JoyToKey and How to Keybind Your Controller

This article is about how to keybind your game controller with JoytoKey to play games that require various keyboard keys to play. I use this with browser games on Itch.IO, if there is no native controller support. A lot of platformers and games on Itch.IO and Steam use a keyboard and mouse, but generally, I prefer controller support. Keybinding is a useful ability that can allow you to play more responsively, or even play an indie with your controller–even wireless controllers!

On YouTube

Getting Started with JoyToKey

There are many programs available on the web for binding keys to a controller, but I’ve found JoyToKey to be the easiest, and it is also free. You can purchase a registration key if you wish, but it is not required. The program is classified as shareware, so you are within your right to either use it for free or support the developers with a purchase.

I visited the JoyToKey website today, and my only suggestion about that is to click the right area. This program is safe and free. If you so desire, you can download the game from sites like Softpedia, but I’ll link directly to the JoyToKey download page here to support the developers.

Setup Steps for JoyToKey

JoyToKey download
Download JoyToKey from one of the first three links
  1. First, download JoyToKey from the JoyToKey website.
  2. Click one of the download links in the area below where it says “Download the Latest Version”
  3. Follow the Setup instructions and then open the program.
JoytoKey Install
Follow the on-screen instructions to install

Tip: Make sure that your controller is connected before setting up a new JoyToKey profile. If you are using a Bluetooth controller like the Xbox One controller, make sure it is connected wirelessly. This will help you let JoytoKey highlight which button you want to bind in yellow and make it A TON easier to know which button you’re binding.

What to Configure

Most keyboard-controlled games will use some variation of the directional keys, left down up, and right, or WASD. This can vary, but not much. Aside from a few variations for action or jumping keys, that usually sums it up. Note, that I do not cover integrating mouse support in this tutorial, but it is also possible using JoyToKey by pressing to highlight and then, configuring the analog stick directions on your controller.

Make sure your controller is connected

As an example, I configured the keys for a game called Ducksoup Dungeon by developer Richard Lems on ItchIO. I’m using this game because I am familiar with the controls from my review of it. Many browser games on Itch.IO say what keys to use right on the front page. Here the controls are directional, plus the keys D, and F for jumping and combat.

To configure a button, find it on the button list and double-click. A window will come up that says “Assignment for:” etc. This is where you choose your key. So for example, I want the up button on my Xbox One controller to trigger the up arrow key on my keyboard. I enter it into the yellow area.

Almost There

It might help to play the game with the keyboard first to decide how you want to lay out the keys on your controller.

Ducksoup Dungeon
Ducksoup Dungeon on Itch.IO

For me, I’m binding the directional keys for the keyboard to the directional keys on my controller. Then the D to my X-button, and F to my A button. This is a natural type of layout for games that already support controllers.

Now Play Your Game With JoyToKey Configured

Playing Ducksoup Dungeon
Playing Ducksoup Dungeon

And look, I’m playing this browser game with my Xbox controller!

If you liked this tutorial please have a look at some of my other gaming tips and tutorials. Thank you for reading MrDavePizza.

Enjoy your games.

Hayai – The Ronin Score Attack Game (IGC Showcase)

Hayai 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, Hayai 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. A 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.

This particular showcase was made possible with a generous showcase copy through the Indie Game Collective and publisher Chaoclypse. The game is only $1.99 on Steam though, so you don’t really need a review key to invest in this one yourself though.

The Aspects of Hayai

Hayai has 5 possible Ronin to select from with individual abilities. Kazuya, Tomoe, and Oda are the default unlocked choices. Two more Ronin can be unlocked with high scores. The game motivates with its straightforward achievements list. I completed the achievements survive and combo-master in my first session, so you can too.

I liked the black, red, and white layout. It felt very classic for this theme. The art style is quick and responsive, with 2D effects that feel like a painting that responds to your input. Even the line you draw between enemies is procedurally animated in a calligraphy-stroke style drawing.

