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.
There’s no escaping the fact that I, and many others, were on the hype train for this game. The horror genre has been in dire need of something that would bring fresh, new ideas to the table and bring interest to the once loved genre again. However, this is not the title to do that.
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.
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?
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.
Every once in a while (and unfortunately, increasingly often on Steam), you come across a game so lackluster it’s almost worse than if it were a certifiably bad game. Sometimes a game is so repugnantly bland it becomes something much, much worse. TinyKeep is one of these games.
It’s been nearly ten years since anybody’s wanted to make a Gauntlet game, and rightfully so. Fans of the series (and realists in general) would probably be safe in assuming that the pre-Dark Legacy appeal is never going to resurface but from indies. Any new, name-brand Gauntlet would come with so many modern trappings baked-in that much of the point of playing a Gauntlet game would simply be eliminated. Because of this stigma, Arrowhead Studios, the creators of Magicka and Helldivers, were probably the best developers for a new, modern Gauntlet game.
Shoot ’em ups have been quiet. That’s OK though, because this one revives the genre and hands you a sword.
I don’t think anyone should jump into this genre of game and expect a fantastic story that will blow everything before it out of the water. What you should come to expect from a shoot ’em up is flashy visuals, plenty of explosion noises and some pretty big numbers. Thankfully, Astebreed delivers on all of these fronts while making some unique changes to the usual formula.