“Considering the Nintendo eShop was restructured around the 3DS, it’s disappointing to see that it still has a pitiful selection of new 3D games available. As one of the few non-retro downloadable games designed to make specific use of the handheld’s 3D capabilities, Mighty Switch Force makes a lasting impression with its creative switch mechanic. The ability to swap blocks between the foreground and the background turns basic platforming action into brain-bending puzzle chaos, and that’s a good thing–while it lasts.”
“In some ways, the rise of the indie game scene and the recent retro game revival are inextricably linked. Beyond paying homage to classic graphic styles and gameplay mechanics that have long been surpassed by modern day technology, a large number of small studios are cranking out games using limited tools and meager budgets. When the result is an excellent game like Tobe’s Vertical Adventure, who can complain? Old-school charm, a tough challenge, and simple-but-fun gameplay outshine the few murky moments found in this lovingly crafted platformer.”
“For days on end, I’ve been staring at the blue hued corridors of maze-like compounds filled with ugly neon soldiers trying to kill each other. My eyes are starting to hurt, but it’s hard to look away. Every click of the mouse sends my brain swirling with the strategic outcomes that could unfold. Will my grenade take down that sniper or will he have disappeared long before it ignites? Will another foe turn the corner and run head-long into the blast? I have no clue. Each turn you take in Frozen Synapse is a calculated gamble, which makes the constant cycle of second guesses, tactical sneakiness, and erupting chaos in this turn-based shooter intensely absorbing.”
“Imagine what Minecraft might be like if it had been made with pixel art sprites and released in the SNES era. That sums up the overall vibe of Terraria pretty well. It also explains why I just can’t seem to tear myself away from the darned thing. This devious little indie sandbox title borrows so many ideas from Notch’s game that it essentially is Minecraft in 2D, but it also beefs up the familiar gameplay in exciting ways. There’s a lot more creepy crawly stuff to kill, and the staggering number of doodads you can MacGyver together into deadly weapons to slay them with is mouth-watering. Say what you will; there’s some gnarly fun to be had in these uncharted depths.”
Once I started playing Minecraft I was totally hooked. It’s a very cool concept, and players are really taking the engine and running with it creativity-wise. I recently interviewed Notch and put together a massive feature on the game for GameSpy that you can check out over here. I’d blog about it more, but I spilled my guts on the subject pretty thoroughly in the article. Give it a read! Thanks.
I’m a big fan of wacky games, and Octodad is about as oddball as it gets. You play as an octopus masquerading as a human dad that’s trying to do some crazy research while not blowing his cover to his human wife and kids. Intentionally wonkly controls make humorous light of the fact the protagonist doesn’t have bones, and fumbling your way through the game’s challenges is pretty hilarious. This student-crafted indie game is short and sweet. Definitely give it a spin.
Check out my write-up of Octodad in my weekly Free Bytes column over at IGN here.
I hate doing chores, but failing to get stuff done spurs the wife to increase her volume levels in a not-so-happy way. So I do them. But this pretty rad little iPhone app takes some of the sting out of the grueling tedium that is washing dishes, taking the dog out to pee every 5 minutes, and taking out the garbage/recycling etc. Epic Win lets you earn XP for tackling crappy tasks, and level-ing up your little adventurer dude quickly becomes an addictive incentive to muscle through some lame daily tasks. I had fun with this app. You should check it out…and my review, which can be found at GamesRadar over here.
“Feel like getting lots of work done this afternoon? Forget that. Pay attention and get ready to kiss the rest of your day’s productivity goodbye, because once this week’s freebie sinks its jaws into you, you’ll have to gnaw your own limbs off to escape. Today, sweet blissful doom comes in three delicious words: Super Crate Box. Play it. Fear it. Love it. Obey.”
“Toronto hasn’t always been the indie game development Mecca that it’s grown into today. Just under a decade ago, studios in the city were scarce, and many budding developers had to leave Toronto to find solid work. Sick of competing for the meager handful of game dev job openings in town and unwilling to relocate away from home, a group of enthusiastic game makers set out to change things. After a few years of working on a slate of mobile phone projects, indie studio Capybara Games has settled into a steady groove crafting offbeat games about rainbow-puking critters, puzzle jousting combatants, and pixilated touchy-feely warriors.”
“I never thought it would be possible to have so much fun pressing just a single button over and over again. The space bar is your best friend in PlasmaPig, but the hordes of angry battleships that swarm in to attack your delicate fleet of pigs most certainly are not. With only a weak force field protecting each of the mother ships in your dwindling armada of porky space explorers, you’re the last line of defense to prevent them from being turned into intergalactic bacon.”