Welcome to the Indie Games Corner! Here I’m going to highlight the newly released indie games on a weekly basis – that includes Xbox 360, PS3 and PS Vita releases. I will have dabbled and played each game highlighted below, and I’ll give my impressions as well as the final verdict. What’s the final verdict, you ask? The final verdict is simple: Either A) Buy it, B) Try it, or C) Don’t buy it or even try it. So read on to find out below what’s hot and what’s not in the world of independently released videogames!
The Shopping Dead (400 MS Points)
Zombies have broken your defences and invaded the mall! Think Call of Duty’s zombie mode, then think of it with bad graphics, at a slower pace, with only a pistol to choose from, and within the confines of a very small section of a shopping mall. It doesn’t get much simpler or worse than this, folks! It really is a cash grab in on the name value of The Walking Dead, but worst of all it costs an outrageous 400 MS Points! You can actually buy chapters of Telltale Game’s brilliant The Walking Dead series for the same price! Its one saving grace is that it allows four player local co-op play. And if there’s one way to play a bad game properly, then it’s to have a laugh at its expense with your friends! Look out for the expansion pack coming soon, which actually lets you explore the mall!
Final Verdict: Try It (with friends for a laugh!)
Indiemon Villain version (80 MS Points)
I can’t decide if Indiemon Earth Nation Villain Version is a heavily influenced Pokemon game or if it really is just a cardboard cut-out copycat of Pokemon. To be fair, there are differences to be found which distinguish itself enough, such as instead of there being pokeballs there’s Indiemon cards, but there’s so many similarities that the bosses at Ninty at Gamefreak would not be happy about. There was some real technical problems when it came to moving the protagonist (Landon) though; sometimes he would just randomly stutter or just come to a dead stop when trying to move him around. The 8-bit graphics and upbeat soundtrack are cool enough, though not memorable enough to standout from the crowd. There’s a big Y button with purchase written underneath it in the top left corner, which is most annoying. However, if you like your role playing games, then…
Final Verdict: Try it (you’ve got nothing to lose)
Gravity Pong (80 MS Points)
It’s hard to explain exactly what Gravity Pong is, though I can easily say that you shouldn’t waste your time with it. Sometimes simplicity is the key, but Gravity Pong is so simplistic that it’s pretty boring and mindless – even for the short time span of a ten minute trial!
Final Verdict: Don’t buy it or try it
Papercraft Monsters (80 MS Points)
Similar to The Shopping Dead in the vein of there being waves of zombies, but Papercraft Monsters is set in space (not a mall) and is more polished, fast-paced and, overall, more fun – though it doesn’t really do enough to separate itself from other run-of-the-mill wave-based shooters to really stick out. Just looking at the game’s cover art you can see it’s inspired by Minecraft – or at least Minecraft’s visuals and its creepers. So if you really love shooters then…
Final Verdict: Try it
Fist Puncher (400 MS Points)
Hey – remember that team called that won IGN’s Youtube show The Next Game Boss? Y’know, the two brothers who made a game called Washington’s Wig. Well they’ve made a game called Fist Puncher, thanks to the funds of Kickstarter. It’s a retro throwback to the 8-bit era of sidescrolling beat-em-ups and it doesn’t take itself too seriously. It has a cast of playable characters that wouldn’t feel out of place in Anchorman – The Beekeeper, Steriod Jackson and Dr. Karate, to name a few. The only problem is there’s an audio glitch right at the start of the game. The developer’s website states that they’re aware of it and are working on it. So audio problem aside, fans of 2D brawlers should…
Final Verdict: Buy it
Monkey Nuts (80 MS Points)
Perhaps the most charming game amongst the batch of Indie game releases this week, and the most subtle too. The goal is simple: Make your way to the end of the level and collect some nuts along the way. This is what I imagine the concept and early version of Donkey Kong was first like; hard platforming but simplistic gameplay and level design. The only real gripe here is that the jumping feels a little off; some ledges feel too high and require a perfectly timed jump to reach, which often results in a lot of trial and error. A simple grab mechanic could’ve solved the problem, but alas. If you like Monkey’s and you like nuts then…
Final Verdict: Try it
Beat Hazard Ultra (400 MS Points)
The original Beat Hazard released 3 years ago on the Indie game channel and has since seen releases on a variety of other platforms, including PC, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android and PS3. Ultra is essentially an updated version of the original arcade shooter, that adds co-op and versus online and local multiplayer, a boss rush and survival mode, two new bosses, ten new enemy ships, 24 new perks, and three new tactical weapons. Oh, and to celebrate its release, creator Steve Hunt announced that the game has sold over 700,000 copies, bringing him $2.2 million in return. Who said there was no money to be made in Indie games?
Final Verdict: Try it
So that’s it for part one of the Indie Games Wrap Up, but be sure to check back soon for part 2, which will cover all the games that didn’t fit into today’s wrap up!