Hello and welcome to this weeks humble indie supplement, to answer that question before its asked did I not put one out last week as some sign of respect ?
No, I didn’t put one out because quite honestly there were about 3 games worth reviewing so I decided to leave it and do a bigger one this week.
So more rage filled than probably ever I’d say I’m ready to rip some terrible indie games a few new holes and give some others a bit of a boost.
Prices all in msp
Game Name: Primary Potions
Review bit: From the horribly designed start screen to the reaction pictures that would make anime animators blush this game has its flaws, its a pretty basic game about mixing potions together to form other ones, all to fill orders, it’s probably 1 step up from the old build a burger esc games, each time through giving you a rating which seems to be 99% dependent on time and not on if you *** up or not. In the games favour though it does have an option I wouldn’t have expected an option for colour blind gamers so well done to them for that. The game works with no huge flaws
Verdict: Well it’s not a potion for immortality or eternal youth but it’s not a draft of creeping death or asphyxiation so for those mad over the build a burger games you might find a new home here. But for me I think I’ll just heal up and move one. (Did I overdo the harry Potter and dungeon crawler references ?)
Game Name: Kings Cup
Review bit: Oh indie developers when will you learn, the xbox is not designed to be at those kind of parties. Kings Cup the non copyright infringing name for the game more commonly called Ring of fire at most UK unis involves drawing cards out of the circle round the cup, each card having a different thing associated with it. I have played the real life version with a pack of cards a fair few times and as drinking games go it does its job and causes the place to get trashed when you play the spider card.
Now the issue here is the fact you have to have an xbox, and TV to play this version, so while the game may be cheap you’re putting expensive items in the line of fire and at a Uni party where ring of fire has been suggested, chances are thing might get broken.
Verdict: A fair if very misguided attempt to curb student drinking habits, go out and buy a pack of cards from pound land and save yourself the hassle of potentially buying a new 360 and TV after your flatmate spilt beer / was sick over them, or knocked
them over while playing.
Game Name: Play as you go
Review bit: well just like the old game Action 52 Play as you go decides rather than have one game why not have more than one (in this case 3) and much like the games of Action 52 these games are dire, you know in fact I think they make the Action 52 games look good, these games make Trailer Park King look like the height of technological development they are so basic and dire. You have your generic space shooter with different coloured ships that move differently and it seems embarrassingly easy to play to say the least. The second being a Simon Says esc pattern repeater game (which just looking at the how to play section bored me so I didn’t even fire it up). Then a break out variant using a syringe, pills and viruses which barely seems to work having a paddle thats so huge but no defined it bounces this way when it hits here areas. All these might seem worth something but it’s not as the game is plagued by loading screens. You start one of the games up, Loading, you start playing the game loading, you finish a level and loading, you quit the game to go back to the menu loading, seriously Duke Nukem Forever was less annoying with its loading than this, at least with Duke you could play a fair bit of the level before it had to load, this is 30 seconds to 1 minute every damn 5 minutes.
Verdict: If you see play as you go coming, turn round and go the other way as this is a waste of your 80 Microsoft points.
Game Name: Hacotama
Review bit: Well it’s another Avatar game, but when I looked at the screenshots I was all ready to play another game breaking the avatar game mould right open. Unfortunately this game just fails at that, as though the game works as such the developers have failed the give it the polish a 240MSP game needs for me to want it, the game feels slightly clunky and they’ve failed to set the game to adjust to different screen sizes so on my modest 28 inch non widescreen TV I was missing a good 2 inches of the screen meaning the tutorial instructions Read “Walk up to the ball and press this will let you push it” so I had no idea of vital controls. The game at its heart is a another space awareness game involving moving balls to the stars to finish levels, it’s not bad though not particularly good either.
Verdict: Hacotama was the noise I made when I realised the asking price on this game compared to the quality, if it were 80MSP I’d confidently recommend it, if it were 160 I’d say it’s worth a go but for 240MSP this is a definite miss rather than a hit.
