Tag Archives: indies

Henry The Hamster Handler Review

By Joey Splats

 

What Can I Expect?

When first happening upon Henry the Hamster Handler, I wasn’t expecting much! With the number of indie games appearing on the E-Shop, it’s getting harder to distinguish between “shovel ware” and games you should buy. Henry the Hamster Handler by Pocket Money Games, surprised me with how fun the game was. It provides a quick to learn game element that is quick to learn and hard to master.

 

Handler Handles Well

Each level you are presented with a screen. See the image below for reference. The Hamsters appears at the top, sometimes in multiple directions, and each time they get to one of the blocks the player needs to press the button that corresponds with the key on the block. Easy right? Well, the game has multiple of these blocks, so as the hamster goes on you need to progressively watch numerous hamsters. As I said before, easy to learn, hard to master.

What About That Hamster Story Though?

There seems to be a story, but its almost like it was an afterthought! With a game like this, there doesn’t need to be a story. It is nice to see they tried to make an effort. As the Hamster Handler, you are trying to create as many near-death experiences for your hamsters that will eventually make your hamsters change color, to gold and silver. It’s quite a weird story, but the central element of this game is the game-play, which I feel is on point.  It is especially great when you get into the more intense levels of the game.

 

Verdict –  Pass or Play?

This game is well worth its bucks. This is an example of a game that has passed the limelight of the ever-growing E-Shop. For $3.69 (£2.49), we need to bring this game back to the spotlight and give it the praise it deserves. Everyone has Gold Points saved up enough for this game. Let’s all buy this game and play it because it’s well worth it! Challenge time! Let’s see who can save all the hamsters in the first three levels in their first try! Give it a go!

 

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Timberman VS Review [Nintendo Switch]

 

Timberman VS Packs-a-Punch

When I first got my hands upon Timberman VS I thought that it was going to be a game which you play once and never pick up again. However, the opposite is true. The game is simple but hilariously so much fun. Its packed with a ton of features that you wouldn’t expect from a game of this level. It has multiple unlockable characters that are fun to unlock as you go along.

Trio Modes

Timberman VS has three modes which all share the same core gameplay. The core gameplay is that you’re a lumberjack and there’s a tree. Chop Chop Chop and avoid the branches. As you chop the first layer disappears and the tree falls down a layer bringing those deadly branches towards you. So you have to keep switching sides as not to get hit. The first mode is to get as far as you can as fast as you can. The second mode has you saving bird Eggs from the top of the tree. The first mode is an endless game where you can keep on going. Whereas the second is limited to a random set number of layers and if you manage to reach the Eggs and rescues them you get bonus experience.

Experience Points.

You gain experience by playing the game and ether getting higher and higher up the tree or by saving the Eggs in the second mode. Each time you level up you unlock a new character which is fun because it means that’s there is always a goal to achieve which adds to the fun.

Multiplayer Madness

A hidden gem of Timberman VS is the multiplayer. This is the third mode and it pits you and three of your friends to cut a set number of a layered tree as fast as you can. We had a blast trying to beat each other and was hilariously good fun which I cannot believe is only on the E-shop for £1.49($1.99) this game is a MUST BUY. This isn’t one of those games you can pass by in this humble reviewer’s opinion. (Also my Highest score is 769, if you beat it screenshot it)

 

Play or Pass?

                                                PLAY!

Reviewed by: Joey Splats

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Green Game: TimeSwapper Review [Nintendo Switch]

Green Game: TimeSwapper on the Nintendo Switch by iFun4all, is a game with an interesting concept but executed poorly. The game premise is built upon a time feature. You have to transport a Bird from one box to another Box while collecting Gears, which are the games collectible. The time element comes into play because depending if you are in the future or the past is dependent on whether air ducts turn on which are the key to leading the bird to its new box.

