Showing posts with label Ice Cool. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ice Cool. Show all posts


The 7th Guest VR Meta Quest 2 Review 9.5/10 "Feeling…looooonely?" 🏚️🩸 @the7thguestvr #IndieGame #GameDev #MetaQuest2 #VRhorror

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This is probably one of only a handful of reviews that I’ll ever write with my current mindset, due to my personal history with the game in question. The 7th Guest was - and is - a constant presence in my life.

I initially played the game on the Philips CD-i back in the mid-90s (with a friend called Brett, nonetheless) and I was completely mesmerised by what was - to me at the time- absolutely the future of gaming, in that it felt like a movie that you could control yourself! Between this and Burn Cycle, my young mind was blown wide open, and although I didn’t complete the game at the time, when I managed to get hold of a PC version a while later and play it through - with headphones - The 7th Guest made me feel like no other game had before.

I was completely pulled into its atmosphere and world, full of wonder and terror at what it offered both visually and sonically.

Over the years - thanks to Games Freezer - I’ve been in the position to interview George Sanger (the esoteric and wonderful composer of the music featured in the original game) as well as cover fan versions of The 7th Guest. In fact, I’m currently waiting on the release of an industrial rock vinyl of the soundtrack, as well as (hopefully, eventually) a hinted-at vinyl release of the amazing 7/11 album by Team Fat.

The 7th Guest soundtrack still often haunts the halls of my home, and I firmly believe it to be one of the most evocative and singular soundtracks ever laid down - so, what I’m trying to get at here, is ‘I like The 7th Guest’.


Baten Kaitos 1 and 2 HD Remaster Nintendo Switch Review 9/10 “Two Under Rated Games, Brought Back To Life” ⚔️ @BandaiNamcoEU #Retrogames #HDRemaster

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aten Kaitos 1 and 2 Hd Remaster Nintendo Switch  Review
Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and The Lost Ocean and Origins have been in my collection for a long time, they were both some of my favourite JRPGS growing up. It was a real shame they didn’t sell well as they had good reviews at the time and I think they were good games with interesting plots and a good battle mechanic, hopefully, these HD remasters will bring some new eyes to these underappreciated games and fingers crossed for Baten Kaitos 3.


Killer Frequency Nintendo Switch Review 9.5/10 "Who doesn’t like jumping into a horror game?" 🔪 @KillerFrequency #IndieGames #GameDev

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Who doesn’t like jumping into a horror game? Changing it up from racing, shooting, sports games – or even the hundreds of Battle Royale titles that continuously seem to get released.

KILLER FREQUENCY. A puzzle-horror based in 1987, in which you play as the radio host Forrest Nash of KFAM 189.16 who, due to unforeseen circumstances, becomes the 911 hotline in a little town called Gallow Creek.


Astebros SEGA Mega Drive Review 9.5/10 "The Pinnacle of Mega Drive Gaming" ⚔️ @DAsteborg #IndieGames #GameDev

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Back in 2021, I was lucky enough to cover Demons of Asteborg, Neofid Studios’ first release on the Mega Drive. At the time I hailed it as a modern Mega Drive classic, I was really taken by the almost perfect action-platformer, which was up until that point the best game that I had covered on the Mega Drive as it was not only a great game to play, but was also a marvel in terms of the technical design.

In the space of only two years since that release, Neofid Studios have returned to the world of Asteborg and doubled down on what made the preceding title so great, this time upping the ante with local co-op and rogue-lite aspects that exist to add longevity to the game, making it the absolute cream of the Mega Drive crop.


Terror of Hemasaurus XSX Review 9/10 "The Best Rampage Game Ever Made" 🏨🦖 @LorenLemcke @ShawnDaley #IndieGame #GameDev

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I am very much a lover of monster movies and games, and to me, Midway’s Rampage series of games always looked more fun than they actually played. It was a great concept, but it always felt let down by lacklustre gameplay, stiff controls and repetition. Luckily, Loren Lemcke is here to smash down those issues, and breathe fireballs all over those lesser games, standing proudly above the ruins, heaving a throaty roar of triumph into the night sky.


Bravery and Greed XBOX Review 9/10 "On the surface, Bravery and Greed looks like a souped-up Wonderboy clone" ⚔️ @BraveryAndGreed #IndieGames #GameDev

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On the surface, Bravery and Greed looks like a souped-up Wonderboy clone. And, excellently, that's pretty much what it is. Rekka Games, along with publishers Team 17, have brought us a retro-styled rogue-lite hack and slasher that's really easy to pick up but presents a proper challenge.


