CMYW is a fun little arcade shooter that fans of Asteroids and other retro-style space games will definitely appreciate. The goal is simple- shoot enemy ships, collect the resources they leave behind after exploding, and take these resources to your portal. While doing this, you must protect your portal and yourself from being hit by these enemies.
CMYW features extremely basic and colorful graphics that are reminiscent of the old vector displays from the 70s. You command an old-school looking triangle ship that ejects a tiny little spaceman when hit. Likewise, enemies are simple polygons and the resources they leave behind after you shoot them are yet smaller polygons. Pair the graphics with a fun and high-energy soundtrack and the game is perfect for a space atmosphere.
The goal of the game is to defeat enemies, collect resources and get them to your portal safely. The farther away you get from your portal, the more the map zooms out. There is also a minimap that shows where all your enemies are and stops you getting lost in space. Some enemies carry special items that change your weapons or give you boosts, and as the game goes on the threat level increases.
CMYW offers both keyboard and controller options, both take some getting used to, but you can adapt to either with plenty of practice. I prefer the controller, and it took me awhile to get a hang of spinning, moving, and shooting efficiently without floundering around all over the map. I had the hardest time with spinning just enough to aim right where I needed to. I would prefer if we could re-bind the keys to fix my issue with choosing to move instead of shoot, but I think that’s the main challenge of the game- mastering the controls so you can rack up the highest score possible.
Game modes include single player, local multiplayer (up to four players), cooperative, and competitive. Score hunters will appreciate the leader boards as well. Overall, I liked this game but grew frustrated by all the mistakes I kept making with the controls. It’s definitely gratifying blowing up all those enemies and collecting resources, and dying always causes a bunch of frustrated yelling and laughing before deciding to try one more time… one more time….
Tl-dr – I would recommend this simple but challenging game to anyone who likes arcade-style shooters, especially for the tiny $3.99 price tag.
Epic Showdown is a casual arena-shooter released this October by indie developer Naloki. With four unique characters to choose between, and two game modes available: survival mode and crypt (dungeon crawling type option), there’s premise for a fun little casual shooter. Unfortunately, although I try to find the best in every game I review, I cannot recommend this one in the state it is in. It is nearly unplayable, and here’s a list of reasons why:
The trailer for this game on Steam – which is also very unpolished – gives some back story to the game, but the game itself does not. There is no explanation for the character with the green hand who is watching some very oddly put-together heroes fight on television. There isn’t background on the heroes themselves, either. They are just there with no content, so there’s no way to get invested.
Control are typical of this genre with WASD and mouse movement, but their implementation is rough making them very difficult to use. At first the game looks like it is third person, but it actually isn’t. It’s fixed behind the character but it can’t turn meaning you just sort of slide around the screen more, like an unnecessary addition to your crosshairs. I was killed so quickly over and over because I wasn’t able to see well around the environment and back-up out of the way. I didn’t even have time to monitor my health and it seems the enemies hit way too hard relative to your health!
The titles shortcomings don’t step here. The graphics feel old, and not in an intentional retro way either. It’s also too easy to get blinded by the environment. i.e., if you back-up into a tree, instead of stopping you from moving it envelopes your vision and you can’t see. You clip right through. The menu system is ugly, hard-to-read, and poorly designed. For example, hints are provided on the load screen, but the text is cut off.
In crypt mode, there is a slapping sound that repeats over and over and is extremely obnoxious. I couldn’t survive long enough to find out if it was something in the environment, or a glitch in the game. Overall, the game is just extremely unpolished and unfinished. The game crashed while loading and I had to force the executable to stop through Task Manager. It’s not worth anywhere near the $9.99 price tag it currently has.
Tl;dr – A catastrophic lack of polish isn’t the only thing letting Epic Showdown down. If the game had more story behind it, and the controls were fixed, there might be some potential here. As-is, this game is unplayable and is not recommended. Don’t buy this.
We all know the movie industry is rife with reboots, prequels, and sequels. Well, it happens with video games too! Back in 1983 a puzzle platformer called Dino Eggs, created by David H Schroeder, was released for Apple II, Commodore 64, and IBM PC. Years later, the result of an international effort including original author David, a sequel has been released and is awaiting your votes on Steam Greenlight. Let’s take a look at Dino Eggs: Rebirth.
