Right now, three amazing indie games are just waiting for you to download them. The summer time has always marked a slow period for those triple-A titles as developers get ready for the holiday season. Gamers tend to moan about the dearth of games for them to play while looking towards older titles to glean what few achievement points they have left.
Snap out of it. Get up off the floor. I’m giving you not only three great indie titles just waiting for you right now, but three amazing games that would impress the most harden gamer. It’s time you start playing like a real gamer for a change this summer.
Forget achievements. An amazing experience may just be the best thing you’ve gotten out of a game in awhile.
That’s it. I refuse to dip back into the golden age LucasArt games when talking about point-and-click adventures. With games like Gemini Rue, Blackwell Deception, and Puzzle Bots; Wadjet Eye Games deserves a place along side other adventuring greats when it comes to these style of games, immersing the playing in story, characters, and more puzzles than you can shake a mouse at. This is not only a publisher you should know about, but anticipate when they put out a new game. And thanks to Wadjet Eye Games and xii games, Resonance only cements this fact with their high standard of quality and amazing story woven within the game.
A mysterious attack will hit every nation in the world in a little less than three days from now. You cannot stop it. Now, your task is to understand what’s behind the attacks as well as stay alive. Resonance puts you in control of four different characters; a scientist searching for answers, a ER doctor trying to escape a horrible past, a cop charging in head-first into every situation, and journalist getting too close to the truth. Though intertwining stories, each character finds their own path and tangle with their own problems.
Beyond the bottomless pockets found in most point-and-click titles, you’ll also need to deal with a new mechanic, short-term memory. Instead of waiting to find the right branch in a dialogue tree, players use items in the environment to pull into your short-term memory to start new topics. All you do is click and drag the item into a bar that drops down when you need it at the top of the screen and simply goes away when you don’t. Simple yet brilliant; the system feels completely organic to the environment and story as it unfolds around each of the characters.
Long-term memories play out like little mini-movies to remind you of big plot points when they occur. Instead of having to read your notes, these little moments remind you of what’s going on as well as a way to explain to other characters large chunks of info in a way that makes sense to the story.
Touching and at times, surprisingly funny; the writing in Resonance reflects the standard of quality that you’ve come to expect from a game published by Wadjet Eye Games. Even from the very beginning, the game juggles you around from trying to pick up a girl on the subway to trying to escape a monster in your bedroom. And as each of the other characters start to meet, their personalities come out even more. The superb voice work behind each character only further brings out each of his or her distinct personalities.
If you are someone who loves to jump into a new adventure and don’t mind trying to figure out how all the pieces really come together, then start downloading this game now. Resonance only goes to prove that some of the greatest stories in gaming are being told today.
Sometimes you get so caught up in playing with your toys and the mechanics in a game that you completely forget what you were doing in the first place. Tiny and Big: Grandpa’s Leftovers is the kind of game that sucks you in with absolute power over the world around you. And you know that they say about absolute power; it’s a hell of a lot of fun.
You play as Tiny, the taller brother to the disgruntled Big. After receiving a pair of underwear from you departed grandpa (don’t ask), your Sunday drive down the desert road with your sentient radio (just go with it) as you find yourself flying through the air, your car totaled, and your grandpa’s unmentionable on the head of your brother.
As it turns out, these tighty-whities have powers all their own, allowing your brother the ability to fly around and toss rather nasty objects at you. Things get worse as you chase him towards a temple that only amplifies their powers. Fortunately for you, you have a couple of tricks of your own.
Everything in your inventory lets you play around with the world around you. The grappling hook lets you pull down objects from far away. A rocket lets you launch just about anything you want halfway across the map if it’s not too terribly heavy. But the real treat in your arsenal of goodies is the freakin’ laser cutter. Immense boulders, whole cliff faces, and anything in the level will get sliced with a slow and steady cut from your laser. The only caveat to this device of destruction is that every cut must go through the whole item.
Even through six short levels, there’s a lot to do and different ways to accomplish your goals. Through out each area, there are collectibles to find such as rocks and the illusive soundtrack. Just as quirky and bizarre as the game, every track is just as rewarding as the one before it as each one highlights another indie rock group. I’ve diced up mountains just to find another track in the game. Clocking in at less than eight hours, it’s easy enough to find yourself playing through the same level multiple times to explore every section, find a better route, and blow off a little steam with a laser gun.
Tiny and Big does so many things so right like their graphic novel style presentation, the feeling of being so small against the enormous desert background, and capturing that feeling of immense power as you slice through those giant objects. If anything, I wished that there were more places to explore and rip apart in this sandbox.
If you’re still on the fence, I highly recommend taking the demo for a spin. Be careful. Destroying the world can be highly addictive.
I kid you not, a good friend of mine was bemoaning the fact that all the good RPGs have seem to have gone the way of the Dodo and David Hasslehoff’s career. The true turn-based strategy RPG has seemly made way for the faster run-and-gun shooter. But here I sit with a game that plucks my 16-bit heartstrings with delight, Penny Arcade’s On The Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness 3. And I assure you that, unlike David Hasslehoff’s career, the RPG is not dead.
Having branched out to look for a new developer, the good gents at Zeboyd Games know how to create an RPG that feels both classic and fresh at the same time. Having made previous indie hits such as Breath of Death VII and Cthuhlu Saves the World; Zeboyd is no stranger to the genre.
One of the twists introduced to combat comes in the form of a progression line at the top of the screen. Faster characters attack first while slower brutes with a little more firepower will have to wait their turn. Certain tactics interrupt the enemy by sliding them down the row. Keep them busy and you might be about to go a few turns before they pull the trigger.
Rain-Slick also starts off each character with zero MP and doles out a point a turn. Skills only take a point or two at best to pull off so don’t be afraid to hold back in any fight. Even items respawn after every battle, but you’ll only have a few going into each fight. Winning rewards you with experience, money, as well as your health fully restored. Losing… well, let’s just say that’s not a good idea.
The Pin System lets you try out new classes with a simple equip. Throw on a Gentleman Pin for spells to help the party, a Hobo Pin will make you a better brawler for a price, or the Slacker Pin that… well, it really doesn’t do much of anything. Every battle adds a little of experience to each of the badges and even more when you have the equipped. Higher levels bestow more abilities as well as passive buffs to the player wearing it.
To top it off, the writing shines through this adventure as you take on mime octopi and living statues. As Gabe and Tycho once again run amok with their Startling Development Detective Agency, you’ll need to find the nefarious Dr. Blood and the Necrowombicon he stole from you. With the help of side characters such as a skull in a jar, you’ll battle through about twenty hours of downloadable RPG goodness.
You won’t find much in the way of exploration, but you will find one hell of a ride that won’t take you a month to get through. Rain-Slick proves that good RPG’s still exist in this world.