Neuronet Mendax Proxy

NeuroNet: Mendax Proxy – New VN Demo

“Dream Harvest,” the developers of NeuroNet: Mendaxy Proxy have provided a demo that gives a special preview of this futuristic fiction that showcases a highly visual and highly interactive story experience. The synopsis goes something like this. Wake up, you’re the newest programmed artificial intelligence developed by a very prominent corporation in the high-tech metropolitan Catena. Take it into your own hands in the bizarre POV of the AI, who is named Arc after a few calibrations in the prologue, or “beta” if you will. As you evolve, you’ll be given various responsibilities that will make you think and test ethical tropes that perhaps you aren’t as committed to as you think.

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Kraino Origins – Beat the First Boss & Enjoy This Great Game

Here we go with Kraino Origins. Add this to your Halloween Indie Game countdowns, because it’s got enough spook for the whole community. This game feels like it was made from the plucking of my own seasonal heart string, with its borderline creep-fest color scheme and environment. Slash your way through constant monsters, zombies, and ghouls in this 2D platformer that spans 8 bosses–now out on Steam!

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Overboard! – Genre-Twisting Interactive YouDunnit (Review)

With eye-catching flat graphics and exciting period stylized environments, no one could say the game Overboard! doesn’t have class. (Also known as Overboard! Get Away With Murder.) Literary elements and composition create an intellectual environment on the fictional steamship SS Hook, where your task is to resolve speculation on a murder. It’s not just an ordinary mystery though. From the very get-go, it’s made apparent that you, the apathetic yet charismatic, Veronica Villensey, are the killer–of her own husband! It is up to you to decide what your motive is, or if you even care! For context, however, it is hinted that the financial ruin of the late Mr. Villensey is most of the motive.

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New Indie Games – May 2022 Recap of Posts

Ah, so many new ways of doing things here at Mr. Dave Games. I think probably the most notable change has been the expansion of my YouTube operations. I’ve covered a whole 18 new indie games this month, including one switch game (Vesper.) If you think this is a lot, wait until next month, when things are going to get very serious. I’ve also uploaded three new tutorials to my channel, which are doing great. Woo hoo! Okay, yes, YouTubing showcases has allowed me to cover more content, but this blog is just as important and as I pursue new projects, this one is just as important for me. So, as a kind of hybrid concept post, let’s go over what was played in May 2022.

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Hayai – The Ronin Score Attack Game (IGC Showcase)

Haiyai is a pretty cool game. I played another game like it recently called Pizza Tactics, but only in the sense that the main mechanic is drawing a path with my mouse. Really though, Haiyai is a full-feature game aimed at casual play. Control one of 5 Ronin, and clear hordes of enemies swarming from the sides of the map by dragging a line between the individual enemies in one long swipe. It could double as a mobile game, but I really enjoyed playing it on my computer. Huge cool feature here though,you can actually play this with a drawing tablet if you like! That is a new one for me. I am guilty of saying that I will replay a lot of games that I never do but this one is so easy that I could just open it up and play whenever.

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Firegirl: Hack ‘n Splash Rescue – With Updates (IGC Showcase)

So, first off, a correction to my YouTube video here, Firegirl: Hack ‘n Splash Rescue actually released in December. With the permission of the publisher, we’ve been allowed to take another look at this game. According to reviews and members in the Indie Game Collective, patches to this game earlier in 2022 have made the game substantially more playable. I never tried that original version, but concur that the current state of the game is as seamless and responsive as it could be.

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Haiku the Robot – First Impressions (IGC Showcase)

Yep, Haiku the Robot is about robots, although you’re more likely to catch on fire before most of its poetics! It’s a dystopic pixel platformer with a variety of routes to navigate through. The tunnels are left from the aftermath of an apocalyptic turn. It does have somewhat of a narrative for the first minute. Mostly, you’ll be in the heat of battle. You are thrown into the general theme of trying to find your way around immediately. Thankfully, maps are available.

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Vesper: Zero Light Edition – Nintendo Switch (IGC Showcase)

Vesper: Zero Light Edition is out on Nintendo Switch and PC today! Players can find this new version, plus the big debut Switch release, on eShop and Steam. It’s an innovative platformer with arcane space vibes and shimmering, colorful environments. It also includes a compelling and innovative storyline told through holographic recordings and plentiful checkpoint diversions. I played the first twenty minutes on my Switch for you. I have to say it’s one of the more stylistically compelling platformers I have played a release version of.

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Rotund Zero (IGC Showcase)

Back with another Indie Game Collective showcase for Rotund Zero. It’s a precision platformer with a Game Boy monochrome style that uses directional keys only to solve puzzle levels made of bouncing blocks. It’s only $1.99 on Steam at the moment and encourages problem-solving in timed runs. You have 5 minutes to complete as many levels as possible, and there are 26 levels, 1 for every letter of the alphabet! You’ll be on your toes to speedrun all of those levels, but the pressure is mild. Watch the YouTube video at the top of this article to see me run, a genuine but beginner, 5-minute run. I’ve been trying to cover more Game Boy-style retro games, so thank you to the developer and publisher Dahku for providing the key!

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Galacticon – Retro Arcade Shmup (Preview)

Today, I’m taking a look at the soon-to-be-released, arcade-style title Galacticon from developer Radin Games. It’s similar in style to 1980s arcade games like Defender, Joust, and Jetpac. You might be familiar with some of these from the book Ready Player One; and maybe the film, but I can’t remember, although I know Joust featured prominently in the book. I sat down with the space-themed preview they provided and honestly got really into it. Initially, I wondered how much there’d be to say, but the game has many objectives. There’s also an online leaderboard to compete with, so it is full of incentives to play. I’ll give you a rundown of some features as well. And as usual, I’ve included my gameplay, as usual, with the YouTube video at the top. Let’s get started.

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Jaded – Time Warp Platformer (Demo Review)

I love these platformer games that emerge from the woodwork every single day. Today, that game is Jaded by Shellsnore games, up on Steam. It’s a standard platformer with directional keys, jump, attack, and a special mechanic which is a time warp. Although the time warp mechanic is more of a cacoon slingshot kinda thing, it works pretty well. I was able to bind my controller to the basic keys with no problem. Let me share a tad more here for you.

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Peglin Demo Review

Peglin – RPG Pinball (Demo Review)

Peglin is a great game where you complete levels by dropping a ball into a destructible pattern of mechanic activating orbs. You can activate critical strike boosts, or replenish the board. And, before I gloss over too quickly, the purpose of this strategy is to rack up points which can then be used to attack mob health points, in effect winning the level and moving on. I was lucky enough to find the demo on Steam, although the main game has been covered elsewhere. Anyway, I’ll give you a brief rundown of Peglin.

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BIOTA

BIOTA – Mutant Shmup (Demo Review)

I’m going to try something new here. I have been known to review demos in the past, but they get kind of buried under other projects. I really want to dedicate time to as many as I’d like to. All things relevant, I made a post on Twitter about needing to play for Game Boy style indies. I got a great tip from cshPinecone of Indie Game Collective about the game BIOTA from “small bros.” It’s a shmup–aka shoot ’em up.

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Labyrinth City: Pierre the Maze Detective (IGC)

It’s been some time since a game like this has been featured on MrDavePizza, but Labyrinth City: Pierre the Maze Detective absolutely belongs. As a game that originated in a book series, the game takes many cues from the visual classics of growing up. Incidentally, I was a big fan of books like Where’s Waldo? and Eye Spy, which are similar in scope and content as Pierre the Maze Detective–perhaps you remember too. So, let’s get into this, what is Labyrinth City? It’s a top-down puzzle game with hand-drawn characters in a visual feast of eccentric characters and scenes, through which you must navigate through a maze of people to track down the devious “Mr. X.” I spent some time playing it so you can know what to expect from this delightful indie with a charming and surprising origin to a perfectly playable game form. Okay, let’s have a look.

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Ducksoup Dungeon Review

Ducksoup Dungeon – Animal Hero Game Boy Rogue-Lite (Free Game Review)

Let’s jump right into Ducksoup Dungeon. It’s a free web browser playable rogue-lite on Itch.io by developer Richard Lems, also known as Blastmode Games. You might have heard of Lems’ work on the game Mighty Goose. In the game I’m discussing here, Ducksoup Dungeon, you choose one of four heroes. It is playable in a web browser or can be downloaded. Starting with “Slashchicken,” the first hero is a chicken. With amazing firepower at your side, you’ll blast your way through and collect coins. Each play’s collection can be used to unlock the other three heroes. Every level features hidden procedurally generated areas, meaning it can be a different layout every time you play. The levels, of which there seems to be an infinite number, are filled with containers destructible for coins, reached by eliminating various mobs.

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Dogurai

Dogurai – Game Boy Dog Samurai (Demo Review)

Dogurai by HungryBear is a Game Boy-style indie Metroidvania. I know about it through, a couple of co-creators from Indie Game Collective. Thank you, Jaunty Adventures and Pursuing Pixels. Their taste is superb, as this turned out to be an exciting game. I’ve covered very few Game Boy titles here, aside from Lasagna Boy and… actually, that might be it. It’s a great genre if you want to get into indies. In summary, the designs are aligned with the palette and rendering of old-school Game Boy games. This one in particular is a nice platformer/Metroidvania that takes you through some moderately challenging levels. There are ruffian henchmen, shielded hulks, and old-school SMB 3-style bosses. In my video, I had to jump around like more of a ninja to obliterate the first boss.

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Bumballon

Bumballon – Cartoonish Platformer (Review)

I’ve got a great video up for Bum Ballon on my YouTube channel because I found this game on a Steam sale for 89 cents! With some investigation, I narrowed down some impulse options for pixel art platformers in the likes of some recent faves like Grapple Dog (which hopefully I’ll get to) and PomPom. It’s a game with unique characters and a traditional SNES-type side scroller plot–a game that personally puts me into an optimized chill mode. Basically, hop in a cannon, and, after blast-off, interact as you’re taken for a ride through a colorful world with unique obstacles and moderate challenges.

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Tadpole Tales

Tadpole Tales – Earth Day (Free Game Review)

Plot your way as a tadpole through a polluted river. When you heal corrupted wildlife with a splash of water, they move back underwater so you can navigate your way through. Some creatures are bigger than others and more challenging. Tadpole Tales is quite challenging in general though. These are occasionally known as shmup games. The developers, who are a small team under the Pinnacle Games brand publishing, have dubbed the game a “Clean-em Up.” Don’t you love that?

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Blastronaut (ItchIO Free Game #short)

Well, this is an interesting one. I’ve appeared live-action on cam with a mic and actually talk. This is my first time doing so. I used an antique candlestick phone as a microphone stand, and it worked brilliantly. Anyway! So, this game is a mining platformer, pixel art with the likes of games like Terraria or Spelunky. You use a jetpack and hose to douse the caverns of the planet so you can collect mining materials. It took me a few minutes to realize what I was supposed to do, but once I did, the gameplay was quite good. There are no instructions on the ItchIO page, so I recommend paying attention to the indicators in the upper right and upper left of the game screen to determine what you need to collect and trade in for more fuel and equipment. Didn’t have a ton of luck playing it in the browser with my Xbox controller, but it responded right away to my mouse and keyboard. Overall though, it loaded instantly and was tons of fun.