The original Dino Eggs was received to great praise, so for our OG gamers out there seeing the return of the title will undoubtedly bring a flood of nostalgia and familiarity. For those of us who haven’t played the original, Rebirth features an introductory back-story tying the original game to the new bringing us up to speed.
The protagonist in this reboot is the daughter of the original, Time Master Tim, reminding me a little of Tron and Tron Legacy. You play Tamara, and your goals are in line with those of the original: avoid enemies while collecting dino eggs and other items (some of them new to this reboot) to teleport to the future for research.
The game starts by guiding you through a few training levels, teaching you how to perform certain movements and how to collect eggs and baby dinos. Careful platforming and planning is required to uncover and carry items to portals. Only three eggs can be carried at a time, and once you send those to the future, you will show up somewhere else on the map, sometimes directly in harm’s way. If you’re injured, you can heal by standing in front of one of the portals. You have three lives to clear the map, otherwise its game over and you have to start from scratch.
There are several modes of gameplay available. Story mode allows you to unlock different areas as you progress through a fixed game, and multiplayer allows 2 to 8 people to play on the same screen. There’s even an option to play the original 1983 game which is awesome!
Staying true to the original the graphics are colorful and retro-style. Game sounds and music are basic and suit the style, something which I personally find a little cheesy and loud, especially the falling through the portal scream when loading a map. The game itself is definitely an interesting challenge and remains true to its predecessor.
I think the main draw of this game is to bring back memories of those who loved playing the original version 32 years ago. This is a very family-friendly game (especially considering the multiplayer option) that could have two generations of gamers enjoying two generations of a game.
Dino Eggs: Rebirth is currently on Steam Greenlight and could use your love! If you’re a fan of single-screen platformer puzzle games, retro-style games, or played the original Dino Eggs game, keep an eye out for this one and go give it your vote. Also head to the official site for more info on the project.
Tl;dr – Dino Eggs: Rebirth is a reboot of the original 1983 puzzle platformer that will please fans of the original as well as a new generation of gamers. Despite a somewhat annoying cut-scene style, this game features unique mechanics that are challenging and require patience and planning.
I’ve always had a bit of a problem sticking with tower defense games. Sure, it’s fun for a little while, but then the game gets either too overwhelming or is too boring to keep my interest. Finally, a game worth my attention! Introducing Alien Robot Monsters by Kraftix Games, a game well-deserving of its 100% rating on Steam. This game is also available through the Apple Store and Google Play for you mobile gamers out there. Let’s take a look.
Starting with a simple tutorial, this space-colony-themed game begins with the basics of building towers. Upgrades are explained and it’s quite easy to get into the game right away. It has a bit of an RPG-type upgrade system, where stars are earned based on how well you defend your map, and those stars can be spent on different types of global upgrades for your weapons, health, and troops. As you progress through the levels in the game, other towers are unlocked in a skill-tree style manner, allowing many layers of updates in your game. There are so many options to choose from, the game never gets boring, even while you’re out of scrap (the game’s currency) waiting for the next wave of alien robots to come through the lanes.
One thing I loved about this game was the combination of graphics and audio/voice acting. The 16-bit style graphics are bright and colorful and very detailed. I love seeing my tiny little troops walk out from their tower to defend their colony. Reactions to button selections upgrades are witty and funny comments from the soldiers themselves. Somehow the repetition never gets old, when that’s normally something that would irritate me about a game.
The menu system is clear and helpful, allowing you to use your earned stars to help your become more powerful and survive longer. There are informative tree-style maps of the different towers and their unlocked upgrades. Enemies have informative screens as well, so you can decide the best type of tower to counter-act their specific skills and defenses.
When I found out I could download this game to my iPhone for free (with optional in-game purchases), I tried it out there too. Same game, great graphics, even on my small screen. This game is a steal at $5.99 on Steam, but if you want to get a feel for it first, download it to your smart phone and give it a try. I think it’s much more fun to play on a big screen so you can see all the details easily.
Overall, I would recommend this game to anyone who loves tower defense games, and to gamers who feel like they can’t find a tower defense game worth their time. The combination of price, graphics, audio bits, and fantastic upgrade system make this game one of my favorites I’ve tried so far!
