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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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!

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Galacticon – Retro Arcade Shmup (Preview)

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.

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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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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.

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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.

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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!

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Logo

Pizza Express – Retro Pizzeria Game That Fed My Hunger

My hunger for low-res grounded pixel games lately opened me up to a stellar sale on a game called Pizza Express. Pizza Express is an indie pixel-graphic pizzeria simulator about a fast-paced solo restaurant run by animal friends Gastone the cat and Lucky the rabbit–and also you. The game is fairly simple but incorporates playful dialogue and gameplay that is quirky in the best indie-adhering ways. It is very similar to the game Good Pizza, Great Pizza, but is older and definitely a bit more grassroots. I enjoyed it very much, so I’ve decided to bring this review of it together for your reference. Please enjoy.

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Ghostbusters Video Game Remastered Promo Art

Ghostbusters Video Game Remastered – They Are Back And Looking Better Than Ever

Nobody asked for a Ghostbusters Video Game Remastered review in 2021, it’s sure to be overshadowed by the mega Afterlife release coverage, but maybe, just maybe, you weren’t sure who to call. So, that’s where I spawn my digital specter presence and declare, “No, Mr. Parker, no I ain’t ‘fraid of no ghosts.” I’m not sure if there’s anybody on the planet who has never seen Ghostbusters, so to those who want to know more, let me indulge you in this review of an updated Switch version of a game that revived a great continuation of the Ghostbusters universe.

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