well as any game of its kind before it.
 
Then again, there never really has been a game quite like this one from a narrative and setting standpoint, which is a big part of what makes Black Friday so compelling. Video games may be more diverse than they've ever been, but they still rely on the same set of common settings such as dark fantasies or sci-fi space epics featuring space marines most of the time. Seeing such a unique world play out before you as beautifully as it is designed in Black Friday is a simple joy in and of itself. Despite the fact that the game takes notable cues from films such as City of God, there is really nothing else quite like what this game is presenting in all of entertainment.
 

 
Sadly, the same cannot be said of the gameplay. Anyone who has ever played a TellTale adventure game will be instantly familiar with Black Friday's blend of choice-based dialogue and quick-time event action sequences. Although there are a couple of alterations to that particular formula - the most notable of which being some enjoyable photography segments - the overall gameplay doesn't really venture far from the ordinary.
 
That's a bit of a downer given how everything else about this game is actually quite far from ordinary. When you're not being exposed to interesting new historical facts or getting a glimpse into this culture, you'll find that you're not doing anything in this game that you likely haven't done many times before in several other titles. Coupled with the fact that you could conceivably beat Black Friday in under an hour if you are not concerned with exploring everything - and maybe just a couple of hours if you are - and it becomes quite difficult to recommend Black Friday from a value perspective.
 
However, if you approach 1979 Revolution: Black Friday as an interactive pseudo-documentary, then you'll find that it is a pretty great one. The rich story and diverse cast of characters will have no trouble keeping you compelled enough to see the game through completion, but those who are seeking something a bit more fun that will last them longer than an afternoon will be disappointed to find that Black Friday falls short of starting a revolution for its somewhat tired genre.
 
 
Pros:
Unique Setting
Great Story
Excellent Production Values

Cons:
Repetitive, Familiar Gameplay
Some Pacing Issues
Can be Beaten In Under An Hour

End Score
7.5/10
Matthew Byrd
File Uploa:
There is no shortage of isometric games on the Kickstarter scene. Perhaps it's because that style of game so happened to produce some of the greatest RPGs of all-time before technology determined that fully-3D gaming was the future, but whatever the reason, it's clear that the indie gaming market has more than enough room for another truly great isometric title.
 
Though it may be early in its development stages, all signs are pointing to Copper Dreams joining the prestigious ranks of the great isometric games.
 
Right off the bat, developer Whalenought Studios wins my heart by describing Copper Dreams as an "isometric Escape From New York or Deus Ex." Though that is a rather lofty comparison to make, Copper Dreams certainly nails the aesthetics of such a creation by perfectly capturing that classic sense of technology-driven depression in the way it presents its own version of the future. Among the drab greys common for a period of time deprived of individuality, though, lie several more traditionally beautiful elements that are most apparent in the design of the game's enemies.
 

 
The graphic engine itself is also quite interesting. Though traditionally isometric in its design, a zoomed-in look at the game reveals its numerous similarities to Playstation era titles such as Metal Gear Solid and Vagrant Story. It's rare to see this particular era of gaming graphics explored and there is a nostalgic joy in seeing it done so well.
 
However, the promise of the game's premise truly reveals itself in the gameplay. Stealth appears to make up the bulk of Copper Dreams' gameplay, but its brand of stealth looks to be the best kind of stealth; the kind that allows your character to have chainsaw hands. Yes, through Deus Ex-style character augmentation, it is possible to equip your character with a variety of personal alterations, as well as upgrade their weapons with a similar wealth of options. The remainder of the game's action appears to draw heavily from the Baldur's Gate/Dungeons and Dragons style of "roll for victory" actions, though there are unique twists peppered throughout such as the removal of traditional health in favor of a series of status ailments.
 
Ultimately, though, Copper Dreams stands out from the Kickstarter pack by exemplifying the characteristics of its ambitious pedigree. Whether the game will ultimately capitalise off its potential remains to be seen, but those who also feel that it is on the right track can donate to the game via its Kickstarter page.
Matthew Byrd
File Uploa:
Though the final figure has not been revealed, it's safe to say that the recently released 2016 reboot of DOOM cost publisher Bethesda a pretty penny to make. However, for the sake of discussion, let's just say that the game conservatively cost somewhere around $100 million to produce when the marketing budget is accounted for.
 
If that estimate is even somewhat close to the real number, it really puts into perspective just how far this franchise has come.
 
In 1993, John Carmack, John Romero, Dave Taylor and a few others began work on DOOM as a side project to the Wolfenstein prequel that developer id Software was focusing on at the time. Despite their lack of resources, this small group toiled away at a passion project that was conceptually and thematically more ambitious than the big name game that was being made right down the hall. Even though DOOM didn't even have the simple convenience of a retail release to work with - much less a marketing budget - it quickly generated buzz among the shareware community as the one game that everyone must play. Actually, you could really consider DOOM to be a forebearer for the modern indie gaming scene in that respect.
 
So why is it that we haven't received more FPS indie games in recent years?
 

 
Now, to be fair, it must be noted that a shortage of FPS indie games does not mean a complete lack of them. In fact, there have been some truly great indie FPS titles over the years such as Superhot, Heavy Bullets and Devil Daggers that show the genre is still on the minds of some of gaming's greatest developmental talents.
 
As impressive as those games are, though, you can't really consider any of them to be a "traditional" first-person shooter game. Instead, they all use the first-person shooter perspective to lend an element of familiarity to more innovative experiences. Superhot is more of a puzzle game, for instance, while Heavy Bullets is perhaps best defined as rougelike. While that level of innovation is always a welcome sight, none of these games really scratch the itch for a traditional FPS experience that many indie gaming fans may find themselves burdened with from time to time.
 
This is actually a bigger issue than it may initially appear to be. One of the greatest - and most necessary - functions of the indie gaming scene is to provide gamers with alternatives to the AAA game industry while also showing that same industry what concepts and genres may be fiscally viable that hadn't been considered before. Indie gaming shouldn't be viewed solely as a testing ground for the entire industry, but it is a pretty useful secondary purpose.
 

 
The FPS genre doesn't really enjoy that luxury. While major titles like EVOLVE, Overwatch, and Titanfall have attempted to showcase that a different kind of first-person shooter can be financially successful - with varying degrees of success - the genre remains the least represented on an indie scene that is so diverse it even accommodates a number of inanimate object "simulator" games every year.
 
If you're looking for the reason why that's the case, ironically you must first point at the original DOOM. While DOOM may have started out with indie sensibilities, its incredible success soon produced a wave of DOOM clones that all tried to separate themselves by upping what the previous hit brought to the table. It wasn't long before this turned into making sure that your game was more technologically impressive than whatever else was out there. Eventually, this led to the modern era we currently enjoy where FPS games often command the highest of development budgets. As noted earlier, that's not a quality that typically breeds innovation and risk taking.
 
Perhaps the new DOOM will prove to be such an incredible success that developers everywhere will feel comfortable throwing a 100 million dollars at a shooter game that breaks the lucrative Modern Warfare mold even slightly, but should that not be the case - or even if it is what happens - I would still like to believe that the first-person shooter hasn't reached such technological heights that the indie developers of the world have convinced themselves that any release in the genre that doesn't look like a James Cameron movie will be met with scorn and low sales.
 
The FPS genre garnered much of its initial popularity by representing a rebellious school of game design that didn't conform to the standards of the industry at large. With the help of indie developers, perhaps it can achieve that status yet again.
Frank Streva
File Uploa:
Pictured above: Stellaris
 
Before I begin I want to point out that Act of Aggression has received a massive new update called the Reboot Edition. This spiritual successor launched with mixed reception some time back, and this new version features drastic changes to the game's mechanics to address these issues in the skirmish and multiplayer modes. Also of note is the release of Stellaris, the latest grand strategy game from Paradox. Pitched as Crusader Kings/Europa Universalis in space, Stellaris has been met with critical acclaim so far, and quickly became the fastest selling game Paradox has ever produced.
 
With that out of the way, it's time to highlight some indie releases that may have slipped by you this week. I can't guarantee these games are any good, just that I thought they all looked interesting. Luckily, most of them have a decent number of Steam reviews you can read through to get a better feel of them before deciding to spend any money.
 
P-3 Biotic
BatCat Games
$3.99
 

 
I remember playing P-3 Biotic years ago, back when the Xbox Live Indie Games section was still around on the 360. It's a solid and visually pleasing twin-stick shooter about defending a nucleus against waves of invading bacteria. You can drain energy from the nucleus to gain power-ups, but doing so makes in more vulnerable to attack. P-3 might not be anything groundbreaking in the genre, but I enjoyed it back when it first came out and at only $4 it won't exactly drain your wallet.
 
Riff Racer
FOAM Entertainment
$14.99
 

 
Riff Racer (formerly Race Any Track) is a new rhythm racing game along the lines of AudioSurf or Symphony. The game can analyze any audio file you feed it and generate tracks for you to race on. The style of track you get depends on what genre of music you use, with key verses and drops becoming checkpoints. There is no actual multiplayer in the game, but you can race against a friend's ghost to beat their high scores on certain songs. Riff Racer also comes bundled with 25 custom tracks if you're a caveman that doesn't own a digital music collection.
 
Neon Drive
Fraoula
$9.99
 

 
Speaking of neon-fueled rhythm games, the aptly named Neon Drive arrived on Steam this week too. While you do control a car like in Riff Racer, Neon Drive is more of an arcade title where you dodge oncoming obstacles to the sound of '80s-inspired synth music. The game features 7 challenging levels in all as you gradually go from driving a car to soaring through space in a starship. You can also find Neon Drive on iOS.
 
Rocket Fist
Daniel Snd, Thiago Adamo
$14.99
 

 
Rocket Fist is an arena game inspired by dodgeball. Players control robots with rocket-powered fists trying to murder each other, either with direct hits or by bouncing shots off angled walls. You're defenseless after firing, and have to go retrieve your rocket fist or steal one from your enemies. Rocket Fist supports up to four players locally, with an online mode that's currently still in beta. There are some single player levels as well, including boss fights. Twitch streamers out there might be happy to learn that the game features Twitch integration too, and there is a built-in level editor with full Steam Workshop support for added replayability.
 
Goliath
Whalebox Studio
$19.99
 

 
Goliath is an open world survival crafting action RPG about building giant robots to beat up even more gigantic monsters. Starting off with a crude mech made out of wood, you'll need to find blueprints and scavenge for resources to build increasingly advanced robots to survive the more monstrous creatures roaming the wilderness. The weather and environment also affect how your robot performs, based on what materials it's built out of. Along the way you'll get swept up in an escalating war over resources and territory between rival factions, and can choose to join the fight or attempt to negotiate a peaceful resolution. You can also find it on GOG.
 
OddPlanet
Indievision
$6.99
 

 
OddPlanet is a 2D side-scrolling puzzle platformer that bears more than a passing resemblance to Limbo. You play as a little girl that has crash landed on a hostile world full of dangerous wildlife. Unlike Limbo, OddPlanet isn't completely black and white, and there is a greater emphasis on stealth as you avoid carnivorous alien life forms. Your character also has a voice, and you'll get to hear her innermost thoughts as she sets up camp for the night. Also available on mobile.
 
She Wants Me Dead
Hello There AB
$7.99
 

 
The next 2D side-scrolling platformer on our list is She Wants Me Dead. You play as Max, a cat owner that has earned the ire of his furry friend, Lula. Lula is plotting Max's death, as cats tend to do, and has built a labyrinth of deadly traps that you must avoid. The game is actually a tie-in to the Swedish music duo CAZZETTE's latest single, and their music plays a role in the game. Traps move to the beat of the music, making She Wants Me Dead a pseudo rhythm game in addition to a torture platformer. You can also find the game on PS4.
 
StarBreak
Crunchy Games
Free to Play
 

 
StarBreak is a 2D shooter/platformer/MMO thing with some Metroidvania and rogue-lite elements that has a few similarities to Realm of the Mad God. You'll group up with dozens of players as you all explore procedurally generated zones to gather loot and fight bosses. The rogue-lite elements come in the form of permadeath. You'll lose everything when you die and must start again, but leveling up and progression in StarBreak is closer to a rogue-like than a traditional MMO. A bizarre mix of genres and ideas for sure, but its free so why not give it a shot?
 
Tastee: Lethal Tactics
SkyBox Labs
$14.99
 

 
Tastee is a new simultaneous turn-based strategy game about assembling a crack team of mercenaries and rogues to take down a ruthless global crime cartel. The game contains 12 characters divided into four classes, each with their own unique skills and abilities. Battles in Tastee place a big emphasis on environmental interactions and creating combos and synergies with the various weapons and gadgets your team employs. There is a campaign with 30 missions and a set of skirmish levels with randomized environmental elements, but the multiplayer is a huge component of Tastee's experience. The online mode has a fully featured ranked leaderboards, support for asynchronous matches, and a replay system.
 
Blueprint Tycoon
Endless Loop Studios
$2.99
 

 
Last up for this week is Blueprint Tycoon, a management game about making efficient production lines. You'll need to establish settlements and gather their raw materials to produce goods for your contractor. As you build up your production line, you'll need to expand to other settlements, create trade routes and supply chains, and build an increasingly efficient system to keep your profits up and your workers happily paid. It has a lot of positive reviews from gamers, and seems like an absolute steal at only $3.
 
 
That's all for this week. I'll be back next week with more indie release highlights.
 
 
Frank is an aspiring game designer that currently writes for Indie Game Source and Bell of Lost Souls. You can follow him on Twitter @Frank_Gaming for updates on future articles and reviews.
Renan Fontes
File Uploa:
Mighty No. 9 was nothing short of a miracle when it was announced back in August, 2013, nearly three years ago. Capcom was slowly canceling every Mega Man game in development.
 
The Mega Man level creator, Mega Man Universe, was unceremoniously scrapped after months of hype. Mega Man Online, a series wide themed MMO was struck down before anything substantial could even come out of it. And Mega Man Legends 3, the highly anticipated finale to the Mega Man Legends Trilogy was killed immediately following longtime series developer, Keiji Inafune’s, departure from Capcom.
 
2010 marked a dark time for Mega Man, one that would last for three years until Inafune’s Kickstarter for Mighty No. 9 started making the rounds.
 
The project promised to be a return to form, the spiritual successor to the Blue Bomber’s classic career. The concept art showed off a luscious 2D style that captured what Mega Man would look like in the current gen. The names attached to the project had experience in the industry and a clear love for the franchise. Inafune, the father of Mega Man himself, was leading the endeavor. Everything was perfect on paper.
 

 
And then the first gameplay footage came out.
 
Months of hype was suddenly silenced by a grotesque, muddy off-brand Mega Man who had suddenly usurped the title of protagonist over the stylish, crisp Beck. The 3D art style managed to capture not only a lack of polish, but also a rarely achieved lack of understanding as to what a consumer wants, because if fans respond well to a highly stylized 2D art style, it obviously means they’d prefer clunky, soulless, and by-the-books 3D graphics in their call back to 80s platformers.
 
However bad the abrupt change from 2D to 3D was, a change in art style isn’t particularly uncommon when developing a game. Mighty No. 9 could still recover from this blunder, but it became apparent fast that Inafune and his team weren’t exactly cut out for reviving Mega Man in any capacity.
 
Originally, Beck would have had the ability to copy enemies and boss’ bodies, granting the player access to abilities that would fundamentally change how each level played. If you’re making a platformer in the 8th Generation, it’s pretty damn important you distinguish it from other games and make it unique, and these “Mighty Skills” were definitely unique. The feature added a layer of replay value that’s unfortunately uncommon in the genre.
 
But then they axed it.
 

 
Blaming “budget issues,” the $4,046,579 project was “forced” to scrap the game defining mechanic whereas the the $300,000~ Shovel Knight was able to pack their game with hours of content and unique gameplay mechanics, while also having resources leftover for three full DLC expansions, free of charge.
 
The problem here isn’t budget, it’s Infaune.
 
In 2010, when Inafune quit Capcom, he made made a big deal about how Capcom was run, how it was a creativity drain that didn’t allow for fresh, original ideas. His comments on the industry were taken to heart by many fans, so when he decided to try his hand at the indie scene, it seemed like a victory.
 
Here was a big name developer abandoning his company to go rogue and make the games he wanted to make with no restrictions.
 
And then he said he would work with Capcom again to publish Mighty No. 9 even if it had to be reskinned as a Mega Man game.
 

 
Changing the art style for Mighty No. 9 showed a lack of understanding, but that didn’t mean the game would be bad. Cutting content when the budget was over $4,000,000 and citing budget issues implied greed, but maybe it could still be salvaged. Actively fighting against a big name company and then trying to sell yourself out only to be denied by them is not only embarrassing, it proves you were never in this to make a game, you were in this for a quick buck. Mighty No. 9 was never meant to be a labor of love homage, it was emotional manipulation for the sake of extortion.
 