The game is not hard unless you want it to be, but getting to higher levels does require skill. Should you be defeated, start your session over instantly, or hit escape and switch to a different Ronin.

Quick Outline of Features

  • Mouse-based combat
  • Achievement system based on technique
  • Combo gameplay
  • International leaderboards (a feature which is becoming more common in indies)
  • 3 default Ronin characters, and 2 unlockable characters
  • Support for drawing tablets (what!)

Final Thoughts on Hayai

It’s a good game, it’s cheap, and it will probably work on any computer. This game is so simple and fun it has the potential to go big. It’s so re-playable, and so easy to start that anybody can play it. Also, note, it is a combat game but it’s not gratuitous or anything; this is an art game mostly.

If you’d like to check this out, head to the Steam link below if you wish. And make sure to watch the video above where I play the game myself!

As usual, thank you so much for visiting my work on MrDavePizza. If you have a game you’d like covered let me know. I’ve got a new space to work on content here, so expect a lot more games soon! Take care.

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

The idea behind Firegirl: Hack ‘n Splash Rescue is in the title, Firegirl. I find myself drawn to this game due to its slight quirk and frank concept. But the game deserves a little more credit than assuming the entire plot is based on a conjunction of the words “fire” and “girl.” Although you are exactly that in the game, Firegirl is the type of game that should have been made, conceptually, at least in the 90s. But three decades later, here it is with a shiny package. Classic nods from many of the old-school NES-style games are here though, and the rest of the characters are brash and slightly exaggerated. I like this a lot.

There’s not a heap of complexity to this platformer, but it is fun, and I’ll run you through some features.

Missions in Firegirl

The idea is simple. You have a water pack and an ax. Break through doors and debris to get through hotels, apartment blocks, forests, and hotels to rescue citizens in the blazing inferno that is on each level. Your water pack knocks down flames and other firey monsters. Importantly, your pack also allows you to blast off into stair wells or collapsed floors to move upward or across gasps. This last feature is pretty darn fun and helps display the innovation of the game.

As you conquer massive fires and rescue citizens, you become eligible for awards and prizes that help you upgrade your fire station or buy new equipment. There’s not a whole lot of pressure to be perfect at this since it is essentially a rogue-like, but I discovered that there were still rewards even for a failed mission.

With the combination of old-school art, mixed with streamlined graphics plus environments, the game feels really sophisticated for an indie. Environments are side-scrolled, but the depth of floors and open spaces creates more of a 2.5-dimensional style.

Clearing the Air

Fire is not necessarily everybody’s favorite topic, but lots of games are based on things that are just as real as anything else but don’t get a lot of coverage. Actually, this spin on the heroic platformer theme works for me, because I’ve always respected firefighters and have honestly wanted a game like this.

The game is really quick to progress through, but the gameplay is endless. Missions are procedurally generated but have a lot of character from what I have observed in other screenshots. I think the missions are fun and dynamic.

The game is in a mid-range category of indie releases, but with the quality of the art and the continued support, it is priced for value.

Where to get Firegirl: Hack ‘n Splash Rescue

I have a link to the Steam Store page below here. If you like the game, maybe leave a positive review. If you wanted to buy this game but weren’t sure, I’m here to confirm this game is ready to go.

Thanks for reading Mr. Dave Pizza. Please explore as much as you want and come back!

Galaxy’s Bloom (Original Short Sci-Fi Story) by Dave Pizza

I watch as two passenger ships collide at the apex of the low orbit aurora borealis area of Polaris’s relay planet. Both ships collapse, yet not, into each other in a strange caduceus of magic in the starry backdrop of the vessels’ courses. The twisted coils of brass and flocked, black steel disappear. The ships vanish into a trapdoor in the universe. I sip, also, on weak fruit tea with my left hand. I mix some of my own herbs in–genuine, dried-up dream flowers from the Hilo K system that were resting in a jar at the bottom of my purplish-green, prismatic matrix, tree-leather satchel.

