We played Duck Game! It’s super fun! Paul “Morbid Coffee” Norman joined us! Check it out! Exclamation point!
tag 'indie games'
Steve “Stiv” Tramer returns to talk about this roguelike tribute to Lovecraft.
It’s kind of unfortunate, but there’s not really a whole lot that’s worth saying about Eldritch, a roguelike-like dungeon crawling game which draws loose inspiration from Lovecraft. Hold on here – let’s back up a minute. Just in case you don’t know what a roguelike is, they’re dungeon crawling games – turn-based, with a top-down perspectively, usually primitive graphics – that have large amounts of randomized content, punishing difficulty, and permanent death. There’s been a wave in the last few years of “roguelike-like” games, which take some of these elements (usually the randomization and permanent death) and tie them into new genres. We’ve gotten arcade platformers (Spelunky), space combat sims (FTL: Faster Than Light), and now an immersive sim that is kind-of-sort-of a horror thing in the form of Eldritch. Just in case you’re on the internet and don’t know who Lovecraft is, he was a horror author of the early 20th century who was paid by the word and as a result had a talent for writing incredibly long, descriptive prose which told the reader basically nothing about what was happening. Also because his work is in the public domain, we’re regularly subjected to what is pretty much Lovecraft fanfiction. In fact the majority of what people think of as the “Lovecraft mythos” is actually early-era Lovecraft fanfiction written by a fellow named August Derleth, who was a friend of Lovecraft and published many volumes of his work but was not a great writer. So here we are now, with Eldritch, the video game equivalent of August Derleth.
This is our final contribution from Lee Spriggs for this year’s feature, but it’s a good one. I’d really like to try this game, but I don’t have an iOS device. Guess I’ll just have to read Lee’s write-up over and over.
Why would you willingly close your eyes during a horror game? When that’s all that there is to the experience. When the sound design is the game itself. And when you want to see whether a game can be effective without any of the mechanics that we’re used to.
Once again, fervent What a Maneuver supporter Lee Spriggs drops some knowledge on you about a horrific indie game. We also like this game a lot, so read what Lee says, then go buy it if you somehow haven’t already.
Here’s a list of adjectives to describe Hotline Miami that I came up with while I was brainstorming for this article:
Today’s contribution comes from long time friend of the site, programmer extraordinaire and general cool guy Stephen “Stiv” Tramer.
The best survival horror games tend to have a pretty simple, visceral hook. This is one of the reasons why the first few Silent Hill games work so well: They have a simple premise that is (relatively) easy for the player to buy into and sympathize with. Miasmata has one of the best, most easily understandable hooks of any survival horror game I’ve played, laid out in a series of short sentences before the game begins: You are Robert Hughes. You’re a botanist who has awoken on the shore of a mysterious island, where an enclave of researchers have been working on a cure. You have a disease that is slowly killing you. Find the cure and survive.
Alexis Long and Anthony Rogers join Eric, Mike, and Kurt to wander through an empty house and wonder what the hell happened here. A patented OtS spoilercast.
Catachresis: A Way Too Scary Game is a recent release from indie game developer Cameron Kunzelman. The title says it’s way too scary, but I’ll be honest, it’s not that scary. It’s dialogue and charming sense of humor are actually what I like about the game, though it does have a few scares, they’re not so much “scary” as they are “gazing long into the abyss while you contemplate the permanence or lack thereof of your life and everything you hold dear.” So that’s a thing.
Gunpoint by Tom Francis
I’m trying to recall how I heard about Gunpoint. It wasn’t on any websites that cover video games. I know I never saw an advertisement for the game, or a preview/review. It might have been on twitter or a forum. It reminded me of the recommendations I’d get from classmates and friends on the playground, “Hey! have you heard of Gunpoint? It’s this really cool game that just came out! No! You won’t find it in GamePro! You really need to get it!” It felt like I was discovering something no one else knew about.
