Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Indie Game Round-Up

With summer bringing a pretty dismal selection of big-name titles, I've taken this opportunity to try out some indie games. With nothing but rehashes and sequels on the horizon, I was hoping something fresh might break me out of this rut and give my sad life purpose again.

Well that didn't happen, but I did play some really fun games. Anyway here's what I found.

Terraria - What minecraft might have been if minecraft was more of a game and less of an OCD simulator. The ease of crafting, better sense of progression and actual fun combat make this an incredibly addictive experience. Rating: A+

Cogs - I've always enjoyed puzzle games but get frustrated with them very easily. I was really impressed by this block sliding puzzler with a twist. Many puzzles take the form of actual clockwork inventions that activate when you complete them. This game definitely goes the extra mile with it's presentation. Rating: 8.5/10

VVVVV - Haha those are supposed to be spikes. I get it, very cute. This is a balls-out-the-ass hard platformer with a truly retro feel. I really dig the presentation, but find myself getting too frustrated with the gameplay. Maybe it's an issue with my setup (With PCs all bets are off), but I don't find the controls responsive enough. When I try to jump for the ceiling there's this tiny delay that causes me to miss way more jumps than I should. In a game where timing is everything, it's a deal-breaker. Rating: Close but no cigar

And Yet it Moves - Or as I like to call it, Motion Sickness: The Game. The world rotates around your guy sort of like Loco Roco, only Loco Roco doesn't make me puke my fucking guts out every five minutes. The platforming itself is pretty good, but not good enough to keep me playing this game. Rating: Two thumbs way covered in vomit.

Crayon Physics Deluxe - Part Scribblenauts and part tech demo, this game is actually quite solid. You really have to think outside the box for some solutions. However, like scribblenauts, one of the downfalls to these sandbox puzzle games is that you always wonder if you cheated by mistake. Rating: Three stars

Capsized - A side-scrolling, physics-based action platformer. Yikes. This game is trying to be a lot of things, and to that end it succeeds and fails in equal measure. First off, Capsized looks great. It's easily worth the price of admission for that. Unfortunately the controls are pretty clunky and over-complicated. The physics based puzzles are are very cool, but occasionally frustrating. It sucks trying to drag a rock when it keeps getting caught on bits of geometry. I wish I could give this game a wholehearted recommendation, but I just can't.
Rating: A half-hearted recommendation

Dishwasher : Vampire Smile - This one was on XBLA and I'll just say it freaking rules. Don't be put off by the silly name and art style that looks like something a greasy goth kid would draw on his binder in social studies. This is one of the best action-platformers to date. Super fast and fluid combat, local and online co-op, tons of weapons and powers. It's visceral, it's gory, and it's only 800 MS points. This is the video game your mom warned you about. If you like your side scrollers hectic and your violence gratuitous then you need to check this one out. Rating: A Gold Star

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