Tag Archives: Steam

GAME REVIEW: Octodad: Dadliest Catch

Not too long ago, I reviewed the free game Octodad, a game developed at DePaul University for the 2011 Independent Games Festival, which is about an octopus pretending to be a human trying to keep up his disguise to his family and everyone else, and trying to avoid the murderous pursuit of Chef Fujimoto, the only one to see through the disguise.

Octodad: Dadliest Catch is the sequel to that game, developed by Young Horses, which is staffed by some of the developers of the original. ┬áThe game is several times longer, has much nicer graphics, and covers much of the story of Octodad and his family that wasn’t covered by the original–starting off with a flashback to Octodad and Scarlet’s wedding day.

Continue reading

GAME REVIEW: The Bridge

The Bridge is a side-scroller puzzle game with level design inspired by the amazing artist M.C. Escher, released by The Quantum Astrophysicists Guild in 2013.

The game starts with the player character snoozing hard under an apple tree. You can wake him up by using one of the central controls of the game–shifting gravity. Pressing left or right rotates gravity in that direction–tipping the ground back and forth shakes loose an apple from the tree to bonk the player character on the head and wake him up. He goes for a stroll to his house, shifting gravity to make it up some of the steeper slopes. In the house he finds a series of rooms in which he has to use his gravity-shifting powers and other puzzle elements to make it to the exist door. Continue reading

FIRST-LOOK GAME REVIEW: Don’t Starve

Last week Steam had a free game weekend where they opened up ten games for a free-play weekend. Don’t Starve, published by Klei Entertainment in 2013. You could install the game without buying it and play as much as you want for those few days. I’d had my eyes on Don’t Starve already before that, so I took a shot at the game and got a couple of hours of gameplay in.
Continue reading

GAME REVIEW: To the Moon

To the Moon is a story-heavy light-puzzle game released by Freebird Games in 2011.

Johnny is unconscious and on his deathbed. He might not survive the night. Dr. Eva Rosalene and Dr. Neil Watts of the Sigmund Corporation are called in to fulfill Johnny’s contract. Sigmund Corporation will grant your dying wish… sort of. They can rewrite your memories to change the narrative arc of their life and make sure their wish comes true. The main problem of the procedure is that the new memories overwrite the real memories, but nothing has changed in the real world to match them, so Sigmund Corporation will only perform the operation when a person is near death, so they can wake up and experience the new memories before they die.

Continue reading

GAME REVIEW: Gunpoint

Gunpoint is a 2D stealth strategy game released by Tom Francis released in 2013. In it, you play a private detective specializing in infiltration of secure buildings (mostly breaking into secure office buildings, stealing/planting data and then escaping it). As the game starts, you get a call to visit the office of a friend but when you get there you find that she’s been murdered in the short time since the phone call. You don’t see any clear evidence but the building security camera recorded you entering her office.

A friend of your dead friend contacts you, warning you that you’ll be the primary suspect for the lazy local police force. She wants the real killer to be found so she contracts your services to break into the five offices that store the automatic offsite backups of that security feed.

Continue reading

GAME REVIEW: FTL

FTL is a game by Subset Games published in 2012 (with all-new game expansions published in April 2014). It’s a space exploration and combat game with much of the challenge coming from resource allocation problems.

You are the captain of a Federation ship that has vital information about the war against the Rebels. You have to race ahead of the Rebel fleet to reach a Federation base that can make use of the information.
Continue reading

GAME REVIEW: The Maw

The Maw is a 3D puzzle/adventure game released by Twisted Pixel in 2009. The game starts as your player character — a rather cutesy alien of childish proportions — is taken into custody by a military force and put into a force field cell on a transport ship with other captured species of various varieties. Before long, the ship crashes and the player escapes. The player soon makes friends with a tiny but ever-hungry purple blob, the title character known as the Maw. The blob is held in a collar and the player character soon finds an electric leash that can latch to the collar and direct it.

Continue reading

GAME REVIEW: VVVVVV

VVVVVV is a platformer game released by Terry Cavanagh in 2010, based around a single simple idea–what if, instead of jumping, you could reverse gravity? The plot of the game is that a crew of five people has some kind of accident that leaves it stuck, and with the screw scattered across the area when there’s a transporter problem. You are the captain and it’s your responsibility to find your crew members and return them to the ship so you can leave again. You can flip gravity–the reason for this is not explained, but none of the other crew members seem to be able to do it, some captain’s privilege I guess. The one restriction is that to flip it , you have to have your feet on a solid surface–you can’t flip back and forth in mid-air, you have to wait until you land.

Continue reading

GAME REVIEW: Fez

Fez is a platform jumper with an interdimensional twist, released by Polytron in 2012. In Fez, you are a marshmallow-looking fellow happily living in his little town of similar marshmallow-looking people until you meet a divine being known as the Hypercube which gives you a magical hat (the titular fez) which gives you the ability to venture into… dun dun DUN… the third dimension. Or, well, kind of the third dimension–more accurately a two-dimensional orthogonal projection of a rotatable view of the third dimension. Yes, yes, I know that’s confusing unless you happen to have a computer graphics background. It takes a little work to wrap your head around it, but once you understand it is a neat idea that lends the game most of its novelty.