Tl;dr – Alien Robot Monsters is a fun tower defense game that won’t bore you! Thanks to fun graphics, interesting upgrade systems, and a price that can’t be beat, this winner from Kraftix Games is one you should definitely get for your game library.
Cross of the Dutchman is based on the true story of Pier Gerlofs Donia, a legend in the medieval province of Frisna in Western Europe. When his land is threatened by invading Saxon troops, Pier takes the lead on gathering a small force to back them out of their land.
Originally classified as an RPG, this new release from Triangle Studios has been re-labeled as action/ adventure. There are very light RPG elements- leveling up a limited number of health, stamina, and attack options and stats using gold collected in the game. Dialogue with other characters you encounter gives a basic story in between missions and combat. The mini map identifies the direction of your next objective, as well as enemy locations and direction. Gameplay is very straight forward- you attack with your fists or your sword, and each attack style has a “boosted” style that is part of your RPG decision making.
My feelings about this game are conflicted, so I will just list the pros and cons and let you decide!
Gorgeous colorful graphics
Straightforward combat/easy to learn system
Nice soundtrack and sound effects
Good for achievement-hunters
Very short game (estimated 4-8 hours depending on your style)- probably not much replay value
Attack direction is often difficult to get right- end up punching or swinging at air a lot
Stealth mode sections can be incredibly frustrating, especially when the save point is several minutes back
Some lag experienced during character dialogue and one fight
Little depth to the characters or story
Not too many areas- spend a lot of time running back and forth between already-explored areas
I think this game has a lot of potential, but as it stands, it doesn’t contain much depth. I’d like to see the attack issue cleared up. I saw others on the forums mentioning this issue as well, so maybe this developer, who has been very kind and receptive to reviews and comments, will find a way to get that fixed. However, for the price and despite its limitations, this game is worth picking up to have some casual fighting fun.
Tl;dr – Cross of the Dutchman is an action adventure game with light RPG elements that is worth checking out for its colorful graphics and simple play style. The game is light on story line and character development, but fans of medieval history should pick up this casual based-on-a-true-story game.
Mos Speedrun 2 is a precision platformer recently released by Physmo. Sure, there are plenty of platformers out there, but Mos Speedrun 2 brings some unique game features to the table that makes it stand out. Fans of precision platform should definitely give it a look in, so let’s check it out!
This cute, colorful, pixel-graphics game offers 30 levels of challenge. Guide your little creature through the map, jumping over enemies, picking up coins, capturing way-points, bopping around moving platforms, and avoiding the plentiful environmental hazards.
In typical precisions platformer style, one hit will send you back to the start of the level. The only respite are way-points that can be found at various points throughout the levels. They’re only good for one use though, die twice and you go back to the beginning regardless. Get to the end to unlock the next map! Simple idea, but the play isn’t as easy as it sounds.
You can make getting to the end of the map your goal, but if you want to challenge yourself to be the best, you can beat the level in the lowest time possible, collect all the coins around the map, and also discover the gold skulls hidden in various, dangerous spots. There is definitely a lot of replay value for those who want to improve their previous score and earn badges for completing goals.
Another cute aspect of this game is the costume feature. By finishing levels, you can unlock new items to wear on your adventures, which mix and match. Lastly, one unique option is to have “ghosts” turned on, so you can see your previous runs, best run, and friends’ runs in that map while you play.
I used a controller for this game. Obviously, the major action in platformers is jumping. Moving the joystick up created one type of jump, while hitting a button created another. This took some getting used to, but generally, the controls are intuitive. (Although I’m still trying to get used to wall jumps)
I waste a lot of time trying to get this platforming just right, and often wind up killing myself anyways! It definitely takes a lot of patience and can be very frustrating, but successive runs will help you get better at each level and eventually pass it. Then you start all over on the next one!
Tl;dr – This game is everything a precision platformer needs: basic graphics, tight controls, a learning curve, and plenty replayability. Dive in as deep into mastering this game as you want, it has plenty to offer for any type of platforming player.
My default favorite game type is RPG rogue-like platformers, so I didn’t hesitate to review Nick Donnelly’s The Dungeoning, which was released in April of last year. Despite the mixed reviews on Steam, I was determined to give this retro-style game a fair shot.