Game Name: Happy
Review bit: Well as its all of 2 days before the birthday of the ex who almost bankrupted me and broke up with me 1 week after I spent £350 on her on the verge of our 3 year anniversary the day before one of the most important things in my studies all by text while I was 300 miles away then blamed all our relationship problems on me basically equating me to nothing more than a disgusting slug, this game might seem like an Ironic review here. A game that claims to make people happy and without me having to consume my own body weight in alcohol to achieve it. Well sorry to say but it fails miserably. You play as a fat guy rolling through supposedly beautiful scenery like some kind of Sonic the hedgehog who missed 5 years of school thanks to being repeatedly dropped on his head. There’s power ups along the way such as the mushroom, which make you fart while in the air to get more height and the chilli which makes you far like a jet engine whizzing across the level, now as much of a fan of toilet humour as I am even this insanity failed to raise a smile. The goal of each level is to reach the cake at the end and the trial cuts you off after all of two levels with a nice message saying buy the real game and we’ll give some money to a charity, which charity is never specified but I find this a highly suspect tactic to sell what is probably the worst excuse for a plat former I’ve yet to play and not even emotional blackmail of making me think I’ve depriving a charity of money will make me buy this.
Verdict: I once had a charity campaigner stop me in the street, she was blonde about 5’5 and was stunningly beautiful collecting for an environmental charity, she asked how my day was, I said terrible I’d had a bad day, she then asked “What can I do to make you happy ?” now I won’t bore you with more of this story only say my answer wasn’t the perverted one you’d expect, however given the chance to go back in time I would say, in 3 weeks someone will try and release an indie game called Happy, make sure it’s never released. So stay clear of this game as your 80msp are better spent elsewhere, maybe on a charity avatar item as at least then you know what charity you’re giving too and you can guarantee the money will get there and not do a Father Ted.
Game Name: 2D Math Panic
Review bit: Learning, what’s this I smell is it an attempt to cross learning and education, why yes now give me my Kerosene and lighter fluid to burn this abomination lest is spread. Or at least that’s what I would normally say at this point, but in the case of this game it almost works, as I spent most of my GCSE revision time on my old steam powered Desktop playing GCSE revision games I thought if only a game like this existed for my Key stage sats or whatever they are now called this game almost makes itself worth having for the kids (if you do have kids and as I don’t it’s not worth it) it really helps improve the speed of your mental maths addition and subtraction aswell as claiming to also have multiplication on later on.
Verdict: This game + sats time or practice sats = this game wins. For everything else this game is unfortunately something that doesn’t quite add up or justify its worth to anyone but a select range, but then again as only a select range was the target this game does it well.
Game Name: Aron’s journey in Dreamland
Review bit: When I heard dreamland my interest was perked as my journey’s to dreamland seem to reflect the film Sucker Punch but with rather more adult content and boobs. Well Aron’s adventure seems to be a pretty basic plat former, with quite loose controls but jumps that fit this style, it plays well even if the tutorial does think you’re 8 and have never played a plat former before telling you the controls before you start then explaining them again in explicit detail, as well as advertising one of their other games and telling you how long the trial demo timer is (thanks for finally telling me that).
Verdict: It plays well enough maybe even one of the better indie plat formers but for 240MSP Aron isn’t the only one in dreamland as I think the developers might be there too expecting that price.
Game Name: Avatar Street Basketball 2
Review bit: well it’s a trick shot basketball game, I don’t know what else I expected maybe I was hoping for cheesy basketball themed boss fights or something but alas this has nothing like that, it also lacks the feeling of fine power controls as it sometimes feels like the power is one above or below your last one randomly
Verdict: Does what it does well really and with a nice style, justifies the 80msp price tag but not much more than that.
Game Name: Street Survival
Review bit: Welcome to street survival you play a stoned chav having to make his way home while tripping out of his mind and seeing the cars as monstrous demons blocking your path which you can shoot to get them out of the way, presumably causing a one man rampage through the town with a killing spree, you know I think I’ll stop that analogy there before I offend anyone else or get called unsympathetic about events etc etc, not that I am really sympathetic I just get fed up of messages telling me how and why I should care, I refused to care Jade Goody was dead even with my ex having a go at me for it. Now by my long rambling there you’ll probably realise this is one game I don’t want to write a review on, the main reason being there’s not a lot to review about this game, even the game itself tells you the game is just walking left to right dodging or shooting enemies and racking up points. Which would work if like a side scroller the screen moved at the same pace as you, but it doesn’t so you have to walk back then forward again constantly so the screen can catch up and you have a chance to kill the enemies who spawn just off screen before them can server you with a cheap death.
