Indie

Broforce: Testosterone Fueled Carnage!

 

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Previously I have spoken about early-access games and one in particular I highlighted was Broforce. Finally I got my hands on the game and after playing for even just a few minutes I was hooked and just had to share my thoughts with other people. This game is some sort of potion of awesome with dashes of humour and charm but with a whole heap of napalm and adrenalin!

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The game itself plays out like your conventional platformer, going from left to right (mostly) and has incredibly tight controls which a game like this so desperately needs so that when you die you have no one to blame but yourself. The action element is where the gameplay shines with each bro playing differently which adds a sense of strategy into the run and gun shoot-em-up, Enemies are varied and progressively change as the campaign (which isn’t complete at the time of this article) moves forward. Boss fights are fun and help give you that feeling of accomplishment at the end of stages as well as force you to really use your experience with all the different bros to beat them as some can only be killed in certain ways.

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I love this art style! I have always been a fan of pixel art and games that do it well just make me melt inside. This game evaporates me. The characters are distinct and easy to recognise which is a feat in itself but coupled with the different environments and enemies it just makes it seem that much more cared for. Oh and speaking of environments, they are fully destructible! At first it seems funny but again its these little details that add depth to the game. It allows you to create your own path through the levels but on the flipside it can also become your downfall if you abuse it too much to the point where there is no floor left to stand on. The stages themselves get harder as the game moves forward so their isn’t some massive jump in difficulty nor is this game a cake-walk it finds a nice balance and if you can’t beat a level it doesn’t dumb it down or take it easy it just sits back and lets you keep repeating till you get it. Same with multiplayer and single player. Playing with friends while much more fun and enjoyable also can make the game easier as each level has the same amount of enemies as if you played single player. Not to say single player isn’t fun, far from it, it’s a great way to get to know the game and really progress and see what the game has to offer. I would say multiplayer = funnier not anymore fun.

Now for the part that makes this game what it is. The bros. The care and detail that has gone into every single sprite and character move set really blows your mind, especially when they are always updating the game with new bros, heck even while preparing this article an update came out adding another two more! Each character feels different and unique and really impact how you play the game. Each character is balanced well almost right off the bat which is excellent for when the game is updated because the new characters just slot right in there with the others you’ve collected. The addition of female bros will be seen by some as funny and as others by pleasing a demographic but I really don’t think that the case. Each bro has been designed specifically from the ground up, they will have been chosen not just for how recognisable a character they are but for their strengths and weaknesses and how they can add something new to the game.

This game is currently on a weekend sale on steam for £7.99 but if you go to humblebundle.com you can get it on sale for £5.99 and help charitable organizations at the same time and even when not on sale is cheaper than on steam normally. I can’t stress enough how much love I have for this game and could go on for hours ranting about it but instead I will just say go and get it and you will understand.

Im not going to give the game a rating as It isn’t actually finished but even if it were even in its current state It would get at least a 7/10. My prediction for when it finally releases will be more like 9/10.

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Thank you for reading!

-Joe

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One Finger Death Punch – Review!

2014-05-05_00001This game is simply brilliant mainly due to it being brilliantly simple. All you need is a mouse, the only buttons you press are the left and right mouse buttons. That’s it. However this allows the game to be so much more than if they had decided to give you long lists of button combos, It’s enjoyable and accessible to pretty much anyone.

Ready to fight?

Ready to fight?

The game itself is a kung-fu beat em’ up type game with stickmen as the characters reminiscent of old flash animations. The game itself isn’t a button masher as you might think and actually penalises you for doing so, instead it slowly introduces new enemies that require different order combinations of the same 2 buttons you’ve been using the whole time. Honestly when I bought this game I never would of imagined how dynamic the fighting actually is whether it’s a different level type of new enemies this game keeps you engaged. What they have done with the difficulty is quite frankly genius I think and I would love to see it incorporated in all games that involve any form of fighting. It take the stats from how you play and works out your skill level and then adjusts the enemy speed and difficulty of the level accordingly, in other words the better you do the harder it gets. This makes for really balanced gameplay as there are no crazy difficulty spikes but every level does poses a challenge.

