Archive for August, 2013

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Genre:
 Action, Indie, RPG
Publisher: Robot Loves Kitty
Release Date: Sep 13, 2013

Legend of Dungeon is an appropriate name for this game by Robot Loves Kitty, and like its namesake is bound to leave a long legacy. Roguelike, this is one of those games that has that edge of your seat madness we all crave when it comes to gaming these days. A visual assasin with controller smashing delight, Legend of Dungeon is genius.

I often browse through games that are soon to be released so I can see what I might want to add to my wishlist, anything indie or retro always seems to catch my eye, and this was a perfect candidate. Seeing as the game was still in beta, I usually try not to get too involved before the final product is released. This way, it doesn’t taint my vision of what the developers intend the game to be when its complete. So, with that being said, one half drunken night after coming home from the bar I just said “fuck it.”

“Legend has it there is a treasure on the 26th floor…” IF you ever get there that is. Your goal in Legend of Dungeon is to make it to the 26th floor where you will battle your way through hordes of zombies, demons, bats, and creatures that you would only see in your wildest nightmares. Multiple weapons, magic, power ups, coins and don’t forget HATS will help you battle your way to the 26th floor, and trust me, you WILL need them. This is definitely not a simple playthrough by any means. The randomized bosses are a challenge and can quickly become a problem, but make sure you defeat each you come across for special item drops.

Addicting within the first 2 minutes, I’d say clear the next 2 hours of your schedule, or even better yet the next 2 days. Graphicly, the visual intensity of this game is amazing. Brilliant lighting mixed in with perfect shading makes this game not only fun to play but fun to watch as well. Legend of Dungeons soundtrack has an old school feel with a modern touch and is almost like a electronic opera filled with emotion. These two elements combined with a flawless attention to detail make for an awesome gaming experience.

This game is loaded with all types of different weapons, potions and again HATS, lots and lots of HATS. Weapon wise, you begin with a sword, and throughout the game pick up different weapons as you go. With everything from a flare gun, pistol, saber, lasers that shoot out of your eyes, lasers that shoot out of a CATS eyes, magic spells, and even a lantern, you are well suited when it comes to taking on this castle. Hats make up the brunt of your armor and can range from a normal piece of headgear like a turban, to the outrageous, like a beehive or koala bear. Each hat has a different stat booster, and can sometimes help light the path in a dark area. Potions also make up a large part of the game and can do anything from raise your health and stats, to making you act like a drunken single girl at a bachelorette party. Sometimes, more often than not it’s very unclear what the potions do but like most drugs, you always gotta try it once, right?

Replay factor isn’t a problem when it comes to Legend of Dungeon. You feel like you have something to accomplish, and you just don’t feel complete until you do. I love games like this that when everytime you die you come back with avengence, setting goals to achieve while trying to surpass your last attempt at glory. Don’t worry about getting bored with the dungeons either. They change with every game and are randomized, and this makes each attempt better than the last.

Every element of Legend of Dungeon seems to amaze me, and I can’t get enough. Enough can’t be said about the brilliant lighting and vibrant colors, the intense and emotional music, or the edge of your seat game play that is experienced with each run. Legend of Dungeon is an automatic hit, and can only get better. Well worth it and another essential in any gamers library.

Graphics: 9/10
Playability: 7/10
Story: 1/10
Challenge: 8/10
Replay Value: 8/10

 

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Genre:
 Action, Adventure, Indie, Platformer
Publisher: Pirate Hearts
Release Date: May 2, 2012

You have to win the game… no really, you have too. It seems as if thats the only point of this 8 bit adventure by Pirate Hearts but really, there’s so much more. The game is simple enough, but complex beyond anything you could fathom, and may leave you lying dead in your bathtub come morning. With that being said, You Have to Win the Game is great. Reminiscent of the MS DOS genre of video games from the 80’s with the retro feel of playing Atari saturday morning, You Have to Win the Game brings all of that and more to the table.

