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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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