Verdict: not worth the 80msp asking price when you could go and play in traffic for free in reality (Please note playing in traffic is a very stupid thing to do, I in no way encourage this practice and if you do decide to do this you do so at your own risk though if you think it’s a good idea maybe for humanity it might be a good idea for you to do it)
Game Name: Get to tha choppa twooo!!2
Review bit: A game that appears to be entirely composed of 4chan memes and probably has as much substance as most 4chan members (oooohhhh controversial) but on the bright side the game works it doesn’t really play dirty and unlike most avatar running games (this one doesn have avatars but still ) you don’t need to be a precog to know survive. That said the games trial did have one of the biggest two figure salutes, once you pass a certain score mark the game asks you to buy it, if you press no it kills you, that’s right it doesn’t let you in the chopper it doesn’t say no more playing and return to the menu it kills you then tries to say you messed up.
Verdict: Meh 80msp for a game with probably the entertainment value of extreme baby maker and an unlimited global high score leaderboard, some might like it its cheap and cherrful.
Game Name: Avalis Dungeon
Review bit: Now I’m a big fan of choose your own adventure games and boobs, well this game tries to combine the two, however unlike some more modern choose your own adventure games the turn back a page option is gone meaning lots of save and reloading continue points, then theres the boobs, or should that be lack of them, as most characters seem to have taken the sensible approach to armour except the witch, I want chainmail bikinis damn it.
Verdict: There’s two ways to sell a game for 240 MSP, make it good, or put plenty of near nudity in it, this game fails on both as there are better choose your own adventure games out there such as Epiphany in space and Trailer Park King and there’s better games with boobs out there like um trailer park king for example. This is another attempt to push an 80MSP game to sell for much more than it should
Game Name: Strategic combat
Review bit: I did at first think this was some kind of chess variant but now I’m not quite sure as it seems to work by its own hard to understand rules, to take a piece you must beat them in combat with each piece having different strength weapons meaning it’s not how good your strategy is but how well you play the top down shooter that matters, with soldiers with machine guns able to take out tanks and generals being given the noisy cricket from Men in Black and taking down everything. I would have rated this game highly if not for one game breaking problem. The Russian jets can’t fire. That’s right they drop area effect bombs which seem to randomly work meaning while the US jets can destroy the place with their two double machine guns the Russian jets are useless as you have to be point blank to use the bombs.
Verdict: Its Broken and even when / if it’s fixed avoid it and buy dragon chess or something instead it will be more fun.
Game Name: President John America saves America
Review bit: Years ago I owned a game called power mad, a simple strategy game I got on disk from a car boot sale, this game is pretty much its spiritual successor. With amazing voice acting, a still funny over the top singing of the American National Anthem as the music for the title screen, funny over the top dialogue and characters and from what I saw a very good trading sim with only one minor problem and that was being unable to check prices and buy and sell at the same time (sounds much more of a problem that it really is as I think it gets fixed with a later unlock so might be deliberate). A running news feed in the game keeps you in touch with what the latest in demand items are both nationally and globally.
Verdict: This is the definition of a 240MSP game and the bench mark all others should be measured again for the 240MSP price tag, it’s perfectly priced and well worth every point of it. John America I salute thee and your fight against Ali barbar....Bin-laden....Hussain....Mcshalile and his suicide goats of terror.
Game Name: SEncounter
Review bit: Well it’s an FPS game and from what I can gather those nasty *** are at it again with their secret experiments in Antarctica, as shooters go it has pretty much everything bar a regenerating shields, it brings back fond memories of the old 2.5D shooters of the past and is quite well done. The only think I can really fault are the sound effects which sound like the kind of think i could make at home with an iron bar and a comb.
Verdict: Probably the best FPS yet on the indie marketplace and despite this high accolade I have to wonder if it’s worth the price tag, I’d have to say yes but it mainly servers to show how complex and half decent looking FPS games can be made using the XNA system though this game is probably only a stepping stone not the true end result everyone is waiting for.
Game Name: Call Me
Review bit: Ok being single can be tough..... wait I did this bit a few weeks back damn no filler tiem for a review. I like this game, there’s no denying it every other virtual dater game out there teaches you to be a total quantum singularity and to push Feminism back a good 50 years or so and not treat women as human beings, this one asks you to go in and answer as you then gives you a personality rating, the game also has lessons, not about how to pick up women but how to look at your and other girls personalities and find a match the fits you. This game builds confidence by telling you to be you and not telling you, “oh you’re a filthy little wretched slug how’s single life”, then spends the next 5 minutes calling you a virgin as an insult. The game even acknowledges its a bit of a stupid thing a dating sim by having answers like “what’s your favourite activity” include “Killing people”. Also credit for giving credit to the legendary Kevin Macleod the God of Royalty free music (Check out his totally awesome website for lots of music him and others have made and will let anyone use only asking that you give him credit for the music)
Verdict: For 80MSP this game is good as it helps you figure out you and helps you date as you not as some Johnny Bravo esc character. I award this my title of Best Dating Sim ever on the indie marketplace.
