You have to win the game… Again! Minimalist indie classic You Have to Win the Game was a sweet little hit back in 2012. If there were an alternative universe with a DOS-based 286 metroidvania, this game would have been it. It was one of the first games I posted about, and I loved what it managed to pull off with the otherwise eye-gouging CGA graphics limitation.
At some unknown point, YHtWtG moved onto Steam, and then added a bunch of new features including an equally lovely EGA mode, boasting a whopping 16 colours! It also includes more difficult remixed campaign and a playable cat character, you know, for people who are into that sort of thing. And best of all, it’s still 100% free (note: there’s a $1 option on Itch.io if you want a permanent Steam key, which is otherwise not available for free games.)
Those anime protagonists sure know how to wield a massively oversized impractical sword. You’d think that by the time they actually manage to lift it, a ninja would’ve already stabbed them in the face a few times, but apparently not. Nevertheless, Bold Blade puts my theory to the test, with gameplay entirely swiveled around (pun intended) the art of sweeping a screen-clearing hunk of metal through wave after wave of monsters.
Bold Blade clearly channels the impractical sword-wielding antics of Ginormo Sword, but where that effort happily jumped into a lo-fi psychedelic deep end without abandon, Blade is far more polished in appearance and follows a much more grounded 90s arcade approach, and I could easily see myself playing this on the SEGA Megadrive as an angst-filled teenager, when giant swords where the best solution for most problems.
Fortify is a classic tower defense game, reeking of late 90’s indie. From the MS paint style graphics to the somewhat clunky interface, everything takes a distant backseat to the detailed gameplay and challenging learning curve.
It’s been a long time coming but we’re finally back with another Remake Roundup, where we examine an arcade classic and unearth modern remakes!
This time around we take a look at the venerable classic Super Mario Bros. franchise and see what sort of remakes are lurking around. This will be a
two three-parter: the first part will focus on more straight-forward remakes, while the second will look at remakes that take the Mario concept and apply it to different gameplay styles (Mario as a metroidvania? Sure, why not) and then finally, we take a cautious gander at some of the more… esoteric interpretations.
Grab your fire flowers and, in some cases, axes, bombs or megablasters, and see how deep the green pipe goes.
Back in the late 80’s, cartoons seemed to be based solely around the idea of grabbing everything a 10-year-old thought was awesome and merging them together into a force of protagonists who fought overtly evil bad guys who try to take over the world for no more reason than because it’s there. It worked well enough for a while, endowing us with gift like Transformers, He-Man, and erm, Dinoriders, before we all got totally sick of it and the too-cool-to-care 90’s emerged.
Clash Force is sort of like traveling to a world where this never happened, and an endless stream of colourful robot-animal hybrids continued to beam into our television sets and game consoles. It also harks back to a simpler time for games, gifting us straightforward running-from-left-to-right, shooting everything that moves, and kicking the odd bosses’ face in as you move from forests to deserts to caves. It’s a simple arcade affair to be sure, but sometimes that’s all you need.
A title that serves as both an expression and description of gameplay, I Am Overburdened is, in principle, about everybody’s (non)favourite part of RPGs: having too much loot and struggling to juggle what to keep and what to ditch.
Should I go for those +5 gloves of nail-biting or stick with my powerglove of uncanny referencing?
The game doesn’t exactly deliver on this promise, per se, though. Funnily enough, this is a far better outcome: instead resulting in a fast paced arcade-roguelike-ish affair with an extremely streamlined loot system and minimal inventory tetris. Unlike its namesake, I am Overburdened is a simple pleasure to run through, albeit (for a commercial release) a relatively short one.
Nightkeep is, well, as its indiegogo page puts it: “an action RPG platformer inspired by such classics as Castlevania Bloodlines, Demon’s crest and a variety of JRPGs” – yes, please. Ture, it’s yet another retro-style game wearing its influences strongly on its sleeves, but the demo here is polished enough in its own right that Nightkeep looks to be shaping up to serve an interesting mixture of platforming action.
Ever thought Harvest Moon or Stardew Valley were good but suffered a distinct lack of Orcs? Well, you’re in luck my friend, as Orcish Inn has increased the Orc content by a mere infiinty%.
Orcish Inn’s goal is similar to those games, but, instead of farms and marriage, the action here is about as self-explanatory as the title suggests: you’re an orc, and you want to build an inn. That’s it. But it will take a long time as you must, quite literally, build it from the ground up, all while the spectre of winter creeps forward.
Despite being a pre-alpha demo, Orcish Inn’s concept is already surprisingly fleshed out, with enough to keep you busy for a while. Don’t think of it as leisurely busywork , though. Although the game calmly tells you “there is no hurry,” this is immediately followed by a threatening “except for winter, where you will likely starve and freeze.” Oh. Right.