I picked up a lot of indie games on Steam lately, and here’s my opinions on some of them…
Jamestown is a bullet hell shooter, so that pretty much guaranteed that I would like it. It’s got a very unique setting; it’s set in the 16th century, on Mars! The main character is fleeing from the King of England, and is fighting against the Spanish fleet and a bunch of aliens, with steampunk jetpacks things. That’s kind of cool.
Gameplay-wise the most notable thing is that it’s a widescreen, but scrolls vertically. I’m not used to that, as it means a lot of bullets come from the sides, as opposed to games like Touhou and Dodonpachi. There’s also a pretty big variety of ships, with very different play styles. But I still stick to the Dodonpachi-style ship, cause that’s what I’m good with.
The pixel art is nice, the music is fitting, and the game difficulty is quite reasonable.
Spelunky is now my favorite rogue-like game. It’s charming, funny, polished, challenging, and incredibly rewarding when things work out for you. There’s tons of awesome secrets, and lots of hilarious situations that can occur. For example: You pick up a golden idol from a trapped pedestal, and a huge boulder rolls across the screen demolishing everything. You get away safely, but this boulder smashes into an item shop, and so the shopkeeper goes berserk, grabs his shotgun, and chases after you. The boulder also destroyed a nearby temple and pissed off a goddess, who unleashes a horde of spiders on you. All of the different entities in the game have so many ways of interacting with each other that the game never runs out of new experiences.
There’s a good variety of items and powerups, and optional hidden levels, which also make each run very different.
Spelunky does get frustratingly hard at times though. (Damn those spike traps in the jungle area!) If they toned down the difficulty a tiny bit, I think the game would be perfect.
I was kind of let down by this one. It just wasn’t all that much fun after a while.
Having permanent upgrades made it feel like the game was more about grinding for gold than actual skill, like most rogue-likes. But maybe I just sucked at it.
Giving your heroes random disabilities was a fun gimmick, but it got quite annoying once you actually started to play the game seriously.
It also felt kind of cheaply made: Most of the enemies had tons of color variations, big enemies were just stretched little enemies, equips didn’t visually change your character besides the color, the backgrounds were quite bland and repetitive… It was also a bit boring that the bosses were just huge versions of normal enemies (pictured).
Anyway, I beat 3 bosses, and then gave up. Maybe I’ll try again later. I mostly ended up feeling that I’d rather be playing Spelunky.
Thomas Was Alone
This game might not look like much, but it’s got a very good story! The only characters in the game are a bunch of rectangles, but you’ll start to care for them by the end of the game.
The platforming gameplay isn’t anything too special, and is often quite buggy too, but it’s worth playing for the story and atmosphere. It’s also short enough to finish in one sitting (4 hours), if you like short games.
This game’s probably a lot more fun with friends, but I played it by myself.
Anyway, I didn’t find anything particularly good about this Hammerwatch. It’s just a very simple dungeon crawler. Too simple and repetitive to stay interesting for long.
I actually gave up because I got lost; I think I forgot to activate a switch somewhere. But the switches aren’t marked on your map, and they’re very bland looking, so they’re very easy to miss. I got fed up with that, and just ragequit forever. Also, the map obstacles like spikes and arrow traps are very frustrating, as they often insta-killed me while I was backtracking and not looking out for them.
The bosses were pretty fun I guess.
Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures
If you’re a fan of frustratingly difficult platformers, crude humor, old NES games, or the AVGN on YouTube, then you should check this game out. It pretty much plays like a NES game, though the graphics and music are *slightly* more modern. It’s hard, but not too hard. It gets easier if you keep practicing, and is very rewarding when you manage to finish a level. There’s also tons of references to NES games, which you’ll probably know from AVGN’s videos, and the music is awesome too.
My only complaint is that it seems to crash quite a lot, especially when I’m near the end of a level. Ugh. I’ve also noticed a lot of the sound effects previously appeared in a Flash game called Tower of Greed, and they just feel out of place since I’m so used to hearing them there.