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hivemind 2 stargrove scramble

Hivemind 2: Stargrove Scramble (Free)

Hivemind 2: Stargrove Scramble is a 2D pixel art platformer part of a 2021 Newgrounds dev jam with an “egg” theme by the dev group Team Bugulon. You play a little cloaked lizard, progressing through various spring-sunset-toned environments, collecting candies that in turn give you eggs that you can use to hurl at enemies and unblock paths. The music is a touch above fun, along with the sound effects, making the game have a polished SNES quality that is so adored in these kind of games. Stargrove Scramble is a generous product as far as free games on ItchIO go in my opinion. It holds a really nice balance of ease to play with rewarding character abilities. I also couldn’t help but notice the subtle hark back to Mario 2’s “Birdo” egg sound effects, which is a nostalgic touch. The controller support is a nice plus that I always look for too. I recommend checking it out if you play ItchIO games and want a pleasant free one that seems to be a cohesive one. You can also play Stargrove Scramble in your browser if you like!

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moonstruck steam

Moonstuck (Steam Free Game #short)

This is one of the games that I hesitated to add because I am not any good at playing it yet. Then again, that is basically the reason I decided to create this side blog because I can share the actual game info quicker than I pick up the learning curve. Anyway, Moonstuck is a 2D platformer from CozyGames and Black County Games available on Steam just released today. It utilizes a very difficult mechanic involving rocket propulsion and a scenario where touching the majority portions of the platform can result in being kicked back to the start, or checkpoint if you proceed far enough. The aesthetics of the game, especially the environment, music, and character are really pleasant. It offers a cozy place to zone out and cuts no corners in creativity. Some comments on Steam described it as a “calm rage game,” which I think is a perfect description. As usual, the game is totally free and even offers controller support, so it is worth checking out!

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octarina

Octarina (Steam Free Game #short)

e of the octopus!) Using your squiggly limbs and momentum, propel yourself around the interior of the factory with the intention of escaping. You can use suction cups to climb structures and hurl objects at switches to reverse conveyor belts and such. There are three modes: speed mode, story mode, and “the floor is lava.” Despite the dire situation, the game is pretty pleasant and amusing. The graphics and art style are spot on, making use of mid-range graphics cards, which I confirmed on my desktop build. It’s best played with a controller in my opinion. The story is short and sweet, but this is a free game that rewards you for wanting straight-to-the-point gameplay to appreciate its concept. The game is from an academic dev at FH Salzburg University of Applied Sciences, which has some other projects out too.

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BRIMO by Mama Makes Games (Browser)

ho makes some really fun games. It’s another free one, and I am not totally sure how I found it (don’t worry I found the link,) but it’s a good one to share here. The game runs on any web browser, and it’s about a plant named Audrey who waters plants in a desert with a tongue-in-cheek drink called “BRIMO.” Use arrow keys and your space bar to feed plants and refuel on BRIMO. The game is a nod to a couple of cult classic movies, which you could probably guess the names of. Nothing too complicated here, just a fun game for a Dev Jam with a playful mechanic, some silly sound effects, and some other fun stuff. Watch out for UFOs and lawnmowers, and be careful of those plants getting enough BRIMO.

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with you game

With You (Steam Free Game #short)

With You is from Carol Mertz and Insatiable Cycle, the same publisher of “We should talk.” It’s a simple co-op puzzle platformer that can be played with a keyboard. It can also be played as one player using the respective sides of their keyboard to control the two main characters. Solve puzzles by figuring out geometric obstacles, flipping around your square and half circle buddies so that they can fit into the floating sections on the two-dimensional plane behind them, unlocking the next levels. The game features a cute style, with a pleasant soundtrack, and is described on the Steam page as a game “that hopes to inspire couples to connect, communicate, and collaborate.” I think it succeeds, and that’s why it is my free game this today, which has also got me back on the hunt for more free Steam games!

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bunny bye-bye

Bunny Bye-bye (ItchIO Free Game #short)

This is a 2D pixel-art platformer about a little alien named “bobe” who needs to clean dust-bunnies around a space station using a vacuum called a clean0tron. Solve path puzzles to navigate your way through the cozy mechanical environment and progress through the game. The vacuum has space for one item at a time, so you’ll have to figure out what order to vacuum and relocate blocks so that you can complete each level. The puzzles are challenging enough to keep things interesting, but you’ll most likely find the gameplay light and pleasant.

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Super Star Duck

Super Star Duck: Escape From Nefarious Castle (ItchIO Free Game Short)

There’s a really neat ItchIO developer called “eggnog.” They’re publishing all sorts of harmless, fun games apparently. In Super Star Duck: Escape From Nefarious Castle, you’ve got the option to play as Esdee, Flan, or Bean, a duck, hippo, and dog (respectively.) It works best with keyboard input in my experience, but a mapped controller would work too (technically the game supports controllers too so you can try it but that’s just my opinion.) You’ll notice on the ItchIO page by eggnog that there is a whole backstory to Super Star Duck, and the gameplay, although a platformer, has a casual storyline as well. Also, just look at these pastels here on the cusp of spring. I think it looks amazing!

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gummy shooter

Gummy Shooter (Android Free Game #short)

Mostly created for its novelty probably, Gummy Shooter is an amusing side-scrolling thumb blaster. To be honest, I’ve never tried anything like it before, but I was moved to try the Android category of ItchIO as I was out and it was really quite easy. Everything here is a purple orange anime’ish pixel sci-fi. There’s really not much to it. The controls are a little confusing but just keep experimenting and you will get it. Want to check it out? It is, as everything here, free.

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Eats Shoots Leaves itchio

Eats Shoots and Leaves (Free)

Here’s an amusing little platformer over on ItchIO called Eats Shoots and Leaves. The name is a parody of the famous writing device expressing the difference punctuation and grammar makes in the comparison of the words “Eats Chutes and Leaves” and “Eats, Shoots, and Leaves.” The game is about a panda, so this is most certainly true. In the game, you play a mama panda who needs to rescue her cubs from bad guy poachers wandering around the jungle. Collect leaves, climb vines, open cages. You can also, appropriately, shoot little missiles at enemy poachers. This game is simple but really well made and I really loved playing it. It also offers full controller support.

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Space Adventure by e9k9

Space Adventure by e9k9 (ItchIO)

Just a fun little platformer today. Found this on ItchIO. You play as a small alien crashlanded somewhere, a moon perhaps, wandering around collecting green dots. Works great on a controller, and the music is pleasant. The original language of this game is German, so if you don’t speak German you might not totally understand what’s going on. Everything is pretty intuitive though, including the universal basics of all platformers (left, right, up, down, jump, etc.) Released within the last month.

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Daydream ItchIO

Daydream (ItchIO Jam Free Game #short)

Daydream is a simple keyboard controller platformer made for an ItchIO Dev jam. The protagonist is a woman on a bus daydreaming out the window, as you control one of three recurring daydreams, jumping over obstacles and creatures and avoiding water. It varies from creative to bizarre. Nothing too serious here, just a free game, standing in front of a blog, wondering what to play. There were a few runners-up today, but this was released 12 hours ago, so for the sake of authenticity, this is today’s latest free game. I might have to start dipping into the archives next time. Enjoy the ambient pixel art gameplay.

Find the game here: https://kowzak.itch.io/daydream

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exoblast

Exoblast  (Steam Free Game #short)

Exoblast is basically a very extreme version of pong. Made by the French developer DreamIRL Games, it hit Steam last month and is free as of version 1.0. You control a machine slider in charge of one side of the screen playing against either an AI or another player (there seems to be functionality for online mode too.) The original style of this type of game is expanded upon with the ability to shoot plasma at the other side of the screen, distracting or even disabling the enemy player. It’s loaded with all sorts of cyberpunk aesthetics and is quite fun actually. It is also capable of full controller support.

Find it here: https://store.steampowered.com/app/725100/Exoblast/

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Hip Witch Steam (Free Game #short)

Hip Witch is a free adventure game released on Steam this week by developer Studio Hip Sword. The environment is handmade, and the storyline involves a lost young witch boarding in a state park, where she begins a quest to investigate odd happenings on the park’s grounds. It is playable with a controller or keyboard and is short but charming and cozy met with positive reviews.

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Caves Ablaze (ItchIO Free Game #short)

Caves Ablaze is a 2D Metroidvania Platformer. Play as a ball of fire that completes puzzles deep underground by using flames and dashing abilities to unlock paths. Avoid water and slowly make your way to the surface. Playable with an X-Box Input Controller or keyboard. This was the inaugural free games post for the FGV blog. Not a lot documented here, but a perfectly enjoyable game.

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Village Monsters – An Outsider Town Sim (Review)

Village Monsters is a solo dev project from Josh Bosser. It’s a pixel art town sim that departs from conventional titles with an alternative community of friendly monsters. The game plays on similar genre themes as Stardew Valley but the content goes into the outsider/quirk genre of games with its monster acceptance communicated in each character’s unconventional friendliness. It departs from too much comparison by offering a vast amount of exclusive unique story concepts in each characters’ backstory and dialogue. Players can also enjoy activities like treasure hunting, fishing, exploring, working, and contributing to the town itself. Village Monsters is pleasantly surprising and the subject of this indie game collective showcase/review post. So, let’s see what’s inside!

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Pompom: The Great Space Rescue (Review)

The recently released pixel platformer Pompom: The Great Space Rescue ran across my desk as a showcase opportunity through my friends at Indie Game Collective. It’s a precision platformer, sort of, with a feature I’ve never seen before this involving time slowing AND improvised platform placement. You can play with a controller, or you can play it with a mouse (or hamster actually, since that is Pompom’s main character you play as.) The game balances innovative gameplay, a moderate learning curve, and generous leniency to keep your gameplay flowing. I’m thoroughly enjoying it, at the level of some other top precision platformers like Celeste. From the pleasant pixel art to the rewarding gameplay, this game earns every slice in the Mr. Dave Pizza pie. So, let me do my duty and share with you some information about this excellent game. Also, I made a cam appearance for the first time on this game’s video–with my favorite hat! Not sure why, just felt like doing it.

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Pupperazzi Title Screen

Pupperazzi – Funny Doggo Game (Review)

Dogs dashing, catching, posing, and dogs riding scooters to surfboards throughout the whole game. Pupperazzi is a comedy game with a pretty clean content concept. In all honesty, I initially wasn’t too interested in the game, until I saw it was on Xbox Gamepass where I tried it for free. To my surprise, I found this game very funny, and it had enough achievement-based gameplay that it was actually quite fun. I know games like this aren’t for everybody, but I thought it was a good romp that didn’t require too much brainpower. So, here we go with my complete thoughts on Pupperazzi.

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Moonglow Bay – A Wholesome Catch (Review)

I’m a big fan of fishing in games, but even more so a good story involving it. Moonglow Bay has done it. It’s a story about a retired fisher getting back out there. It is also about settling a community’s superstitions and getting back to the foundation of their livelihood. The story takes place in a traditional Eastern Canadian seaboard fishing village in the 80s. It is otherwise perfectly afloat in its conventional timeless qualities. I related to this game on a personal level, but it floats my boat on multiple. Let’s see.

