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!

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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!

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading
Dogurai

Dogurai – Game Boy Dog Samurai (Demo Review)

Dogurai by HungryBear is a Game Boy-style indie Metroidvania. I know about it through, a couple of co-creators from Indie Game Collective. Thank you, Jaunty Adventures and Pursuing Pixels. Their taste is superb, as this turned out to be an exciting game. I’ve covered very few Game Boy titles here, aside from Lasagna Boy and… actually, that might be it. It’s a great genre if you want to get into indies. In summary, the designs are aligned with the palette and rendering of old-school Game Boy games. This one in particular is a nice platformer/Metroidvania that takes you through some moderately challenging levels. There are ruffian henchmen, shielded hulks, and old-school SMB 3-style bosses. In my video, I had to jump around like more of a ninja to obliterate the first boss.

Continue Reading
Bumballon

Bumballon – Cartoonish Platformer (Review)

I’ve got a great video up for Bum Ballon on my YouTube channel because I found this game on a Steam sale for 89 cents! With some investigation, I narrowed down some impulse options for pixel art platformers in the likes of some recent faves like Grapple Dog (which hopefully I’ll get to) and PomPom. It’s a game with unique characters and a traditional SNES-type side scroller plot–a game that personally puts me into an optimized chill mode. Basically, hop in a cannon, and, after blast-off, interact as you’re taken for a ride through a colorful world with unique obstacles and moderate challenges.

Continue Reading

Blastronaut (ItchIO Free Game #short)

Well, this is an interesting one. I’ve appeared live-action on cam with a mic and actually talk. This is my first time doing so. I used an antique candlestick phone as a microphone stand, and it worked brilliantly. Anyway! So, this game is a mining platformer, pixel art with the likes of games like Terraria or Spelunky. You use a jetpack and hose to douse the caverns of the planet so you can collect mining materials. It took me a few minutes to realize what I was supposed to do, but once I did, the gameplay was quite good. There are no instructions on the ItchIO page, so I recommend paying attention to the indicators in the upper right and upper left of the game screen to determine what you need to collect and trade in for more fuel and equipment. Didn’t have a ton of luck playing it in the browser with my Xbox controller, but it responded right away to my mouse and keyboard. Overall though, it loaded instantly and was tons of fun.

Continue Reading
hivemind 2 stargrove scramble

Hivemind 2: Stargrove Scramble (Free)

Hivemind 2: Stargrove Scramble is a 2D pixel art platformer part of a 2021 Newgrounds dev jam with an “egg” theme by the dev group Team Bugulon. You play a little cloaked lizard, progressing through various spring-sunset-toned environments, collecting candies that in turn give you eggs that you can use to hurl at enemies and unblock paths. The music is a touch above fun, along with the sound effects, making the game have a polished SNES quality that is so adored in these kind of games. Stargrove Scramble is a generous product as far as free games on ItchIO go in my opinion. It holds a really nice balance of ease to play with rewarding character abilities. I also couldn’t help but notice the subtle hark back to Mario 2’s “Birdo” egg sound effects, which is a nostalgic touch. The controller support is a nice plus that I always look for too. I recommend checking it out if you play ItchIO games and want a pleasant free one that seems to be a cohesive one. You can also play Stargrove Scramble in your browser if you like!

Continue Reading
moonstruck steam

Moonstuck (Steam Free Game #short)

This is one of the games that I hesitated to add because I am not any good at playing it yet. Then again, that is basically the reason I decided to create this side blog because I can share the actual game info quicker than I pick up the learning curve. Anyway, Moonstuck is a 2D platformer from CozyGames and Black County Games available on Steam just released today. It utilizes a very difficult mechanic involving rocket propulsion and a scenario where touching the majority portions of the platform can result in being kicked back to the start, or checkpoint if you proceed far enough. The aesthetics of the game, especially the environment, music, and character are really pleasant. It offers a cozy place to zone out and cuts no corners in creativity. Some comments on Steam described it as a “calm rage game,” which I think is a perfect description. As usual, the game is totally free and even offers controller support, so it is worth checking out!

Continue Reading
with you game

With You (Steam Free Game #short)

With You is from Carol Mertz and Insatiable Cycle, the same publisher of “We should talk.” It’s a simple co-op puzzle platformer that can be played with a keyboard. It can also be played as one player using the respective sides of their keyboard to control the two main characters. Solve puzzles by figuring out geometric obstacles, flipping around your square and half circle buddies so that they can fit into the floating sections on the two-dimensional plane behind them, unlocking the next levels. The game features a cute style, with a pleasant soundtrack, and is described on the Steam page as a game “that hopes to inspire couples to connect, communicate, and collaborate.” I think it succeeds, and that’s why it is my free game this today, which has also got me back on the hunt for more free Steam games!

