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Indie Shack - Castles, Princesses, and Sieges

4/15/12 9:57pm
tl;dr

1. Defend Your Castle

2. Fat Princess

3. Siege Hero

Whaddup g1s, how's everyone doing this fine day? Tis I, the badass and awesome Flapperdoodle, here to bring you guys another edition of The Indie Shack! Now, there was a bit of confusion this week as to who was going to write this week's entry, as Alpha was busy with interviews, JETZ was busy with Jeopardy, and our planned writer was not responding to our messages, and even Lousy felt a little overwhelmed. So, it fell on my soldiers to write this week's entry. Thankfully enough, I had just so happened to have written an Indie Shack previously due to a planned project, so I am going to use that copy for today!

Don't worry guys, we have a schedule set up for the next few weeks, so this kind of confusion will not happen too often. But, sit down, relax, grab some propcorn, and keep your eyes open. Today, we have a flash game turned WiiWare title from XGen Studios, a PSN exclusive real time tactics title, and an iOS game that is 10x better than Angry Birds. What a shock... Let's-a-go!

Name: Defend Your Castle

Genre: Tower Defense

Developer: XGen Studios

Platforms: Flash, WiiWare, iOS

Price: Free (Flash), $5.00 (Wii), $2.99 (iOS)

I'm sure we've all heard about this game at sometime or another. It was a very popular flash game in its primitive state, and many people played it on multiple gaming websites, including XGen's own home base. Thankfully, the game throughout its multiple years of being online was able to expand to wider audiences by getting versions for WiiWare and iOS. I have played the game on every single platform, but after a suggestion from co-creator, co-writer, and part-time editor of the show Ferret75, I've decided to mainly discuss the WiiWare version of the game.

This is what happens when you bomb the place. You get hilarious deaths! HUZZAH!

The game, on the surface, seems like the regular tower defense game, and in the beginning, it is. There are a bunch of enemies coming at you, them all being stick figures, and you need to obviously get rid of them. You do this by using your wii remote as a hand to grab them, fling them up in the air, and let them fall to their death. Your cursor is your hand and holding the Wii Remote to the sensor bar will control the cursor. You can't let too many soldier get passed you at once however, or they'll attack your castle making it weaker. If you can hold off the army until the day is done, you get to live another day, but it your castle runs out of health, you lose the turn and you'll have to start the turn over. It's a pretty addictive gameplay system for sure.

But, what many people forget about it how many defenses and weapons you can buy to help deal with much harder levels, because the game can get VERY difficult as you move on. You can hire archers to help shoot arrows down at enemies killing them, and while they could help a lot more, it's a start. You can also hire wizards which can do spells for you, which can be VERY powerful. There's also bombers you can sacrifice to get rid of a huge chunk of enemies, and then there is the clean up crew that simply helps rebuild the castle. It's a good system of unlockables, and with the ability to convert enemies that are supposed to kill you into your own slaves is really fun.

Look, the game isn't the easiest, but how can someone have a 9000 point advantage?

However, one thing the WiiWare version gives you that no other version does in local multiplayer, and yes, it is a ridiculous and crazy as it sounds, but it definitely helps you throughout the game. It's for up to four people, and if you guys play your cards right, you could get very far. I'm talking about assigning tasks, talking to each other, discussing strategies, teaming up; all of these tasks put together could lead to a fun and satisfying gameplay experience. Yes, it can get a little bit manic and a little confusing at times to see where you are, but the multiplayer is very fun and I have to give the WiiWare version credit for adding that in.

Now, the graphics aren't very detailed. The regular enemies are stick figures and many of the enemies are made out off simple objects like bottle caps, paper, popsicle sticks, and so on. It's just one of those games that is just so lovable in its simplicity. Sadly, there isn't much music, each level is just silent with all of the sound effects. Besides for the occasional medieval fanfare, all the audio you will care about are the yells of terror and hilarious effects from the items, enemies, and sla-- I mean workers. That's what I meant… workers.

Verdict

LOOK OUT! It's the popsticle stick brigade! Stock up on erasers and fast!