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Donut County – Make Stuff Fall In Holes

Forgive, me, because we’re about to “dive into” some game material from the past. All the way back to the year 2018. Which isn’t really that long ago, making the sentiment of that sentence nearly arbitrary actually. Donut County is on its fourth year after release, and I’ve been meaning to play it for about half of that time. Why did I wait so long? I have no idea, but anything that was offsetting about it has vanished from any of my pre-conceptions. Donut County is a hilarious, strategy-based game from Annapurna Interactive, a publisher of some really good indie games.

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Eternia Menu

Eternia: Pet Whisperer – Not a Normal Pet Game

There’s a short, charming story in Eternia: Pet Whisperer. Even if you’re a cockatoo/border-collie lover like me, or whether you lean more toward the exotic koala/frill-necked lizard, or rat brothers. These animals have a slight backstory, and cute appearance, plus a natural subtle wit. It’s got that solo dev quirk that I love best of all, where the plot derails to form a full loopable plot-line but keep things manageable; that’s a plus, folks. And I’m not going to spoil it for you, because you deserve that, but also because I think it’s one of the charms of the game.

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Stardew Valley Menu

Stardew Valley – Impossible Not To Love

The game is Stardew Valley. To the inaugural conception of this blog, I have overlooked one game without process to a fault. This is partially due to highly unnecessary and totally imagined intimidation. I’ve always possessed a de facto reverence for this game too, as it is lauded by nearly everyone who has played it. In the last few days before this article, something started happening that made its brilliance totally obvious to me, and I’m rushing to get it all down here. One, I set aside some appropriate sit-down time to try the game and figure out what it’s about. Two, all roads seem to lead to Stardew Valley, and it is this which has unlocked my opinion.

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Inked – A Tale of Love: With Touchscreen!

Well, here I am, back to keep things fresh here in the pizzeria arcade (this is a lie.) I have the privilege of receiving a review copy for what was originally a PC game, now out on Switch, Xbox, and Playstation. Today I tested out the Switch version on the handheld mode and made my way through the first couple of chapters to see how well the transition has been (plus promote it to new players!) I’ve seen sketch-style game graphics before, but I was curious to see what this was all about. The developer reached out to my friends at Indie Game Collective, and many of us got to try this ourselves to our utmost delight. So, in the honor of storytelling, as is this beautiful mind-sharpening narrative, I’ll be taking a look at the new puzzle game Inked: A Tale of Love.

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Mago – The Villain’s Burger: This Adventure is Magic

Mago: The Villain’s Burger is an adventure set in a world populated by fresh NES sprites and joyful playful storytelling. It is your responsibility as Mago (which is a perfect name for a sorcerer) to rescue the princess and do heroic things. It’s filled with so many fun easy-to-learn but masterable abilities and unique mechanics that you just don’t find in every game. The best way to understand it is most likely visually, but today I’ll be talking about why Mago is a promising look at how its developers are creating something that is, possibly, capable of going big if they wish.

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Fayburrow title

Fayburrow – Cozy 3D Mystery Visual Novel (Student Game)

Today, I plunged headfirst into the free games pile new releases over on Steam store. On my arrival, I discovered a cozy little visual novel among the listings called Fayburrow, and I decided to take a look at it. Fayburrow is a free game created by the self-named “Fayburrow Troupe” at VIA University College in Denmark. It just hit the Steam store today. What was first intrigue, turned into a fascination with the conjunction of such delightful graphics with a genre I have not covered in far too long! So, after downloading, I fired it up and took it for a spin at the courtesy of the game’s student makers and you dear reader. Let’s take a look at Fayburrow.

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Dadish 2 – The Rad Game About a Radish Dad (Review)

I’m spending time playing a lot of food games lately. While cooking sims are the most obvious manifestation of this, platformers like Dadish 2 are right on board too. Dadish 2 is a continuation of the original Dadish game and both are available on most platforms. You, Dadish, awake from a nap at work one day when your several radish children come to visit you for “bring your kids to work day.” They convince you to leave the chainsaw and cannon-filled office building and set off into this weird world. Dadish 2 has a narrative that is humorously inconsistent but is very entertaining and quirky.

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Make The Burger – Casual Dining for Hungry Pixel People (Review)

Welcome to my post about Make the Burger. This game’s release date on Nintendo Switch occurred this week, although it has a presence on Steam and ItchIO as well. This is a casual food truck sim with catchy and fun pixel environments and a line-up of hungry and paying illustrated customers. Your entire success is dependent on your ability to remember ingredient symbols and who ordered them. Take orders from customers to cook the burgers they want as accurately and quickly as possible. Upgrade your establishment each day by using funds to purchase new ingredients, furniture, and various tools of the trade. Each session starts at the beginning and it’s up to you to play as casually or seriously as you’d like.

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owlboy pixel art metroidvania switch review gameplay

Owlboy – A Fine Indie Owlish Adventure

Sometime about 100,000 years ago Owls became all the rage. I joke, since owl knickknacks and stories have surged in popularity over the past couple of decades. But they’ve long symbolized intelligence, wisdom, and ability. Which is good, because those are common themes in Owlboy. I tested this game on Nintendo Switch, but it is a cross-platform Metroidvania, an acceptable umbrella term for a whole ton of games out there.

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Logo

Pizza Express – Retro Pizzeria Game That Fed My Hunger

My hunger for low-res grounded pixel games lately opened me up to a stellar sale on a game called Pizza Express. Pizza Express is an indie pixel-graphic pizzeria simulator about a fast-paced solo restaurant run by animal friends Gastone the cat and Lucky the rabbit–and also you. The game is fairly simple but incorporates playful dialogue and gameplay that is quirky in the best indie-adhering ways. It is very similar to the game Good Pizza, Great Pizza, but is older and definitely a bit more grassroots. I enjoyed it very much, so I’ve decided to bring this review of it together for your reference. Please enjoy.

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Necrow Co. – Gameboy Soul-Reaping Crow

If this headline doesn’t raise an eyebrow, then stick with two, because this article is tapping into some unexplored territory with the game Necrow Co. by creator Zahran Worell. The game Necrow Co. is a 2D pixel platformer, playable with either a controller or keyboard. It’s a light narrative about a crow who starts work for a company of reapers, featuring a cozy skeleton psychopomp grim dispatching you to a national park filled with spookies, squishies, and don’t-touchies (terms coined on our end.) Abilities are basic: move left and right, jump, and shoot a sort-of crow song wave that disables mobs. Necrow Co. is a charming adventure, and despite the grim theme, fairly soft on the player. Let’s take a look.

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What Lies in the Multiverse Demo – Click RT To Change Universes (Showcase)

We’ve got a big event going on right now for THE BIG ADVENTURE. Many demos, many great indies. I set my eyes on What Lies in the Multiverse first. It’s a collaboration between Studio Voyager, IguanaBee, and Untold Tales. Everything you’ll see in this game has a silvery thread of classic games like Fez, Owlboy, etc. But it’s a little more than technicolor flashing pixel animations, it’s dealing with a really awesome powerful mechanic. Changing universes. That’s right, when you click RT you change universes in this game, and, honestly, it’s unique, it’s a seldom-used trope, but a particularly amusing one, because when you play a game like this, you can drop out real quick and drop back in as if you were putting on a new hat.

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Soul Delivery Banner

Soul Delivery – Hot Neon SanFran Robot Cyberpunk: ItchIO Demo

Alright, folks, I am compelled to write about this. Last night I posted a video of a game on itch.io called Soul Delivery. Yes, it is true, the graphics in this game are so stunning, it’s enough to short circuit. Though, until now, I’ve never even heard of it. I don’t know who the dev is, and I don’t know anything more than what’s covered on the itch.io page. But, since there’s a demand on this, let’s just take a look at it right now, and I’ll polish this up later once I’ve had a little more time with it.

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Celeste – One of the Best Platformers Ever

Celeste. Yes, it’s about time we did this. The renowned precision platformer from Extremely OK Games has been out for approximately three years now (Celeste was released Jan. 25, 2018, hence the three-year anniversary,) and it’s not lost its charm. And why would it? The game sold over a million copies by the end of 2019. Whether you’re hanging out in your game room or playing on your Switch en destination, this is the kind of pick-up and go game dreams are made of. You’ll have to pardon me as I haphazardly introduce a game that’s been out for three years! I’m compelled to share my heart with you on this one though. So, let’s do it. Let’s talk, Celeste. I’ll cover “Farewell” a little bit as well.

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Unpacking – Cute Cozy Organization Game

Unpacking is an isometric puzzle game by Witch Beam, an Australian developer, published by our very own sponsor Humble Bundle. You are a third-person clicker, looking down into an empty room with a stack of boxes sitting in the middle of the floor. There’s no direction or impetus, but as you open the box, intuition sets in, and you start to place objects from here and there. Before you know it, you’re an artisanal thing mover. You may take solace in a simulation of this if you’re particularly neat, or simply like no-pressure puzzles. The game starts off in the year 1997, then soon 2004. Certainly, there are enough years on the timeline to keep you busy! But no rush, nor absence of themes. When you play Unpacking, you’ll have plenty of time to put things as you like.

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Down In Bermuda – Cozy Puzzle Game (Review)

Yak & Co released Down in Bermuda catering to the growing indie cozy fanbase Q3 of 2019. Yes, this game is over two years old, but with the occasional mega discounts, from time to time and continuing interest it’s cognizant to explore. It’s still relevant, fun, and cozy–indeed. The level of a-ha moments in this puzzle platformer is suited to YouTube, Twitch, or wherever you want to turn a gathering into a chill hangout. And even as much on your own, whether it’s the hunt of unlocking a puzzle on intuition alone that interests you or the pastel color stylizing, it’s certified enjoyable. With cool color theory islands and cool low-poly characters, this game offers contemporary and relevant gameplay for the new wholesome/cozy gamer base, which fits in right at home here at MrDavePizza.com.

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Greak: Memories of Azur Review

Amongst the trove of pale-skinned characters, glowing misty caverns, and punchy character abilities, this one might be new to you. Greak: Memories of Azur is similar to platformers like Hollow Knight and Undertale, perhaps even Ori or maybe Hoa, sure. Don’t worry if you haven’t heard of any of those! What Greak offers is a borderline cozy adventure with very unique, engaging gameplay that is an experience of its own.

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Good Pizza, Great Pizza – Wholesome Pizzeria Simulator – Review

In Fall 2020 when I was just launching the Mr. Dave Pizza concept, I played Good Pizza, Great Pizza by Tapblaze on an Android tablet, one of the many formats this game is available on. Today I played the official version released for Nintendo Switch to go back and really see what amused me about this game. Pizza, the food, has always been pretty popular, but in the last five years, it’s developed a near cult status. It’s kind of weird honestly, but it’s spun some pretty creative and entertaining ideas. So, after so much traffic from google here by indie-game playing pizza lovers and truffle pizza fast food cravers, I am issuing an inaugural validation of Good Pizza, Great Pizza as one of the greatest pizza-themed indie games of all time. At least that I’ve played–I’ll get to you Freddy.