This game is exactly what you’d expect from something of this genre- a procedural dungeon map with ghosts, bats, and other creepy crawlies, with chests and boxes to open, potions, and basic weapons to upgrade. Upgrade your character with the experience you get from kills. This is all very straightforward….and then there’s perma-death. Extremely frustrating, but that’s the reason I love these types of games.
The game tosses you in head-first. There’s very little instruction besides some pop-up tips that occasionally show up in the lower right of the screen. No real storyline. Music was nothing exciting. Graphics are retro and simple, but I liked them immediately. Controls were not as intuitive as I’d liked (I often manage to use potions instead of wielding my sword). Of course, I died almost instantly right off the bat. The few achievements I earned in my following runs didn’t synch with Steam until about two hours of game-play in. For an achievement Nazi like me, that’s a big no-no.
I decided quickly that I hated the game. It was boring and quirky and didn’t have much charm to it. The controls (which I refused to even look into rebinding- I like testing the game as-is) and achievement issues bothered me. There wasn’t anything unique about this particular game that would make it more interesting than some of my other favorite rogue-likes, such as Rogue Legacy with its hilarious traits or Binding of Isaac with its black humor or Ascendant with its unique graphics and weapons.
I then realized something. I kept playing it. I couldn’t stop. Despite the lack of anything unique in this game, I found myself going back to it to try again. I still die often, but quickly made it to level nine after being stuck on level six for too many runs. I learned more about the way to react to baddies and how to upgrade intelligently, and my achievements came rolling in. Oh no, am I addicted? I think I am! Who cares about the music- I muted it and put my own on. Yeah, there isn’t anything unique about this particular game, but it does what it should- gets you hooked and makes you want to do better than your last run.
So, I don’t hate the game. I actually LIKE it. It continues to frustrate me, but for other reasons. Level nine took it from difficult to insane- too many enemies around me to survive. It’s hard to live if you get swarmed and don’t have enough potions and items to heal yourself. I figure this is something else I’ll learn to overcome as I keep trying over and over.
Overall, I don’t think this game really deserves its mixed reviews. I give it a thumbs-up. If you just want a difficult perma-death rogue-like to play, pick this game up. Worried about it being worth it? It’s only £4.99/$6.99, or wait for it to go on sale. I’d definitely add it to your collection. You might find yourself itching to do one more run, one more run, one more run….
TL;dr – The Dungeoning is a very stereotypical RPG rogue-like platformer with perma-death, but don’t be fooled- you’ll be just as addicted as any other game with more bells and whistles.
[EDIT: In the review we stated that the game has only 19 levels. This is incorrect. The following is a message from the developer ragarding this:
“You mentioned that there are only 19 levels, but there are actually 5 different zones, with a total of 86 levels. Each of these levels has a hard version that is totally redesigned, so that adds up to 172 levels. It takes around 10 hours to complete the normal version of the game, and could easily take another 20 hours to complete the hard levels.”
I used to hate platformer games. Didn’t have the patience for them when I first started gaming. Slowly over time, I’ve gained both some skill and patience and actually prefer such games. I picked Shorebound Studios’ new release, Bob Was Hungry, for what looked to be a fun, cute 3D platforming experience. I was in for a shock.
The opening cinematics were simple, a little cheesy, and almost misleading. I thought this game would be easy, at least to start, slowly hand-holding me into harder levels as I learned a couple moves. My little alien (who looks more like a meatball with eyes than anything) simply has to be guided to his dinner. Your time is only recorded if you also get the bottle of condiments before you finish the run and win your covered dish. Simple concept, but almost immediately, I was forced to rethink my expectations of this game. This precision platformer is absolutely no joke.
I can’t play more than a few attempts before I have to stop because my hands get too sweaty and I start getting that I-am-going-to-throw-my-controller-through-my-monitor feeling welling up from an evil place deep within my soul. Finally completing a level creates a rush of relief and congratulatory gloating to myself. Failing yet again usually leads to anything from a slight huff of annoyance to a long string of profanities. But, as a gamer, you know it’s kind of fun torturing yourself.
The controls are not like “real life.” Newton’s laws don’t quite apply here. You can move Bob around in the air, not following any Earthly-type physics rules. You can make him shoot farther, bounce up walls, and go backwards some, but he certainly is a victim to gravity. Don’t let him fall off a cliff or onto spikes or you’ll have to start over.
