What You\’d Like to See

I\’d like your opinion on what you\’d like me to write about on the site. Anything in particular that interests you? Something retro? Something futuristic? Something not gaming-related at all? Please let me know in the comments if you have any thoughts or feedback.

Indie Games Coverage

Besides for Nintendo coverage I\’d like to start covering my other hobby, Indie Games. I am currently learning game development and hope to eventually start a sister site that will host my games. But, until then I\’m going to make a point of covering the best indie games of each week. This week I\’ll start off by naming a few of this past weeks biggest indie hits:

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Humble Indie Bundle: Frozen Synapse– Another Humble Indie Bundle was released and once again it’s pay-what-you-want. And the big name is Frozen Synapse. Most indie reviewers consider Frozen Synapse to be the best indie game of 2011. Frankly, if you haven\’t played it yet you must give it at least a try. Most

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likely, it will be love at first sight. Frozen Synapse comes down to wits, psychology, and thinking two moves ahead. It’s an overhead strategy game that has one major hook. You and your opponent plan your elaborate moves based on what you think the other will do. And then, Boom!, you both perform your moves at the same time. So, even though it’s turn-based, it’s not alternating turn-based. You both guess what you think the other guy will do and try and outsmart him. You know he’s smart, but is he smart enough to know that you know he’s smart and are anticipating his brilliant strategy. Or maybe that’s all part of his plan to fool you. Games over the internet can take days if you let it; sort of like a brilliant chess game. Try it out and become a believer. [The other game that’s been added is Trauma, which is worth its own review but, I\’ll cut to the chase: It’s an artsy, emotional, surreal, interactive, point and click game.]

Space Punk Racer – I\’m impressed with this guy’s Flash skills. The \”Mode 7\”-like graphics give this game a similar feel to F-Zero, or, maybe it’s more accurate to say, Mach Rider. The racing mechanic is fun with hills that twist, turn, rise, and fall. You have the option to collect boosts and shockwaves which you can use to zap an enemy who tries to bump you, but make sure not to kill the innocent civilians. Unfortunately, the game aimed more for technical prowess than art style as I find the main character and enemy designs to be quite lame. Also, once you master the main racing mechanic, there’s not much to keep you staying longer with the game. It’s not very deep.

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Aurora 2– If you haven\’t played the original game from Pastel Games, go back and play it. It’s a Western horror, point and click adventure that manages to creep you out rather than frighten the stuffing out of you. The difference between this game and the original is that this one is more visual novel with point and click elements, whereas the original was more point and click with visual novel elements. Also, look out for the cliffhanger. There is definitely another sequel coming.

Mega Mash – Now this is a great idea. I love seeing people put on their creative thinking caps. Can you take 8 different genres and turn them into one game? If you\’re Nitrome you can. Each level is built in a way to fuse the different segments together so you may jump into the shmup \”zone\” and fire some blasts out into the Mario-platformer zone to clear some coin blocks in your way. Or you\’ll push a crate in the Bomberman-like zone out into the ninja platformer area to reach a higher ground.

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Keys of a GameSpace– I urge you to play this game. If I had to hand out an award to art game of the decade it would go to KoaG. If I would try and convince Roger Ebert that games can be art it would be this game that I hand to him as proof. Dealing with such issues as repression, childhood trauma, anti-video game philosophies, free will and freedom of choice, and the obstacles to love that lay dormant in the recesses of the mind. The art style is hand-painted and personal. The music is sparse but evocative. And the narrative is done in a clever style that really hits home. You won\’t have your emotions handed to you, rather you will watch Sebastian’s life unfold in front of you- and this brings out the feeling in a natural, organic way.

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