 

Time Morty! Tis the key

One Positive about the game is that its art style is on point! This is the games greatest strength. The use of gears and steampunk feel graphics really sets the mood! However, this is let down by terribly executed gameplay. The game is touchscreen. Everything you do has to be imputed through touch. Does this make a bad game? No. The problem lies with its execution. It is not accurate at all. I had to google how to start the game it was that bad. Because the start screen has a level select screen where you control going through the levels with your hand but when you click the number 1 to go to level one it doesn’t do anything because of how inaccurate the touch sensor is.

Within the game itself you control the air ducts by swiping left and right which must be precise to get to the end. Problem is that it’s not precise and most of the time just goes from one side or the other in a split second. For the life of me I can’t see the time Element in the game. I understand the premise of how they wanted to implement it. But when it comes down to gameplay its just about switching air ducts off!

 

Is the game IFun4all?

This game has a brilliant premise and has the potential to be a great pick up and play game but the touch controls hold the game back from being that game. I can’t stress this enough that the game itself has an interesting concept and could be great. At this time, I cannot recommend this game until they fix the said issues. Not even for the price of £2.69 ($2.99).

 

PLAY OR PASS?

                                                                                        PASS

Review by: Joey Splats 

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Dragon Sinker: Descendants of Legend Review: A Winner or a Stinker?

 Dragon Sinker: Descendants of Legend for the Nintendo Switch

Enter the Dragon Sinker

In the year since the Nintendo Switch launched there has been a surprising pethera of indie games to play. From platformers to puzzlers, games with a pixel art style seem to be represented at every corner of the eShop. And while one might be at their fill of pixelated indies there is one genre that has been absent. A genre that has memories flooding back of that one parent tripping over the power cord of your console as you and your best friend both hold your breath and wait to see if you’ve lost hours upon hours of progress, Im talking about classic style JRPG’s. Games that are akin to the 8-bit versions of the Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest franchises of days gone. The lack of an 8-bit JRGP on the Switch felt like an injustice that needed to be rectified and that’s exactly what KEMCO and Exe-Crate Inc. did with Dragon Sinker: Descendants of Legend for the Nintendo Switch.

 

I’m Sure We’ve Been Here Before

Dragon Sinker hits your right in the nostalgia’s from the moment the title screen appears. Blasting beautiful chiptunes right into your earholes. But the nostalgia doesn’t stop there. In typical JRPG form you set out on your quest to slay the evil Dragon Wyrmvarg. To do so you’ll need 3 legendary weapons. The same ones your ancestors used generations before to lock away the dastardly dragon. As you progress through Dragon Sinker: Descendants of Legend for the Nintendo Switch  you end up with 3 parties to swap between. Those consists of humans, elves and dwarfs. You can add up to 12 additional party members to each of your squads through optional side quests and a lottery function.

In a game flooded with homage to the classics, it isn’t without it’s modern sensibilities. The battle system gives the welcome addition of auto battles. Something that comes in handy when you’re facing a much weaker enemy or trying to grind to level up your characters.  You can also use in game points called DRP to resurrect your parties from the dead while giving them full MP and HP right in the heat of battle which is a huge time saver and allows for a much more accessible JRPG experience.

Dragon Sinker: Descendants of Legend for the Nintendo Switch

The House Wins

Dragon Sinker was originally a mobile game that made its way to consoles and even the 3DS. Given its roots in mobile there are some microtransaction-esq features baked in. There is a lottery system that allows you to add unique animal characters to your party. And who wouldn’t want that right? Unfortunately using those DRP for the lottery do feel a bit unfair. During my time with the game I was unable to acquire an animal companions. There is also a DRP shop, this actually takes you to the Nintendo eshop to buy items/scrolls for new abilities. While annoying to know that it’s there, I never once felt like I needed to buy anything from the store to progress forward in the game.

 

The Bottom Line

Dragon Sinker: Descendants of Legend on the Nintendo Switch does a great job of tugging at those rose colored heart strings while adding some modern sensibilities.This game is suited for fans of the genre or newcomers looking for an accessible pick up and play JRPG. Don’t expect a game that pushes the limits of what an JRPG should be or something that evolves the genre. Retro gamers looking for an affordable nostalgic blast from the past  without having to “sinker” too much time into a game will have a legendary time.

