Reviews

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Indies at a Glance: Go Gimbal Go

Posted on by Dave Voyles in Features, Reviews, XBLIG Reviews | Leave a comment

You like games. We like games. We like writing about games. But writing takes time, and since time is finite and new release lists are damned near infinite, you can probably see the quandary we’re stuck in. Indies at a Glance lets us discuss games we’re playing without cranking out a marathon review. That way, we can write about more games, and you can read about more games that we’re writing about. 

On the surface, Go Gimbal Go appears to be a simple-minded game where your goal is to get from one end of the stage to the other in the shortest period of time possible while ignoring everything around you. This was something Sonic the Hedgehog damn near perfected in the early 90s before making his doomed plunge into the 3D realm. But spending just a few moments with Go Gimbal Go will soon reveal that it is so much more than that.

For the uninformed, a gimbal is “swiveling device which enables a galley stove or compass card to remain level.” That holds true for this game as well, as you’ll quickly be plowing through levels as you race in all cardinal directions at warp speed while being tied to a track. Players take control of a ball which is tasked with rescuing children throughout each stage by simply running against them.

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Apple Jack 2 review: Keeping the doctor away

Posted on by Anthony Swinnich in Reviews, xblig, XBLIG Reviews | 2 Comments

The 2D Platformer is one of the most stocked genre cabinets on XBLIG. But when one filters out for quality, the number drops drastically. Apple Jack 2 would certainly be counted among the titles remaining. It’s quirky, it’s clever and above all else, it’s fun.

The story picks up after the first game’s ending. The titular character is sitting at work, reminiscing about previous adventures while lamenting his current, boring existence. So he does what any rational fruit-headed being would do — he strips naked, leaves his job and sets out in search of fun. His goal is the beach, and your nimble thumbs are his guide.

While there isn’t a great deal of complexity to the controls in Apple Jack 2, My Owl Software gets a great amount of mileage out of the functionality. The usual run, jump and wall jump abilities are present. You can duck which allows you to roll, and you can pick enemies up and throw them while standing on their heads.
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Penny Arcade’s On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness 3 Review

Posted on by Mike Wall in Mobile Reviews, PC, PC Reviews, Reviews, xblig, XBLIG Reviews | 8 Comments

Penny Arcade is a comic strip about Tycho and Gabe, who are characterizations of their real-life creators. They have appeared in two previous video games. They (well, the real-life versions) host expos twice a year where thousands of fans wait for hours to hear them speak and revel in general nerdiness. They are also vastly more wealthy and famous than I will ever be. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is about the entirety of my knowledge of the Penny Arcade universe until I plugged in my Xbox controller and booted up Penny Arcade’s On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness 3.

I think I should have studied a bit more.

Zeboyd Games, who previously helped that Lovecraftian monster save the world, has resurrected the dormant franchise and spruced it up with their 16-bit can of paint. Even though there’s a new developer, the game picks up just a few weeks after the previous two and feels very much a part of the same world. At least, I have to assume it does since I haven’t spent ten minutes with the previous games. If you’re better versed in Penny Arcade lore than I – and odds are, you are – the frequent cameos, plot twists, and references to events long-ago transpired probably make a lot more sense. But since we all only get one brain, I’m forced to approach the game through my n00b eyeballs, and you know what? It’s still pretty damned funny.

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Guacamelee! wrestles its way onto a Sony platform courtesy of the Pub Fund

Posted on by Dave Voyles in Mobile Reviews, News, PSN News | Leave a comment

Down-on-his-luck agave farmer Juan Aguacate will have one more opportunity to improve his luck this year in this multi-genre mashup, thanks to Sony’s Pub Fund. Guacamelee! will hit (and probably be hit) on the Vita and PSN at some point in the yet-to-be-determined future. If you’re headed to E3 next week, you can catch a glimpse of  it running on both devices, or follow along for more melee news at their blog.

