Another week, another indie games output by Indie Royale. Their newest collection with the title Mighty Bundle comprises 6 games: arcade-puzzle-action Waveform, turn-based RPG Avadon: The Black Fortress, survival-strategy Zafehouse Diaries, platformer-under-water-with-paper-fish Derrick The Deathfin, block-puzzler Tidalis and anime-strategy War of the Human Tanks.
With even less time to play and write, here’s just a quick overview of the specific titles (except for War of the Human Tanks which was already discussed in the Bundle in a Box Eclectic Delights article).
(Canada 2012, developer/publisher: Eden Industries, platform: PC)
The basic gameplay can already be deducted from the title, as the goal is to alter the form of a line which serves as a road for an energy ball which has to collect as many other smaller energy orbs while avoiding dark matter.
It’s a simple concept which can get quite hectic, as the patterns of the wavelengths demand fast reflexes and a steady hand with the mouse. Add some ethereal music, a score system which awards the player with stars to unlock further levels, and this becomes quite addictive fun.
Avadon: The Black Fortress
(USA 2011, developer/publisher: Spiderweb Software, platform: PC)
Standard RPG fare with quite a lot of text to read, making it at times seem more like a text adventure, which can either create more immersion in the game world… or get a bit too much and boring. The character animations are a bit disappointing, but the hand-drawn character portraits, still cutscenes and the background music plus ambient sound effects add to some fantasy atmosphere.
I haven’t played much of it, so I can’t say anything about the quality of the story or the quests, but old-school RPG purists will most likely find enough in here to keep them occupied for a while, even if this probably won’t reach the same level of polish and quality as Baldur’s Gate.
(Australia 2012, developer/publisher: Screwfly Studios, platform: PC)
Quite an interesting idea to take the zombie-survival premise and transport it into the world of a diary for strategic purposes. A lot of planning and management is necessary even before the first movements can be taken, so it’s definitely not for the impatient gamer crowd.
Only with games like The Walking Dead out, it all looks a bit too static and antiquated, so the question is if the diary-like presentation is really enough to create chills and thrills, keeping its audience engaged throughout its playtime? Especially since every action is just described in lots of text without any cutscenes or actual in-game graphics.
Derrick The Deathfin
(UK 2013, developer/publisher: Different Tuna, platforms: PC, PS3)
A more arcade-action version of Ecco The Dolphin? Definitely more light-hearted with some unique paper-cut visual style. Diving through the ocean and taking a quick jump out of the water while eating all kinds of fish before health slowly runs low, is simply a lot of fun, even if the controls via keyboard aren’t the best to enjoy the title. Good thing there’s a joypad option (even if I couldn’t seem to make it work with my Xbox controller).
One of those few platformers which don’t need complicated controls or obscure puzzles, and simply concentrate on the most important factor in games: fun. The presentation is also top-notch with its colorful graphics and catchy soundtrack.
(USA 2010, developer/publisher: Arcen Games, platform: PC)
From the looks of it and how it plays, it might not seem much more than the typical match-3-tiles puzzler. Still by introducing the concept of changing the direction in which the tiles’ “power lines” go with a limited range in mind, the game turns into a much more cerebral effort than other iterations of the same formula.
Cheerful music and colorful background graphics help to stay calm even on the highest difficulty, making the game an addictive and fun experience for short or long bursts of play.
Mighty fine bonus time…or not
There aren’t a lot of extras in the bundle, as only a hintbook for Avadon: Black Fortress and the soundtrack of War of the Human Tanks will be unlocked. Much more interesting is the Chiptunes 2012 album by Darkman007, but which costs 8 Dollars as an entrance fee.
Even if the bonus content is a bit lacking in Indie Royale’s newest bundle and the games themselves don’t offer a lot of innovation or originality, let alone boast graphical finesse, they’re still worth to get for less than 5 Dollars. Sometimes simplicity can offer just as much enjoyment, especially when it comes to arcade gaming and puzzlers.
So if you want to show some love to and for the indie community, make sure you give it a try and pay what you want.
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