Bogged down by THREE different delays, Mighty No. 9’’s release date was looking iffy, so Inafune did the reasonable thing and made a Kickstarter for a new project before Mighty No. 9 was finished.
 
In the same way that Mighty No. 9 was meant to be a succesor to the classsic Mega Man series, Red Ash was going to be a successor to Mega Man Legends. The Red Ash demo even featured an homage to (read: shamelessly stole from) Mega Man Legends’ hub world.
 

 
If Inafune’s Kickstarter didn’t already feel like money laundering enough, Chinese publisher, Fuze, stepped in last minute to fund the project after it was severely underfunded on its last day. Wasn’t the point of turning to Kickstarter to fund your projects to get away from big publishers, Inafune?
 
Kickstarter is a great thing, it makes way for great ideas and projects that wouldn’t normally get funded, but it’s also incredibly explotable as Inafune has proven. Mighty No. 9 was supposed to be out last year at the latest, but now it’s looking at a June 21st release after months of last minute delays, and, somewhere out there, Inafune’s counting his money and laughing.
Matthew Byrd
File Uploa:
Ever since Crypt of the Necrodancer revealed the joy of taking the dark fantasy dungeon-crawler game formula and replacing the combat with dancing, I have been waiting for a developer to come along and do the same with the Western genre.
 
Ok, maybe that isn't exactly true, but it doesn't make this upcoming Steam Greenlight project any less appealing.
 
Beatstep Cowboys presents us with the relatively familiar scenario of two cowboys ready to duel over money, land, pride or the fact that things could get pretty boring when you had no internet. The twist here is that each player has four beats to enter a series of movement and attack commands that will dictate the action that follows. This leads to a series of chaotic scenarios that sees both players trying to maneuver themselves into an optimal attack position while attempting to account for the potential movement of their opponents. That combination of self-preservation and needing to put yourself in harm's way in order to get a clean shot on your opponent is hectic enough, even before you account for the ability to place bombs throughout the map that help turn each level into a dancefloor warzone.
 
The gameplay feels like a mix between Nidhogg, Bomberman and Crypt of the Necrodancer which...well it just sounds like the best thing ever. That being said, the demo makes it clear that a little work is still required to get this game where it needs to be. Being able to see the opponent's commands does take a little mystery out of the combat, while the rapid beat timeframe often makes winning a duel feel like a matter of simple luck. Still, the foundations for a great couch multiplayer game are certainly in place even this early into the game's development, and elements to come such as the ability for Twitch channels to duel against each other have real potential.
 
Though no release window for an Early Access build is currently available, you can check out Beatstep Cowboy's demo here.
Matthew Byrd
File Uploa:
Istrolid is one of many free-to-play games that get released on a weekly basis via Steam, but it is already generating buzz in the indie game community as one of those true free-to-play games that indeed could have been a satisfying retail release in another era. It's one part crafting game that asks you to build a fleet of unique space ships with available parts, and one part real-time strategy title that has you maneuvering said space ships into battle in order to gain resources, capture points and, naturally, defeat those who oppose you.
 
At the risk of insulting Istrolid, I must say that the game's best quality is the fact that it is indeed truly free. You will not find a single microtransaction or donation option anywhere as, for the time being, every piece of content that developer treeform made for Istrolid is available to all Steam users at absolutely no cost. While this quality alone does earn Istrolid a moment of applause, the question then becomes whether or not the game's content is worth investing your time in rather than your money.
 
It's here that things aren't quite so free and clear. As a crafting game that allows you to design spaceships, Istrolid is rather interesting. It's clearly trying to be a bit obscure in how its mechanics actually work, meaning that even the early parts of the game that just let you design simple spaceships are going to take some time for new players to understand. Commands like "Weapons must be placed on a mount" are made all the more difficult to understand due to the fact that Istrolid doesn't tell you which piece the mount is, while later builds that present you with hundreds of available pieces require a strict understanding of the underlying systems that govern which ships are deemed to be spaceworthy.
 

 
However, if you so happen to enjoy this particularly style of DIY game design, then it's hard to imagine you won't fall in love with this element of Istrolid. It successfully captures the simple joy of building within a video game and eventually does offer the most creative minds enough components to build some truly fantastic creations. Best of all, the game does a fantastic job of making sure that component placement does indeed affect the abilities of a ship as much as its visuals, so there really is quite a bit to explore regarding form vs. function.
 
As for the strategy elements, this is where things go off the rails a bit. At its core, Istrolid is a game about capturing points. These points grant you money which in turn allow you to build more spaceships. Meanwhile, the enemy is trying to capture the same points thereby turning the entire experience is something of an elaborate tug of war match. This is certainly a functional approach to the strategy genre, but it's not a very exciting one. Whereas the building aspects suggest a game of creative depth, Istrolid's combat reveals that there is very little actual strategy involved in the experience outside of choosing how to best build your ships. This is especially true in the single-player campaign which takes some time to incorporate elements that make the combat more than just a matter of who has the most ships. Multiplayer is a bit more exciting, if for no other reason that the human element leaves room for additional chaos.
 

 
By far the game's most bizarre problem, though, is its performance. For such a relatively simple game graphics-wise, Istrolid has problems keeping up when things get hectic on-screen. I wouldn't go so far as to say that the slowdown plagues the game but, even on faster computers, there are too many moments of unnecessary slowdown where the combat just halts to a crawl. Ideally, this could be remedied via a patch, but it's certainly worth noting that it affects the overall experience as it stands right now.
 
Truthfully, there is already a game that does what Istrolid is trying to do much better than it can called Reassembly. The biggest difference between the two games - besides the superior graphics and deeper combat that Reassembly boasts - is that Istrolid will cost you $15 less. Whether or not you should download Istrolid over Reassembly, then, really is a matter of whether or not you have the extra cash floating around or not. As a preview of an interesting concept that is indeed truly free, Istrolid is a fun enough way to spend a few minutes here and there. However, it is ultimately little more than a really good browser game that is currently hindered by some strange technical issues.
 
Pros:
100% free
Ship-building is fun
Multiplayer can be a joy

Cons:
Strange bursts of slowdown
Combat is far too simple
Mechanics are a bit too obscure sometimes
Enemy A.I.varies between easy and cheap

End Score
6.5/10
Frank Streva
File Uploa:
Pictured above: Shadow Complex Remastered
 
This week was a bit light on new releases that really caught my attention, and consisted mostly of the usual barrage of fairly mundane puzzle-platformers, retro-inspired torture platformers, mobile ports, and VR tech demo/mini-games. Many of them looked okay, just not something that really jumped out at me. That isn't to say this week was completely without interesting releases, however. The Xbox Live Arcade classic Shadow Complex finally made it to Steam, and it's a great buy if you never owned a 360. Beyond that, I did manage to find six games that look like they may be worth checking out. I can't confirm how good any of these are personally, but most of them have a decent number of positive Steam reviews to browse through.
 
Pitfall Planet
Bonfire Games
$9.99
 

 
Pitfall Planet is an adorable local co-op puzzle game that looks perfect for those of you wanting a game to play with a sibling or significant other. The players control a pair of mining robots after their ship crash lands on a forgotten mining colony. Players must work together to solve various environmental and physics puzzles to find all the raw materials necessary to repair their ship and leave. There's a bit of trolling shenanigans to be had as well, like the ability to screw over your partner by throwing them into lava or off a cliff. Be aware that this game is strictly local co-op only, and has no single player mode to speak of.
 
Glitchspace
Space Budgie
$12.99
 

 
Another intriguing puzzle game that released this week is Glitchspace. What sets Glitchspace apart from your average first-person Portal-like puzzle game is that the puzzles involve reprogramming the world around you with a visual editing program. This allows you to create geometry or otherwise manipulate the size and position of various parts of the environment to reach new areas and solve puzzles. You'll even learn some basic programming concepts in the process. Glitchspace supports VR headsets as well, though you don't need one to play it.
 
Kathy Rain
Clifftop Games
$14.99
 

 
Kathy Rain is a new point n' click adventure game very much in the style of a Wadjet Eye title. It probably isn't a coincidence either, seeing as how the developers had a bit of help from them when making it. You play as the titular Kathy Rain, a journalism student investigating the mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of her grandfather. Soon her leads bring her in an unexpected direction as she uncovers a history of bizarre events in her hometown of Conwell Springs. You can also find the game on GOG.
 
Secrets of Deep Earth Shrine
Chronicle Games
$7.99
 

 
The oddly titled Secrets of Deep Earth Shrine is an upgraded PC port of a mobile game called Caves n' Chasms. This strategy puzzle game reminds me a lot of Steamworld Digs and involves drilling ever deeper into a fully destructible underground cave. You don't have any direct means of killing enemies, and instead must plant traps or drill out boulders to squish unsuspecting foes. You occasionally must return to the surface to spend the resources and cash you acquire while mining to upgrade your various gadgets, allowing you to dig further into the cave. The game only has one review (a negative one) that is written in Russian, though the mobile version of the game was a bit more well-received. Still, with its cheap price and Steam's current refund policy it might be worth looking into.
 
Istrolid
Treeform
Free
 

 
Istrolid is a completely free strategy game about building ships from scratch and putting them to the test against similarly customized vessels. There are no set units in the game, with all your enemies being randomly assembled from the game's extensive list of parts and ship chassis. There is a single player campaign where you collect parts in an open galaxy, hoping to eventually amass an armada of warships to conquer the known universe. You can then take your custom creations online and test their abilities against other players in cooperative and competitive multiplayer modes.
 
Utopia 9
Whalegun
$11.99
 

 
Finally we come to Utopia 9, our obligatory top-down twin-stick shooter with light rogue-lite elements. All you wanted was a relaxing vacation on an exotic world, but unfortunately Utopian Travels sent you to a mutant-infested hellscape. One of the more interesting features of this shooter is that, when an enemy kills you, it steals your loot and becomes a mini-boss. If you're able to kill this boss then you can reclaim your lost items and abilities, making it a bit more forgiving than your typical rogue-inspired game. Utopia 9 also includes co-op, but it's local only.
 
 
That's all for this week. I return soon enough with more new game release highlights.
 
 
Frank is an aspiring game designer that currently writes for Indie Game Source and Bell of Lost Souls. You can follow him on Twitter @Frank_Gaming for updates on future articles and reviews.
Matthew Byrd
File Uploa:
In 1997, developer Rare gifted N64 owners of the world with Blast Corps. Built around the concept of escorting a nuclear vehicle through various areas by demolishing every building that is in its path, this inventive little title proved to be one of the most clever - and downright enjoyable - twists on the puzzle genre that gamers had ever seen.
 
In 2016, Steam user Beesus wishes to gift PC, Mac and Linux gamers with a title designed around using various vehicles to demolish various buildings that stand in the way of a semi truck carrying nuclear cargo. Dubbed Crash Co., his project may just be the most shameless video game rip-off to come along in years.
 
It may also be the most welcome rip-off to come along in that time as well.
 

 
Though the original Blast Corps certainly earned much of its notoriety by engineering a concept that no other game company had ever given us before, it's also one of the rare games (no pun intended) of that era that manages to stand strong even when you are not wearing the rose-tinted glasses of nostalgia. Blast Corps was a revelation at the time of its release due to the untethered chaos it allowed gamers to generate through a variety of creative vehicles. Its combination of classic gameplay concepts such as high scores with the very best of modern technology led to a game that was as accessible as it was innovative.
 
Even today, there are few open-world style games of that can match Blast Corps in terms of pure fun. There's perhaps no greater confirmation of this than the game's recent appearance on the Xbox One Rare Replay collection, which confirms that Blast Corps has indeed retained the qualities that made it feel so very special upon its release.
 
For as amazing as Blast Corps was and is, though, it was never really intended to become a franchise. Martin Wakeley - the game's lead designer - confirmed as much in 2009 when he stated that the concepts behind Blast Corps had been fully exhausted in the first game. Even if that is perhaps true, the love that fans have for this game to this very day makes it clear that they would gladly accept a Blast Corps follow-up that treads the same ground, so long as it gives them more Blast Corps to play.
 
This is why Crash Co. feels so welcome. Even though the game is in its very early Beta stages, the one thing that it already makes clear is that it weilds no shame in how closely it resembles Blast Corps. Not only is the game’s basic concept a copy and paste of Blast Corps’, but more specific elements such as its vehicle selection and font choices are directly lifted from Rare’s 1997 title.
 
 

 
To his credit, Crash Co’s developer does not shy away from this comparison. Indeed, the game’s Steam Greenlight description makes it clear that this is a re-imagining/unofficial follow-up to Blast Corps. While it’s tempting to ridicule him for stealing the ideas of a beloved title at a time when gaming innovation is more crucial than ever, in a world where Blast Corps’ own developers have clearly indicated they have no interest in continuing the franchise, and no other developer has stepped up to carry on the legacy of Blast Corps with an independent property, then why shouldn’t a fan with the ability to do so step up and provide gamers with the follow-up that we were never likely going to get any other way?
 
In its current state, it’s almost impossible to tell whether Crash Co. will be worthy of its inspiration. Certain original elements like mini-games shown in the game’s trailer look like they may not mesh with the rest of the experience and the game’s mechanics need a hefty amount of fine-tuning before they’re retail ready.
 
Regardless of whether or not Crash Co. is successful, though, it’s important to not dismiss it outright. One of the primary jobs of indie gaming is to provide experiences that no other company is currently doing and, in its own way, that is what Crash Co. is attempting to do.
Matthew Byrd
File Uploa:
2010's smash-hit indie platformer VVVVVV was recently pulled from the North American 3DS eShop due to an unusual glitch that allowed the game to be used for hacking purposes.
 
According to a post from a hacker by the name of ShinyQuagsire on a popular hacking forum, the indie game contained a savepoint glitch that could be exploited in order to allow a player to import unofficial software into the 3DS. This is the second recent hacking exploit the user has discovered in a 3DS title, as they also revealed that Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon could be used for a similar purpose.
 
Interestingly, the hack itself appears to be somewhat unnecessary as it requires the use of a third party software system that in and of itself is able to bypass the same systems that this exploit is meant to get around. Nevertheless, Nintendo has decided to remove the game from the 3DS store with no official notice on whether or not it is expected to return to the system's digital store in the future.
 
However, it is worth noting that a similar issue was found in 3DS game Ironfall Invasion last year and that a fixed version of that title was allowed to return to the store after the game's developer made the necessary fixes to the coding.
 
For his part, the game's creator Terry Cavanaugh seemed rather shocked about the whole situation. He commented on the initial findings on his Twitter page with more curiosity than alarm and later noted that the fact that this glitch had to be stacked on top of existing hacking software potentially meant that he would not have to make direct changes to the game after all.
 
Given the recent history of hacked, digital 3DS titles, though, it seems likely that modifications will be requested by Nintendo in the near future. Until then, the game is currently still available on the European eShop.
igsadmin
File Uploa:
As a strategy game, 2014's The Banner Saga was a tremendous disappointment. Its combat rarely required players to use genuine strategy to win, as the limited nature of its grid-based movement system boiled most fights down to simply going toe-to-toe with the enemy until you just so happened to be the last one left standing. Though combat actually represented a fairly small amount of the title's total gameplay, its role in the story's most crucial moment was hindered by the overall weakness of the system.
 
However, as a narrative and visual fueled entry into indie gaming, The Banner Saga was a triumph. It's Game of Thrones-esque story about warring tribes having to make difficult decisions while the threat of a mysterious hostile force looms above them all proved to be one of the most emotionally gripping gaming stories to come along in years. Of course, the true highlight of The Banner Saga remained those gorgeous Ralph Bakshi style visuals that helped the game become such a major hit on the crowd funding scene.
 
Now The Banner Saga 2 is finally upon us and with it comes developer Stoic's chance to deliver something truly special by fixing the shortcomings of the original title. It is an opportunity that they did not let slip by them.
 

 
Right from the start, it is clear that The Banner Saga 2's development was centered around improving the combat from the first game. While the basic combat system remains the roughly the same as the original, the sequel manages to completely dwarf its predecessor in terms of quality through the implementation of a greater variety of combat units. Both you and your enemies will have access to a far greater variety of units this time around, and they go a long way to adding some of the depth that was missing from the first game.
 
For example, you may have a "tracker" unit in your combat party that is capable of entering a stealth mode and emerging to unleash a devastating attack. However, this ability can be used very rarely and deprives the unit of attacking normally during that time. On the other side of things, your foes may have a poisonous character in their party whose attack abilities force you actually plan the order in which you engage the rest of the enemies. These implementations may not sound like anything groundbreaking, but they do just enough to enhance the overall combat experience by making every major battle feel different than the one that came before.
 
So far as those stunning graphics go, I'm happy to report that The Banner Saga 2 is even more beautiful than the original title by the simple virtue of providing the player with more to look at than the first game did. There is still no other game on the market that looks quite like this one and, even if there was, it's doubtful that anyone would be able to derive as much personality from their art as effortlessly as Stoic does here.
 

