Showing posts with label 6.5/10. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 6.5/10. Show all posts

10/06/2024

Skeler Boy Nintendo Switch Review 6.5/10 "a pop culture, pixel mystery" ๐Ÿ”ฆ @MANIACBOYSTUDIO #IndieGame #GameDev

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Skeler Boy Nintendo Switch Review
Skeler Boy comes at us from Maniac Boy Studio, a Spanish studio that certainly know how to create a great-looking, atmospheric world, but lose some lustre due to a poor translation and some seemingly hurried concepts.

The titular Skeler is a young man searching for his missing girlfriend, Megan. Set purely at night, Skeler roams the city and surrounding locations in a bid to get to the bottom of what has happened to his girlfriend as he swirls further and further into a vortex of - possible – madness. It’s a simple and yet robust premise for some good old-fashioned creepiness in this top-down pixel adventure. 

The vast majority of the gameplay comes from discovering ways to move past certain obstacles, such as locating wire cutters for a fence, or working out how to get access to a boat to cross a river etc. the pacing is pretty solid, and the adventure will only take a couple of hours to see through to the end.

26/04/2024

GEOMETRY SURVIVOR Xbox Series X Review 6.5/10 "Geometry Wars + Vampire Survivors" ๐Ÿ•น️ @brainseal #IndieGame #GameDev

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GEOMETRY SURVIVOR Xbox Series X Review
Most people of a certain age remember the first Geometry Wars and/or its sequels. Classic twin-stick shooters in a wireframe world, the original was an Easter egg in Project Gotham Racing, back when developers occasionally did that sort of thing (Galaga on the loading screen for Tekken springs to mind).

Flash forward to today, where devs happily mine old and new concepts for inspiration. Geometry Survivor, at its most basic, is a mash-up of Geometry Wars and modern single-stick auto shooters. If you’ve played the excellent Brotato, or the quirky-yet-great Vampire Survivors then you know what I’m talking about. In fact, Geometry Wars plus Vampire Survivors gets you, well…you can see where I’m going with this.

22/10/2023

Wartales Nintendo Switch Review 6.5/10 "A GOTY Contender Crippled by Technical Issues" ๐Ÿ›ก️ @Wartales_Game @shirogames #GameDev #IndieGame

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Wartales Nintendo Switch Review
It pains me to write this review of Wartales, as I so desperately wanted it to be a better experience, I was clutching my ageing Switch and willing it to somehow have a burst of strength and run Wartales more smoothly and less clunkily, but alas, I was getting the exact same vibes I did when I played Dragon Age: Inquisition on my PS3 over a decade ago – either the Switch is showing its age, or Shiro games really needs to patch the game up ASAP, as what could be one of the best gaming experiences of the year is at present a mere shadow of what it could be.

02/10/2023

Daymare: 1994 - Sandcastle PS5 Review 6.5/10 "Backtracking to the ‘90s" ๐ŸงŸ @transvaalgf @InvaderDevs #IndieGame #GameDev

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The original Daymare lives in infamy to me. When originally reading about it, the developer had published a list of features for the game and within said list was ‘backtracking’. I found it very amusing, as although I loved old school horror, I never had nostalgia for running back through areas I had already been through, but to my surprise, when I finally joined Twitter and engaged with Twitter horror gaming fans I found that yes, people did indeed love a bit of backtracking!

If you search for ‘horror game backtracking’ on Google, Reddit pops up with a lot of pro-backtracking articles, and the third hit is a thread entitled ‘I love backtracking (especially in horror games)’ so I realise that, although it is something I have never thought about, it was genuinely a feature to some and in the case of Daymare - a very important one, as the game is completely sold on nostalgia. Its biggest selling point is it’s going to try to take you back to the good ol’ days of survival horror.

19/09/2023

Rainbow Skies Nintendo Switch Review 6.5/10 “One For The Die Hard Fans” ๐ŸŒˆ @RainbowSkiesRPG #GameDev #IndieGame

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Rainbow Skies is a strategy RPG and a sequel to 2012’s Rainbow Moon. Rainbow Skies was originally released in 2018 but has now been ported to the Nintendo Switch. I somehow managed to miss both of these games on the PS Vita, which is weird as I’ve owned the console since 2012 and I’m a fan of JRPGS - and there are only about six games available for the Vita - so I’m bewildered at how they got past me!

I was a bit sad that I wasn't picking up my dusty old Vita and bringing it out of retirement, but instead, I picked up the Nintendo Switch and set out to see what I had been missing out on for a number of years. 

05/07/2023

Brave Soldier: Invasion of Cyborgs XSX Review 6.5/10 "Cyborgs Schmyborgs" ๐Ÿค– @eastasiasoft #IndieGames #GameDev

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Brave Soldier – Invasion of Cyborgs is a pretty direct run ‘n-gun shooter in a 16-bit style. The game sees – as you would assume from the title – cyborgs invade Earth, and (for some reason) only you can stop them.