Continue Reading
bunny bye-bye

Bunny Bye-bye (ItchIO Free Game #short)

This is a 2D pixel-art platformer about a little alien named “bobe” who needs to clean dust-bunnies around a space station using a vacuum called a clean0tron. Solve path puzzles to navigate your way through the cozy mechanical environment and progress through the game. The vacuum has space for one item at a time, so you’ll have to figure out what order to vacuum and relocate blocks so that you can complete each level. The puzzles are challenging enough to keep things interesting, but you’ll most likely find the gameplay light and pleasant.

Continue Reading
Super Star Duck

Super Star Duck: Escape From Nefarious Castle (ItchIO Free Game Short)

There’s a really neat ItchIO developer called “eggnog.” They’re publishing all sorts of harmless, fun games apparently. In Super Star Duck: Escape From Nefarious Castle, you’ve got the option to play as Esdee, Flan, or Bean, a duck, hippo, and dog (respectively.) It works best with keyboard input in my experience, but a mapped controller would work too (technically the game supports controllers too so you can try it but that’s just my opinion.) You’ll notice on the ItchIO page by eggnog that there is a whole backstory to Super Star Duck, and the gameplay, although a platformer, has a casual storyline as well. Also, just look at these pastels here on the cusp of spring. I think it looks amazing!

Continue Reading
gummy shooter

Gummy Shooter (Android Free Game #short)

Mostly created for its novelty probably, Gummy Shooter is an amusing side-scrolling thumb blaster. To be honest, I’ve never tried anything like it before, but I was moved to try the Android category of ItchIO as I was out and it was really quite easy. Everything here is a purple orange anime’ish pixel sci-fi. There’s really not much to it. The controls are a little confusing but just keep experimenting and you will get it. Want to check it out? It is, as everything here, free.

Continue Reading
Eats Shoots Leaves itchio

Eats Shoots and Leaves (Free)

Here’s an amusing little platformer over on ItchIO called Eats Shoots and Leaves. The name is a parody of the famous writing device expressing the difference punctuation and grammar makes in the comparison of the words “Eats Chutes and Leaves” and “Eats, Shoots, and Leaves.” The game is about a panda, so this is most certainly true. In the game, you play a mama panda who needs to rescue her cubs from bad guy poachers wandering around the jungle. Collect leaves, climb vines, open cages. You can also, appropriately, shoot little missiles at enemy poachers. This game is simple but really well made and I really loved playing it. It also offers full controller support.

Continue Reading
Space Adventure by e9k9

Space Adventure by e9k9 (ItchIO)

Just a fun little platformer today. Found this on ItchIO. You play as a small alien crashlanded somewhere, a moon perhaps, wandering around collecting green dots. Works great on a controller, and the music is pleasant. The original language of this game is German, so if you don’t speak German you might not totally understand what’s going on. Everything is pretty intuitive though, including the universal basics of all platformers (left, right, up, down, jump, etc.) Released within the last month.

Continue Reading
Daydream ItchIO

Daydream (ItchIO Jam Free Game #short)

Daydream is a simple keyboard controller platformer made for an ItchIO Dev jam. The protagonist is a woman on a bus daydreaming out the window, as you control one of three recurring daydreams, jumping over obstacles and creatures and avoiding water. It varies from creative to bizarre. Nothing too serious here, just a free game, standing in front of a blog, wondering what to play. There were a few runners-up today, but this was released 12 hours ago, so for the sake of authenticity, this is today’s latest free game. I might have to start dipping into the archives next time. Enjoy the ambient pixel art gameplay.

Find the game here: https://kowzak.itch.io/daydream

Continue Reading

Caves Ablaze (ItchIO Free Game #short)

Caves Ablaze is a 2D Metroidvania Platformer. Play as a ball of fire that completes puzzles deep underground by using flames and dashing abilities to unlock paths. Avoid water and slowly make your way to the surface. Playable with an X-Box Input Controller or keyboard. This was the inaugural free games post for the FGV blog. Not a lot documented here, but a perfectly enjoyable game.

Continue Reading

Pompom: The Great Space Rescue – First Look – 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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

Dadish 2 – The Rad Game About a Radish Dad (Review)

I’m spending time playing a lot of food games lately. While cooking sims are the most obvious manifestation of this, platformers like Dadish 2 are right on board too. Dadish 2 is a continuation of the original Dadish game and both are available on most platforms. You, Dadish, awake from a nap at work one day when your several radish children come to visit you for “bring your kids to work day.” They convince you to leave the chainsaw and cannon-filled office building and set off into this weird world. Dadish 2 has a narrative that is humorously inconsistent but is very entertaining and quirky.