Continue reading

GAME REVIEW: One Finger Death Punch

One Finger Death Punch is a Kung Fu fighting game released by Silver Dollar Games in March 2014 with an extremely simple control scheme. So simple that it only uses two buttons–one to attack left, and one to attack right. If you attack when there’s no enemy within range, then you miss and leave yourself vulnerable to attack. And for the most part that’s all you need to know. The game punishes button-mashing (randomly and rapidly pressing buttons) because missing an attack is the last thing you want to do.

Of course, there are some complications. Enemies sometimes drop weapons. Some give you unlimited range one-kill hits like bow and arrows, throwing knifes and bombs. Others just give you extended range for a limited period of time like swords, clubs, and some sillier ones like fish.
Continue reading

GAME REVIEW: Tiny and Big: Grandpa’s Leftovers

Tiny and Big: Grandpa’s leftovers is a 3-D platform “jump and slice” game released by Black Pants Studio in 2012 . Tiny is the main character, a scrawny inventor whose best friend is his AI car radio. Tiny’s grandfather gave him a pair of very special underpants as his inheritance, but Big (Tiny’s nemesis) has stolen them and fled into the desert.

Continue reading

GAME REVIEW: Super Meat Boy

Super Meat Boy is an unforgiving fast-paced platform-jumper game published by Team Meat in 2010.

Meat Boy is the name of our protagonist. No, it’ s not a lewd stage name. Meat Boy is literally a cube of raw red meat with arms, legs, and a face. The love of his life is Bandage Girl who, as you might guess, is an anthropomorphic Band-Aid. If you’re confused, so am I. I feel like I’m missing a joke. Are these two paired because Meat Boy is literally dripping blood and Bandage Girl is an item meant to absorb blood? I don’t know.
Continue reading

GAME REVIEW: Machinarium

Machinarium is a point-and-click puzzle game published by Amanita Design in 2009. In the game you are a robot who has been dismantled and dumped from the robot city into the endless junkyard beyond. You had lived happily with your friends until a gang of thugs came and split you up, using each of you for your own devices. Now you need to find your way back into the city, rescue your friends, and keep the gang from doing anything like that again.
Continue reading

GAME REVIEW: Limbo


Limbo is a sidescroller puzzle game published by Playdead in 2010 with a very sharp visual style. Your character is a silhouette of a boy interacting with silhouettes of environmental objects with a grayscale background, trying to safely traverse a dangerous environment to… well, the game never really explains that. You wake in a field of grass and then you get the controls, no explanation, text, dialog, anything to give you a story other than the events of what you see on the screen.

So, you make the most of things and start wandering, and soon you discover that this is a very dangerous place when you get chopped in half by a bear trap, fall onto spike pits, and get speared by the leg of a giant spider.

Continue reading

GAME REVIEW: The Stanley Parable

How do I describe The Stanley Parable? To say it as briefly as possible I’d say it’s a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure comedic meta-narrative built on an FPS engine–I will elaborate on what I mean by that. It was developed by Davey Wreden and released in 2011, and then was expanded for further release that included distribution on Steam in 2013.

You are Stanley. You work at a desk where you are give instructions to press keys on your keyboard one after another. One day you notice you realize you’ve been there for an hour without receiving any instructions. You get up to ask your colleagues if they’re experiencing similar interruptions in workflow, only to discover that their desks are empty. You set out to find someone and find that the whole building is apparently devoid of life apart from you. Unless, of course, you count the British voiceover that’s narrating your every action and telling you what you’re going to do next.
Continue reading

GAME REVIEW: Braid

Braid is a sidescroller puzzle game released by Number None in 2008. It’s gotten a lot of buzz over the last few years, including placing #94 on G4TV’S Top 100 Video Games of All Time in 2013. That ranking surprised me as I watched that list, considering that, at a glance, it appeared to be using Super Nintendo era technology. Not that I mind an older look (I love me some retro gaming), but that kind of list tends toward the new and trendy and whizbang hardware-limit-pushing stuff. So I wondered, what exactly made this game so special?
Continue reading

GAME REVIEW: Hack ‘n’ Slash (Early Access)

I don’t usually have a lot of time for gaming, but when I saw a link to an early access version of Hack ‘n’ Slash by Double Fine Productions on Steam, I impulse-bought it.

At a glance, it looks a lot like a SNES-era Legend of Zelda game. Green-tuniced, sword-wielding adventurer wandering around and fighting wizards and etc. The similarities are big enough that it has to be an intentional tribute — boomerangs and bombs, a little flying companion who gives you advice, and lost woods. That’s fine, I don’t mind a tribute to Zelda.

But what really makes the game interesting is the twist added to it. Instead of a good old-fashioned sharp-edged sword, you have a hacking sword that looks rather like a USB thumb drive that you can use to alter the internal variables of creatures and objects in the world. You can change an enemy to be friendly or to move in a different pattern when idle. You can unlock a door, or change how far a rock will move when you push it.

Programming and adventure game combined–count me interested!

Continue reading