Originally posted Jan 17, 2019, reformated and updated Aug 3 2020.
Not every game needs to be a multi-million dollar affair, indie games come in all shapes and size some good, some bad, but they all have one thing in common, they were produced by small teams of passionate individuals.
1) Adventure Manager.
Adventure Manager is very much the type of game you get 40 of for $1 on fanatical, that however is not entirely a bad thing, as it’s a very fun little indie title to pass some time and it costs literal pennies.
The combat is nothing to write home about, Its very similar to the system seen in hundreds of JRPG, while it’s nice to see a fusion of eastern and western RPGs, it’s not groundbreaking in its execution.
Graphics are retro to the extreme and look like they were created in bitmap, which adds to the games charm.
Fans of JRR Tolkien will notice many easter eggs and nods to his work, as a big fan of The Lord of the Rings, I really enjoyed finding these references.
Adventure Manager is not for everyone, but most people who were gamers in the 80s and 90s will enjoy this walk down memory lane.
2) Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?
Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader? hasn’t aged well, and full screen is somewhat buggy, luckily playing in windowed mode gives you the chance to prove to yourself and those with you, just how dumb or smart you are!
The graphics look like a 90’s title, and were awful even when the game was new, with almost no options in settings you are forced to run this title at what appears to be 320p!
Sadly this title is no longer available on Steam, and new copies can only be bought via the third-party websites and key resellers.
3) Bridge Constructor
Bridge Constructor is the type of game people look at you like you have gone mad when you say you have been playing it, on paper, it is possibly one of the least appealing ideas for a game imaginable.
Behind its dull concept and mediocre graphics, a hidden gem is waiting to be found.
Bridge Constructor is a surprisingly sophisticated physics simulator, you will find yourself wanting to try just once more design, or progress just one more level until hours have slippered away from you.
The puzzles are very well designed, and allow a fair bit of leeway in solving them.
Each puzzle has an optimal solution, but there is always room to experiment, and especially in early levels, some room for mistakes.
Bridge Constructor is a great addition to the library of any puzzle fanatic.
4) Bridge Constructor: Medieval
There is very little that can be said about Bridge Constructor: Medieval that cannot be said about its predecessor Bridge Constructor.
The main area of improvement is graphical, where higher quality models and sprites have been used to bring the medieval world to life.
If you liked Bridge Constructor, and want to play the same style of game again with a fresh coat of paint, you will enjoy Bridge Constructor: Medieval.
Personally, if I didn’t already own both Bridge Constructor and Bridge Constructor: Medieval, I would have skipped right to Bridge Constructor: Medieval, as its a more polished product.
While some games bring new and exciting twists to the genre, there is really not much wiggle room when to innovation in the genre to begin with.
Chain, is one such title, with a greater emphasis on speed and flow than most, it tests a players reflexes and encourages quick thinking.
It feels very educational in its execution, and gamers of all ages will enjoy testing their wits and reflexes against the 20 puzzles that range from easy to sadistic.
6) Corporate Lifestyle Simulator.
Corporate Lifestyle Simulator, is the type of game you played in flash arcade websites in the early 000s, edgy, bloody and in poor taste, Corporate Lifestyle Simulator, revolves killing office workers, no matter what weak narrative you wrap around it to try and take off some of the edginess, it’s in poor taste, especially considering the number of terror attacks and mass shooting we have experienced over the past decade.
Graphically the artwork is deliberately very basic, reminiscent of the early 90s pc games with a less offensive setting it would be a happy trip down memory lane, as it stands, it just feels wrong on so many levels.
Corporate Lifestyle Simulator, plays as well as can be expected for a flash-esque title, combat is basic but functional.
Corporate Lifestyle Simulator, is not a game I would ever play no recommend to others; its few good points are eclipsed by the insensitive nature of its narrative.
Frontiers, is a perfect example of over promise, under provide.
At no point did the developer’s initially lie to consumers about the product they were offering, they intended it to be this all-encompassing paradise that took all that was amazing about classic role-playing games like Daggerfall and bring them to a new generation.
Most Early Access games begin off rough and slowly get more polished as they approach their final release.
It wasn’t mean to be.
Frontiers, sadly began off promising and progressively got worse, texture and model quality dropped significantly, deadlines and eta become cruel jokes, and overall the final product we did receive is far short of what was originally promised.
Kickstarter backers and Steam buyers alike are clearly unhappy with the final product with 70% of the total reviews* being negative.
I personally can not even recognise the finished product when compared to what I originally purchased.
A Sad Farewell.
The developers admit its a poor product, in the January 2020 update this little gem can be found.
“A new build – the final build – has been pushed to Steam. The game has exited early access. It’s not perfect – not even close to what we’d hoped for – but it’s done. Janky, ugly, compromised, buggy, missing tons of promised features… and done.”
AAD Productions Pack tried and failed to produce a quality product, I do not feel anger, but rather pity, they dreamed big and failed hard.
*Includes both Steam purchases and Steam key redemptions.
Gyromancer has exactly one thing going for it, and that is it was created by Square Enix, the publisher behind Final Fantasy series.
All connect 3/4 games are the same, while this game has some unique mechanics and high quality (but very dated) graphics, it’s not enough to make you like the game if the Connect 4 genre is not your thing.
One saving grace is the soundtrack, which is phenomenal; another is the character and background artwork which is gorgeous.
I may be biased, but I feel the artwork and soundtrack are wasted on a game which is basically Connect 4 in cosplay.
The mid 000s was the golden era of bejewelled clones, everyone and their mother wanted to create one, and while they still can be enjoyed today, pc gaming as a whole has come a long way since games like this were the norm.
Gravilon is more of a statement than a game, surreal, minimalist and to some extent existential.
Gravilon presents you with a problem and lets your imagination come up with the solution; there is no single right way to do something.
Each level/puzzle has an optimal path, but there is always room to experiment.
Believe it or not, there is actually a narrative to be discovered, the more you progress, the more snippets of story you will encounter, very Dark Souls-esque.
Not a game for everyone, but certainly a unique puzzle game.
It seems that in 2009, someone at Square Enix really loved Connect 4, as we see yet another attempt to tackle the genre, unlike Gyromancer that gave us some truly stunning artwork and a cinematic soundtrack, Yosumin! opted for a more basic aesthetic.
And while it’s not as interesting as Gyromacer, the basic sprites and simple UI have aged a lot better.
As with all Connect 4 games/bejewelled clones, its either your thing or it isn’t.
Personally, with so many good bejewelled clones available for free, I would not buy one, but your mileage may vary.
10) Emoji Charades
Emoji Charades is an excellent concept and one I can fully get behind. However, I feel the execution was lacking. Often the suggested emotes had very little to do with the topic you were trying to explain.
Sometimes the selection of suggest emotes contained almost nothing that remotely even resembled the movie you were trying to explain, fictional example.
Imagine trying to describe Star Wars with no variations of stars (be it real stars or celebrities), or any similarities that even remotely resembled a war.
I love the concept and hope that the suggested emote algorithm is improved, with a better algorithm it could be an excellent, if not a near-perfect party game.
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