Well, the game takes a while for it to really get into, and at times the multiplayer can get too frantic for my taste, but if you want a fun as hell tower defense game with lots of replay value and a fun multiplayer mode, Defend your Castle is a great game. The graphics are cute, the satisfaction of killing your enemies is just fantastic, and the game is pretty cheap for what it is giving. I still to this day have a lot of fun with this title. I suggest buying it if you like Tower Defense games overall, but if that genre ain't your cup of tea, then I suggest trying this game out first with a Flash version before making a final decision.

Name: Fat Princess

Genre: Real-Time Tactics

Developer: Titan Studios

Platforms: PSN

Price: $15

Fat Princess is one of those games that looks really cute and cuddly and funny. Then you play it and your mind is blown. When I first heard about this game coming out, I was skeptical at how serious the game would take itself. And, of course, it doesn't. And during my first hour of Fat Princess, I enjoyed every minute of it. If you want yourself a fun awesome mixture of strategy, hack and slash, open world gameplay, and capture the flag competition, then let me introduce you to your nirvana. Its name is Fat Princess.

As you can see, there are lots of different types of classes to fight with!

The main gameplay focus of Fat Princess is a duo of capture the flag and tower defense. You are part of an army engaged in a war, and you have the opposing side's princess in your team's dungeon. Your primary goal is to save your team's princess and bring her back to your side without being killed or her being stolen. But that's solely your primary goal. What I mean is the game is full of other objectives and things to do. You can feed cake to the opposing princess you have captured to make her fatter, thus heavier, thus harder to move. Also, let's not forget that there's a war going on, so feel free to hack and slash your way through the armies and kill some people. You can also do other things based off of different classes, like heal various people as a priest for example. The great thing about this is that it is so simple to change classes and try new experiences, all it requires is that you change hats that come from machines. No menus required, you can do it in game. And I've still missed many other things like health, defense, and outhouses. The game is just full of things to do which makes the gameplay feel more intricate, exciting, and fun.

Fat Princess has multiplayer and single player modes, both being fun, but multiplayer being much more of a good time. This game really does require teamwork in many aspects, so playing online or local multiplayer makes the game a lot more engaging and there's a much bigger satisfaction when winning with friends than winning alone. Single player is fun, but it comes with a price. At times, the AI can be so unintelligent and so unresponsive to your actions that it can make the game frustrating. Yes, the computer may be tough to beat, but that is more so because of frustration coming form your team than theirs. Sure online could bring you frustration out of lag, but Fat Princess is nearly lagless.

Learn this lesson kids, don't eat cake. IT'S A LIE! Oh, and its unhealthy... that too...

With all of the amazing features the games comes with, all of them are extremely expansive. The game comes with six playable classes, with three added by DLC, so that is nine classes for you to play as, let a lone master. The game comes with 32 player multiplayer, so expect some craziness going on when ya jump in. The game also has eight maps to play on, with each one making your gameplay experience different due to each one being designed differently. The game also has other modes, most well known being a crazy game of soccer, gratuitous but hilarious amounts of blood included.

I don't know why this is so redundant to say with most indie games, but god this game is stunningly beautiful. When it isn't charming you with its anime style look, it is amazing you with its fantastic colorful bright look. The whole aesthetic of the game is full of bright colors and well made character designs all around. Sure, they may be short, but they are so cute and lovable. The effects are nice and bright, and you can't help but laugh at how hilarious the princesses look fat. The soundtrack isn't focused on, but I don't mind, because it's fine. Not great, but fine. The best audio effect by far is the badass narrator, who gives off that awesomeness that the Bastion narrator does. Nice, clean, British, and deep. Awesome.

Verdict

Damn, for avatars who look shorter than my foot they got lots of blood in them.

Fat Princess is easily one of the best PSN experiences I've ever had. No joke, I'm serious. This game is so amazingly made. If it's not the in depth war gameplay, it's the colorful graphics. If it's not that, it's the class mechanics. If it's not that, it's the zany multiplayer. If it's not that, it's the crazy amounts of blood. There's something for everybody with this title, and while online multiplayer may not be too easy to find, if you can set it up, so be it. And sure, AI can be difficult, but it is something that can be overlooked to enjoy such a crisp, clean gameplay experience. Well done Titan, well done.

Forget the HD part, there is an HD version, but this a review of the non-HD version.