Wondering if maybe I just wasn’t cut out for this, being a newer gamer than my husband, I had him try it. It wasn’t long before he was grunting in frustration… and then cussing, which made me feel better about myself. There’s a lot of laughing in this game too- little Bob explodes in a fluffy mess of alien bits when you mess up.
The game offers a co-op option for 2-8 players. I have mixed feelings about it. The maps are the same. If one person gets the condiment, it applies to the group. If one person dies, they respawn where the other player is (although I’m not sure how it works for more than 2 players). It’s fun to play together, but the respawn point makes it almost too easy for you to pass together. For how hard the game is, I was surprised at this. Connecting locally was quick and straightforward.
If you love torturing yourself with learning precision moves to get through a map, this game is definitely for you. So far, it only has 19 levels*, but there are normal and hard difficulties to give you some replay value. The graphics are simple and colorful and Bob is a cute little alien, but there’s nothing adorable about the frustration you’re going to feel playing this!
Tl;dr – Bob Was Hungry is a difficult 3D platformer with a simple concept- get your Bob some food without dying. With unique physics “rules”, and lots of challenging moves to make, this game is perfect for the precision gamer. The £10.99/$14.99 price tag on Steam is a little steep for it being a small game, but it’s currently on sale for £7.33/$9.99.
I’m hooked on Indie games because they’re unique and cheap. Developers want to get their name out there, and to have a great game, it has to stand out from the others and not cost an arm and a leg like well-known franchise games like Call of Duty and Assassin’s Creed. There are so many fun, creative games out there, and you can buy them for next to nothing. As a PC gamer, I comb through the following places to find my next inexpensive purchases:
As a reviewer for this site, I am also lucky enough to have access to game keys given to us by developers who want us to review their products.
Some games aren’t that great or just don’t interest me. Some games are fun but I stop playing after racking up a few hours. However, sometimes I score the game that grabs all of my attention for hours and hours of play time, leading me to read forums, wiki pages, and guides for more info. Oh, and I talk about it. A lot.
At the end of April this past year, my Steam app on my phone notified me that something in my wishlist went on sale. I was delighted to see that it was Rogue Legacy, a rogue-like RPG platformer released in 2013 by Cellar Door Games that was both recommended to me and I was also warned about- apparently it is difficult as hell. $4 later, I installed this new game and started playing.
I kid you not, I died within seconds.
Flabbergasted and a bit disappointed, I tried again.
Dead. Super quick.
I turned to my husband (also a gamer) in shock. I was starting to wonder if this was even worth $4. He just shook his head at me- he was used to me starting a new game at least once a week. Pretty sure he expected me to give up on this one quicker than usual.
I pressed on, though. Not sure why. I have very little patience, but something about this game drew me in. Slowly, I began to learn how to kill enemies, gaining gold so I could upgrade my skill tree, finding blueprints for equipment so I could get more passive protection and skills, finding runes to make the armor even better.
Within a few hours, probably between 10-20, I was fully addicted. The kills are so satisfying. The traits on the characters (to be explained later) made me laugh. Grinding wasn’t a chore like it is in most games. In fact, after a death, I would have a hard time NOT going back in for another round.
Now, 69 hours, 22/28 achievements, and 45 screenshots later, I’ve beat the game THREE times. I’ve maxed out every point in my skill tree, found and purchased every blueprint for every piece of equipment, and found and purchased every rune. After game, game+, and game+2, game+3 didn’t prove to be any more difficult, and I was forced to give up playing this fabulous gem. All I have left are 6 achievements that are insanely tough, if not impossible for me to earn.
Here’s the premise. You play offspring of your previous hero, fighting evil in a procedurally-generated map. That child dies in battle, then you choose between three of their offspring to take into the next battle. This is an RPG, but you don’t buff up one character- you upgrade the entire available set of skills and equipment. Carefully choosing your child each run is important. They will be one of several hero types (assassin, barbarian, etc) and come with none to a few traits. These traits are hilarious in some instances. Your child might have IBS (farting while jumping) or corprolalia (cussing after being hit), for example. Other traits are helpful, like better knockback, or no foot-pulse, which prevents floor spikes from being triggered. Some make your life difficult, like vertigo (the screen is flipped) or ectomorph (you’re skinny and enemies knock you back far).