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The Gunk Title Screen

The Gunk – Follow the Pipe, Collect Alien Junk (Review)

Discovered through Game Pass, I’m rather fond of this new title, The Gunk, from Image and Form/Thunderful Development, just launched a few days ago. It fits neatly into the category of games I usually enjoy which are casual character development, soft sci-fi, and familiar mechanics of resource collecting games. And this version of those styles is well presented here. While the game is really very straightforward without much need for introduction, a quality I appreciate, I’ll share some highlights on my experience playing through the first few areas plus what you should know about this game.

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Figment 2 Valley Logo

Figment 2: Creed Valley – Early Switch Demo Review

It seems that Figment 2: Creed Valley, is a new game headed to Nintendo Switch in February of 2022. I’ve been all about checking out these Switch demos right away, and when I saw this listed today I downloaded it immediately. I wasn’t quite sure what I was dealing with here, as it seemed somewhat derivative but also cozily familiar, the reason of which I discovered later. This game is really pleasant-looking though. It reminds me of moments from games like Bastion but also games like Weaving Tides. It’s pretty cute really, with enough prickly wholesome creepiness to stay interested. Yeah, actually it feels really good. So, let’s take a look.

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Loading Story Logo Review

Loading Story – A Free Indie Game Based on, I Guess, a Loading Screen (Review)

I’m not sure why it took so long to realize everybody wants to play free games or recommend free games or know that they exist. I made a whole new section of the site for it though, and I plan on filling it with good recommendations. Today’s game, Loading Story, by potatodog, is an odd one. It’s a very short game about a character troubleshooting a game loading error in an imaginary video game town, where the loading tube passes through. Just wander around and solve the mystery. It’s good that it’s free because it only takes about 20-30 minutes to play, which is fine. I’ll tell you enough about it but won’t go too crazy on detailing this one, since you really should just play it.

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Shindig: A Game to Make You Feel Happy and Safe

This is a game that had come across my desk yesterday, which I had accidentally overlooked because of my new format, but I was really interested in it. Shindig is an interactive fiction in the style of something like a kids’ exploration picturebook with some tried and true interactive gameplay. As you might know, it’s always been my goal to seek out wholesome indie games because I’m a bit jumpier than a jackrabbit at times. I tend to like games that can be played by anyone. In Shindig I explored this friendly animated world on a quest to help a friendly warthog find treasures to put together a party, or a Shindig rather. It’s cute and thoughtful. Learn more here if you wish.

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Cave Story’s Secret Santa: A Free Christmas Game

Are you looking for a game that lives up to Christmas the way Spooky Station and Pumpkin Jack live up to Halloween? This game was like an actual gift under an actual tree when I saw it free on Steam. I don’t know a darn thing about Cave Story or its balrog, but here’s the deal. In Cave Story’s Secret Santa You are a pixel art Santa, the presents have been stolen, drop-in through chimney’s in a diverse world to replace the presents. There’s a catch though, booby traps and sentries line children’s houses, which you must stealthily avoid or risk restarting. It’s a pretty low key game and is bound to be one of the best Christmas-themed games I’ve played.

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The Last Friend Menu

The Last Friend: Switch Demo Review

In between monitoring my every action, eShop suggested I check out what demos were out. I had really been looking for them though! So, this game The Last Friend showed up as a demo out. The art looked cool and didn’t seem too derivative of anything course. So, I downloaded it and loaded it up. The Last Friend is a brawler kind of game with some turret defense mechanics. Most importantly, however, is all your sidekicks are dogs! WHAT. I think this is actually going to be a pretty cool game because of the variety of levels, learning curves, gentle humor, and wonderful dog companion fun. So, let’s do this.

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The Light Bringer Demo Screen

The Lightbringer: Nintendo Switch Demo Review

This is kind of random. No, really, it is. Might as well roll for initiative. Anyway, I’ve been spending a ton of time on the Switch lately, since I was traveling with the handheld recently and got kind of used to it. However, I recorded it while playing on my TV, so I don’t know. Anyway, was looking back through some of my YouTube videos and realized a lot of you like demos for some reason. So, this one was on the eShop and I gave it a spin. Here we go again with this kinda cute boomerang whirling puzzle solver: The Lightbringer.

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Date NIght Bowling Menu

Date Night Bowling: Dating Sim Review

For the record, I am a big fan of Way Down Deep and their dating sim releases over the last year like the socially distanced romance sim Romantic Distancing and the popular release Half Past Fate. I’ve been eyeing Date Night Bowling since I first saw it in an upcoming games roster. So when the opportunity to play it on Switch arose, I snagged it and slipped on some bowling shoes. Eww, digital ones! I jest. Anyway, what we’ve got here is a combination of a very pleasant to look at video game with plenty of replay value and a pretty darn decent bowling simulator for the Switch. It’s about $8 right now on sale. I decided to play through a date and flip through the options, I’ll tell you what I observed here. Overall, to begin with, it’s a good game.

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alchemic cutie

Alchemic Cutie – IGC Showcase

hemic Cutie is, once again, a game running across my desk from Indie Game Collective. I really have no particular context for describing it, although it fits into a few neat descriptors as a bright, colorful, cute, RPG. In all fairness, it is a monster collection game, à la Pokemon-style games. My “stinky alchemy on purpose” subtitle has to do with the game objective of collecting “smelly beans” as a primary task of the game. Being fairly wholesome, the game clocks in fine as a family-friendly indie game, and gains points for me in quality production that is apparent from the beginning. This showcase is made possible by IGC and the Alchemic Cutie producers, so thank you to them, and let’s get started.

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Not It: Spookiest Edition – This One Is Pretty Scary

Earlier this year, I took a look at a visual novel from this developer called The Last Act. Incidentally, they have a new act called Not It: Spookiest Edition just in time for Halloween. In fact, this whole game’s story revolves around an old legend of a curse that arrives every Halloween. I suppose, being on hiatus and everything, I can still find some room to squeeze this one in because this whole month I’m doing a Halloween theme. Also, it is released today, so that’s a scoop I can’t resist. Therefore, from a very distraction-free space, mostly, let me enthrall you with a first look at Not It: Spookiest Intentions.

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Halloween Game

Top 13 Indie Games to Get for Halloween

Spooky Station, Fifo’s Night, Haunt the House, Pumpkin Jack, and Monster League. Spooky Station is actually 9 games too, I was boggling over what games to include, but I ultimately realized: how about everything? Let’s go! Fifo’s Night is some major deep cuttage, which we love here. And some recent covered games too! Are you ready for this frightful/thoughtful indie Halloween game list? Anything could happen…

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Halloween Game

Monster League: Kart Racing With Classic Monsters

It did The Mash! Monster League is essentially a complete kart racing Halloween game from the makers of Medieval Dynasty. It sits on the roster of Early Access titles and has since 2019, but fans are still playing it and are still nudging the team for a full release even now. Nobody really knows what is happening, but I had a lot of fun with this game and encourage you to purchase it at its fairly modest price for your co-op party, your Twitch, or just playing something different. At the very least, why not be a bit thematic and go for the Halloween vibe this fall.

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Pumpkin Jack: An Awesome 3D Halloween Platformer

I petitioned my friends yesterday for a list of games they consider Halloween thematic for an easily spooked dude like myself. I knew of Pumpkin Jack as a backburner game that I had seen last year and lamented myself for not having my affairs in order to get it on the review list! That was during that standalone year of 2020 that had enough triggers as it is. That’s why, when my peers suggested Pumpkin Jack I was excited to see it as a standing contender. And to be honest, some of the non-straight-up horror genre games this year are not the type of visual fantasticness that Pumpkin Jack is. So, after plunking down the kinda premium toll on Steam, I’m here to tell you why Pumpkin Jack is worth the cost if you are into indie platformers and want something that’s bound to get you into the Halloween spirit–all-year-long!

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T-Minus 30: Survival Sim Review

T-Minus 30 is a top-down city sim, with an apocalyptic twist, and a rather casual, no, ultra-casual gameplay style. I know some are great fans in the apocalyptic genre, and I definitely have been before, so I was actually very surprised at the relaxing aspects of this survival sim. T-Minus 30 took care of my personal checklist for a casual game so easily that I felt essentially at peace as I played it. With a 30 minute gameplay under my belt, I have my impressions on this ultimate quick sim indie. And yes, T-Minus 30 is 30 minutes, the length of time you have to build a space fleet of survivors before well, you know. Let’s get started on the review.

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Blake: Cyberpunk Mystery Visual Novel

Blake is an interesting new visual novel from LegendOri Productions about a complacent computer programmer turned vigilante in a futuristic cyberpunk city. The primary scenario within the game involves a new technology that can make somebody totally anonymous. Even amongst the modern people-tracking computers of its era, a criminal of heinous description is leaving a fatal trace and incidentally has decided to start toying with Blake’s sanity.

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Onirism: A Colorful Dreamworld (Early Access)

“Onirism” is a good example of another game where French indie dev teams are making games potent in fun and translates to a wide audience. This goes beyond exaggeration and is an interesting subject to me, but one which I don’t know a lot about. Regardless, I committed to this game, so I’ll take you through a brief but satisfactory run down of the world of Onirism. Additionally, the game recently received a major update and has a ton of new content. Let’s go!!

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Beacon Pines: Interactive Fiction Demo Impressions

Beacon Pines is a visual novel, but really it qualifies with a new level of cozy interaction and fathoms deep optimistic complexity to its characters. The basic structure of the story relies on an interesting “plot device” made of… well, plot devices! You start in a storybook tale of a young fawn, though I’d say that’s up for interpretation, named Luka at his grandmother’s. Through exploration and experimentation and interacting with those around you can acquire something known as “charms.” Charms help change the course of the story. You may need to go back and forth to test what works and what doesn’t, but with each charm, comes some new element that alters everything. Hold on to your BOOK straps, we’re going in.

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OPUS: Echo of Starsong – The Beauty Continues

“OPUS Echo of Starsong” is a narrative sci-fi drama taking place in the far reaches of lawless space, created by SIGONO, the developer of the OPUS series. I covered the previous two OPUS games in the series last year, and they were very popular, accounting for a ton of traffic on my site! I also thoroughly enjoyed them. So, when I started off today learning that I would have an opportunity to cover the third OPUS game in the series, OPUS Echo of Starsong, which was just released on September 1st, I was super excited! This series has so much to offer in interpersonal character development, art design, and dramatic storytelling. It is no wonder fans love OPUS. So let’s get started.

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Kraken Academy: Hilarious

Kraken Academy has been on my mind since I first eyed a trailer of it some months ago. “I have to play that one,” came to mind. Many of you are probably familiar with my love of visual novels. And in this case, I’m working with a combination of visual novel and interactive fiction characteristics–an all-things-aside awesome and hilarious game. Explore the bizarre introduction to Kraken Academy with me, and I’ll explain why you might start loving visual novels after all and why you should continue to if you already do. LET’S GO!!!

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Kick Bot: Precision Platformer (Demo) Impressions

Spikes, saws, laser beams, the whole works. There are also springing platforms, stomp areas, and wall edges that you can grip to pretty well with some slight entropy, but that’s no problem as you can also climb the walls before you leap to the other side. If you’re not familiar with this type of game, timing is everything. Timing is everything in Kick Bot. Oh yeah, the reason it’s called “Kick Bot?” … A robot with a giant boot kicks you through the roof when you complete a level. Hey, why not?