Game Name: Dead Pixels
Review bit: As a big fan of one of the two grind house films and a fan of a certain film that spawned from that series I recognised the opening immediately and I’m still puzzled as to how someone managed to put those kind of effects and film ageing onto a video game and not be a professional company doing it. This game puts you in the role of a survivor (including co op play) with a variety of weapons at your disposal including shotguns, pistols , grenades I’ve ever heard of a flame thrower and a chainsaw about. You kill zombies and get money for ammo and health items, and can search / loot various abandoned buildings for ammo weapons and valuables to use.
It even has a trading element with various stores having various wanted weapons and items which pay top dollar, as well as the promise that at sales milestones the team will make and release free DLC.
Verdict: You’d have to be a brain dead zombie not to think this is worth the price, in fact I’d say this could have managed 240MSP and still sold as well. So snap this little wonder up.
Game Name: Pimp RPG
Review bit: A Phunky Phresh take on the RPG genre with an attempt at pushing indie game RPG graphics to the next level, even if it does seem to remind me of the FF7 graphics, the game plays fairly well with fights working except when the enemy defends constantly leaving you sitting there unable to attack with physical attacks, along the way in keeping with the style you get suitable items like a pimp cane knife, a shiv, pinstripe pants and with magic being similar with your ho allies having magic like throw da shoe and throw da pants even the quest system has for in progress “Jest doin it”
This truly is a great take on the RPG genre and does something to the best of my knowledge has never been done with the RPG genre
Verdict: An original well made RPG game for 80MSP, I’d never have thought it possible. If FF7 defined RPG games in its time then A Pimp RPG redefines it for indie developers everywhere.
Game Name: Angry Fish
Review bit: Angry Birds is a popular Iphone and Ipod app about saying the eggs stolen by a bunch of pigs by throwing the suicidal birds at the buildings there pigs are in. Hold on I own no item of Apple gear why am I........ Oh its Angry fish right I get it in the time honoured tradition of indie games this game rips off a more successful game to try and make a name for itself, and it doesn’t do a bad job at ripping it off, different fish with different powers, and equally stupid plot about cats going to the loo on the fish volley ball court so the fish climbing into a cannon to get revenge.
Verdict: As rip offs go this isn’t bad for 80MSP, if you need more angry birds having finished angry brids and can’t wait for the Monty Python version (yes there’s one coming free to play) then this might well be the game to tide you over.
Indie game of the week.
I decided to change it up this week and have the winner and to place the runners up 2nd and 3rd
Winner: Dead Pixels
2nd: A Pimp RPG
3rd President John America saves America
Did I buy anything: No my points are frozen till after Iron Brigade comes out but this week I i think i'm buying the top 3 and possibly Call me
Indie game news
Yes a weird new section welcome to indie games news where I bring a few bits of news to you.
Firstly this week’s tops story: the fortress craft bans.
As yet there no word from MS or from the fortresscraft developer himself about the double downloads and possibility of this causing ban, indie developers have shown some concern over this possible issue but have vowed to continue to patch their games in the hopes the rumour of fortress craft leading to bans proves false, though there no word on how many will put the patches for peer review until this issue is resolved.
The next story comes thanks to a tip off from Free Lance Games
Or more correctly blame MS as the New up and coming indie games list on the Canadian dashboard apparently has an error as MS has listed as a new up coming game their old favourite “I made a game with zombies” (I refuse to type it in the stupid txt spk way its officially written get over it). This has caused somewhat of a minor outrage amongst a few indie developers as clearly it’s not a new game and is potentially forcing other actual new games out.
MS are apparently working to fix this “mistake”
Indie games go mobile
Apparently in the pipeline or maybe already working are plans to put indie games on the windows 8 mobile phone thing, meaning you can now take some of your favourite indie games with you (assuming the developers submit their games again for the special W8 indie games division and optimise it for the W8 phone specs)
Return to the trailer park
Free Lance games recently tweeted that they are beginning work on another game and have hinted it may be the sequal to their top 10 best seller for over a month Trailer Park King, so here’s to more redneck humour and nearly bare breasts on the indie marketplace. Hurray. Hurray.