Eric’s been streaming a lot of spooky games on our Twitch channel this month. They’ll all get archived here by the end of the month. But today it’s Albino Lullaby! A game Eric actually Kickstarted, if you can believe that!
tag 'indie games'
You awaken in a dark house, with no memory of what is going on. You stumble around and find a flashlight. Finally, you can see. You walk through the only door in sight and almost trip over a dead body.
Have you ever sat down with your phone, ready to relax after a hard day at work with a bit of virtual card game competition, started a game of Hearthstone, and then just thrown the phone across the room because none of your cards had anime tits on them? I mean, we all have, right? Truly, it is Hearthstone’s one weakness. Luckily, there are developers out there to fill this void and make our lives more complete. Cygames has stepped up to the challenge.
This year when Joe asked about what people wanted to write about for the 31 Days, I didn’t actually think I had anything to contribute. Eventually, I decided I would write something about We Happy Few. It was touted as an “indie survival horror” game with a unique twist and aesthetic, so I decided to pick it up. However, I’d not dug in to it much, because it was still in Early Access. It seemed like it was a good fit for the 31 Days, so I volunteered to go ahead and cover it.
I think it’s no surprise that I am a big fan of dragons. I am so big a fan, I’ve written so many words about dragons that my tiny laptop literally cannot handle processing the document. That’s a lot of dragon love. So when I learned that LiEat was a game about a dragon, I was there! And then it turns out that the game says “dragon” when it means moe little girl with magical powers. Not a single scale or cool set of claws! What a shame.
Once I got past this sad reality, though, what was left was a very smart little game about the nature of lies that is wonderfully brief and enjoyable all the way through.
Today’s entry was written by friend of the site Lee Spriggs. As he points out, this write-up gets spoiler-y, so you may want to take the few minutes to play the game first.
Ok, let’s get the easy part out of the way first: Moirai will take you 10 minutes to play, tops, and it’s free right here. You can install it via Steam or itch.io. Just go do it. It’s right here, at this link. If you read on and ruin this experience for yourself, you’re going to miss out on something unique.
I’m not sure if you’re aware, but there are a lot of dating games out there for your phone. They’re not well known, but once you search from them, you get tons of them, in English, even! Many of them are not translated super well, and many of them are so incredibly generic and by the numbers that you really have to wonder who is playing them. On the other hand, there are also plenty that are just a bit out there. I have found a lot of games that have made me laugh through the sheer awkwardness of their titles, descriptions, and intros. Would my life have been complete without knowing of the existence of Forbidden Romance: My Secret Pets!! Animal Boys In Heat!? I think not.
Today’s entry is by one half of the team behind Guy Gardner Colon Warrior, Jenn Mackert. You should check that site out for lampooning of some of the worst of ’90s comics. And let this also act as a big fat SPOILER WARNING if you haven’t played Eversion yet somehow.
Browsing through the Steam tag for “Lovecraftian”, you may spot a game that seems out of place. The banner for Eversion sticks out like a sore tentacle, featuring the full spectrum of color among a host of other games that barely branch out past blood red or putrid green. It’s hard to believe at first glance that what looks like a cheerful little Super Mario Bros. clone has such an authentically Lovecraftian atmosphere.
So Hustle Cat is pretty queer. And I don’t really mean just the obvious things, because there are obvious things. The protagonist, Avery, can use any of three different pronoun sets, and you can pair those with masculine or feminine builds of a variety of skin tones as you want. I must say it was kind of a treat to be able to play a dating game protagonist that actually has a similar build to me, for once. You’ve got a selection of both guys and girls you can pursue in the game, so your sexuality is covered as well. It’s got the obvious sort of stuff someone like me, who plays a lot of dating games and is quite gay, wants from them but so rarely gets. It’s very nice and queer.
Tonight’s livestream was, uh, hm. Well, it was a clusterfuck, to be honest. But, hey, it was a spooky game! Contagion claims to be a realistic zombie shooter and… yeah.
Before we begin the article proper, let me get this out of the way: There are spoilers here. If you haven’t played Undertale, I strongly recommend spending $10 and four to five hours of your time to do so. There will be some fairly high-level generic “spoilers” for the game as a whole that might affect your enjoyment of discovery that is one of the game’s true strengths, but what this goes into in more depth is the “Genocide” path where you kill every enemy in the game that can possibly be killed. If you plan to play a genocide run yourself, maybe do that first.
Just so you know, I didn’t play a genocide run of Undertale. I cheated and looked up information on it, because I didn’t want to play it. I knew I would have had to do too many horrible things for a “reward” that wasn’t worth it, but that doesn’t seem to stop people who are determined to find out what happens. Besides I had a bad time anyway.
Eric gives you a full playthrough of Uncanny Valley. It’s weird.
Eric checks out indie Metroidvania Odallus on the livestream!
Downwell is a very recent release, and I’ll tell you right now, I haven’t finished it. Still, I felt compelled to write about it, because it fits the theme and because I like this game a lot.
Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures is not, strictly speaking, a horror game. Well, a lot of games we cover in these countdowns aren’t, but specifically, AVGN Adventures doesn’t even have a solid horror theme. What it does have, though, are three very solid horror-themed levels that reference a variety of horror games of the past.
Hey, it’s Alexis again. You can’t really have a game where spoilers will hurt your experience more than Undertale. Without a doubt it’s going to be my game of the year, of many years. You should just play it. But in case you still want to read, this essay does not talk in a whole lot of detail about events of the game, so maybe it’d be alright to read either way. It’s your call. No matter what, though. S T A Y D E T E R M I N E D.
There are more than a few games that one could label “slasher games.” In fact, recently, there seems to be a new interest in the idea. Until Dawn hit the PS4 last month, Summer Camp is a forthcoming game that even has special effects legend Tom Savini involved and there was talk of a new Friday the 13th game coming this year, though there hasn’t been any recent news.There are more than a few games that one could label “slasher games.” In fact, recently, there seems to be a new interest in the idea. Until Dawn hit the PS4 last month, Summer Camp is a forthcoming game that even has special effects legend Tom Savini involved and there was talk of a new Friday the 13th game coming this year, though there hasn’t been any recent news.
Longtime contributed, Action Cast! co-founder and all-around good dude Andy Keener drops by to contribute today’s entry.
When I was younger, my friends and I would always go to haunted houses in October. We’d get a big group together and would usually end up going to the same one every time. Wandering around in the dark, trying to find the exit, just knowing that someone, or something, was waiting to jump out at us. Being together gave us the strength to get into our roles as victims; it was easier to drop all pretense of being tough and not scared when everybody was around. It made the scares more scary and the dread overwhelming.
We played Duck Game! It’s super fun! Paul “Morbid Coffee” Norman joined us! Check it out! Exclamation point!
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.