 
Where The Banner Saga 2 falls short of the original title is in the storytelling. While this game's overall narrative is a well-written continuation of the first game, there are many moments where it tries to shoehorn in choice-based forks in the road and fails in doing so. Though you're constantly having to make choices in this game regarding matters such as proper rationing for your troops, The Banner Saga 2 rarely presents these choices in a way that makes you feel like you're really changing the course of the game. The results of many of your decisions are too chaotic in their randomness, and there are precious few story decisions that you will make that actually have a significant impact on what's to come later on.
 
That's truly a shame, because the war-torn, on the run atmosphere this game creates should be the perfection breeding ground for a variety of morally ambiguous situations that ask the player to really question their moral values. This feeling that your journey will play out largely the same way regardless of what happens only manages to cheapen the tremendous effort that went into conveying this fascinating world and its people.
 
Such as it is, then, The Banner Saga 2 finds itself in the awkward position of making one step forward in the combat and one step back in the storytelling. Taken as a stunningly gorgeous and epic version of The Oregon Trail, this sequel manages to retain the overall sense of quality that made the first game easy to recommend despite its shortcomings. Still, as a game that feels as if it is indeed striving to become something much more than that The Banner Saga 2 is much like its traveling band of heroes in that it has miles to go before reaching its destination.
 
Pros:
Still one of the best-looking indie games available
Combat is far greater than the original
Filled with interesting characters
Cons:
Choices lack the proper impact on the overall story
Follows the structure of the first game a bit too closely
End Score
8.0/10
Frank Streva
File Uploa:
Pictured above: Corpse Party
 
There's a few ports I'd like to mention before getting to the main article. The Definitive Edition of Ori and the Blind Forest is now available on Steam, and if you already own the original game then this new version will only cost you $5. The quirky Japanese horror game Corpse Party has finally made it to PC, on both Steam and GOG. The digital adaptation of the card game Boss Monster recently exited Early Access on Steam. It's also on mobile, but I've heard bad things about that version of the game.
 
As usual, I can't personally comment on how good any of these games are. This is just a list of new indie releases that caught my attention. Luckily, all the games I'm highlighting this week have a decent number of Steam reviews to read through, and all of them currently hold fairly positive ratings. Should you find some games you like on this list, then remember to tell your friends about them.
 
Offworld Trading Company
Mohawk Games
$39.99
 

 
First up on the list is Offworld Trading Company, a new economic RTS by the lead designer of Civilization IV and published by Stardock. Offworld Trading Company takes a huge departure from most RTS games by focusing on economic might over military force. You play the role of a CEO for one of several rival corporations that have set up shop on Mars to exploit the planet's resources for fun and profit. You'll need to establish mining and trading operations, manipulate the player-driven economy, and even make some backroom deals with the criminal underworld to put the competition out of business. The game is focused on its backstabbing multiplayer experience, but it does include a single player campaign.
 
Emerge: Cities of the Apocalypse
Emilios Manolidis
$7.99
 

 
Emerge is a resource management and city building strategy game set in the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse. While there is a basic combat system where you equip survivors and use them to shoot waves of zombies in a mini-game similar to a million different free browser games out there, Emerge is mostly about rebuilding society. You'll need to explore decimated cities in search of resources, salvageable technology, and survivors to help you rebuild. Over the course of the game you'll turn deserted pre-outbreak metropolises into fortified safe havens for the last remnants of humanity.
 
Special Tactics
Beast Mode Games
$9.99
 

 
Special Tactics is a simultaneous turn-based squad tactics game where you and your opponent issue orders to your soldiers before watching how it plays out in real-time. It looks like Mode 7's 2011 strategy hit Frozen Synapse with the SWAT/counterterrorism theme of Door Kickers. There are five classes of soldiers, each of which can be customized with a variety of weapons and equipment in the single player campaign, survival mode, and competitive multiplayer. The 2v2 multiplayer mode gives each player control over half of a squad, forcing you to coordinate with your partner since you won't be able to cover every situation alone.
 
Neon Chrome
10tons Ltd
$14.99
 

 
The developers of Crimsonland are back with Neon Chrome, a top-down cyberpunk shooter with rogue-lite elements. Before each run through a futuristic corporate building ripe for espionage, you'll choose from one of three randomly generated characters with their own set of skills, cybernetic enhancements, and weaponry. Between your weapons, gadgets, and cybernetic augmentations, you'll have access to a variety of ways to approach each combat encounter, including simply blowing up the entire room with high explosives by exploiting the game's fully destructible environments. Local co-op for up to 4 players is also available.
 
Demons with Shotguns
MindShaft Games, LLC
$9.99
 

 
Speaking of multiplayer mayhem, Demons with Shotguns just exited Early Access. This multiplayer shooter puts up to 4 players against each other as they take on the role of various demons or angelic beings wielding shotguns and magic shields that allows you to briefly redirect attacks. In each level you'll also find environmental hazards and tarot cards that either bestow upon you a buff or hinder your enemies. This skill-based shooter also features a variant of rocket jumping to traverse the environments and dodge enemies. There's 9 modes and 40 arenas in all, including a co-op survival mode.
 
Wailing Heights
Outsider Games
$9.99
 

 
Wailing Heights is a musical point n' click adventure game featuring visuals and cutscenes illustrated by several well-known comic artists. You play as Francis Finklestein, the former manager of the British rock band The Deadbeats. You're invited to a mysterious town called Wailing Heights, but once you get there you are arrested for being a mortal in this town run by zombies, werewolves, vampires, and other ghoulish undead entities. A cellmate gives you the power to leave your body as a spirit. This allows you to possess others so you can use their unique abilities to solve puzzles and find a way to free your body from jail.
 
Cornerstone: The Song of Tyrim
Overflow Games
$19.99
 

 
Those of you waiting on the next Zelda game may want to take a closer look at Cornerstone, an action RPG looking to satisfy your lust for a cheery and colorful adventure. The Viking warriors of Borja have gone missing and it's up to Tyrim to set sail and find them. The game takes a very Windwaker-style approach by giving you a small ship, an open ocean to explore, and islands full of traps, puzzles, enemies, and loot. You'll be able to craft gear too, including new methods of traveling between islands. Also on GOG.
 
Pharaonic
Milkstone Studios
$15.99
 

 
Finally we come to Pharaonic, the newest game from the developers of Ziggurat. This time around they have created a 2.5D side-scrolling action RPG based on Ancient Egyptian mythology. During your journey you'll need to seek aid from the Gods and disenfranchised citizens wishing to bring down Pharaoh Ahmosis and his army. Combat is loosely inspired by Dark Souls and places an emphasis on skillful blocks and parries, all while managing your stamina bar. In addition to more traditional weapons you'll find yourself in command of various magical powers granted to you by the Gods.
 
 
That's all for now. I'll be back next week with more overlooked new releases.
 
 
Frank is an aspiring game designer that currently writes for Indie Game Source and Bell of Lost Souls. You can follow him on Twitter @Frank_Gaming for updates on future articles and reviews.
Matthew Byrd
File Uploa:
There are times when it feels like puzzle platform games based around unique mechanics are approaching literal dime a dozen territory, but every now and then a project comes along that manages to stand out by getting the concept just right.
 
Though it's still very early in development, Steam Greenlight project Trials of Azra looks like it's going to be that kind of game.
 
Trials of Azra tells the story of a young boy named Sam who finds himself ripped from our world and placed into an elaborate fantasy dungeon. While this awful incident would have almost certainly led to Sam's demise, it also so happened to have gifted him with certain magic abilities. Specifically, it granted him the ability to possess his downed enemies.
 
In a rather fortunate twist of fate, this ability to possess enemies proves to be particularly useful in this trap filled dungeon filled with puzzles and hazards that so happen to require the cooperation of multiple individuals to get past. Trials of Azra's puzzle design is particularly clever in this regard, as it really does make you consider the order in which you take out enemies in relation to the puzzle ahead. Like the best games in this genre, you can often see the solution ahead of you and the challenge comes from trying to discover just how you reach it.
 
What really puts Trials of Azra over its competition, though, is the charm of the game. It perfectly mimics the visual style of an SNES game, and there is an underlying sense of charm and humor to the entire experience that is particularly noticeable during the game's brief dialog sections.Best of all, the game features a local co-op mode that makes the puzzles easier or more challenging based on how competent the players are.
 
The brief Trials of Azra demo available on the game's Greenlight page starts off by warning players that it may or may not represent the quality of the final game, but the brief taste it does provide suggests an undeniable quality equal to some of the most enjoyable puzzle platformer out there. It will be fun to see how this game develops as it develops, but Trials of Azra certainly feels like it's on the right track.
Matthew Byrd
File Uploa:
I recently reviewed a strange little indie puzzle title called Stephen’s Sausage Roll and found it to be a pretty great game with a couple of little flaws. While you could say the same of many games, 'Stephen’s' is unique in the sense that one of its biggest flaws is actually its price.
 
Though a fairly substantial game in terms of content, it’s rare to see such a niche game like 'Stephen’s' debut with a $30 price tag. Admittedly 'Stephen’s' lack of promotion suggests that perhaps the developer wasn’t too concerned with having his game become a retail hit, the purchase would have nonetheless been hard for many gamers to justify at that price even if they had known about it.
 
The thought of a $30 indie game being a problem seemed such a certainty, that at the time I never even stopped to consider why that is. Now, though, I can’t help but wonder if indeed there is a price cap on indie games.
 
If there is, then it is easy to understand why that’s the case. Indie gaming started as a “work out of your garage” type operation, and that low-cost production carried with it equally low costs. Many of the first major indie hits (like Braid and Limbo) started off around the $10 dollar range, and they wisely used that price point as a major part of their promotion when trying to get their name out there.
 
Since then, though, the industry has exploded and grown in ways that nobody could have ever imagined. Indie games now are not always quite up to their industry brothers in terms of production values, but the gap is closer than ever. Even if that wasn’t the case, you can certainly make the claim that what indie games are offering is at least a viable alternative to major releases.
 
Despite such tremendous progress, however, the price point for indie games still hovers around that $10 mark. While it’s tempting to say that indie games doomed themselves by gaining infamy as cheap titles, perhaps the bigger offender are the constant bundle and site sales that offer these games up at virtually no cost. This creates a culture of consumers that are more confident than ever that a game will inevitably drop in price.
 
The question then becomes, “How good does an indie game have to be to become a major hit at a higher price?” It’s a question that is becoming more and more difficult to answer. The instances of indie games debuting far above the $10 mark are becoming few and far between. It is starting to appear that indie games may have a price cap, and that cap may very well hinder the future growth of an ever-expanding industry.
 

Frank Streva
File Uploa:
Pictured above: Don't Starve Together

As I said in my previous Overlooked Indies, last week had too many cool new releases for just one article. Two such titles that I forgot to mention were the full releases of SpeedRunners and the Don't Starve Together multiplayer expansion to Klei's highly rated survival rogue-lite. Both of these games have been in Early Access for a while now, and have accumulated a large community already.
 
Now, here's six more indie releases from last week that might be worth taking a closer look at.
 
Inexistence
Jonathan Brassaud
$5.99
 


Inexistence is the latest indie retro-inspired Metroidvania hoping to grab your attention. You play as Hald, a so-called "Keeper," on a quest to save his sister, defeat his evil brother Claos, and restore balance to the world. Along the way you'll uncover new abilities and weapons, discover hidden secrets, and fight intimidating bosses. I'll admit that Inexistence doesn't look like it'll dethrone any of your favorites in the genre, but it's cheap enough for an impulse buy on a lazy afternoon.
 
Rogue Stormers
Black Forest Games
$19.99
 


Rogue Stormers (formerly Diselstormers) is the latest game from the developers that brought you the recent Giana Sisters reboot. This side-scrolling twin stick shooter had a pretty rough start, with a failed Kickstarter campaign in 2013, a barely successful crowdfunding effort in 2014, and several name changes and redesigns along the way. Now, after spending over a year in Early Access, the game has finally received a full release. Pick from one of five character classes and fight through seven procedurally generated levels to defeat the evil hordes threatening the city of Ravensdale. As the name implies, Rogue Stormers also has rogue-lite elements like random gear and permadeath should you fail your run. Play alone or team up with three friends in local or online co-op.
 
REDCON
Hexage
$5.99
 


REDCON is an artillery strategy game with a dash of FTL-style combat and room management. Set in a bizarre retro sci-fi world where WWI never ended, you are placed in command of massive battle fortresses designed to hurl heavy shells across No Man's Land at enemy emplacements. Much like in FTL, combat takes place in real-time with an active pause to slow down the chaos and queue up orders. There's an element of crew management too, where you must assign soldiers to various tasks like putting out fires, repairing heavy damage, or fighting off assaults from airborne infantry. REDCON is also available on mobile.
 
Action Legion
Aeonic Entertainment
$11.99
 


Inspired by the classic Cannon Fodder series, Action Legion is a top-down tactical action game where you control a small squad of soldiers trying to liberate the planet of PN MDCVIII from alien invaders. Just like in Cannon Fodder you'll control several relatively fragile soldiers at once, and each one that dies drastically reduces the amount of firepower and heavy weapons at your disposal. You'll need to use tactics, stealth, and micromanagement to avoid enemy fire and make sure you have enough soldiers to complete your mission.
 
Nomad Fleet
Autarca
$14.99
 


Nomad Fleet is a space RTS with rogue-lite elements about leading the last remnants of humanity to a new home. You'll control a fleet of ships in randomized missions as you try to reach the end of the galactic map, all while being chased by a mysterious alien race. Along the way you'll need to salvage wrecks and harvest resources to maintain your fleet, research new technology, and construct new ships. You'll also encounter other alien races that can become trading partners or mortal enemies depending on your choices and actions.
 
8-Bit Armies
Petroglyph
$14.99
 


Finally, Petroglyph is back with a new cutesy modern military RTS inspired by classic titles from the Westwood era. Taking a lot of cues from Command & Conquer, 8-Bit Armies plays like a more streamlined take on old-school RTS games with voxel graphics and fully destructible environments. The game features a 25 mission single player campaign, a 10 mission co-op campaign, and of course, skirmish and online multiplayer modes with dedicated servers. You can also find the game on GOG.


That's all for last week's releases. I'll be back soon with more interesting indie games.


Frank is an aspiring game designer that currently writes for Indie Game Source and Bell of Lost Souls. You can follow him on Twitter @Frank_Gaming for updates on future articles and reviews.
Renan Fontes
File Uploa:
It’s always admirable seeing the underdog stick it to the man, especially in a generation that’s so homogenized with the same games being remade and remastered every year. The video game industry needs more creativity and the indie scene is really the only consistent source of that creativity. But what happens when the underdog gets so sucked into their own narrative that they can’t distinguish between making a point and making a scene? You get Bob’s Game.
 
Bob’s Game is Robert Pelloni’s self titled “forerunner and founder” of the indie games movement. Originally brought to light in 2008, Bob’s Game was quickly forgotten after constant delays and a viral campaign that went nowhere.
 

 
What started as an empathetic plight about one developer trying to get a software development kit from Nintendo ended up being said developer’s public meltdown due to constant rejection.
 
It’s not as if Pelloni is trying to create the most compelling video game, either. Bob’s Game is a “hybrid between Zelda, Pokemon, Harvest Moon, and Earthbound, with massively multiplayer elements” according to its Kickstarter, but every single trailer and demo simply focuses on a Dr. Mario style puzzle game with little to no depth.
 
It’s one thing to be inspired by the greats, it’s another to openly say you’re making a hybrid and then blatantly steal from an incredibly recognizable game without adding anything substantial to it.
Circumstances surrounding Bob’s Game wouldn’t be nearly as frustrating if it weren’t for Pelloni’s attitude, however. Pelloni describes the light puzzle knockoff as “far more than just a game. It is a living work of art, a decade-long art project that spans websites, consoles, videos, music, books, alternate realities, and real-life events. It is a product of the heart. It is a lifelong aspiration and a true tour de force masterpiece. (The work an apprentice makes to become a master.)”
 

 
There's definitely a sense of humor here, but the egotism is far too prominent. Taking into account Pelloni’s releasing of several Nintendo of America’s executive’s addresses on New Year's Eve, 2008 and a January 6 statement where he claimed he was “better” than Shigeru Miyamoto and Hideo Kojima, the flavor text suddenly loses what little charm it had.
 
The most offensive aspect of Bob’s Game, though, is Pelloni’s borderline laundering from his Kickstarter.
 
On January 20, 2016, Pelloni released a progress update for Bob’s Game where he claimed he had “[hoped] it would make enough for at least a year or two of development. Unfortunately it barely made the minimum amount.” Pelloni followed up by stating he “chose to get an apartment instead of trying to live in a van” and “Once I ran out, I ended up living in my car again for another 6 months until I could find another way to support myself.” Pellonig later stated he enrolled in online classes to take out student loans.
 
With a Kickstarter that garnered $10,409 and an estimated release of 2015, Pelloni’s transparency stands as a reminder that there really is no guarantee of completion when it comes to crowdfunding.
 