Mortal Kombat eat your heart out.

Mortal Kombat eat your heart out.

For £3.99 on PC this game is also a bargain! It s great bit of fun especially if you need something you can play for a few minutes while you take a break from revision or work that will give you a real sense of enjoyment. I honour of such a simple game I’ll keep this review simple also. One finger death punch gets a 7/10 and a 10/10 for value!

 

 

 

– Joe

5 Early-Access games to watch out for (Joe)

For those of you who don’t know Early-Access games are games that aren’t finished or even in beta testing stage that you can buy and play while they are being developed. Some of you are thinking why the hell would I pay full price for an unfinished game? But there are a few perks for instance some developers might give extra incentive and content like concept art or soundtrack downloads etc. while there is still the obvious reason which is to help support the team making the game. Because of the huge growth of the Indie game genre more and more developers are looking to making their game early access to help not only cover cost but to get as much community feedback as possible so that fans can actively take a part in shaping a game.

I have always felt that reviewing early access games is a little unfair because game builds change so often and the developers even admit themselves that their games aren’t finished so instead of reviewing an Early-Access game I’m going to give you a list of 5 of them to keep a watch out for.

*Disclaimer: This isn’t a top 5 or my favourite 5 this is just a short list of potentially good games that I am excited to see when they are finished. I have not personally played/own all of the games listed but have done my fair share of research on each one.

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1)   Prison Architect. Prison architect does exactly what it says on the tin, you build and managed a simulated prison. Simple enough? Nope! There is so much to this game that is continually being added too that you will be kept entertained for hours. Not only re they always adding new features but it is also integrated with the Steam Workshop so there are also lots of mods available from already built prisons to re-skins and community bug fixes. For anyone who enjoys simulator games or management games this is the game for you.

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2)   Overgrowth. Overgrowth is a game that in premise sounds ridiculous but in practice plays amazing. It is currently an open sandbox game where players create their own levels and play and share them but it is scheduled to have a full campaign and many more features added before it is finished. You play as a ninja rabbit, yes a NINJA-RABBIT! Where you can free run, explore and fight either hand to hand or with weapons. Now even though the game is visually very appealing the real gold is in the combat system, it flows brilliantly and the impacts feel weighted and control very fluid.

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3)   Starbound. Now a lot of people have criticised Starbound for just copying Terraria but the game itself is a lot more than just that. The exploration and customization even in such an early stage is very good and I can’t wait to see it once they have fully fleshed out the story and added the features they have gone on record to say they are going to. They are currently overhauling the majority of the farming and building mechanics though so I can’t say that the final game will be anything like the current build but if its anything to go by it could be the next big indie game.

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4)   Pixel Piracy. Re-Logic, the creators of Terraria, are currently helping produce the game which looks set to forever change the face of pirate games. From fully customizable ships, pirate battles and even parrots this game tries to give the player the full pirate experience. With features like perma-death playing a major part in the game it seems reminiscent of other indie games such as FTL and rogue legacy but with a pirate theme. Currently the game is rather bare but still with enough features and content to keep you entertained but the reason this game makes my list is because of the mechanics they are trying to introduce in the future such as being able to find and loot your previous characters ship once they have died.

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5)   BroForce. Last but by no means least is the game that is in a rather finished state. BroForce looks to take everything we love about macho action movies and combine it all in to a game. Taking characters from all areas of Bro-dom, such as Brobo-Cop and Indiana Brones, and has players fight together to liberate each level from a devil type villain. Each Bro comes with his own weapons and style and the amount of characters and level of detail put into this game is truly astonishing. This is the kind of game that you and your friends can play while you drink a beer and just bond. It perfectly encapsulates the era of 80’s action movies even down to the kind of campness only the most muscle bound men could pull off.

 

Anyway that was my list of games to watch out for! Thanks for stopping by make sure to like, comment and subscribe and tell me what games you’re keeping an eye out for?