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Glyph: A Game With Mystical Adventure In Motion

Indie Game Collective. I was curious about Glyph, primarily because of the smooth and colorful graphics, pretty apparently Egyptian theme, and also because, while I don’t excel at puzzle platformers, I am getting better. And naturally, I just wanted to test my skills at what seems to be an extremely feature-rich game. I made it peacefully through quite a bit of the intro in the recorded gameplay and learned enough to tell you about this interesting game. Take to the ground or sky, and propel into this post.

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Timothy Vs The Aliens: Slimy Aliens, Noir City

Timothy Vs The Aliens is a moderate difficulty action-adventure that takes place in a 1940s’ish era gangster-ruled city. Timothy, the protagonist, is a likable ace who derives superhuman luck from an ace of hearts given to him by a race of alien masters when he was a child. In this hardboiled work, worlds and their creatures are separated by fluorescent-colored, googly-eyed aliens and the stark black and white nighttime of the city in which Timothy resides. The story & introduction is straightforward, but the real main draw of this game is the action. Using old school weapons, it’s up to you to blast away squishy aliens and get to the bottom of the alien invasion in Little Fish City. Okay, let’s do this.

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Doggone Hungry: Hand Over the Snacks, Please!

Doggone Hungry is a lovely little PC doggo game about an adorable pup, his favorite toy, some loveable humans, and that gosh darn cat. You’ll pounce against the clock to acquire enough, and by enough I mean as many as he wants, snacks to bulk up and solve the exasperating crises of your unreachable toy duck Quackerjack. The style is a colorful pretty much low poly location-based game filled with humans relaxing and occasionally opening doors for you. Don’t be so quick to bark after lunching on some prepared hot dogs they had sitting out because you will get caught! They will just put you in timeout though. This game is so cute and so pleasant, (also it’s free), so I just had to choose this as today’s free-for-all showcase.

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Hoa: A Tiny Woodland Adventure With Epic Style

Hoa is an intricate hand-painted character and environment art platformer released this week. Visually it succeeds wonderfully with Miyazaki-like aesthetics in illustration, animation, and special effects. It also boasts an absolutely charming ambiance in its background music plus sound effects that are cinematic in quality and effect. It also is available in 10 different languages right from its launch. I feel very relaxed playing Hoa, and even watching someone playing it can be very pleasant. If you have ever been a fan of Totoro or woodland creatures with endearing hearts, fall in love as I did with the game Hoa. Let’s take a look.

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Arietta of Spirits: Supernatural RPG Impressions

Arietta, a young lady camping at grandma’s cabin along with Arietta’s mom and dad. Arietta meets a spirit named Arco during their first night. After Arietta’s departed grandmother greets her on the cabin pier and sends her on a quest to retrieve a silver ring, things take a major turn. With some authentic metaphysical storytelling involving realms, ghosts, and spirits, the integrity of the spiritual aspect of this game is solid. In reward, it creates a game with a story with countless possibilities and storytelling. Let’s take a look.

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Golfie Preview

Golfie: Deck-Building Mini-Golf: First Look

Golfie is a new concept game from Triheart Studio labeled rogue-like deck-building mini-golf. They’ve just released a demo, and I was able to get a first-hand look at the game and its odds and ends. The environments are pleasant, gameplay fun, and I’d love to see more down the line. I had to doubletake the genre with all those tags, but it’s a neat little game that actually maintained my attention quite a bit. The deck-building element was a double whammy because I know nothing of these things! Once again though, this feature is implemented in a really neat way as well. So there is plenty to observe and plenty and say. I think you’re going to take an interest in this one, it’s not your regular golf game. Let’s get started!

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Cosmo’s Quickstop: Summer Glorp-Cleaning Job

Cosmo’s Quickstop is a hilarious new game out about an alien family who runs a gas station in outer space. It’s your job to learn how to run things pretty much by yourself unless you’re playing co-op. The game displays an absolutely fun design direction, with chunky colorful spaceship interiors and holographic control screens for tasks. It also has a goofy fun bug-eyed alien cast which reminds me of the excellent TV show Tripping the Rift. This may or may not be an inspiration, but it’s a fun reference point either way. While you play, your new home is chock full of customer maintenance borderline crises that will have you chortling while you rush to keep up. I am loving this, so let’s take a closer look

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Big Boy Boxing: Indie Punch-Out Homage (Demo)

Big Boy Boxing is a cartoony indie boxing dev inspired by Cuphead and the classic late 80’s NES game Punch-Out!! The concept is polished and shiny for contemporary indie players who thrive on retro quirks in new games. You play as a new boxer, trained up through the earnest beginning in the ring with a trainer, Coach Hank. At this stage of development, the demo is pretty short with only one contender, but there are plenty of interesting observations to be made on this neat project. I’d say it’s pretty certain by the time this is released this is going to be a very hyped game in the indie world and beyond. The project from concept to gameplay is really enjoyable and I’m ready to dive in, so let’s take a look.

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The Wratch's Den

The Wratch’s Den: Arcade Pixel Villain Dungeons

The Wratch’s Den is a rogue-like dungeon builder from the depths of the PUNKCAKE Délicieux inventory on Itch.IO. The gameplay involves building a pixel art style base by mining the surrounding layers of cave rock. The core of the base is a simple brick square structure that houses a minotaur villain on a throne that oversees a group of minions. Progress is measured by how quickly you respond to crusading do-gooders and the retrieval of three magic orbs. When enough progress is made the arch-villain minotaur can research new areas in the base or even revive slain minions. This entire experience is procedurally generated and leads to casual replay value that is pretty dang fun. So, let me take you into the depths of The Wratch’s Den, and tell you what I see.

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Mini Motorways: Kinda Cute, Casual, Strategic

Mini-motorways is a delightful traffic planning sim released within the last month. It boasts charming flat graphic aesthetics with an intuitive casual style game experience. The sleek 2D environment bleeds indie simplicity worthy of a gaming machine or a new phone. The gameplay is relatively simple but allows interactive city planning in a selection of metropolitans all around the world. Start with a small group of structures within the map and drag road tiles and other traffic structures between color-coordinated structures to advance. As you progress, you’ll learn tricks and skills to create a flawless infrastructure. I’m excited to take a look at this one with you, so let’s get started!

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Raptor Boyfriend: A High School Romance

Raptor Boyfriend: High School Cryptids Romance

Raptor Boyfriend: A High School Romance is an ambitious and masterfully crafted visual novel/dating sim that takes place in small-town Ontario. With fun cryptid characters and absolutely stunning illustrations, its gameplay value is probably some of the best I’ve seen for this genre. I have been excited to play this for some time, as a general fan of visual novels and cryptid fantasy games. You don’t have to worry about anxiety-driven creature interaction though, because this game is safe and accessible across diverse players. Shortly after the day began, I got started on this dive into the world of Ladle, Ontario. Scene one, which is what I played for you, took around roughly an hour. Some players on Steam had a playtime of over 20 hours! So, there is a lot of content here, and many different ways to play. Let’s take a look!

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Dark Dragonkin: Team RPG (Demo) Impressions

Dark Dragonkin is an indie dev project from Twintertainment that is a top-down pixelized fantasy RPG/dungeon-crawler. Players control multiple characters in a group to make them work together to defeat enemies and advance the story. This game is still deep in the dev process with a potential audience of RPG fans and general indie gamers. It feels very attended to as a solo dev project though, and the potential to scale abilities and environments into a fully fleshed world is entirely real. So, I sat down with Dark Dragonkin and played through the first level. I recommend if you test the demo for this you realize how far the developers have come in working on basic mechanics and themes. I thought it was pretty cool, so let’s talk about it.

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Colorblend fx Desaturation (Prologue) Impressions

Colorblend fx Desaturation is an upcoming game released in demo form shortly before testing it here on my end. It’s a 3D platformer with story-rich puzzle-solving elements that blend ideas about color and storytelling. The characters in Colorblend fx Desaturation consist of a wholesome-ish pack of potato-headed buds called the Splatians. And deep in the fire and brimstone caverns of who knows where is the abode of nefarious minions sworn to a meanie named Lord Ashen. In a diabolical turn of fate, Lord Ashen depletes the Splatian’s home of colorful hues in place of monochrome misery. The only solution is to work with your friends and solve creative puzzles involving color to defeat Lord Ashen.

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Toodee Topdee IGC Showcase

Toodee and Topdee: Shifting Perspective

Toodee and Topdee is so far one of my favorite platformer concepts that I’ve ever tried. A while back I did a documentary review that talked a bit about the game Fez. While much different conceptually, they both have a neat mechanic that combined 2D platforming with shiftable perspectives. I’m not sure how efficiently I can describe this concept without getting into some straight-up academic theories involving geometry, so be sure to watch the video, but suffice to say it is really, really neat. Plus anybody can play! The game has a compelling intro with a demagogue world-merging backstory, and each level is a platform with locks and blocks, in what I want to say is kind of like the super old school game Chips Challenge mixed with Portal. I have some exciting thoughts on this, so let’s get started.

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Haven Park: The Park Takes Care of You

Haven Park is here today and we’re happy to have it. Where to start? Let’s start with adorable cute animal heads making friends in the woods. I’m drawn to them the moment I glimpse at them, and my heart gets their attention quick. Haven Park is a three-dimensional open world that expands on the social crafting genre. And it’s a cool option the addresses demand for games of this nature. In Haven Park, you play a little yellow bird who essentially inherits a whole park from its grandmother, You are tasked to maintain the park, draw visitors in, and explore. With crafting, in-game market, and skill trees, this is a pretty feature-abundant game! Let’s take a look.

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Unbound: Worlds Apart: A Robust Platformer

Unbound: Worlds Apart is a unique new 2D platformer with a fantasy twist and versatile special abilities. On the surface, it’s a beautiful game, on par with the likes of Ori and the Will of the Wisps. On inspection, there’s a heck ton of attention paid to the fine details of the environment. And when you actually play, solving puzzles with your special ability rolls off your controller quite intuitively. This is a high-quality production for those who love platformers and want to really see what’s possible in this genre. If you’re ready to brave a collapsing reality inexplicably parallel to a world of creepy crawly things, but recluse in your summonable portals, say that 5 times fast and push the dang portal button.

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The Universim: Early Access

The Universim is a civilization simulator from Crytivo that combines features from planet sims with more advanced skill trees. The game touts a robust planet-level environment with the ability to manage the course of civilization from primal to advanced stages. The game is still in development but is going through a rigorous beta, although you can purchase the early access on Steam, which many have. I’m kind of reminded here of experiences of other sims out there, but I saw some things I haven’t seen before too. Thanks to the collaboration between my friends at Indie Game Collective and Crytivo, I’ve obtained an early access copy and am here to tell you about it. So here we go.

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Mini Racing World: Innovative New Low Poly Racer

Mini Racing World is a newly released game that fits comfortably into the big leagues of indie racer games. As you may know about me, but probably not, I’m quite fond of low poly racing games. There are not a lot of options available for this genre, so it is refreshing to see this out there. Mini Racing World is an indie race circuit and stunt track game with an emphasis on style with a generous margin for skill tiers. Customize your vehicle, hone your talent, and progress through a variety of tracks to play. Developers call driving in this game easy to control, difficult to master. That’s just about right. So, let’s get started and I’ll tell you all about it.

