Indie Shack - Survival, Mana, and Children
Well since it seems that people liked my last Indie Shack and after talking with Ferret, he said I could make another one, so here's your favorite Koopa again to bring you another Indie Shack. What do I have with me today? Well it's nothing but the pixels today as we dive into some old school retro games such as a dungeon crawler, an action RPG, and a puzzle platformer, so take a look at what I have to offer.
Name: Hack, Slash, Loot
Release Date: April 5th, 2012
Platforms: PC (Steam)
If there has been one game that has beaten the crap out of me multiple times, and yet I still enjoy it every single damn time I play, it's Hack, Slash, Loot. Hack, Slash, Loot is a very basic dungeon crawler taking you upon numerous quests, each with different rooms, treasures, and enemies every single time you play. Every quest has its own boss and levels so no quest is the same as another.
However, the core gameplay is what matters the most. You start off with a character of your choice with every character having differences between them; you get more by dying or winning which I'll explain that later. The whole goal in each quest is to slay monsters to get better gear; there is no leveling system. Instead, stats are gained through gear, potions, food, and other various things. Most of the time, potions and food will give you life energy, while others will increase your melee, ranged, magic, elemental resistance, and vulnerability to elements. There is also no max life total so you may start out with 30 or so health but in a long run be able to gain about 200 health, so there's always an incentive to explore every inch of a level for more health pick-ups (especially since health is very limited in the game).
But... let me warn you. It may seem like fun but it's very frustrating as this game is exceedingly difficult. I've had a few runs myself where I was so decked out with really great gear, over 100 health and just amazing stats... and then it all went away because this game likes to toy with you. Anything that can go wrong WILL go wrong. Imagine to my surprise getting to the final boss of a quest... and the first thing that he does is shed all my gear off without warning. It's things like that that really have to make you think upon your toes and act very quickly in order to survive. One life is all you get and once you're dead you start a new character on a new quest. There are resurrections in the game but they are very rare to come by, so just be very cautious when you open that next door. As I mentioned before, dying is part of the game; you will die and I guarantee it. But dying unlocks characters for you that you may enjoy or make a better method for survival. Each character in the game is unlocked with a certain amount of deaths, but if you win a game then you unlock the next character immediately. I've actually played 30 or so games now and I still have not managed to win a single one of them, but I still love the game with all my heart and for $6.99 it is a STEAL for such a great in-depth adventure that is Hack, Slash, Loot.
Name: Wanderlust: Rebirth
Release Date: July 27th, 2012
Platforms: PC (Steam)
Price: $9.99 ($7.49 until August 3rd)
This one recently caught my eye when it showed up on Steam, and I instantly fell in love with the trailer. It reminded me so much of an old SNES RPG with combinations such as The Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past and Secret of Mana regarding their looks and gameplay. Wanderlust: Rebirth is a 4 player co-op RPG that really does have potential in becoming something bigger than it is. To me, I feel like it's like a Secret of Mana game, almost like Children of Mana on the DS. You start by picking one of 4 characters, each having their ups and downs. You enter the “lobby” area so to speak. Players can mingle in the lobby and get a group together or whatnot. Wanderlust: Rebirth can be played offline in single player or online in multiplayer; the option of having both is always a plus for me.
The controls for Wanderlust: Rebirth.... take a moment to sink it in. You move with the WASD keyboard keys; you attack and use skills with... the arrow keys. The down arrow key I think is standard for everyone's attack. It may sound weird (and it is) but you'll eventually grow to it as you progress through the game's levels. There's a large crafting system where you use ingredients from slain enemies to create new weaponry and other equipment. I myself, haven't explored much around the game but judging by the map size it seems to be a pretty decently sized game, so if you're looking for a Secret of Mana-esk game I'd recommend taking the time and investing in Wanderlust: Rebirth.
Name: Offspring Fling!
Release Date: May 11th, 2012
Platforms: PC (Steam)
Offspring Fling is such a satisfying platforming game that it's just one of those games you can easily relax to, listening to the uplifting music as you throw your babies across the screen in hopes to complete a puzzle. That's right; you throw your children to push buttons to open doors, throw them into the goal, or even to just escort them across the level. As the mother, it is your duty to save all of your children in order to advance to the next level, and for the speedy folks, every level has a par time and a developer time for extra goodies. The game feels very Super Meat Boy-ish with how well the mother controls. Honestly, I think it's a pretty good contender with Super Meat Boy. Mother can't do much but jump and throw children much like how Meat Boy can only run and wall-jump.
There's a huge variety of levels ranging into the triple digits, so you'll definitely get your money's worth through the content available. As always, if you do complete the game there's always an incentive to go back and try to beat developer times for extra rewards, or just to show off to your friends with ghost replays if they have the game, which most likely they won't. Pick this one up if you're looking for a fantastic and smooth new platforming puzzler that you can throw babies in!
Okay before I end, I'm sorry this Indie Shack was lacking a bit. I've been exceedingly burned out from work and have just been... so sleepy lately which is part of the reason I'm taking a small hiatus from “Reviews with only 100” if anyone actually reads them anymore... I dunno.
But before I go, don't forget to enter my contest that I'm holding again for Orcs Must Die! You can enter it by clicking here! All you need to do is own Steam and be sure to include the said word in your comment.
Note from Ferret: Special thanks to g1 JustAKoopa for offering to write up the Indie Shack a second time in a row. I think it's a great entry personally, so it's much appreciated. If you haven't checked them out yet, he also does a lot of great short reviews under his own profile called "Reviews in 100 Words", and you can read those by clicking here.
In other news, the Indie Shack has recently become a bi-weekly series, which is partly due to the numerical limitations of interesting indie titles and the time that it takes to write up an entry. With that said, we are still looking for some more people to help in the future, so if you would like to write up a future entry, then send me a message on the site.