The map is divided into four main areas- castle, forest, tower, and darkness. Rooms can be empty or full of enemies. They might contain chicken drumsticks (health) or mana potions. They might have coins, treasure boxes, containing runes, blueprints, or character upgrades. You might run into special challenges, games or mini bosses. There’s even a room where you can change the game music. Each main area has a boss. Survive each area and defeat the boss, and the main door at the entrance of the map will light up, signifying that you beat that boss. Defeat all four bosses and the main door will open. This will allow you to beat the two-part game boss.
Another way to beat bosses, which I haven’t been able to do yet, is in remix mode. After you beat an area boss, you can go back into that room and attempt to battle with a character the game has chosen for you. This is insanely difficult and despite how well I did otherwise in the game, I don’t last more than a few seconds with these guys. If I could, I might be able to get the rest of the achievements.
The game is simple to learn, but you will die, over and over and over again. But it’s ok- each upgrade will inspire you to try again. It’s insanely addicting. After you die, a screen will show up with all of the enemies you killed lined up. It’s fun to try and make the number more than last time.
The graphics are cute, retro, and colorful. The music never gets old- I even downloaded the soundtrack. This game has full controller support and game play was very satisfying. The RPG aspect of this was extremely fair and even. The platforming is challenging but not something that will make you pull out your hair. Replay value is great, and even at full price ($14.99), this game is worth the buy. And guess what! It’s also available on PS4 and Xbox One!
Tl;dr – This humorous, retro-style RPG rogue-like platformer is addicting and SO satisfying, with great replay value and a great price point, even at full price. I can’t recommend it enough and can only hope that the developers might consider a sequel.
The feisty elderly residents of a retirement community weren’t going to just accept the Grim Reaper’s threat to come collect them in three days, challenging him instead to mobility scooter races to escape his grasp. This amused Death, so the top 7 residents take to the town streets in this amusing kart game by Milky Tea Studios.
Story mode begins with you choosing one of the 7 quirky characters, each with a unique back story. 13 races are divided among 4 areas of increasing difficulty, the Village, Town, Farm, and Graveyard, with the final race (the Showdown) combining all areas. In order to advance between areas, you must rank above your elderly competitors. If you wind up at the bottom of the pack, your soul will be taken. Higher placement in the pack also means more rewards, which gives you the ability to upgrade your scooter. Better engines, weapons, and other perks are available for the right cost, helping you advance through the more difficult environments.
Gameplay is typical of traditional kart games. During the race, you need to avoid environmental hazards and have a good handle on your acceleration and braking to manage the many curves in the road. Each lap offers several chances at picking up items to help you protect yourself, speed up, or attack other racers. Oil spills, rocket boosts, shields, guns, and more are available if you drive through the item marker in the road. You can only carry one at a time, so timing is important. You also have a melee attack available, which can be charged up. If someone is aiming for you, you will see warning symbols to give you the chance to avoid the attack. Survive four laps around each track and advance to the next race, upgrading your scooter along the way.
Other game modes are available including time trial, quick race, and open world options, including exploration and a game where you have to find an item in the map within a set time. Multiplayer has both online lobby and local multiplayer options. Unfortunately, the game is too new to really have anyone else available in the lobby, but maybe that will change as more play the game.
Controls are sensitive. I tried playing both with a controller and keyboard, and keyboard is impossible for me. Some of the attacks are hard for me to coordinate, but generally, the controls are as-expected for this type of game. Graphics are simple, colorful, and cute with maps that are bright and cartoony. I’m a bit of a grammar-nazi and found a type-o in the opening story, which annoyed me a little, but overall, the game is well-polished.
One complaint I have and saw that the others have, is for the cost ($10.99 on Steam), this is a bit of a short game. Especially since online multiplayer is dead in the water right now, there isn’t too much to offer once all the races are beaten. If this goes on sale, though, it’s worth a buy if you like kart games.
Tl;dr – Coffin Dodgers is a unique twist on kart games where your elderly scooter racer avoids Death’s grip by ranking high in races around town. Upgrade your mobility scooter to help you advance through harder races and show the Grim Reaper who’s boss. This game has potential but the price is a little on the high side for how short it is.