Indie Games Reviews 22 – 06/09/2022

Time Is Solid Here by AlgebraFalcon—

A very interesting top-down 2D horror/puzzle experience reminding me of Flesh, Blood & Concrete. This game really distinguishes itself with a superb soundtrack, extremely well-written dialogues and a visual style mixing retro and Francis Baconesque melting fleshy masses. The trials and tribulations of this amateur psychopomp are worth exploring.

Everlast by nadyalev—

I say yes to more FMV interactive experiences/games. Way more efficient than that Black Mirror episode.

Nightmare of Decay by Checkmaty—

Forget about all those Resident Evil remake and HD facelift. This is the real deal. It may look a little derivative at first glance, but this is one of the purest survival horror experiences you will find on the market right now. And at that price, with the amount of extra content, it’s an absolute steal.

198145 by Selfish Dream—

Selfish Dream offers here an abstract synthesis of his unique approach to game design. This is noise as interaction—the dissolution of architectural benchmarks and sensorial saturation.

My Painted Tomb by ArthouseGames—

A little blast from the recent past. MSPaint/Quickbasic-punk 2D projectile heaving of glitching beats and fluorescent landscapes. We need more of those beautiful messes.

The Longest Walk by TheSandymanCan—

I feel there’s an underlying pressure to get back to pre-Covid speed recently that’s way more damaging to mental balance than the restrictive health measures. This is an excellent game about depression, well required in the current context.

An Outcry by Quinn K.—

Another extremely important game, and more relevant than ever. It’s a title that leaves a space for interpretation, but not in abstractness. It’s about where you, yourself, as a gamer, is positioned towards this unfolding narrative and the choices made. I played two runs, and both were dealing with the insidiousness of a specific form of hatred: self-hatred and a certain capitalistic posthumanism contempt. Amanda Beech, in her essay “Death of Horror”, ends by stating, “If horror is determined as the space in which we can explode the myths of our existence, then it must also be a space in which we can explode the myth of our precarity, the central axis of horror. It must risk losing the make-up that has defined it. Horror must reject horror.” I believe An Outcry does exactly that—an angle I hope I will be able to explore further.

Go Fly a Kite by DigitalTchotchkes—

Another game that feels like the corrupted reflection of our covideconomy. Although I think I’d rather spend my last days on this dirtball in this exquisite nightmare of Play-Doh mutants and polluted cancerous architecture. Oh, it’s also funny as hell.

2000 Navidson Lane by Duckenheimer—

It’s another 3D “photorealistic” domestic fps horror game. But this one is good, uses the House of Leaves references well, and as some perverse tricks up its sleeves (I say yes to screen size/resolution manipulations). Even the jump scare is great.

World Annihilation Operations Part 1: Propagation/Extinction by Jesse Aidyn—

Annihilative procedural dissolution of reality—my mug of pilsner/cup of tea. Interactive trepanation of the highest order.

Pranic Parasite and Static Desert by Mohamed Chamas—

Pretty sure these games are the only spiritual awakening we can hope for in the coming decades. Sharp neon design punching like a caffeine overdose.

Vomit Pizza by korkskrew2000—

ZXspectrum-punk unadulterated mess. What’s more to say? It’s beautiful in its vulgarity, brilliant in its dumbness.

Cursedom by GlamowResearch—

This was made by demons. I don’t usually share uncompleted project but this one is too good to pass on—a graphically overloaded dungeon crawler mixing everything with schizophrenic incoherence and genuine madness. I won’t even try defining it, Cursedom must be experienced.

Amanda the Adventurer by jpgamedesign—

Is this supposed to be a creepypasta based on a fake kid show? Because I can’t see the difference with the stuff my friends’ offsprings are tube-fed.

Electric Highways by Zykoveddy—

Another “classic” basement game from 2015. I had the urge to replay it recently and was still entranced by the great music, the brilliant level design and the cynical “social” commentary. This is pure cyberpunk vibe check.

Infineural by Mike Klubnika—

I like Mike Klubknika games. I like Stephen King’s short story The Jaunt. This is the best of both worlds.

Pill Baby by Kayabros—

Drugs. Cronenbergian mutants. Beat ’em up ultraviolence. Danny Brown. Colourful 2D hallucinatory vibe. What’s not to like? This is clearly a labour of love, dealing unreservedly about being uprooted and chemically imbalanced. Support!

Nix Umbra by ilzard—

I have no idea what’s going on but it’s ruining my sleep cycle.

The Sun Shines Red by Matthew Ager—

As vile as a Harry Harlow experiments. Discomfort design times 100.

They Grew Lungs and Drowned by Supposedly Spooky—

If you need a fix of cursed abandoned PS1 development, this will satiate you. Totally nails the dreamscape of neoliberal fatigue.

The White Ship by z chandler—

One of those games generating extreme eeriness with few visual clues. ‘The waves beckon’.

I strongly recommend you get It’s probably a doghouse, Charlie Brown by hakobore. This PDF zine blending Peanuts and Silent Hill. The constant ambiance of spleen, lifelessness and subtle humour of both franchised uncannily mixes well together.

Also finished Bayonetta 1 + 2. I won’t talk about the difficulty level and extensively covered pros and cons of both games, but I will restate what I wrote concerning Saints Row IV. What happened since 2014? Why can games studio go all-out crazy and berserk and have fun making games that are actually fun? Ghostwire: Tokyo would have been a perfect candidate for this, but instead of gigantic yokai we get a grocery list of mundane tasks to check. I don’t know if the announced sequel will be as good. Hopefully PlatinumGames won’t find a way to ruin a series where a gun-toting witch dressed in here tentacular pubic hair fights angelic entities from the Old Testament.