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Weaving Tides: A Stitchin’ Puzzle Platformer

Weaving Tides sits comfortably in a genre of its own. Unlock a world map woven together through magic threads. You’ll ride upon friendly creatures known as carpet dragons and weave new threads to move forward. With brilliant surface swapping mechanics that allow you to traverse impossible terrain, exquisite graphics, and smooth gameplay this is surely a work of art as much as a playable game. The artistic aspects of Weaving Tides are exquisite. You can just feel the silky textures of the world as you traverse, feeling perhaps you are enchanted, or simply on a very fine adventure.

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Existensis: Artistic Otherworldly Platformer

Existensis is a hand-illustrated philosopher platformer game from the creative spirit of dev Librarium Oz. In Existensis you play as a masked character known as The Mayor, who is actually an artist. The objective is to gather inspiration in a journal so you can use it to create a tower to represent the journey of life. From situations and interactions with characters spread throughout vaulting platform areas and cities. You can learn more about your environment and gradually collect enough information/inspiration to enter swirling vortices around certain characters. They will help you teleport somewhere new and completely different so that you can collect even more inspiration. This game is beautiful, mystical, and one of the most interesting games I’ve ever played. Let me take you through it.

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Go Heroes: Prometheus

Go Heroes is a coming soon, turn-based RPG based on the stories of Greek Mythology. Each level is filled with puzzles that not only advance your progress in the game but progress the story. It is not quite isometric but rather described as four-directional–it is sort of like using a board game with camera controls. You play as Prometheus, the Greek titan, who dared give the gift of fire to mankind. I am fortunate enough to have a very early press copy of this game in collaboration with Indie Game Collective and Happyland Games. So, let’s take a look.

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Say No! More: Get Back to Work, Intern… Or Not?

Say No! More is a super narrative-driven comedy office sim. These office sims have been coming out of the wall lately, but this game is one of the most hilarious out there. It uses an experimental “combat”-like system, where you start a job as the internet at a big company, then, thanks to a motivational cassette tape, take over the compliance enforced company with the powerful magic word: NO! I snagged this game on sale and played through it to give you a first account of how it is. It’s a great game, not just for the experience of playing it, but also because it is incredibly unique and provides a social commentary that is as relevant as metaphorical. I’ll give you a breakdow

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Widget Satchel: Ferret in Space

Widget Satchel is a cross-platform indie platformer out a couple of years but still very fun and fresh. It is currently available through the Itch.IO Palestinian aid bundle. Widget Satchel is a delightful flat graphic style game, where you play as an adorable ferret upon a space station. You start off with a satchel and explore junk-filled levels and builds things. There is no game over or way of getting hurt, but plenty of challenging scenarios to try things out. Let’s have a look.

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UROS: A Trip Through Shadows: First Look

UROS: A Trip Through Shadows is another game from the ESAT student game studio program in Valencia. I previously reviewed a title from this group called Twin Stones which was extremely fun. UROS is a 2D fantasy action platformer-style game that exhibits independent lore that borrows from Hades like underworld lore. As you progress through the map of UROS you will unlock new areas and obstacles and make your way toward, presumably, a scenario related to the opening storyline. Almost missed this one, but here we go with another review at Mr. Dave Pizza!

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Potion Party: Cozy Pixel Alchemy Simulator (IGC Showcase)

Potion Party is a recently released indie co-op that involves running an alchemy shop and racing around part of your lab to create potions for hurried customers. Its style is a pleasant top to bottom, cute, pixel art environment. Get in the groove as an alchemist to thumpy party music of its namesake. Players may enjoy reasonable tasks along with adequately challenging objectives. In addition, there is a respectable host of elements that advance the needs of player skills as levels are completed from customers to creatures. I think this game is really fun and am delighted to share more about it with you!

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Indoorlands: A Fun New Amusement Park Sim

So, here we go with this first look at Indoorlands. Greetings gamers and spectators alike. Today, I have a showcase on a game coming soon to Steam in an early-access stage. I’ve acquired access to the game via my community at Indie Game Collective. I have a fondness for sims and a passion for indie games. So, I am mentally ready to try out Indoorlands I think. This is a concept with high sophistication for such an independent effort. And its bits and baubles are as shiny as the top contenders.

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Neo Cab: Rear-View Mirror of The Future: Review

Neo Cab is an award-winning visual novel released in 2019 somewhere within the future echoes of driver automation and the course of smart services. It involves themes of corporate monopolization, intimate driver/passenger simulations, and the management of being a business in the contemporary market. The story features Lina, an empathic cab driver new in Los Ojos, where being an actual cab driver is a rare occupation. There are many nuances to Neo Cab. Let me take you through each one.

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Black Skylands: Take The Helm: A First Look

Black Skylands is an immersive fantasy skypunk RPG that takes place in the colorful airborne landscapes of another world. As an indie gamer, this is indeed one of the most optimistic projects I’ve looked at, and yet very promising indeed. Take the helm of a family airship and float between islands in the sky to claim your stake. This review was sponsored by a free copy, which I am really grateful for, so let’s g

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Runo Title Screen

Runo: A Finnish Puzzle Game: Review

Runo is a cultural indie game and a very unique project based on the Midsommer mythos from traditional Finnish culture. Its intellectual deduction and story track lead you through a complex story that involves the protagonist’s grandmother and family tradition. The story takes place in a cabin next to a forested lake. The goal is to use clues from your dad’s text messages, your personal journal, and what you observe around you. There is a deep mystical nature to this lake and in a simple quest to find your grandmother’s hidden journal, you’ll encounter a variety of exciting obstacles.

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Twin Stones: The Journey of Bukka Review

Twin Stones: The Journey of Bukka is a 3d animated fantasy platformer due for release in early July 2021, in respect to now, very soon! As it were, I’ve received the privilege of showcasing my first pre-release game through my community at Indie Game Collective. The game is a very intriguing story involving protagonist Bukka, a runner for lack of a better word, and a, I suppose, serpent companion identified as Shiva, the god of destruction. The obstacles are fluid and bouncy, and the graphics are beautiful. I’ll tell you what you need to know about this game and where you can find it. Let’s take a look.

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Tales Of The Neon Sea: Impressions

Tales of the Neon Sea is a bright pixel art in the hardboiled cyberpunk detective style. It’s also borderline platformer and adheres to a very high-density environment in synch with some of the best cyberpunk cinematics out there. Explore shadowy laboratories or deep dungeons sewers. This game is not for the light-hearted but it does deliver on content. This is probably the most sophisticated pixel art game I have ever played. Let’s take a look.

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Fugle Title Screen

Fugl: The Meditative Bird Game: Review

The word Fugl means bird in Norwegian. Fugl is a casual sandbox indie game created by a small group of dedicated developers. Its story is whatever you make it, and the gameplay is most certainly endorsed by all birds. I started as a colorful neutral voxel bird in a voxel world and glide through the treetops and oceans, plus more. Interact with your environment to test new experiences. Transform into other birds, try neat stunts, and listen to the pleasant music that guides you through the map. To the skies!

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My Cup Of Coffee: A Visual Novel Review

My Cup of Coffee: The Trouble with Earl Grey is a visual novel that takes place in a very imaginative turn of the century coffee shop presumably somewhere within Victorian society. You play as a family apprentice of the coffee trade and you more or less are plonked right into days as a barista. The story revolves around a casual plot involving a group of customers known as the Grey family. Using clues from casual conversation, you are tasked to unravel the feeling of tension between Mrs. Grey and Mr. Grey and their maid as well.

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GeoGuessr: Strap In Passepartout

GeoGuessr… Ahh, I’ve waited so long to delve into this one. I present to you today a non-traditional game review to showcase a game that is on the fringe of traditional games but so fresh and fun that everybody is finding out about it. GeoGuessr is a browser-based game that uses images from Google Streetview. You are dropped off in a random lat/long on Earth or whichever area/theme you specify and you use clues from your surroundings to find out where you are. Any person could easily bend the rules to win. For purists, on the other hand, it’s a wonderful way to use reasoning and deduction to sharpen your geography skills.

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Universe for Sale Title Screen

Universe for Sale: A Sci-Fi Game Prologue Preview

Universe for Sale is an upcoming title that combines sci-fi themes and metaphysical themes into a quirky and compelling visual novel/interactive fiction. I already do not recall the main character’s name, and neither will you, as the shroud of mystery is an important part of this introduction. He is a self-described “cultist” with a floating head who drops into a tea shop on Jupiter to meet with a young lady named Lila. The prologue sets up a story involving Lila’s special gift to create mini-universes! Hence the game title.

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Magic Trick: Wholesome Skateboarding: A Review

Magic Trick is a 3D first-person skateboarding game that combines elements of popular wholesome achievement games with a skateboarding theme. It is rich in cotton candy pastels, low poly maps, and anthropomorphic characters to interact with through each island. You can play this game with a controller or keyboard and mouse. The storyline is driven by skateboarding objectives of traditional moves like ollies, grinds, flips, and jumps. It is a fully released game and exists in the realm of dev games that are available at a very affordable price mark for lots of fun!

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Astroneer: Space Sim Taken to New Heights

Astroneer is a low poly space sim with a playful and colorful, stylized atmosphere. It uses its practical fundamental mechanics and graphics to pull off an engaging and creative experience. After completing the tutorial on your basic tools and resources available, the game is essentially an open-world sandbox where you can develop your base camp or head to another planet. It is similar to games like The Outer Worlds and No Man’s Sky, without the realistic graphics and more emphasis on casual, puzzle-solving gameplay. Today, I’ll take you through what my experience is with this game.

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What Comes After Menu

What Comes After: Interactive Fiction Review

What Comes After is an interactive fiction from the creator Coffee Talk in collaboration with the Rolly Glory Jam. This story-rich game takes place on a pandemic era commuter train that transforms into a ferry for souls to the afterlife after Vivi falls asleep. There’s so set directive, but the game is experienced through interacting with souls on the train. This ranges from average folks to owls and trees! It is a highly creative and somewhat mystical story that explores deep concepts of purpose and life as well as what comes after.

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Monster Pub: Where Every Monster Knows Your Name

Monster Pub is a neat and funny narrative wrapped up in a nice isometric, pixel art game that is ultra-casual. You’re whoever you want to be, a shadow-cloaked being, approached on a dark rainy street by a bright pink monster named Pfeffer. She leads you to a mysterious location that turns out to be a public house, for monsters, apparently based on the set for 80’s TV show Cheers. Only here, it’s where every *monster* knows your name. Let’s play some sandwiches!

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Wheels of Aurelia Screen

Wheels of Aurelia 1978: Interactive Fiction Review

Wheels of Aurelia is an interactive-fiction-style racing game set in Italy in 1978. The left-hand steers the wheel of a gritty game that is full of themes of crime, punk, and danger. While the themes are a bit serious, its thematic integrity is in check by fun, innovative game design, and a serious historical snapshot. Drive through the coastlines in low-polygon graphics and talk to your passengers about anything.