I’m headed out of here. Been working on this ring planet watching galactic commercial ships for the past couple of days. Overpopulated by people though. Even the tea from this basic street canteen is spoiled by the practically immortal, first contact creeper androids from the Shadow realm robbing everybody at the counter by convincing the spirit of the canteen they weren’t really there and then taking this and that. I whop one in the head with my walking stick. Immortal, and cowardly. It urged the others to scram. I was the only one to see this. I thought.

  “As above,” were the words of the tin-voice clerk.

  “So below,” I replied, thinking we’d had some understanding, “And so long!”

I begin to rotate my ashwood staff counterclockwise in a third-person manner. My hand dislocates and swerves around the clock until the blurring of matter and space turns bright green, like a portal. And I take a step into it with my left foot third person and fell in the rest. The green portal on the ring planet disappears, and the staff snaps into my right-hand first person just as soon as I’d left. I, now, am somewhere else.

Real Hong Kong, virtually-early 21st century. Kowloon. I’m staring at a street full of pre-market tennis sneakers. The rarest you can find. I’m looking for a purple pair of tweed high-tops, but they don’t have it there, I’ll have to kill a couple of days on the world wide web. The old web. Takes at least a week usually. BORING. It’s good to stop by though. It’s probably the one thing normal about me, as opposed to everything else. Kinda mundane even. You haven’t gone shopping until you’ve looked for an actual wand in downtown London in the late 19th century, and then the complimentary Kashmir sleeve/holster in the wood from an elemental realm in ancient Japan. Blessed and utilized. It’s just the way it is, okay? I use what I need to and as you already know, am wary of third parties’ relentless attempts to corrupt my tasks. I’m faithful yet eccentric I guess. What would you expect from a  teenager with a tweed herringbone three-piece suit, an atomic-mechanical pocket watch, and shiny cacao oxfords?

You gotta balance consumption with spirit though, you know. Hong Kong is beautiful, but basically a megacity, even here. Thankfully, it is pleasantly packed with recreation areas and parks. 

The back door of a red taxi cab pops open. I’ve got the shoes, they’re somewhere in the pit of my satchel. I’m just gonna head to the park and do some shortwave.

Fern-like palms cloistered on the emerald green pond waves heavily in the oceanic breeze. I pull a coffee cup-sized active metal loop out of my bag. I throw it up in a tree and the extremely unstable software for it starts a boot sequence in my imitation neural network. Imitation because it’s not real. I can’t just go loading spectrum analyzer software in my brain! I shuffle around the bands, mostly tropical. I see someone whistling on the 2600 Hz sideband. That’s right, Hz, as in Hertz. Or you could say 2.6 kHz I guess. That’s like transmitting a global signal on the same frequency that pings when somebody breathes heavily after a run. It’s morse. Not human morse though. Wizard morse though? I don’t know. Wait, no it’s just a call sign. “K, W, I, Z. Okay. K, W, I, Z.” KWIZ. American I guess.

Okay, easy. I call the staff to me, and it flings out of the tree into my hand, I toss it in the bag. I pull out some sigil paint. Spray paint for graffiti magic basically. It’s not really real, so it’s not exactly illegal. I walk over to a secluded spot in the trees and spray KWIZ on the ground backward. Stomp it with the pole. I’m there.

We’re in Missouri. Okay? It’s as humid as a marsh. I’m standing in front of a rickety old post office in a Missouri ghost town. The corroded copper of a sign on the door says “In memorial of the world’s best radio station for wizards.” The door busted open. 

  “Where to, buddy?” says a young wiz in his teens with a felt top hat and technicolor overalls.

  “Why are you transmitting on such a low sideband?”

  “Mm, heh,” he pulled his collar, “Just looking for some good switches. Nothing sinister. You know?”

  “I know you’re using magic to hack. Everybody knows a crystal ball can only tell you so much.”

  The young wiz was rustled, “Cut us some slack! Everybody also knows if there wasn’t magical interjection into society, everything would fall apart!”

  “I understand. Just take my advice, look elsewhere. Anybody could hear that. Don’t forget from whence your powers came.”

