I've been enjoying a lot of fantastic indie games with my constant chum lately so here are my thoughts on 5 great multiplayer indies.
Cake Bash Review Xbox One ★★★★☆
Everyone loves a good party game and Cake Bash cleverly features beat 'em up elements so let's head to the bakery and duke it out.
Cake Bash is a party game where up to 4 players compete to become the most delicious dessert in the bakery. The main mode has you progress through an assortment of mini-games and in between them, you redeem earned coins for decorations. If you manage to combine 3 of the same decoration, your score gets a boost and the most attractive cake at the end wins. You could think of the decorations as stars in the Mario Party franchise but with a nifty multiplier mechanic which adds a layer of strategy. Anyway, there aren't many mini-games but they are enjoyable enough that even repeated plays don't make them wear thin as quickly as they do in similar games. Whether you're throwing strawberries into a dish, roasting marshmallows, or scrambling to collect the most candies, you're bound to have a great time with this delicious party. That is; as long as the annoying CPU opponents don't win!
Few party games offer as much to the genre as Cake Bash does with its downright delightful aesthetic and highly enjoyable gameplay.Cake Bash gameplay video →
Unrailed! Review PlayStation 4 ★★★★☆
If you love trains, cute characters, and clever action-based puzzlers as much as I do then here's a game that you definitely need to play.
Right off the bat, let me just say that Unrailed! is a brilliant game. You basically run around with a friend as a train moves along a track. However, this is no ordinary train as it has compartments that allow for the production of track segments. So, you must run around with an axe and a pickaxe in order to turn trees into lumber and mine for iron, respectively. You then gather the materials and dump them into the train so it can produce tracks then you lay those tracks to ensure that the train can keep on truckin'. There are plenty of complexities such as how the train speeds up over time and the fact that it catches on fire frequently which requires you to fill a bucket with water so you can put it out. Building bridges, collecting hidden bolts which can be spent on upgrades, and reaching the next train station are rewarding tasks indeed and you could spend hours upon hours playing this gem of a game without getting bored.
Unrailed! is an ingenious indie that really shines when you play it with a friend so hop aboard and see where this train takes you.Unrailed! gameplay video →
Bartlow's Dread Machine Review Xbox One ★★★★☆
There are plenty of twin-stick shooters out there but I bet you haven't played anything quite like the very cool Bartlow's Dread Machine.
Bartlow's Dread Machine has you and a friend control Secret Service agents who are on a mission to rescue Teddy Roosevelt who has been kidnapped by otherworldly oddities. You play as little metal puppets who can freely move along tracks as well as rotate 360° in order to shoot at the invading enemy forces. Being restricted to a track actually makes the gameplay unexpectedly tricky yet it remains challenging and highly entertaining stuff. There are some nifty mechanics on top of this including the ability to deflect projectiles by tapping a button in time and purchase new gear in between missions. Throw in tough and memorable boss fights, a variety of environments, and plenty of challenging scenarios and you're left with a must-have co-op shooter that plays as great as it looks.
If you're a fan of twin-stick shooters and want to enjoy something different then playing Bartlow's Dread Machine is an absolute must.Bartlow's Dread Machine gameplay video → More twin-stick shooters
Jet Set Knights Review PlayStation 4 ★★★★☆
You don't see many single-screen 2D action platformer / tower defense hybrids so Jet Set Knights is here to fix that and it's great fun.
When we first started playing Jet Set Knights, I was immediately reminded of TowerFall, especially after acquiring the bow power-up as it features a similar visual aesthetic as well as familiar action-packed 2D gameplay. However, it's quite different as the goal here is to protect Princess Kitty who resides at the bottom of the screen. You do so by controlling your character of choice such as one who looks strikingly similar to Shovel Knight in order to hack and slash at spawning monsters. Meanwhile, you can collect tons of different power-ups as well as materials that you can use to erect walls and turrets that'll surely help with thinning out the monstrous hordes. The resulting gameplay is challenging, exciting, and tense and it makes for a delightful co-op experience to boot. Plus, up to 4 players can join in!
I love when indies impress me and Jet Set Knights certainly has with its action-packed 2D gameplay that lends itself well to co-op.Jet Set Knights gameplay video →
Cook, Serve, Delicious! 3?! Review Xbox One ★★★★☆
If frantic multiplayer indies are your cup of tea then here's a brand new cooking game that'll definitely keep your thumbs busy.
I absolutely loved Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2!! so imagine my delight when I saw that Cook, Serve, Delicious! 3?! was on its way to consoles. For the unfamiliar, it's a menu-based cooking game where holding the shoulder buttons and tapping the correct face buttons as efficiently as possible is the key to success. This might sound tedious but keep in mind; you have to be accurate because if you accidentally put cinnamon on someone's donut when they wanted sprinkles then they won't be a very happy customer. The fact that the gameplay is so sensitive in this regard creates a challenging formula that'll have you quickly yet carefully tending to the needs of your customers. Additionally, this sequel has an absolutely absurd story that made us crack up as we played and the gameplay is much faster-paced than its predecessor as it takes place on a food truck with customisable menus as opposed to a stationary restaurant.
Cook, Serve, Delicious! 3?! is the sort of game that you'll keep coming back to whenever you want a fix of frantic multiplayer fun.Cook, Serve, Delicious! 3?! gameplay video → Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2!! Review