Archive for the ‘Puzzle’ Category

Escape Goat [REVIEW]

February 20, 2012 Leave a comment

Escape Goat: release November 2nd, 2011
Developer: MagicalTimeBean
Platforms: Xbox Live Indie Game Marketplace

An increasingly popular subgenre of late has been the skill based platformer. Games like Super Meat Boy, Dustforce, Splosion Man, and a handful of others, have taken the age old genre of platforming off of it’s life support, and given gamers everywhere a reason to care about it again. Popular as they are though, not everyone can get behind these two-dimensional tests of acrobatic showmanship, and would rather opt in to a slower paced platformer, something that retains the challenge, yet drops the insane obstacles. Escape Goat, a puzzle platformer from developer MagicalTimeBean, is exactly the title to fill that role.

In Escape Goat you play the role of a purple Goat who has been imprisoned for witchcraft (what the what!?), and somehow, you must find a way to escape. Along the way you’ll also encounter a mouse who has the ability to switch places with you by way of a teleportation hat. The game starts you off in a brief series of tutorial levels to help show you the ropes, and once you’re finished, it drops you in to a hub world where you have a little more freedom concerning the paths you take. There’s a total of nine main worlds, each with six levels to overcome, and each with their own unique themes and ideas. When you first begin there will only be two “worlds” unlocked for you, but each time you conquer one of them, it unlocks two more. After you’ve completed a minimum of seven of these areas, you’ll unlock the final door, which is an extra lengthy ten stage endeavor. Read more…


Wrapple [REVIEW]

January 15, 2012 Leave a comment

Wrapple: released January 4th, 2010
Developer: Awoken Entertainment
Platforms: Windows

You are a genetically modified potato, created in a lab to be resistant to grasshoppers. Unfortunately for your lab coat wearing overlords, you have evolved and are now sentient! In your attempts to escape the lab you make use of various portals that are scattered about, but they weren’t designed for the transportation of potatoes, and as such each time you pass through one it destroys the room you left behind. At this rate, if the scientists can’t stop you, tomorrow’s headlines will read, “Sentient potato goes on portal hopping rampage and destroys laboratory!” And that’s the story folks!

I’ll say this much for the indie gaming scene, they are absolutely fearless when it comes to pushing the boundaries for whacky-as-shit premises in their games. Not that a terrificly plausible or complex story is even remotely necessary in a puzzle platformer such as Wrapple, but you’ve got to admit, that’s a pretty bizarre backstory, even so far as indie games are concerned. It’s all in good, light-hearted fun though, and I enjoyed the amusing story related journal entries that broke up the gameplay during Wrapple’s brief campaign. Read more…

Saira [REVIEW]

December 12, 2011 Leave a comment

Saira: released December 12th, 2009
Developer: Nifflas
Platforms: Windows

Recently I’ve been on a mission to try and find some new MetroidVania style games. It happens fairly regularly, at least once a year, where I’ll go in to Metroid mode and I’ll just have to fire up Super Metroid or Metroid Fusion and get it out of my system. This year is different though, because this year I don’t simply want to revisit the old classics. I’ve been putting a lot of time and effort in to the indie gaming scene for a while now, and I know there are some potentially top shelf MetroidVanias out there. The last one I played was a fantastic retro style game titled Hero Core that blended the freedom and exploration aspects of a MetroidVania with the combat mechanics of a shmup. Hero Core was an awesome game, but this week I believe I’ve latched on to an even more impressive game, and it goes by the name Saira.

I will say right off the bat, Saira doesn’t exactly fit the bill for a MetroidVania title. It eschews the combat and confrontational enemy encounters of games like Metroid and Hero Core in favor of pure exploration and puzzle solving. In addition to not possessing any kind of combat, you also don’t really power-up or gain new abilities as you explore the game world. Still, despite all that Saira feels like a MetroidVania game. Instead of one great big, interconnected map to traverse and explore, your character uses a spaceship to visit various solar systems. If you ever played Mass Effect, you should actually be quite familiar with how this works. You essentially have one big star-map that shows the various solar systems that are available for you to visit. Then, provided your ships battery has enough charge, you can then fly to that solar system and visit the (usually two) destinations that reside there. Read more…

Cute Things Dying Violently [REVIEW]

December 4, 2011 2 comments

Cute Things Dying Violently: released August 24th, 2011
Developer: ApathyWorks
Platforms: Xbox Live Indie Game Marketplace

Upon seeing a title such as “Cute Things Dying Violently,” my mind immediately thought two things:

1) Pretty blunt title. Seems like a game based on cute things that die violently could be pretty gimmicky and get old fast. There are lots of gimmicky titles littering the XBLIG Marketplace that have the extent of their appeal laid out just in the title.

2) Fuck it. I love cute things, especially when they die violently. Gimmicky or not, this is at least worth checking out.

Now, three hours and 80msp later, I can tell that this game is not just a one trick pony. Of course the whole cute things and violent deaths bit is a gimmick, but it’s an enjoyable one, and it’s also apparently pretty effective, as it’s the entire reason I even looked at the game in the first place. Cute Things Dying Violently drew me in with its promise of glorious adorable creatures being sacrificed to the god of buzzsaws, but it kept me hooked with its simple, yet effective puzzle mechanics and enjoyable map layouts. Read more…