  “Hey, you’re the one that flopped over here on your space broom, pal. We do what we want.”

   “No, you don’t.”

  “I SAID: We do what we want!”

He slams the door shut, and the post office collapses in on itself and disappears in a geometrical pop. I laugh. Oh well. I’m addicted to the esoteric exploration of this world too I guess. I’m always noticing things others don’t and beat them to it. I’m not saying I need the very core of the secret, I just want to know, roughly, what’s going on. Sometimes the process of obtaining all information is more trouble than it is worth, and often the information reveals itself later. 

I’m not really an actual wizard for one. But I do have some things in common with them. As it were, I’m more of a naturalist. I know of the divine and spirit–by what else could the multi-verse permeate, after all. And I also understand that the complexity of symbolism is more than just storytelling or guidelines. There is real hope to be won from it. Earth has some of the best religious complexity in the galaxy going back ages. It’s also again one of those things where I’m not sure I need to know more about that information.

I actually don’t think humans were probably ever meant to leave the Earth. Not while they were alive at least! Just consider the facts. Light is the fastest moving force in the universe. It travels approximately 300,000,000 meters per second. Humans have barely enough energy to run to the store to get ketchup. And when they do, they’re gone for hours. I don’t know. There’s some stuff about time, the observer, dimensions, geometry, quantum mechanics, and logic. I had one little issue when I first started to care about it though. I realized that the things that happen are not the only things that happen. In fact, I am 100% positive my life is happening and not happening at the same time. I never meant to spread my existence so vastly across this extremely vast universe, but, one day, I went to open a window, and another window opened. That’s the only way I can explain it.

I watch a bird in the field, where the building was a few moments ago but now is not. The stave begins to spin in my hand and so I walk back through into another reality. Suddenly, appearing on a train this time… in the sky. It’s real enough, though not part of the primary timeline, but an interesting one. It’s mid-21st century, but that fluctuates. It seems like it might actually be a work of fiction in-process that you can live inside, but I don’t really know. We’re chasing the sunrise into the North. A quick ionosphere drifter from Toronto. I don’t have to guess, I’ve been here before. Did you know you can purchase time travel literature from the in-between mages at popular travel hubs like airports and train stations? Even spaceports. They filter how much strangers can see them based on supernatural fluctuations in quantum foam. If you have residue from lunar soil on your golf hat and you’re at LAX in 1998, uh, it’s kind of obvious. Freaked me out the first time, but that’s a different story. There are so many time travelers, you have no idea. Or maybe you do, are you one? That’s what I mean. It’s really bonkers.

My stomach is growling, I get a banana out of my satchel and have some. The upper atmosphere is incredibly beautiful. I don’t know why Prime Earth, the real one, never adapted these aero maglev ships. They are so simple and brilliant. They do rely on a crazy amount of electromagnetic scorching of the ionosphere with artificial solar flares. What’s wrong with that though? In fact, the green and pink aurora borealis puddles of lights dancing in the horizon are quite beautiful.

I don’t need to be here anymore. I walk through the windows of the lounge cabin and hurtle through the atmosphere at self-destroying speed. My body and mind disintegrate into carbon dioxide and I spread out in extremely high-speed jet streams around the Earth, giving me a better view of the ground below. Some would say this is as close as one can get to the afterlife. I do this every night. You might think I’m already done for. This is just a story though, in which I’m the narrator and the protagonist. I don’t really recommend vaporizing yourself in the upper atmosphere of hyperdimensional imaginary quantum reality and expecting to write about it. No, no. As I am already imaginary myself though, it’s okay.

I stare off a ledge and watched the sunset disappear below the edge of the horizon. And when it did, I disappeared too. I’m watching a marine animal show on Neptune, right in the previously undiscovered seas of the delightful two aquatic planets in the solar system, Neptune and Uranus. Ouranos is actually etymologically the name for Heaven in the Hellenic original scriptures of the gospel. A red mega space squid creature erupts out of distant seas and sonic booms our sightseeing vessel with a blast of warm air. 