 

-Joe

Our first video review! – Goat simulator 2014!

Check out our very first video review! Everything starts somewhere so where better to start than with Goats?

 

 

-Joe

Loadout QUICKPICKLE!

Loadout

 

Hey everyone! So this week I’ve been having a little play around with a free to play game that goes by the name of Loadout. Safe to say this game ain’t your normal shooter. It’s a 3rd person over the shoulder run and gun style of game but it’s the added features and art style that really set this game a part.

Hank would of got Walt way sooner with these guns!

Hank would of got Walt way sooner with these guns!

Its cartoony and silly, similar to TF2 in a sense, but with a bit more gore and adult themes which do help separate its style from games of a similar ilk. The character customization is quite extensive too though you will need in game coins to buy the majority of the items available. I would say this is one of the weaker areas of the game though as there are only 3 character bases to choose from which kind of limits your customization but it’s not really noticeable when you’re actually playing so really it’s just more of a shame rather than a bad point.

 

The other amazingly fun and interesting feature they have is that of weapon crafting! You get to pick what type of gun you have then modify it to hell then even chose what kinds of ammo you fire and how the ammo acts, there are thousands of different combinations to choose from meaning that no 2 players are ever the same. You can even name your gun so when you die and you drop your weapon other people can see how funny and clever you are! all jokes aside though it does add a really good dynamic to the game and almost adds a layer of strategy and depth to the game.

Electric laser guided triple rocket launcher? Why not!

Electric laser guided triple rocket launcher? Why not!

The other thing I’ll mention before finishing is the game modes are really fun and players will inevitably find the games that they prefer and are better at, my personal favourite is Blitz where your kills/assists only are registered if you’re able to pick up an in game item from the dead enemy you killed. I just like it because it’s a little different and again it makes you try and add a layer of strategy to how you play it.

The game is still being added to with a custom game option on the way but I thoroughly think that this game is worth your time and did I mention that its free!  and unlike most free to play games where you can pay real-life money to unlock better equipment etc. the only thing real money will buy you is outfits and customization for your character, the only way to unlock new gun parts and equipment is by actually playing the game! Which I think is great and something game companies need to do more of so you don’t keep getting beaten by players that are worse than you but that just have deeper pockets. Anyway that’s my thoughts on Loadout! thanks for reading and make sure to like our facebook, follow our twitter and share the hell out of our blog. Cheers!

 

JJ

I MAED A GAM3 W1TH ZOMBIES 1N IT!!!1 QUICKPICKLE

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“Play this game sober you’ll have fun, play this game drunk or high and you’ll be mesmerised.”

 

Keeping up the trend of QUICKPICKLE week I’ve decided to make my own focusing on the amazingly funky zombie horde Indie game fest “I MAED A GAM3 W1TH ZOMBIES 1N IT!!!1. “ It can be yours for only the price of one shiny pound coin, and at such a reasonable price this small simple game delivers.

 

Essentially, it is a platform game played using only the joysticks of your controller and nothing more- one to move the character, the other to fire weapons. New weapons are easily acquired throughout the game, by simply walking over them as they appear on the battlefield; these include such things as laser guns, flamethrowers (my favourite), rocket launchers and Gatling guns.

 

The real strength in this game becomes apparent as you continue to survive against your brain-eating counterparts. As you play, the whole setting of the game rapidly begins to change. At first your fighting in a simple green field but the next moment you find yourself doing battle on a psychedelic disco floor, then in space, then on a chessboard, the list goes on and on. Play this game sober you’ll have fun, play this game drunk or high and you’ll be mesmerised. Not only does the world change, but the enemies change also, from zombies to spaceships to blobs ect. The game also pays clever homage to classic games such as “Snake” and “Space Invaders” by making them iconic characters within the game that try their very best to kill you.

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This game also has a great original soundtrack that fits appropriately into the game’s colourful personality.  Featuring a heavy metal number with vocals, it’s sure to keep edging you on as you try to kill exploding diamonds.