I first encountered this game in the Steam Greenlight forums and looked a little deeper when I saw the words “Free To Play.” After downloading YHTWTG it sat in my download folder for weeks before I actually tried it, but when I did, it changed my life. Normally simple games like these catch my eye, I play for 10 minutes and the game is dead to me afterwards, but this one was different. This one called to me, randomly, I would find myself clicking on the icon and I would quickly get lost in the games nostalgia.

Plagued by the notion that I had to win the game, I decided I wouldn’t let this game get the best of me, and I vowed to complete it. At first glance it doesn’t seem as if YHTWTG is hard, and might just be your simple everyday platformer… What’s that they say about judging a book by its cover? I was wrong, dead wrong, this game takes a sincere amount of thought and intuitiveness to complete.

With no storyline other than having to win the game, you set out with NO IDEA of what exactly it is that you have to do. Its your standard platformer out of the 8 bit era, with a great retro feel, and reminded me a lot of Kid Icarus for NES. There are no monsters to fight, only a few to avoid while you have to make a series of hard and precise jumps in order to move forward to the next screen. Each screen is also appropriately named for what you may encounter while on your quest to winning the game. It might be a catchphrase, one liner or an obscure saying depending where you are in the level.

You Have To Win The Game is loaded with hours of gameplay, power ups, and special abilities that will all aid you on your adventure. Beating this game with a 100% completion rating is more satisfying than that after sex cigarette, and should be played at least once by any serious indie gamer.

Graphics: 5/10
Playability: 7/10
Story: 1/10
Challenge: 8/10
Replay Value: 6/10

http://www.piratehearts.com/builds/TheGame_Install_2013-07-23_18-00.exe (3.01 MB)

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Genre: Action, Adventure, Indie, RPG
Publisher: Crackshell
Release Date: Aug 12, 2013

When it comes to a retro feel, something that reminds you of Gauntlet or even Realm of The Mad God, Hammerwatch does exactly that. I followed this game from the Steam Greenlight forums and even tested the beta. So from the beginning, I knew that this game was something I wanted to get my hands on once it was released.

The game takes place inside of Castle Hammerwatch, where your goal will be to travel from down in the prison up to the royal chambers in the top tower and kill the evil dragon. You are also faced with the task of collecting each of the missing boards. These rebuild the bridge that left you stranded at the castle at the beginning of the game. The castle aslo has many locked doors in which you must find keys, all of which are randomly placed around each floor. You can play as either a Paladin, Wizard, Warlock or Knight,  and each character has its own weapon and special ability, both of which are upgradeable.

Don’t be fooled, this is a serious game; and even on medium difficulty you will still have a hard time fighting through the numerous levels in each Act. The game is better played in multiplayer mode, but to be honest, good luck joining a game. For some reason I find it impossible to host a game, but I am able to join others, and this is when the game is best played. Multiplayer has two different modes; Castle Hammerwatch which is the story mode with up to four different players at the same time and Hero Defense where waves of monsters attack while you and 4 others defend the end of the maze.

Hammerwatch also offers a few perks, what they call “crutches” in the game if you choose to host your own single or multiplayer game. Different options allow you to make the game easier or a little harder. I suggest playing with the HP Regen and Infinite Lives crutch on when first playing, that way you can get a feel for what you’re about to be in for.

A game that is still in beta and continuously going through changes is sometimes hard to review, and taking all that into consideration the game is awesome. Aside from the bunk multiplayer Hammerwatch is worth every penny. The retro gameplay is classic and well executed while constant battle action laced with power ups, secret passages and hidden doors makes Hammerwatch a soon to be classic and a necessity in any gamers library.

Graphics: 7/10
Playability: 8/10
Story: 4/10
Challenge: 8/10
Replay Value: 6/10

http://www.hammerwatch.com/builds/hammerwatch_beta_1.06.zip (51mb)