Category Archives: Reviews

Dungeonmans Review

Click to enlarge the images in this review. You’ll need it.

I’ve reviewed a few indie games on this site that try to combine roguelike risk-reward gameplay with another genre for maximum indie game appeal. Coin Crypt tried to be an amped-up deck-building game with permadeath, Magicite tried to be an amped-up crafting game with permadeath, but few songs are sung for the indies that try to be a genuinely good roguelike. This is where Dungeonmans comes in.

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Magicite Review

Magicite is sort of the embodiment of current indie trends. It’s a survival/crafting game, the environments are randomly generated, it’s a “roguelike”, and there’s pixel art. It’s the all-in-one package, but it suffers from one fatal flaw: the sum of the parts is greater than the whole.

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Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions Review

When Activision found no buyers for and shut down Bizarre Creations in 2011, I was bummed for two names: Geometry Wars and Blur. I guess I shouldn’t have gotten so worked up, though, because one of those two names is back already, and it’s (almost) everything I could have hoped for. Lucid Games has been handed the keys to one of the most influential twin stick shooters, and what they’ve created is a bold entry to the Geometry Wars series that lives up to, and sometimes surpasses, the stellar reputation of its predecessors.

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Coin Crypt Review

Coin Crypt is the embodiment of a certain tier of indie game. These games are no Bastion or Hotline Miami, that transcend the stigma of the term “indie game” and stand out as some of the best in their genre, but they’re no Lifeguard either. They’re the games that strip a genre to its core elements, coking it up a little and costuming it in a retro art style. In so doing, though, they often cut themselves out of any of the depth and complexity needed to be particularly gripping for more than a session or two. Coin Crypt stands out as the epitome of losers here.

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Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel Review

If you’re like me and you loved Borderlands, but Borderlands 2 wasn’t quite your jam, then you’ll probably find a lot to love in Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel. I certainly liked The Pre-Sequel several times more than I ever liked BL2, but for every time you’re reminded of how much you like the original, there’s another time you’ll learn to appreciate all the polishing work the sequel received.

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Guacamelee: Gold Edition Review

Forming an opinion on Guacamelee has proven to be a difficult task, and criticizing it has proven to be even harder. On one hand, it’s a pleasant-enough platformer that fancies itself among the $15 indie hoi oligoi. On the other hand, it’s just no fun. What do you say about a game like this? Do you focus on praising the solidity of its mechanics, or chastising its unengaging gameplay and flatline pacing?

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Lifeless Planet Review

Lifeless Planet is a perfect example of a game for which nearly everything has gone wrong. Like TinyKeep, almost every feature is contradicted by another feature until the game is a boring, confusing mess. It’s one of those new-fangled narrative-driven games, but no – it’s a 3D platformer. It’s a 3D platformer, but wait – the controls are absolutely god-awful. The controls are absolutely god awful – oh, yeah, this game is terrible.

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