Tag Archives: indie games

Old Towers: Up and Down and Side to Side

As we’ve seen a few times already, the Mega Cat Studios Collection 1 cartridge for the Evercade retro gaming platform contains some great examples of new games written for classic platforms.

A favourite of many players is Old Towers, another game from the Russian collective RetroSouls, who specialise in high-quality short-form games for old-school systems ranging from the ZX Spectrum to the Sega Mega Drive. Old Towers has appeared on a couple of different formats, but the one found on the Evercade cart is the original Mega Drive version.

Grab your popcorn and get ready for some brain-bending puzzle action, then — it’s time to climb the Old Towers.

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short;Play: Teleglitch

As wonderful as true teleportation technology would be, I think we’ve probably had enough cautionary sci-fi tales by now to make anyone very wary of actually pursuing research in this field.

One that I’m rather fond of is Teleglitch, a charmingly lo-fi roguelike-inspired action game that takes a number of cues from classic first-person shooters and survival horror games. In it, you play a scientist at a military research installation with rather questionable ethics where, unsurprisingly, work on both teleportation and genetic engineering has gone horribly wrong.

Enjoy my gameplay in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Helltaker: Hell is Sliding Block Puzzles

At the time of writing, a new independently developed game called “Helltaker” is all over social media, with all sorts of people sharing screenshots and fanart.

With that in mind, I decided to give it a look for myself. Turns out it’s a free download for PC, available via Steam. As such, there’s absolutely no risk involved in trying it out at the very least — and if you like it, you have a cool thing to add to your library; if, on the other hand, it’s not for you, you haven’t lost anything.

What did I think? Hmm, mixed feelings if I’m perfectly honest; let’s explore all that a little further, then.

Continue reading Helltaker: Hell is Sliding Block Puzzles

short;Play: A Valley Without Wind

One of the things that has always been good about the indie sphere has been its many developers’ willingness to experiment.

One company that has always been at the forefront of experimental gameplay is Arcen Games, who are very fond of blending disparate genres together to create something wonderful — and of throwing a healthy dose of procedural generation into the mix, too.

A Valley Without Wind was my first encounter with them… and it’s a game I’ve loved since I first came across it back in 2012. Take a look at the video below to see how it plays — and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Lonely Mountains: Downhill – Bringing the Outside Inside

For a lot of us, the more “extreme” sports are probably best left in the realm of fantasy, because we’d probably kill ourselves within about five seconds of starting.

I, for example, know that while I am perfectly capable of riding a bike, I would almost certainly be never heard from ever again were you to put me at the summit of a mountain atop a suitable bicycle and encourage me to enjoy a scenic but perilous trail down to the bottom. Which is a shame, because I rather enjoy the peacefulness of being out in nature — the breeze brushing past you, the clear air and the relaxing, soothing sounds of being far from “civilisation”.

Lucky, then, that we have games like Lonely Mountains: Downhill, which allow you to enjoy at least some of that experience from the comfort of your sofa — and without any risk of injuries ranging from grazed knees to catastrophic eruption of ribcage from torso. Let’s take a closer look.

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Dead or School: A Passion Project Pays Off

I reviewed this game over at Nintendo Life — please go support my work over there, then join me back here to delve into the game in more detail!


It’s abundantly clear when you’re experiencing a creative work that was genuinely special to the people who made it.

The end result of such a passion project might be scraggy around the edges, it might not be technically perfect and you can probably find things that are “better”, whatever that means… but for me, finding something with genuine heart and soul will always trump big budgets and technical efficiency.

And so we come to Dead or School from Studio Nanafushi, a passion project that certainly still has a few scraggy edges even after two years in Early Access on PC… but a game that captured and maintained my attention from the moment I booted it up to the time the last of the credits scrolled off the screen. Let’s take a closer look.

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Coffee Talk: It’s A Brewtiful Day

One of the great things about modern gaming is the sheer diversity of experiences you can have from one moment to the next.

If you’re in the mood for hacking and slashing through hordes of enemies as the cute girl personification of a video games console, gaming has you covered. If you fancy taking photos of spooky scary ghosts in a creepy old mansion, well, there’s a game for that, too — several, in fact.

But what about if you just fancy chilling out in a nice quiet coffee shop, enjoying the company of a few good friends and leaving all the troubles of the world outside for an hour or two? Sure, you could pop down your local Costa if you can face leaving the house… or you could settle in for an evening with Coffee Talk, a thoroughly pleasant story-centric game from Indonesian developer Toge Productions.

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Just Ignore Them: Ah, Real Monsters

Those who keep an eye on the indie sphere (or indeed those of you who have been reading MoeGamer recently) may well already be familiar with one-man development team Stranga Games.

Just Ignore Them is his debut game, and it’s clearly something of a passion project. While in many ways it’s noticeably clunkier than its successors My Big Sister and Red Bow — both mechanically and narratively — it’s still a worthwhile adventure, and one that Stranga has striven to improve with the lessons learned from his subsequent releases.

So let’s take a look at the console release published by Ratalaika Games, which at the time of writing represents the most up-to-date version of the game on offer. Bring a torch.

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Fairune: It’s Not What It Looks Like

Fairune is a game that, at first glance, could be mistaken for an homage to the original The Legend of Zelda, the early Ys games or perhaps even Hydlide if you’re a real hipster.

It’s a top-down open-world game presented in chunky pixel art, in which you defeat enemies by simply running into them. You collect items which allow you to access new areas or provide you with new abilities, and your ultimate aim is to explore the whole world thoroughly until you locate three plot-critical doohickeys, at which point you descend into the final dungeon, rescue the three equally plot-critical fairies, kick the snot out of the Big Bad and then relax, safe in the knowledge of a Job Well Done.

However, it does just a few things a little bit differently to what you might expect from that description. And those little differences are enough to make it a unique experience well worth your time.

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The MoeGamer 2019 Awards: The Most “Retro” Modern Game

The MoeGamer Awards are a series of “alternative” awards I’ve devised in collaboration with the community to celebrate the sorts of things that never get celebrated in end-of-year roundups! Find out more here — and feel free to leave a suggestion on that post if you have any good ideas!

Last week, we celebrated the Least “Retro” Retro Game, a title that, despite being quite old at this point, still remains fun and solid to this day. Today, we take a slightly different angle.

Over the course of the last few years, independent developers in particular have been very keen to adopt a retro-inspired look and feel to their games. And some pull it off better than others.

It’s a lot more than just using pixelated graphics and chiptune music, you know, so today’s award celebrates the modern game that most clearly understands, appreciates and pays homage to older titles while simultaneously being something that is downright desirable to play in 2019. If you’ve listened to a particular recent podcast, the choice here will be obvious, but let’s do the thing anyway…

And the winner is…

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