Continue Reading

Necrow Co. – Gameboy Soul-Reaping Crow

If this headline doesn’t raise an eyebrow, then stick with two, because this article is tapping into some unexplored territory with the game Necrow Co. by creator Zahran Worell. The game Necrow Co. is a 2D pixel platformer, playable with either a controller or keyboard. It’s a light narrative about a crow who starts work for a company of reapers, featuring a cozy skeleton psychopomp grim dispatching you to a national park filled with spookies, squishies, and don’t-touchies (terms coined on our end.) Abilities are basic: move left and right, jump, and shoot a sort-of crow song wave that disables mobs. Necrow Co. is a charming adventure, and despite the grim theme, fairly soft on the player. Let’s take a look.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

Celeste – One of the Best Platformers Ever

Celeste. Yes, it’s about time we did this. The renowned precision platformer from Extremely OK Games has been out for approximately three years now (Celeste was released Jan. 25, 2018, hence the three-year anniversary,) and it’s not lost its charm. And why would it? The game sold over a million copies by the end of 2019. Whether you’re hanging out in your game room or playing on your Switch en destination, this is the kind of pick-up and go game dreams are made of. You’ll have to pardon me as I haphazardly introduce a game that’s been out for three years! I’m compelled to share my heart with you on this one though. So, let’s do it. Let’s talk, Celeste. I’ll cover “Farewell” a little bit as well.

Continue Reading

Greak: Memories of Azur Review

Amongst the trove of pale-skinned characters, glowing misty caverns, and punchy character abilities, this one might be new to you. Greak: Memories of Azur is similar to platformers like Hollow Knight and Undertale, perhaps even Ori or maybe Hoa, sure. Don’t worry if you haven’t heard of any of those! What Greak offers is a borderline cozy adventure with very unique, engaging gameplay that is an experience of its own.

Continue Reading
The Light Bringer Demo Screen

The Lightbringer: Nintendo Switch Demo Review

This is kind of random. No, really, it is. Might as well roll for initiative. Anyway, I’ve been spending a ton of time on the Switch lately, since I was traveling with the handheld recently and got kind of used to it. However, I recorded it while playing on my TV, so I don’t know. Anyway, was looking back through some of my YouTube videos and realized a lot of you like demos for some reason. So, this one was on the eShop and I gave it a spin. Here we go again with this kinda cute boomerang whirling puzzle solver: The Lightbringer.

Continue Reading

Pumpkin Jack – How Did One Person Make This!? – Review

I petitioned my friends yesterday for a list of games they consider Halloween thematic for an easily spooked dude like myself. I knew of Pumpkin Jack as a backburner game that I had seen last year and lamented myself for not having my affairs in order to get it on the review list! That was during that standalone year of 2020 that had enough triggers as it is. That’s why, when my peers suggested Pumpkin Jack I was excited to see it as a standing contender. And to be honest, some of the non-straight-up horror genre games this year are not the type of visual fantasticness that Pumpkin Jack is. So, after plunking down the kinda premium toll on Steam, I’m here to tell you why Pumpkin Jack is worth the cost if you are into indie platformers and want something that’s bound to get you into the Halloween spirit–all-year-long!

Continue Reading

Kick Bot: Precision Platformer (Demo) Impressions

Spikes, saws, laser beams, the whole works. There are also springing platforms, stomp areas, and wall edges that you can grip to pretty well with some slight entropy, but that’s no problem as you can also climb the walls before you leap to the other side. If you’re not familiar with this type of game, timing is everything. Timing is everything in Kick Bot. Oh yeah, the reason it’s called “Kick Bot?” … A robot with a giant boot kicks you through the roof when you complete a level. Hey, why not?

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading
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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading
Widget Satchel menu

Widget Satchel: Ferret in Space

Widget Satchel is a cross-platform indie platformer out a couple of years but still very fun and fresh. It is currently available through the Itch.IO Palestinian aid bundle. Widget Satchel is a delightful flat graphic style game, where you play as an adorable ferret upon a space station. You start off with a satchel and explore junk-filled levels and builds things. There is no game over or way of getting hurt, but plenty of challenging scenarios to try things out. Let’s have a look.

Continue Reading

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!

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading
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.

Continue Reading

Drawing + “Patchless” PizzaPost 🍕

Patchless is about how I feel when I play any game that frustrates oneself to no end because of inconsistent mechanics. Fortunately, this is intentional in this game. I don’t really have much to say on it; the 8-bit music is good although a little wonky, glowy black screen background which reminds me of level 5 in Super Mario Bros, which is enchanting in its own right. This is kind of what you might expect from a game jam in some experiences. It’s pretty good. Simple, but satisfactory. Unfortunately, it wasn’t simple enough for me because I got really confused after about 5 minutes.

Continue Reading
lasagna boy funny shocking horror gameboy pixel art indie itch game original

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.

Continue Reading