Some games are hard to put down so here are 8 recent indie games that got their hooks in me whether it was for the better or not.
LiEat Review Switch ★★★★☆
If the concept of an old-school RPG where you play as a dragon girl who eats lies appeals to you then you'll love what LiEat has in store.
LiEat is a compilation of 3 somewhat short stories that follow the adventures of Efina and her guardian as they dabble in selling secrets. Along their journeys, they'll get swept up in some surprisingly heavy situations such as solving a murder although there is an overall lighthearted tone and a solid sense of humour to balance things out. Even though there isn't really any grand adventure and you'll spend most of your time within small environments, getting to know the characters is compelling stuff, especially when their lies come to life only for you to defeat them in battle then watch Efina have a feast. The RPG systems are simple and satisfying and playing it reminded me a lot of the Final Fantasy Legend games albeit with more dialogue. Oh, and the soundtrack is great so look forward to that, too.
It may look like a simple game yet LiEat offers an impressively immersive world that makes its memorable cast of characters stand out.LiEat gameplay video →
Skellboy Refractured Review Switch ★★★★☆
Skellboy is back and this time, it's better than ever so get ready to swap out your body parts and become totally Refractured.
Last year, I played and reviewed Skellboy. Although I enjoyed it a lot, I felt like it was missing some elements to make it great but thankfully, there's a brand new iteration of it that adds a lot of content. The coolest addition is co-op multiplayer which allows you to play through the whole game with a friend. On top of that, there's a new procedurally-generated Submarine Dungeon that's bursting with content including more equipment and enemies. After completing the game, you can play through again in Refractured mode which features new items and bosses. There's also an achievement system, funny status effects, balanced difficulty, a new easy "Relax" mode, and there are loads of enhancements when it comes to performance. With all of this in mind, read my review of the original linked below to see if you'd like it. In the end, I'm very happy that the developers put so much work into fine-tuning this delightful game.
Skellboy was a fun and underrated game yet this Refractured version really stands out as a much-improved iteration and I admire that.Skellboy Refractured gameplay video → Skellboy Review
Wicce Review Switch ★★★☆☆
Playing as a badass witch who's on a mission to save her daughter sounds cool but will Wicce cast a spell on you? Let's find out.
Wicce is a 2D action game where you play as Wicce whose daughter was taken by dastardly forces so she heads to the now-corrupted town to rescue her. With that in mind, the story really doesn't play a big part of the game because it's all about progressing from point A to point B without perishing. I found the combat to be intuitive and satisfying and the platforming is solid as well. However, there are many frustrating segments with surprise deaths and unfairly-placed hazards that made me want to rip my hair out and having to replay these sections once you lose to a boss can be irritating stuff. Thankfully, the artwork is great as it creates a consistent atmosphere and I enjoyed bashing the gross-looking organic enemies. Overall, it can be fun but that fun will inevitably end with an unfair moment.
If you're in the market for a punishing 2D action game that can be rewarding at times then you may enjoy what Wicce has to offer.Wicce gameplay video →
Eagle Island Twist Review Xbox One ★★★★☆
Eagle Island debuted back in 2019 and it now has a new version with a well-crafted campaign so call your eagle over and let's play.
I didn't actually play Eagle Island when it first released but from what I gather, it was a roguelike with procedurally-generated levels. Meanwhile, Eagle Island Twist consists of a campaign with preset stages and it actually includes the original game, too, so that's awesome. Anyway, the core gameplay has you run and jump through 2D environments while using your eagle as a throwable projectile. Smashing it into foes as you carefully dodge incoming attacks is a blast but holy hot darn; is this game hard! That being said, its difficulty is completely fair so it's the good kind of challenge. In fact, I loved playing through segments again and again while honing my strategy. Each level also has a nifty gimmick such as enemies spawning explosives when they perish. Plus, there are loads of references to classic games, a ton of rewarding collectibles to go back for, an impressive amount of variety, and gorgeous visuals. What's not to love?