Drifting has no plotline, and that’s the trajectory of this accidental quantum glimpse that begins here. Nobody can really tell you what it is, you just have to realize it. When you do, you’ll be free. And you’ll realize the perfection of it. Even in unknowing, there is always hope somewhere that leads to the next thing. To teach you, help you, forgive you, and protect you. All by one who sees. There are many mansions in these realms. These realms and those realms. Vaults of divinity. Vaults of light. I’m not sure, do you see what I’m saying? Does it need to be said at all? Like ships collapsing into each other.

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.

Collect bits and bobbles to fund your robot hack and slash lifestyle. This game is as challenging as platformers like Dadish 2; although the mechanical obstacles feel more like being in a large machine. Enemies across each level wander, bounce, and get into your business. There are secrets and puzzles everywhere. If you take a wrong turn, well, you’ll end up back at your checkpoint. These checkpoints are around enough to challenge you, in the general areas of your exploration. Let me give you somewhat of a mental map for this.

Playing Haiku the Robot

The theme of Haiku the Robot runs a bit melancholic. The pixel art effects and the grim backgrounds are smoldering and dark. Luckily, the game is packed with hard-boiled noir robots who vend goods or present challenges–and generally add the only social elements of the game. And the areas you make your way through contain secrets. New areas can have treasures of monetary value and levers that with a slash of a sword unlock even more areas.

The game is kind of weirdly cute yet dystopic in a style that’s approximate to that feeling you get when you see a Jack-o-lantern out of season. Haiku the Robot is so fleshed out though and with several levels in the robot world of Arcadia, you get your money’s worth.

There is also a feature that I wasn’t able to experiment with before I got wiped during my gameplay session at the boss while recording, and that is the chip system. With the chip system, you can customize your gameplay. I guess this is sort of like the skill tree system of various RPGs and could be an interesting resource for later moments in the game.

Yet, even without a play style upgrade, the hack and slash plus movement mechanics of Haiku are fluid and smooth. I never felt that I was not in total control of my character’s fate, leading to some fail-defying heroics as I tried to reach the first boss.

Out Now on Steam!

Based on the level of engagement I gave the game and for its return, I should honestly be thankful. Most enjoyable platformers find their merit in the flow of the gameplay. I feel strength when playing this game. The way it will challenge you to use experience with these types of games is a thoroughly rewarding experience. Perhaps, as the yin to the yang of its theme, the balance of dark and light is potentially the zen quality origin that makes playing Haiku what it is.

Haiku the Robot is out now on Steam for $19.99. I have to note that I received a promo copy of this as a publisher showcase with the Indie Game Collective. Make sure to check them out and please enjoy the content here on Mr. Dave Pizza where I have covered many indie games of all genres and categories.

Thanks again for reading. Enjoy your games!

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.

You might be familiar with one of my other past articles on the game Hollow Knight. It has earned plentiful imitation with no resistance, in a genre of platformers that is dominating the Nintendo eShop line-up. I particularly enjoy these types of games and am grateful to give it the full treatment for this showcase. So, I’m here to share more of its treasures with you. So, here I go.

Thank you to the publisher of, Vesper, Cordens Interactive, and also the Indie Game Collective for obtaining a showcase copy.

Synopsis and Diving into Vesper: Zero Light Edition

This game is not a shadow of any predecessors at all. Early in the game. I found myself stunned by the serious and ornate structure of the game. The intro strikes like a best-running serious sci-fi drama on television. I’d be lying if I said this didn’t impress me. It felt nice to work my way up to the ability aspects of the game; after getting acquainted with the immediate state of our main hero.

The planet is crumbling, and it is up to you to escape into a labyrinth of unlikely obstacles. These obstacles cater to every ability you’re given to solve them. This is classified as a puzzle platformer, which is maybe a genre on its own now. It’s the only way I can figure out all these Nintendo Switch releases.