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Shu’s Garden: A Very Relaxing Review

Shu’s Garden is a game that’s part of the huge Itch.IO bundle release recently. It is essentially an open playground experience, with no strict rules or goals. Play a little space-cactus named Shu, a ball of shine with a friendly symbiotic tail that bounces around planets. This game holds up well over time, and even without any clear direction of strategy, it is still quite enjoyable as a mini-session or even tangential distraction. Let’s take a look.

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Catlateral Damage Title Screen

Catlateral Damage: Knocking Stuff Over

Catlateral Damage is a game from Itch.IO that is so simple in concept, but so enjoyable that way! I also know it is time for another review! This game is part of a bundle I obtained and is one of many of the great games over at Itch. The game is about you, a cat, in a playground suitable for the mischievous antics of a cat. The objective of the game is to knock stuff off shelves, chase red lasers, and collect powerups. It is very amusing and a great game for anybody, because it is challenging and ready for an audience.

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Sky Rogue: Low Poly Fighter Jets: Review

When I first started reviewing games, I wrote a list of flying games that I found intriguing around the time Sky Rogue first appeared on my radar. I feel like Sky Rogue has evolved from my first perception of it though. My own style is a bit different too since I’ve stepped out a bit more from my digital pacifism, at least on principle. Not much though. This is another game that has action-packed gameplay without being too coarse. I love Sky Rogue and I hope you will too. Let’s take a look.

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Wild Dive: Indie Game: Quick Review

Hello friends. Today I’m reviewing a really brief but beautiful and fun game called Wild Dive. You may have noticed some changes around here in content and how often I’m posting. No worries, this is still a regular blog, only I’ve been spending a little more of the time I allot for it on cosmetic aspects of the site and refining older posts. I’m not done yet, but it’s getting there. I also am working on some new topics such as my Movies & TV section. It’s not all about being popular for me, but I know most of you are here for the games, so let’s go for it. Wild Dive is a well-received free runner game recently released on Steam that is making people wonder if there’s more of this very brisk but super fun game.

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Chair Simulator Title Screen

Chair Simulator: It Actually Wasn’t That Bad

I must have a sick sense of humor if I decided to go on this journey so eagerly in the gaming verse. I have a sense of humor, sorry for the orneriness. C’mon though “CHAIR” Simulator!? What’s weird is it actually wasn’t that bad. And it’s free. If you literally have nothing else to do, just try it. I’m only jesting guys, obviously the creator was tongue in cheek when they created this, but I was surprised by the attention to gameplay that was put into this for being a joke game. Well, that, or it was created by aliens, which is fine too. Alright, let’s unpack this, not too much though, since surely I’m doing the Lord’s work today here. Launch…

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Because It’s Hot! – Why Pizza? Impressions

I’m back, reviewing a game. An indie game. A very indie game. An indie game prologue. Because it’s hot! – Why Pizza? Freeze frame. But seriously, I am in recovery from an intense year of reviews. So, when I saw this perfectly amusing stylized demo on Steam with a radical pizza theme, I narrowed in on it. I only played for about 7 minutes or so, because platformers make my head explode. (Real reason: I suck at them.) But since I’ve added the Dave Pizza Promise, which is sifting out the rather uneventful, it was more like 30 minutes. Right? Right. Here we go. Have no worries, this is a positivity filled review.

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Space Mechanic Simulator: Demo Impressions

Let’s talk about an upcoming space game! Space Mechanic Simulator is a 3D space sim set in, you guessed, outer space. So far, this game is still in development, but that may have changed by the time you read this. It is currently in development with a demo on steam that I am reviewing here. Your job is to repair space stations, spaceships, and presumably other space vehicles with a sophisticated drill and a meter. Obtain parts from drones or 3D print them. Once you have detected the malfunctioning equipment, remove it and replace it.

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orbital racer

Orbital Racer: Underrated Space Racer in Review

Orbital Racer is a realistic space-sim pilot racer originally released for PC in 2017, now available on Xbox One and Series X. At a standard indie game price for nominal quality, I think this is one of the best racing games I have ever played. Players are given a selection of ring wing fighter jets that can be raced with or without combat. Each race starts off in an area in orbit around a planet in our solar system. You will navigate your ship through HUD point rings with beautiful space scenery in the background and collect power-ups to earn your place in each competition, which is also customizable. Even with video game perks like the power-ups, it is highly realistic and one of the best space racers out there.

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Surviving Mars: Colonize The Red Planet

Surviving Mars is a scientific strategy and simulation game about colonizing the red planet. Players are guided through the very basics of roving the terrain for information and resources. As their knowledge increases, it becomes possible to start envisioning an extraplanetary colony. Learn about theoretical technologies as well as real ones and how they interplay in our future on Mars. This is a game about exploration and survival.

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Genesis Noir: Quantum Puzzler: Review

Genesis Noir is an experimental detective story that takes place in a cosmogonic setting in different parts of the universe. If that already sounds mind-blowing, it’s artistically extravagant in the creative gears that turn its two-dimensional, or even 5-dimensional, gameplay mechanics–metaphorically at least. The game starts wandering the streets of some strange alternative 1950’s cityscape and blows open a new case to investigate with a bang, a big bang. Yes, that one. In this review, I’ll talk about the game–and also talk to you about a new project I’m working on involving space exploration in games.

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forgotten fields

Forgotten Fields: Demo Impressions: Indian Indie!

Forgotten FIelds is an indie-developed story-rich interact game about a young Indian author seeking inspiration for his next book in the midst of a major family transition at his childhood home. The character, Siddharth, visits home which at first seems a distraction but may help him re-think his writing completely. The game design is aesthetically pleasing low-poly 3D modeling combined with interactive puzzles and visual novel style dialogue. It recently released on Steam, and is available to download.

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bard harder visual novel

Bard Harder! A Visual Novel: Review

Bard Harder is a fully released visual novel created by Shark And Pelican Games. The story is about a character named Robin who is invited into a casual imaginary tabletop RPG called Wizards and Wyverns. The game takes place in alternating environments between inside the fantasy game world and the real world amongst teammates and the DM Subin. The gameplay is surprisingly a very good simulation of what it is like to play a TTRPG without actually playing a full-on RPG game. As a bard class character, most of the game takes place on the final boss where you’ve decided to flirt with a dark wizard in an attempt to save yourself and your teammates!

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Nyaa-Kuza!! Japanese Cat Gangsters: Review

Nyaa-Kuza is an illustrated half-action interactive fiction title from the self-dubbed Catzooka Studios out of the University of Utah’s EAE program. Play as Mochi, an ex Nyaa-Kuza brawler cat, whose cat wife, Hime, has been “catnapped” by the syndicate. You’ll traverse the outskirts of a Japanese city interacting with leads and allies in a conventional visual novel style to find Hime. At other times, the game is highly interactive with button-mashing fight scenes with cat gangsters. The game is free on Steam, and I sincerely suspect you’ve never seen a game like this.

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Til Nord: Indie Student Snowmobile Game: Review

Til Nord is a free open world snowmobile game released by students at Breda University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands. The gameplay is straightforward with its mobile open-world gameplay and pulls off a finished level of design from the beginning. Drive your snowmobile around the Loften Islands of Norway, day and night bright snowy roads and northern lights skies at night, solving delivery missions for enterprises around the village like lumber mills and fisheries. Or test your skill at time-lapse contests with your learned speeding abilities.

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Rail Route: Demo Impressions

RailRoute is a railroad dispatch strategy game for PC. Trains that travel between stations, railyards, and tracks do so at the discretion of railroad dispatchers that use special display maps to direct traffic. This game takes most of the nuances of this real technology and has created a simulation that uses simple mechanics to build a railroad empire. With many options, an informative tutorial, and room to expand, you’ll be keeping an eye on your fleet timetables for engaging gameplay.

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Doubts: An Interactive Fiction: Review

Doubts is a short interactive fiction game from a talented solo developer by German artist, Fulmen. Play the role of Gerda, a woman in 1926 Berlin, Germany. She has decided to run away with her boyfriend and is left by herself during her boyfriend, Joseph’s, temporary absence. She contemplates her surroundings and decisions in a session of examining items around their hotel room while he is away. Without certainty, she wonders if her decision to be with Joseph is such a good idea.

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Lab Rags indie game review

Lab Rags: Art-Deco Robot Puzzles

Lab Rags is an upcoming title from the student project studio Salt Mine Studios. It is an art-deco era puzzle level game that shares mechanics with games like Portal and its descendants. Get started right away as a mechanical android with a neat gun similar to the classic gravity gun. You can advance within the game by respawning and then grabbing your previous housing to fling at door-opening buttons, traverse over spike pits, and even build structures like stairs out of crushed cubes made from your metal leftovers. The environments and music are very charming, and it is an appropriate level of challenge and enjoyment.

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scarlet hood and the wicked wood

Scarlet Hood and the Wicked Wood: Review

Scarlet Hood and the Wicked Wood is a new visual novel/interactive fiction game. The story follows Scarlet, a budding musician in an aspiring band of close friends. Start your journey on route to your band’s major performance at a club in the city, plus the opportunity it provides with a heavy offer from the club’s boss. In an unexpected twist, you’ll soon find yourself, through unforeseen circumstances, in another world! This land is filled with popular themes from classic fantasy stories and solvable puzzles, all blended nicely into a one-of-a-kind story.

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vecter indie game

“Vecter:” A Retro Racer’s Legacy

Vecter is a free racing game available on Steam from Taranasus. The game is a procedurally generated vector based graphic racer/flyer with a catchy background. It has thousands of overwhelmingly positive reviews on Steam. It has recently come to a conclusion and left a legacy of the power of free game and participants from an adoring community. Up until April 3rd, 2021 the game was served with constant improvement and imaginative gameplay. It is still available for free on Steam. It has also left a legacy of inspired indie developers who have created their own games based on it, which is expected to continue moving forward.

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the last act visual novel

The Last Act: A Visual Novel: Impressions

The Last Act is a visual novel with a theatric theme about an actress in a lead play character. Interact with a social group of charismatic characters, while find yourself getting more and more into the script as the serious drama unfolds. The choices you make unfold the story in different ways, but ultimately you’ll find yourself interacting with supernatural characters that seek to interact in your fate. Will you continue on with the play? Or is it too much? Or do people just need to mind their own business? It’s up to you.

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vecter indie game

Half Past Fate: Dating Sim Review

Half Past Fate: Romantic Distance is a visual novel about a dating during the pandemic. It was released February of 2021. The story revolves around a mutual interest involving a young man and his broken laptop named Stephen and a clerk at a computer repair shop named Robin. Soon after they meet, the city goes into lockdown because of the pandemic. They try to make it work using video dating for multiple months, and test the limits of distant relationships. The game has a very pleasing 2.5D pixel art aesthetic and a catchy chiptune soundtrack.

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//todo visual novel review

//TODO: today: Visual Novel: Impressions

//TODO: today is a visual novel and dating sim. You’ll follow the main character through a crisis involving life direction in the context of paying rent, becoming an artist, working in a bookstore, dating, and the help of a cute but invasive artificial intelligence named Joyce. The game takes advantage of bright pastel colors and hand-drawn art. It conveys a message of getting out of a rut as an adult and using a motivation to solve life’s problems. The gameplay is a few hours and very interesting.