Name: Siege Hero

Genre: Puzzle Strategy

Developer: Armor Games

Platforms: iOS, Flash

Price: $.99 (iOS), Free (Flash)

Look, we all know how Angry Birds has been doing lately, and Angry Birds Space has pretty much revamped this success. With its major fanbase, it also brings up a new love for left to right slingshot games similar to Crush the Castle, another game by Armor, but what if I told you there was a game more addictive than Angry Birds that was a first person slingshot game! That's right, and its name is Siege Hero.

I love the little skull that is triggered when you kill someone. So satisfying... am I a bad person?

The game is split based on eras. Each era has three different worlds based on different types of warriors, in a sense. For example, The Fortress Age is split into three worlds like in a Mario game, one world of Samurais, one of Vikings, and one of Knights. I like this set-up, because it allows for cooler character models and just character variation in general. What also is good is that there are 21 levels per world, allowing for a ton of playtime involved.

The gameplay is pretty much Angry Birds, but imagine you behind the slingshot shooting rocks, bombs, and fireballs, and instead of their being strategy in where you aim, there's more strategy in where you shoot. This is why Siege Hero is better than Angry Birds, because it is easier to pick up, and because the gameplay is much less trial and error. The controls are simple, just touch where you want to shoot the projectile, and bam, the rock has been shot. The main goal of each level is to kill all of the evil warriors by shooting them or letting the structure fall on top of them, or etc. Each level has a structure made of either rock, wood, or any other material. You must destroy this building in way that will kill the warriors on screen, and this will result in you gaining points, and for each level, you'll need a specific amount of points to pass it. But sometimes, there may be princesses or angels there. And if you kill them, you'll lose major points, so the strategic elements of the game can sometimes be highly emphasized.

Ahoy maties, how would you like to see some pirates drown and die? I WOULD!!!

Thankfully, the gameplay also comes with some extra tidbits. For example, each level can either be passed with a check, or a golden crown; the golden crown symbolizing you earning a hire than average amount of points. This also allows you to unlock access to even more levels that are even more challenging. But what I like about this system ties to the regular gameplay, because there are so many ways to earn points. You get multiple projectiles to shoot, each with their own strengths and abilities, and if you save some and are able to solve the level without using all the projectiles, you get extra points. You also get points for finding treasures in the levels, saving civilians, and other things. The gameplay was very well thought out for a flash game, and it shows.

The game however does come with some issues. For one, there is no undo, and while this is their to make the game more challenging, I still feel that it should be there. It makes the game less annoying, and there will be many situations where things will go wrong and you will wish the game had an undo button. Also, the game doesn't allow you to shoot everywhere on the screen. This is a problem because sometimes there are ways of completing the stage I want o try, but I can't because the screen will be unresponsive. Still, those problems are small compared to the overall product.

The graphics are pretty good for a totally 2D game. The physics are also very well done, let alone well rendered. The graphics don't amaze me, simply because they are pretty simplistic and normal compared to most iPhone games. Things like wood and steel and explosions are pretty good, but character models at time lack texture and use simplistic colors. Still, the characters are cute and designed very simple but fun.

Verdict

That's right... fall, FALL DOWN TO YOUR DEATH VICTIMS! MWAH HA HA HA HA HA!

The game may be slightly lacking graphically, but even with that, the game is still fun and totally worth it for the portable price of $.99. There's plenty of levels to play and plenty of even harder levels to play after that. But what really makes me love this game is how easy it is to pick up. Those of you who maybe don't like Angry Birds for being too difficult or too trial and error based will like this. It is easier but harder at the same time, and the gameplay, n my honest opinion, is a lot better handled. Check this one out if you are willing, ya won't regret it.

---

Well, I think that's enough indie games for today. Thanks for watching this week's edition of The Indie Shack guys, I really appreciate it, and I worked really hard on this, so I hoped you enjoyed it. Remember, we have plenty more editions of The Indie Shack available, so check em out by going to the blog listings on the account. We spend a lot of time researching and writing, so we'd also love it if you could like this, +1 it, whatever you guys on the social sites do. Also, leave some suggestions down below of some indie games we should try out. If we have the money and the time, we'll take a look. Also, if you wanna write an edition of The Indie Shack, contact g1s JETZ.acx, Alpha Unit, and Ferret75 to get checked out. Next week, LousyTactician will take over, and then the week after that, that planned writer I mentioned on the beginning, that is his week! See you guys at my gaming blog!

All for one, and death for all!

Flapperdoodle

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