 

PLAY OR PASS??

PLAY

 

Get Dragon Sinker: Descendants of Legend on the Nintendo eShop HERE

Review by: Tony Baker

***Disclaimer: Dragon Sinker: Descendants of Legend was provided to us from KEMCO for review purposes.

 

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Layers of Fear: Legacy Review

By Mike BC

 

What You Need to Know:

 

Layers of Fear: Legacy is a horror/suspense game that follows a painter in a large estate.  You play as the painter who is trying to finish a painting.  I won’t tell you what you’re painting because it is tied to the story.  What I can tell you, is that you’ll want to pay attention to details while you play the game.  Every time you complete a section of the story, a bit more of the painting is revealed until the end of the game when you see your masterpiece.  The story is revealed while you complete a series of puzzles that range from easy to rage inducing.  Be careful when you turn around.  The scene may change just that quickly.

 

The Good

 

Layers of Fear: Legacy does an amazing job keeping you plugged in.  I found myself wanting to go back for more every time I stopped playing. There were nights when I found myself going to sleep far later than was responsible.  The story that it tells is a work of art.  I can’t tell you how impressed I was with the level of depth that came from a story inside of a horror game.  Typically, horror relies less on good storytelling and more on the fear.  Layers of Fear: Legacy struck a good balance between the genre and the story to be told.

 

The Bad

 

Despite my praises so far, this game was far from perfect.  Even though this game sits in the horror category, it wasn’t that scary.  For fans of the genre, it may come up short on the scare factor.  The game really felt more creepy than scary.  In the easier puzzles, it didn’t even feel like a game but more like an experience.  My biggest concern with the game was the technical issues that I ran into.  On one occasion, the puzzle repeated itself but wasn’t responding to the normal cues that got me through it the first time.  After restarting the game, I was able to complete the puzzle but then the game had an error and closed itself.  When I restarted the game, it moved to another puzzle. On other occasions, the game would have errors and close itself randomly with seemingly no reason to have done so.  My hope is that these were isolated to my Nintendo Switch and not indicative of the whole game.  My other thought was that it may be a Switch port issue not seen on other consoles.  Regardless, I would be remiss in my duties as a reviewer if I didn’t report on the issues that caused me to disengage from the game.  The game has so much promise, but you are taken out of the game when these kind of issues arise.

 

 

Should You Play?

 

Layers of Fear: Legacy is a good game.  Though it has it’s faults, I really believe anyone who enjoys a dark story will enjoy playing this game.  Be patient, as it has a slow start, because the payoff will be incredible. Thanks to the Bloober team for the opportunity to review this game.  I am happy to recommend it!

 

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The Final Station Review

By Mike BC

 

 

What You Need To Know!

 

The Final Station is a side scroller and a train simulator.  106 Years after The First Visitation, The Final Station picks up with another visitation from a mysterious invasion that seems like zombies.  The enemies you fight during the side scrolling are dark humanoid figures that seem like shadow figures with eyes.  The most basic of these enemies moves slowly and can be taken out with a single charged melee attack.  There are other enemies though like the shorter faster enemies that require multiple melee attacks even if the first one is charged.  Another enemy moves slowly but has riot gear lending more credence to the idea that these enemies are zombies.  Throughout the game, you will have limited resources so choose when to use food and medkits wisely. In every level, you will have to keep people alive on the train and once you arrive at your destination, you’ll have to find the train code to move on.

 

The Good

 

The Final Station does a great job storytelling.  You start with little to no understanding of what’s happening.  When the game first starts, it gives the impression that you’re playing a “slice of life” game.  Everything seems very ordinary to the point of nearly being boring.  With every level, another piece of the puzzle is unlocked until you finally see what’s been there all along.  When you get that a-ha! moment and see what’s been going on, there is a deep sense of satisfaction in understanding.  The gameplay is solid! When the conflict began, I initially thought it was needlessly difficult.  The more I played, I realized that it was more than a simple side scroller.  In fact, the game relies on the player using strategy to get through every level.  The Switch version that we reviewed, is very good because the game plays very well in both handheld and tv mode but it did seem more fitting for the handheld mode.

