The event will take place on my twitch channel starting on Tuesday at 8PM ET. Given the sheer number of games, there’s a good chance this event will spill over into two days, if so it will continue on Wednesday at 8PM ET.
In addition to hitting Indie Insights for second time, Blacksea Odyssey will be hitting Steam Early Access on March 2nd! Last time I gave high marks to Blacksea Odyssey for its excellent aesthetic and above average gameplay, so much so that I featured it in my Top 10 Indie Insights last year. This time around however, the game is going to be available for money, so it needs to live up to a certain standard. We’ll be watching very carefuly to ensure that the player is getting some bang for their buck. Let’s delve deep into this one!
Next up we’ve got Nervas 13, a top down RPG Adventure inspired by games like Pokemon and Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals. According to the developer: this is a game “where you play as Mace Carter a Machine and circuitry engineer who travels through the vastness of the galaxy.” I’m curious how this will translate to its gameplay, and if we’re going to be seeing an open world adventure, or a linear path style game. Nowadays space RPGs tend to imply the freedom to make tons of your own choices, (thanks Mass Effect), but they can also be narrow games taking place in atmospheric space stations. We’ll have to see which way the developer went with this game and find out how it feels.
Lastly we’ll be checking out Fair Winds, a game about sailing! Aaaand that’s about all I know. It seems the game has highly realistic sailing physics and your goal is to navigate a sea full of nasty weather and obstacles. To where? Who knows! We’ll find out together exactly what this voyage has in store for us.
First up tonight we’re checking out Dire Vengeance, a 2D action platformer which appears to have a heavy demonic and metal look to it. The aesthetic of this game pulled me in immediatly, it has a sort of gothical futurism to it, but doesn’t allow itself to suffer from color deficiency. The environments are bright and colorful, the enemies tend to be dark and blood splattered, but most importantly your character has pink hair. Let that sink in for a second, your main character in this game has bright pink hair. With the exception of her possibly putting a helmet on, any frame of this demonic hell ride is going to have a smack of pink on it somewhere.
As far as visual design choices go, that is a guaranteed contrast between EVERYTHING you’d expect from a game like this, and I think that alone is facinating. Stop and think for a second about how many Castlevania games you’ve played where the color pink was a common sight. This is a game that’s truly working hard to set itself apart from other games of its kind, and in that one sense alone I believe it’s accomplished that nicely. We’ll be talking very much about the visual choices in this game and if they work for or against the game.
After that we’ll be taking a look into Rogue Harvest, a top down survival game by Genetix Studio. Ever since the rise of Minecraft and Terraria, different takes on the survival formula have begun to spring up everywhere. Although the genre has become crowded, it is not impossible to stand out among them all, but it requires a few things to be sure. The first thing it needs is actually something that all games need, and that is a solid unified unique aesthetic. If you take a snapshot of your game and it cannot be immediatly identified as yours, then something is severely wrong. Of course not all people are artists (myself SURELY included) so this is something that gets generally overlooked by some indie developers as “unimportant”. To a degree, they are correct, but whether we like it or not, GRAPHICS SELL! Your gameplay can be top notch, but it doesn’t mean a thing if people never play it, so the whole “selling” factor is actually quite important, as sad as that may be.
The other thing (and arguably more important thing) survival games need to be successes is a compelling enemy. For many survival games these enemies may be as simple as bears, or zombies, but for some of the more complex ones the enemy can be an abstract concept, such as keeping warm, and not starving. No matter which way you go about it, you need an enemy that can feel like a real threat to your survival, or the whole genre is shot. This game attempts to mix in a roguelite element through the use of permadeath and persistant progress, meaning each death helps unlock new things. We’ll be examining this game’s mechanical an aesthetical choices very carefully to determine just how they stack up against competitors.
Super Daryl Deluxe
Our final game of the night is a plucky looking beat-em-up RPG adventure game by the name of Super Daryl Deluxe. Oozing with style it features an almost Napoleon Dynamite looking protaganist in a very “black and white” world. The style of this game is undeniable, especially in still life, it’s easy to take a press-ready screenshot of this game. Watching the gameplay video however, I start to feel the whole style come apart a bit when it’s in motion. I’ll be discussing this in more depth at the actual event, but there is a certain floatiness to the actual gameplay that seems a bit off putting (at least to me).
I believe that this is absolutely a fixable problem, but it’s one I see happen all to often with highly visual games. The animation of a character doesn’t quite reflect what is happening on the screen. Perhaps you’ve seen this when a character is in a fast running animation, but they move at a snail’s pace, maybe you’ve seen it when a jumping character doesn’t bend their knees first for lift-off, the point is it exists, and it’s a tiny detail that can really derail a great looking game. We’ll talk more about the importance of matching up your animation in video games during the show!
AN EXPERIMENTAL PUZZLE PLATFORMER! Good times ahead. We’ve got ourselves a very highly stylistic VVVVVV style gravity inversion game here, and it looks silky smooth. In Invert, gravity is reversed whenever you move into an inversion zone. This brilliant idea actually blends the game’s aesthetics closely with its mechanics, so we’ll be taking a close look at Invert’s level design to make sure it both looks and plays well. This may be the first game I’ve played where the graphics actually DO matter!
Levantera: Tale of the Winds
It’s Castlevania meets Sid Meier’s Pirates! You, the captain of the M.S. Tradewind awaken to find your tradeship battered, and your crew missing. It is up to you to fix your ship, gather your crew members and discover the secrets of the arcane force of the wind: Levantera. This game is highly dedicated to its 8-bit look and feel, so much so that people have confused it with a NES game at first glance! 8-bit is a tough style to do right because of just how minimalist it is. Many games get around this by cheating here and there, but only the truly dedicated ones can fully harness this asthetic and use it to the game’s advantage. This game is pobably going to draw many comparisons to Zelda II, if only because of the 8-bit 2D platformer look of the game. We’ll see how it holds up!
It’s our 2nd look at Dragonpath (though technically my 3rd look). After checking out this game on my own once, and again for Indie Insights, I’m very pleased to see its finally made its way onto Steam! This will be our first chance checking out the game in a release phase, so we’re going to be checking over everything that makes this game tick much more closely. In partiuclar, we’ll be seeing how the pacing of the game’s boss fights is, as well as how well it utilizes its camera. Get ready for some deep dungeon delving folks, see you all for the show!
Full Discolosure! I was given a press key to review this game, and did not buy it.
Buy Quest of Dungeons ► http://store.steampowered.com/app/270050
In this review, we analyze Quest of Dungeons and its place in the Rougelike genre. Does it truly belong there, or is it simply a Roguelite?
Background Music In This Review
0:00 – “Lilith’s Rage” by Aaron Krogh
2:03 – “In The Wild” by Aaron Krogh
3:50 – “Passing Time” by Aaron Krogh
5:16 – “Who Left The Milk Out” by Aaron Krogh
7:20 – “Serenity” by Aaron Krogh
Other Games Featured In This Review
0:21 – Nethack
0:40 – Rogue
1:07 – FTL: Faster Than Light
1:15 – The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth
Discussed in this Review:
– Roguelike History
– Enemy AI
– Food Meter
– Inventory Depth