The game is not really big on combat–at least within the early stages of gameplay; probably not at all from what I’ve researched. You will have to hoodwink and duck, dodge, hide, and roll past sentries for lack-of-a-better-term.

Features of Vesper: Zero Light Edition

  • Beautiful game cinematography and environments
  • Paced Progression through a falling but stunning world
  • Use a device called a drive gun to unlock obstacles in the game
  • A haunting sci-fi story that can be unlocked throughout the game
  • Intuitive prompts that lead you above and beyond areas
  • Use natural insights to decide the way you’d like to solve problems
  • Encouraged exploration
  • Now on Nintendo Switch and Steam

Final Thoughts

I couldn’t believe that Cordens Interactive gave us this game for the Switch release to try. At $9.99 USD, this is a masterpiece at a discount. Do you think this could be a game you’d be interested in trying? Because I do. Hollow Knight fans should take note of this one as an addition to a growing genre of HK-inspired games. And it has platform mechanics that are innovative and compelling.

This game is found in the Nintendo eShop on your console. (eShop web link here: Vesper: Zero Light Edition.) It is also available on Steam with the same updates I’ll have a link below.

Thank you so much for reading this showcase for IGC on my blog MrDavePizza. I hope you enjoyed this feature. Please continue to look around my site to find other game recommendations to consider for your own collection. Enjoy your games.

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!

Some Backstory on Rotund

This is an economy version of two grander design-level games also on Steam within the last year and a half. Rotund Rebound (out just last month) and Rotund Takeoff (released last January.) And if you really want to dive into the backstory, here’s a really surprising fact, the Rotund series is based on a remake of the 2014 Wii U game Chubbins! Wow, that’s a long-time circulation for a platformer series, and exciting to retro gamers who enjoyed the Wii U. Also, here’s a fun obscure detail, the rabbit in Rotund Zero is named, Chubbit!

If you’re really into this type of platformer, or if you’d like to see full-color versions of this series, please check out these former releases on Steam mentioned.

Where To Get Rotund Zero

The major selling point here is probably going to be the YouTube gameplay I recorded, but for the record, I found the 5-minute countdown a perfect time to test my platformer skills. If you get lost, pay attention to the directionality of the blocks and other mechanisms throughout the levels. Also, not all of the platforms or blocks are visible immediately, so you may need to explore in the heat of perilous bouncing.

I don’t feel the need to go into too much depth about Rotund Zero, but it is enjoyable and the dev has some great ideas to learn from. The game is $1.99, so just get it. And basically, that’s all I’m going to say.

What an action-packed MrDavePizza showcase for the Indie Game Collective. Well, a brief one at least! Thanks for reading, please have a look around and explore my archives for many more wonderful, weird, and fun games covered in the past. Most of them are a bit more in-depth than this, but I hope you enjoyed this coverage here. Enjoy your games.

Here is a link to Dahku’s Rotund Zero on Steam.

Starbound – Completing the First Planet (Quick Guide)

In Starbound, you use Terraria-style mining mechanics to collect materials and progress through the galaxy. This game was released in 2016. It has had some resurgence thanks to a re-release of the game on the invaluable Xbox PC Game Pass platform. I figured since I didn’t find immediate coverage of my own questions, new players may be wondering how to progress in this game. The game takes place in outer space. It has a plotline involving being stranded in space after a cataclysmic invasion destroys the planet. With some basic tools, you’re left to fend for your own. With a damaged spaceship, you escape to the orbit of a wild alien planet. Now that everyone knows the background, let’s get into how to make it past the first planet!

Some Initial Tips on Starbound For Beginners

Your Trusty New–Broken–Ship

You could also compare Starbound to Minecraft, but the storyline is more similar to a combination of Terraria and an RPG. I’ve been wanting to try Starbound from Chucklefish ever since I first learned that it was similar to Stardew Valley.

