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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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.

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Starbound Beginner's Guide

Starbound – Completing the First Planet (Quick Guide)

In Starbound, you use Terraria-style mining mechanics to collect materials and progress through the galaxy. This game was released in 2016. It has had some resurgence thanks to a re-release of the game on the invaluable Xbox PC Game Pass platform. I figured since I didn’t find immediate coverage of my own questions, new players may be wondering how to progress in this game. The game takes place in outer space. It has a plotline involving being stranded in space after a cataclysmic invasion destroys the planet. With some basic tools, you’re left to fend for your own. With a damaged spaceship, you escape to the orbit of a wild alien planet. Now that everyone knows the background, let’s get into how to make it past the first planet!

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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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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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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.

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The Gunk Title Screen

The Gunk – Follow the Pipe, Collect Alien Junk (Review)

Discovered through Game Pass, I’m rather fond of this new title, The Gunk, from Image and Form/Thunderful Development, just launched a few days ago. It fits neatly into the category of games I usually enjoy which are casual character development, soft sci-fi, and familiar mechanics of resource collecting games. And this version of those styles is well presented here. While the game is really very straightforward without much need for introduction, a quality I appreciate, I’ll share some highlights on my experience playing through the first few areas plus what you should know about this game.

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City of Shattered Light Illustrated Cover

City of Shattered Light – Review

From the author, Claire Winn, is a debut young adult science fiction novel that teeters on a megalopolis moon colony with a cast of fierce–and glittery–femme Fatales, their fierce cohorts, and an action-packed ride of cybernetic combat mayhem. It’s got everything you need in a cyberpunk novel really, especially for this audience. This is City of Shattered Light. And still, the main characters are simultaneously relatable yet may be out of their league young folks who are exceedingly clever and capable of taking down any enemy turned foe with teamwork.

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OPUS: Echo of Starsong – The Beauty Continues

“OPUS Echo of Starsong” is a narrative sci-fi drama taking place in the far reaches of lawless space, created by SIGONO, the developer of the OPUS series. I covered the previous two OPUS games in the series last year, and they were very popular, accounting for a ton of traffic on my site! I also thoroughly enjoyed them. So, when I started off today learning that I would have an opportunity to cover the third OPUS game in the series, OPUS Echo of Starsong, which was just released on September 1st, I was super excited! This series has so much to offer in interpersonal character development, art design, and dramatic storytelling. It is no wonder fans love OPUS. So let’s get started.

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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.

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Universe for Sale Title Screen

Universe for Sale: A Sci-Fi Game Prologue Preview

Universe for Sale is an upcoming title that combines sci-fi themes and metaphysical themes into a quirky and compelling visual novel/interactive fiction. I already do not recall the main character’s name, and neither will you, as the shroud of mystery is an important part of this introduction. He is a self-described “cultist” with a floating head who drops into a tea shop on Jupiter to meet with a young lady named Lila. The prologue sets up a story involving Lila’s special gift to create mini-universes! Hence the game title.

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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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ancient aliens best of title

Best of Ancient Aliens: DVD Review

So, I’ve been wanting to sit down with this show and see what it was all about kind of recently when I was working on my space theme. If you’re unfamiliar with the Ancient Aliens program from History Channel, let me explain it a bit–most likely you know of it though. The idea is to take a regular historical documentary, throw in a thesis that aliens actually had a major role in ancient civilizations on Earth, then sit back as an eccentric level ensemble of experts deconstruct your entire reality, and it is epic.

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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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orbital racer

Orbital Racer: Underrated Space Racer in Review

Orbital Racer is a realistic space-sim pilot racer originally released for PC in 2017, now available on Xbox One and Series X. At a standard indie game price for nominal quality, I think this is one of the best racing games I have ever played. Players are given a selection of ring wing fighter jets that can be raced with or without combat. Each race starts off in an area in orbit around a planet in our solar system. You will navigate your ship through HUD point rings with beautiful space scenery in the background and collect power-ups to earn your place in each competition, which is also customizable. Even with video game perks like the power-ups, it is highly realistic and one of the best space racers out there.

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Space Games & Casual Blog Stuff 🍕

When I first started blogging in a format similar to this, it was probably a decade ago on a very short-lived Blogspot that I abandoned after the purpose it served was fulfilled. I really wanted to start this specific blog to rekindle that sensation, the writing part that is. I’ve figured out that I can write about games nonstop and if I really want people to read more, it’s not that hard. At some point, I might try to even advertise outside of social media, if it seems the right thing too. You guys have been so awesome in helping me start this dream though, so I have a pretty decent-sized and quality list of followers and readers. It is amazing to experience.

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surviving mars title

Surviving Mars: Colonize The Red Planet

Surviving Mars is a scientific strategy and simulation game about colonizing the red planet. Players are guided through the very basics of roving the terrain for information and resources. As their knowledge increases, it becomes possible to start envisioning an extraplanetary colony. Learn about theoretical technologies as well as real ones and how they interplay in our future on Mars. This is a game about exploration and survival.

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