The ethical thing to do would have been refunding everyone’s money, but it’s clear that Pelloni has no money to refund and that Bob’s Game is no closer to being released in 2016 than 2008. This isn’t to say that Kickstarted projects shouldn’t be trusted, there are so many great indie games that were made possible solely because of Kickstarter, but doing some background research on the developer’s history seems like a necessity thanks to projects like Bob’s Game.
Matthew Byrd
File Uploa:
It's not easy being a Mac gamer. While the quality of games available for Mac users has improved exponentially in recent years, there is likely never going to come a day when they can simply see a game they want and buy it without looking for that little Mac compatible logo on the store page.
 
Of course, given that they try to reach as many people as possible, indie games have always been something of an exception to this rule. Since the indie market blew up a few years ago, just about ever major title has made sure to be Mac compatible.
 
Now, you can get most of those games for an absurdly low price.
 

 
In what has to be one of the most valuable bundles ever assembled, charity website MacHeist is offering up the sci-fi masterpiece To The Moon, critical hit film Indie Game: The Movie, all-time indie classic Super Meat Boy, the revolutionary Braid, the jaw-dropping Insurgency, click-and-point masterpiece Deponia, the quirky throwback Offspring Fling and the stunning Gone Home for a mere $20 donation. Even at $1 you'll receive To The Moon, Offspring Fling and Indie Game: The Movie.
 
Additionally, you'll receive both Prison Architect and Fez if the bundle reaches a sales target, and additional games can be unlocked by playing the mini-adventure on the host site. Otherwise, these games can be unlocked right away for a $50 donation.
 
While the site is primarily geared towards Mac gamers, it's worth noting that these games are available to Windows users as well. These games will occasionally appear in Humble Bundles, but you rarely ever see many of them bundled together like this for such a low-price. If you have somehow missed out on any of these games, this is certainly one of the best bundle deals to come along in some time.
Matthew Byrd
File Uploa:
Game about social anxiety makes its point all too well.
 
One of the best things about indie gaming has always been its ability to address certain topics and issues that major video games would never dare touch. This is particularly true of major social issues which industry games tend to avoid like the plague. From Always Sometimes Monsters' take on depression and human nature to That Dragon Cancer's views on the toll that disease can take on everyone it encounters, there is a rich subsection of the indie industry devoted to taking on the toughest issues that affect our daily lives.
 
Now you can add The Average Everyday Adventures of Samantha Browne to that list.
 

 
Samantha Browne is a game about the titular character and her struggles with crippling social anxiety. What you'll quickly discover while playing this game is that nearly every decision you make is wrong. Well...at least that's the way your character perceives it. Due to her condition, Samantha looks at the simplest processes (like making oatmeal) as tremendous obstacles that can - and often do - lead to horrible worst case scenario consequences.
 
Modeled after developer Andrea Ayres own struggles with social anxiety, Samantha Brown wisely removes entirely optimal paths to victory as to better relay the way the character's anxiety affects nearly every decision, right or wrong. In that respect, this title plays out almost like a horror game. The intended sense of paranoia does indeed begin to set in as you fear nearly every decision until you become unsure of your own judgment.
 
Though a very short game - it can be beaten in well under an hour - Samantha Brown is an incredible look at this particular disorder and the way it impacts even the most simple of tasks. Anyone interested in trying the game can do so for free on Steam, Itch.io or the App Store.
Frank Streva
File Uploa:
Pictured above: Shantae and the Pirate's Curse
 
There's a few ports I'd like to point out before moving on to the genuinely new indie releases of the week. A number of great titles have made their way to current-gen consoles this week, including Lichdom: Battlemage (Xbox One/PS4), Invisible, Inc. (PS4), the first two episodes of Blues and Bullets (PS4), and Shantae and the Pirate's Curse (PS4). Meanwhile, the second Danganronpa game and Melty Blood Actress Again Current Code have made their PC debut on Steam.
 
As usual, I can't guarantee all of the games I highlight here are good, just that I found them interesting. We had a large list of both high profile and more obscure new indie releases this week, so I'll have to break this article into two parts. If you do find some games you like on this list then remember to tell your friends about them.
 
The Banner Saga 2
Stoic
$19.99
 

 
Definitely one of the more well-known titles to hit this week is The Banner Saga 2. The award winning, gorgeously hand-drawn strategy RPG returns with new characters, a new playable race, improved combat mechanics, and most importantly, a new story that continues where the original left off. You can import your save file from the first game, affecting your future choices and which characters are still alive in the sequel. If you loved the original then you should check out the sequel; it has been greeted with an overwhelmingly positive reception from gamers and critics alike so far.
 
Battlefleet Gothic: Armada
Tindalos Interactive
$39.99
 

 
One of the other big PC releases of the week is Battlefleet Gothic: Armada, a tactical space RTS based on the now-defunct tabletop game of the same name set in the Warhammer 40k universe. Developed by the creators of the equally defunct space MOBA Stellar Impact, Armada takes many of the ideas from that game, refines them, and adds a very faithful coat of grimdark 40k paint. Combat in Armada is all about positioning and aiming your ships' various weapon systems, from massive broadsides to barrages of torpedoes and bombs. The campaign, skirmish, and multiplayer all have an overarching progression system where you build up a fleet of ships that gain experience and can be customized with various upgrades and abilities. The game currently has four of the major 40k races, and if you buy the game within the next two months you'll get the next two faction DLCs for free.
 
Battlezone 98 Redux
Big Boat Interactive
$19.99
 

 
As the name implies, Battlezone 98 Redux is a remastered version of the classic action RTS Battlezone, which in turn was a reimagining of the popular '80s arcade game. For the uninitiated, Battlezone 98 is an odd mash-up of RTS and vehicular combat sim where you build your base and control your army from the cockpit of a hovertank in an alternate universe where the Space Race between the US and USSR erupted into interplanetary warfare. Besides being a re-release of a great PC game, Redux features improved HD visuals, online multiplayer, and full Steam Workshop support.
 
IS Defense
Destructive Creations
$7.99
 

 
The developers of the extremely controversial Hatred are back with IS Defense, a game that is either tasteless or far less offensive than their previous game, depending on who you ask. It's essentially a Beach Head-style turret shooter where you are defending various European locations from ISIS, and it actually has extremely positive reviews on Steam. Your weapons consist of a machine gun, rocket launcher, and various support skills like artillery strikes and bombing runs. Over the course of the game you'll purchase upgrades to your gear and gain access to new abilities. It's apparently a short and repetitive game, but its under $10 and Destructive Creations is promising free DLC in the near future.
 
Rot Gut
Shotgun Surgeon
$.99
 

 
If you like retro-inspired action-platformers with great chiptunes then you should check out Rot Gut. Originally a free browser game, this side-scrolling shooter is inspired by 1920s Prohibition Era pulp fiction, with a splash of Noir and a unique soundtrack that blends jazz with more traditional retro-y chiptunes. The game can be completed in around half an hour, but until the 26th you can grab it for 30% off its already ridiculously cheap price.
 
Hex: Shards of Fate
Hex Entertainment
Free-to-play
 

 
Hex: Shards of Fate is the latest digital TCG hopeful looking to grab your attention. The core gameplay is ridiculously similar to Magic, to the point that Wizards of the Coast took legal action against the developers. That said, Hex does offer some interesting ideas that you don't see in other popular digital card games, most notably a PvE element with Raids. There's an element of progression with your character as well, with skills and gear you can equip to gain various bonuses. Unlike Hearthstone, Hex has many social aspects common to the physical hobby, like the ability to trade, buy, and sell unwanted cards with your friends. There is a starter bundle available for $14.99 that gives you six booster packs, some equipment for your hero, consumables, and some in-game currency.
 
March of the Living
Machine 22
$14.99
 

 
March of the Living is one of this week's obligatory rogue-lite releases, and mixes FTL-style mechanics with a zombie apocalypse setting. You start with a single survivor moving from town to town trying to find a safe place to settle down following the zombie-driven breakdown of society. Along the way you'll encounter additional survivors you can recruit on your journey, traders, roaming gangs of bandits, and over 160 random events with multiple possible outcomes. Much like FTL, combat is in real-time, with an active pause system that allows you to stop to plan and queue up orders for your survivors.
 
Megamagic: Wizards of the Neon Age
BeautiFun Games
$14.99
 

 
Finally we have Megamagic, an action RPG/strategy hybrid dripping with '80s-style neon retro-futurism and pumping synth music by one of the composers for Hotline Miami 2. You play as a young wizard in a dystopian world where magic and technology have collided, and it's up to you to uncover the truth behind the mysterious Order. You'll have access to five different schools of magic, as well as the ability to bind creatures called grims to your will as summoned companions. These grims also tie into the game's local co-op, where up to three friends can control these summoned creatures to aid you in battle.
 
 
That's all for now. I'll be back in a few days with more interesting new games you may have missed this week.
 
 
Frank is an aspiring game designer that currently writes for Indie Game Source and Bell of Lost Souls. You can follow him on Twitter @Frank_Gaming for updates on future articles and reviews.
Matthew Byrd
File Uploa:
It’s rare that a game comes along that makes developers everywhere stand up and applaud, and even rarer that said game happens to be based around cooking sausages. Yes, that is exactly what we have in Stephen’s Sausage Roll.
 
At first glance, there is nothing about Stephen’s Sausage Roll that seems that impressive. Graphically speaking the game’s dated visuals harken back to around the PlayStation era, and its basic premise of a man rolling sausages around obstacles so that they may be properly grilled certainly doesn’t sound that thrilling either.
In fact, it’s almost impossible to find anything interesting about Stephen’s Sausage Roll until you actually play the game.
 
That’s when you realize this is perhaps one of the most clever games ever made. Stephen’s Sausage Roll is one damn tough puzzle game. The seemingly simple task of rolling sausages onto a grill is made nigh impossible by the game’s clever level design which makes moving them around as awkward as humanly possible.
 

 
What makes the game’s difficulty all the more memorable is the way that the game refuses to explain anything to you. It’s very much like Dark Souls in that regard, as the only way to really understand what is possible is through failing over and over again until you gain an understanding of what you are and are not allowed to do. Just when you think you understand what you’re doing in this game, it throws you a curveball that completely changes what has come before.
 
From a level design perspective, this may just be the perfect puzzle game. The levels in Stephen’s Sausage Roll are not only designed to test you to your very limits but even manage to create a cohesive in-game world by flowing into one another. Without getting into spoilers, there are some very clever things done with this concept during the later levels.
 
Stephen’s Sausage Roll is such an incredible accomplishment in game design that its greatest enemy is actually itself. Those that give it a shot will likely be deterred by just how unforgiving this game is, but it’s likely that many will never even give this game as hot as its marketing is virtually non-existent (the game’s Steam page doesn’t even have a full description) and the asking price of $30 is well above what you would expect for an indie game of this type.
 

 
In many ways, this game seems determined to ward away as many players as possible and perhaps that’s for the best. Stephen’s Sausage Roll’s brilliance is perhaps best reserved for the most hardcore puzzle aficionados and fellow game designers that will best be able to appreciate the work that went into it.
 
That being said, if this game ever does drop closer to the $10 price range, then I’d recommend it to everyone simply as a tribute to what designer Stephen Lavelle has accomplished here.
 
Pros:
Flawless level design
Charming soundtrack
Genuinely challenging puzzles

Cons:
Pretty expensive
Limited appeal by design

End Score
9/10
Matthew Byrd
File Uploa:
Given his current status as a highly visible subject of parody and ridicule, it's actually quite surprising that we haven't seen more Donal Trump-themed video games as of late. Oh sure, there's the usual brigade of cheap - and usually NSFW - flash games, but where are all the Donald Trump political and business simulators? Has the online indie gaming community finally lost its ability to produce cheaply made parodies of major celebrities?
 
I thought that was the case until I discovered a little game called Spice Drive over on the indie game site itch.io.
 
Spice Drive is a relatively simple game. In it, you control a circular spaceship that is trying to collect and trade spices across the universe. As the collection and trading aspects are handled automatically, you're only real job is to make sure your spaceship stays fueled and is safe from incoming asteroids. Asteroids are shot down by clicking on them as they approach while refueling is a simple matter of hitting the space bar.
 

 
The trick here is making sure that you manage to stay constantly fueled through your energy depleting asteroid shots, but that you don't fuel up your spaceship too much and cause it to explode. This actually is a little more difficult than it may sound, as the asteroids start coming in incredibly fast, and overfueling your spaceship is quite easy to do. Still, the gameplay here is nothing that couldn't have existed in a mostly forgettable Atari game.
 
Instead, it is the confounding presence of presidential candidate that makes this game noteworthy. In Spice Drive, Donald Trump serves as an interstellar overlord who runs the spice trade market. He not only gives you the rundown of how the game works but is quick to chastise you with profanity-laden tirades should you mess up. He also provides the occasional startling confession between missions, such as the secret content of his spices.
 
The entire project is just incredibly bizarre and, to be honest, not that fun. Still, it's hard to not give credit to Spice Drive for filling a disturbing lack of Donal Trump-related indie game material, even if the game is fairly disturbing itself.
Frank Streva
File Uploa:
Pictured above: Risk of Rain
 
Before I get to my indie release highlights from last week, I'd like to point out a few ports that you might find interesting. The 3DS brawler Code of Princess is out on Steam, but be aware that the PC port is pretty lazy, with little in the way of improvements and resolution options. The upgraded version of Skullgirls from the PS4 has been made available on Steam as a DLC pack. This one DLC pack is the perfect way for newbies to grab all the additional characters and updated features, but it probably isn't all that worth it if you are a long-time player who already owns the previous DLC. PS4 and Vita owners can grab Risk of Rain and experience one of the best rogue-lites around. Finally, Everybody's Gone to the Rapture has made its way over to PC for those of you interested in very slowly walking around an empty world looking for a narrative.
 
As usual, I can't comment on how good any of these games actually are. This is just a list of the new releases from last week that caught my attention. Maybe you should check them out, if you can manage to pry yourself away from Dark Souls 3. If you do find a game you like on this list then remember to tell your friends about it.
 
Democracy 3: Africa
Positech Games
$14.99
 

 
The excellent political sim Democracy is back with a new stand-alone expansion set in Africa. The basic idea of the series is to implement policies as the newly-elected leader of a nation of your choice, shaping the country's future into whatever you like. That's assuming that you don't piss off a group enough for them to assassinate you though, which tends to happen sometimes. Democracy 3 is really intimidating at first, with its massive web of policies and socio-political groups, but the clean interface does a pretty good job of conveying to you the information you need. The original Democracy 3 is pretty solid overall, but I'm seeing a number of people complaining that Africa doesn't changes things up from the base game as much as they'd like. You can also find the game on GOG.
 
Tyto Ecology
Immersed Games
$6.99
 

 
Speaking of interesting simulations, Tyto Ecology is an educational sim about creating a functioning biome full of flora and fauna. You'll start with an empty environment and must add producers, consumers, and decomposers that interact with each other to create a healthy ecosystem. The game teaches the basics of environmental systems and how life can die or thrive based on the careful balance of predator and prey populations. The game may not look all that great visually, but it looks like it has potential as both a relaxing sandbox game and an educational tool.
 
Auro: A Monster-Bumping Adventure
Dinofarm Games
$8.99
 

 
Auro is an interesting take on turn-based dungeon crawling that has been in development for over six years now. The idea is that you navigate around a procedurally generated hex-based grid and fight monsters by pushing them into the water below. There's nine different spells to aid you, most of which are based around movement and positioning shenanigans to help you bump monsters or avoid being bumped yourself. You can find the game on mobile as well.
 
Twilight Struggle
Playdek, Inc.
$14.99
 

 
Twilight Struggle is an incredibly popular and highly rated board game of Cold War political intrigue, and now you can grab this digital adaptation with asynchronous online multiplayer support. Play as either the US or USSR throughout the course of the Cold War, flexing your superpower's political, military, and economic muscle while trying to avoid open war and nuclear annihilation. The game covers many important moments in the Cold War, such as Vietnam, the Cuban Missile Crisis, etc. and gives you the chance to alter history, for better or worse. If you have a historical strategy-loving friend around then you may also want to look into the physical board game too.
 
Wand Wars
Moonradish Inc.
$14.99
 

 
Wand Wars is a new competitive local multiplayer game about dueling wizards and witches for up to 4 players. It's mechanics remind me a lot of Lethal League and revolve around capturing a magical sphere that you send flying towards your enemies. There's five game modes in total and tons of quirky power-ups, spells, and items to protect yourself or murder your opponents with. The game also has a single player story mode for us socially awkward types that don't have friends to play with.
 
Aurion: Legacy of the Kori-Odan
Kiro'o Games
$19.99
 

 
Successfully Kickstarted last year by a start-up game studio in Cameroon, Aurion is a 2D RPG inspired by Central African mythology and folklore. You control Enzo Kori-Odan and his wife Erine Evou, the rightful heirs to the throne of Zama that were overthrown and exiled during a coup d'état. The young King and Queen are now on a quest to gather allies and retake their homeland. The combat takes more than a few cues from the Tales series and plays out in real-time, with a heavy emphasis on combos and chaining attacks together.
 
