Donut County – Make Stuff Fall In Holes

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

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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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Unpacking – Cute Cozy Organization Game

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

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

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

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shu's garden title

Shu’s Garden: A Very Relaxing Review

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

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UFOs Miracle of the Unknown VHS Set

UFOs Miracle of the Unknown: VHS Review

Okay, it’s official, ViCtoRia the VCR is ONLINE. This idea came to me in a late-night deep meditation. I was thinking: what can I do that’s a cut above the rest? My Ancient Aliens review was a blast. Perhaps I could find something that would be a little less obvious. So, anyway, here it is. I got this RCA VCR on eBay as well as a few VHS tapes to test and I got started. Out of sentimentality, I am continuing the UFO theme with a two-tape set documentary called UFOs Miracle of the Unknown. It was more interesting than I had anticipated.

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Rail Route: Demo Impressions

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

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//todo visual novel review

//TODO: today: Visual Novel: Impressions

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

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hades switch gameplay

Hades: First Impressions: The Underworld

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

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superstorm melon date visual novel dating mutant weird

Superstorm Melon Date – Review

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

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Princess Farmer – Demo Review

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

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Lasagna Boy – Indie Game Boy Jump Scares

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

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gardens between popular indie game on switch review title

The Gardens Between: Perfect Puzzles

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

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big journey cat indie game cute funny

The Big Journey: Roll a Dumpling Eating Cat!

Hey, when you say “roll around a dumpling-eating cat,” do you mean that literally?You do? Really? Okay, I’m in. Play The Big Journey and roll around a cat, who should be named Alpuss Dumplingdore (do not deny what a perfect name that would be.) Alright, alright. There’s nothing that bizarre about this game. Firstly, The Big Journey is unique, however, once you jump in, it’s pretty fleshed out. Secondly, despite the weird concept, it’s highly rewarding. Finally, I think we’re all a little bit used to those by now, us gamers, aren’t we? So, next up, let’s play!

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