Way back in the stone-age days of gaming, when disks actually flopped and exploring a new area meant swapping in a new hunk of black plastic, Sierra’s ‘Quest’ series of games captured my imagination. Many a rainy day was spent huddled around the tiny monitor of my friend’s tan Apple IIe endlessly scouring every nook and cranny of those artificial worlds and crawling inside the designer’s head to decipher what ridiculously convoluted combination of items was required to advance the plot. The narratives of Police, King’s and Space Quest may have not have been terribly original, but they captivated our imaginations and were compelling enough to keep us sucking down Barq’s root beer and typing in some crazy suggestions.
Clover: A Curious Tale borrows much from the Sierra methodology of adventuring, much to its advantage and detriment. You aren’t going crazy if the title sounds vaguely familiar; it’s actually a port of a PC title and an update to an existing (now-inferior) Xbox Indie. The update packs in plenty of recorded dialogue (it’s fantastic) and new puzzles (they’re hard). It combines a fantastic art style with a compelling narrative and some frustrating mechanics that results in a flawed, but enjoyable adventure.
Have you ever wanted to high-kick Kayne, bitch-slap Paris, or karate-chop the Governator? Well, now you can fight your favorite celebrity Avatars in Avatar Karate. You’ll unlock new opponents and locations as you work your way through each stage. There are 20 celebrity opponents in all; some appear as characters they’ve played and others appear as themselves. While the developer never outright names each celebrity by name, they’re fairly easy to identify by the lines they quote or through other pop-culture references.
The moves are simple: a variety of kicks, punches, jumps, and blocks. While the opponents get more difficult in single player mode, your Avatar doesn’t seem to level up or acquire any additional skills making the last few fights challenging. There 4 locations in the game, but all are fairly limiting and you are only allowed to fight in a portion of the screen. Read more
Real estate may be all about location, location, location, but indie games are all about personality, personality, personality (and of course, fun). I’ve sent a billion zombies to the post-undead afterlife, collected more coins than Scrooge McDuck and rotated my share of colorful blocks. I have no patience for rote mediocrity; games need to have spunk, style and, well, a dash of personality to go along with the fun gameplay in order to warrant my time.
Monsters (Probably) Stole My Princess is the perfect example of a game that exceeds beyond its core gameplay mechanic with a stylish presentation and and interesting characters. It is absolutely teeming with personality and a self-aware sense of humor, while the gorgeous hand-drawn graphics capture the essence of this wacky world.
With mobs of bloodthirsty aliens pushing humanity to the brink of extinction, one man – and one man alone – has the solution to preserve life as we know it. In order to save the planet, we need to create a race of colorful alien-human hybrids using brain samples from an institutionalized scientist. Bizarre premise? Undoubtedly. Perfect execution? Totally.
Square Off perfectly combines highly detailed cartoony graphics with addictive 2D shooting. The result is a surprisingly accessible game and an extremely fun multiplayer experience that ranks up there with Castle Crashers, Bomberman Live and Rock Band.
Dylan Martin, Dave Voyles, Dave Rappe, and Mike Wall talk The Revival of the Dreamcast l Joe Danger l L4D 1 and 2 DLC l Dave’s Gold Farming Operation.
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As the Xbox Live Indie Games market continues to expand with new releases nearly every day of varying degrees of quality, recommending games becomes less of a question of whether a particular game is worth a dollar or two,and more about if its worth playing for any amount of time. Indie games are compete against full-disk releases, XBLA games, DS and iPhone games for the attention of gamers, and if they don’t bring anything particularly new to the conversation, they just aren’t worth recommending.
Obesity Epidemic falls into a growing crowd of games that aren’t necessarily bad titles, but just don’t really do enough to warrant playing. It’s a perfectly functional twin-stick shooter with a comedic twist, but ultimately it just isn’t unique enough to deserve all that much attention.
I hate to come across as a sourpuss Nancy-pants complaining about the difficulty of a game entitled “This Is Hard,” but, honestly, I can handle a good challenge in a game so long as it is fair and skill-based. Stegersaurus Games must disagree with that last stipulation in my logic, since they’ve developed a game that is wildly frustrating and not even remotely fun. It’s a game that clearly prides itself in its difficulty, but that doesn’t make it a good game. I could hand you a live chicken and request that you turn it into a chicken sandwich and some buffalo wings; that’s hard too, but that doesn’t make it fun.
If I had to say something nice about This Is Hard, I’d at least mention that the little green monsters that chase you around are kind of cute, although I’m sure they’re supposed to be threatening. Oh, and it has an enjoyable – though bizarrely misplaced – classical soundtrack.
Zaboo, the obsessive nerd from The Guild, once asked “Question #9: If your friendship was a food…”
Well that offbeat question quite certainly describes this title, which isn’t your standard twin-stick shooter. Players play as a drain plug within a sink and, quite simply, the gamer’s job is to shoot at all the incoming food. As a plug, gamers fire uhh…..rockets, at incoming fruits and veggies which are making their way toward the drain. If the plug touches the drain it bounces off like a bowling ball against those bumpers you probably still use when you bowl.
The catch, however, is the water flowing through the background which puts a spin on all objects – including your rockets. This makes things rather difficult as food now comes at you from all angles, and player’s rockets are spinning with the water as well. The bosses, which appear at the end of each stage, are even more absurd, including the a block of cheese with a pair of hands and two bars of soap followed by bubbles.