Stories: The Path of Destinies
Spearhead Games
$14.99
 

 
Finally we have Stories: The Path of Destinies, a top-down action adventure with a splash of Bastion-style narration. While the game is packed full of combat, puzzles, and mild platforming, the real focus of the game is it's unique narrative about choices and consequences. Stories has you play as Reynardo, a rather incompetent adventurer, and his quest to save the world from the Emperor and his army of Ravens. Or inadvertently destroy it, which is far more likely during your first few attempts. The game is pretty short and can be completed in around 2 hours, but with 24 endings (many of which are depressing or "bad") and a large number of branching paths, you are highly encouraged to play the game many times through to find the "best" ending. You can also grab Stories on GOG and PS4.
 
 
That's all for last week's new indie release highlights. I'll be back again with another batch of interesting games you should check out.
 
 
Frank is an aspiring game designer that currently writes for Indie Game Source and Bell of Lost Souls. You can follow him on Twitter @Frank_Gaming for updates on future articles and reviews.
Matthew Byrd
File Uploa:
Last year, Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture made quite the impact when it debuted on the PS4. At the time, there were some who called it the best indie game on the PS4, while others went even further to proclaim it the best indie game of the year. This week, it made its much anticipated debut on the PC.
 
Before diving into Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture, the very first thing you need to know is that this game is part of the fabled “Walking Simulator” genre. If you’ve never experienced this particular genre through major games like Firewatch, Dear Esther or Gone Home, then know that they get that somewhat unflattering designation thanks to the fact that their gameplay is primarily comprised of walking around and completing relatively simple tasks in order to advance the plot.
 

 
This lack of traditional gameplay has drawn a healthy amount of scorn from some gamers who insist that these are not really even games. If you consider yourself to be a part of that group, then know right now that Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture is not going to change your mind. It is very much a walking simulator through and through.
 
With that disclaimer out of the way, it’s finally time to tell you that the reason Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture achieved so much acclaim last year is that it is a complete triumph in artistic game design. The discussion of its considerable accomplishments must start with praise of its soundtrack, which is quite simply among the greatest gaming soundtracks of all-time.
 

 
It’s a haunting collection of brilliant instrumental pieces made all the better by how they complement the game’s already incredible narrative. Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture tells the story of a survivor at the end of the world who begins to realize that they may not be alone. Unlike other apocalyptic games that place you into a deserted wasteland populated with mutants, Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture takes place in a beautiful piece of our world that just so happens to be largely devoid of human life.
 
The story is relatively sparse, but certainly does not lack in motivation. This is a truly compelling mystery that eschews the regular twists and turns of the genre in favor of a more organic tale that still manages to shock you with its sheer brilliance.
 
Then you have the graphics which are quite simply a triumph of photo-realistic design…or at least were on the PS4. Sadly, Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture suffers some pretty hefty optimization problems on the PC. Even though I was running the game on a PC well-above the recommended requirements, I would still run into horrible bouts of slowdown that nearly crippled the experience in certain areas.
 

 
Beyond that particular issue, the biggest problem with this game goes back to the type of game it is. Whatever this particular style of game means to you – and despite the game’s obvious design qualities – it’s hard to sell a $20 game that will last you a few hours at most. It’s a shame that Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture doesn’t include VR functionality, as it would add an extra level of immersiveness to the experience that may very well put it over the top as a must buy.
 
As it stands, there are just these moments of awkwardness in the game where it feels like you’re playing a VR title without the VR device. If you so happen to be a mega-fan of this genre, I would still advise to wait for a patch before downloading it. Anyone else on the fence will want to wait for the inevitable sale price drop to ensure that you are getting the most out of this beautiful – but limited – experience.
 
Pros:
Fantastic Visuals
Unbelievable Soundtrack
Great Story
Cons:
Poor PC Optimization
Bit Overpriced For the Content
Needs VR Support
End Score
7.5/10
Matthew Byrd
File Uploa:
In a world where Steam dominates the online gaming marketplace and Humble Bundle, GOG and Green Man Gaming are fighting for what’s left, it’s easy to overlook websites like Itch.io.
 
This humble website largely focuses on super-indie titles that are just making their funding rounds, and occasionally features slightly larger indie names like Nuclear Throne. It has a following, but the average online shopper probably wouldn’t run across it when browsing for games.
 
So maybe it shouldn’t have been much of a surprise to see the company try to get attention by putting their website on Steam Greenlight.
 
A couple of weeks ago, game distributor Itch.io appeared on Steam’s Greenlight section looking for support. In essence, they were trying to make their game distribution program available for users of the world’s largest game distribution website.
 
While a Steam competitor hosting their website on Steam’s product page might sound illegal, it surprisingly is not. It’s certainly unusual, but there is nothing in Valve’s terms and conditions that strictly prohibit such a thing from happening.
 
However, that didn’t stop Valve from exercising their rarely used quality control policies to remove Itch.io from Steam recently. Their official statement on the matter suggested that the company was focusing on software and developmental tools at the moment, which of course was the PR way of saying, “Dude…not gonna happen.”
 
Given that common sense dictates that this was never going to fly – and that Itch.io made its Steam appearance on April 1st suggesting that this was someone’s clever joke – it’s not a surprise to see the strange journey of Itch.io on Steam come to an end. Still, you have to give credit to the indie distributor if this was indeed all a publicity stunt, as it has more people talking about them than ever before.
Frank Streva
File Uploa:
Pictured above: Until I Have You
 
Last week was full of interesting new indie releases, so I'm back once again with a quick bonus round. Here's five additional games from last week that might be worth looking into.
 
Trench Run
Transhuman Design
$7.99
 

 
Trench Run is a new 2D multiplayer shooter from the devs that brought you King Arthur's Gold and Soldat. Trench Run is a bit more casual than some of Transhuman's previous titles, to the point that you don't actually die. Instead, you just drag yourself to the closet medkit and pick yourself right back up again. That's not to say that Trench Run isn't full of fast-paced mayhem though, and features randomly generated, fully destructible environments. Another quirky feature includes the pre-game lobby, where players can get together to play mini-games and hang out in a virtual bar.
 
Kill to Collect
Pieces Interactive
$19.99
 

 
"Git Gud and Die Trying" is the tagline for Kill to Collect, a co-op action rogue-lite set in a deadly cyberpunk world. Choose one of four unique "Hunters" and patrol the procedurally generated streets of the last city on Earth. Modes include a story campaign, a free-roaming mode where you can tackle missions in any order without the story content, and daily challenges where you and your friends compete with others around the globe to clear eight floors as quickly as possible.
 
Until I Have You
Wormwood Studios
$13.99
 

 
Our second cyberpunk game of the week is Until I Have You, a 2D shooter-platformer with a pretty heavy focus on narrative. You play as a skilled assassin named The Artist who wishes to retire after a long, successful career in a dirty field. Unfortunately, such talented assassins are irreplaceable, and The Artists' former employers kidnap his wife in an attempt to force him to continue this dangerous and morally questionable line of work. The Artist then acquires a powerful but dangerous experimental exoskeleton and embarks on one last job to get his wife back and ensure that his clients never bother him again.
 
1979 Revolution: Black Friday
iNK Stories, N-Fusion Interactive
$11.99
 

 
1979 Revolution is a narrative-driven adventure game set during an important historical event that is rarely covered in video games. You play as Reza Shirazi, a photojournalist that gets swept up in the Iranian Revolution. 1979 Revolution promises to be full of meaningful choices with massive consequences for Reza and his family and friends as he attempts to document the civil unrest in Tehran. The game is crammed full of references to real people and events during the revolution, and most of the collectables are actually archival footage and photographs, so you'll even get a little history lesson while playing. You can also find it on GOG.
 
Good Robot
Pyrodactyl
$9.99
 

 
Finally we have Good Robot, a 2D rogue-lite shooter where you play as your own customizable little murderbot. PyroCorp created an army of robots to save humanity after the Earth's surface became uninhabitable. Unfortunately, the robots have since gone crazy and started murdering people in the underground cities constructed to save the human race. As the last remaining "good" robot it's up to you to navigate procedurally generated underground tunnels and exterminate thousands of homicidal robots with an arsenal of increasingly destructive weaponry. Just be sure not to question PyroCorp's motives or become sympathetic to the bad robots.
 
 
That's it for last week's new release highlights. I'll be back before long with this week's batch of overlooked indie games.
 
 
Frank is an aspiring game designer that currently writes for Indie Game Source and Bell of Lost Souls. You can follow him on Twitter @Frank_Gaming for updates on future articles and reviews.
Renan Fontes
File Uploa:
Let's imagine you don't understand English.
 
It's September 2015, and this quirky RPG Undertale just came out. You've always been a fan of the genre, and, even though you usually have to wait a while for them to come out in your country you more times than not have had a chance to play them in your native language. Not this time though. At least not yet, because translating indie games is bigger ordeal than you'd imagine.
 
It's not fun longing something you can't have, especially when you technically can have it. It's hard enough to translate a game made by a big studio, let alone an indie game whose developer most likely has a very limited budget to work with. Translating a game takes money, time, and resources that an indie developer can't reasonably have. Most indie games take years to complete, a full grammatically correct translation would only serve to push the release date and kill momentum.
 
A Lenda do Herói came out on Steam a few weeks ago, and it wasn't until I looked at the store page that it clicked with me: there are indie developers everywhere.
 
On the store page, the developers wrote, "You might have noticed that the store page says that the only language in which this game is available is Brazilian Portuguese. Unfortunately, you read it right. No, this is not a database error, it is the naked truth. There is no English version currently available." The developers followed up by stating that they wanted to release an English version eventually, but the localization would take a great amount of money and resources, which they don't currently have.
 

 
What makes A Lenda do Herói particularly more difficult to translate than the average RPG is that it is, for all intents and purposes, a musical. Sporting a fully voiced story mode with lyrics that match up with what the protagonist is doing on screen A Lenda do Herói poses a very complicated problem for future translators. It's innovative and unique, mashing up genres that normally wouldn't go together to create a memorable end result full of charm.
 
A Lenda do Herói probably won't get too much traction unless, hopefully until, it gets an English release. The indie scene is most alive in English speaking countries right now, but that doesn't mean non-English games should be ignored. Even though Undertale is only available in English at the moment it still managed to garner a large fanbase from all around the world.
 
Trying to play a game that isn't in your native tongue is challenging, but not impossible. A Lenda do Herói might not be for you, but if you find something that piques your curiosity why stop yourself because of a language barrier?
 

 
The indie game scene is still pretty young but if the English speaking developers are struggling, the non-English speaking devs must be struggling even more. It's certainly a risk taking the plunge and buying a game in another language, but it's a risk that might just add some needed cultural diversity to the gaming industry.
Renan Fontes
File Uploa:
Next month will mark the 19th anniversary of AOL Instant Messenger, more commonly known as AIM, and for many people growing up in the late 90s and early 2000s AIM was THE place to chat with all your friends. It's become a relic of the past rather quickly, made obsolete by texting, Facebook, and countless other social media platforms. But, developer Kyle Seeley has made reliving the past easier than ever in his free-to-play indie game titled Emily is Away.
 
The game is a 45-minute visual novel that chronicles a five year friendship with the titular Emily. Every few messages results in a choice that can change the overall course of the story, though it's the dynamic with Emily that gives it replay value. The ending is static, but getting there is the fun part.

 
Every decision made in the game wildly changes how Emily interacts with you, and Emily is Away doesn't hold back when it comes to player freedom. Most developers would restrict your answers to keep you as friendly as possible with Emily, but Emily is Away allows you to be downright cruel if you so choose. Chances are you probably wouldn't want to, but the option being there in the first place is a welcome breath of fresh air for the genre.
 
Things become a bit melodramatic around the third chapter, but it's a nice nostalgic romp that can bring back those embarrassing memories of high school relationships.
 
What makes Emily is Away truly interesting, however, is that it proves video games can be anything. Who says video games need to be journeys about saving a princess in over one hundred-hour epics, first-person shooters, or contain multiplayer components?
 

 
Something like Emily is Away wouldn't fly with a big name publisher. It's little more than an AIM simulator, but doesn't try to be anything more. There's something admirable about that. Seeley realizes what Emily is Away is and doesn't try to pad out its length, cash grab, or make it anything more than it needs to be. It's not The Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Bros., or Final Fantasy and that's OK.
 
Emily is Away is a nice time waster that manages to capture the feeling of young love and the stressful instant messaging that may come with it, but also represents how creative the indie scene has gotten and the kinds of ideas that developers can bring to fruition. Emily is Away probably won't go down among the greatest gaming titles in history, but it will always represent what video games are capable of.

Matthew Byrd
File Uploa:
The World is Flat is a simple game. It doesn't ask you to do much more than navigate a blacked-out globe and identify countries. There are a few twists thrown in such as bonuses that can be acquired by identifying individual cities, but for the most part it is a pretty standard gaming experience.
 
At least it would be if you didn't control it with a yoga ball.
 
Designer Aubrey Hesselgren looked at The World is Flat and came to the logical conclusion that if you're going to play a game that has you navigate the globe, it would be great to have a controller that simulates the feeling. Hence, the logic behind manipulating a yoga ball.
 
What is truly fascinating about this concept is the set-up. The "controller" is little more than a store-bought yoga ball sat upon a wooden stool. The movements are registered by a computer mouse attached to the side of the ball, and affixed to the stool by rubber bands. While far from the most technically elaborate set-up, this arrangement does appear to do the job of simulating what it's like to rotate the world in your hands quite well.
 
While it's doubtful that the yoga ball will soon replace the traditional controller in homes everywhere - or even replace the classic trackball anytime soon - for the purposes of controlling The World is Flat, it is an inventive way to add a level of depth to an otherwise simple experience.
 
At the very least, it's hard to not applaud Aubrey Hesselgren for continuing the proud legacy of indie innovation in the most lovably bizarre way possible.
 

Frank Streva
File Uploa:
Pictured above: Automata Empire
 
I'm back with another round of new indie games that you may or may not have heard of. As usual, I can't confirm how good many of these games are personally, just that they looked interesting at first glance. If you find any games you like on this list then remember to tell your friends about them.
 
Enter the Gungeon
Dodge Roll
$14.99
 

 
One game I actually can speak for personally is Enter the Gungeon, and it's awesome. The latest indie rogue-lite/like/thingie to win over gamers across the Internet, Gungeon has you traveling ever deeper into a dungeon full of guns and more terrible puns than Broforce. There is a truly massive number of guns and items to find, from the fairly standard to the absolutely absurd. If you have any interest in the genre then you owe it to yourself to check out Enter the Gungeon. The only real complaint I have so far is that the co-op is local only. You can also find Enter the Gungeon on GOG and current-gen consoles.
 
Jet Set Knights
FobTi Interactive
$9.99
 

 
Inspired by the original Mario Bros and Super Crate Box, Jet Set Knights is an action platformer with a few RPG elements thrown in for good measure. You'll choose from one of four Knights with unique abilities and fend off waves of enemies with an arsenal of various spells, weapons, and power-ups. Team up with, or compete against, up to three friends in local multiplayer across four different modes. Jet Set Knights also promises a ton of secrets to discover, such as hidden areas and additional characters.
 
Axes and Acres
BrainGoodGames
$9.99
 

 
Axes and Acres is a strategy game that looks like it borrows a few elements from deck-building and worker placement board games. You play as a lord who starts out with a small plot of land and a few peasants. Your goal is to cultivate this land into a thriving village by assigning your peasants (represented by dice) to various tasks each turn. These tasks include building structures, planting crops, harvesting resources, and reproducing. You'll also need to contend with roving bands of barbarians looking to plunder your village of its resources.
 
Warden: Melody of the Undergrowth
Cardboard Keep
$19.99
 

 
Fans of Zelda and other classic 3D action-adventure games may want to check out Warden. This game is inspired by N64-era adventure games, and it shows. You'll control three characters with unique abilities on a quest through a magical landscape full of overgrown and long-forgotten ruins. Much like the Zelda franchise, Warden blends together combat, platforming, and challenging puzzles. The game features over sixty weapons total, many of which are looted from your vanquished foes.
 
Glitchrunners
Torque Studios
$12.99
 

 
Glitchrunners is an asymmetrical local multiplayer party game designed to be played with two screens. Four players run through the various levels, avoiding traps and enemies, all while trying to stab each other in the back. The fifth player plays the game on a separate screen as The Architect. This fifth player is trying to kill all the others by placing traps, destroying the environment around them, and inflicting various game-altering effects like inverted controls. The Glitchrunners sounds like one of the more unique examples of couch co-op party games on PC, but the need to have two machines to run it makes it perhaps a bit more complicated than some players are willing to bother with. Because of the dual machine aspect of the multiplayer, each copy of the game includes two Steam keys.
 