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va-11 hall-a visual novel review

VA-11 Hall-A: A Cyberpunk Bar Sim Review

VA-11 Hall-A (Or Valhalla as it’s known) is an interactive cyberpunk bartending simulator with elements of visual novel character interaction. Play from the perspective of Jill, a young woman who lives in the year 207X in a city called Glitch City. You’ll learn to mix drinks for customers using a unique interface and alter them based on customers’ needs and personal touch. Customers are customers, but many are absolute troublemakers. You’ll talk them through their problems, as compulsive as they can be, and keep them from causing too much trouble–and hopefully close their tabs.

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CRASH Autodrive: Prologue Review

CRASH: Autodrive is a visual novel style point-and-click mystery that takes place in Pittsburgh, PA, the year 2027. You are a passenger in a robot auto cab that hosts you and three other passengers on your way to your respective destinations. The car takes an unanticipated detour and strikes a crossing bicyclist on a deserted back road in the city. With the aid of a host full of clues from your cab-sharers, you will use information and evidence from the individual to unravel the mystery behind the crash. In a world where A.I. is everywhere, you’ll have to deduct on your own the implications of this accident. The game is due for release sometime in the spring of 2021.

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Arcade Spirits: New Challengers: Impressions

I keep an eye on Steam’s demo listings on a daily basis. I’ve been really into visual novels for some time now. I like the way they hit my writer’s palette when it comes to emotionally charged game content. The game Arcade Spirits: New Challengers is a sequel to a 2017 visual novel named Arcade Spirits. The story takes place in an alternate history, the year 20XX, where arcades have not seen deprecation or obsoleteness. As such, the arcade is quite an interesting place to run into quirky characters and get into all sorts of gaming fun not quite afforded by the modern console/PC era.

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BattleCakes: Cute Cupcake Adventure: Review

BattleCakes is a game in development by Volcano Bean, an indie studio. Play as a customizable cupcake person and explore the town you live in. Talk to other cake-like characters around town and even solve some mysteries. You can solve the problems around town when you head out the gates and take on the gumdroplins, some goblin gum drops, in the park. You can battle, you do indeed have a sword, but you can also defeat the enemies by befriending them.

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escaping winter strategy game

Escaping Winter: Forest Colony Survival JAM

Escaping Winter is a strategy game about a forest colony that has to survive the winter every few turns. It’s safe to say that this is more of a JAM than anything, solely representing some conceptual ideas. Indeed, civ strategy games are not my forte, but I think this idea is unique enough. If unprepared a winter might be the downfall of a society if it lasts long enough. Luckily it just makes the fire put-put a couple of times. This is a small solo project, nothing to overanalyze. I liked the title screen though and this demo has what it needs.

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Hades: First Impressions: The Underworld

Hades, the countless award-winning indie rogue-lite from the makers of games like Bastion, has been released onto Nintendo Switch this last week. The game is a procedurally generated beat-’em-up in the underworld realm of Hades itself. Play as Tartarus, prince god of Hades, in a simply brilliant gameplay idea involving fighting through chambers of monsters in an attempt to escape the realm of Hades itself with the help of gods and goddesses of realms below and above.

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coffee talk visual novel

Coffee Talk: Demo Impressions

Coffee Talk is an interactive visual novel released in the pumpkin spice season of 2020. You play a barista in Seattle in a futuristic/alternate-universe. Your customers range from human to succubus, and it is your job not only to make them coffee in your coffee shop but also to help talk them through their personal problems. The gameplay is interspersed with actual barista beverage making with various ingredients and you can even make latte art. The game art is also enjoyable and has a high-quality direction in design.

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read only memories neurodiver visual novel

Read Only Memories: NEURODIVER – Demo

Read Only Memories: NEURODIVER is an indie interactive fiction visual novel project currently set for release sometime next year. Play as ES88 a psychic therapist who recovers lost memories for clients using the help of an organic “neurodiver.” You’ll start as a hybrid client named Crow. Crow has a mysterious background but is trying to restore a memory that has been tampered with to recover a memory chip at the center of a secretive trade he took part in. The art direction in Read Only Memories is colorful and fresh.

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A Cottage Story: Demo Impressions

A Cottage Story is an indie fantasy-style visual novel currently in development by indie developer LadyMeowsith on itch.IO. You’ll play as Emory, or whichever moniker you choose. Your form is selectable as well. Your are a human/changeling grown up far away from humans. You live within a fantastic forest of goblins, satyrs, elves and maybe more. Meet characters and treat their ailments with a mastering of herbalism and healing skills from herbs found in the forest. Participate for story or personal fulfillment in this stylistic story/dating sim.

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the life and suffering of sir brante interactive fiction

The Life and Suffering of Sir Brante: Demo

The Life and Suffering of Sir Brante is an interactive visual novel that spans the lifetime of a character named Sir Brante. Progress through the stages of life starting with childhood, where you’ll forge deep experiences that will shape the course of your entire life later on. Your actions will affect your own character and also how others interact with you. Try to live true in a world dominated by an esoteric caste system and brutal classism, starting from the very bottom.

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Superstorm Melon Date – Review

Superstorm Melon Date is a visual novel that takes place in a relatively near dystopic future. People live in shelters and return to the surface only periodically because climate change has plagued the earth with frequent superstorms that burden humanity. People have developed widespread allergies and only the rich can raise fully human children. Therefore, a hybrid species of half melon people have outnumbered humans because they have better immune systems. To tie it all together, the plot of the game is about you going on a date with a melon person listed on an internet dating website. A melon person named, Mel.

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ToeJam and Earl: Back in the Groove! Review

ToeJam & Earl are two friends who visit Earth from another planet. When they try to blast some funky music from their spaceship, Earl accidentally sucks the entire Earth and themselves into a black hole. Their ship and the planet are left in shambles. Thankfully, as these characters, you can traverse the floating islands of exponentially bizarre inhabitants to collect pieces flung from your ship. Collect items to rebuild your ship and head from there.

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Demetrios: The BIG Cynical Adventure: Review

Demetrios: The BIG Cynical Adventure is an indie interactive-fiction/visual novel cartoon adventure. The interactive feature is much like you’d see in a hidden object story as well, although clues that you find unlock different possibilities. The story is very comical on purpose and can get as fresh out of the outhouse as you please. Despite this, it is a very well-thought-out mystery story about a complex theft and the clues can leave you curious about what’s around every corner.

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Super Indie Karts – Early Access

Super Indie Karts is an independently developed game at the assistance of a pit crew of beta gamers who are testing a kart based racing game for PC. Most notably, it features actual video game characters from a number of indie games. Everything in the game is designed to represent the popular indie game aesthetic with the fun gameplay of a kart racing game.

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The Cultist Simulator: Summon The Elder Gods

The Cultist Simulator is a good name for this game, although “occulist” would have worked too. For starters, the cards look a lot like tarot; they kind of play like tarot too. There are some pretty spiritual and existential horror themes in the story as well. I had to confirm this later, but there are apparently some heavy Lovecraftian themes in The Cultist Simulator, elder alien gods and such. Oh, also, the story is really up to you and how you play your cards. And what’s in the cards…

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Clocker – Switch Review

I just saw Clocker released on Nintendo eShop this morning for a reasonable $3, so I snatched it up and gave it a go. These Switch games are kind of hard to predict sometime, but you have to pay your portion for the privilege once in a while.

I do not really know what the origins of this game are. It was listed under Indie in eshop, with no publisher info. A little research revealed that the developer Wild Kid Games, published this through a studio called Indienova in China. Are there indie studios in China? I have wondered this a few times. I really don’t know much about it, but if there are that’s pretty cool.

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Princess Farmer – Demo Review

incess Farmer is essentially a complex row matching game, mixed with some RPG and storytelling elements. With some pixel graphics and a cozy story about bunnies, it’s a lot of fun. The stylizing is pink and indie in the best way, and it is fun just to look at. I’m pretty much a sucker for anything with this style. I’m not totally sure what you would call it, but it puts me in a happy place.

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Lasagna Boy – Indie Game Boy Jump Scares

HEADS UP: Moderately creepy imagery is in these games, this will be my only warning. I don’t generally review horror games, but Lasanga Boy made me laugh, and then, it intrigued me. It merits analysis based on absurdity alone but also design. I also personally understand people like illustrating and drawing creepy monsters because… well, it’s fun! Why not throw in a third or fourth eyeball here and there. We’ve been doing that for ages. Direct link to the games on Itch.IO a the bottom of this article.

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Ori and the Will of the Wisps

For an elegantly and possibly metaphysically imagined game, try Ori and the Will of the Wisps. You’ll play as creatures that live in the purple glow of shadowed forest. With open-armed playstyle integration, you’ll be able to leap and hop through levels without too much trouble worrying about foes or obstacles. There are some bad guys, but you won’t be straight into tooth and nail combat.

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NES Nostalgia: Games From My Youth

I wanted to call this “NES Games That Influenced Me” or something like that. Honestly though, I can’t totally remember WHY I remember these games, only that they evoke some mood or emotion when I play them. I guess you could call it nostalgia. Yeah, that’s probably it. The main reason for this is I wanted to try writing about something I haven’t tried.

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The Last Campfire: A Spark Hiding in the Darkness

I hesitated the first time I played this. I was up late at night and wanted to try something relaxing and I chose The Last Campfire on the Switch. Visually nice, interesting, but I was a little startled by the minuscule, but there, elements of macabre. Okay, it was just a single skeleton, but that’s enough to not be my usual thing! I set it aside and haven’t thought about it in a while. I’m happy to inform you that this game is actually quite good. It needs to be reconsidered by skeptics, even you if you are one. It’s a sweet and empathic story. Things can change before you would expect them to and it deserves a lot of merit for that.

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The Gardens Between: Perfect Puzzles

I’m not sure if the preface of this game is an homage to any other pop culture time traveling islands, but maybe not. I had some theories while playing that maybe some kind of altered planes of existence, which had me thinking about the name. The title, The Gardens Between has a mystical ring to it, but I don’t know if that is intentional. I think it might be, but that is my own projection. There’s no dialogue or anything to reveal these things, but that’s actually okay with me because it’s super original and such an interesting gameplay experience!

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The Beggar’s Ride: Unlock the Powers of the Gods

The idea of this game is you basically start a journey in an unknown path as a quiet beggar. You soon learn that you possess the powers of a god. Clouds are shifted, vessels are filled, and the beat goes on. Players have described this game as having an emotional impact on them. I can relate. The Beggar’s Ride has some cool storytelling choices that give you some context for why this is happening. It’s also something I notice that “quality” games tend to utilize, since it gives you a reason to keep playing. This is a good move, because it’s honestly a little random otherwise. Not that I’m complaining, but I’m really grateful the narrator and gorgeous info blurbs around the edges of the platform.

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Nordlicht: A Pleasant Northern Title

Nordlicht is a family friendly story book stylized find-the-object game with casual references to Nordict life and the lore/mythology of the viking culture in an anachronistic presentation. You investigate diverse levels with hidden objects and puzzles to solve to complete steps in an adventure story. I think this game would be fun in a family setting, but I found it intriguing enough to investigate as an adult.

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