 

The only real pitfall of this game is the fact that it has an ending; it is possible to survive against the increasingly tougher waves of enemies only to be sent packing back to the main menu. This does somewhat undermine the replay ability of a game that would’ve been almost perfect, had it been a never ending endurance run in the same way the “Nazi Zombies” series from Call of Duty had. However, at the low price of just a pound it most certainly isn’t penny pinching.

 

Verdict

 

Cheap. Great fun. Simple Xbox 360 Indie game

 

4/5

Hero Siege, A Review

Hero Siege is the first outing for Panic Art Studios, It sells itself as a Hack ‘n’ slash with heavy rogue-like element with randomly generated levels and some player customisation but in my opinion fails to deliver in almost every category.

I know hats are funny in TF2 but c'mon!

I know hats are funny in TF2 but c’mon!

The game on the surface looks like it was going to be similar to the game Rogue Legacy (Which btw is possibly my favourite Indie game ever) so I was very excited to play this when I first caught wind of it. Now my views may be slightly biased and some of you may think it unfair that I compare this game to others rather than judge it on its own merits but that becomes seriously hard when the games are so similar.

The makers of this game Panic Art Studios were actually very helpful with answering my questions when  I spoke with them so I do feel slightly bad when I say that I dislike their game but honestly I tried my hardest to make myself like this game but it just didn’t happen. The team behind this game had previously only made 2 games for the Appstore and Google play and my god does it show! The controls are very basic and there is’nt much skill involved in playing this game. When playing I found that if you just looped the AI just tries to follow you so you can line them all up in a straight line and just blast them away, I actually died more in this game trying to get traps to kill enemies and backfiring on me then actual enemy damage. This game is way too easy! If you are going to venture into the PC indie gaming universe there are 2 things you’re going to need to know;

Who knew every enemy in the horde would explode?

Who knew every enemy in the horde would explode?

1) We like our games hard as fucking balls!           2) We love pixel art

Now even though this game has a pixel art feel I would in no way call it art. Pixel art for any art fans out there is all about simplicity, making the most of out of the least, seeing a portrait in a single block. This game however just kind of feels empty and already done.

That’s the other thing, the enemies just seem uninspired and a bit lazy it’s like they sat around and said “Guys what’s the most generic enemy?” “Umm skeletons and rats?” “Great now instead of doing any form of editing for higher levels of those enemies let’s just change their palette!” and everyone screams genius! Maybe I should cut them a break seeing as the game was made by just 3 people, some of you might be saying and I reply NO! Why should that matter? Super meat boy was made by 2 guys, Indie games don’t have massive teams but what good ones do is innovate and perfect. This game did neither.

Oh no a spider! Run Ms Muffet!

Oh no a spider! Run Ms Muffet!

The level design is pretty boring too, There are different themed levels and granted they are still working on the final level to be released but they all just kind of feel empty and the same and don’t even get me started on the poor excuse of randomly generated dungeons used in this game! When done correctly randomly generated dungeons can be brilliant however the extent to which this game goes is basically just moving traps around and placing a few box’s on the other side of the screen. It’s laughable.

They claim the inspiration for this game was taken from Diablo and The binding of Isaac, does it show? Absolutely not other than the camera angle is similar to Isaac’s.

Teslagrad ,which I covered last week so go read it if you haven’t yet, took 2 and 1/2 years to make. Hero Siege took 6 months and they had half the size team and It is glaringly obvious that they didn’t take enough time to make this game. It feels like something someone might play on their phone a few times if it was free then put it down and never open it again and yet they ask for £5.99 for the game on PC!

In conclusion I do not think this game is even worth your time as there are much better games out there that do the same thing only on a much higher level. 2/10 don’t waste your time.

Teslagrad Game Review: A Norwegian Masterpiece

Teslagrad has been on my radar since its release date 13/12/2013. During the chaos that is the Steam Winter Sale It probably slipped most of you by but there was just something about it that drew me in.