The initial planet represents the core repeating questline of the game’s open world. Completing it is a good way to set the course for the rest of the game. Thanks to the brief intro of the game at the Protectorate base, you’ll have a useful tool called a Manipulator. It’s kind of like a mix between a mining pick and a phaser. It allows you to mine materials from the inside and collects dirt, ore, objects, and more. This, and your broadsword, will provide what you need to complete the first quest. Collecting core fragments for a special arc temple that will allow you to reconnect with an alien space station.

Currently Orbited World

If you’re already at this stage, you have more or less figured out how to get through the intro. You may want to experiment a bit to figure out the controls before moving on. For starters, the action bar at the top of the page allows you to place items into it. You can then access them quickly with your mouse. By default, your manipulator, magnifying glass, and broadsword will already appear on the bar from the start.

Starbound Action Bar
Action Bar

I recommend grabbing the flashlight out of your ship’s locker as well because it can get quite dark when traversing through the caverns of the planet! Torches also help and are easy to craft using lumber harvested from trees and bits of coal mined from the dirt. Dangling plant matter from the ceiling of caves can also be used to craft ropes, which are helpful when exploring.

Being Careful in Starbound

When you create your character in Starbound, I highly advise you to choose the casual mode for your character. The more difficult settings can be totally brutal. When getting started, survival mode is really not necessary to be challenged by the game.

Additionally, you should act quickly to cook food from ingredients you find along the surface. This will be vital after getting damaged by creatures or accidental falls when exploring. You can also find or craft bandages and health kits, but this might be difficult on the first planet. They are however dropped by several of the creatures around, and inside, the planet.

There are so many strategies and techniques when getting started. It’s kind of excessive to go over all of them, which is why I’m focusing on the basics. The best thing to do when you get started is just explore. See how things work, hoping to find out where the quest is. Do try a few things like harvesting, mining, cooking, and crafting though. This will help you with the overall strategies of the game. It’s also fun.

Finding the First Temple and Mine

The temple is an ancient-looking structure that is easy to find. It’s also where you get your first quest and the first step in teleporting to the next area. Just walk along the surface of the planet until you find it. It might seem like a long distance, but after you pass over the three major hills on the first planet, you should arrive there fairly soon. It’s a big gray stone structure with an open platform. You won’t miss it.

Stabound Arc
The Temple

You will get a quest to obtain 20 core fragments. There are a couple of ways to get them, although overall there is probably only one superior way. Some people suggest mining for core fragments deep below the surface where the rocks are filled with red lava. While this is possible, it can be really frustrating if you spend 20 minutes digging and fall into a pool of lava! Try this method instead. First, ransack the crates through the mining outpost. Next, defeat the big monster in the basement of the mine. I’ll tell you how.

Once again, this is a location you’ll find by walking along the surface. One notable aspect that will help you find the mine quicker is that the entrance is manned by a human. He tells you to check the mine for fragments–well, that was simple, right?

Collecting the Core Fragments

Using your flashlight, torches, manipulator, and sword, make your way through the platforms of the mine. You can move through surfaces underground, by pressing down (S-key) and space bar–a traditional platformer mechanic. Open up the crates with your manipulator and collect as many fragments as you can. Then go after this guy in the lower right corridor. You will have to use the E-key to open the doors.

Starbound Mine Monster
All the boxes behind him are filled with core fragments.

He is a bit tough to destroy in one go. If you are in casual mode, good news: your hit points will still apply even if he forces you to regenerate on your ship. You most likely won’t have enough armor to get away with it in one strike. After you defeat him, collect the fragments and head back up to the surface then to the temple.

Turn in the Core Fragments and Teleport to The Ark

Turn in the Fragments
Turn in the fragments.
Save the teleporter
Teleport to the Ark, and save the teleport location.

And, that’s pretty much it. After being teleported to The Ark, a survival ship with refugees, you have completed the quest. From here, you can save teleporter locations to access your ship and talk to the grand protectorate about the following storyline.

This guide is also summarized on YouTube

Thanks for Reading This Guide, Please Look Around!

