Stories From Sol: Part 1 – VN Demo

Thank you to Space Colony Studios for reaching out to me about this upcoming demo. I’m so excited to tell you all about this new demo. It has touches of retro nostalgia, with space cadet aesthetics, and a really compelling intro. Those are the adjectives. What’s really going on here though is we have a new game entering onto the scene with no background really, although everything about it is seductively indie–it’s worth checking out, hands down. There’s a war, and then there’s not a war, and then there’s war again. It’s a space soldier kind of story, although this sneak peek led me mostly through sharp comedic timing and even… a romantic interest? Hey, it’s anime, that’s all you folks are looking for these days right? It’s more of the VA-11-Hall-A kind of anime though, which is pixelated and rests well in a visual novel.

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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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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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Mago: The Villain’s Burger – Looks Old Plays New – Review

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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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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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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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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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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why pizza game

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

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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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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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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crash autodrive visual novel title screen

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 visual novel

Arcade Spirits – New Challengers Review

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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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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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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demetrios funny visual novel interactive fiction

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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