I'm so impressed with Eagle Island Twist that it made me regret not discovering the original earlier. What a fantastic 2D platformer!Eagle Island Twist gameplay video →
Long Ago: A Puzzle Tale Review Xbox One ★★★★☆
Puzzle games with simple premises that gradually become more complex as you progress are a treat so here's Long Ago: A Puzzle Tale.
The basics of Long Ago: A Puzzle Tale have you roll a ball around isometric stages which keeps going until it reaches a wall. The goal is to collect all of the things in the level in as few moves as possible. Meanwhile, the campaign consists of 2 types of stages: story levels where you collect feather quills to unlock verses of the story and optional levels where you collect coins. The latter grants you gems according to how many moves you used. Anyway, the stages are quite tough to master but thankfully, you can undo moves easily as well as wait to get hints. Plus, mastering the new mechanics as they're introduced is rewarding stuff because things get exceptionally tricky. You'll end up smashing pots, lighting torches, entering portals, and even toggling bridges and barricades. That'll give your brain a workout!
Between its varied puzzle mechanics, intuitive gameplay, and unique story presentation; Long Ago: A Puzzle Tale is a top-notch puzzler.Long Ago: A Puzzle Tale gameplay video → Long Ago: A Puzzle Tale - Level Solutions Guide
Trenga Unlimited Review Xbox One ★★★☆☆
Fitting pieces into walls may not sound all that exciting yet Trenga Unlimited is here to prove that it can definitely at least be fun.
To play Trenga Unlimited, you rotate the 4-walled playfield while trying to fit your selection of 3 pieces into any gaps that are in it. Yes, this is extremely simple yet most of the challenge within Trenga Unlimited relies on planning ahead before carefully executing moves. If you make a mistake by accidentally pressing a piece button that can't fit anywhere or slamming a piece into the playfield only to have some tiles not fit then your oxygen may go down to lethal levels. Considering there are buttons to rotate and flip pieces, I found playing Trenga Unlimited to be quite immersive as I was constantly trying my best to perform as efficiently as possible. I especially had fun in the brutally tough survival mode which really whipped my skills into shape. I mean, it is a rather unpolished and basic puzzler but it's still fun.
Playing Trenga Unlimited will make you sweat as you carefully place each of your pieces into the complex structure ahead of you.Trenga Unlimited gameplay video →
Motif Review Switch ★★★☆☆
Sometimes, puzzle games are more complicated than they seem at first so here's the kaleidoscopic Motif in all of its mind-bending glory.
Motif basically has you match displayed shapes by moving a small segment into the center of the screen which is like inserting it into a kaleidoscope. The puzzles start out simply enough but as you begin to become accustomed to its gameplay, things get increasingly tricky. You'll eventually have to move multiple segments into place and trying to replicate complex patterns with more than 1 piece can be time-consuming. That being said, once everything clicks and you see that you mastered the puzzle; it feels awesome! With all of that in mind, Motif is a very minimal game and I wish there was relaxing music as you played in addition to the harp plucks that you occasionally hear. I also ran into issues where the center of the screen would be black so I had to tap buttons for it to return to normal.
If you're looking for a relaxing puzzle game with stages that might take a bit of time to work out then you can't go wrong with Motif.Motif gameplay video →
Eat your letters Review Switch ★★☆☆☆
I love word puzzlers, especially ones where you form words from a selection of letters so Eat your letters is going to be good, right?
For starters, let me just say that once I started playing Eat your letters, it was hard to put down but that isn't necessarily a good thing. I felt compelled to master its many stages but wasn't having much fun doing so. You play by holding the Switch vertically then try to create as many words as possible with the letters that you're given in each stage. That's literally all there is to it. The problems start when you realise that the difficulty is all over the map because you'll master one level in a matter of seconds then the next, you'll be scratching your head only to come to the conclusion that some of the missing words are words that no one ever uses. You do get rubies that you can redeem to reveal 1 letter but you definitely don't get enough of them so you can hit a wall fast. I don't like it.
It may seem like a relaxing little puzzle game but Eat your letters ends up being a frustrating mess that you'll regret playing.Similar game: Spellspire