29/06/2023

Gigantosaurus: Dino Kart XSX Review 6.5/10 "A Simple Racer, Perfect For Hatchlings" ๐Ÿฆ– @3DClouds @Outright_Games #IndieGames #GameDev

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Based on the French educational TV series Gigantosaurus, Gigantosaurus: Dino Kart puts the main characters of Rocky, Bill, Tiny, and Mazu – along with a  host of their friends – into various pre-historic kart-type vehicles and sets them speeding around their world through 15 different tracks, avoiding hazards such as steam blasts, chasms, rockslides and, of course – Giganto himself!

Gigantosaurus: Dino Kart is a game aimed at very young children, as is its TV show counterpart. So straight off the bat, it’s worth getting out of the way that this title – even on its hardest difficulty setting – isn’t going to be a challenge for those adult karting veterans out there.

That said, the way in which Gigantosaurus: Dino Kart caters to the younger demographic is impressive and made it possible for even my two-year-old to have enormous fun joining in the races.

12/05/2023

Arcana of Paradise - The Tower Nintendo Switch Review 6.5/10 “A game full of charm that just needs more variety” ๐Ÿ—ผ @TheTowerEN #IndieGames #GameDev

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I picked this game purely on the strength of its trailer and the interesting concept. Several children suffering from amnesia are stuck on top of a gargantuan tower, the top of the tower is in ruin and the kids are barely surviving, but in their minds lies a thought that if they can reach the bottom of the tower and escape - they will enter paradise. It’s an interesting set-up, so I was eager to play, I then learned it was a roguelike deck-builder, which are two words I understand but have never seen together, so I was excited to dive in.

Right out of the gate, Arcana of Paradise has a very ethereal feel thanks to its wonderful art style and gorgeous music. You feel you are in a strange - almost dreamlike - world, the combination of both really paints a vivid picture, and I was sucked into its vision very quickly. 

28/04/2023

King of the Arcade XSX Review 6.5/10 "A fun, mini-game-laden budget title" ๐Ÿ•น️ @SuperVillainDev #IndieGame #GameDev

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King of the Arcade casts the player as a once-adored arcade master that has now fallen to the lows of living in his mum’s basement, with zero cash and mounting debt. In a last-ditch attempt to get a job, he applies at the local arcade, where the owner recognises him from his glorious gaming past.

Sworn to a life out of the limelight, our protagonist is dragged into a situation where he must once again waggle his joystick better than anyone else, as he strives to best the thugs from a competing arcade at their chosen games…or not, as the case may be.

11/11/2022

Police Simulator: Patrol Officers XSX Review 6.5 / 10 "Finally, a police simulator with promise!" ๐Ÿš”๐Ÿšจ๐Ÿ‘ฎ‍♀️ @PolSimulator @AesirInteractiv #IndieGames #GameDev

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Those who have followed my reviews over the last few years may remember my odd fascination with Autobahn Police Simulator 2, a game that -  whilst not scoring highly due to the numerous technical issues - ignited my passion for a police simulation title that focused on the basics of the job.

There was clearly a lot of fuel in the tank in pottering around handing out tickets, catching crooks and generally doing pretty standard police work. I was genuinely disheartened when Autobahn Police Simulator 3 failed to capitalise on what could have been a wonderfully quirky game based on typical police work…

BUT... then along came Police Simulator: Patrol Officers, and whilst this admittedly isn’t a super-high-scoring-rootin’-tootin’-Frozen-In-Time-Games-Freezer-10/10-recommendation… there really is a lot to appreciate here, and again – patch up and build on, hopefully, end up with a pretty top-class game, although that does feel some ways down the line.

09/11/2022

Batora: Lost Haven XSX Review 6.5/10 ๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŽ‹ @stormindgames #IndieGames #GameDev

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Batora: Lost Haven was a game that really caught my eye when I first saw the trailer, I hadn’t played an ARPG in some time and fancied getting hips deep into some demon-killing action, and if there was a narrative to suck me in, all the better! 

06/10/2022

๐Ÿง‘‍๐ŸŽ“ Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? XSX Review 6.5/10 "well...are you?" ๐Ÿง‘‍๐ŸŽ“ @MassiveMiniteam #IndieGames #GameDev

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I think I’ve only ever played one truly awful quiz game – downloaded from the Nintendo eShop, natch – and so it almost feels like it’s impossible to make a bad game based on the quiz show format.

That said, it is very much possible to make games that don’t stand out from the crowd – and that’s kind of the high-wire on which Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader teeters.

04/08/2022

๐Ÿฉธ๐Ÿ“ธ MADiSON PS5 Review 6.5/10 “Many Scares To Be Had, But Far Too Formulaic” ๐Ÿฉธ๐Ÿ“ธ @transvaalgf @MADiSON_Game #IndieGames #GameDev

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MadiSon is a first-person psychological horror game, in which you play as Luca, who wakes up to find his hands covered in blood, and his father screaming at him through a door, questioning how he could ‘do this to the people he loved.