Source: Blog.Playstation.US

Compromised review: No concessions here, this one is good

Posted on by Dave Voyles in Reviews, xblig, XBLIG Reviews | Leave a comment

Twin-stick shooters are nothing new to the XBLIG Marketplace, but they generally get caught in the endless shuffle of titles that flood the platform unless they really stand out or showcase an exceptional level of polish. Fortunately Compromised delivers on both of these elements and proves to be well worth your time and money.

Naturally, a game’s visuals are the first thing that grabs most of our attention, and there was no disappointment here.  The aesthetic is a careful blend from a number of influences, but in the end work out to be a beautiful concoction. The dark art style and blown up hand drawn textures are reminiscent of the Dishwasher series on XBLA, while the green font used for narration is displayed in a manager similar to that of The Matrix. Smoke fills the background and menu screen, while the foreground is often subtly obfuscated by framing, as though you were peering through a destroyed glass ceiling overhead.
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Chompy Chomp Chomp review: Dinner for four

Posted on by Anthony Swinnich in Reviews, xblig, XBLIG Reviews | Leave a comment

Utopian World of Sandwiches appears to have a great eye for concept delivery. The critters that star in Chompy Chomp Chomp are undeniably cute and insatiably hungry. The game is as eye-catching as it is frantic, though sometimes a bit too much for its own good. This party game will provide entertainment for most, but its flaws may grate the enjoyment of others to a fine dust.

Imagine a game of Pac-Man with just the ghosts, but the ghosts are tiny-horned devils. Each of the four devils is controlled by a player. A circle rests beneath each one — its color represents the devil you need to eat. You’ll have to chase them down and eat them up while avoiding your own assailant, at least until the color of the circle and the targets change. This is the basis of every match in Chompy Chomp Chomp.

There are elements that provide a level of chaos, like every good party game should. Several power-ups may litter the stage at any given moment, like deployable ice-patches and speed boosts. There are also poison items that slow you down for a short period – usually long enough to be eaten by your enemy. The frequency and appearance of these can be tuned to your liking, which is great because being poisoned is simply not fun.
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Offspring Fling! Review: Chuckin’ Babies

Posted on by Mike Wall in PC, PC Reviews, Reviews | 2 Comments

We here at Armless Octopus are proud of our pro-mother/pro-baby agenda. Other indie sites have balked our our goody-too shoes approach, but we generally – with exceptions, naturally – oppose eating babies, even though we all know their sweet undeveloped juices are as tasty as god’s urine. So it’s rather unsurprising that I had a natural affinity for Offspring Fling!, an adorable puzzle platformer about good old fashioned family values.

Offspring Fling! uses its retro aesthetics to create a warm, familiar feeling, but actually playing the game feels like a completely new experience. You play as a creature that is most definitely the result of Kirby and Pikachu mixing DNA. Your task is to guide your progeny of kirbachus to the exit of each level. Sounds easy, right? All you have to do is avoid the water, bees, and acid-spitting plants and it’s off to nursery school.

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A Valley Without Wind Review: Beware of the Wind

Posted on by Alex Ward in PC, PC Reviews, Reviews | 3 Comments

The world has been shattered, and space-time has been thrown into a blender. In A Valley Without Wind, players take on the role of Brain Guy from Mystery Science Theatre 3000 to save the world one continent at a time. It’s a randomly-generated platformer shmup RPG wrapped around an optional fetch-quest grind-fest by Arcen Games, the team behind AI War and Tidalis.

AVWW is a game that is fun for a shallow reason. At first glance, it looked to be a casual loot game, which led me to skip reading the in-game “Big Honkin’ Encyclopedia” manual. This is considered to be a very bad idea, and I would recommend this strategy to only the most stubborn and deductive players with inconceivable amounts of free time. At its heart, AVWW is an SNES-era Metroidvania title, with difficulty levels ranging between ‘hold my hand’ and ‘I have a plethora of spare keyboards ready to break.’ Read more

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