Indie Games Reviews 14 – 10/22/2021

Awe of Them by Food Without Taste—

An interactive traversal of cosmic sacrificial ground architecture. Pure atmosphere of rust, darkness and concrete. Just like I enjoy my coffee.

Bad Ben by Corpsepile –

Exquisite constant tone switch from abstract horror, full-on domestic gore and hilarious bravado. This is mixed media aesthetic at its best.

Bloodwash by Black Eyed Priest/Henry Hoare –

A masterful first-person horror game in the much needed genre of $0.99 horror-section VHS rentals. This one shines as a “waiting for your load at the laundromat” simulation. You are going to wait, for real, and this is a mechanic seldom used with such brilliance.

The Building 71 Incident by Scary Cube –

Don’t be duped by the intro–this is not an Outlast clone. Scary Cube pushes the found footage handheld mechanic to the galactic thresholds and brings back exquisite horror. A Halloween must play.

Cold Scream by 1 AM TRAIN –

This 1-bit monochromatic survival game will rattle your bones. The minimal visual only enhances the amazing audio design. Play it loud, you deserve it.

DELTARUNE – Chapter 2 by Toby Fox –

The only thing I can add to the overflow of joy this game provided me: Toby Fox single-handedly slapped all karenish arguments against videogames and children. DELTARUNE, when completed, should be as mandatory as literature in school.

Flesh, Blood & Concrete by io –

This is a weird game offering a unique portrayal of unheimliche. It will make you feel strange, oscillating between aberrant curiosity for the architectural body horror and wholesome in the ooziest way it for the relationship it builds between the two main characters. If you enjoyed the items’ description in Bloodborne, you will have your fix right there. One of the great RPG Maker games I played this year.

Island Getaway by GOBLIN –

Drink the crab juice flavoured Kool-Aid. Saying more would spoil it.

Land of Robotica by TheMinusel –

Each new game by TheMinusel confirms his unique genius in toying with expectations and cryptic symbolism. This is also the case with this one.

Levedad by solimporta –

A beautiful interactive art piece about time and space, but above all the impossibility to seize them. A perfect therapy if you need to zone out.

Mundaun by Hidden Fields –

It took me more hours than required to complete as I was constantly in awe by the hand-drawn textures. It’s a game where you will get lost, a lot, not only in the level design but also in the lore. While it won’t compensate travelling eerie Scandinavian forests, it’s as close a folk horror experience you can feel in the comfort of your home.

Shine Within by Ayetoons –

As mentionned above, Toby Fox is undeniably an institution with several dev offering derivatives take of his style. Most are forgettable, but not Shine Within with its specific personality.

The Isle Is Full of Noises by dreamfeel –

A rich, wholesome experience. A great example of interactive art as personal craft, creation as a way of being. Inspiring.

Welcome Home 2 by anactualskeleton –

I was stunned by the first Welcome Home. It forged its own niche by mixing existential angst, SCP Foundation lore, 2D action adventure and a hostile mutating limbo. This sequel expands this in the best possible way, creating a feeling of playing a haunted, forbidden media. Some ARG is hidden inside I strongly recommend you check out…

Also finished No More Heroes 3. It’s hard to defend if you are not already a die-hard fan of the NMH or Suda 51 work in general, but I personally enjoyed it. This is a weird time capsule with obsolete game mechanics, mainly the fact the incentive to progress is to see the next cutscenes. The nerdy celebration of Takashi Miike cinematography or the mixed-media art project driving the narrative was enough for me to grind through repetitive hordes of neon-coloured damage-sponge critters. Considering Grasshopper Studio just got bought by NetEase, maybe it’s time S51 cash in and starts doing experimental media art pieces instead of games …