Fortify
Holgersson Entertainment
$4.99
 

 
I'll admit that Fortify doesn't exactly look visually appealing, but it has a decent number of positive reviews so far and the gameplay sounds interesting. Fortify is a tower defense-style RTS where you must protect a castle from monsters. You'll gather resources to build static defenses and troops to combat the approaching hordes. The game features a few missions, with an endless mode and multiplayer being the main meat of the title. The multiplayer is asymmetrical, with one player trying to defend the castle while the other controls the creatures laying siege to it.
 
Automata Empire
Nonadecimal Creative
$8.99
 

 
Speaking of odd takes on RTS/tower defense games, Automata Empire is a strategy game about herding hundreds of mindless creatures to victory. You must fling these creatures in the general direction of the territory you wish to capture, all while building up elaborate defensive mazes and loops to confuse your enemy's automata. The game is focused on multiplayer and supports up to 3 players and 5 different game modes.
 
Dead Star
Armature Studio
$19.99
 

 
Finally, we have Dead Star, a new 10v10 multiplayer space shooter with MOBA-style mechanics. You and your team will engage the enemy in space dogfights as you scavenge for loot from old starship wrecks in forgotten battlefields. Each ship is almost like a character in an RPG, with their own skill trees and gear slots to equip the loot you find in the depths of space. One of the more interesting features in this online game is the fact that maps are randomly generated, meaning that you'll always have slightly different level layouts. But, perhaps the coolest feature of all, is the ability for players to find massive warships left behind on the battlefield. These ships are manned by an entire team of players and can invade other matches as a sort of mega boss fight. If you own a PS4 and are a PS Plus member then you can grab Dead Star for free until the end of the month.
 
 
That's all for this week. I'll be back soon with more new indie release highlights.
 
 
Frank is an aspiring game designer that currently writes for Indie Game Source and Bell of Lost Souls. You can follow him on Twitter @Frank_Gaming for updates on future articles and reviews.
Matthew Byrd
File Uploa:
You know that Hyper Light Drifter is undeniably beautiful, but is it good?
 
That question is a little more tricky. Hyper Light Drifter wildly exceeded its Kickstarter goals due in part to those incredible visuals, and also because of the game’s liberal comparisons to titles like Dark Souls and The Legend of Zelda.
 
So far as the visuals go, it is very much worth mentioning again and again that this is one of the most artistically stunning games ever made. What’s truly fascinating about its visuals is the way that they impress you one way when you’re looking at them at face value, and another when you actually began to analyze what they represent in terms of the world and its mythology. Hyper Light Drifter is a complete artistic triumph.
 

 
But what about that gameplay? Well, like in games like Dark Souls and Zelda, the primary objective here is to explore the in-game world, solve puzzles, engage in combat and generally use your wits to navigate yourself to the end of the game. It’s much more like Dark Souls in that regard, as Hyper Light Drifter is an incredibly tough and obscure game.
 
When you engage in your first battles, you should be prepared to die a lot. This is a skill-based combat system that requires you to really appreciate your every maneuver. That and your character’s weakness at the start means that a lot of Hyper Light Drifter players are going to be frustrated on the outset. The good news here is that the combat eventually proves to be brilliant once you are able to properly upgrade your character and learn the system.
 
Where Hyper Light Drifter’s Dark Souls envy falters a bit is in the navigation. To put it simply, finding out where to go next is often your greatest challenge in Hyper Light Drifter. The combat difficulties can be overcome through the natural course of play, but simply finding your way around is a consistent challenge. This wouldn’t be a bad thing, were it not for the fact that the game has a tough time leading you around organically.
 

 
Whereas Dark Souls was a 3D game that could show you where to go through a visual landmark in the distance, Hyper Light Drifter relies more on turning navigation into an elaborate series of puzzles. Puzzles as roadblocks are one thing, but puzzles forming the road can make getting around more of a chore than it should be at times.
 
The story is also fairly obscure, but this tends to work in the game’s favor. Taking cues from the environment to find out just what is going on is an enjoyable part of the game given how beautiful it is. There are times when you’ll wish the narrative was a little more direct given how interesting it seems, but what story is there more than serves its purpose.
 
Hyper Light Drifter shares its growing pains with the player by making navigation more of an annoyance than it should be. However, this game is simply brilliant when it is presenting the right level of challenge, and thankfully that is the majority of the time. Anyone that loves a challenging adventure should fall in love with Hyper Light Drifter over time.
 
Pros:

Stunningly beautiful
Combat is incredible
Worth playing more than once
Feels like a true adventure

Cons:
Navigation can be unnecessarily tricky
Story is sometimes too obscure

Matthew Byrd
File Uploa:
Every day, dozens of new games are added to Steam Greenlight that we hope will never see release. These are some of the worst recent additions.
 
Clock Simulator
 

 
What is Clock Simulator? That's a very good question that even the game's Greenlight page can't seem to answer. While the developers speak a great deal about how this "rhythmic puzzle game" is an artistically ambitious design triumph, very little is revealed regarding just what the gameplay actually is. They even devote space on the game's pitch page to clarify that this game is indeed not a joke, which is a shame given that this overly pretentious description would actually be a pretty great parody if that's indeed what it was.
 
As a general rule, any game that spends more time telling you how great it is than it does describing the game itself is a red flag.
 
StreetCraft
 

 
Maybe one day we'll all be lucky enough to escape the era of developers believing adding the word "craft" to a title will result in billions of dollars in revenue, but until that time let's all just agree to politely ignore StreetCraft.
 
This online shooter pits a counter-terrorist team against a terrorist team in a Lego-like city environment. At this time, it's unclear where the crafting elements come into play, but then again the fun and humor mentioned liberally in the description also appear to be missing in the available screenshots and videos.
 
Tazer Simulator
 

 
Though the mock-simulator genre peaked with the brilliant Goat Simulator, we should all take comfort in the fact that a legion of developers are out there making sure that the dead horse of a concept is thoroughly beaten.
 
Tazer Simulator is worthy of special ire, though, given that the game appears to be compromised of nothing more than running around town and zapping people with your tazer via poor animations. Though I admit that I'm vaguely intrigued by the appearances of "Fences" as one of the game's weapons, even voting for this game just makes you feel like a worse person.
 
The Crazy Adventures of Hoo Flung Dung
 

 
Undoubtedly the most offensive and unnecessary recent Greenlight project, The Crazy Adventures of Hoo Flung Dung is nothing short of a blight on the very concept of video games.
 
In Hoo Flung Dung, you play a monkey who flings his dung (get it?) at various enemies. Broken, uninspired, offensive and downright awful on every conceivable level, this project is made even worse by the fact that the developers have seen fit to deleting negative comments left on their various crowdfunding pages. Well done Digital Homicide. You have set the Red Light, Greenlight bar as low as it may ever go.
Matthew Byrd
File Uploa:
It takes a lot to make an impact as an indie game releasing against Hyper Light Drifter this week, but fortunately for Enter the Gungeon it packs enough explosives to make an impact the size of a canyon.
 
Enter the Gungeon is a roguelike game that sees you take control of a group of colorful characters who pack enough weapons to declare themselves a sovereign nation. Like many roguelike games, the objective is to make your way through a randomly generated series of rooms, use random weapons and defeat random enemies. If you die, your game is done.
 

 
Unlike many roguelike games, this one is much more action-based meaning that your success isn’t as dependent on luck. Don’t take that to mean that Gungeon will be easy, however, as it is modeled after the bullet hell genre. What that means is that every enemy will greet you with a wave of bullets that fill the screen. The chaos in your average session is simply tremendous, and the best stuff is appropriately reserved for the game’s boss battles.
 
Helping you along the way is the aforementioned arsenal of creative weapons, as well as a useful dodge-roll ability and some special items. You’ll also be able to flip over tables for cover, and take advantage of rare merchants who will be all too happy to trade their wares for the bullet currency you pick up along the way.
 

 
Unfortunately, much of the game’s action is hindered by the targeting system. The aiming in Gungeon is far too loose, making it difficult to target your enemies and properly engage in the action. Where this really becomes a problem is in the game’s randomized weapon system. Machine guns and explosives are your best bet to combat the lack of precision aiming, while anything else presents more of a risk to you than to your enemies.
 
Speaking of your enemies, their design is something of a letdown as well. Most either resemble some kind of ammunition or a generic dark fantasy creature. There’s little variety to be found among them, which is disheartening considering that the music and effects of the game set the presentation bar pretty high. It should be noted that the boss designs are exceptional, however.
 
As it stands, it’s hard to recommend Enter the Gungeon over the kings of the genre such as Nuclear Throne and The Binding of Issac. Should a patch come along to fix the wonky aiming, then it will be a lot easier to appreciate the beautiful chaos this game creates. For now, this one should be cautiously downloaded by genre fans looking for a new fix.
 
Pros:
Frantic Action
Good Sense of Humor
Can be fairly addictive

Cons:
Loose aiming system greatly hinders combat
Bland enemy design

End Score
7.5/10
Frank Streva
File Uploa:
Pictured above: Forced Showdown
 
As I said in my previous Overlooked Indies, last week was packed full of interesting new releases. Because I couldn't cover them all last time, I'm back with six additional games from last week that might be worthy of your attention.
 
Hypersensitive Bob
SIEIDI Ltd
$4.99
 

 
If you haven't guessed yet from these articles, I love to play rogue-lites/likes/things. Hypersensitive Bob doesn't look like the deepest, most complex or replayable example of the genre, but it looks cheap and cheerful enough to check it out. You play as Bob, a man that is extremely allergic to everything. Bob is sick of being miserable all the time, and has taken it upon himself to grab an asthma inhaler and defeat his allergies once and for all. Explore colorful environments one room at a time while fighting waves of germs with your asthma gun. As with all rogue-lites, there's plenty of loot and items to find during each procedurally generated run to keep things fresh, just be aware that the game apparently isn't very long overall.
 
Forced Showdown
BetaDwarf
$19.99
 

 
The original Forced was a pretty solid action RPG with puzzle elements and a heavy focus on co-op. The developers are back with a new game called Forced Showdown, which steers the series into a more twin-stick rogue-lite direction. Like in the original you'll be fighting your way through arenas full of enemies, traps, and puzzles, but the biggest new feature is the introduction of a deck-building system. You'll gather loot, items, and special abilities that come in the form of cards that determine your playstyle that round. You can find the game on GOG, too.
 
Blue Sheep
Noetic Games
$6.99
 

 
Blue Sheep is a narrative-focused adventure game inspired by the developer's own experiences battling depression and suicidal thoughts. You play as a young girl on a quest to stop a physical manifestation of misery known only as The Beast that has been plaguing her world. The game features a lot of platforming and puzzles, with a bit of beat 'em up-style combat mixed in as well. I'm always a sucker for games with cute art directions, and Blue Sheep's aesthetic is certainly pleasant to look at.
 
[the sequence]
[OneManBand]
$1.99
 

 
[the sequence] looks like yet another one of those great puzzle games I can't properly enjoy because I'm a complete moron. Each level gives you a set amount of modules that you must place to move cargo to its final destination. These logic construction puzzles have no set solution, with your only limit being how clever you are. You can find the game on mobile as well.
 
ABRACA- Imagic Games
Ankama Studio
$14.99
 

 
ABRACA is a new couch multiplayer game for up to 4 players from the studio that brought you the Wakfu franchise. Players take on the role of Prince Charmings trying to win the hand of the Princess by competing in a series of challenges. These challenges include brawls, races, boss fights, and even a mode where one player is the Prince and the others control monsters trying to hinder their progress. Be aware that the game is local multiplayer only and requires a controller to play.
 
Epistory- Typing Chronicles
Fishing Cactus
$14.99
 

 
Finally we have Epistory, a typing adventure with a great paper craft art style. This adventure follows the story of a writer struggling to finish her latest book. You control the writer's muse and must guide her on her quest to find inspiration. You'll solve puzzles and fight enemies by typing words much like in Typing of the Dead. If you suck at typing then don't worry, the game features adaptive difficulty settings that adjust themselves on the fly based on your typing skills. Most importantly, the game supports many different common keyboard layouts and languages.
 
 
That wraps up my indie release highlights of last week. I'll return soon with this week's interesting new releases.
 
 
Frank is an aspiring game designer that currently writes for Indie Game Source and Bell of Lost Souls. You can follow him on Twitter @Frank_Gaming for updates on future articles and reviews.
Frank Streva
File Uploa:
Pictured above: Leap of Fate
 
We had another week crammed full of exciting indie titles. Some were highly anticipated games that were successfully Kickstarted by tens of thousands of eager gamers, while others are still awaiting their time in the spotlight. Regardless, my usual caveat applies; I have no idea if some of these games are actually any good, they are merely titles that caught my attention. If you do find an obscure gem on this list then remember to tell your friends about it.
 
Hyper Light Drifter
Heart Machine
$19.99
 

 
By far the biggest indie release of the week is the action RPG Hyper Light Drifter. This game managed to pull in just over $645k on Kickstarter back in 2013, due in no small part to its mysterious pitch video showcasing the game's fantastic pixel art and soundtrack. Inspired by 16-bit action-adventure classics like A Link to the Past, Hyper Light Drifter promises to provide players with a challenging action RPG experience full of secrets and branching pathways that you most likely won't find your first time through. You can find Hyper Light Drifter on GOG too, and it's coming to consoles later this year.
 
ADR1FT
THREE ONE ZERO
$19.99
 

 
ADR1FT is another fairly high profile release this week. This first-person space adventure was developed by the controversial former Xbox creative director Adam Orth and a handful of other industry veterans. Drawing more than a few comparisons to the movie Gravity, ADR1FT places you in the boots of an astronaut floating amongst the debris of a destroyed space station following an accident. With a damaged suit that's slowly leaking oxygen, you'll need to explore the ruins to piece together what happened and figure out a way to repair your suit. ADR1FT features VR support and will be coming to PS4 and Xbox One later this year.
 
Ashes of the Singularity
Oxide Games, Stardock Entertainment
$49.99
 

 
Stardock's new mass combat sci-fi RTS Ashes of the Singularity released from Early Access this week. Marketed as using the first native 64-bit RTS game engine, Ashes of the Singularity is packed full of features to take advantage of the latest in GPU and DirectX technology. The battles of the year 2178 occur on a galactic scale as you travel from planet to planet controlling the armies of either the Post Human Coalition or the Substrate. Thousands of units per side war across enormous maps, with starships providing fire support in the form of devastating orbital bombardments. You can grab the game on GOG as well.
 
Baldur's Gate: Siege of Dragonspear
Beamdog
$19.99
 

 
It isn't often that I cover DLC and expansions in these articles, but I'll make an exception for Siege of Dragonspear. This expansion pack for Beamdog's Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition is set between BG 1&2 and adds around 25 hours of new story content. You can import your character from BG:EE into Siege of Dragonspear and further continue their adventure into BGII:EE. Also of note is the addition of a new class, the Shaman. This DLC is also out on GOG. You may want to hold off on this expansion for a while though, as there are many reports of bugs related to save import/export, performance, and broken multiplayer.
 
Run Rabbit Run
FLAT12
$3.99
 

 
I'll admit that super hard precision platformers along the lines of Super Meat Boy aren't really my thing, but if you love the genre then you may want to check out Run Rabbit Run. There's around 50 levels of deathtraps and torture platforming for you to repeatedly throw your cute little bunny against, each of which feature three carrots to collect for the obsessive completionists. Again, it's not a genre I'm personally into, but it has around 67 positive reviews on Steam vs 3 negative, and at only $4 it might be worth looking into if you're a sadist.
 
Angry Video Game Nerd II: ASSimilation
FreakZone Games
$14.99
 

 
Speaking of frustratingly difficult platformers for the criminally insane, AVGN is back with a new video game, ASSimilation. Inspired by the rock-hard NES-era platformers of old, AVGNII features various new mechanics and improvements over its predecessor as AVGN embarks on a new adventure. The AVGN video games are actually pretty solid if you're looking for a new retro-inspired platformer to add to your collection, but you probably won't catch me playing them because I don't find repeatedly punching myself in the groin to be very enjoyable.
 
XenoShyft
CMON
$9.99
 

 
XenoShyft, the popular cooperative base defense deck-building game from Cool Mini Or Not, received a mobile adaptation some time back and now it's available on PC. While you can play it by yourself, the game shines in co-op where up to four players band together to survive nine waves of deadly aliens. The game features cross platform multiplayer with the mobile version too. The base title is $10, with around $5 in DLC that add the physical game's many expansion packs. Not a bad deal considering that a base copy of the physical game will set you back around $60.
 
Leap of Fate
Clever-Plays
$15.99
 

 
Finally we have Leap of Fate, a new isometric rogue-lite shooter set in a dark cyberpunk fantasy vision of New York City. Pick one of four technomages and embark on a quest for power called the Crucible of Fates, where you'll face waves of savage enemies and deadly traps. The game features over 100 special abilities divided into three skill trees, with each skill tree's powers being randomly selected each run to keep things fresh. You'll also discover powerful, game-altering magical glyphs on your quest to confront your inner demons.
 