 

 

The Bad

 

The Final Station had a few problems.  The game does a checkpoint system so that if you die during the level, you go back to the most recent checkpoint.  The problem isn’t with the system but with the checkpoint itself.  The checkpoint isn’t something you see, but rather, it happens automatically.  When you restart at the checkpoint, you go back to the same time and circumstances as when you were there previously.  If you were already low on health or resources when you cross the checkpoint, then dying may not necessarily help you get any further.  The fix to this is that at any time you can open the menu and restart the level.  The second problem is a nitpicky one.  During the train sim portion of the game, you have to keep your passengers alive.  If they get too hungry or low on health, they will die.  Medkits come up in each level and at times, I found myself with an extra for a passenger.  Food, on the other hand, was scarce and more than once, a passenger would die from starvation.  This wouldn’t be a problem except that your performance in the game is measured by whether or not your passengers survive trips on the train.  Lastly, at $19.99 USD, the game would be better priced at $14.99 like it is on Steam, PS4, and XBOX One.

 

 

Should You Play?

 

The Final Station is a unique experience.  I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent with it. However, this game may not be for everyone.  If you enjoy side scrolling action, you should give it a go.  If the train simulator is all that catches your attention, know that it is a small part of the game.  In fact, the game would not suffer if it wasn’t in there.  Overall, I can recommend this game to enthusiasts of the genre.

Joe Dever’s Lone Wolf Review

Skyrim The Novel

Joe Dever’s Lone Wolf is a throwback to choose your own adventure books. This title instantly reminded me of Skyrim, but in the form of a novel. Lone Wolf is made up of two sections; the novel, and the action segments. The game progresses as you read the story and make choices. Some of these choices will lead to things like a battle or picking a lock. When one of these action segments takes place, the game moves from the novel to a 3D world. Joe Dever’s Lone Wolf surprisingly works well and will keep your interest. The story is captivating and has a way to connect with you right away.

The In’s and Out’s

One of the first things that jumped out at me was the graphics style. The game is gorgeous, between the hand-drawn depictions in the novel and the 3D world that you’re in during the action segments. The music in the game is okay and helps develop the atmosphere the game wants to create. One thing that does bother me though is the saving system. Right from the beginning the game never mentions autosaves, and never shows you how to save the game. I’ve found that whenever you are done playing you can choose from the menu to return to the main menu. When you come back to it the game will pick up right where you exited from. The saving needs to be explained at the beginning of the game to prevent people from being worried about turning the game off.

lone wolf

Time Your Actions

When I say time your actions, what I mean is attack as quickly as possible before the timer runs out. The battle system is my main gripe with Joe Dever’s Lone Wolf. The battle system is based on a timer, you have to perform your actions before the timer runs out. During the timer, there are quite a few actions for you to choose from, and as long as you are quick you can perform a few different actions. Each action depending on which category it comes from will use mana or energy. There is also a special that you can perform, though it seems arbitrary when that special is available. The battle system definitely needs much more explanation as I found myself just choosing actions without planning. Also, the items that are available during a battle are limited to what you have placed on your toolbelt. You start with three slots to place items for battles, which works fine, but items can be scarce at the beginning of the game. You need to make sure you use the rest feature before moving on with the story to avoid using up all of your potions.

lone wolf battle system

In Conclusion

Joe Dever’s Lone Wolf is an excellent choose your own adventure story with decent game elements. The fact that your choices affect the story adds replay value to the game and makes you want to go back and see what will happen if you make different choices. The battle system could use more explanation to make it flow better for the player. The art style and story are the shining stars of this game. If you like story’s then Joe Dever’s Lone Wolf will be a perfect game for you.