Shatter Remastered Deluxe Review 9/10 ⛔️ @PikPokGames #IndieGames #GameDev

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Brick-breaking games have been around for ages. AGES. I mean, in gaming terms, they were probably what the dinosaurs were playing just before they got too busy for gaming on account of a massive asteroid wiping them out. Were joysticks invented to address the problems T-Rex’s had with reaching a mouse and keyboard? I suppose we’ll never know. 

For the unfamiliar, brick-breaking games kinda do what it says on the tin – you’re in control of a  paddle, which you use to bounce a ball against bricks until they break. A bit like one-player ping pong. But that’s where the similarity ends as they’re a lot more fun than Forrest Gump’s favourite Olympic sport. 


🏔️⛰️ The Excavation of Hob’s Barrow PC Review 9/10 "Everything about the game is immediately appealing" 🏔️⛰️ @shaunaitcheson #GameDev #IndieGames

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Until recently, if I wanted to hear this many gruff Northerners telling each other to bugger off I’d have to dig out my Ken Loach DVD collection.

Now that I’ve visited Bewlay, and delved deep into Hob’s Barrow (not a euphemism), I have access to another world in which robust vernacular is firmly on the menu. 


🍿 Unusual Findings PS5 Review 9/10 "A Group of Pop Culture-Loving Preteens Discover Something Supernatural" 🍿 @ESDigital_Games #GameDev #IndieGames

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A group of pop culture-loving preteens discover something supernatural afoot in their small, 1980s American town.

They cycle through creepy woods, battle inter-dimensional horrors and navigate shady government facilities, all while dealing with burgeoning hormonal urges and hair where there was no hair before.


🛣️ Roadwarden PC Review 9/10 "Endless Hordes of Shit-Throwing Apes" 🛣️ @AssembleTeam #GameDev #IndieGames

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Your first steps into Roadwarden’s unnamed peninsula are timid and paranoid. Anyone who’s played a dark fantasy game will steel themselves for untrustworthy inhabitants, death lurking around every corner, and your character forced into tough moral decisions for some ill-defined greater good. 


🕹️👖🩲🩳🧦 Arcade Paradise PC Review 9.5/10 "The LaundCade Is Now OPEN!" 🕹️👖🩲🩳🧦 @WiredP @Withnailmarwood @nosebleedgames #IndieGames #GameDev

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As soon as I was crawling around on a Laundrette floor searching for chewing gum and plastic bottles I knew Arcade Paradise had me by the trousers and it was wrenching them off me.

Arcade Paradise follows the story of a son who is given the opportunity to make something of himself by his dad by taking over the family laundrette business.

Every day you will drag your arse into the laundrette on the bus and then the day job will begin. You’ll be presented with the benign tasks of running a laundrette such as unblocking the toilet, emptying the cash hoppers, taking the rubbish out and filling the safe with last night's takings. 

Once you’re done with that you’ll have to get as many washes on the go as you can and then be ready to pop those washes in the dryer as soon as the wash cycle ends. Once dried you’ll need to get those clothes back into the collection area for your customers to collect.

Spinning all these plates will ensure that your laundrette business keeps the money rolling in.


🐢⚔️ Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge XBOX Review 9/10 "It’s More Than Worth… 'Shelling Out' For!" 🐢⚔️ @PixelHunted @Dotemu #IndieGames #GameDev

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Shameless nostalgia tweaking usually doesn’t do much for me. It’s self-indulgent, a crutch for lazy writing, and once the initial thrill of “ooh, I recognize that” is out of the way things rapidly get boring.

But Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge was a laser-guided missile of early 90s bliss aimed right at my heart, and I was powerless to resist.


🥋🥷 SIFU PS5 Review 9/10 "On paper Sifu is simple." 🥋🥷 @SifuGame @sloclap #IndieGames #GameDev

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On paper Sifu is simple. It's a third person brawler that has you fight your way through five levels, kill five bosses and avenge your slain family. 


📽️🍿 Rifftrax: The Game XSX Review 9/10 @widerightgames "The creators of What the Dub once again strike comedy gold" 📽️🍿 #IndieGame #GameDev

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Having been a big fan of Wide Right’s previous game, What the Dub – I was intrigued as to how Rifftrax: The Game would differ, and what it would bring to the table – especially as it appears to be based on a more American-centric show not familiar to me at all (although I was vaguely aware of the precursor show Mystery Science Theatre 3000).

It turns out that no prior knowledge of Rifftrax is required, as Wide Right Games have created a fantastic and often hilarious party game that is accessible to all, and this is a game I highly recommend whenever you have friends or family around.


⚔️ Dark Deity | Nintendo Switch | Review | 9/10 | "A Shining Example of The Genre" ⚔️ @DarkDeityGame #IndieGame #IndieGameDev

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A Kickstarter funded title from developers Sword and Axe LLC, released through Freedom Games - Dark Deity was brought to my attention through an innocuous press release.

