Right on time when the temperature is finally rising to the point one can assume winter is over, Indie Royale presents its newest collection of indie games with the appropriately titled Spring Sun Bundle.
Included are the atmospheric puzzle platformer Knytt Underground, the comic text-adventure-RPG-action-hybrid The Real Texas, humoristic FPS-cum-tower-defense title Monday Night Combat, side-scrolling space-blaster SATAZIUS, Metroid inspired FPS-action-platform-puzzler Gentrieve 2 and bloody shooter with tower-defense mechanics infused I am weapon.
With not much time left before the offer expires, here’s again a quick rundown of what my first impressions of the titles were.
(Sweden 2012, developer/publisher: Niffla’s Games, platform: PC, PS Vita, PS3)
First looks can be rather deceiving, as this title seems to be a bit like Super Meat Boy. But even if jumping feels like that and deaths are quite frequent, the game sets itself apart by relying more on puzzles than fast reflexes. It’s also nice to have constant checkpoints on each screen to make it less a frustrating and hardcore experience.
The atmosphere is also quite different, as the underground system evokes various moods and emotions in the player due to its change between dark and light while offering variety in its own flora and fauna. Together with an ephereal soundtrack and an emphasis on character interaction (plus quests), the game is much more casual-friendly and immersive than Team Meat’s hardcore platformer. Actually, there aren’t any similarities between these two, come to think of it, making them classes of their own with unique styles and gameplay.
The Real Texas
(Canada 2011, developer/publisher: Kitty Lambda Games Inc., platform: PC)
Don’t be put off by the bad-looking graphics (even if the soundtrack is very enjoyable) and the initial clunky control system which uses the very outdated text adventure parser (typing in certain actions by hand).
After some playtime though, it doesn’t really matter how the game looks or that the battle system (yes, there’s some sort of RPG in there as well) feels a bit underwhelming as well, because the script is genuinely funny and engaging, making it a joy to explore the strange alternative locations.
Monday Night Combat
(USA 2010, developer/publisher: Uber Entertainment, platforms: PC, Xbox 360)
A mix of tower defense, tongue-in-cheek FPS and light RPG mechanics, this is quite a fun time waster, even if it has the same problems so many of its peers share, namely a non-existent story and repetitive gameplay where boredom settles in rather quickly. Still this doesn’t mean this is not a polished experience.
Graphics are pretty slick and smooth even on older systems, the metal soundtrack and cheesy voice acting complement the stadium-filled sports event turned into a deathmatch without any bloodshedding. So it’s not only casual-friendly with its easy-to-understand gameplay, but also more fitting to an audience who doesn’t want to see a lot of realistic violence on screen.
(UK 2011, developer/publisher: Nyu Media, platform: PC)
A very old-school (speaking in graphics and gameplay terms) shmup for people with fast reflexes and endurance when it comes to getting a small ship with upgradable weapons through bullet hell. It might not be the most innovative concept, but together with some adrenaline-fulled soundtrack and big bosses there’s quite a lot of fun in there. A checkpoint and fair continues system also helps to make it a bit less punishing than most older shooters.
(USA 2012, developer/publisher: Pr00t, platform: PC)
This is actually the first time I didn’t get a game at all. Described as a Metroid style action game with randomly generated worlds, it got me confused right from the start by not letting me know what to do. Of course in an age with more signposting and tutorials than necessary, this is a bit weird. Not that a game needs this (just look at SATAZIUS), but at least it would have been nice to have some kind of hint before being thrown into a rather less than compelling game world.
Even if the soundtrack has some nice tunes, graphics don’t go beyond what Metroid Prime did ages ago with some better storytelling and more motivated gameplay. Maybe this is one of those games which will open up after a couple of hours or by reading the manual, but in this form I simply didn’t get any enjoyment out of it. Even if the trailer promises some interesting puzzle and level design…
I am weapon
(Russia 2012, developer/publisher: Sigma Team, platform: PC)
Tower defense games are time a dozen these days, but it’s still refreshing to see that some developers try to mix different styles. In this case it looks and sounds more like a Serious Sam game, meaning heavy metal meets bloody carnage on screen when the hero shoots his way through enemy lines… while defending his own sleeping body.
It’s all a bit crazy, silly and even if the graphics aren’t mindblowing, it’s an interesting, bloodier experience compared to all the other games with the same formulas.
Sunny gaming and music for a limited time only
Together with both soundtracks of The Real Texas and Gentrieve 2, Indie Royale again manages to put quite a lot of different genres and ideas together in its latest bundle. Even if most of them can’t compete with mainstream graphics and one alienates with some obscure game design (see Gentrieve 2), it’s still a fun and inexpensive way to spend the cool evenings and wait for summer to come.
Paying more than 8 Dollars also unlocks Adventures in Pixels by Ben Landis, an especially interesting concept album which fuses 8-bit chiptune music with a comic book.
As there’s less than a day to go, don’t waste any time and check out this indie games collection on Indie Royale’s Website.
If you liked reading this article, make sure you pay a visit to Future Sack which kindly features it as well, and every Facebook LIKE or comment is appreciated 🙂 .