Crazy Indie Games

Crazy Indie Games

Off-the-wall console gaming fun

A.J. Maciejewski

Written by for Rapid Fire Reviews on

A lot of indie games feature the same kind of formulas so here are a bunch of indies that offer some ridiculous premises for a change.

Save me Mr Tako: Tasukete Tako-San Review Switch ★★★☆☆

If you've ever wanted to play as an ink-shooting octopus who can turn his enemies into platforms then here's a game for you.

Save me Mr Tako: Tasukete Tako-San screenshot
Sorry, I don't speak English; I'm an octopus

Save me Mr Tako: Tasukete Tako-San is an interesting game to say the least. It emulates the classic look and feel of a game being played on Super Game Boy complete with fun borders and interchangeable colour palettes. You basically control Mr Tako within a large selection of 2D platforming stages. His main attack is shooting ink that turns enemies into platforms which reminded me of the Ice Beam in the Metroid series. Anyway, you'll also discover plenty of nifty hats that grant Mr Tako new abilities and attacks. When you factor in puzzle elements and enjoyable boss fights, you're looking at a decent take on retro 2D platforming. That being said, surprise deaths can be annoying seeing as one hit kills you and the core gameplay doesn't really offer anything new or exciting. It's still a fun game, though, and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys these kinds of retro-inspired 2D platformers.

Gliding around while shooting ink to turn enemies into platforms is indeed fun but Save me Mr Tako: Tasukete Tako-San is still an old-school 2D platformer that could have done much more to stand out in such a crowded genre.

Save me Mr Tako gameplay video → More 2D Platformers on Switch

Doodle God: Crime City Review Xbox One ★★☆☆☆

JoyBits' goofy object-combining series has been around for almost a decade and now, they have a new take on their distinct formula.

Doodle God: Crime City screenshot
If only all of these awful criminals can have a taste of justice...

For the unfamiliar, Doodle God is all about combining items, people, concepts, and such to create new things. That's literally all you did in past games but with Doodle God: Crime City, there is a selection of interesting Choose Your Own Adventure style scenarios that you can master by combining the correct things within each scenario. Considering the overarching theme here is crime, these missions involve either stopping criminals or committing misdeeds. I enjoyed working these out but they can be irritating because getting a game over often results from combining things that you wouldn't expect to have dire consequences. The main mode is the basic formula where you try and combine items. It sounds simple but it's incredibly tedious and frustrating. A lot of the combinations make little sense but discovering things like prostitutes and psychopaths can be pretty funny. Other than that, there isn't much fun to be had here.

If you enjoyed previous Doodle God games then you're sure to have a good time with Crime City. With that said, most gamers probably won't find much to like about randomly combining things to make other things.

Doodle God: Crime City gameplay video → Doodle God Review

Road Redemption Review PlayStation 4 ★★★☆☆

Electronic Arts' ridiculous racing series Road Rash hasn't been around for quite a long time but Road Redemption is here to fill the void.

Road Redemption screenshot
Sure, it's fun beating people up while racing but this is no Road Rash

As if riding on a motorcycle at high speeds wasn't exciting enough, you can now do so while beating the tar out of your opponents. Road Redemption has a roguelike structure where you progress through a succession of randomly generated stages which may involve basic races, time trials, or missions where you must kill a certain number of targets. The core racing is mostly humdrum but it is satisfying beating people up to gain boost so you can launch ahead to the front of the pack. Unlocking temporary and permanent upgrades as well as different bikes and riders is rewarding, too, but being able to afford anything requires a lot of patience. Overall, I found the gameplay to get repetitive quite early on. There is an online mode which helps remedy this slightly but it's essentially just more of the same.

Beating up folks with a motorcycle between your legs sounds like fun and it is. That being said, Road Redemption simply doesn't provide enough long-lasting gameplay to keep the average gamer entertained for longer than a couple of hours.

Road Redemption gameplay video →

Steel Rats Review PlayStation 4 ★★★★☆

The developers of the highly underrated Trials-like game Urban Trial Playground now have a fresh take on their familiar dirt bike gameplay.

Steel Rats screenshot
Killdozer, huh? Is Marvin Heemeyer driving that thing?

That's right; Steel Rats plays a lot like a Trials game except the physics are much more forgiving, you can move in three dimensions, and there's an enjoyable combat system. Okay, perhaps it isn't that much like Trials after all but I digress. You basically progress through a large campaign that's full of intricate stages where you ride a motorcycle while battling robots and performing cool acrobatic moves. Your attacks consist of a front tire that turns into a saw blade, a drone that follows you around and can shoot enemies once commanded to, and an assortment of special attacks that require specific button combinations. As you advance in the campaign, you'll discover secrets, fight hulking bosses, and unlock, upgrade, and customize new characters. The gameplay is super-tight, challenging, and a heck of a lot of fun. I just wish there was more content besides just the main campaign such as a multiplayer mode, etc.

If you wish Trials games had more killer robots and allowed you to move in a third dimension then Steel Rats is definitely worth playing.

Steel Rats gameplay video → Urban Trial Playground Review

Zarvot Review Switch ★★★★☆

Who needs to relate to characters when you can play as a cube? Zarvot features awesome shooting gameplay so let's get straight to it.

Zarvot screenshot
Elevator fight scenes are always cool; even with cubes!

Zarvot features an extensive single player campaign as well as a super-fun multiplayer component. Whichever mode you play, the core gameplay involves running and jumping around as a cube within 3D environments. You can also shoot to attack enemies and dash to avoid danger. A couple of more advanced moves include a spin attack and a chomp attack, the latter of which needs to be charged. Heck, you can even hold in the right stick to make a rubber ducky appear! Anyway, the gameplay is incredibly tight, challenging, and fun while the visuals are stylish and gorgeous. Also, the soundtrack is quirky and amazing. I don't really have anything substantially negative to say about this indie gem but the gameplay does get a little repetitive after playing for a while. Seeing as that's the only negative point that I can think of, you can trust that Zarvot is a solid experience. I highly recommend it!

Whether you're working through the single player story mode, challenging the immediately gratifying arcade mode, or battling a few friends in versus mode, Zarvot offers awesome shooting gameplay and an incredible amount of content.

Zarvot gameplay video →

Deru: The Art of Cooperation Review Switch ★★★★☆

When it comes to challenge, co-op multiplayer games don't get much more difficult than Deru: The Art of Cooperation.

Deru: The Art of Cooperation screenshot
It may look simple enough but Deru can be absolutely brutal

When I started playing Deru: The Art of Cooperation, I didn't know what to think. Level 1 is weird and has nothing to do with the core gameplay as you merely chase a bunch of shapes away. After that, the stages become all about avoiding dangerous black and white streams while you and a friend help each other reach your corresponding exits. Your shape is immune to different coloured hazards so you can place yourself at the source of a stream in order for your friend to cross over. As you carefully work out each stage, the challenge amplifies to a jaw-dropping degree. Dealing with surprise hazards mid-stage, setting up blockades within tough puzzle-oriented stages, and navigating through webs of complex hazard streams is incredibly difficult stuff but I'm happy to say that it's not annoying. If you can work well together with your gaming pal, Deru: The Art of Cooperation may become one of your favourite co-op games ever.

Deru: The Art of Cooperation looks simple yet its gameplay is mind-bending, challenging, and ultimately rewarding. Plus, its immersive minimalist atmosphere will make you keep coming back to try and master its incredibly clever scenarios.

Deru: The Art of Cooperation gameplay video → More Switch Co-op Indie Games
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