It’s a very exciting and tense opening!

You manage to escape the room and now explore your grandparent’s home, where you learn its dark secrets and understand how Luca has come to be in this position.

28/04/2022

๐Ÿ˜Ž Foreclosed | XSX | Review | 6.5/10 | ‘Metal Gear Solid for the Hipster Generation’ ๐Ÿ˜Ž @showmemagic #IndieGame #IndieGameDev @MergeGamesLtd

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I’ve already sunk several hours into Cyberpunk 2077, so I’m going into this review hot and ready to be entertained. Unfortunately, I’ve already lost interest in the aforementioned game, so let’s see how Foreclosed holds out. Don’t worry, I won’t be making any comparisons, that’s just unfair. It’s just good to know I’m in the futurist zone and keen to play this game. It has, how the French would half-say, ‘piqued my interest’.

Foreclosed is a sleek, stylish interactive graphic novel and immersive narrative-driven action-shooter with the difficulty default setting of Hard-Boiled! I like my games to be sunny-side up - but sod it, I’m in the mood for a challenge. Le regret?

01/03/2022

๐Ÿฆ–Elex II | XSX Review | 6.5/10 | "More RPG action from the team behind the Gothic and Risen series" ๐Ÿฆ– @Piranha_Bytes #IndieGame #IndieGameDev

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When I came across Elex in 2017, it really made an impact on me. I resonated with the dry humour that was scattered throughout the game and, whilst it had technical issues, the sense of character that ran throughout made it stand out from the crowd, despite not being a graphical showcase.

I’ve been eagerly awaiting this sequel and, whilst it retains the humour and fixes some problems that were present in the first game, I couldn’t quite relax fully, due to some vague mission design and implementation which ultimately marred the experience.

09/12/2021

๐Ÿ˜ผ Astro Aqua Kitty | Nintendo Switch | Review | 6.5/10 | "Is it the cat's meow?" ๐Ÿ˜ผ @TIKIPODltd #IndieGames #IndieGame #GameDev

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Astro Aqua Kitty is the action RPG shmup follow-up to the well-received, Aqua Kitty!

As adorable as the kitties are in Astro Aqua Kitty, the hidden difficulty is very much not adorable. Not that difficult shmups are anything new or different. But kitties in an aquatic-space shmup, with RPG elements, do separate them from the pack.

04/10/2021

๐ŸŒ• Jettomero: Hero of the Universe | Nintendo Switch | Review | 6.5/10 | "I’m stompin’ around, move out of my way" ๐ŸŒ• @GhostTimeGames #IndieGames #GameDev

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Having so recently been completely enamoured with the GOTY contender Tux and Fanny, I delved into Jettomero, the previous title from Ghost Time Games. Whilst it didn’t grab me in the same way that Tux and Fanny did, there are some real highs here but they are unfortunately offset by some points that ultimately heavily detract from the experience.

18/09/2021

๐Ÿ“ฎ Lake | Xbox Series X | Review | 6.5/10 | "A Break From The City That’s Maybe Too Mellow" ๐Ÿ“ฎ @Lake_The_Game #IndieGames #GameDev

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Lake was a game that really stood out to me when I watched a showcase from the publisher last year. The trailer depicts a woman (Meredith Weiss) taking a two-week break from her busy computing job in a city - the game is set in 1986, so there’s some cool, old tech kicking around - to cover her postman father’s job back in her hometown of Providence Oaks.

09/09/2021

๐Ÿด Rustler | Review | Xbox Series X | 6.5/10 | "A Horse That May Have Bolted Too Soon" ๐Ÿด @jutsugames #GameDev #IndieGames

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The premise of a top-down GTA game that is set in Medieval times is a winner on paper and Rustler really does have its moments but unfortunately, some fundamental issues that are present throughout limit the enjoyment.

As an all-around rogue Guy, Rustler has you working for a man named Herb as a horse thief, but – unbeknownst to him - you plan to escape your life of poverty by winning a grand tournament. The only problem? You need 5000 gold to enter.

04/09/2021

๐ŸŒ️‍♂️ Golf Club Wasteland | Review | Xbox Series X | 6.5/10 | "On earth, no-one can hear you miss a birdie" ๐ŸŒ️‍♂️ @UntoldTalesHQ #IndieGames #GameDev

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I was HIPS DEEP when I saw the trailer for Golf Club Wasteland. The striking, pastel visuals and dreamy music combined with basic gameplay seemed really captivating.

Having played the game, however, whilst there’s a lot that appealed to me, I  really, really wish I’d connected with the style of progression and the general direction that Golf Club Wasteland takes a lot more.

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