Grey Block – Indie Spotlight

Grey Block is a new psychological interactive fiction. This is a story about Theo Church, a young man who is involuntarily committed to a place called the Green Valley Psychiatric Hospital. Within the framework of a mysterious conspiracy, he tries to escape with the help of a hired assassin, who Theo tells a nurse was originally hired to take Theo out but instead rescued him. She is the primary secondary character outside of Theo who provides the information Theo needs to escape Green Valley. Together they navigate the watch of green-lit security camera spotlights, collecting security badges and hacking unattended computers to solve the conspiracy. Will they solve it? I don’t know, but there’s one way to find out: play it.

Note: This game was provided to me with a press copy by Silver Rat Studios, thanks to them!

Platforms: PC (Steam)

Don’t Lose Your Nerve

Honestly, this game has a little potential to be slightly triggering for some folks, but I feel although the context of the story is dark, the mechanics of the game are quite fun. Although categorized under psychological horror pretty easily, the main feature I was focused on was sneaking around which is quite interactive. Theo and Nikki (his aide in escape) use puzzles to escape, starting off with mini-game puzzles like computers and utility access points to divert power and manipulate guards plus cameras.

The Steam page confirms for me my suspicion that the conspiracy aspect of the game goes deep and far. Although I personally hate conspiracy theories in general, it makes for interesting gameplay. It’s also quite the setup for it with Theo and Nikki, who for all I know are part of some sort of massive hallucination. I think perhaps this is more contained in the aspects of the game which I would deem psychological horror. In essence, no matter what the truth is, the game has made escaping it essential!

I found the puzzle involving computers and the electrical box in the intro area to be challenging without overdoing it. I often feel that when it comes to game puzzles, they should always be solvable using less energy than the next step, but there’s a little bit of everything here, even in the puzzle areas.

Features

  • Escape the hospital by using stealth mechanics to sneak by the staff
  • Disable environmental obstacles with puzzles and strategy
  • Get tips on how to progress from your friend
  • Full 3D environment
  • Rich story with thrilling mysteries and character development
  • Do anything to get out!

Check Out Grey Block!

This is a very interesting game. I imagine there aren’t a ton of games out there like this, but it’s a brilliant concept and there is no question about the intrigue of the storyline. Really glad I got to try this because I feel ecstatic about sharing this intelligent and engaging game. Be sure to check out the gameplay video above I made with gameplay from the first area. Once you get some of the details down, you should be on your way!

If you’d like to play Grey Block by Silver Rat Studios, head to the steam link below!

Thank you so much for reading Mr. Dave Pizza, I hope you enjoyed this article, and feel free to look around. And again, thank you to Silver Rat Studios, this is surely a polished game of this nature on the indie scene or otherwise!

(P.S. if you are a dev, I showcase games all the time and would be happy to take a look at your game! Contact Me.)

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.

Hollow Knight – A Satisfying World of Miniature Macabre

Hollow Knight, alright here are the descriptors. It’s dark, really dark, but also kind of… cute? In a world, run by bugs, in a dingy old cave lies adventure. That was my attempt at movie trailer narration. Get ready to kick bugs.

I found this game on GameFly, where I’ve got a queue of indie games lined up. Why not? Games can be expensive, but I can’t do this without getting hands-on with the games. P.S. Gamefly has really good customer service, so if you think you might be able to use it, go ahead, it’s fairly stress-free.

Oh, and just a quick side note, there is a sequel to Hollow Knight called Hollow Knight: Silksong. It is currently without a release date, and seems on hiatus. But this review is of the original.

Hollow Knight: Jeepers Creepers

I started off in a very dark hole. That was the major theme I found in this game. Everything in the game is dark and ethereal, kind of spectral. I do not think this is what I would call a horror game. It’s more of a Tim Burton/Donnie Darko cathartic whim. You know, Beetlejuice, The Nightmare Before Christmas, etc.

Hollow Knight Gameplay

I crawled through a good 15 minutes of the intro gameplay and got quite far. This doesn’t seem like a puzzle game, but maybe it is. It’s more of a platformer than anything. It even has checkpoints. Ah, I’m going to be saying that word again, Metroidvania.

I kind of struggled on the floating platforms. I always do. After like three and a half minutes of acting like a bozo on the first platforms, I kind of got a grip on the game.

Knight of the Night

Hollow Knight Lights

The combat system is basically of the hack and slash genre as far as the hollow eye socket can see. I like the feel of it, it’s kind of flashy with slightly invasive danger from the environment. There was no difficulty level prompt at the beginning so I suspect that means it’s a one-size-fits-all approach.

If you get low on health you can quench on some sort of soul juice or something you get for killing things. It’s basically Mario 2 hearts, with skulls; I apologize for plucking that comparison from the front a short tree, like popping radishes out of the ground and throwing them at a weird llama.

Dark Game

Left Turn at Albuquerque

There is not a ton of intuition of where to go in the game, or rather, it all kind of looks the same so it’s not obvious at first. I wandered around in the ruins of the kingdom underground quite a bit but I got so turned around I didn’t know how to get out. But when I finally died I respawned at a bench in the last “village.” So, that makes this gameplay pretty manageable for a stream play session or just exploring.

Does anybody really want to play a platformer with permadeath anyway? I guess they do, but as I record gameplay I absolutely dread this. Luckily it wasn’t here.

One additional comparison I wanted to make, this game totally reminds me of Ori and the Will of the Wisps. In almost every way, although Ori is in a forest, and Hollow Knight is deep in chambers of the earth. Wait, actually, when I think about it, they both are. It’s so similar that I had to cross-reference a few controls. They are independent of each other, so it’s not like one is imitating the other. It’s a good frame of reference though

Hollow Knight: A Grim Fable

This game’s heavy on the storyline. There are actually other characters to talk to along the way, which makes this not quite as apocalyptic as I first suspected. The characters seem pretty neat. I liked a lot of the dialogue in the game. There’s also a bit o’ poetry shimmied across the story cut scenes. This is a sophisticated game, for sophisticated whatever these things are.

Hollow Knight DIrtmouth
Dirtmouth Rest

This game came out in 2017, but it is still relevant. There is now a sequel called Silksong supposedly in development, but not much information. If you like the Tim Burton’esque aesthetic, you’re probably going to like the game.

This review is a bit short, but games like this don’t always have a lot to say. There are a bazillion videos and reviews, but this game is quite epic. A holistic approach to video games with some message, somewhere, I’ll just crawl down this tunnel a bit further.

Thanks for reading MrDavePizza.com