One-man development team Stranga Games has been quietly establishing himself as one to watch in the world of independently developed psychological horror games, presented in gorgeous lo-fi pixel art.
At the time of writing, Red Bow is the latest in a series of games with a loose thematic link to them, following Just Ignore Them and My Big Sister. And, in keeping with the way Stranga apparently likes to do things, we once again have another short-form, thought-provoking adventure that provides ruminations on the subject of mortality, explored through interactions with the monstrous.
The world of Stranga Games is not a happy one… but it’s certainly a fascinating one. Let’s descend into the darkness once again.
Continue reading Red Bow: Older Than Water, Stubborn as Stone
Hey, so remember back in July of 2019 when Bethesda suddenly and unexpectedly released Doom, Doom II: Hell on Earth and Doom III on PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch?
Remember how it took barely a few minutes for this exciting announcement to be considerably dampened by the terrible discovery that these new ports had some sort of God-awful implementation of an “always-online” system in place for no apparent reason? Remember how this made the Switch version completely unplayable on the go if you weren’t connected to the Internet?
Yeah. Well. Not only has that been fixed, these ports have been given a considerable upgrade… plus a bunch of awesome bonus content, too. So it’s probably time to take another look, no?
Continue reading Doom on Switch Doesn’t Suck Any More
Many people assumed that the advent of the true 3D polygonal racer spelled the death of the traditional, “vanishing point” racer.
After all, why would you ever want to play a technologically limited game where you simply slide from side to side on a track without actually turning when you can spin your car around, go the wrong way and attempt to cause as many head-on collisions as possible? Or race in “true 3D” too, I suppose.
Well… you know… because it’s fun. And thankfully a number of developers in recent years have remembered that. And so we’ve ended up with loving homages to the past such as the Kickstarter-funded Slipstream, and the subject of today’s article: Horizon Chase Turbo. Let’s take a look.
Continue reading Horizon Chase Turbo: Top Gear Returns
Fairune and Fairune 2 were originally available as separate games for mobile devices and Nintendo 3DS, but in more recent releases for Switch and Windows PC, you’ll find them packaged as part of the Fairune Collection alongside two pleasant little extras: Fairune Origin and Fairune Blast.
The two titles are fairly self-explanatory — Fairune Origin is essentially the prototype for what would become the first Fairune, while Fairune Blast is a shoot ’em up themed after the series — but they’re both well worth playing in their own right.
Plus they’re pretty interesting in that they essentially represent both the genesis of and the conclusion to the series as a whole — well, that is unless creator Yuumi “Skipmore” Kimura decides to give us any more, of course — so let’s take a closer look at both.
Continue reading Fairune Origin and Blast: Beginning and End
After the first Fairune successfully proved that you can make something that looks convincingly like an action RPG into a two-hour puzzle adventure, the natural next step for creator Yuumi “Skipmore” Kimura was to go bigger.
With that in mind, Fairune 2 is a considerably expanded affair over its predecessor, but maintains the same compelling, enjoyable and oddly relaxing blend of light action RPG elements, item-based puzzle solving and mind-bending navigation brainteasers.
If you’re coming straight from the first one, it might not subvert quite as many expectations as that one did — in that it’s a lot more of “the same” — but it is similarly delightful, and a pleasure to explore. Let’s take a closer look.
Continue reading Fairune 2: It’s Exactly What It Looks Like
1985’s Saboteur! is a well-regarded title in the ZX Spectrum’s considerable library of games — and, as we’ve seen, it still holds up surprisingly well today.
Two years later, creator Clive Townsend brought us a full-on sequel that was an extremely noteworthy title for a number of reasons — and, just like the original Saboteur!, this can now be played in enhanced form on modern systems.
So grab your shuriken and hop on your hang-glider — we’re going in.
Continue reading Saboteur II: Avenging Angel – Dropping the “J”
The 8-bit home console era is, at this point, pretty well documented; how many times over the years have we seen an article or video purporting to tell “the story of Super Mario Bros. 3” for the umpteenth time?
But what about the 8-bit microcomputer era? For one reason or another, this has always remained much more niche-interest, with far less in the way of online historical explorations and even less in the way of reimaginings, remakes and rereleases.
Here’s Saboteur!, a Nintendo Switch and Windows PC rework of a ZX Spectrum game from 1985 — put together by the original author, no less — and a title I’ve found myself surprisingly wrapped up in since downloading it from the eShop for 89p a couple of weeks ago!
Continue reading Saboteur!: Full Spectrum Ninja