• Action/Adventure,  Indie Gaming,  Reviews

    First Look at BeatBlasters III

    You could easily be forgiven for having not caught BeatBlasters 1 and 2. This is mainly because they don’t exist. BeatBlasters III is the first title out of Canadian developer Chainsawesome Games and their choice to lead with a title numbered “three” is a little unconventional, but it definitely seems to set the tone for the game. BeatBlasters III touts itself as a hybrid of a platforming game and a rhythm game. Whilst it’s certainly true there are elements of these genres in there, the product as a whole is decidedly stranger than the sum of it’s parts. You take on the role of either Joey or Gina, a young…

  • Free2Play,  Reviews,  Shooter

    Free2Play Spotlight: Bullet Run

    Bullet Run is a brand new first-person shooter from ACONY Games and published by Sony Online Entertainment. Honestly, I almost thought I wasn’t going to be able to review this game; the install process was distinctly nontrivial. Between installing punkbuster, patching and setting up an additional Sony Station account to be able to play it took far longer than strictly necessary. And then the launcher helpfully puts an animated bar next to the Play button that looks akin to a loading bar at a casual glance. I waited at the launcher for about half an hour before I realised patching was complete. Oh well, you live and learn, I suppose.…

  • Action/Adventure,  Indie Gaming,  Reviews,  Strategy

    Orcs Must Die! And Explode. And Dissolve. And Burn… 2

    Orcs Must Die! by Robot Entertainment was one of the most successful indie games of 2011, receiving the accolade Game of the Year and being one of the most fun games I’ve personally played in a long time. The anecdote you can oft catch me telling is that I picked it up about three days before PAX East this year and ended up resenting having to leave for Boston just because it meant I had to put Orcs Must Die! down. Scarcely 8 months later we now have Orcs Must Die! 2. Historically, even the benevolent titans Valve have caught flak for such a fast turnaround on a sequel, so is it…

  • Action/Adventure,  Reviews,  Shooter

    Shoot Many Robots

    Shoot many Robots is all about the American dream. Living in an RV, drinking beer and shooting killer robots with a rifle.       Okay, I’ll admit I could be a bit hazy on the definition of ‘the American dream’ there. But it plays up a lot of the American stereotypes and I still haven’t figured out if it’s supposed to be ironic or not. You play a bald, grizzled American redneck type character. Your pickup truck is immediately destroyed by robots, shortly followed by your house. Seeking vengeance, you set out armed with a submachine gun, rocket launcher and quantities of health-restoring beer and narrowly save your RV…

  • Action/Adventure,  Indie Gaming,  Puzzle,  Reviews,  Shooter

    Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet.

    Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet is your standard 2D adventure platformer with a lot of bite and a harsh organic style. You’ll traverse, submerge, and blast your way through an infected alien Sun that’s spreading its shadowy organic filth all over the rest of the solar system! Through the twisted catacombs, lakes, voids, pipes and caves you’ll find may different changes in scenery. All are strikingly coloured and each presenting new obstacles and bosses to thwart. I love the atmosphere between environments. The style mostly boils down to layered silhouetted 2-D gears teeth and lots of spikes. Coupled with impressive visuals, that’s seriously all it needs to be to look fantastic.…

  • Free2Play,  Reviews,  Shooter

    Free2Play Spotlight: MicroVolts

    MicroVolts, by NQ Games is a title I’d seen before. It took me a while to realise it, though. Almost two years ago today a trailer for a Korean game appeared and made some waves in Team Fortress 2 communities. It appeared to advertise a class-based shooter and on the face of it was an exact copy of TF2 with the mercenaries we know and love replaced with dolls and toy robots. The trailer very obviously lifted scenes straight from the TF2 launch trailer. The game was H.A.V.E. Online. MicroVolts is H.A.V.E. Online re-branded for a western audience. If you’re still reading after that, do not be dissuaded because, for all that…

  • Action/Adventure,  Indie Gaming,  Puzzle,  Reviews

    Indie Royale June Bug Bundle

    Indie Royale are the guys bravely trying to play catchup to the overwhelming success of the Humble Bundles. The first real imitators on the scene, they’re easily dismissed as a rip-off attempting to cash in on Wolfire’s lucrative model. But that’s enough negativity; what they might lack in originality they make up for in quality. Where Wolfire usually have the bigger-name indie titles, Indie Royale cater more to titles you likely won’t have heard of, but that doesn’t make them any less worth your while. The current bundle available is the June Bug Bundle, consisting of  PixelJunk Eden, Escape Goat, Noitu Love 2: Devolution, and Auditorium. Thrown in as extras…

  • Action/Adventure,  Free2Play,  Indie Gaming,  Reviews

    Spiral Knights: Free to P(l)ay.

    Following on from Meroka’s encouraging article regarding the stigma surrounding Free-to-Play gaming, here’s why you should be giving Spiral Knights a try! With a massive rise in Free-to-Play games it’s difficult for individuals to stand out, be long-lived and become profitable for the developers. So what makes a good Free-to-Play game? Accessibility, the chance to earn all content in the game without spending a real life penny. Community, a structure that allows players to interact, socialize and work together. Value, because if you are spending money to enhance you game play experience, it’d best be worth it. And new content, lots and lots of new content. Keeping players interested and…

  • Indie Gaming,  Point and Click,  Puzzle,  Reviews

    The Dream Machine, Claymation Goodness.

    Another arty point and click adventure? Ah, gw’on then.. Last one for a while I swear. Here’s a beaut’ from Cockroach Inc. The Dream Machine is a clay and cardboard styled piece of animated game cake. Some that played video games in the 90’s will recognise the rare style, familiar with other titles like Neverhood and ClayFighter 63⅓. Mr. Victor Neff and his hormonal pregnant wife have just moved into their first apartment together, and they’re both having weird dreams. This story explores the realm of the unconscious, specifically the dreams of all the tenants in Victor’s building. And the plot device that facilitates this bizarre story? A sentient machine…

  • Action/Adventure,  Indie Gaming,  Point and Click,  Puzzle,  Reviews

    Botanicula, Terry Gilliam would be proud.

    After reviewing Machinarium a few months back, I felt such an affinity with the style that I was compelled to check out what other works of wonder Amanita Design had previously come up with. And not only did I find a back log of creative gorgeousness, I also prepared myself for their newest release, Botanicula. But not before trying out the free to play samples on their website. Here I first tried Samorost, a free point and explore game from 2003. From here it’s easy to see where the grass-roots of Machinarium and Botanicula were formed. Even in AD’s early stages as developers, they managed to graft together a scrumptiously unique…