I play a lot of indie games. While I try to review my favourites, I don’t always have much to say about everything I’ve played. It was my intention when I started blogging to shine a spotlight on games that I thought were special, especially if they hadn’t gotten much attention. So with that, welcome to the first Indie Variety Hour.
Today we’ll be looking at five games. No more, no less. And all of said games will fit a theme. The theme today is games that are currently on sale in the Steam Summer Sale. Truly creative, I’m aware. But if anything catches your eye you can pick it up on the cheap.
Given my post on Return of the Obra Dinn is the most popular thing I’ve put out in recent memory, lets start with another detective game: Detective Grimoire. It’s a point and click adventure game where you have to solve a murder mystery. The bulk of the game follows a non-linear structure as you travel around the scene of the crime collecting evidence, following leads, and interrogating potential suspects.
The big standout element of the game compared to other detective games is how it handles deductions. After you’ve collected a reasonable amount of evidence to make a deduction, the game asks you to. Instead of providing the answers in a multiple choice list, you have to combine words and phrases from a list of several. You won’t be able to guess your way through as the number of combinations is far too great, so it really puts your deductive skills to the test.
Detective Grimoire is a fun little game that took me about three hours to finish and is currently available for 80% off on Steam.
If you’ve read even a handful of my reviews then you’ll know I like action games, especially if you get to fight giant bosses. Titan Souls is one such game that fits that exact description.
Taking some very liberal inspiration from Shadow of the Colossus, Titan Souls is a 2D pixel art action game where you travel around massive ruins looking for giant bosses to kill. The main gimmick of this game is that both you and the boss die in one hit. This creates a fairly interesting dynamic as both of you are equally vulnerable, which isn’t normally the case in this kind of game. When you really get a boss’ attack patterns memorized you can reasonably kill the bulk of them as quickly as they squash you, which always feels great.
Titan Souls is a very reflex based challenge that won’t be for everyone, but for those that are into action, or boss rush games this one is a great pick at 75% off on Steam.
There is no way this list was going up without an exploration puzzle game on it.
Full Bore is a game that I wish there was more of. It captures a lot of the elements I like about metroidvanias while ditching all of the ones I don’t care for. You play as a time controlling bore and travel through subterranean mines collecting gem stones to pay back a debt. Every room in this game is a micro-puzzle that requires thinking to move through. The time-travelling bit comes into play here, as you’re able to move backwards through time to undo mistakes you make while trying to traverse the world. Instead of gaining power-ups to progress forward, you learn new ways to think about and solve the different puzzles so you can explore deeper and deeper into the depths of the game.
While it can be a little obtuse at times, Full Bore is a great game for those that enjoy some puzzles to solve as they explore every inch of the world and can be purchased for 86% off on Steam.
She Remembered Caterpillars
I swear I like puzzle games and would review more of them, but I’ve been hit with a lot of action games in the past couple months which have almost entirely diverted my attention.
She Remembered Caterpillars is one of the best puzzle games I’ve ever played. Seriously. This game is on the same level as Baba is You for me. The reason for that is the game teaches you almost entirely through its level design. There is one spot where text is used to teach you about a new mechanic, but other than that you learn through experimenting with the levels. She Remembered Caterpillars is incredibly well design and unlike many other well designed puzzle games isn’t a complete brain buster.
She Remembered Caterpillars comes highly recommended and is a steal at 60% off on Steam.
VA-11 Hall-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action
If you read either my Gamer Tag, or Sunshine Blogger Award posts you may have seen this one coming. I originally played VA-11 Hall-A well before I started writing on my blog, but it deserves so much more attention.
VA-11 Hall-A is the rare sort of game that manages to be easy to relate to entirely because of how pedestrian the cast of characters are. Each of them has very normal circumstances and problems despite living in a cyberpunk dystopia. As the local bartender you’ll get to hear them all while mixing drinks. The game is a visual novel, so it’s very light on the gameplay side of things but won me over with its story (which doesn’t happen often).
If you’ve ever wanted to be a bartender in the eventual cyberpunk dystopia we’re headed towards then pick up VA-11 Hall-A on Steam for 34% off.
Alright. There you have it. Five games you might not have known about that are currently on the cheap, and were interesting enough in some way to make them enjoyable (to me).
Did any of these games catch your eye? Would you like to another of these posts? Do you think this entire thing was bullshit and a complete waste of your time? Let me know in the comments. No seriously. I won’t know if this should be a recurring segment unless people let me know.