This is actually the first guide, or game guide at least, that I’ve written to be totally honest. The pressure to make some has been quite strong for a while, so I decided to make Starbound the game to start with, since it happens to be my current obsession. Check back again for more tutorials, or explore the vast amount of indie game coverage here at MrDavePizza. Thanks!

Galacticon – Holy Pixels, This is Actually REAL

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.

Platforms: Steam, Nintendo Switch

First. Flynn’s Arcade is a publisher in Spain that has released a good handful of games. They’ve reached out to me a couple of times after I reviewed the brilliant game What Comes After? A public thank you to them for the game and for noticing my content.

What Does Galacticon Have to Offer?

Galacticon has a lot to offer apparently. The game, downloadable on Steam for PC, has all the exclusive content of a premium game–in an almost bold, but accurate, commitment to authenticity. I don’t honestly play a ton of arcade games, but it’s beginning to become a genuine interest of mine. A nice thing about playing new-release arcade games is you can get all the perks of a classic cabinet optimized for your controller; or arcade pad, keyboard, or whatever. My successes were my own, and my slips were my own, because of the way it was optimized. This makes for an excellent test of the player’s agility.

The objective is, as the winged hero, to blast enemies swarming through a fixed map of platforms and open space and rescue innocent citizens. The small citizens, wandering the platforms are also rescued by blasting cage ships. Simply fly to the passengers to scoop them up and bring them to the four-door ship pods at the bottom of the level. Once you’ve filled all the pods, you’ll be prompted to fly upward into an asteroid belt toward your ship.

When you reach your limit, there is, an in-game online leaderboard to compete against other players from around the world.

The Galacticon Genre

To be totally honest, I really don’t know who the audience for this genre is–but I suppose there probably is an audience out there. Well, actually I know there is, but like I said I have not spent much time with it! Everything considered though, I made it through the first couple of levels multiple times; and this is actually the kind of arcade genre game that I’ve always wanted to try for a post here.

I really appreciate the authenticity of the 8-bit pixel art that’s also pleasant to look at. The splashy 8-bit music and sound effects really made it feel like a jump back in time too. And further, the obtainable boosts floating through the waterfall of pixels in-game were authentic and useful.

I’d recommend Galacticon to any players considering an arcade-style game from Stema based on the preview I had today. If you would like to obtain more information, definitely check out the Steam link below.

Thanks for Reading/Watching

Thanks for checking out my blog and YouTube channel MrDavePizza. I have the link to the game below, which is set to release on May 20th–so make sure to wishlist that and check it out. It will also be released on Nintendo Switch. If any devs/publishers out there want me to try out their own arcade games (or any game) let me know! To everybody, make sure to have a look around this blog because there is a lot of new content.

And one last thing: I am desperate for new YouTube subscribers, so please do that and check the bell for updates! With my new equipment, I’m covering a lot more games now.

Get ready player one, this game is available now!

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.

Getting Started with Jaded

The demo does mention that the game is still in beta, and there are few mobs. There are enough to make it worth your while though. I definitely got a Celeste vibe from this, which is appropriate because they’re both precision platformers. I found the progression even through the first level to be complex enough to make me willing to try things a few times to get them. Admittedly, my video shows my gameplay as sort of jarring when first trying to get the time/slingshot mechanic, but once I got the hang of it I was able to navigate and understand the objectives flawlessly.

Pixel Art Pleasantries and Game Status of Jaded

The pixel art in the game will be just fine if you decide to check it out, which is almost my preferred style at this point, and it does look good here. Mobs include some crazy purple birds, some warriors that honestly look like they could easily be skeletal warriors, and there were some blue land crawlers.

I don’t want to expose everything about this, because it’s a very introductory demo. The developer has listed the game as free-to-play currently, so that puts this somewhere in the middle of those two categories. So, check it out, it really has a lot of potential, and I think people are going to be talking about this.

Thanks for Reading

Thank you for reading MrDavePizza. I’ll be appearing in your feed and on my site with new demo and free games as often as I can play them, and I have plenty of features and showcases coming soon too. Take care.