Maelstrom while not officially dead, is as dead as anything could be right now with a peak CCU of 6 players and most of the day resting at zero, its a sad sight to behold, as the game is actually fantastic, the problem was launching with a price tag, while a fair price games like this depend on butts in the seats and competing against so many other games (Sea of Thieves for example) it merely never found its niche.
The developers have continued to work on the game and release builds and events, but its kinda sad to see, events for a game that almost has no players remaining is like watching a child say a teddy is their only family, both sweet and sad at the same time.
A change, of course.
I would love to see this game relaunch as a free to play game that sells cosmetics/skins, the game would be perfect for this business model as gameplay itself is super sound and incredibly fun, its the type of game people wouldn’t buy, but then turn around and pay $20 for a boat skin!
Look at the success of Fortnite, I have spoken to people who wouldn’t spend $20 for a game, yet spent hundreds on Fortnite skins!
On that note, I feel moving this game to the Epic Game store would be a fantastic change, having such a considerable crossover demographic with Fortnite, it could indeed find a substantial player base there.
Wrack plays like a tribute to the 90s, with throwbacks to the bosses of that era, the type of fights that caused your rage to burn through more controllers and big toes than the finale of Game of Thrones.
Graphically it is cel-shaded, a style I find endearing and in this case very clever, cel-shaded games are never in fashion nor cutting edge, giving them huge longevity, as they cannot go out of style if they were never in style, to begin with.
The music is awful, and the lack of iron sights sucks, but with those minor gripes aside, you are left with a solid, and at times humour filled throwback to the shooters of the late 90s.
3)The Battle of Sol
In the early 2000s games like Colony Wars, Star Trek: Invasion, Rogue Squadron and more were the flight sims of choice, awful hammy dialogue, epic battles, nail-biting finishes as dogfights with heavily armed bosses pushed us to our limits, narrative-wise they were solid for the time and genre but looking back now, many of these games appear paper-thin story-wise.
And I miss that type of game, not every game needs to be a sprawling lore dense epic, just like you don’t always want to eat a prime steak, and at times get a hankering for a greasy cheeseburger, games like battle for Sol fill that niche, a greasy cheeseburger homage to the space sims of the 2000s, we salute you greasy space burger!
Oh, you actually want to know how the game is? It is pretty much an indie shooter like you would expect, checks all the boxes for a low budget indie space shooter, but while doing so still manages to pay homage to the late golden era of space combat focused story drive flight sims, yeesh ain’t that a mouthful? A mouthful of greasy burger awesomeness!
4) Streets of Rogue.
I need to begin off by saying I despise games like this, I have never found one I even remotely liked until now its just something so mindlessly fun about it, from the tacky humour to the simple yet addictive gameplay, its feels fun to play and almost like a pixel RPG version of Gta 5.
I find myself thinking about playing even when I am not at my pc, I installed it on every PC I own, and I actually play it, yes i actually find time to play this game, not every good game I find time to play as I am only human with limited hours in a day, yet Streets of Rogue makes me want to play it more, and the fact the developers continues to improve the game with heaps of free updates makes it only more attractive to me.
I hope in time the developers release a few paid DLC, as their efforts to support the game long term is something I feel should be rewarded.
5) Rogue Legacy
This game is pure genius, never knowing from one “life” to the next what you will face as bonuses or struggles left me wanting to continually push one level more in effort to boost my legacy with permanent upgrades, one of my personal favourite debuffs was vertigo, and having to play the entire level while running on the ceiling, this was both challenging and very funny twist on a not so amusing condition!
A very clever game everyone should have in their library, the simple pixel art style hides a game of surprising depth and one with massive potential for enjoyment.
6) Human: Fall Flat
This game is one which to my shame sat unplayed for far too long, it simply never appealed to me, and honestly its not a game I will personally play very much, as its not my cup of tea, but that being said I can recognise a good cup of tea, even if I won’t drink it!
Human Fall Flat is a surprisingly fun game with simplistic graphics and animations that add to the absurd genius of the fantastic gameplay, and that absurdity is what makes Human Fall Flat stand out and truly shine.
It feels like you are partaking in a really low production value cartoon from the early 2000s Cartoon Network, and that look and feel is exactly what a semi-comical physics-based game needs, the ability to not take itself seriously.
Overall I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone with even the slightest interest in puzzle or physics-based games.
7) Nation Red
Nation Red is absolute indie garbage, and I love it for that reason, its the type of shamefully awful indie game that is worth about 50p, but you will force yourself to pay a quid for the meme value, and yet the gameplay is actually fun, while it won’t win any awards for.. well anything, anytime soon, it provides instant mindless fun of the type that few games can provide, no long narrative, no deep story, heck not even a decent text-based mission sequence, its simply kill zombies until they kill you, and I LOVE it.
I wholeheartedly recommend it for any fans of top-down shooters or to lesser extent fans of Call of Duty: Zombies.
8) Swords and Soldiers 2 Shawarmageddon.
I am a huge fan of RTS games and have played many 2D RTS, but I have never played a sidesplitting RTS, at first glance its cutesy graphics and UI make it a perfect candidate for dismissal as “a cutesy console game”, and that would be a real shame, the game while not immensely deep manages to capture the essence of RTS and infuse it with the ghost of a side-scrolling MOBA.
Its not for everyone, but a game doesn’t have to be for it to be enjoyable, fans of RTS who want to try something different will enjoy the skill-based side-scrolling combat, its a refreshing twist to a solid genre, and one I would like to stay around for years to come, RTS genre needs some variety, and games like Swords and Soldiers 2 could very well be part of it.
9) Teleglitch: Die More Edition
Teleglitch answers the question few of us asked, and even fewer wanted to know the answer to, what happens if you take dark souls, make it kinda cruddy and give it early 90’s graphics and 80’s interface, and now you know!
Teleglitch is the Marmite of games, its hard to like, harder to enjoy and downright frustrating at times, and yet it has its supporters, and I can appreciate why they like it, its simplicity is its genius, and while its not groundbreaking, it offers a fast-paced and at times punishing combat system that grows on you, kinda like the 900th rerun of Peppa Pig goes to the dentist.
While it is not a perfect game, those wanting some frantic top-down shooter action, with a grimdark narrative will get a kick out of this game, and for what it is, it is very well made.
You know.. That narrative is kinda appealing, and I may just play this someday…
10) Destiny Warriors
Ok to begin this review is written with the fact that Destiny Warriors costs less than a Big mac and probably is better for you, that being said its very much a campy RPG Maker game, like dozens of other RPG Maker games on Steam, and while I cannot say for sure it does indeed use RPG Maker engine, its pretty darn close, and I don’t need to go into why no one likes those games, no matter how much effort a dev puts into the game, it will always end up looking like an RPG Maker.
If you like RPG maker games with campy JRPG dialogue, you will like this.
As it is by far one of the better RPG Maker JRPG on Steam, if you don’t like RPG Maker JRPG, this game will do little to change your mind.
I hope you noticed how many times I said, RPG Maker.
Bonus Random Trivia!
Originally this Top 10 was to be posted July 1st! But somehow fell through the cracks!