 
Last week had so many cool new releases that I'll need to return later. Expect the second part of this article soon.
 
 
Frank is an aspiring game designer that currently writes for Indie Game Source and Bell of Lost Souls. You can follow him on Twitter @Frank_Gaming for updates on future articles and reviews.
Frank Streva
File Uploa:
Pictured above: Space Food Truck
 
As I said in my previous Overlooked Indies, there were a few extra games I wanted to highlight from last week. The following four entries were cut for the sake of keeping the article from dragging on too long.
 
Nelly Cootalot: The Fowl Fleet
Alasdair Beckett-King, Application Systems Heidelberg
$19.99
 

 
Starting life as a simpler freeware game that was expanded with a successful Kickstarter into a full-fledged commercial release, Nelly Cootalot is a traditional-style point 'n click with some rather charming hand-drawn animation. You play as the titular Nelly Cootalot on a quest to stop the pirate Baron Widebeard and his army of hypnotized birds terrorizing the high seas. The game has the look and feel of an old LucasArts classic, with a large cast of crazy, fully-voiced characters to interact with and challenging puzzles to solve.
 
Escape: Close Call
Tarboosh Games
$6.99
 

 
Escape: Close Call is, as its name implies, a driving game focused on risky near crashes and stunts. You'll need to maneuver around enemy vehicles, getting as close as possible without crashing to score points. Another mode is designed around using feints to trick your pursuers into crashing. The game is already done in its current form, but the developers are promising to continue development and add new features like additional modes and competitive multiplayer.
 
Space Food Truck
One Man Left Studios
$19.99
 

 
Space Food Truck is an FTL-esque space adventure with deck building elements where you explore (and try to survive in) a procedurally generated galaxy as the crew of the Galaxy Gourmet. The game can be played alone, but is built with 4-player co-op in mind. Each player takes on a different role in the food truck and plays cards to perform actions vital to their job. Over the course of a game you'll build up a deck, with the collective goal being to craft exotic dishes as you travel around the galaxy. Each game is designed to last between 1-2 hours, with the ability to save your progress mid-session for later.
 
Tiny Guardians
Kurechii
$9.99
 

 
Finally we have Tiny Guardians, an interesting twist on tower defense with a cutesy art style. Your job is to escort Lunalie to the end of each level, all while being assaulted by various enemies. Instead of towers, Lunalie can summon a small band of guardians to follow and protect her. There's 12 upgradeable guardians in all, with each fulfilling a unique niche in combat. Each level has a Challenge Mode with multiple difficulty settings for added replayability. You can also find Tiny Guardians on mobile.
 
 
That's all for last week's promising indie releases. I'll be back soon with this week's batch of overlooked indie games.
 
 
Frank is an aspiring game designer that currently writes for Indie Game Source and Bell of Lost Souls. You can follow him on Twitter @Frank_Gaming for updates on future articles and reviews.
Matthew Byrd
File Uploa:
New age retro.
 
It’s the phrase that’s been running through my mind as a I play the recently released Hyper Light Drifter and it has nothing to do with the fact that New Age Retro Hippie so happens to be the name of my favorite enemy character in the SNES classic Earthbound.
 
No, new age retro is simply the only way I can think of to describe the visuals of Hyper Light Drifter. There have been many indie games over the years that - much like Hyper Light Drifter - advertise themselves as a featuring “retro pixel graphics.” It’s not hard to understand why so many fall back on that style of art design, as it was an era where genuinely inspired artistic design was just as - if not more - important than pure graphical power.
 

 
But Hyper Light Drifter doesn’t fall back on that design, it reimagines it. Other indie games like Titan Souls created a somewhat similar style of art, but whereas they ultimately chose to play it safe and build off the nostalgia of the style, Hyper Light Drifter takes a far more dangerous approach by warping the classic pixel art motifs until they are nearly unrecognizable.
 
What was dark becomes neon bright. What was bright is dim. Trees and buildings rarely look like trees and buildings unless you specifically focus on them as such. On the one hand, there are times when Hyper Light Drifter’s style looks like the result of a group of pixel art specialists taking acid and attacking a canvas together without ever communicating with one another as to what they are doing.
 

 
On the other hand, there is a strange logic to the visual world of Hyper Light Drifter. You may not see it at first, but you also don’t have to strain your eyes too hard to see how these bizarre stylish elements come together to form a pretty cohesive world. That mess of neon and shapes on one level meant to resemble an overgrown hut actually remains consistent the next town over.
 
Neon Light Drifter might base itself on the same pixel art we’ve grown to know and love, but this isn’t a throwback so much as it is a chance to use the solid ground of that style as a firm launching pad towards something far more unknown and daring. This is a twisted take on pixel art that is both comforting and inventive. It doesn’t just nod to what came before, it grabs it by the hand and whisks it away to a new world.
 
It’s one of the most artistically stunning indie games in some time.
Matthew Byrd
File Uploa:
Get up, eat, do your work, find time to socialize, go to sleep. Get up, eat, do your work, find time to socialize, go to sleep. Get up, eat, do your work, etc, etc, etc.
 
No this isn't a vague description of the average life of the average person, this is the loose strategy guide for one of the greatest indie games in years: Stardew Valley.
 

 
Stardew Valley is a fairly unabashed, unofficial continuation of the classic game series Harvest Moon. Much like in that game, your job is to turn a lowly piece of land into a thriving farm while making yourself known in town and perhaps even finding a spouse or some adventures. What that means from a gameplay standpoint is a considerable amount of chores. You'll need to milk the cows, till the land, plant some seeds, craft items, spruce up your home...even the game's social elements are basically a series of minor tasks designed to turn strangers into friends and lovers. Now, I'm sure this all sounds very boring and, to be quite honest, there are times when it can be.
 
But what keeps Stardew Valley from surrendering to monotony so easily is the game's sense of discovery. Your very first actions are once completed at the game's request, but from there every single action you perform suddenly leads you to five others. While some are simple such as setting up a chicken coop to collect eggs or helping to rebuild the town's community center, others are much more fantastic adventures that will see you fighting monsters in a cave or researching mystical town legends.
 

 
What's so fascinating about this dynamic is the way that Stardew Valley asks you to balance your time between the more incredible quests you can engage upon and the more humble tasks which must be completed daily. Since you only have a limited amount of time to complete everything early on, trying to really explore the considerable depths of the game and the adventures they can yield require you to do so while balancing your daily work. What this leads to is the kind of hyper-efficient daily management that you'll wish you had in your own life. Trying to get the farm running largely on its own while you pursue more elaborate matters can easily absorb hours of your life.
 
Ultimately, though, what makes Stardew Valley so special is the love that went into it. Made largely by one man (Eric Barone) it is clear that every character and setting in the game was crafted with genuine passion. Playing Stardew Valley is like looking at your child's school drawings if your child's school drawings happened to be genuine works of art. The further and further you get into the game's near infinite depths, you'll find reason to say “I can't believe you did this. This is incredible.”
Stardew Valley's perfectly honed gameplay would be enough to make it easy to recommend, but that contagious feeling of joy embedded deep within the game is what makes it one of the best games of the year. Whether you choose to approach the game with mathematical perfection or simply wish to let its wonders come to you as they may, Stardew Valley is an incredible celebration of the joys of gaming that is sure to keep you glued to your computer for months.
 
Pros:
Endless amount of things to do
Rock solid gameplay mechanics
Charming visual style
Any style of play can become addictive
Community mods ensure future of content

Cons:
Can get a little repetitive sometimes
Starting out can be overwhelming without some guides

End Score
9/10
Frank Streva
File Uploa:
Pictured above: Samorost 3
 
We had another pretty busy week of new indie game releases. The classic LucasArts adventure game Day of the Tentacle has finally been released on digital platforms as the Remastered edition. Speaking of highly anticipated adventure games, Amanita Design is also back with Samorost 3. I also want to point out that one of my favorite modern rogue-likes, Sword of the Stars: The Pit, received a DLC pack that adds a new class to the game.
 
As usual, I need to stress that I'm not outright recommending these games, I'm just highlighting some interesting new indie releases that may have gone unnoticed. I have no idea if any of these games are good, they're just new titles that caught my attention. Should you find any games you like on this list then remember to tell your friends about them.
 
Mimpi Dreams
Silicon Jelly
$9.99
 

 
Mimpi Dreams is a sequel to a 2D puzzle-platformer that came out last year. You play as a lazy dog named Mimpi that goes on heroic adventures in a whimsical dream world. You'll be assisting Mimpi in his dreams by solving puzzles and manipulating the environment. You can find the first game here, and the series is also available on mobile.
 
Paws: A Shelter 2 Game
Might and Delight
$14.99
 

 
On the subject of cutesy adventure games where you play as animals, the Shelter series is back with a new spin-off game called Paws. While previous games in the series placed you in control of a mother badger or lynx trying to ensure that your young survive until adulthood, Paws changes up the formula by allowing you to play as a lost lynx kitten trying to fend off the dangers of the wilderness. You aren't completely alone however, as you'll be accompanied by an equally lost bear cub that will assist you in the game's various puzzles. An interactive novel called The Lonesome Fog also released this week, and can be purchased by itself or bundled with the Pitter Patter Edition of Paws. You can find Paws on GOG as well.
 
Brick Inventions
BernhardM
$6.99
 

 
Brick Inventions is for you asshats out there that don't get invited over for Jenga anymore because you keep intentionally knocking over the tower. In this physics-based building game you'll construct towers and machines one block at a time, all of which are completely destructible. The game features various single player challenges and a sandbox mode, but perhaps the most interesting part is the multiplayer component. You'll compete with other players to gather resources and research new blocks to construct increasingly complex buildings, as well as weapons to demolish your opponent's structures.
 
The Descendant
Gaming Corps AB
$2.99
 

 
The Descendant is the first episode of a new post-apocalyptic adventure series. Humanity has been nearly wiped out following decades of war and drastic climate change. Only a few thousand were selected to be cryogenically frozen in underground bunkers called Arks, waiting to be reanimated once the surface has become habitable again. You'll play as two characters across two different timelines: Mia, a janitor working in the malfunctioning Ark-01, and Donnie, an investigator trying to uncover the truth behind Ark-01's failure. The game will eventually consist of five episodes altogether.
 
PolyRace
BinaryDream
$12.99
 

 
PolyRace is a procedurally generated hovercraft racing game about time attack challenges and high scores. It reminds me of Race the Sun in a few ways, with its simple visuals and focus on challenges over traditional racing. Much like Race the Sun, PolyRace also has daily challenges where players compete against each other to earn the highest score. Try to beat the devs in a mission mode where you race against their ghosts to get the fastest time.
 
Vaccine War
Games For Tutti
$7.99
 

 
Vaccine War is a side-scrolling cover-based shooter that blends 2D pixel art with limited 3D environments. You play as Daniel, a Prussian WWI veteran that retired to Spain, only to get caught up in the Spanish Civil War years later. The key feature of the game is the ability to move between the foreground and background, changing up the flow of combat found in similar, more traditional 2D shooters. There's a few Metroidvania elements too, with multiple branching paths to explore, hidden items, and secrets.
 
bit Dungeon+
KintoGames
$6.99
 

 
The bit Dungeon series is fairly well-known on mobile as a series of cheap and pretty solid action rogue-like/lites. This latest title in the series, bit Dungeon+, is now on PC and focused on 2 player couch co-op. Much like the other games in this series, this top-down dungeon crawler features procedurally generated levels and loot, with massive bosses to overcome and permadeath. Sadly the multiplayer is local only, but it does feature a single player mode.
 
Polaris Sector
SoftWarWare
$39.99
 

 
Finally we have Polaris Sector, a brand new space 4X strategy game published by the prolific wargame studio Slitherine. This 4X places a greater emphasis on the economic and logistical management of your space empire than your average game in the genre. Polaris Sector is entirely focused on rolling up new maps in its random map generator over any sort of campaign, and can create massive galaxies with hundreds of individual stars and solar systems. There's also some deep faction and ship customization to dig into, allowing you a huge degree of freedom in designing your starships and the roles they fulfill on the battlefield.
 
There's a few more games I wanted to highlight from last week, so expect a bonus article in the next few days.
 
 
Frank is an aspiring game designer that currently writes for Indie Game Source and Bell of Lost Souls. You can follow him on Twitter @Frank_Gaming for updates on future articles and reviews.
Matthew Byrd
File Uploa:
When I was young, one of my favorite pastimes was dreaming up video games with friends. At a time when 3D gaming was just starting to come into its own and video game cutscenes showed us the potential for games to look just like the movies, the minds of gamers everywhere began to expand as to better understand new concepts that never before seemed possible. We were years away from many of these concepts actually being playable, but that didn't make the ideas any less appealing.
 
There is a real power to dreaming and it is a power that has long fueled the video game section of crowd-funding websites like Kickstarter. Before a single dollar is donated to a Kickstarter project, or the project's page itself is even up and running, every Kickstarter video game project starts as an idea. Now that's no different than any other video game, but what has typically separates Kickstarter projects from games made by major developers, besides their lack of traditional funding, is that the ideas they are based on usually don't really exist yet in gaming.
 

 
From medieval-era titles designed to allow players to live out their every sword and shield fantasy to space simulation games that promise gamers the literal universe, the titles that appear on Kickstarter often resemble those outlandish games that we used to sit around dreaming about as kids. While not every Kickstarter game is an ambitious new project that aims to provide us with something the “mainstream game industry” would never dare touch, it is usually those games which draw the most attention and funding.
 
It is also usually those games that end up drawing the most flack from their backers for either not releasing or not living up to their promises. As eye-catching as an ambitious new concept on Kickstarter can be, the truth of the matter is that many of the people that post those projects aren't that different from young kids sitting around and dreaming of the future of games. They're better funded and more technologically capable of producing a working model of their ideas, perhaps, but ultimately many are stargazers who want to turn “What if?” into “Why not?”
 
But even though it may be easy to look upon the highest funded Kickstarter games list and focus on high-grossing disappointments such as the Ouya, it feels as if focusing on the actual, tangible products that Kickstarter has given us – whether good or bad – means only looking at half the story.
 

 
Kickstarter's more important service to the video game industry has been its advancement of the independent video game market. Whether or not the biggest Kickstarter games have panned out, what they have done is spark the imagination of game creators everywhere as well as shown that genres and franchises that were long thought to be dead could still be commercially viable.
 
Most importantly, though, Kickstarter has shown everyone that a great idea is sometimes all you need. It's part of the reason why recent high-concept games like Superhot or unofficial franchise returns such as the Harvest Moon-esque Stardew Valley have been able to become successes. They didn't have big budgets or the best graphics, but what they did have were ideas that weren't being expressed in any other game. The kind of ideas that sites like Kickstarter have shown everyone can become successful if done well.
 
We've always dreamed of games beyond our reach and different from everything else that is out there. Kickstarter gave those dreams a market and that market helped to give us an indie revolution.
Renan Fontes
File Uploa:
Controllers have come a long way since the days of the joystick. The standard today features buttons on the right, d-pad on the left, analogs in the center left and center right, two sets of shoulder buttons at the top left and top right, and start and select somewhere in the middle.
 
Things weren't always this simple, however. Back in the fifth gen, Nintendo came out with the Nintendo 64 and, alongside it, a controller so baffling it almost looked like it was meant to be held with three hands.
 
The Nintendo 64's controller could have very easily been a nuisance, but this was circumvented due to Nintendo's foresight with it. The controller's design was convoluted, yes, but it was necessary for all the games they were making. There's no doubt that Super Mario 64 and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time feel better on a standard eight gen controller today, but it doesn't feel nearly as bad as it should to go bust out a Nintendo 64 and hold that controller to play games that were made with the controller in mind.
 

 
It was a different era back then, games were designed with the hardware in mind more often than not and while this resulted in developers not being able to fully realize their games, it also forced them to do things they normally would not have done. It was a challenge that no doubt pushed developers to try harder and think outside the box for creative results. Nowadays, that's not the case.
 
Thanks to the standard controller format that every major console abides to, there's really no pressure to adapt a game to the controller that the players will be using. Even Nintendo's Wii U controller, the most diverse of the current controllers on the markets, follows the format very closely only taking loose liberties. For consoles, this allows for easy and simple development. Multi platform games can just assume that each system has the right controller, because they do. For PC games, that's a different story altogether.
 

 
It took a while to get there, but most indie games coming out on Steam have full controller support. It used to be that the keyboard was the only way to play most indie game, even games that needed a controller. When Super Meat Boy made its way to the PC, it was a complicated mess to get a controller working on it due to how shoddily controller support was integrated. Keyboard play was out of the question as the game was too reflex based to justify using WASD or the arrow keys for fast, high level play.
 
