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You Should Be Playing Backlog -- Dyad, Super Amazing Wagon Adventure, Switch-Stitch, And Basketbelle

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Posted July 26, 2012 - By Rob Manuel


Indie

It’s time to catch up on all those indie games you’ve been ignoring all year. While the bigger developers take a breather, the diligent workers behind some of the best games you’re not playing are still out there churning out more titles. At this point, I could use a vacation just to put a dent in my indie backlog.

Forget ever seeing sunlight ever again. I’m going to get a tan from my PC monitor.

Just to start you on your own indie backlog, here are five titles you need to start playing now. You know, before A Virus Named Tom comes out next week or Torchlight 2 finally arrives.

Dyad

It comes from the Greek origin meaning “two” or a “dual pair.” While you ponder the meaning behind the name, you should at least start downloading one of the best PSN to hit the system in awhile. Described as a “tunnel racing puzzle shooting” game, Dyad encompasses much more than its moniker leads you to believe. Both beautiful and challenging, Right Square Bracket Left Square Bracket Inc. (yes, that’s their real name) created a game that can be embraced by all levels of gamers.

Imagine the style of Tempest mixed with musical mayhem of Rez and you’ll start to touch on the feeling you get when you play Dyad. Streams of color and sound whiz past you as dual tendrils grab onto a random color ball zipping down the tunnel. Stare into the void long enough and you might find yourself entranced by the music and the flying lights. And that’s all right. Dyad starts you off slow, building the game through bits and rules as you pass each stage.

One moment you may be pairing up color lights while the next you’ll find yourself whizzing by nearly hitting the target in order to gain a little extra speed in order to make the next checkpoint. With every stage, there’s a new twist that keeps you in the groove and your teeth firmly clinched in anticipation as you try to make the next goal. Dyad personifies what indie gaming is all about – beautiful, smart, and challenging the way you play games.

Super Amazing Wagon Adventure

If you’re anything like me, then you know that the best part of the original Oregon Trail was loading up on ammo and living off the 50 pounds of meat you could carry back to the wagon. One time, I bought an axel just because I though that I could use it to kill a bear. No such luck. Super Amazing Wagon Adventure gives you more of what I love – killing things.

And this time, we’re taking all the buffalo back to wagon.

Super Amazing Wagon Adventure combines a classic educational game with the bloodthirsty temperament of a shooter. Name your team members and ride out onto the dusty trail as you take on bandits, buffalo, giant ants, and anything else that might get in the way of your assorted weapons. Sure, you still have to forge the river at times, but this is all about you getting in touch with nature one bullet at a time.

Switch-Stitch

There’s something pure about the one-button game. That single twitch input separating you from the game seems to almost vanish as you focus solely on the action on the screen. Play Canabalt for more than a couple of minutes and tell me that you don’t feel every jump, the wind whipping through your hair, and your body crashing into the ground after every fall. Switch-Stitch applies that same idea along with enough speed to give you whiplash.

The idea is simple. As a cursor, you press the button to move up. Release the button and you go speeding to the right. Easy, right? Wrong. Hit a red line and you’ll find yourself moving in the opposite direction. There’s also walls to worry about and special items scattered about the board that need to be collected to get a better score. Fast and frantic, you’ll need to think faster than your moving cursor if you want to stay alive.

Still need a good reason to buy? It’s apart of this month’s Indie Royale. For only a couple of bucks, you can pick of this game as well as a five other fine specimens for next to nothing.

Basketbelle

It’s not often that you play a game that just makes you smile. Basketbelle is the story of a brother looking for his lost sister with the power of basketball. Yes, it’s just as it seems. In this 2D puzzle platformer, you’ll need to use the skills that you have on the court to figure out puzzles and to get to the next stage. Along with some great music and storybook aesthetics, you’ll travel around seven stages that will test your ability to sink one from the paint.

Though you’ll never pick up any new moves along the way, part of the magic of Basketbelle comes from using the moves you already have in your small repertoire to solve new and unusual puzzles. It’s a short trip, but one that will keep you smiling from beginning to end.

Path of Exile

Okay, I’m cheating on this one since it’s not even out, but I thought you should know that there’s an open beta this weekend for this Free-To-Play dungeon crawler. Check out their site for skill trees that will make your hands sweat. As with Diablo III, you’ll roam around bashing in assorted things in the head and pull out treasure from their festering corpse. With six classes to choose from and plenty of loot, your weekend might be already booked.

You Should Be Playing Backlog -- Dyad, Super Amazing Wagon Adventure, Switch-Stitch, And Basketbelle
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