Opening menu flows seamlessly into the game

Opening menu flows seamlessly into the game

Continuing the flow right into the story

Continuing the flow right into the story

After booting up the game I was met with what has to be described as a glorious soundtrack and it really felt in keep with the image the game was creating for itself. Without any time to lose I pressed new game and was on my journey. Now something you should know about Teslagrad is that there is no dialogue, however what the developers over at Rain Games have done is really quite phenomenal and this is me after just playing the opening level. They have clearly spent a huge amount of time weaving this story into the very fabric of the game so that everything you see and interact with helps tell the narrative. As a writer I can be the first to tell you that this is no easy feat.

Most tutorials in the modern day era, and this makes me sad, hold your hand and walk you through every button and action you can do with your character via information signs and sometimes simply just test levels but what Teslagrad does is reminiscent of a time forgotten a time in which the only way to know if something was good or bad was to test your theory, If you die then you were wrong and if you live you’ll know to do more of it from then on. It doesn’t give you any help whatsoever and the game works so much better for it because it really gives you that sense of adventure. Speaking with the producer Peter W. Meldahl he told me that the Metroid games were of a big influence to the games level design and that becomes very clear when you get to the main portion of the game, especially when  you gain a new item in a room it becomes a necessity to understand how to use that item to advance whether it be simply being able to leave the room that you had previously entered or dodging an obstacle you previously thought you couldn’t. there are a few occasions however where it does become a bit difficult and aggravating when you are completely stumped while doing a puzzle or not knowing where to go but the flip side of that is when you do get past that point or figure it out you do feel a greater sense of achievement than if you were just guided through.

"And the lord said let there be light... and magnet gloves!"

“And the lord said let there be light… and magnet gloves!”

I think for me what surprised me the most was the level of immersion I received when playing this game. It draws you in from the very start and doesn’t let you go (that is till you rage quit after dying on a boss fight multiple times until you can calm yourself, pick back up your controller and go again). This is helped by the fact that there are no load screens of any kind. The screen scrolls with you as you move and does stop at a certain point at the edge of an area which in most platformers would be where the level ends or the game loads up the next stage but in Teslagrad it simply takes you straight into the next part without even so much as a pause. This is also the same for dying and checkpoints. There are no clear checkpoints, no sign on the screen or anything you run through they are just placed at different intervals without you knowing which at the start does keep you on edge because you are constantly worried that if you die then you will be teleported way back in the game but this isn’t the case at all as they are quite frequent. The dying screen is another similar thing once you die the screen fades to black and without even so much as a breather you’re back at your last checkpoint. Now some of you are probably thinking it’s strange that this is something i picked up on in such great detail well this is a game where you get used to dying as you will be doing a lot of it! As I mentioned earlier this game gives you next to no hints and a lot of the time you just wait to see if something kills you just so then you have more information to complete the puzzle with. the other thing is the controls sometimes have to be unbelievably precise to actually complete a challenge or puzzle that you assume you must be wrong and try something else then come back to your original idea and realise you had been pressing a button 1/10th of a second early. This is probably the biggest flaw in the game but I feel that if the game wasn’t as hard as balls in certain places then it wouldn’t be any way near as good or satisfying.

I wonder f this thing recycles?

I wonder if this thing recycles?

Now I’ve left this point to the end but it is by far the biggest draw to this game and is what had me hooked from when I saw it had been released and that is the artwork. This game is beautiful! Rarely does a game that is this cheap look this good. At times, especially at the start, you feel as if you are walking through a painting. everything has a hand drawn feel to it and when that becomes coupled with the lighting effects and camera work it culminates into wonderfully done visuals. Even seeing screenshots hadn’t really prepared me for when I actually played the game and I can honestly say that although this is a game made by a small team it is easily worthy of a next gen title.

Punch and Judy have really stepped it up

Punch and Judy have really stepped it up

All in all I would give this game a 8/10 for the game and 10/10 for value.

Teslagrad is available on Linux, Mac and Windows via Steam for £6.99 and will have a download release date some time in 2014 for Wii U, PS3 and PS4 and PSVita. Other platforms are being worked on for release but cannot be confirmed at this date.