Even with controller support from indie games, it doesn't feel quite the same as it did back in previous generations. Instead of games being made with a controller in mind, they're made with binding instead. Most PC games nowadays can be easily rebinded for a more personal level of play. Admittedly, this is something everyone should take advantage of. While developers did used to design their games with the controller in mind, giving the player a modicum of control is a great way of creating a more comfortable experience.
 

 
Another big reason for key binding options in indie games is simply that an indie developer can't know what kind of controller their user base will be using, if they'll even use one. In a way, they're also keeping the controller in mind, albeit in a much different way. Design choices have to be made carefully since alienating someone who exclusively uses controllers or exclusively uses a keyboard would ultimately result in lost sales and poor notoriety. Whether they know it or not, the indie industry still abides to the rules of old paving the way for the next batch of indie developers to design their games with a controller, or lack of one, in mind.
Frank Streva
File Uploa:
Pictured above: Sheltered
 
I'm back with another week of interesting new indie releases that may have slipped past your radar. I can't guarantee how good any of these games are; I'm just here to highlight some overlooked game releases from last week that I think look promising. If you do happen to enjoy some of the games on this list then remember to tell your friends about them.
 
My Tower, My Home
Shoor Games
$6.99
 

 
My Tower, My Home is a 2D wave-based shooter that takes a very literal approach to "tower defense." The entire game is about defending a tower for as long as possible against endless hordes of enemies. Between rounds you'll have a chance to purchase upgrades, perks, and defensive turrets to aid you. There's also 2-player local co-op. While the game has multiple difficulty settings, just be aware that it's literally just one mode, with the replay value coming from trying to beat your own high score.
 
Victory and Glory: Napoleon
Electric Games
$29.99
 

 
Victory and Glory: Napoleon is a digital adaptation of the board game of the same name that released earlier this year. Spread across six scenarios, this grand strategy board game simulates the entire Napoleonic Wars era and lets you play as multiple major and minor powers involved in the conflicts. Gameplay is divided between a strategic map and tactical battles, with nearly 100 different Event Cards that can tip the balance of power for or against you. While the physical board game supports 5 players, this digital version is, sadly, single player only.
 
101 Ways to Die
4 Door Lemon
$14.99
 

 
Help a mad scientist build better deathtraps in 101 Ways to Die. Essentially the antithesis of Lemmings, this physics-based puzzle game tasks you with creating overly complex traps. You're given a limited selection of traps that you must arrange as efficiently as possible to kill all the poor, unsuspecting minions wondering around the game's 50 levels. Be aware that the game apparently isn't very long, clocking in around 2-3 hours according to the few reviews I could find.
 
Pharaoh Rebirth+
Krobon Station
$9.99
 

 
Play as the renowned treasure hunting rabbit Dr. Jonathan Banfield in Pharaoh Rebirth. This aesthetically-pleasing action-platformer/Metroidvania has finally been translated into English and brought to Steam, and even includes a new stage with additional enemy types. Jonathan has been cursed to die in seven days, and must now travel around Egypt to find seven grails to lift the curse. Along the way you'll need to be on the lookout for the 80 collectable treasures scattered throughout the levels, each of which boost your stats and abilities. There's three difficulty settings in all, and a Boss Rush challenge mode for extra replayability.
 
Deadbolt
Hopoo Games, LLC
$9.99
 

 
From the developers that brought us the fantastic rogue-litelike Risk of Rain comes Deadbolt, a stealth-action game that combines elements of Hotline Miami and Gunpoint. You play as an avatar of death that has been sent to quell a zombie uprising. As a physical incarnation of death itself, you have a massive arsenal of 30 weapons and total freedom to complete the game's 25 missions as you see fit. However, much like in the aforementioned Hotline Miami, you die in one hit. Deadbolt launched with full mod support, and the developers will highlight the best user-created level each week going forward. You can also find Deadbolt on GOG.
 
Sheltered
Unicube, Team 17 Digital Ltd
$14.99
 

 
Sheltered has finally released from Early Access to generally favorable reviews. This post-apocalyptic management game is about ensuring your family's survival in an underground shelter after nuclear war has decimated the planet's surface. You'll need to manage your family's physical and mental health in addition to your resources. When food grows scarce you'll need to send someone out into the wastes to scavenge for resources. There's also turn-based combat for fending off bandits and aggressive wildlife, and you can recruit survivors to help out around the shelter. In many ways it's a lot like Fallout Shelter, but with actual depth and gameplay. Shelter is also out on GOG and current gen consoles.
 
Tree of Savior
IMCGames Co., Ltd
Free-to-play
 

 
Finally we have Tree of Savior, a new isometric MMORPG created by the lead developer of Ragnarok Online. The game's business model has caused quite a bit of confusion so far because it isn't explained that well. Tree of Savior isn't online quite yet, but by purchasing a Founder's Pack (ranging from $9.99 to $49.99) you can begin preloading the game immediately. A special server exclusively for people who purchase early access passes goes online later this week, giving founders a full month head start. Come April 29th the game will be open to all with a free-to-play business model that allows players to purchase cosmetic items, pets, and "tokens" that act as an optional monthly fee, bestowing subscribers with various buffs and exp boosts.
 
The game itself looks a lot like a modern take on the Ragnarok Online formula that I'm sure many gamers in their 20s are familiar with from their school days. Tree of Savior boasts 4 base classes, each of which have over a dozen subclasses and specializations to give players a ton of options when building and leveling their characters. The game will launch with over 200 bosses that players can team up against, including lower level raids that newbies can participate in.
 
That's all for this week. I'll be back later with more overlooked new release highlights.
 
 
Frank is an aspiring game designer that currently writes for Indie Game Source and Bell of Lost Souls. You can follow him on Twitter @Frank_Gaming for updates on future articles and reviews.
Renan Fontes
File Uploa:
Back in the days of yore in November, 2015, a small indie developer, Exordium Games, came up with a brilliant idea to advertise their newest game: a cash prize.
 
With a reward of $10,000 who could beat the game first, naturally many people would flock to it. From a business point of view, it's not such a bad move to make. What better way to get word out on your new game? You're a small developer and you need all the help you can get. Unfortunately, there are some serious ethics at play here; is it really alright to basically bribe someone to play your game?
 
To discuss the ethics of Zero Reflex requires talking about the game itself. The Steam store page describes it as, "a little game project with minimalistic and clear design but with very addictive and frustrating gameplay." Zero Reflex requires the player to dodge obstacles at a fast pace while also being mindful of their surroundings. It's truly challenging, but rewarding. Later stages get incredibly frustrating so there's some logic in offering a monetary reward. After all, the average player will stop playing early on due to the difficulty, but some incentive will keep them playing and thinking about the game.
 

 
Offering a reward toes a grey line. It's not wholly unethical, but it's not very ethical either. It certainly doesn't paint Exordium Games in the best light and it demonstrates a severe lack of confidence in their own product, but It's not criminal. What IS criminal, however, is the way they chose not to honor their deal, at least initially.
 
When the first batch of winners came in, Exordium Games released this statement, "We are doing our best to stay transparent with the Contest. That is why we have decided to show our effort to resolve all situations which might be unclear or vague. A couple of the community members displayed their concern with the legitimate usage of the Pause button. To try to bring more clarity to the issue and prevent possible Pause button usage controversy in regards to a possible Contest winner we have made some changes."
 
The statement continues to a list of the changes being made (the Pause button being usable only once per level now,) but the problem here is that players who beat the game did beat it legitimately. Exploiting a mechanic that the developers didn't have the foresight to predict being used against them doesn't make their wins any less legitimate. Pausing the game to slow things down and plan out a next course is a legitimate strategy. What Exordium Games should have done was honor their deal. They made the mistake, not anybody else.
 

 
It was embarrassing enough that Exordium Games offered a prize for anyone to beat their game, then it was even more embarrassing when they backpedalled and changed the rules, but the most embarrassing thing is how quickly the game died. Just as soon as the winner was announced, all talk and hype for Zero Reflex disappeared. It faded away just as swiftly as it faded in, and exists now only as a bad precedent of grey ethics in the indie scene.
Frank Streva
File Uploa:
Pictured above: Planet Stronghold: Colonial Defense.
 
This week was pretty quiet, but I did manage to find a few new indie releases that might be worth checking out. I can't say how good any of these games are personally, so make sure you check out some forum discussions and user reviews for more information. If you do find a game or two you like, then remember to tell your friends about them.
 
Deathsmiles
CAVE Interactive CO.,LTD
$19.99
 

 
CAVE has a long history of making quality bullet hell shooters, and now fans can finally buy their first Deathsmiles game on PC. Choose one of five angels (which appear as cute anime girls wearing gothic-inspired dresses, obviously) and fight the forces of Hell across six different challenging modes with branching paths. Two-player local co-op is also supported. If you like screwing around in RPG Maker then you may also want to check out the Deathsmiles asset pack.
 
Star Realms
White Wizard Games
Free-to-play
 

 
This digital adaptation of the excellent deck-building game Star Realms has been around on mobile for some time, and now you can grab a copy of it on Steam. It's one of the few deck-building games I know of where you are actively trying to defeat the other players by building up an armada of starships, as opposed to merely trying to gain the most victory points. The basic version of the game is free, with several DLC packs that add new cards, modes, AI difficulty settings, etc. You can grab the full version and all the expansions for $13, which is still cheaper than a physical copy of the basic set. You should totally look into a physical copy as well.
 
Gremlins, Inc
Charlie Oscar Lima Tango Interactive Entertainment
$14.99
 

 
On the subject of digital board games, Gremlins, Inc. just released from Early Access a few days ago. It's made by some of the developers behind Eador: Genesis, a pretty solid fantasy 4X that flew under many people's radars here in the West. In Gremlins, Inc., players take on the role of corrupt capitalist gremlins competing for money and power, and utilizing any means necessary to achieve it. You'll gather your wealth and power by bribery, extortion, theft, vote fraud, and directly attacking the finances and position of your rivals. Gremlins, Inc. supports up to six players online.
 
Shardlight
Wadjet Eye Games
$14.99
 

 
Wadjet Eye has gained a fairly devoted following for their very old-school approach to point 'n click adventures, and Shardlight is their latest title. You play as Amy Wellard, a young woman stricken with a life-threatening plague in a post-apocalyptic hellscape ruled by an uncaring oligarchy. She is reluctantly working for the greedy aristocrats in the hopes of receiving the medical attention she desperately needs. Amy intends on being cured, no matter what the cost may be. You can also find Shardlight on GOG.
 
Moon Hunters
Kitfox Games
$14.99
 

 
Moon Hunters was successfully Kickstarted some time back, and I've been pretty excited for its full release. Unfortunately, it has very mixed reviews thus far, but I still intend on trying it out at some point. This top-down action RPG is designed to be played many times, with the goal being to build a lasting mythology for your character through your actions and choices in the world. You'll uncover more of the game's lore each time you play, and with six classes you'll be able to keep things fresh. It's built with co-op in mind, but can be played alone just fine. It's only on PC so far, but a PS4 and Vita version are on the way.
 
The Next World
Illuminated Games
$12.99
 

 
The Next World is a visual novel with some strategy and resource management elements. You choose one of two protagonists onboard a colony ship that has crash landed on an inhospitable world. Try to save as many colonists as possible as you scavenge and ration your limited resources, construct buildings, and salvage what you can from the ship's wreckage, all while navigating a web of politics in the game's branching dialog system.
 
Planet Stronghold: Colonial Defense
Winter Wolves
$19.99
 

 
Winter Wolves has a long history making visual novels/dating sims with RPG elements, and Planet Stronghold: Colonial Defense is their latest title. This is a quasi-prequel to their previous sci-fi visual novel, Planet Stronghold, and tells the story of the early days of the titular colony. As with most games by Winter Wolves, the main focus of Colonial Defense is the story, character interactions, and romantic relationships, but there is combat in the form of a collectable card game. For those of you only interested in the story, you can choose to skip these battles, or crank up the difficulty if you're more interested in the strategy elements of the game.
 
Alekhine's Gun
Maximum Games
$39.99
 

 
Finally, we have Alekhine's Gun, a stealth action game set during the Cold War. You play as Alekhine, a Russian assassin embarking on covert operations across the US, Europe, and Cuba, from the early post-WWII days of the Cold War, up to the Cuban Missile Crisis. The 11 missions in the game are open-ended and allow you to complete each objective in any order you like, using any tactics you deem necessary. Connecting the missions is a ranking system that grants you access to new weapons and gadgets based on your performance. Alekhine's Gun is also out on PS4.
 
 
That's all for this round of indie game highlights. I'll be back next week with more interesting games that might not be on your radar yet.
 
 
Frank is an aspiring game designer that currently writes for Indie Game Source and Bell of Lost Souls. You can follow him on Twitter @Frank_Gaming for updates on future articles and reviews.
Renan Fontes
File Uploa:
The moment I first saw the Starbound trailer, I could tell I was watching what could possibly be one of the most enjoyable multiplayer games I've ever seen. The trailer was exciting, showing off all these ambitious ideas. Filled to the brim with content and the tools necessary to fully immerse a player, I immediately pre-ordered it, happily awaiting the full release that would soon come in the winter.
 
That was three years ago and, by the looks of it, Starbound is no closer to being released today as it was on December 4, 2013 when it was put up for sale on Steam as an Early Access title.
 

 
Three years is a pretty long time for a game to be in Early Access, there's no getting around that, but maybe the game is still fun. After all, Chucklefish, the publisher, was more than happy to assure customers that Starbound "was already pretty fun" and "already extremely playable," and, for what it's worth, those first few trial weeks weren't so bad. The game really was "pretty fun," but there simply wasn't enough content to sustain itself. Six hours was more than enough to tackle the majority of content in the early days of the Early Access.
 
Starbound on Early Access was never meant to be anything more than a small treat for those who pre-ordered the game, but as more time passes, the more time Starbound will have been a beta than a full game when the full game releases.
 
"This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development." - Steam's Early Access Game "Warning"
 
It's the "if" in Steam's Early Access prompt that worries me the most. What if Starbound never progresses any further? Chucklefish pretty regularly updates their website and keeps fans in the loop with what they're doing, but in these past three years it's never really felt like Starbound has gotten any closer to a full release, if anything, it's started to feel like a more complete Beta over time.
 

 
Another worrisome issue with Starbound is its pricing. Right now, for the Beta, it's $14.99 and Chucklefish states on the store page that "the price will likely change after Early Access." Typically, after Early Access, the price increases. Given how slowly the development team has been progressing, it feels very unlikely that Starbound will reach a point anytime soon where its content will justify its $15 price tag. It's very true that you can sink a large amount of time in the game, but that's only if you can find pleasure in the same menial tasks and basic exploring for dozens of hours.
 
The biggest problem with Starbound is the precedent it sets on Steam for indie developers; You can sell a blatantly incomplete game with almost none of the content shown in trailers so long as you promise that someday it'll be added in. The worst part of all that being there's no guarantee the developer will actually finish. There's nothing to force them to finish the game once sales start coming in. The only thing at risk is their public image, and what's that for a quick buck?
 
I would not go as far as saying I feel scammed by Starbound, I played it and I had a decent amount of fun with it, but I will say I absolutely do feel cheated. I was promised a full game and three years later it doesn't look like it'll be releasing any time soon, and at this point I'm not entirely sure I WANT the full game anymore. Time makes the heart grow fonder, but it also makes it grow yonder, and I definitely care less about Starbound now than I ever have.
 

Renan Fontes
File Uploa:
Exhausted from lengthy RPGs and heavily story driven games, I took off to Steam to find something cheap that I could play in small bursts to keep me entertained. Massive, immersive games are fun, but you can only take so much of them for so long before you start to severely burn yourself out. I needed something unfamiliar and simple, but engaging enough where it was able to keep my attention. And that's when I found it; My Name is Mayo, the story of a finger clicking on a jar of mayonnaise.
 
There is one objective throughout the entirety of the condiment journey: click the mayonnaise. The jar can be clicked by either right clicking the jar itself, pressing space, or cleverly doing both to tap faster. There are four stories that can be chosen from in the achievements section that progress as the jar is clicked more and more. To be honest, it's a rather boring experience. On a technical level, My Name is Mayo is a horrible joke, and I'm not really laughing anymore after the first few clicks, but for some bizarre reason, it kept me enthralled enough to get every single achievement, view every story, and click the jar 10,000 times.
 
 
I wouldn't call it a fun experience, it's menial, but the concept itself lends to some introspective thought. It's fairly priced at .99, so financial resentment never really builds, allowing for the game to really stand on its own. My Name is Mayo is an anti-game. It's not fun, it poses no challenge, and it makes a mockery of achievement hunters, but if it isn't engrossing as
hell.
 
I felt a true sense of accomplishment when I first hit 1,000 taps. I felt proud that I was able to sit down and click on a jar of mayonnaise that much. I had stopped paying attention to the story at this point, but that hadn't mattered anymore, the real story was happening within me; would I be able to conquer this behemoth?
 
I felt something I hadn't felt from a game in a lon