Jasper Byrne’s Lone Survivor is one of the most unsettling games I’ve ever played. In spite of it’s 16-bit style graphics, it caused genuine discomfort in me at times. Sadly, it is punctuated by a limp ending that can leave more questions than answers.
I suppose this is as good a place as any to put a SPOILER ALERT.
Hello, everyone! Alexis Long here. This post is a little late, as we were trying to get all the tech working properly in order to let you experience this thing I made. Anchorhead is a Text Adventure, so I figured, what better way to show you about it than a text adventure, right? So click on through and give it a try!
Hey, hey loyal readers! Wrestlemania is this Sunday, so we here at onthestick.com are going to hit you guys up with a pile of (mostly) videogame and wrestling related content. To start off the week, I figured I’d take a look at an indie wrestling game. A rare breed, indeed!
“Thou shalt not walk left.”
As commandments go, there are certainly better known (and more logical ones) out there. But the regulation in question doesn’t spring from the old testament, as hard as that may be to believe. Rather, it comes from Tower of Heaven, a PC indie platformer that’s had its fill of players running willy-nilly wherever they please. Or standing on yellow blocks. Or touching the butterflies.
If you combine the two pieces I previously wrote for our Indie Games feature, you’d have a fairly accurate description of Knytt Stories: it’s a Metroidvania, it has good music (although each song is short and doesn’t repeat, which is a bit annoying), a few areas of the game are heavy on atmosphere, and it has an open ended story. The only truly notable aspect of the game proper is that you never really gain any true offensive abilities and spend the majority of the game platforming around enemies and the environment rather than fighting enemies or bosses. It’s a short (only a few hours) but solid game. Everything works well, but at the end of the day, there’s honestly no reason why I should even be mentioning this game.
So why does KS merit an entry in our Indie Games feature?
Mount & Blade is so good we brought in a specialist to cover it. Thanks Will! I haven’t played a ton of the game, but the combat in M&B lays bare the inadequacies of the melee fighting in every other role-playing game. Not that anyone crows about the sword fighting in the Elder Scrolls games or anything, but this tiny company in Turkey made a game that throughly undresses all the big boys when it comes to riding horses and hitting dudes with sticks.
Limbo is often compared to a title we mentioned early in our Indie Games feature, Braid. It makes sense. Both are puzzle/platformers that were originally released for Xbox Live Arcade. Both have a unique look and feel to them and both feature some amazing audio work. Sure, sounds pretty similar. In reality, the games couldn’t be any more different. Anthony said in his take on Braid that Braid is “about thinking”. Well, if Braid is about thinking, then Limbo is about feeling.
Super Crate Box is like an adorable golden retriever puppy with chainsaws strapped to all of its limbs: it’s cute and you want to play with it, but you know it is going to hurt you very badly if you do so. The game with the excellent name is the work of a Dutch studio called Vlambeer, which is also a pretty excellent name. It’s a simple arcade-style game in the single-screen, score based vein that is colorful, funny and brutally difficult.
I can say without doubt that Escape from the Underworld is the best Indie Metroidvania to ever be made in MS Paint. Not exactly a bold statement, but a true one. What the game’s art lacks, it makes up for in clever ideas. Well, okay, clever idea. Singular. But it’s a good one!
Redder is rad little science fiction themed platformer designed by Anna Anthropy, the woman who made Mighty Jill Off. Much of the game’s basic design is taken from Metriod and the opening shot, a spaceship (in this case, low on gas) slowly descending onto alien soil, is really nice homage to that series. The protagonist, a little dude (or lady) in a space suit, hops out of the ship and the player assumes control.
Every day in February, we’re going to post a new article about an indie game. We’re playing fairly fast and loose with the definition of the word indie, so expect to see free flash games, PSN/XBLA games, XNA creators club games and pay to download PC stuff. Today’s entry is about a fantastic Russian developed game called Hammerfight.