That’s right, day 3 of INDIESCAPE is here and it’s time to talk games — Indie Games. In the last two days we’ve covered some truly talented developer’s works and shown you some glimpses of true gaming gold, but we still have much more up our proverbial sleeves. So, without further ado, let’s get to the next games.
Looking back on gaming as a whole, many still nostalgically wish for a return to the golden age of gaming; the 8 and 16-bit eras, when gaming was truly different. Well, wish no more. Ancient brings us Protect me Knight, a comical 8-bit action-adventure where up to four players across four different classes can work together to fend off massive hordes of enemies and protect their princess from certain pixel-y doom.
Despite its simplistic pixel art style, this one has incredible depth. Sporting a unique leveling system for branching control of your character’s overall outcome, there’s more than enough reason for many, many, play-throughs. That, mixed with incredibly fun multiplayer gameplay, makes Protect me Knight a must have for any old-school gamer.
Now, when it comes to great art styles or complete user control of them, there are very few games that take it to such a level as Brilliant-Blue-G’s Chester. This crazy platformer sports a truly amazing concept: visual style swaps on the fly. At any point and time, the player can swap art styles of the current level with any they have unlocked. This not only looks cool, but gives the player the ability to take on each level in whatever fashion they believe will allow them to complete the zone with the greatest ease.
To make things even better, the player can also swap between 11 different characters at any time they wish, and each has their benefits. Chester gives the player a solid base for control, but perhaps Chesty might be a better choice with his Super Mario-esque duds and ability to jump high and throw fireballs. It’s all up the player. It you’ve been looking for that one true platformer to get you back into the days of Super Mario World, then Chester is a definitely for you.
One of the more unusual titles found on Xbox Indie Games is SFG’s Kobold’s Quest. While a bit morbid in concept, it’s actually a very impressive multiplayer platformer. A mixture of hand-animated cut-scenes and 16-bit style pixel graphics create a quirky (and dark) tale of four Kobolds who set out to collect human children for their master’s banquet to avoid being eaten themselves.
Equipped with only the ability to stun the human protectors, the player(s) must use strategy and perfect timing to escape with their quarry in one piece. The Kobolds also have the ability to work together or throw each other under the bus, a la Legend of Zelda: Four Swords. With its variety of possible experiences, Kobold’s Quest definitely makes a fun multiplayer party game.
The popularity of Beat-’em-Ups has been brimming since Castle Crashers near single-handedly brought the genre back to life; now Ninja War: Stolen Scrolls by Belcro arrives onto the scene with a flying roundhouse kick. An artistic soul-successor to Castle Crashers, Ninja War supports up to four players locally as they kick, chop, pile-drive, and explode their way across the ninja-inspired world in search of the master’s stolen scrolls. Mix in RPG elements, like level-ups and upgrades, and the gameplay feels truly polished.
The game’s quick and responsive control system allows the player incredibly fast and intuitive control of their character; most notably, the right analog dodge system. Each character has their own special powers and styles which create a fun mix in four player co-op. Ninja War: Stolen Scrolls is definitely worth a look for any beat ’em up fan or anyone looking for a great game to play with some friends.
One of the most popular games to come from the golden age of gaming is the heralded Metroid series. Astroman by Starquail Games is a fantastic 32-bit indie successor to the genre. Equipped only with a laser pistol, the player explores harsh alien landscapes filled with dangerous life forms and deadly hazards trying to find the damaged parts of their starship. As the player discovers new parts for their ship, they will be able to access new abilities like improved thruster jets or laser cannons to bypass asteroid fields and reach new planets. With solid controls, loads of unlockables, fantastic level design not seen since the SNES days, professional quality, an emotive and mysterious soundtrack, and an amazing open-world design, this is a highly suggested title for anyone.
And, with that, we end Day Three of INDIESCAPE here at Mash Those Buttons. We’ve discovered some incredible games and truly talented developers so far and we’ll be back with 5 more great indie titles tomorrow. Yup, that’s 5 more awesome games. Make sure you have your Microsoft Points ready because, if you’re like us, you might just need some more.
(Titles Covered Today)
Protect me Knight: Ancient
Kobold’s Quest: SFG
Ninja War: Stolen Scrolls: Belcro
Astroman: Starquail Games
[Images via respective developers]