Initially, upon seeing a few screenshots – and thus the anime-styled character portraits, combined with blocks of dialogue– I foolishly assumed that it was a visual novel and my expectations dropped accordingly…until I watched the trailer.


🤠 Unavowed | Nintendo Switch | Review | 9.5/10 | "Taking The Crown" 🤠 @WadjetEyeGames #IndieGame #IndieGameDev

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I was asked, “do you want to review a game called Primordia?” -which I did, and it was a great game – and then I had a message that read, “I got excited and grabbed an Unavowed code for you as well.” - so this game was a complete surprise for me, I knew it was one of my brother's favourite adventure games, which meant it had lofty expectations.

Having huge expectations is always a double-edged sword, it’s great that a game is held in such high esteem, but if you don’t enjoy it as others have, there is a huge let-down and that sometimes creates a bigger negative feeling towards the game - anyone who is on Twitter can attest to this.

Luckily, Unavowed is an absolutely amazing game, and now holds the crown of being my favourite graphic adventure game of all time, sorry The Secret of Monkey Island, it has been a good 31-year streak.


🕵️ Lacuna | XSX | Review | 9.5/10 | "A Perfectly Crafted Sci fi Noir, That Has Bags of Character and Music to Die For" 🕵️ @digitales_games #GameDev #IndieGames

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I'm going to start this review in a strange way - by telling you that I have tried to write this opening paragraph four times now, and I'm struggling because everything I write sounds like hyperbole. I keep using such strong words that I end up thinking, “do I really think this? Can I love it this much? 

Can I keep writing the words ‘near perfect’ or ‘special’ and truly mean it? When I say, ‘I would put this in my top 10 favourite games of all time’, is this just recency bias or do I genuinely think that this may be one of the most well-crafted games I've ever played?”

The more I've had to rewrite it and reflect on it, I keep thinking, “Yep, I do utterly adore it” and I genuinely think it may be one of the best gaming experiences I've ever had.

This is where I usually outline the plot, but all you really need to know is that you play as Neil Conrad, a grizzled member of the CDI investigating a recent murder, boom, done. 

The less you know the better.


🪙 The Forgotten City | Nintendo Switch | Review | 9/10 | "8-10 Hours of Adventure Mystery Romp" 🪙 @ModnStoryteller #IndieGames #GameDev

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I’ll be honest, in the first few minutes I was worried that I really wasn’t going to like this game. And I was wrong, so gloriously and happily wrong. 

A little history: The Forgotten City started out life as one of Skyrim’s many mods, and it was successful. So successful in fact that the developers took the idea, built upon it, and fleshed it out into the standalone game I’m reviewing today, creating a gloriously designed Greco-Roman city, replete with fantastically written characters, period-accurate architecture, and a central gameplay mechanic that is simultaneously clever, fun, and educational (yeah, I know – they don’t go together often). 

I went into The Forgotten City completely blind, and I would recommend that you do the same. It’s hard to review a game like this one without some kind of spoilers, so if you’d like to get the absolute most out of it, stop reading after this statement: The Forgotten City is 8-10 hours of adventure mystery romp, driven by fantastically written and acted dialogue. Play it. 


⚔️Ghostrunner | PS5 | Review | 9/10 | "Your enemies are hapless mooks destined to be carved into chunks"👻🏃 #IndieGames #GameDev @GhostrunnerGame @PixelHunted

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In Ghostrunner you’re a super-powered, hyper-agile katana-wielding cyber-ninja. Your enemies are hapless mooks destined to be carved into chunks during your time-bending, telekinetic acrobatic rampage. Pounding electronic beats drive you through levels with the destructive potential of a tornado that’s sucked up the contents of a knife shop. In the right hands you can not - will not - be stopped.


⚽️ Tux and Fanny | Nintendo Switch | Review | 9.5/10 | "A rich world of wonder, packed with magic" ⚽️ @simplysylvio #GameDev #IndieGames

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I had never heard of Tux and Fanny before happening across a conversation on Twitter a few days ago in which the developer stated that he was incredibly proud of the game and that it featured over 25 mini-games.

As a sucker for mini-games, I went into my usual trance and my hands worked of their own volition, guiding me inevitably towards the Tux and Fanny trailer on YouTube. I watched the trailer with my eyes and was absolutely sold on the Microsoft Paint-like chunky pixelated visuals and simple characters.

As I’ve mentioned recently in other child-friendly games I’ve covered, I’m compiling a list of games to play with my son when he is old enough and this is firmly, firmly on that list, it’s Pikuniku levels of brilliant.